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Australia) in some of the busiest haunts of men, and take part in the newest movements of the time.' (Translator's Preface, p. viii.)
We cordially recommend these volumes to general perusal. We must add, in justice to the translator, that he has admirably executed his task: his version is perfectly free from all stiffness; it is sufficiently literal, yet easy and elegant; and reflects very vividly the easy flow of narrative and the peculiar vein of humour which characterise the original.
ART. VI.-1. Corsica in its Picturesque, Social, and Historical Aspects. The Record of a Tour in the Summer of 1852.' By FERDINAND GREGOROVIUS. Translated from the German by RUSSELL MARTINEAU. London: 1855.
2. Corsica. Von FERDINAND GREGOROVius. Stuttgart and Tübingen: 1854.
2 vols. 8vo.
3. Leben Paskal Paolis, Oberhauptes der Korsen. Von KARL LUDWIG KLOSE. 8vo. Brunswick: 1853.
HERE is a peculiar kind of zest, as Walter Scott observes in the introduction to Rob Roy, attaching to narratives which bring the highest pitch of civilisation closely in contrast with the half-savage state of society.' It was his perception of the artistic value of this element of contrast which led the great novelist to linger with such obvious pleasure over the creations of his fancy which brought his poetical highlanders into contact with the eccentric products of civilised and peaceful life in the two last centuries; Fergus with Waverley, Rob Roy with the immortal Baillie of Glasgow, the savage children of the Mist with the pedant-soldier Dalgetty. Something of this special interest has always attached in our minds to a name for a moment the most popular in Europe, long borne up by the echoes of that temporary fame, now nearly forgotten, save in his own native glens, where it is to this day religiously cherished-that of the celebrated General Paoli. The sober, staid, gentlemanly soldier-philosopher, whose figure was well known in the London drawingrooms of our grandfathers' days, the favourite of blue stockings and the welcome associate of literary people, was the same man who had passed years of life in the fierce vicissitudes of guerilla warfare, and whose dreams, after a day of well-conditioned civic existence, were ever recurring to his mountain glens, his own wild and faithful followers, and their hopes of a desperate revenge. Outwardly, a man of placid manners,
and engaging, though not forward conversation, and calculated to command respect, whether met in a Corsican macchia or a tea-party at Mrs. Thrale's. But under this quiet exterior there lurked a singularly vivid imagination, a restless, contriving mind, and a youthfulness of feeling which survived equally the disenchantment of political supremacy at home, and twenty years of exile abroad. Such were a few of the traits which characterised one of the ablest and most virtuous men of his own or any time: a hero and a patriot in the truest acceptation of both words; one who needed but a larger stage, and more propitious fortune, to rank in sober reality with the ideal great of classical renown. We believe that any reader, whom mere literary curiosity, either to complete his gallery of Johnsonian cotemporaries, or to study the most remarkable facts in the history of a secluded and singular people, may induce to take up the life of Paoli, will rise from it possessed of a much higher appreciation of human nature, and fortified for the time against a common infection of our day-the cant of sneering at mere virtue, and professing to respect nothing but energetic and successful selfishness.
We have referred Herr Klose's Memoir of the Corsican 'Chief,' rather as the newest compilation on the subject than for any other special value which it possesses. He is a conscientious writer, and free from prejudice; but there, we fear, our commendation must end. He is confused and dull, with little of the spirit of searching German analysis which sometimes counterbalances these formidable defects. His knowledge of his subject seems to be chiefly derived from ordinary sources, and with many of these his acquaintance is very imperfect. In his Preface he tells us that no special biography of Paoli had been written before his own; and does not mention, or appear to have seen, the circumstantial life of his hero by Arrighi, superintendant of the Paoli College at Corte, published in two volumes in 1843: a work far more complete than Klose's, although too full of particulars of Corsican feuds and intrigues to be attractive to the general reader. Much better also than Klose's memoir are the incidental notices of Paoli in Gregorovius's entertaining volumes of personal travels in Corsica, the best hand-book which we as yet possess for this rarely visited island, which has just been faithfully and elegantly translated and illustrated with notes by Mr. Russell Martineau.
There are few contrasts more striking than that which forces itself on the notice of the traveller, who is transported in a few hours from the populous shores of Southern France to the coast of Corsica, especially that of the country di la de' Monti, the
western and wilder half of the island. At first sight, a range of dark and solemn mountains, rising for three-fourths of the year far above the limit of snow, appears to occupy the whole horizon, and leave no room for cultivation or inhabitants. Gradually the lower ranges become visible; vast land-locked basins appear, in which fleets might ride; with shores of beautiful mountain form, softening into rich undulations of plain and valley; but all is desolate: for miles and miles of brown arid looking coast, neither house nor tree seems visible, and the scenery will remind him of a Highland or Irish loch, tinged with the colouring of a southern climate. The hill sides are bright with every variety of the Mediterranean flora of the waste, and the air absolutely heavy with its aromatic perfume (l'odeur du sol,' which the home-sick Napoleon described at St. Helena as sufficient pour faire reconnaître, les yeux fermés, la terre foulée par les premiers pas de son enfance')-but the hand of man seems almost wanting there. If the visitor inquires the reason, he will be vaguely told of want of population, and neglect by Government; a strange confusion of effects and causes, but the only method of accounting for the fact which suits the native philosophy. By and by he will become acquainted with the few towns, with their distinct population of continental origin; with the hamlets embosomed in chesnut groves, which lie scattered on the mountain slopes; and with the productive valleys occurring here and there amidst the wilderness of macchie,' (Frenchified into 'makis'), -spots or patches of green cistus and other brushwood, said to cover threefourths of the soil, the favourite resort of the numerous outlaws and enemies of justice. Further inland, he will find mountain scenery on a very grand scale, and all but virgin forests, often many hours' journey in extent; and, after crossing these, great open plains, abandoned to wild fowl and wild boars from the prevailing malaria. The northern parts, indeed, comprise one or two narrow tracts of densely peopled country, where much labour is bestowed on the cultivation of the vine and orange, resembling the best parts of the opposite coast of Italy; but these are mere exceptions to the general aspect of the island, which, to judge by the representations both of casual tourists and familiar acquaintances, is of a singularly austere and even melancholy character.
