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Illustrated with a New and Accurate Ma» of Corsica^

Non enim propter glorlam, divitiat aut honores pugnamuSj fed propter 1I« bsrtatem folummodo^ quam nemo bonus nifi fimul cum vita amittit.

Lit. Comit, et Baron. Scotix ad Pap. A. O. 1320^



Printed for Edward and Charles Dillv IN THE Poultry.





George lord Lyttelton


James Boswell, esq^.


London, Feb. 21, 1768.


I Think myfelf greatly obli- ged to you, and defire you to accept my mofl gi-ateful thanks, for the valuable pre- fent you have done me the ho- nour to make me, of your Ac- count of Corfica, which has given me the pleafure of being more perfedlly acquainted with the greateft character of this



[ vx ] age. I had oained fbine know- ledge of it, before I faw your book, from the letters of ano- ther Eno;lifti o;entlenian on that jRibjecl ; but you have added many curious and interefling particulars, which I have read widi mvich delight and adinira- tion. If I were a few years younger, I would go in pilgri- iT^age to Coriica (as you have i^Qlie) to yifit this Uying imajfe of ancient virtue, and to yene«. rate in tlie ipind of P a s c 4 l P A o J. I the ipirit of Tj mol ^-^

43K ^nd EPA^I|1^05i[PA.S. But J

muft riow be contieiit with fc^^ ing him \r\ your defcription, the vivacity of which fliews, that your h^^rt is ipflame^

C vu ] with the (ame generous paflion which glows fb brightly in his. I wifli with you that our go- veriinient had fliewn more re- fpetSl for Corlican liberty, and think it diigraces our nation that we do not live in good friendfliip with a brave people eno;ao;ed in the nobleft of all contells, a conteft againft ty« ranny, and who have never given us any caufe of com- plaint. Befides fympathy of {entiment, which is a natural bond of union, we ought in po- licy to fliew as much regard for them, as the Genoefe, their oppreffors, have fhewn for the French, in our late wars with that nation.

[ viii ]

Believe me with fincere re- gard and efteem,


Your tnoft obedient

And obliged humble fervant,








DEDICATIONS are for moft part the offerings of in- terefted fervility, or the effu- fions of partial zeal ; enume- rating the virtues of men in whom no virtues can be found, or predifting great- nefs to thofe who afterwards pafs their days in unambi- tious indolence, and die leav- ing no memorial of their ex- iftence, but a dedication, in


which all their merit is con- feffedly future, and which time has turned into a filent reproach.

He who has any experi- ence of mankind, will be cau- tious to whom he dedicates. Publickly to bellow praife on merit of which the publick is not fenfible, or to raife flat- tering expeftations which are never fulfilled, muft fmk the chara6ler of an authour, and make him appear a cringing parafite, or a fond enthufiaft.

I am under no apprehen- fions of that nature, when I infcribe this book to Pafcal Paoli. Your virtues, Sir, are univerfally acknowledg- ed ; they dignify the pages


which I venture to prefent to you; and it is my fmgular feUcity, that my book is the voucher pf its dedication.

In thus addrefling you, my intention is not to attempt your panegyrick. That may in fome meafure be coUeOed from my imperfeft labours. But I wifh to exprefs to the world, the admiration and gratitude with which you have infpired me.

This, Sir, is all the return that I can make for the ma- ny favours which you have deigned to confer upon me. I intreat you to receive it as a teftimony of my difpofition. I regret that I have neither power nor intereft to enable


me to render any effential fervice to you and to the brave Corficans. I can only aflure you of the moft fer- vent wifhes of a private gen- tleman. I have the honour to be, with all refpe6l and affeftion,

s I R,

Your ever devoted,

Obliged humble fervant, JAMES BOS WELL

Auchinleck, Ayrfhire, 29 Goober, 1767.


