This article takes another look at a question which has always perplexed Adam Mickiewicz's biographers: why the poet kept postponing his departure for Poland after the news about the uprising had reached Rome. His procrastination, treated as a personal drama, was usually glossed over; those commentators who did mention it, went to great lengths to find some justification for the delay. Their explanations can be divided into two classes: those citing external pressures and circumstances (eg. Mickiewicz's financial problems, or his involvement in a secret assignment), and those that prioritize various personal factors, eg. his alleged lack of faith in the success of the uprising, his presumed allegiance to Lithuania, or the declarative nature of his patriotism. Having said that it seems that Mickiewicz's reaction can yet be explained in a different way. His behaviour at that time may suggest that he suffered from a deep depression. That depression could have been the cause - and not the result, as hitherto assumed - of his procrastination. This scenario seems all the more likely as we know of severe depression recurring at other points of the poet's life
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