Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 173 [11-30-1855]

  From the twentieth to the end of the Month.    I must attempt
to lump together the details of these, perhaps the most wretched
days I have ever experienced, all confusedly horrible as they are
in my memory.     I�ve touched the verge of lunacy, � looked within
and beheld its unspeakable horrors, � almost been dragged within.
How, day by dy, it grew upon me, � the dread of coming
madness, I can scarcely put down.   I was very, very much
alone, despondent and devoured by a burning anxiety to get on
with my book � which very anxiety defeated itself.     I�d sit
for a whole morning, with a burning, throbbing headache, trying
painfully to write, feeling as though life, salvation depended on
my progress.    Each night, as I lay down on my floor bed,
�t�would be with an impatient, wearying wish for the morrow,
that I might be up and do an immense day�s work.    And when
the morning sunlight came slowly flushing the [word crossed out] brickwork
of Stewarts � (with which I am so horribly familiar,) � just as
it had yesterday, and for so many yesterdays � �twould seem
so real, remorseless, cruel, that it frightened me.     Then came
the sordid drudgery of cleaning up, fire lighting, coal fetching from
the lower depths of this detestable building, then out to my
breakfast, generally at Sweeney�s, where I�d fancy the very
waiters marked my scared and anxious face, and were gentler
towards me than usual.        Sometimes, when a steamer was in
I�d go to the Post Office for papers, and the sight of my mother�s
handwriting would affect me most distressingly, even to tears. I�d 
seem as if destined never to see her more.          Banks came up
sometimes, and his visits were half a kindness, half a nuisance.               
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