My God, Tom thought, plunge into a couple of soothing Goethe poems. Der Abschied or some such. A little German solidity. That was what he needed l. Tom pulled the book down – Goethes Gedichte – from a shelf, and as fate or the unconscious would have it, he opened the book at Der Abschied. Tom knew it by heart almost, though he would never have dared to recite it to anyone, being afraid his accent was not perfect. Now the first lines upset him:

Lass mein Aug’ den Abschied sagen,
Den mein Mund nicht nehmen kann!

Patricia Highsmith – Ripley Under Ground

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