You are asking for the precise wording of an unidentified passage? Step one would be to find the sentence you allude to. Could it be this?
The Project Gutenberg English version of Wilhelm Meister, Book II, Chapter I ends with this:
To awaken these again within him, he would recall to memory the scenes of his by-gone happiness. He would paint them to his fancy in the liveliest colors, transport himself again into the days when they were real; and when standing on the highest elevation he could reach, when the sunshine of past times again seemed to animate his limbs and heave his bosom, he would look back into the fearful chasm, would feast his eye on its dismembering depth, then plunge down into its horrors, and thus force from nature the bitterest pains. With such repeated cruelty did he tear himself in pieces; for youth, which is so rich in undeveloped force, knows not what it squanders when, to the anguish which a loss occasions, it adds so many sorrows of its own production, as if it meant then first to give the right value to what is gone forever. He likewise felt so convinced that his present loss was the sole, the first, the last, he ever could experience in life, that he turned away from every consolation which aimed at showing that his sorrows might be less than endless.