Shaken to the depths of your soul, you know that day and night someone is waiting for you, thinking of you, longing and sighing for you – a woman, a stranger.
She wants, she demands, she desires you with every fiber of her being, with her body, with her blood. She wants your hands, your hair, your lips, your night and your day, your emotions, your senses, and all your thought and dreams.
She wants to share everything with you, to take everything from you, and to draw it in with her breath.
Henceforth, day and night, whether you are awake or asleep, there is somewhere in the world a being who is feverish and wakeful and who waits for you, and you are the center of her waking and her dreaming.
It is in vain that you try not to think of her, of her who thinks always of you, in vain that you seek to escape, for you no longer dwell in yourself, but in her.
Of a sudden a stranger bears your image within her as though she were a moving mirror – no, not a mirror, for that merely drinks in your image when you offer yourself willingly to it, whereas she, the woman, this stranger who loves you, she has absorbed you into her very blood.
Beware of Pity (German: Ungeduld des Herzens, literally The Heart’s Impatience) is a 1939 novel by the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig.
It was Zweig‘s longest work of fiction. It was adapted into a 1946 film of the same title, directed by Maurice Elvey.
Stefan Zweig (1881 – 1942) was an Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer.
At the height of his literary career, in the 1920s and 1930s, he was one of the most widely translated and most popular writers in the world.