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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

to Alps and Sanctuaries          271

The Bishop of Chichester at Faido

When I was at Faido in the Val Leventina last summer
there was a lady there who remembered me in New Zealand ;
she had brought her children to Switzerland for their holiday ;
good people, all of them. They had friends coming to them,
a certain canon and his sister, and there was a talk that the
Bishop of Chichester might possibly come too. In course of
time the canon and his sister came. At first the sister, who
was put to sit next me at dinner, was below zero and her
brother opposite was hardly less freezing ; but as dinner wore
on they thawed and, from regarding me as the monster which
in the first instance they clearly did, began to see that I
agreed with them in much more than they had thought
possible. By and by they were reassured, became cordial and
proved on acquaintance to be most kind and good. They
soon saw that I liked them, and the canon let me take him
where I chose. I took him to the place where the Woodsias
grow and we found some splendid specimens. I took him to
Mairengo and showed him the double chancel. Corning back
he said I had promised to show him some Alternifolium. I
stopped him and said:

" Here is some/' for there happened to be a bit in the wall
by the side of the path.

This quite finished the conquest, and before long I was
given to understand that the bishop really would come and we
were to take him pretty near the Woodsias and not tell him,
and he was to find them out for himself. I have no doubt that
the bishop had meant coming with the canon, but then the
canon had heard from the New Zealand lady that I was there,
and this would not do at all for the bishop. Anyhow the canon
had better exploit me by going first and seeing how bad I was.
So the canon came, said I was all right and in a couple of days
or so the bishop and his daughters arrived.

The bishop did not speak to me at dinner, but after dinner,
in the salon, he made an advance in the matter of the news-
paper and, I replying, he began a conversation which lasted
the best part of an hour, and during which I trust I behaved
discreetly. Then I bade him " Good-night " and left the
room,