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Description of a moral, but not gloomy Retirement.
“ My dear friend Imagination, what place will you allot for my winter's habitation, when I have a mind to retire from the hurry of the town, and review the actions of every passing day?”.
“ A little hermitage, on the eastern side of the highest mountain, in the kingdom of Katascopia.”*
“ Order a set of ideas to be put to your rapid chariot, and transport me thither as soon as you please; for I am already charmed with the proposal."
“ A winding path leads you by an imperceptible ascent, through groves of laurels, bays, pines,
oaks, cedars, myrtles, and all kinds of beautiful ever-greens, with which the sides of the mountains are eternally covered, to au apartment cut out in the substance of the rock, and consisting of two rooms. You enter into the first through an arch, hewn out without much art, and whose only ornaments are the ivy, with which it is almost entirely overgrown, and the chrystalline icicles, which winter hangs on the inequalities of its surface. The only light that it re
ugh this arch; and the plainness of the furniture is answerable to that of the building. The floor is covered with a kind of moss, that is always dry; and a couch of the same goes round the room : on the right side, at the farther end, is a little stone table, with the hermit's usual furniture, a book, a skull, an hour-glass, and a lamp. Near the mouth of the cave is a telescope; and, on the left side, a small door opens into a little square apartment, formed to indulge less melancholy meditations. Opposite to the entrance are shelves filled with books of a serious and moral nature, that take up one side of the room. A bed of plain white dimity, with two chairs of the same, is opposite to the chimney, where a cheerful wood fire is continually blazing. Near the fire is placed a little table, and a low seat, more for convenience than show; and the walls are covered with a white paper, over which a vine seems to spread its leafy shade."
“ You have described this retirement to my wish. A mere hermitage would be too gloomy for a constant dwelling ; and yet there are many hours in