He was informed that they
hanged such persons in England, as they used to do hereabouts; it seemed
rather barbaric, because, naturally, nobody is ever responsible for his
actions; but in England, no doubt -
That is the normal attitude of these folks towards us and our
institutions. We are savages, hopeless savages; but a little savagery,
after all, is quite endurable. Everything is endurable if you have lots
of money, like these English.
As for myself, wandering among that crowd of unshaven creatures, that
rustic population, fiercely gesticulating and dressed in slovenly hats
and garments, I realized once again what the average Anglo-Saxon would
ask himself: Are they all brigands, or only some of them? That music,
too - what is it that makes this stuff so utterly unpalatable to a
civilized northerner? A soulless cult of rhythm, and then, when the
simplest of melodies emerges, they cling to it with the passionate
delight of a child who has discovered the moon. These men are still in
the age of platitudes, so far as music is concerned; an infantile aria
is to them what some foolish rhymed proverb is to the Arabs: a thing of
God, a portent, a joy for ever.
You may visit the cathedral; there is a fine verde antico column on
either side of the sumptuous main portal.