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STILL frown'st thou on the blue sea wave,

And on the flowery land

Time hath not blanched with all his storms

Thy look of old command.

But the chill spirit of decay

Amid thine inmost chamber wails

Where the unshelter'd floor reflects

The cloud that o'er it sails.

Thy gateway is all grass-grown now-
No coming-no departing train,
With glittering sword and nodding plume.
Shall spur through it again.

And were there hearts that gave to thee,

The earth-endearing name of home?

And did the foot of childhood once

Familiarly roam

About thy oaken-seated hall,

And winding lobbies, and among

Thy labyrinthine tapestries,

And bowers of lady song

?

Yes! and thy desolateness speaks
A touching moral to the mind-

It tells of generations gone,
Like leaflets in the wind-

It tells that we must pass away,

When a few hastening years have fled,

And join that mighty multitude,

The world's forgotten dead.

Z.

в

THE SKREEN, OR "NOT AT HOME."*

THE widow of Governor Atheling returned from the East Indies, old, rich, and childless; and as she had none but very distant relations her affections naturally turned towards the earliest friends of her youth; one of whom she found still living, and residing in a large country town.

She therefore hired a house and grounds adjacent, in a village very near to this lady's abode, and became not only her frequent but welcome guest. This old friend was a widow in narrow circumstances, with four daughters slenderly provided for; and she justly concluded that, if she and her family could endear themselves to their opulent guest, they should in all probability inherit some of her property. In the meanwhile, as she never visited them without bringing with her, in great abundance, whatever was wanted for the table, and might therefore be said to contribute to their maintenance, without seeming to intend to do so, they took incessant pains to conciliate her more and more every day, by flatteries which she did not see through, and attentions which she deeply felt. Still, the Livingstones were not in spirit united to their amiable guest. The sorrows of her heart had led her, by slow degrees, to seek refuge in a religious course of life; and, spite of her proneness to self-deception, she could not conceal from herself that, on this mos important subject, the Livingstones had never thought seriously, and were, as yet, entirely women of the world. But still her heart longed to love something; and as her starved affections craved some daily food, she suffered herself to love this plausible, amusing, agreeable, and seemingly-affectionate family; and she every day lived in hope, that, by her precepts and example, she should ultimately tear them from that "world they loved too well." Sweet and precious to their own souls are the illusions of the good; and the deceived East-Indian was happy, because she did not understand the true nature of the Living

stones.

On the contrary, so fascinated was she by what she fancied they were, or might become, that she took very little notice of a shamefaced, awkward, retiring, silent girl, the only child of the dearest friend that her childhood and her youth had known,-and who had been purposely introduced to her only as Fanny Barnwell. For the Livingstones were too selfish, and too prudent, to let their rich friend know that this poor girl was the orphan of Fanny Beaumont. Withholding, therefore, the most important part of the truth, they only informed her that Fanny Barnwell was an orphan, who was glad to

From "Illustrations of Lying in all its Branches." By Mrs Opie.

live amongst her friends, that she might make her small income sufficient for her wants; but they took care not to add that she was mistaken in supposing that Fanny Beaumont, whose long silence and subsequent death she had bitterly deplored, had died childless; for that she had married a second husband, by whom she had the poor orphan in question, and had lived many years in sorrow and obscurity, the result of this imprudent marriage; resolving, however, in order to avoid accidents, that Fanny's visit should not be of long auration. In the meanwhile, they confided in the security afforded them by what may be called their "passive lie of interest." But, in order to make "assurance doubly sure," they had also recourse to the "active lie of interest ;" and, in order to frighten Fanny from ever daring to inform their visitor that she was the child of Fanny Beaumont, they assured her that that lady was so enraged against her poor mother, for having married her unworthy father, that no one dared to mention her name to her; as it never failed to draw from her the most violent abuse of her once dearest friend. "And you know, Fanny," they took care to add, "that you could not bear to hear your poor mother abused."—" No; that I could not, indeed," was the weeping girl's answer; and the Livingstones felt safe and satisfied. However, it still might not be amiss to make the old lady dislike Fanny, if they could; and they contrived to render the poor girl's virtue the means of doing her injury.

Fanny's mother could not bequeath much money to her child; but she had endeavoured to enrich her with principles and piety. Above all, she had impressed her with the strictest regard for truth; -and the Livingstones artfully contrived to make her integrity the means of displeasing their East-Indian friend.

This good old lady's chief failing was believing implicitly whatever was said in her commendation: not that she loved flattery, but that she liked to believe she had conciliated good-will; and that, being sincere herself, she never thought of distrusting the sincerity of others.

