Excerpt from The Life of William Cowper Last twenty-seven years and in other way could I have discovered it. Religion, the miasmata of Olney, the inﬂuence of Newton, the sudden death of his brother - all these have at various times been held responsible for much of his misery. Undoubtedly the cause of Cowper's afﬂictions was inherited melancholia, but one of its effects has, curiously eugh, escaped his former biographers, and that I am t wrong in attributing some importance to it is proved, I think, by the fact that we can trace its reaching inﬂuence throughout Cowper's life. The thing that caused him to believe that he was damned was a dream, a dream which he had at the end of February, 1773. It will of course be held, and rightly held, that this dream is only a specific instance of an habitual morbid frame of mind. Cowper, for his part, says over and over again, though t of course in so many words, that it was this dream, and thing but this dream, that brought about the state of mind which rendered horrible the last twenty-seven years of his life. This belief of poor Cowper's cant, alas! Shake, but will only strengthen, the general View of his disease; but it is interesting to remark that as a rule he did t believe in dreams, and we often find him ridiculing them. It is t necessary to say more in the Preface on this point: an account of the dream and the accompanying circumstances will be found in Chap ter IX. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.