Don't give up. There's still a week till you're to wed the Ofieri. I'll think of something. Perhaps I'll get the coin by then, perhaps my tears will convince your father, perhaps the gods will hear our prayers – or if not they, perhaps some devil will. If nothing else helps, I'll crash into the temple through the window and swoop you up from the altar. We'll flee somewhere far, far away, to the edge of the world, where no one will find us.
You write of sadness. I feel its weight, too. I think of you constantly. Of how we sat at the Alchemy till dawn nursing a bottle of wine, and you traced our dream house in the sawdust on the floor. Of how we dangled our feet in the water from the dock and you sang those bawdy songs and made me laugh and laugh. I kiss the medallion carrying your portrait before I fall asleep and as soon as I wake.
I swear on all that is holy: we shall be together forever. Be brave.
I breathed a sigh of relief after reading your last letter. I am so glad you are on the mend after your injury. I know how upset you must be at having to spend the next few weeks in a field hospital, but my heart rejoices that you will not be risking your life on the battlefield.
Tamara grown and grows and grows. She can even stand up now, if she holds on to something, though she's still quite unsteady on those chubby little legs. She needs constant minding, for every time I turn my back she's climbing onto the table and grabbing whatever her little hands can find. Yesterday she almost poured a bowl of hot soup all over herself! I think I will that on that miller girl as help, because I'm afraid one day I won't catch Tamara in time. Especially now, when you are gone and I must look after all our household affairs myself. Dear Phillip, I miss you dreadfully and eagerly await your return. Every day I pray to Melitele for your health, and your daughter's, and for our family to be whole once more. I hope this horrible war will end soon. I love you.
From the first moment I set eyes upon you that fateful evening at the Vegelbuds', my heart has only beaten for you. I can't eat or sleep, my master threatens to terminate my apprenticeship – and I don't even know if you remember me! Albert Vegelbud introduced us near the roasted capon table – I happened to be eating one when I saw you, it stuck in my throat and I started to choke – and you laughed, oh, how sweetly, how brightly you laughed! That marvelous sound still fills my ears to this day and I live in the hope that I will be given a chance to hear it once more. I beg you, meet with me, even if just for a moment, just for a second. I will wait by the well in Gildorf every day at dusk. If you care for the life of a poor lad fallen hopelessly in love with you, take pity and come – do not torture me with eternal waiting.
You have no idea how happy I am that the warehouse has been closed. How good it is to know each time we wish to embrace, no one shall stand in our way. Neither my father, nor your mother. It shall never occur to them we rendez-vous in this shuttered warehouse. I already laugh at the thought of them clambering over rooftops, like before, or looking through the rushes by the river. Even now, writing these words, I feel how much I would like to see you. I hope it will be like yesterday. I cannot speak for you, but as for me, I would just as well we never set foot out of this our warehouse, our wonderland.
O, my dearest love, o lone ray of sunshine on the firmament of my life… I shall speak from my heart. For weeks I have been shooting stolen glances in your direction, hiding the hope I dare nurture deep within my bosom that perhaps you feel for me even one iota of the affection I feel for you...
I have waited long, gathering the courage to confess my feelings for you. I would certainly be waiting still, had not you appeared at tonight's soiree in the company of that womanizing, carousing, drivel-scribing pretentious pig named Alfons de Reside! When I saw that emaciated turd fawning over you, I immediately knew I had to act! I turned to the best weapon in my arsenal—the quill and the well-turned phrase—and began writing you this letter (forgive me, it is written on a napkin, for I had nothing more appropriate at hand at the time). O, most marvelous of all women, do not believe a word he whispers in your ear – he is as slippery as a viper and twice as venomous! Reject his advances and let me walk hand in hand with you, feed you grapes and with you radiate happiness to the heavens themselves!