Nor was she at all vain of her once fine person, and finer face, or improperly fond of dress. Still, from an almost pitiable degree of bonhommie, she allowed the Livingstones to dress her as they liked; and, as they chose to make her wear fashionable and younglooking attire, in which they declared that she looked "so handsome! and so well!" she believed they were the best judges of what was proper for her, and always replied, "Well, dear friends, it is entirely a matter of indifference to me; so dress me as you please;" while the Livingstones, not believing that it was a matter of indifference, used to laugh, as soon as she was gone, at her obvious credulity.

But this ungenerous and treacherous conduct excited such strong indignation in the usually gentle Fanny, that she could not help expressing her sentiments concerning it: and by that means made them the more eager to betray her into offending their unsuspicious friend. They therefore asked Fanny, in her presence, one day, whether their dear guest did not dress most becomingly?

The poor girl made sundry sheepish and awkward contortions, now looking down, and then looking up;-unable to lie, yet afraid to tell the truth.—“Why do you not reply, Fanny?" said the artful questioner. "Is she not well dressed?"—"Not in my opinion," faltered out the distressed girl. "And pray, Miss Barnwell," said the old lady," what part of my dress do you disapprove?" After a pause, Fanny took courage to reply, "all of it, madam.”—“ Why? do you think it too young for me?”—“I do.” “A plain-spoken young person that!" she observed in a tone of pique!-while the Livingstones exclaimed, impertinent! ridiculous! and Fanny was glad to leave the room, feeling excessive pain at having been forced to wound the feelings of one whom she wished to be permitted to love, because she had once been her mother's dearest friend. After this scene, the Livingstones, partly from the love of mischief, and partly from the love of fun, used to put similar questions to Fanny, in the old lady's presence, till, at last, displeased and indignant at her bluntness and ill-breeding, she scarcely noticed or spoke to her. In the meanwhile, Cecilia Livingstone became an object of increasing interest to her; for she had a lover to whom she was greatly attached, but who would not be in a situation to marry for many years.

This young man was frequently at the house, and was as polite and attentive to the old lady, when she was present, as the rest of the family; but, like them, he was ever ready to indulge in a laugh at her credulous simplicity, and especially at her continually expressing her belief, as well as her hopes, that they were all beginning to think less of the present world, and more of the next; and as Lawrie, as well as the Livingstones, possessed no inconsiderable power of mimickry, they exercised them with great effect on the manner and tones of her whom they called the over-dressed saint, unrestrained, alas! by the consciousness that she was their present, and would, as they expected, be their future benefactress.

That confiding and unsuspecting being was, meanwhile, considering that, though her health was injured by a long residence in a warm climate, she might still live many years; and that, as Cecilia might not therefore possess the fortune which she had bequeathed to her till "youth and genial years were flown," it would be better to give it to her during her life-time. "I will do so," she said to herself (tears rushing into her eyes as she thought of the happiness which

she was going to impart,) "and then the young people can marry directly!"

She took this resolution one day when the Livingstones believed that she had left her home on a visit. Consequently, having no expectation of seeing her for some time, they had taken advantage of her long vainly-expected absence to make some engagements which they knew she would have excessively disapproved. But though, as yet, they knew it not, the old lady had been forced to put off her visit; a circumstance which she did not at all regret, as it enabled her to go sooner on her benevolent errand.

The engagement of the Livingstones for that day was a rehearsal of a private play at their house, which they were afterwards, and during their saintly friend's absence, to perform at the house of a friend; and a large room called the library, in which there was a wide commodious skreen, was selected as the scene of action.

Fanny Barnwell, who disliked private and other theatricals as much as their old friend herself, was to have no part in the performance; but, as they were disappointed of their prompter that evening, she was, though with great difficulty, persuaded to perform the office, for that night only.

It was to be a dress rehearsal; and the parties were in the midst of adorning themselves, when, to their great consternation, they saw their supposed distant friend coming up the street, and evidently intending them a visit. What was to be done? To admit her was impossible. They therefore called up a new servant, who only came to them the day before, and who did not know the worldly consequence of their unwelcome guest; and Cecilia said to her, "you see that old lady yonder; when she knocks, be sure you say that we are not at home; and you had better add, that we shall not be home till bed-lime;" thus adding the lie of CONVENIENCE to other deceptions. Accordingly, when she knocked at the door, the girl spoke as she was desired to do, or rather she improved upon it; for she said that her ladies had been out all day, and would not return till two o'clock in the morning."—"Indeed! that is unfortunate;" said their disappointed visitor, stopping to deliberate whether she should not leave a note of agreeable surprise for Cecilia; but the girl, who held the door in her hand, seemed so impatient to get rid of her, that she resolved not to write, and then turned away.

The girl was really in haste to return to the kitchen; for she was gossiping with an old fellow-servant. She therefore neglected to go back to her anxious employers; but Cecilia ran down the back stairs, to interrogate her, exclaiming, "Well; what did she say? I hope she did not suspect that we were at home." "No, to be sure not, Miss -how should she?-for I said even more than you told me to say,"

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