LIFE AND LETTERS OF JOSEPH HARDY NEESIMA
FAREWELLS. 33 let me go, he could not change the order of the prince. It surprised every one of my neighbors and acquaintances. There was no time to be lost for my preparation ; but, through the great diligence of my mother and my sisters, I was quite well equipped to start at once. Two days after the matter was decided that I must depart from home, my grandfather provided a generous dinner, and invited our neighbors and friends to partake of it with us. 'Vhen we were all seated in a circle in our parlor, having one of those low dinner-tables before each one, and were ready to commence eating, he passed around a cup of cold water for us to sip from, after the manner of our solemn departing ceremony, generally performed when we expect no fair chance of seeing each other again. ·what a trying hour it was to my .inexperienced heart ! for every one who was present wept, and none raised up their faces except myself and my grandfather. He skillfully concealed his tears and appeared unusually cheerful ; and I kept myself very brave. ·when the dinner was over my grandfather said to me: 'My dear child, your future will be like seeking a pleasure on a mountain of full blossoms. Go your way without a least fear.' This unexpected parting from his lips gave me a full courage to start from home like a man. Then I bowed to him, to my parents, my sisters, and all who were invited there. and left my dear home which I did not expect to see again before I should see the wide world. " My younger brother followed me on the street of Y edo to a considerable distance. vVhen I looked back to speak to him I found him sadly weeping. Then said I: 'Why do you weep, my brother? You are like a girl. You had better go home from here.'