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the building in the most neglected confusion : this agreeably preserves its intention as a ruin, and the climbing ivy which already begins to embrace the walls with its gloomy arms, will soon throw a deeper folemnity over the whole, and make it carry the strongest face of antiquity.

It is seldom that the park beyond this place is visited; though there is a very handsome gothic seat near the extremity, from which a delightful prospect is collected from the woods, the ruin, and the diftant country:

The attention of the spectator is rather taken up with the light of the Clent hills, which here rise majestically before him; and though rather difficult to climb, it is seldom but curiosity prevails, and he is amply repaid, by the amazing expanse and variety of the diftant objects which every way surround him. In a thin atmosphere, the black mountains, and the round hill near Radnor in Wales, are distinctly visible, thoʼat

least

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least sixty or seventy miles distant. Malvern hills, the Wrekin, and other moun. tains, skirt the horizon ; while towns, villages, and gentlemen's seats, deck the rich vallies, which spread themselves to an a. mazing distance.

From the ruin, a bold and spacious lawn, in some places covered with fern, precipitately falls on each side; but in front of the building, stretches itself into easy swells, then plunges into the woods, through which, in some places, the ranging country is seen in perspective. The path leads from hence close to the foot of the Clent hills, and without the spectator chufes to visit the extremity of the park, which, as I observed before, was seldom done, he pursues the walk to the right, which is truly rural and contemplative. A seat in the midst of it, adorned with shells, affords a most pleasing view into the opposite woods, and has this inscription in the same fancy.

SEDES

SEDES CONTEMPLATIONIS

OMNIA VANITAS.

That is,

The seat of contemplation.

All is vanity

Through this obscure and agreeable retirement, where every object is shut out by the lovely grove, and its appendant groupes, chequering the hanging sides of the deep vale, the walk leads to

The HERMITAGE.

This place is formed with clumps of wood, and jagged roots of old trees, carelessly thrown together, and the interstices are fimply filled up with various kinds of moss; the floor is nearly paved with small pebbles, and a sort of couch goes round, covered with a mat. Every thing about it carries the face of poverty, and a contempt of the vain superfluities of life, fit for the supposed inhabitant, who despises

the

the follies of the world, and devotes his hours to religious folitude.

Not a recess in the whole park is more to be desired than this; the constant melody of birds, perching unseen, within the rich foliage of the finest grove in the world--the boldness of the ground, the deep-formed vales, whose embellished sides, and sometimes bottoms, of chesnuts, elms, and oaks, rise graceful to the fight; together with the calm, undisturbed repose which hovers round it, throws the mind into a contemplation, equally serious and affecting.

Within the Hermitage are those cele. brated lines from the Il Penseroso of Milton :

And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful Hermitage ;
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may fit and rightly spell
Of every star that heav'n doth shew,
And every herb that fips the dew :

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Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.
These pleasures melancholy give,
And I with thee will chufe to lie.

There appear from the door of this moffy apartment, two views in perfpective agreeably blended with the closeness of the others: one very prettily catches a range of country over the spreading boughs of the fronting trees, and the other under them. Little fancies of this sort, in places fo solitary, where they do not expose the fituation, but only tincture the surrounding gloom with a ray of chearfulness, are very juftifiable.

The ground from hence falls precipitately to some ponds of water ; and the delightful trees which every where accompany the swelling, irregular, and shelving banks, are remarkably fine. Through this vale the path fteals, and winds at last abruptly, up an exceeding

steep

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