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you expected a happy and gay welcome, to behold, on the contrary, tears and wretchedness? And how, Victor, can I relate our misfortune 2 Absence cannot have rendered you callous to our joys and griefs; and how shall I inflict pain on an absent child I wish to prepare you; for the woeful news, but I know it is impossible; even now your eye skims over the page, to seek the words which are to convey to you the horrible tidings." “. William is dead!—that sweet child, whose smiles delighted and warmed
my heart, who was so gentle, yet so
gay! Victor, he is murdered!
to “I will not attempt to console you; but will simply relate' the circumstances of the transâction. of - “Last Thursday (May 7th) I, my niece, and your two brothers, went to walk in Plainpalais.: The evening was warm and serene, and we prolonged our walk farther than usual. It was already dusk before we thought of returning; and then we discovered that William and Ernest, who had gone on before, were not to be found. . We accordingly rested on a seat until they should return. Presently Ernest came,
and inquired if we had seen his bro
ther: he said, that they had been play
ing together, that William had run away to hide himself, and that he vainly sought for him, and afterwards waited for him a long time, but that he did not return. “ This account rather alarmed us, and we continued to search for him until night fell, when Elizabeth conjectured that he might have returned to the house. He was not there. We returned again, with torches; for I could not rest, when I thought that my sweet
boy had lost himself, and was exposed
. She told me, that that same evening Williamhad teazed her to let him wear a very valuable miniature that she possessed of your mother. This picture is gone, and was doubtless the temptation which urged the murderer to the deed. We have no trace of him at present, although our exertions to discover him are unremitted ; but they will not restore my beloved William. “Come, dearest Victor; you alone can console Elizabeth. She weeps continually, and accuses herself unjustly as the cause of his death; her words pierce my heart. We are all unhappy; but will not that be an additional motive for you, my son, to return and be our comforter? Your dear mother Alas, Victor I now say, Thank God she did not live to witness the cruel, miserable death of her youngest darling ! “Come,Victor; not brooding thoughts
of vengeance against the assassin, but with feelings of peace and gentleness, that will heal, instead of festering the wounds of our minds. Enter the house of mourning, my friend, but with kindness and affection for those who love you, and not with hatred for your enemies.
“Your affectionate and afflicted father,
ALPHoNSE FRANKENSTEIN. “ Geneva, May 12th, 17—.”
Clerval, who had watched my countenance as I read this letter, was surprised to observe the despair that succeeded to the joy I at first expressed on receiving news from my friends. I threw the letter on the table, and covered my face with my hands. “My dear Frankenstein,” exclaimed Henry, when he perceived me weep with bitterness, “are you always to be