SHIPWRECKED SAILOR ON SMOKING ROCK 257
summer residence and country villa; Prospect Hill, and even our buildings at the Hermitage, were like the quiet farmhouses that the traveller finds in the mountains.
Of all our resources, the bees had prospered most; experience had taught me how to manage them, and the only trouble that I had was to provide new hives each year for the increasing swarms; and, in truth, so great was the number of our hives that they attracted a considerable flock of those birds called bee-eaters, who are extremely fond of these insects.
Our dovecot had also succeeded well; and we had suspended baskets on the adjoining trees, where our pigeons might build their nests.
We also finished the gallery which extended along the front of our grotto; a roof was made to the rock above it, and it rested on fourteen columns of light bamboo, which gave it an elegant appearance ; large pillars supported the gallery, around which twined the aromatic vines of the vanilla and the pepper, and each end of the gallery was terminated by a little cabinet with an elevated roof, having the appearance of a Chinese pavilion, surrounded by flowers and foliage. Steps led up into the gallery, which we had paved with a sort