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Music from the South.                     83
diametrically opposite quality to the one descanted on; an influence which figures as a permanent feature in Italian taste and manners, unchanged by any passing rage for a Michael Angelo, or a Pernini —for a Cimarosa, a Paisiello, a Rossini, a Bellini, a Verdi. This is the curious indifference which the people of that lovely land display for the beauty of nature;—and again, their poverty in such descrip­tive faculty, and quaint fantasy, as impart so much racy variety to the forms taken by Northern national art. This can hardly be a case of climate, so much as the weakness, if not altogether the want of an especial sense. The absence or presence of this has, I hold, much to do with the character of national melody, as generating national music. How strange dees this seem to us Northerns, who, allowing their utmost inspiration to mist and snow, have nothing in scenery to emulate the splendour and variety of the South. Think of Titian's birth-land, the ' Pays de Cadore'; some of whose features, it is true, he reproduced in certain of his pictures—as for in­stance the St. Peter Martyr. Think of the norther?! lakes, the upper part of the Lago d'Iseo, round and above Lovere, to be expressly commemorated; think
of the entire line of Italian coast, so fascinating in
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III