The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO THOMAS ERSKINE ; 16 April 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400400-TC-TE-01; CL 12: 113-114


[mid-April? 1840]

Let all that love me keep far away on occasions of that kind. I am in no case so sorry for myself as when standing up there bewildered, distracted, nine-tenths of my poor faculty lost in terror and wretchedness, a spectacle to men. It is my most ardent hope that this exhibition may be my last of such; that Necessity, with her bayonet at my back, may never again drive me up thither, a creature more fit for uttering himself in a flood of inarticulate tears than any other way.

Time does not reconcile me to this immeasurable, soul-confusing uproar of a life in London. I meditate passionately many times to fly from it for life and sanity. The sound of the clear brooks, of woody solitudes, of sea-waves under summer suns; all this in one's fancy here is too beautiful, like sad, forbidden fruit. Cor irrequietum est [The heart is restless]. We will wait and see.