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النشر الإلكتروني

THE

BROKEN HEART.

I never heard
Of any true affection but 'twas nipt
With care, that, like the caterpillar, eats
The leaves of the springs sweetest book, the rose.

MIDDLETON.

It is common to laugh at all love stories, and to treat the tales of romantic passion as mere fictions of poets and novelists, that never existed in real life. My observations on human nature have convinced me of the contrary, and bave satisfied me, that however the surface of the character may be chilled and frozen by the cares of the world, and the pleasures of society, still there is a warm current of affection running through the depths

of the coldest heart, which prevents its being utterly congealed. Indeed, I am a true believer in the blind deity, and go to the full extent of his doctrines. Shall I confess it ?-I believe in broken hearts, and the possibility of dying of disappointed love! I do not, however, consider it a malady often fatal to my own sex ; but I firmly believe that it withers down many a lovely woman into an early grave.

Man is the creature of interest and ambition. His nature leads him forth into the struggle and bustle of the world. Love is but the embellishment of his early life, or a song piped in the intervals of the acts. He seeks for fame, for fortune, for space in the world's thought, and dominion over his fellow men. But a woman's whole life is a history of the affections. The heart is her world ; it is there her ambition strives for empire—it is there her avarice seeks for hidden treasures. She sends forth her sympathies on adventure; she embarks her whole soul in the traffick of affection; and if ship

wrecked, her case is hopeless-for it is a bankruptcy of the heart.

To a man the disappointment of love may occasion some bitter pangs : it wounds some feelings of tenderness-it blasts some prospects of felicity ; but he is an active being—he can dissipate his thoughts in the whirl of varied occupation, or plunge into the tide of pleasure; or, if the scene of disappointment be too full of painful associations, he can shift his abode at will, and taking, as it were, the wings of the morning, can fly to the uttermost parts of the earth, and be at rest.

But woman's is comparatively a fixed, a secluded, and a meditative life. She is more the 'companion of her own thoughts and feelings; and if they are turned to ministers of sorrow, where shall she look for consolation ! Her lot is to be wooed and won ; and if unhappy in her love, her heart is like some fortress that has been captured, and sacked, and abandoned, and left desolate.

How many bright eyes grow dim—how many

soft cheeks grow pale-how many lovely forms fade away into the tomb, and none can tell the cause that blighted their loveliness. As the dove will clasp its wings to its side, and cover and conceal the arrow that is preying on its vitals so it is the nature of woman, to hide from the world the pangs of wounded affection. The love of a delicate female is always shy and silent. Even when fortunate, she scarcely breathes it to herself; but when otherwise, she buries it in the recesses of her bošom, and there lets it cower and brood among the ruins of her peace. With her the desire of the heart has failed. The great charm of existence is at an end. She neglects all the cheerful exercises that gladden the spirits, quicken the pulses, and send the tide of life in healthful currents through the veins. Her rest is broken-the sweet refreshment of sleep is poisoned by melancholy dreams -“dry sorrow drinks her blood,” until her enfeebled frame sinks under the least external assailment. Look for her, after a little while, and you find friendship weeping over her un

timely grave, and wondering that one, who but lately glowed with all the radiance of health and beauty, should now be brought down to 46 darkness and the worm." You will be told of some wintry chill, some slight indisposition, that laid her low-but no one knows the mental malady that previously sapped her strength, and made her so easy a prey to the spoiler.

She is like some tender tree, the pride and beauty of the grove: graceful in its form, bright in its foliage, but with the worm preying at its core. We find it suddenly withering, when it should be most fresh and luxuriant. We see it drooping its branches to the earth, and shedding leaf by leaf; until, wasted and perished away, it falls even in the stillness of the forest; and as we muse over the beautiful ruin, we strive in vain to recollect the blast or thunderbolt that could have smitten it with decay.

I have seen many instances of women running to waste and self neglect, and disappearing gradually from the earth, almost as if they

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