Old Calabria By Norman Douglas














































































 -  Enrol them into the Town Council of
Naples. It already contains more employes than all the government
offices of London - Page 50
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"Enrol Them Into The Town Council Of Naples.

It already contains more employes than all the government offices of London put together; a few more will surely make no difference?"

"By Bacchus," he cried, "you foreigners have ideas! We could dispose of ten or fifteen thousand of them, at least, in the way you suggest. I'll make a note of that, for our next session."

And so he did.

But the Municipio of Naples, though extensive, is a purely local charity, and I question whether its inmates will hear of any one save their own cousins and brothers-in-law figuring as colleagues in office.

Every attempt at innovation in agriculture, as in industry, is forthwith discouraged by new and subtle impositions, which lie in wait for the enterprising Italian and punish him for his ideas. There is, of course, a prohibitive duty on every article or implement manufactured abroad; there is the octroi, a relic of medisevalism, the most unscientific, futile, and vexatious of taxes; there are municipal dues to be paid on animals bought and animals sold, on animals kept and animals killed, on milk and vine-props and bricks, on timber for scaffolding and lead and tiles and wine - on every conceivable object which the peasant produces or requires for his existence. And one should see the faces of the municipal employes who extort these tributes. God alone knows from what classes of the populace they are recruited; certain it is that their physiognomy reflects their miserable calling.

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