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ESSAYS OF ELIA.
READER, in thy passage from the Bank—where thou hast 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 suburban retreat northerly, didst thou never observe a melancholy-looking, 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 bouse 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,
1 I passed by the walls of Balclutha, and they were desolate. -Ossian.