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The Pilgrims and the Peas
Bits of Books
FROM OLD AND MODERN AUTHORS.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE MORNING.
Now hardly here and there a hackney-coach
THE HERMIT OF BELLYFULLE.
“ Are you a hermit ?” we asked, with a wondering look.
“ Have I not said it ? The Hermit of Bellyfulle, and this is my Hermitage ; this the Cell of the Corkscrew,” cried the anchorite; and he then turned to the pan, his eye melting on the frying eggs.
The Hermit appeared between fifty and sixtynearer sixty. He would have looked tall, but for his breadth of shoulder and bow of belly. His arms were short, thick, and sinewy; with a fist that might have throttled a wild boar or a keen attorney. Altogether he was a massive lump of a man, hard and active. His face was big and round, with a rich, larder look about it. His wide, red cheeks were here and there jewelled with good living. As gems are said by some to be no more than a congelation of the rarest essences attracted and distilled from mother earth, so were the living rubies burning in the cheeks of the Hermit, the hardened, incarnated juices of the deer of the forest—the volatile spirits of the vine, The Hermit had no nose ; none, ladies, none.
There was a little nob of flesh, like a small mushroom, dipt in wine, which made its unobtrusive way between the good man's cheeks, and through which he has been known to sneeze : but impudence itself could not call that piece of flesh a nose.
The Hermit's mouth had all the capacity of large benevolence; large and wide, like an old pocket. There seemed a heavy unctuousness about the lower lip; a weight and drooping from very mellowness-like a ripe peach, cracking in the sun. His teeth—but that he had lost one, as we afterwards learned, in active