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selves on having escaped that terrible bore, a par. ty, at the expense of teaching their wife, or daughter, or son, to tell what they call, a white lie! But, I would ask those fathers and those mothers who make their children the bearers of similar excuses, whether after giving them such commissions, they could conscientiously resent any breach of veracity, or breach of confidence, or deception, committed by their children in matters of more im

of the one Master, and has not forsaken all but His bidding, she cannot be the disciple of Christ.

"And let us just ask a master or a mistress, who can thus make free with the moral principle of their servants in one instance, how they can look for pure or correct principle from them in other instances? What right have they to complain of unfaithfulness against themselves, who have deliberately seduced another into a habit of unfaithfulness against God? Are they so utterly unskilled in the mysteries of our nature, as not to perceive that the servant whom you have taught to lie, has gotten such rudiments of education at your hand, as that, without any further help, he can now teach himself to purloin?-and yet nothing more frequent than loud and angry complainings against the treachery of servants; as if, in the general wreck of their other principles, a principle of consideration for the good and interest of their employer, and who has at the same time been their seducer, was to survive in all its power and sensibility. It is just such a retribution as was to be looked for. It is a recoil, upon their own heads, of the mischief which they themselves have originated. It is the temporal part of the punishment which they have to bear for the sin of our text; but not the whole of it far better for them both that both person and property were cast into the sea, than that they should stand the reckoning of that day, when called to give an account of the souls that they have murdered, and the blood of so mighty a destruction is required at their hands."

These remarks at first made part of a chapter on the lie of convenience, but thinking them not suited to that period of my work, I took them out again, and not being able to introduce them in any subsequent chapter, because they treat of one particular lie, and not of lying in general, I have been obliged to content myself with putting them in a note.

portance. "Ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute," says the proverb; and I believe that habitual, permitted, and encouraged lying, in little and seemingly unimportant things, leads to want of truth and principle in great and serious matters; for when the barrier, or restrictive principle, is once thrown down, no one can say where a stop will be put to the inroads and the destruction.

I forgot, in the first edition of my work, to notice one falsehood which is only too often uttered by young women in a ball-room; but I shall now mention it with due reprehension, though I scarcely know under what head to class it. I think, however, that it may be named without impropriety, one of the LIES OF CONVEnience.

But, I cannot do better than give an extract on this subject, from a letter addressed to me by a friend, on reading this book, in which she has had the kindness to praise, and the still greater kindness to admonish me.* She says, as follows:"One falsehood that is very often uttered by the lips of youth, I trust not without a blush, you have passed unnoticed; and, as I always considered it no venial one, I will take the present opportunity of pointing out its impropriety. A young lady, when asked by a gentleman to dance, whom she does not approve, will, without hesitation, say, though unprovided with any other partner, " If I dance I am engaged;" this positive untruth is calculated to wound the feelings of the person to who it is addressed, for it generally happens that such person discovers he has been deceived,

* Vide a (printed) letter addressed" to Mrs. Opie, with observations on her recent publication, "Illustrations of Lying in all its Branches." The Authoress is Susan Reeve, wife of Dr. Reeve, M. D, and daughter of E. Bonhote of Bungay, authoress of many interesting publications.

as well as rejected. It is very seldom that young men, to whom it would really be improper that a lady should give her hand for the short time occupied in one or two dances, are admitted into our public places; but, in such a case, could not a reference be made by her, to any friends who are present; pride and vanity too often prompt the refusal, and, because the offered partner has not sufficiently sacrificed to the graces, is little versed "in the poetry of motion," or derives no consequence from the possession of rank, or riches, he is treated with what he must feel to be contempt. True politeness, which has its seat in the heart, would scorn thus to wound another, and the real votaries of sincerity would never so violate its rules to escape a temporary mortification."

1 shall only add, that I have entire unity of sentiment with the foregoing extract.

Here I beg leave to insert a short Tale, illustrative of Lies of Convenience.


THERE are a great many match-makers in the world; beings who dare to take on themselves the fearful responsibility of bringing two persons together into that solemn union which only death or guilt can dissolve; and thus make themselves answerable for the possible misery of two of their fellow-creatures.

One of these busy match-makers, a gentleman named Byrome, was very desirous that Henry Sandford, a relation of his, should become a mar

ried man; and he called one morning to inform him that he had at length met with a young lady who would, he flattered himself, suit him in all respects as a wife. Henry Sandford was not a man of many words; nor had he a high opinion of Byrome's judgment. He therefore only said, in reply, that he was willing to accompany his relation to the lady's house, where, on Byrome's invitation, he found that he was expected to drink


The young lady in question, whom I shall call Lydia L, lived with her widowed aunt, who had brought her and her sisters up, and supplied to them the place of parents, lost in their infancy. She had bestowed on them an expensive and showy education; had, both by precept and example, given every worldly polish to their manners; and had taught them to set off their beauty by tasteful and fashionable dress :- that is, she had done for them all that she thought was necessary to be done; and she, as well as Byrome, believed that they possessed every requisite to make the marriage state happy.

But Henry Sandford was not so easy to please. He valued personal beauty and external accomplishments far below christian graces and moral virtues; and was resolved never to unite himself to a woman whose conduct was not entirely under the guidance of a strict religious principle.

Lydia L was not in the room when Sandford arrived, but he very soon had cause to doubt the moral integrity of her aunt and sisters; for, on Byrome's saying, "I hope you are not to have any company but ourselves to-day," the aunt replied. "Oh, no; we put off some company that we expected, because we thought you would like to be alone;" and one of the sisters added, "Yes;

I wrote to the disagreeable D-s, informing them that my aunt was too unwell, with one of her bad headachs, to see company ;"" and I," said the other," called on the G-s, and said that we wished them to come another day, because the beaux, whom they liked best to meet were engaged."-" Admirable !" cried Byrome, "Let women alone for excuses!" while Sandford looked grave, and wondered how any one could think admirable what to him appeared so reprehensible. "However." thought he, " Lydia had no share in this treachery and white lying, but may dislike them, as I do." Soon after she made her appearance, attired for conquest; and so radiant did she seem in her youthful loveliness and grace, that Sandford earnestly hoped she had better principles than her sisters.

Time fled on rapid wings; and Byrome and the two elder sisters frequently congratulated each other that "the disagreeable D-s and tiresome G―s" had not been allowed to come, and destroy, as they would have done, the pleasure of the afternoon. But Lydia did not join in this conversation; and Sandford was glad of it. The hours passed in alternate music and conversation, and also in looking over some beautiful drawings of Lydia's; but the evening was to conclude with a French game a jeu-de-société which Sandford was unacquainted with, and which would give Lydia an opportunity of telling a story gracefully.

The Ls lived in a pleasant village near the town where Sandford and Byrome resided; and a long avenue of fine trees led to their door; when, just as the aunt was pointing out their beauty to Sandford, she exclaimed, "Oh dear, girls, what shall we do? there is Mrs. Carthew now entering the avenue! Not at home, John! not at

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