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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 8. She sends forth her sympathies on adventure; she embarks her whole soul in the traffic of affection; and if shipwrecked', 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 can plunge into the tide of pleasure; or, if the scene of disappointment be too full of painful associations 10, 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 11.“
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 12, her heart is like some fortress that has been captured, and sacked, and abandoned and left desolate.
8) Ueber den prägnanten Ausdruck to wither (aktiv) into vergl. S. 21, Aom. 43, deutsch etwa: Ich glaube fest, dass durch sie (die Krapkheit malady) manches liebliche weibliche Wesen einem frühen Grabe zuwelkt.
7) he seeks for place in the world's thought deutsch etwa: Er sucht nach einem Platz im Gedächtniss der Welt.
8) Unbezeichnete Nebensätze nach it is there; gewöhnlich werden derartige Sätze durch that eingeleitet.
9) if shipwrecked verkürzter Conditionalsatz; vergl. Mätzner, Engl. Gr. IIÍ, 77 unten.
10) associations viz. of ideas Ideen verbindungen; hier etwa: Erinnerungen.
11) vergl. Psalm 139, 9: If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; nach der Lutherschen Uebersetzung: Nähme ich Flügel der Morgenröthe und bliebe am äussersten Meer.
12) vergl. Anm. 9.
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 sides, and cover and conceal the arrow that is preying 13 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 bosom, 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 which 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 14“, until her enfeebled frame sinks under the slightest external injury. Look for her, after a little while, and you find friendship weeping over her untimely grave, and wondering that one, who but lately glowed with all the radiance of health and beauty, should so speedily be brought down to „darkness and the worm 166. You will be told of some wintry chill, some casual indisposition, that laid her low 16; --- but no one knows the mental malady that previously sapped her strength, and made her so easy a prey to the spojler 17.
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 heart. We find it suddenly withering, when it should be most fresh and luxuriant. We see it drooping
19) to prey (altfranz. preier v. lat. praedari) rauben, nagen. Vergl. über die Begriffsentwickelung Smart: to plunder, to rob; to feed by violence; to corrode.
14) Shaksp., Romeo and Juliet III, 5, wo Romeo sagt: Dry sorrow drinks oor blood; dry == trocken von Durst, durstig. - Dass der Kummer das Blut verzehrt, also dadurch die Farbe des Antlitzes blass macht, spricht Sh. auch im Pericles aus (I, 1): Do not consume your blood with sorrowing.
15) vergl. Edward Young, The Complaint: or, Night Thoughts, Night IV, v. 11:
The knell, the shroud, the mattock, and the grave,
The terrors of the living, not the dead.
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 18, and disappearing gradually from the earth, almost as if they had been exhaled to heaven 19; and have repeatedly fancied that I could trace their death through the various declensions of consumption, cold, debility, languor, melancholy, until I reached the first symptom of disappointed love. But an instance of the kind was lately told to me; the circumstances are well known in the country where they happened, and I shall but give them in the manner in which they were related.
Every one must recollect the tragical story of young E420, the Irish patriot: it was too touching to be soon forgotten. During the troubles in Jreland 20a he was tried, condemned, and executed, on a charge of treason. His fate made a deep impression on public sympathy. He was so young — so intelligent -- so generous — so brave — so every thing that we are apt to like in a young man. His conduct under trial, too, was so lofty and intrepid. The noble indignation with which he
18) Dieselben Worte gebraucht Irving in der Skizze ,,The Wife", S. 25.
19) as if they had been exhaled to heaven: poetische Ausdrucksweise; deutsch: als wenn sie ihr Leben zum Himmel ausgehaucht hätten.
20) Mr. Emmet, auf dessen trauriges Schicksal sich das Gedicht von Thomas Moore bezieht (in seinen Irish Melodies):
When be who adores thee has left but the name
Of his fault and his sorrows behind,
of a life that for thee was resigned?
Thy tears shall efface their decree;
I have been but too faithful to thee!
Every thought of my reason was thine;
Thy name shall be mingled with mine!
The days of thy glory to see;
Is the pride of thus dying for thee!
repelled the charge of treason against his country – The eloquent vindication of his name and his pathetic appeal to posterity, in the hopeless hour of condemnation – all these entered deeply into 21 every generous bosom, and even his enemies lamented the stern policy that dictated his execution.
