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Page:Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since.djvu/71

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59
FORTY YEARS SINCE.

that their freshness and fragrance might tempt the sickening palate. An emaciated hand would receive these gifts, and a face white as marble beam with a faint smile, while a soft voice uttered, "I thank you Mother." But all seemed in vain, the liliy grew paler upon its stem, and seemed likely to sink into the grave, lonely and beautiful, with all its mysteriousness unrevealed.

One more personage deserves to be noticed ere we close the brief catalogue. Maurice, or as he was called before his baptism Kehoran, was deemed by his countrymen the most singular of men. Yet so accustomed had they become to his habits, that they almost ceased to be an object of animadversion. Years had elapsed since he withdrew himself from the residence of man, and became the tenant of a cave, at the base of a rock, at a considerable distance from the principal settlement. Nature had there formed an irregular apartment of about twenty feet in length, and varying in height and breadth. Its aperture, much below the stature of a man, was of a triangular shape, and apparently made by the disruption of the rock, which formed the roof of the cavern. It was partially closed by rolling against it a large stone which was found within, among other rubbish, which the hermit had removed. Here Maurice dwelt, subsisting upon the roots and berries, which the shaggy forest overhanging his roof supplied, and quenching his thirst at a spring which ran bubbling from the rocky height, and, gliding past his door like a riband-snake, disappeared in the adjoining