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“I have often had occasion to remark the fortitude with which women sustain the most overwhelming reverses of fortune. Those disasters which break down the spirit of man, and prostrate him in the dust, seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex, and give such intrepidity and elevation to their character, that at times it approaches to sublimity. Nothing can be more touching than to behold a soft and tender female, who had been all weakness and dependence, and alive to every trivial roughness, while treading the prosperous paths of life, suddenly rising in mental force to be the comforter and supporter of her husband under misfortune, and abiding with unshrinking firmness, the bitterest blast of adversity. As the vine which has long twined its graceful foliage about the oak, and been lifted by it in sunshine, will, when the hardy plant is rifted by the thunderbolt, cling round it with its caressing tendrils, and bind up its shattered boughs ; so is it beautifully ordered by Providence, that woman, who is the mere dependant and ornament of man in his happier hours, should be his stay and solace when smitten with sudden calamity; winding herself into the rugged recesses of his nature, tenderly supporting the drooping head, and binding up the broken heart. I was once congratulating a friend, who had around him a blooming family, knit together in the strongest affection. “I can wish you no better lot,” said he, with enthusiasm, “ than to have a wife and children.- If you are prosperous, there they are to share your pro. perity; if otherwise, there they are to comfort you."

WASHINGTON IRVING,

OF

THE AFFECTIONS;

OR

BRIDAL OFFERING.

“ Matrimony is not so heavy a yoke as bachelors pretend, nor so easy as
the husbands give out; yet it would be a much more happy state than gene-
rally it is found, if it were entered upon as it ought.”-MRS. HEMANS.

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EDITOR OF
" THE YOUNG GENTLEMAN'S BOOK” AND “MY DAUGHTER'S

BOOK."

LONDON:
SHERWOOD, GILBERT, AND PIPER,

PATERNOSTER ROW.

46.

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