The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

THE BROKEN HEART.

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

IT is a common practice with those who have outlived the susceptibility of early feeling, or have been brought up in the gay heartlessness of dissipated life, to laugh at all love stories, and to treat the tales of romantic passion as mere fictions of novelists and poets. My observations on human nature have induced me to think otherwise. They have convinced me, that however the surface of the character may be chilled and frozen by the cares of the world, or cultivated into mere smiles by the arts of society, still there are dormant fires lurking in the depths of the coldest bosom, which, when once enkindled, become impetuous, and are sometimes desolating in their effects. 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 affec

-73-

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The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Advertisement to the First American Edition 5
  • Advertisement to the First English Edition 6
  • Contents 7
  • The Author's Account of Himself 9
  • The Voyage 13
  • Roscoe 20
  • The Wife 27
  • Rip Van Winkle 37
  • English Writers on America 55
  • Rural Life in England 65
  • The Broken Heart 73
  • The Art of Book-Making 79
  • A Royal Poet 87
  • The Country Church 102
  • The Widow and Her Son 108
  • The Boar's Head Tavern, Eastcheap 116
  • The Mutability of Literature 128
  • Royal Funerals 140
  • The Inn Kitchen 152
  • The Spectre Bridegroom 155
  • Westminster Abbey 172
  • Christmas 184
  • The Stage-Coach 190
  • Christmas Eve 197
  • Christmas Day 209
  • The Christmas Dinner 223
  • Little Britain 239
  • Stratford-On-Avon 255
  • Traits of Indian Character 275
  • Philip of Pokanoket 287
  • John Bull 305
  • The Pride of the Village 317
  • The Angler 327
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow 337
  • Postscript, Found in the Handwriting of Mr. Knickerbocker 370
  • L'Envoy 372
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