Old Calabria By Norman Douglas




The sun has entered the Lion. But the temperature at Cotrone is not
excessive - five degrees lower than - Page 460
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XXXVII COTRONE The Sun Has Entered The Lion.

But the temperature at Cotrone is not excessive - five degrees lower than Taranto or Milan or London.

One grows weary, none the less, of the deluge of implacable light that descends, day after day, from the aether. The glistering streets are all but deserted after the early hours of the morning. A few busy folks move about till midday on the pavements; and so do I - in the water. But the long hours following luncheon are consecrated to meditation and repose.

A bundle of Italian newspapers has preceded me hither; upon these I browse dispersedly, while awaiting the soft call to slumber. Here are some provincial sheets - the "Movement" of Castro-villari - the "New Rossano" - the "Bruttian" of Corigliano, with strong literary flavour. Astonishing how decentralized Italy still is, how brimful of purely local patriotism: what conception have these men of Rome as their capital? These articles often reflect a lively turmoil of ideas, well-expressed. Who pays for such journalistic ventures? Typography is cheap, and contributors naturally content themselves with the ample remuneration of appearing in print before their fellow-citizens; a considerable number of copies are exported to America. Yet I question whether the circulation of the "New Rossano," a fortnightly in its sixth year, can exceed five hundred copies.

But these venial and vapid Neapolitan dailies are my pet aversion. We know them, nous autres, with their odious personalities and playful blackmailing tactics; many "distinguished foreigners," myself included, could tell a tale anent that subject.

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