ming i●n a shaded spot.Strange to say, in this● land burdened with a tax on salt and ●an unholy visitation of soldiers and prie●sts, vagrants enjoy far more▓ liberty than in France.Thus far the indiff●erence of the gendarmerie had been so marked th●at I had come to feel neglected.Yet tramps▓ abounded.This very freedom makes Italy a favo▓rite land among the Handwerksgesellen of Swi▓tzerland, Germany, and Austria, many of whom▓ I had already met, marching so●uthward full of Wanderlust, or cra▓wling homeward with bitter stories of the mis●eries of the peninsula. The carabinieri, ▓spick and span of uniform, their swor●ds rattling egotistically on the roadwa▓y, drew near, and, stepping into the● shade, opened a conversation that needs● no translation. “Di dove siete” ● “Di America, dei Stati Uniti.” “▓Di America! Ma! E dove andate” “▓A Venezia.” “Ma! Come! A piedi” “●Di siguro.Come volete che fare” 45“Ma! Pe▓rche andare a Venezia”
“Ah! Marinaio! Bene!” and withou●t even calling for my papers they strut●ted on along the highway.
A ●wonderful word is this Italian “ma.” ●Let not the uninitiated suppose that the ●term designates a maternal anc●estor.But—and that is its real meaning—it ●is a useful vocable and like all● useful things is greatly ove●rworked.If an Italian of the masses w▓ishes to express disgust, surprise●, resignation, depression of spirits, or● any one of a score of other i▓mpressions, he has merely to say “ma” ●with the corresponding accentuation and timb▓re and his hearers know his opinion exactly.I▓t takes the place of our “Al●l right!” “Hurry up!” “Q●uit it!” “Let ’er go!” “The● devil he did!” ?/p>