Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Maria Clemm — July 19, 1849 (LTR-327)


Richmond, Thursday, July 19.

My Own Beloved Mother —

You will see at once, by the handwriting of this letter, that I am better — much better in health and spirits. Oh, if you only knew how your dear letter comforted me! It acted like magic. Most of my suffering arose from that terrible idea which I could not get rid of — the idea that you were dead. For more than ten days I was totally deranged, although I was not drinking one drop; and during this interval I imagined the most horrible calamities. . . .

All was hallucination, arising from an attack which I had never before experienced — an attack of mania-a-potu. May Heaven grant that it prove a warning to me for the rest of my days. If so, I shall not regret even the horrible unspeakable torments I have endured.

To L and to B— (and in some measure, also, to Mr. S ) I am indebted for more than life. They remained with me (L and B — ) all day on Friday last, comforted me and aided me in coming to my senses. L — saw ~, who said everything kind of me, and sent me five dollars; and P sent another five. B — procured me a ticket as far as Baltimore, and the passage from there to Richmond was seven dollars. I have not drank anything since Friday morning, and then only a little Port wine. If possible, dearest Mother, I will extricate myself from this difficulty for your dear, dear sake. So keep up heart.

All is not lost yet, and “the darkest hour is just before daylight.” Keep up heart, my own beloved mother — all may yet go well. I will put forth all my energies. When I get my mind a little more composed, I will try to write something. Oh, give my dearest, fondest love to Mrs. L. Tell her that never, while I live, will I forget her kindness to my darling mother.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to M. Clemm (LTR327/RCL813)