ADVANTAGES

At the head of the terrace and portico successively is a garden suite of rooms, my favourite spot and well worthy of being so. I had them built myself. In this is a sunny chamber which commands the terrace on one side, the sea on another, and the sun on both; besides an apartment which looks on the portico through folding doors and on the sea through a window. In the middle of the wall is a neat recess, which by means of glazed windows and curtains can either be thrown into the adjoining room or be cut off from it. It holds a couch and two easy-chairs, and as you lie on the couch you have the sea at your feet, the villa at your back, and the woods at your head, and all these views may be looked at separately from each window or blended into one prospect. Adjoining is a chamber for passing the night in or taking a nap, and unless the windows are open, you do not hear a sound either of your slaves talking, or the murmur of the sea, or the raging of the storms; nor do you see the flashes of the lightning or know that it is day. This deep seclusion and remoteness is due to the fact that an intervening passage separates the wall of the chamber from that of the garden, and so all the sound is dissipated in the empty space between. A very small heating apparatus has been fitted to the room, which, by means of a narrow trap-door, either diffuses or retains the hot air as may be required. Adjoining it is an ante-room and a chamber projected towards the sun, which the latter room catches immediately upon his rising, and retains his rays beyond mid-day though they fall aslant upon it. When I betake myself into this sitting-room, I seem to be quite away even from my villa, and I find it delightful to sit there, especially during the Saturnalia, when all the rest of the house rings with the merry riot and shouts of the festival-makers; for then I do not interfere with their amusements, and they do not distract me from my studies.

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