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but the one would be an active, the other a passive, lie.

In the first I should assert a direct falsehood, in the other I should withhold part of the truth; but both, would be lies, because, in both, my intention was to deceive.*

But though we are frequently tempted to be guilty of the active lies of vanity, our temptations to its passive lies are more frequent still; nor can the sincere lovers of truth be too much on their guard against this constantly recurring danger. The following instances will explain what I mean by this observation.

If I assert that my motive for a particular action was virtuous, when I know that it was worldly and selfish, I am guilty of an active, or direct, lie. But I am equally guilty of falsehood, if, while I hear my actions or forbearances praised, and imputed to decidedly worthy motives, when I am conscious that they sprung from unworthy or unimportant ones, I listen with silent complacency, and do not positively disclaim my right to commendation; only, in the one case I lie directly, in the other indirectly; the lie is active in the one, and passive in the other. And are we not all of us conscious of having sometimes accepted incense to our vanity, which we knew that we did not deserve?

Men have been known to boast of attention, and even of avowals of serious love from women, and women from men, which, in point of fact, they never received, and therein have been guilty of pos

* This passive lie is a very frequent one in certain circles in London; as many ladies and gentlemen there purchase tickets for benefit concerts held at great houses, in order that they may be able to say, "I was at Lady such a one's on such a night."

itive falsehood; but they who, without any contradiction on their own part, allow their friends and flatterers to insinuate that they have been, or are, objects of love and admiration to those who never professed either, are as much guilty of deception as the utterers of the above-mentioned assertion. Still, it is certain, that many, who would shrink with moral disgust from committing the latter species of falsehood, are apt to remain silent, when their vanity is gratified, without any overt act of deceit on their part, and are contented to let the flattering belief remain uncontradicted. Yet the turpitude is, in my opinion, at least, nearly equal, if my definition of lying be correct; namely, the intention to deceive.

This disingenuous passiveness, this deceitful silence, belongs to that extensive and common species of falsehood, withholding the truth.

But this tolerated sin, denominated white lying, is a sin which I believe that some persons commit, not only without being conscious that it is a sin, but, frequently, with a belief that, to do it readily, and without confusion, is often a merit, and always a proof of ability. Still more frequently, they do it unconsciously, perhaps, from the force of habit ; and, like Monsieur Jourdain," the Bourgeois gentil-homme," who found out that he had talked prose all his life without knowing it, these persons utter lie upon lie, without knowing that what they utter deserves to be considered as falsehood.

I am myself convinced, that a passive lie is equally as irreconcileable to moral principles as an active one; but I am well aware that most persons are of a different opinion. Yet, I would say to those who thus differ from me, if you allow yourselves to violate truth--that is, to deceive, for any purpose what

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ever-who can say where this sort of self-indulgence will submit to be bounded? Can you be sure that you will not, when strongly tempted, utter what is equally false, in order to benefit yourself at the expense of a fellow-creature?

All mortals are, at times, accessible to temptation; but, when we are not exposed to it, we dwell with complacency on our means of resisting it, on our principles, and our tried and experienced selfdenial: but, as the life-boat, and the safety-gun, which succeeded in all that they were made to do while the sea was calm, and the winds still, have been known to fail when the vessel was tost on a tempestuous ocean; so those who may successfully oppose principle to temptation when the tempest of the passions is not awakened within their bosoms, may sometimes be overwhelmed by its power when it meets them in all its awful energy and unexpected violence.

But in every warfare against human corruption, habitual resistance to little temptations is, next to prayer, the most efficacious aid. He who is to be trained for public exhibitions of feats of strength, is made to carry small weights at first, which are daily increased in heaviness, till, at last, he is almost unconsciously able to bear, with ease, the greatest weight possible to be borne by man. In like man

ner, those who resist the daily temptation to tell what are apparently trivial and innocent lies, will be better able to withstand allurements to serious and important deviations from truth, and be more fortified in the hour of more severe temptation against every species of dereliction from integrity.

The active lies of vanity are so numerous, but at the same time, are so like each other, that it were useless, as well as endless, to attempt to

enumerate them. I shall therefore mention one of them only, before I proceed to my tale on the acTIVE LIE OF VANITY, and that is the most common of all; namely the violation of truth which persons indulge in relative to their age; an error so generally committed, especially by the unmarried of both sexes, that few persons can expect to be believed when declaring their age at an advanced period of life. So common, and therefore so little disreputable, is this species of lie considered to be, that a sensible friend of mine said to me the other day, when I asked him the age of the lady whom he was going to marry," She tells me she is five-and-twenty; I therefore conclude that she is five-and-thirty." This was undoubtedly spoken in joke; still it was an evidence of the toleration generally granted on this point.

But though it is possible that my friend believed the lady to be a year or two older than she owned herself to be, and thought a deviation from truth on this subject was of no consequence, I am very sure that he would not have ventured to marry a woman whom he suspected of lying on any other occasion. This however is a lie which does not expose the utterer to severe animadversion, and for this reason probably, that all mankind are so averse to be thought old, that the wish to be considered younger than the truth warrants meets with complacent sympathy and indulgence, even when years are notoriously annihilated at the impulse of vanity,

I give the following story in illustration of the

ACTIVE LIE OF VANITY.

THE STAGE COACH.

AMONGST those whom great success in trade had raised to considerable opulence in their native city, was a family by the name of Burford; and the eldest brother, when he was the only surviving partner of that name in the firm, was not only able to indulge himself in the luxuries of a carriage, country-house, garden, hot-houses, and all the privileges which wealth bestows, but could also lay by money enough to provide amply for his children.

His only daughter had been adopted, when very young, by her paternal grandmother, whose fortune was employed in her son's trade, and who could well afford to take on herself all the expenses of Annabel's education. But it was with painful reluctance that Annabel's excellent mother consented to resign her child to another's care; nor could she be prevailed upon to do so, till Burford, who believed that his widowed parent, would sink under the loss of her husband, unless Annabel was permitted to reside with her, commanded her to yield her maternal rights in pity to this beloved sufferer. She could therefore presume to refuse no longer ;-but she yielded with a mental conflict only too prophetic of the mischief to which she exposed her child's mind and character, by this enforced surrender of a mother's duties.

The grandmother was a thoughtless woman of this world-the mother, a pious, reflecting being, continually preparing herself for the world to come. With the latter, Annabel would have acquired prin

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