by Mary Shelley
"Love, and Loss"
Victor von Frankenstein, on the brink of death,
desperately pursuing the monster he created in the desolation
of the furthest reaches of the polar ice cap,
with his life utterly ruined and loved ones murdered.
"...but when you speak of new ties and
fresh affections, think you that any can replace those who are gone?
Can any man be to me as Clerval was, or any woman another Elizabeth?
Even where the affections are not strongly moved by any superior excellence,
the companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over
our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain. They know our infantine
dispositions, which, however they may be afterwards modified, are never
eradicated; and they can judge of our actions with more certain conclusions
as to the integrity of our motives. A sister or a brother can never,
unless indeed such symptoms have been shown early, suspect the other
of fraud or false dealing, when another friend, however strongly he
may be attached, may, in spite of himself, be contemplated with suspicion.
But I enjoyed friends, dear not only through habit and association,
but from their own merits; and wherever I am, the soothing voice of
my Elizabeth and the conversation of Clerval will be ever whispered
in my ear. They are dead, and but one feeling in such a solitude can
persuade me to preserve my life. If I were engaged in any high undertaking
or design, fraught with extensive utility to my fellow creatures, then
could I live to fulfill it. But such is not my destiny; I must pursue
and destroy the being to whom I gave existence; then my lot on earth
will be fulfilled and I may die."