say, meaning that they are above suspicion of unfair dealing.
matter of fact, they are a muddled brood, and considerably given to
cheating when there is any prospect of success. You must watch the
peasants coming home at night from their field-work if you wish to see
the true Calabrian type - whiskered, short and wiry, and of dark
complexion. There is that indescribable mark of race in these
countrymen; they are different in features and character from the
Italians; it is an ascetic, a Spanish type. Your Calabrian is strangely
scornful of luxury and even comfort; a creature of few but well-chosen
words, straightforward, indifferent to pain and suffering, and dwelling
by preference, when religiously minded, on the harsher aspects of his
faith. A note of unworldliness is discoverable in his outlook upon life.
Dealing with such men, one feels that they are well disposed not from
impulse, but from some dark sense of preordained obligation. Greek and
other strains have infused versatility and a more smiling exterior; but
the groundwork of the whole remains that old homo ibericus of austere
Rossano was built by the Romans, says Procopius, and during Byzantine
days became a fortress of primary importance. An older settlement
probably lay by the seashore, and its harbour is marked as "good" so
late as the days of Edrisius. Like many of these old Calabrian ports, it
is now invaded by silt and sand, though a few ships still call there.
Wishful to learn something of the past glories of the town, I enquired
at the municipality for the public library, but was informed by the
supercilious and not over-polite secretary that this proud city
possesses no such institution.
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