As is the country, so the people-simili a se gl'abitator produce. There is so much of the rude and primitive about them, that it is difficult to remember that their country is one of the most anciently inhabited portions of Europe, and that their forefathers were those warlike savages whom the Carthaginian
and Roman slave-hunters, two thousand years ago, regarded as the least profitable part of their stock; because, like the Eboes and some other African tribes, they turned sullen in servitude, and were always meditating suicide or revenge. They appear more like some new and half-reclaimed race, than one with so many centuries of gloomy history. That history records a perpetual struggle against foreign oppression; ever renewed, ever approaching to success, and yet never attaining it. Carthaginians, Romans, Saracens, Pisans, Genoese, all occupied the island by turns, and none ever subdued it, or subjected it to regular government.
The Genoese Republic first became nominally mistress of Corsica in 1347, by the overthrow of the Pisans; but sixty years later she transferred its disturbed and much contested dominion to a company of merchants the Bank of St. George; the first instance, as far as we are aware, of the exercise of sovereign, or quasi-sovereign, rights by a mercantile body. In 1460, the Company, having conquered or bought over the Signori, or feudal lords of the soil, assumed and exercised for nearly a century, though with much interruption, the form of absolute sovereignty. In 1553, Henry II. of France, being engaged in war with Charles V., bethought himself of the possible importance of Corsica as a point d'appui for his Mediterranean expeditions. The Marshal de Thermes was dispatched there at the head of an invading squadron and army, but the soul of the enterprise was Sampiero, a Corsican, of a peasant family, of the village of Bastelica, who had achieved great military reputation in the French service, and had sworn eternal hatred to Genoa. They met at first with general success, for the name of France was, and long remained, popular with the Corsicans; but the Genoese of those days, under an Andrew Doria and a Spinola, were capable of defending with tenacity their ancient possession, even against France herself, and Corsica ultimately fell back under the company of St. George. The fortunes of the brave Sampiero, the greatest military character whom the island has produced; his murder of his beautiful wife Vaunina, detected in political intrigues with the Genoese; his adventurous descent, and singlehanded, but temporary, recovery of his island, and his final ignoble fall in a private vendetta, are among the traditions which the memory of the Corsicans preserves with the greatest fondness.
The wars of the last half of the sixteenth century exhausted the island: the chronicler Filippini gives a dreary list of places which had become uninhabited in his time; and the population appears never to have fully recovered itself. For the whole of
the seventeenth it remained passively annexed to the dominions of the Republic, though never really incorporated with them. Arrighi gives a list of the successive decrees by which, in the course of that century, native Corsicans were rendered ineligible, even to the lowest civil offices. Continued misgovernment was accompanied by a yet greater evil from without-the constant incursions of the Barbary pirates, from which the Genoese were wholly unable to protect the disarmed and miserable population. Of all the social calamities of modern historical times this was perhaps one of the greatest, as it is one of the most forgotten. It is now scarcely realised in remembrance, that within little more than a hundred years, and for two centuries previously, the northern and western coasts of the Mediterranean were kept in constant alarm by an active, indefatigable enemy, half warrior and half robber, with whom there was no truce or compact possible; that for years together families went to rest in exposed places almost as unsafe as American villages on the Indian border; that in many towns there was hardly a household of repute which had not to mourn the disappearance and presumed captivity of sons in the galleys, or daughters in the harems, of the dreaded Barbaresques. Yet the fact is known to us still better from the popular fictions than the histories of those times -the romance writers, from Cervantes and Lesage down to Madame Gomez and Mrs. Radcliffe, found in these corsair incursions a ready machinery for effecting the disappearance of inconvenient personages, a storehouse of wonderful recognitions and unexpected returns; and no part of their inventions was more greedily devoured in their own times, though none perhaps appears now more insipid and unnatural. In Corsica the traveller can even now trace the results of that longcontinued plague. Population has been driven even from the healthy parts of the coasts, and the hamlets, closely packed for self-defence, stand high and conspicuous on the slopes of the mountains, in sight of the little watch towers on the shore, from which the sentinel might easily notify the first approach of the sails of the infidel.
It was not until about 1730 that the Corsicans recovered heart and energy enough to resume their ancient attitude of hostility to the Genoese. Then began their last and most famous rebellion of forty years, which ended only by the transfer of the rights of the Republic to France, and the ultimate suppression of Corsican independence by the latter power. It was a struggle carried on by the Genoese with a disregard of all that is ordinarily deemed sacred or binding, even in the bitterest strife, which would seem incredible, were it not that the re