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E’en in its very motion there was rest;
While every breath of eve that chanced to blow
Emblem, methought, of the departed soul,
And by the breath of mercy made to roll
Where to the eye of faith it peaceful lies,
AMELIA OPIE, 1771.
Mrs. Amelia Orie was a daughter of Dr. Alderson, an eminent physician of Norwich, and was born in that city in 1771. At a very early period of her life, she evinced talents of a superior order, composing, while still a child, poems, descriptive pieces, and novels, though, with the exception of some poetical pieces in the “Monthly Magazine,” none of them were published before her marriage, which took place in May, 1798, with Mr. John Opie, the celebrated painter. One of her first publications, “The Father and Daughter,” | a tale, appeared in 1801, which at once drew upon her the public attention. This was succeeded, in 1802, by an “Elegy to the Memory of tho late Duke of Bedford,” and a volume of other poems; and in 1804 she gave to the world her tale of “Adeline Mowhry, or the Mother and Daughter.” This was followed by “Simple Tales," in four volumes ; “Dangers of Coquetry," and the “Warrior's Return, and other Poems" In 1807, she lost her husband, and wrote, soon after, that beautiful piece entitled « The Lament."
Mrs. Opie's subsequent publications are, a novel, entitled "Temper, or Domes. tic Scenes ;” “Tales of Real Life;" “ Valentine Eve;" “New Fables," in four volumes; and “The Black Man's Lament," in praise of the abolition of slavery, which appeared in 1826. But that which has made her name most known is her “Illustrations of Lying in all its Branches." It exposes to view much of the hypocrisy and heartlessness of what is called the “fashionable world," and of the various tricks and deceptions resorted to by men in business to “succeed," as they call it, in making money; and by numerous interesting and illustratire storios, she sets forth in their true light, the various lies of " Flattery," of " Fear." of “ Convenience,” of “ Interest,” of “ Benevolence," &c. It is a book which every one, but especially the young, might read with much profit. short time before the publication of this work, Mrs. Opie joined the “Society of Friends," and soon after retired from general society, having been, for a quarter of a century, one of its most cheerful and attractive votaries.
of Mrs. Opie's poetry, which exhibits pure taste and great depth of feeling, it
1“An appalling piece of domestic tragedy, and perhaps the most deeply affecting of her writings."- Edinburyh Review, li. 510.
has been well remarked that it “ bears fresh evidence to the truth that woman's moral sentiments are generally in advance of man's. Those who doubt the fact will do well to remember how continually man's verse celebrates the infernal glories of war, the cruel excitements of the chase, or the selfish pleasures of bacchanalian enjoyment; and, on the other hand, how unceasingly woman's verso exposes the wickedness and folly of such pursuits.”
THE ORPHAN BOY'S TALE.
Stay, lady, stay, for mercy's sake,
And hear a helpless orphan's tale!
'Tis want that makes my cheek so pale.
And my brave father's hope and joy;
And I am now an orphan boy.
When news of Nelson's victory came,
And see the lighted windows flame!
She could not bear to see my joy;
And made me a poor orphan boy.
The people's shouts were long and loud,
My mother, shuddering, closed her ears; “Rejoice! rejoice!” still cried the crowd;
My mother answer'd with her tears. “Why are you crying thus," said I,
“While others laugh and shout with joy ?" She kiss'd me-and with such a sigh !
She call’d me her poor orphan boy.
As in her face I look’d, and smiled;
- You'll know too soon, ill-fated child !"
And I'm no more a parent's joy;
What 'tis to be an orphan boy!
Oh! were I by your bounty fed !
Nay, gentle lady, do not chide-
The sailor's orphan boy has pride.
You'll give me clothing, food, employ?
Your happy, happy orphan boy!
FORGET ME NOT.1
Go, youth beloved, in distant glades
New friends, new hopes, new joys to find ! Yet sometimes deign, midst fairer maids,
To think on her thou leav'st behind.
Must never be my happy lot;
Forget me not! forget me not!
Too painful to thy feelings be,
Nor ever deign to think on me: But oh! if grief thy steps attend,
If want, if sickness be thy lot, And thou require a soothing friend,
Forget me not! forget me not!
There's not a leaf within the bower;
There's not a bird upon the tree; There's not a dew-drop on the flower,
But bears the impress, Lord, of Thee!
