Once, At A Miserable Place In North Ireland, Region Of Bad Whisky And
Porter, They Brought Me At Dinner Some Wine Of Which They Knew
Nothing - They Had Got It From A Shipwreck Or Some Local Sale.
rather fond of hock.
And this particular bottle bore on its label the
magic imprint of a falcon sitting on a hilltop. Connoisseurs will know
that falcon. They will understand how it came about that I remained in
the inn till the last bottle of nectar was cracked. What a shame to
leave a drop for anybody else! Once again, on a bicycle trip from Paris
to the Mediterranean, I came upon a broad, smiling meadow somewhere in
the Auvergne, thickly besprinkled with mushrooms. There was a village
hard by. In that village I remained till the meadow was close cropped.
Half a ton of mushrooms - gone. Some people are rather fond of mushrooms.
And that is the right spirit: to leave nothing but a tabula rasa for
those that come after. It hurt me to think that anybody else should have
a single one of those particular mushrooms. Let them find new ones, in
another field; not in mine.
Now what would your amateur of blackberries do in Italy? From the fate
which nearly overtook me he might save himself by specialising; by
dividing the many local varieties into two main classes and devoting his
whole attention to one or the other; to the kind such as I found on
Elba - small and round and fragrant, of ruddy hue, and palpitating with
warm sunbeams; or to that other kind, those that grow in clearings of
the Apennines where the boughs droop to earth with the weight of their
portentous clusters - swarthy as night, huge in size, oval, and fraught
with chilly mountain dews.
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