Old Calabria By Norman Douglas

 -  The spectacle of a man clattering through the
streets on horseback, such as one often sees at Venosa, would cause - Page 130
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The Spectacle Of A Man Clattering Through The Streets On Horseback, Such As One Often Sees At Venosa, Would Cause Them To Barricade Their Doors And Prepare For The Last Judgment.

Altogether, essentially nice creatures, lotus-eaters, fearful of fuss or novelty, and drowsily satisfied with themselves and life in general.

The breezy healthfulness of travel, the teachings of art or science, the joys of rivers and green lanes - all these things are a closed book to them. Their interests are narrowed down to the purely human: a case of partial atrophy. For the purely human needs a corrective; it is not sufficiently humbling, and that is exactly what makes them so supercilious. We must take a little account of the Cosmos nowadays - it helps to rectify our bearings. They have their history, no doubt. But save for that one gleam of Periclean sunshine the record, though long and varied, is sufficiently inglorious and does not testify to undue exertions.

A change is at hand.

Gregorovius lamented the filthy condition of the old town. It is now spotless.

He deplored that Taranto possessed no museum. This again is changed, and the provincial museum here is justly praised, though the traveller may be annoyed at finding his favourite rooms temporarily closed (is there any museum in Italy not "partially closed for alterations"?). New accessions to its store are continually pouring in; so they lately discovered, in a tomb, a Hellenistic statuette of Eros and Aphrodite, 30 centimetres high, terra-cotta work of the third century.

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