"A fine walk over the mountain!" He
much regretted that he was too old for the trip, but so-and-so, he
thought, might know something of the country.
It pained him, too, that
he could not offer me a glass of wine. There was none in the house. In
his day, he added, it was not thought right to drink in the modern
fashion; this wine-bibbing was responsible for considerable mischief; it
troubled the brain, driving men to do things they afterwards repented.
He drank only milk, having become accustomed to it during a long life
among the hills. Milk cools the blood, he said, and steadies the hand,
and keeps a man's judgment undisturbed.
The person he had named was found after some further search. He was a
bronzed, clean-shaven type of about fifty, who began by refusing his
services point-blank, but soon relented, on hearing the ex-brigand's
recommendation of his qualities.
Southern saints, like their worshippers, put on new faces and vestments
in the course of ages. Old ones die away; new ones take their place.
Several hundred of the older class of saint have clean faded from the
popular memory, and are now so forgotten that the wisest priest can tell
you nothing about them save, perhaps, that "he's in the
church" - meaning, that some fragment of his holy anatomy survives as a
relic amid a collection of similar antiques. But you can find their
histories in early literature, and their names linger on old maps where
they are given to promontories and other natural features which are
gradually being re-christened.
Enter page number
Page 370 of 488
Words from 99335 to 99614