Wieland or the Transformation
"Three days have elapsed since this occurrence. I have been haunted by perpetual
inquietude. To bring myself to regard Carwin without terror, and to acquiesce in the
belief of your safety, was impossible. Yet to put an end to my doubts, seemed to be
impracticable. If some light could be reflected on the actual situation of this man, a direct
path would present itself. If he were, contrary to the tenor of his conversation, cunning
and malignant, to apprize you of this, would be to place you in security. If he were
merely unfortunate and innocent, most readily would I espouse his cause; and if his
intentions were upright with regard to you, most eagerly would I sanctify your choice by
"It would be vain to call upon Carwin for an avowal of his deeds. It was better to know
nothing, than to be deceived by an artful tale. What he was unwilling to communicate,
and this unwillingness had been repeatedly manifested, could never be extorted from him.
Importunity might be appeased, or imposture effected by fallacious representations. To
the rest of the world he was unknown. I had often made him the subject of discourse; but
a glimpse of his figure in the street was the sum of their knowledge who knew most.
None had ever seen him before, and received as new, the information which my
intercourse with him in Valencia, and my present intercourse, enabled me to give.
"Wieland was your brother. If he had really made you the object of his courtship, was not
a brother authorized to interfere and demand from him the confession of his views? Yet
what were the grounds on which I had reared this supposition? Would they justify a
measure like this? Surely not.
"In the course of my restless meditations, it occurred to me, at length, that my duty
required me to speak to you, to confess the indecorum of which I had been guilty, and to
state the reflections to which it had led me. I was prompted by no mean or selfish views.
The heart within my breast was not more precious than your safety: most cheerfully
would I have interposed my life between you and danger. Would you cherish resentment
at my conduct? When acquainted with the motive which produced it, it would not only
exempt me from censure, but entitle me to gratitude.
"Yesterday had been selected for the rehearsal of the newly-imported tragedy. I promised
to be present. The state of my thoughts but little qualified me for a performer or auditor in
such a scene; but I reflected that, after it was finished, I should return home with you, and
should then enjoy an opportunity of discoursing with you fully on this topic. My
resolution was not formed without a remnant of doubt, as to its propriety. When I left this
house to perform the visit I had promised, my mind was full of apprehension and
despondency. The dubiousness of the event of our conversation, fear that my interference
was too late to secure your peace, and the uncertainty to which hope gave birth, whether I
had not erred in believing you devoted to this man, or, at least, in imagining that he had