And gave the bird its thrilling tone:
Till like a diamond's blaze they shone.
The smallest, like the greatest thingsThe sea's vast space, the earth's wide ball
Alike proclaim Thee King of kings. But man alone to bounteous Heaven
Thanksgiving's conscious strains can raise ; To favor'd man alone 'tis given
To join the angelic choir in praise.
Alas! to think one Christian soul
LIES FALSELY CALLED LIES OF BENEVOLENCE.
These are lies which are occasioned by a selfish dread of losing favor, and provoking displeasure by speaking the truth, rather than by real benevolence. Persons, calling themselves benevolent, withhold disagreeable truths, and utter agreeable falsehoods, from a wish to give pleasure, or to avoid giving pain. If you say that you are looking ill, they tell you that you are looking well. If you express a fear that you are growing corpulent, they say you are only just as fat as you ought to be. If you are hoarse in singing, and painfully conscious of it, they declare that they did not perceive it. And this, not from the desire of flattering you, or from the malignant one of wishing to render you ridiculous, by imposing on your credulity, but from the desire of making you pleased with yourself. In short, they lay it down as a rule that you must never scruple to sacrifice the truth, when the alternative is giving the slightest pain or mortification to any one.
I shall leave my readers to decide whether the lies of fear or of benevolence preponderate in the following trifling but characteristic anecdote :-
A TALE OF POTTED SPRATS.
Most mistresses of families have a family receipt-book, and are apt to believe that no receipts are so good as their own.
With one of these notable ladies a young housekeeper went to pass a few days, both at her town and country house. The hostess was skilled not only in culinary lore, but in economy; and was in the habit of setting on her table, even when not alone, whatever her taste or carefulness had led her to pot, pickle, or preserve for occasional use.
Before a meagre family dinner was quite over, a dish of POTTED SPRATS was set before the lady of the house, who, expatiating on their excellence, derived from a family receipt of a century old, pressed her still unsatisfied guest to partake of them.
The dish was as good as much salt and little spice could make it; but it had one peculiarity: it had a strong flavor of garlic, and to garlic the poor guest had a great dislike.
will be of use to you as a young housekeeper; for it is economical as well as good, and serves to make out, when we have a scrap-dinner. My servants often dine on it.” “ I wonder you can get any servants to live with you,” thought the guest; “ but I dare say you do not get any one to stay long !” “You do not, however, eat as if you liked it." "Oh yes, indeed, I do, very much," (lie the second,) she replied ; “ but you forget I have already eaten a good dinner!” (lie the third. Alas! what had benevolence, so called, to answer for on this occasion !)
“Well, I am delighted to find that you like my sprats," said the flattered hostess, while the cloth was removing; adding, “John! do not let those sprats be eaten in the kitchen !”—an order which the guest heard with indescribable alarm.
The next day they were to set off for the country-house, or cottage. When they were seated in the carriage a large box was put in, and the guest fancied she smelt garlic; but,
“Where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise." She therefore asked no questions, but tried to enjoy the present, regardless of the future. At a certain distance they stopped to bait the horses. There the guest expected that they should get out and take some refreshment; but her economical companion, with a shrewd wink of the eye, observed, " I always sit in the carriage on these occasions. If one gets out, the people at the inn expect one to order a luncheon. I therefore take mine with me.” So saying, John was summoned to drag the carriage out of sight of the inu windows. He then unpacked the box, took out of it knives and forks, plates, &c., and also a jar, which, impregnating the air with its effluvia, even before it was opened, disclosed to the alarmed guest that its contents were the dreaded sprats !
“Alas !” thought she, “ Pandora's box was nothing to this! for in that Hope remained behind; but, at the bottom of this, is Despair!” In vain did the unhappy lady deelare (lie the fourth) that "she had no appetite, and (lie the fifth) that she never ate in a morning.” Her hostess would take no denial. However, she contrived to get a piece of sprat down, enveloped in bread; and the rest she threw out of the window when her companion was looking another way—who, however, on turning round, exclaimed, “So, you have soon despatched the first ! let me give you another; do not refuse, because you think they are nearly finished; I assure you there are several left, and (delightful information!) we shall have a fresh supply to-morrow!” However, this time she was allowed to know when she had eaten enough; and the travellers proceeded to their journey's end.
This day, the sprats did not appear to dinner ; but, there being only a few left, they were reserved for supper !-a meal, of which,