The little masters of Moufflou lived right in its
shadow, where the bridge of stone spans the space
between the houses and the church high in mid-air;
and little Lolo loved the church with a great love.
He loved it in the morning time, when the sunbeams
turned it into dusky gold and jasper ; he loved it in
the evening time, when the lights of its altars glim¬
mered in the dark, and the scent of its incense came
out into the street; he loved it in the great feasts,
when the huge clusters of lilies were borne inside it;
he loved it in the solemn nights of winter ; the
flickering gleam of the dull lamps shone on the
robes of an apostle, or the sculpture of a shield,
or the glow of a casement moulding in majolica.
He loved it always and Avithout knowing why he
called it la mia chiesa.
Lolo, being lame and of delicate health, was not
enabled to go to school or to work, though he wove
the straw covering of Avine-flasks and plaited the
cane matting with busy fingers. But for the most
part he did as he liked, and spent most of his time
sitting on the parapet of Or San Michele, watching
the vendors of earthenware at their trucks, or
trotting with his crutch (and he could trot a good
many miles Avhen he chose) out with Moufflou down
a bit of the Stockingmakers' Street, along under
the arcades of the Uffizi, and so over the Jewellers'
Bridge and out by byeways that he knew into the
fields on the hillside upon the other bank of Arno.