These four people now sat together until late in the evening, the thoughts of each centering within; then they parted with the best wishes for the coming day and what it was to consecrate. Oyvind was obliged to admit, as he laid himself down, that he had never gone to bed so happy before; he gave this an interpretation of his own,—he understood it to mean: I have never before gone to bed feeling so resigned to God’s will and so happy in it. Marit’s face at once rose up before him again, and the last thing he was conscious of was that he lay and examined himself: not quite happy, not quite,—and that he answered: yes, quite; but again: not quite; yes, quite; no, not quite.
When he awoke he at once remembered the day, prayed, and felt strong, as one does in the morning. Since the summer, he had slept alone in the attic; now he rose, and put on his handsome new clothes, very carefully, for he had never owned such before. There was especially a round broadcloth jacket, which he had to examine over and over again before he became accustomed to it. He hung up a little looking-glass when he had adjusted his collar, and for the fourth time drew on his jacket. At sight of his own contented face, with the unusually light hair surrounding it, reflected and smiling in the glass, it occurred to him that this must certainly be vanity again. “Yes, but people must be well-dressed and tidy,” he reasoned, drawing his face away from the glass, as if it were a sin to look in it. “To be sure, but not quite so delighted with themselves, for the sake of the matter.” “No, certainly not, but the Lord must also like to have one care to look well.” “That may be; but He would surely like it better to have you do so without taking so much notice of it yourself.” “That is true; but it happens now because everything is so new.” “Yes, but you must gradually lay the habit aside.”—He caught himself carrying on such a self-examining conversation, now upon one theme, now upon another, so that not a sin should fall on the day and stain it; but at the same time he knew that he had other struggles to meet.
When he came down-stairs, his parents sat all dressed, waiting breakfast for him. He went up to them and taking their hands thanked them for the clothes, and received in return a “wear-them-out-with-good-health." They sat down to table, prayed silently, and ate. The mother cleared the table, and carried in the lunch-box for the journey to church. The father put on his jacket, the mother fastened her kerchief; they took their hymn-books, locked up the house, and started. As soon as they had reached the upper road they met the church-faring people, driving and walking, the confirmation candidates scattered among them, and in one group and another white-haired grand-parents, who had felt moved to come out on this great occasion.
[Footnote 1: A common expression among the peasantry of Norway, meaning: “You are welcome.”]