Page:Letters of Life.djvu/92

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80
LETTERS OF LIFE.

rible mad if you don't do just exactly as he says." And who has a better right to be peremptory than a judicious, learned physician, who is held responsible for the life committed to his care? Who, also, has a better chance to gain the love of his race, than he who is ever ready to listen when they talk about themselves, into whose ear they pour more than they impart to their most intimate friend; to whom, if they are not religious, they turn as to a divine Dispenser of healing; and whose name, if they are, mingles with their warmest prayer of gratitude to God for relief from suffering or restoration to health?

So I was obediently enwrapped in the appointed scarlet envelope, which at first I fancied a counterpart to the shirt of Nessus, and put in preparation for an important era—the first absence from father and mother. Let no one imagine that travelling then was what it is now. Steam had not awakened to give it wings. The world, in the language of a philosopher, was "home-bred, and kept at home." I had once walked a long distance with some little friends, to see a lady who had been to New Connecticut, and returned alive. Perchance we looked upon her with as much curiosity, and more amazement, than the people of the present day, trained up in wonders, feel as they gaze on the returned from Kane's expedition to the Arctic, or the saved from the wreck of the Central America, after submersion in the Atlantic.