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[172]

I have of late been able to write but little, and that mostly for the papers, and I have scarcely answered a letter for a month past. I dread to touch a pen. Whenever I do it increases the dull wearing pain in my head, which I am scarcely ever free from.

Pickard's Whittier, I. 319.

Yet at this time he was occasionally publishing eight or nine columns a week in the National Era, besides a large political correspondence.

“Sleep,” says Mrs. Claflin,

was the one blessing that seemed to be denied him, and which he constantly longed for. He resorted to every simple remedy for insomnia — but it was all in vain — his was the ‘sore disquiet of a restless brain,’ and he would often come down in the morning looking tired and worn from his long night of wakefulness, and say, ‘ It is of no use; the sleep of the innocent is denied me. Perhaps I do not deserve it.’ Claflin's Personal Recollections, p. 40.

While reticent and uncomplaining to strangers, we find him through life obliged to write to friends in such phrases as these, “I should have been glad to make Haverhill a visit in the winter, but the extremely delicate condition of my health has compelled me to forego that pleasure.” “I now think some of going next week to New York and Philadelphia, partly to escape our east winds which I dread.” “I think sickness has a wonderful effect in fanning into life the half-extinguished conscience. It is doubtless better for me and my friends that the hand of sickness is sometimes laid heavily upon me.”

Being a bad sleeper, “seldom,” as he said, “putting a solid bar of sleep between day and day,” he habitually rose early and, as he claimed, “had rarely missed seeing ”

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