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MARTIN CHARLES BURNEY.
FORGive me, Burney, if to thee these late
ESS AYS OF ELI A.
THE SOUTH-SEA HOUSE.
READER, in thy passage from the bank-where thou ha been receiving thy half-yearly dividends (supposing thou art a lean annuitant like myself)—to the Flower Pot, to secure a place for Dalston, or Shacklewell, or some other thy suburban retreat northerly—didst thou never observe a melancholylooking, handsome brick and stone edifice to the left—where Threadneedle-street abuts upon Bishopsgate ? I dare say thou hast often admired its magnificent portals ever gaping wide, and disclosing to view a grave court, with cloisters and pillars, with few or no traces of goers-in or comers-out-a desolation something like Balclutha's.*
This was once a house of trade-a centre of busy interests. The throng of merchants was here--the quick pulse of gain—and here some forms of business are still kept up, though the soul be long since fled. Here are still to be seen stately porticoes ; imposing staircases; offices roomy as the state apartments in palaces-deserted or thinly peopled with a few straggling clerks; the still more sacred interiors of court and committee rooms, with venerable faces of beadles, doorkeepers—directors seated in form on solemn days (to proclaim a dead dividend) at long wormeaten tables, that have been mahogany, with tarnished gilt-leather coverings, supporting massy silver inkstands long since dry; the oaken wainscots hung with pictures of deceased governors and subgovernors, of Queen Anne, and the first two monarchs of the Brunswick dynasty ; huge charts, which subsequent discoveries have antiquated ; dusty maps of Mexico, dim as dreams -and soundings of the Bay of Panama! The long passages hung with buckets, appended, in idle row, to walls whose
# I passed by the walls of Balolutha, and they were desolate.-OBBIAN