1 It was morning when I awoke, and my first care was to visit the fire.
2 I was pained at this and sat still watching the operation of the fire.
3 An old man sat in it, near a fire, over which he was preparing his breakfast.
4 He threatened excommunication and hell fire in my last moments if I continued obdurate.
5 In one corner, near a small fire, sat an old man, leaning his head on his hands in a disconsolate attitude.
6 When night came on and brought sleep with it, I was in the greatest fear lest my fire should be extinguished.
7 But I consented to listen, and seating myself by the fire which my odious companion had lighted, he thus began his tale.
8 She seemed pleased and went into the garden for some roots and plants, which she placed in water, and then upon the fire.
9 In this emigration I exceedingly lamented the loss of the fire which I had obtained through accident and knew not how to reproduce it.
10 One day, when I was oppressed by cold, I found a fire which had been left by some wandering beggars, and was overcome with delight at the warmth I experienced from it.
11 I reflected on this, and by touching the various branches, I discovered the cause and busied myself in collecting a great quantity of wood, that I might dry it and have a plentiful supply of fire.
12 I found that the youth spent a great part of each day in collecting wood for the family fire, and during the night I often took his tools, the use of which I quickly discovered, and brought home firing sufficient for the consumption of several days.
13 The girl met him at the door, helped to relieve him of his burden, and taking some of the fuel into the cottage, placed it on the fire; then she and the youth went apart into a nook of the cottage, and he showed her a large loaf and a piece of cheese.
14 As I stood at the door, on a sudden I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak which stood about twenty yards from our house; and so soon as the dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump.
15 But I was enchanted by the appearance of the hut; here the snow and rain could not penetrate; the ground was dry; and it presented to me then as exquisite and divine a retreat as Pandemonium appeared to the demons of hell after their sufferings in the lake of fire.
16 It was echoed from Saleve, the Juras, and the Alps of Savoy; vivid flashes of lightning dazzled my eyes, illuminating the lake, making it appear like a vast sheet of fire; then for an instant every thing seemed of a pitchy darkness, until the eye recovered itself from the preceding flash.
17 When night came again I found, with pleasure, that the fire gave light as well as heat and that the discovery of this element was useful to me in my food, for I found some of the offals that the travellers had left had been roasted, and tasted much more savoury than the berries I gathered from the trees.
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