[ . . . .]
pardon me for urging this truth upon your attention, in the present instance, as a slight palliation of my errors.
But in one portion of your note you did me wrong, and here I felt that you had indeed mistaken my nature. Intemperance, with me, has never amounted to a habit; and had it been ten times a habit it would have required scarcely an effort on my part to shake it from me at once and forever. I have been fully awakened to the impolicy and degradation of the course hitherto pursued, and have abandoned the vice altogether, and without a struggle. It was necessary that I should assure you of this before mentioning the request which is the object of this letter--that you would procure me some clerkship or other office in your Department.
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Could I obtain the most unimportant Clerkship in your gift-- any thing, by sea or land--to relieve me from the miserable life of literary drudgery to which I now, with a breaking heart, submit, and for which neither my temper nor my abilities have fitted me, I would never again repine at any dispensation of God. I feel that I could then, (having something beyond mere literature as a profession) quickly elevate myself to the station in society which is my due. It is needless to say how fervent, how unbounded would be my gratitude to the one who should thus rescue me from ruin, and put me in possession of happiness. I leave my fate in your hands.
Most respy. & gratefully
Edgar A Poe
July 19. 1838.