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and I wish no eye to see me now: strangers would wonder what I am doing, lingering here at the sign-post,evidently objectless and lost. I might be questioned: I could give no answer but what would sound incredibleand excite suspicion. Not a tie holds me to human society at this moment -- not a charm or hope calls mewhere my fellow-creatures are -- none that saw me would have a kind thought or a good wish for me. I haveno relative but the universal mother, Nature: I will seek her breast and ask repose.I struck straight into the heath; I held on to a hollow I saw deeply furrowing the brown moorside; I wadedknee-deep in its dark growth; I turned with its turnings, and finding a moss-blackened granite crag in a hiddenangle, I sat down under it. High banks of moor were about me; the crag protected my head: the sky was overthat.Some time passed before I felt tranquil even here: I had a vague dread that wild cattle might be near, or thatsome sportsman or poacher might discover me. If a gust of wind swept the waste, I looked up, fearing it wasthe rush of a bull; if a plover whistled, I imagined it a man. Finding my apprehensions unfounded, however,and calmed by the deep silence that reigned as evening declined at nightfall, I took confidence. As yet I hadnot thought; I had only listened, watched, dreaded; now I regained the faculty of reflection.What was I to do? Where to go? Oh, intolerable questions, when I could do nothing and go nowhere! -- whena long way must yet be measured by my weary, trembling limbs before I could reach human habitation --when cold charity must be entreated before I could get a lodging: reluctant sympathy importuned, almostcertain repulse incurred, before my tale could be listened to, or one of my wants relieved!I touched the heath, it was dry, and yet warm with the beat of the summer day. I looked at the sky; it was pure:a kindly star twinkled just above the chasm ridge. The dew fell, but with propitious softness; no breezewhispered. Nature seemed to me benign and good; I thought she loved me, outcast as I was; and I, who fromman could anticipate only mistrust, rejection, insult, clung to her with filial fondness. To-night, at least, Iwould be her guest, as I was her child: my mother would lodge me without money and without price. I hadone morsel of bread yet: the remnant of a roll I had bought in a town we passed through at noon with a straypenny -- my last coin. I saw ripe bilberries gleaming here and there, like jet beads in the heath: I gathered ahandful and ate them with the bread. My hunger, sharp before, was, if not satisfied, appeased by this hermit'smeal. I said my evening prayers at its conclusion, and then chose my couch.Beside the crag the heath was very deep: when I lay down my feet were buried in it; rising high on each side,it left only a narrow space for the night-air to invade. I folded my shawl double, and spread it over me for acoverlet; a low, mossy swell was my pillow. Thus lodged, I was not, at least -- at the commencement of thenight, cold.