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The Diary of an Ennuyee

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Calais, June 21.—What young lady, travelling for the first time on the Continent, does not write a "Diary?" No sooner have we slept on the shores of France—no sooner are we seated in the gay salon at Dessin's, than we call, like Biddy Fudge, for "French pens and French ink," and forth steps from its case the morocco-bound diary, regularly ruled and paged, with its patent Bramah lock and key, wherein we are to record and preserve all the striking, profound, and original observations—the classical reminiscences—the thread-bare raptures—the poetical effusions—in short, all the never-sufficiently-to-be-exhausted topics of sentiment and enthusiasm, which must necessarily suggest themselves while posting from Paris to Naples.

Verbiage, emptiness, and affectation!

Yes—but what must I do, then, with my volume in green morocco?

Very true, I did not think of that.

We have all read the Diary of an Invalid, the best of all diaries since old Evelyn's.—

Well, then,—Here beginneth the Diary of a Blue Devil.

What inconsistent beings are we!—How strange that in such a moment as this, I can jest in mockery of myself! but I will write on. Some keep a diary, because it is the fashion—a reason why I should not; some because it is blue, but I am not blue, only a blue devil; some for their amusement,—amusement!! alas! alas! and some that they may remember,—and I that I may forget, O! would it were possible.

When, to-day, for the first time in my life, I saw the shores of England fade away in the distance—did the conviction that I should never behold them more, bring with it one additional pang of regret, or one consoling thought? neither the one nor the other. I leave behind me the scenes, the objects, so long associated with pain; but from pain itself I cannot fly: it has become a part of myself. I know not yet whether I ought to rejoice and be thankful for this opportunity of travelling, while my mind is thus torn and upset; or rather regret that I must visit scenes of interest, of splendour, of novelty—scenes over which, years ago, I used to ponder with many a sigh, and many a vain longing, now that I am lost to all the pleasure they could once have excited: for what is all the world to me now?—But I will not weakly yield: though time and I have not been long acquainted, do I not know what miracles he, "the all-powerful healer," can perform? Who knows but this dark cloud may pass away? Continual motion, continual activity, continual novelty, the absolute necessity for self-command, may do something for me. I cannot quite forget; but if I can cease to remember for a few minutes, or even, it may be, for a few hours? O how idle to talk of "indulging grief:" talk of indulging the rack, the rheumatism! who ever indulged grief that truly felt it? to endure is hard enough.

It is o'er! with its pains and its pleasures,The dream of affection is o'er!The feelings I lavish'd so fondlyWill never return to me more. With a faith, O! too blindly believing—A truth, no unkindness could move;My prodigal heart hath expendedAt once, an existence of love....