“She then burst into tears, and told me that her sister was going to deceive me; and that she was to be married to another man the next day. This was as sudden to me as a clap of thunder of a bright sunshiny day. It was the capstone of all the afflictions I had ever met with; and it seemed to me that it was more than any human creature could endure. It struck me perfectly speechless for some time, and made me feel so weak that I thought I should sink down. I however recovered from the shock after a little, and rose and started without any ceremony, or even bidding anybody good-bye. The young woman followed me out to the gate, and entreated me to go on to her father’s, and said she would go with me.
“She said the young man who was going to marry her sister had got his license and asked for her. But she assured me that her father and mother both preferred me to him; and that she had no doubt that if I would go on I could break off the match. But I found that I could go no farther. My heart was bruised, and my spirits were broken down. So I bid her farewell, and turned my lonesome and miserable steps back again homeward, concluding that I was only born for hardship, misery, and disappointment. I now began to think that in making me it was entirely forgotten to make my mate; that I was born odd, and should always remain so, and that nobody would have me.
“But all these reflections did not satisfy my mind, for I had no peace, day nor night, for several weeks. My appetite failed me, and I grew daily worse and worse. They all thought I was sick; and so I was. And it was the worst kind of sickness, a sickness of the heart, and all the tender parts, produced by disappointed love.”
For some time David continued in a state of great dejection, a lovelorn swain of seventeen years. Thus disconsolate, he loved to roam the forest alone, with his rifle as his only companion, brooding over his sorrows. The gloom of the forest was congenial to him, and the excitement of pursuing the game afforded some slight relief to his agitated spirit. One day, when he had wandered far from home, he came upon the cabin of a Dutchman with whom he had formed some previous acquaintance. He had a daughter, who was exceedingly plain in her personal appearance, but who had a very active mind, and was a bright, talkative girl.
She had heard of David’s misadventure, and rather unfeelingly rallied him upon his loss. She however endeavored to comfort him by the assurance that there were as good fish in the sea as had ever been caught out of it. David did not believe in this doctrine at all, as applied to his own case, He thought his loss utterly irretrievable. And in his still high appreciation of himself, notwithstanding his deep mortification, he thought that the lively Dutch girl was endeavoring to catch him for her lover. In this, however, he soon found himself mistaken.