A letter, however, had lately reached me in a distant part of the coun- try—a letter from him—which, in its wildly importunate nature, had admitted of no oth- er than a personal reply. The MS. gave evi- dence of nervous agitation. The writer spoke of acute bodily illness—of a mental disorder which oppressed him—and of an earnest de- sire to see me, as his best, and indeed his only personal friend, with a view of attempting, by the cheerfulness of my society, some al- leviation of his malady.
I know not how it was—but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit.
I looked upon the scene before me— upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain—upon the bleak walls—upon the vacant eye-like win- dows—upon a few rank sedges—and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees—with an utter depression of soul which I can com- pare to no earthly sensation more prop- erly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium—the bitter lapse into everyday life—the hideous dropping off of the veil.