recluse

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recluse

a person who lives in solitude to devote himself to prayer and religious meditation; a hermit, anchorite, or anchoress
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
To confine ourselves to the cell in the Tour-Roland, we must say that it had never lacked recluses. After the death of Madame Roland, it had stood vacant for a year or two, though rarely.
It brought some pittance to the miserable penitent from time to time, looked through the hole to see whether he were still living, forgot his name, hardly knew how many years ago he had begun to die, and to the stranger, who questioned them about the living skeleton who was perishing in that cellar, the neighbors replied simply, "It is the recluse."
His flight from the active world, so genially celebrated in this newly published poem of The Recluse; his flight to the Vale of Grasmere, like that of some pious youth to the Chartreuse, is the most marked event of his existence.
It was a rather gloomy dwelling for one who was neither a recluse nor a student, and I think it gave something of its character to me-- perhaps some of its former occupant's character; for always I felt in it a certain melancholy that was not in my natural disposition, nor, I think, due to loneliness.
This business of setting up a petty shop is almost the only resource of women, in circumstances at all similar to those of our unfortunate recluse. With her near-sightedness, and those tremulous fingers of hers, at once inflexible and delicate, she could not be a seamstress; although her sampler, of fifty years gone by, exhibited some of the most recondite specimens of ornamental needlework.
And that was a day of romance; If those robber-barons were somewhat grim and drunken ogres, they had a certain grandeur of the wild beast in them,--they were forest boars with tusks, tearing and rending, not the ordinary domestic grunter; they represented the demon forces forever in collision with beauty, virtue, and the gentle uses of life; they made a fine contrast in the picture with the wandering minstrel, the soft-lipped princess, the pious recluse, and the timid Israelite.
The recluse thinks of men as having his manner, or as not having his manner; and as having degrees of it, more and less.
Except at such times as he saw Ruth, or dropped in to see his sister Gertude, he lived a recluse, in each day accomplishing at least three days' labor of ordinary men.
He gave little to life, asked little of life, and, in the show business, was a recluse in the very heart of life.
I had lived a placid, uneventful, sedentary existence all my days--the life of a scholar and a recluse on an assured and comfortable income.
It was founded many ages ago by a holy recluse who lived at first in a cave in the rock--a cave which is inclosed in the convent walls, now, and was reverently shown to us by the priests.
Occasionally the air breathed through the crevices of the hut, and the low flame that fluttered about the embers of the fire threw their wavering light on the person of the sullen recluse. At such moments it would not have been difficult to have fancied the dusky savage the Prince of Darkness brooding on his own fancied wrongs, and plotting evil.