The shadows of the evening are settling upon the face of the earth. Now and then the report of a cannon in the direction of the city recalls what day it is, and I am reminded that crowds are thronging the streets for the purpose of witnessing the display of holiday fireworks; but vain to me such mimicry. A tall and mysterious shadow, more dark and awful than any which will steal among the graves of the old churchyard to-night, has risen and now stands beside whispering in the stillness—“Go away!”
A sleepless night—Try to write on the following day but fail—My friends consult with the officers of the institution—I am discharged—Go to Indianapolis and get drunk—My wanderings and horrible sufferings— Alcohol—The tyrant whom all should slay—What is lost by the drunkard—Is anything gained by the use of liquor?—Never touch it in any form—It leads to ruin and death—Better blow your brains out—My condition at present—The end.
After writing the words “go away,” which close the preceding chapter, I lay down and tried to compose my thoughts, but the effort was futile. I passed a sleepless night, and when morning came I had fully resolved to leave the hospital if in my power to do so. During the forenoon I took up my pencil a number of times for the purpose of writing, but I was so disturbed in mind that I could not write a line intelligibly, and I will here say that from that day, July fifth, to this, September fifteenth, the manuscript remained untouched in the hands of a very dear friend, to whom I am under many obligations for his clear advice and judgment on matters of this sort as well as on others. I will now write this, the fifteenth and last chapter of this book; and in order to make the story of my life complete up to this date, I will go back and resume the thread of the narrative where it was left off on the evening of the fourth of July. It will be remembered that in my last chapter I spoke of having written letters to some of my friends desiring them to come and ask for my discharge. I awaited impatiently their coming, but when they came, which was on the sixth of July, I think, they were undecided whether it would be better for me to “go away,” or remain longer at the asylum, but I plead to go, as if my life depended upon it. After consultation with the authorities at the hospital, who were clearly of the opinion that they had no right to detain me under the circumstances, and who, therefore, felt it incumbent upon them to discharge me, particularly