Old Calabria By Norman Douglas

 -  The persons interested blame the
contractor, who blames the engineer, who blames the dilatory and corrupt
administration of Cosenza. My - Page 290
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The Persons Interested Blame The Contractor, Who Blames The Engineer, Who Blames The Dilatory And Corrupt Administration Of Cosenza.

My private opinion is, that the last three parties have agreed to share the swag between them.

Meanwhile everybody has just grounds of complaint against everybody else; the six or seven inevitable lawsuits have sprung up and promise to last any length of time, seeing that important documents have been lost or stolen and that half the original contracting parties have died in the interval: nobody knows what is going to happen in the end. It all depends upon whether some patriotic person will step forward and grease the wheels in the proper quarter.

And even then, if he hails from Acri, they of San Demetrio will probably work against the project, and vice versa. For no love is lost between neighbouring communities - wonderful, with what venomous feudal animosity they regard each other! United Italy means nothing to these people, whose conceptions of national and public life are those of the cock on his dung-hill. You will find in the smallest places intelligent and broad-minded men, tradespeople or professionals or landed proprietors, but they are seldom members of the municipio; the municipal career is also a money-making business, yes; but of another kind, and requiring other qualifications.

Foot-passengers like myself suffer no inconvenience by being obliged to follow the shorter and time-honoured mule-track that joins the two places. It rises steeply at first, then begins to wind in and out among shady vales of chestnut and oak, affording unexpected glimpses now towards distant Tarsia and now, through a glade on the right, on to the ancient citadel of Bisignano, perched on its rock.

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