14 AUGUST 1830, Page 13


NEXT to the devotion of the people of Paris to the good of their country, is the patriotism of English journalists, who devote themselves to town in the month of August for the benefit of the republic of letters. -What a sacrifice is ours ! to what a gulf of vacancy we resin ourselves ! How sad is the aspect of the town how melancholy the empty streets and closed windows, all speak- ing desertion! A desert isle is surely cheerfulness compared with a deserted city ; for the natural desert has-no association of gladness connected with its grim features, while the tenantless habitations of the city, its vacant promenades, and mmeopled squares, are suggestive of a thousand painful regrets. Independ- ently of these appearances of sadness, there are other things which make residence in London at this season grievously oppres- sive to the spirits. From childhood upwards, we have all expe- rienced, at some time or other, that exquisitely disagreeable mixtura of regret and mortification arising from being -left behind. In most separations, especially excepting that of the soul and body, the advantage is with the departing spirit, which is excited by the bustle of movement and new scenes. Care, to be sure, as HORACH tells us, follows the traveller as well as the sedentary ; but he soonest overtakes those unlucky wights whose fate it is to be left behind. For the last two months, what sojourner in this void, this social emptiness and fulness of brick and mortar—what sticker in this vast slough of despond has not sickened a thousand times of melancholy at the recurring thought of being left be- hind ? One's friends flying away, one after the other, and each departure reminding the tarries of the piteous condition of his compelled residence in a spot abandoned by all the blessed who are masters of their own movements. Now we are re- duced to . that pitch of desertion, that there is nothing left to fly • except the dust, which is good enough to fill eyes in want of ob- jects. The guilty appearance of persons enduring in town at this season has often been remarked ; and so peculiar is the nature of this grief, that it wants the common Solace of participation: " Solamen miseris socios habuisse: debris," - Says' the ancient maim; but the miserables condemned to London in August deny the application, and confess that their distress is exasperated by the shame of detection in it. The detenues would bury them- selves in their back drawing-rooms, and take the air in High Hol- born or Snow Hill, rather than encounter the observation and sympathy of brethren in affliction. Some few indeed become des- perate ; mad with melancholy, they rush to the Park at six o'clock, and show the numbers and front of a forlorn hope straggling in the wide breach of social intercourse.

The worst is, however, yet to come. The full horror of London is in September; when the partridges, if they were not geese, would seek safety and solitude in the western streets of London. Bad as things now are, with us miserable metropolitans, they are better than they have been before within our recollection, for the proportion of the detained in London is much larger than usual. To the new animation of the new Court we are probably indebted for this circumstance of alleviation.