Alps And Sanctuaries Of Piedmont And The Canton Ticino By Samuel Butler

 -   The children
in these parts are the most beautiful and most fascinating that I
know anywhere; they have black mouths - Page 30
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The Children In These Parts Are The Most Beautiful And Most Fascinating That I Know Anywhere; They Have Black Mouths All Through The Month Of July From The Quantities Of Cherries That They Devour.

I can bear witness that they are irresistible, for one kind old gentleman, seeing me painting near his house, used to bring me daily a branch of a cherry-tree with all the cherries on it.

"Son piccole," he would say, "ma son gustose" - "They are small, but tasty," which indeed they were. Seeing I ate all he gave me - for there was no stopping short as long as a single cherry was left - he, day by day, increased the size of the branch, but no matter how many he brought I was always even with him. I did my best to stop him from bringing them, or myself from eating all of them, but it was no use.

[Autograph which cannot be reproduced: Tlolinda Del Pietro]

Here is the autograph of one of the little black-mouthed folk. I watch them growing up from year to year in many a village. I was sketching at Primadengo, and a little girl of about three years came up with her brother, a boy of perhaps eight. Before long the smaller child began to set her cap at me, smiling, ogling, and showing all her tricks like an accomplished little flirt. Her brother said, "She always goes on like that to strangers." I said, "What's her name?" "Forolinda." The name being new to me, I made the boy write it, and here it is.

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