Friday, 11 August 2017

Hermit for Hire

In 1810 this ad appeared in the newspaper:

"A young man, who wishes to retire from the world and live as a hermit in some convenient spot in England is willing to engage with any nobleman or gentleman who may be desirous of having one. Any letter directed to S. Laurence (post paid), to be left at Mr. Ottons, no. 6 Coleman Lane, Plymouth, mentioning what gratuity will be given, and all other particulars, will be duly attended." [quoted in A Pelican in the Wilderness, Isabel Colegate,  p. 187]

That's it! The career I've been searching for! Completely suited to my temperament. All I need to do is find a patron willing to put me up in a cottage at the bottom of the garden and pay for my upkeep. In return, I will wander among the flowerbeds, recite pleasant poetry for visitors, and look generally picturesque.

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