The parson said many other things of a like character, out which I did not think worth writing down in my memory. He then shook hands with my mother and father, expressed his surprise at the lateness of the hour to the doctor, and took his leave, meeting with a strange mishap on his way home, which will be related in the next chapter.
In which is related A pleasant meeting with A renowned major.
Early on the following morning, before the sun had hung the eastern sky with golden mists, my mother was astir, and in due time had a plain but substantial breakfast prepared. And, too, I heard my father muttering his misgivings in an adjoining chamber. My valise, nicely packed and strapped, stood by the door; this I thought a contrivance of my father to shake my resolution. Indeed I must confess that whenever my eye rested upon it, an emotion of regret moved me, and my fancy filled with an hundred perils that seemed incident to my career. The earnestness of my mother, however, always restored me to confidence. Her motto was, never despond, nor sit idly at home, when fame and fortune are to be gained by going abroad. She did everything with great cheerfulness of manner, and though the frosts of fifty winters had made snow-white the hairs of her head, and plowed their furrows deep into her oval face, there was a vigor in her action that might have excited the envy of youth.
Though I could not suppress the effect of those reminiscences of home, which on the eve of departure from it, rise up and disturb the feelings, no sooner was breakfast over than I shouldered my valise, and with my father on my left, and my mother on my right, sallied forth to the garden gate, where we halted before taking a last parting. The favorite watch-dog, Tray, who had gamboled with me in my boyhood, and held himself worthy of protecting me in his old age, followed us, wagging his tail in evident delight at the prospect of bearing me company. A soft breeze fanned over the beach, the dew-dripping rose bushes, that lined the green-topped picket fence, waved their tops to and fro, the sparrows whistled and sung, and wooed, as if Providence had made them for that alone; and all nature seemed putting on her gayest attire to inspire me with resolution.