Old Calabria By Norman Douglas














































































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Ah, one speaks of Bova! he said. A fine walk over the mountain! He
much regretted that he was too - Page 370
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"Ah, One Speaks Of Bova!" He Said.

"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.

XXXI

SOUTHERN SAINTLINESS

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.

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