The Path to Rome By Hilaire Belloc


































































 -   God
rest her soul!) I say I paid. And had I had to pay twenty or
twenty-three times as - Page 110
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God Rest Her Soul!) I Say I Paid.

And had I had to pay twenty or twenty-three times as much it would have been worth it for the wine.

I am hurrying on to Rome, and I have no time to write a georgic. But, oh! my little friends of the north; my struggling, strenuous, introspective, self-analysing, autoscopic, and generally reentrant friends, who spout the 'Hue! Pater, oh! Lenae!' without a ghost of an idea what you are talking about, do you know what is meant by the god? Bacchus is everywhere, but if he has special sites to be ringed in and kept sacred, I say let these be Brule, and the silent vineyard that lies under the square wood by Tournus, the hollow underplace of Heltz le Maurupt, and this town of Porrentruy. In these places if I can get no living friends to help me, I will strike the foot alone on the genial ground, and I know of fifty maenads and two hundred little attendant gods by name that will come to the festival.

What a wine!

I was assured it would not travel. 'Nevertheless,' said I, 'give me a good quart bottle of it, for I have to go far, and I see there is a providence for pilgrims.'

So they charged me fourpence, and I took my bottle of this wonderful stuff, sweet, strong, sufficient, part of the earth, desirable, and went up on my way to Rome.

Could this book be infinite, as my voyage was infinite, I would tell you about the shifty priest whom I met on the platform of the church where a cliff overhangs the valley, and of the anarchist whom I met when I recovered the highroad - - he was a sad, good man, who had committed some sudden crime and so had left France, and his hankering for France all those years had soured his temper, and he said he wished there were no property, no armies, and no governments.

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