But there was one heart, whose anguish it would be impossible to describe. In happier days and fairer fortunes, he had won the affections of a beautiful and interesting girl, the daughter of a late celebrated Irish barrister. She loved him with the disinterested fervour of a woman's first and early love. When every worldly maxim arrayed itself against him 22 ; when blasted in fortune 23 ; when disgrace and danger darkened 2 4 around his name, she loved him the more ardently for his very sufferings. If, then, his fate could awaken the sympathy even of his foes, what must have been the agony of her whose whole soul was occupied by his image! Let those tell who have had the portals of the tomb suddenly closed between them and the being they most loved on earth — who have sat at its 25 threshold, as one shut out in a cold and lonely world, from whence all that was most lovely and loving had departed.
But then the horrors of such a grave! so frightful! so dishonoured! There was nothing for memory to dwell on that could soothe the pang of separation - none of those tender, though melancholy circumstances, that endear the parting scene 26 – nothing to melt sorrow into those blessed tears, sent, like the dews of heaven, to revive the heart in the parting hour of anguish.
To render her widowed situation more desolate, she had incurred her father's displeasure by her unfortunate attachment, and was an exile from the paternal roof. But could the sympathy and kind offices of friends have reached a spirit so shocked and driven in 27 by horror, she would have experienced no want of consolation, for the Irish are a people of quick and generous sensibilities. The most delicate and cherishing attentions were paid her by families of wealth and distinction. She was led into society, and they tried by all kinds of occupation and amusement to dissipate her grief, and wean her from the tragical story of her loves. But it was all in vain. There are some strokes of calamity that scathe and scorch the soul that penetrate to the vital seat of happiness — and blast it, never again to put forth 28 bud or blossom. She did not object to frequent the haunts of pleasure, but she was as much alone there as in the depths of solitude. She walked about in a sad reverie, apparently unconscious of the world around her. She carried with her an inward woe that mocked at all the blandishments of friendship, and „heeded not the song of the charmer, charm he never so wisely 29.“
21) to enter deeply into = einen tiefen Eindruck machen auf.
22) to array (altengl. araien, arraien, altfr. arroier v. d. einfachen Stamm altfr. roi, it. redo, der zurückführt auf deutsche Wörter wie ags. raed, geraedian, nhd. bereit, bereiten) = anordnen, aufstellen bes. von Truppen, hier übertragen von worldly maxims, die sich wie in Schlachtordoung gegen ihn aufstellen; worldly maxim = weltlicher Grupdsatz, ein Grundsatz wie ihn die Welt zu haben pflegt. Das Ganze deutsch etwa: Als jede weltliche Rücksicht sich gegen ihn erklärte.
23) when blasted in fortune: Verkürzter Temporalsatz = when he was blasted io f.
24) to darken intrans. = dunkel werden; im Deutschen besser durch ein transit. Zeitwort zu übersetzen: Als Schande und Gefahr seinen Namen umdunkelten.
25) its = of the tomb.
The person who told me her story had seen her at a masquerade. There can be no exhibition of far-gone wretchedness more striking and painful than to meet it in such a scene. To find it wandering like a spectre, lonely and joyless, where all around is gay — to see it dressed out in the trappings of mirth, and looking so wan and wo-begone 30, as if it had tried in vain to cheat the poor heart into a momentary forgetfulness of sorrow! After strolling through the splendid rooms and giddy crowd with an air of utter abstraction, she sat herself down on the steps of an orchestra, and looking about for some time with a vacant air, that showed her insensibility to the garish scene, she began, with the capriciousness of a sickly heart, to warble a little plaintive air. She had an exquisite voice; but on this
27) driven in = überwältigt; vergl. in Bezug auf die Begriffsentwickelung das deutsche in die Enge getrieben
28) to put forth: Der Infinitiv mit to zur Bezeichnung der Folge (consecutiv). Das Subject ist aus dem vorhergehenden Satze zu entnehmen (happiness Glück): so dass es niemals wieder Kinospen oder Blüthen treiben kann.
29) Aus Psalı 58, 5, wo es in der englischen Bibelübersetzung heisst: which (bezüglich auf the deaf adder im vorhergehenden Verse) will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely; Luther: dass sie nicht höre die Stimme des Zauberers, des Beschwörers, der wohl beschwören kann. - Ueber never innerhalb eines vollständigen oder verkürzten concessiven Nebensatzes in Verbindung mit so, such vergl. Mätzner, Engl. Gr. III, p. 139.
30) Zu wo-begone vergl. S. 48, Anm. 83.