My Ten Years' Imprisonment/Chapter 2
Three months previous to this time I had gone to Turin, where, after several years of separation, I saw my parents, one of my brothers, and two sisters. We had always been an attached family; no son had ever been more deeply indebted to a father and a mother than I; I remember I was affected at beholding a greater alteration in their looks, the progress of age, than I had expected. I indulged a secret wish to part from them no more, and soothe the pillow of departing age by the grateful cares of a beloved son. How it vexed me, too, I remember, during the few brief days I passed with them, to be compelled by other duties to spend so much of the day from home, and the society of those I had such reason to love and to revere; yes, and I remember now what my mother said one day, with an expression of sorrow, as I went out--"Ah! our Silvio has not come to Turin to see US!" The morning of my departure for Milan was a truly painful one. My poor father accompanied me about a mile on my way; and, on leaving me, I more than once turned to look at him, and, weeping, kissed the ring my mother had just given me; nor did I ever before quit my family with a feeling of such painful presentiment. I am not superstitious; but I was astonished at my own weakness, and I more than once exclaimed in a tone of terror, "Good God! whence comes this strange anxiety and alarm?" and, with a sort of inward vision, my mind seemed to behold the approach of some great calamity. Even yet in prison I retain the impression of that sudden dread and parting anguish, and can recall each word and every look of my distressed parents. The tender reproach of my mother, "Ah! Silvio has not come to Turin to see US!" seemed to hang like a weight upon my soul. I regretted a thousand instances in which I might have shown myself more grateful and agreeable to them; I did not even tell them how much I loved; all that I owed to them. I was never to see them more, and yet I turned my eyes with so much like indifference from their dear and venerable features! Why, why was I so chary of giving expression to what I felt (would they could have read it in my looks), to all my gratitude and love? In utter solitude, thoughts like these pierced me to the soul.
I rose, shut the window, and sat some hours, in the idea that it would be in vain to seek repose. At length I threw myself on my pallet, and excessive weariness brought me sleep.