TVT O apology fliall be made for prefent^ ing the world with an Account of Corfica. It has been for fome time ex- pelled from me ; and I own that the ar- dour of publick curiofity has both encou- raged and intimidated me. On my re- turn from viiiting Coriica, I found people wherever I went, defirous to hear what I could tell them concerning that ifland and its inhabitants. Unwilling to repeat my tale to every company, I thought it beft to promife a book which fhould fpeak; for me.

But I would not take upon rne to do this, till I confulted with the General of the nation. I therefore informed him of my delign. His anfwer is perhaps too flattering for me to pubhfh : but I muft beg leave to give it as the licence and fandlion of this work.

Paoli was pleafed to write to me thus : * Non puo effer piu generofo il di lei di-


fegno dl pubblicaAr colle ftampe le ofTerva- ziOM che ha fatte fopra la Corlica. Ella ne ha veduto la filica fituazione, ha potu- t& efarriinare i coftumi degli ab-kantiy c t^edcr dentra le mafTime del loro governo, (S cm conofce lai coftittizio^ie'* Quefli po- poh con entufiafeio di gratitudin'e iiniralft'- ti!& il Hoto applatifa ^ quelle dell' Eufoprf drfingannata. Nothing ca-ft be n?iore ge- nerous than yo^r de%n to publifli th^ 6bfcrvations -which you have m»ade xipotl €oflica. You h^ve {eeti its natni^ail fi^ta:- tion, yoti hscte been able to f^udy th€ manners of ks- inhabitants, and to fe^ hfir^ tiwiateiy the mai^ims of their goYe:^n>- inent, of which you know the con'Mth!!^* d'on'. TRi^ people with an enthufiufni: of gratitude, wiil' unite their' applaufe vrkt^ t3iat of unxfeceivcd Europe/

IMy firft intention was to give otfl/i yfcw of the prefcnt ftaHe of Corficst, toge* ther with Memoirs' of its illuftrious Ge> neral. But by the adVice of fbirie learned- friends, whofe judgement I refpedl, I eti- larged my ipldLtx, and fixed on that of the


Execution of which the publick is now to judge.

I had before mc two French books exprcfsly written on Corfica. The one ' Hifloire de I'lfle de Corfe, par M. G.D. C.^ printed at Nancy in 1749. '^^^ other ' Memoires Hiftoriques &c. par M. Jauf- fin Ancien Apoticaire Major;' printed at Laufan'ne in 1 758. From both of thofe books I derived many ufeful materials. The lad of them contains a full and fci- entiiick detail of the natural hiftory of tlie ifland, as alfb many letters, manifeA toes and other papers : and both of them contain a variety of particulars with re^ ■gard to the operations of the French in Corfica. I had alTo before me a pretty large colleclion of remarks, which I had committed to writing, while I was in the ifland.

But I flill found my materials defici- ent in many refpecls. I therefore applied to my friends abroad ; and in the mean time dirc(5led my ftudies to fuch books as might furnifli me with any thing re«


lative to the fubjecl. I am thus enabled to lay before the world fuch An Account of Corfica, as I flatter myfelf will give fome fatisfadlion ; for, in comparifon of the ve- ry little that has been hitherto known concerning that ifland, this book may be faid to contain a great deal.

It is indeed amazing that an ifland fb confiderable, and in which fuch noble things have been doing, fhould be fo im- perfedily known. Even the fucceflion c^ Chiefs has been unperceived ; and becaufe we have read of Paoli being at the head of the Corficans many years back, and Paoli ftill appears at their head, the command has been fuppofed all this time in the pcr- fon of the fame man. Hence all our news- papers have confounded the gallant Paf- cal Paoli in the vigour of manhood, with the venerable chief his deceafed Father Giiicinto Paoli. Nay the fame errour has found its way into the page of the hifto- rian ; for Dr. Smollet when mentioning Paoli at the fiege of Furiani a few years ago, lays he was then paft fourfcor^.


I would in the firfl place return my moft humble thanks to Pafcal Paoli, for the various communications with which he has been pleafed to favour me ; and as I have related his remarkable fayiiigs, I declare upon honour, that I have neither added nor diminifhed ; nay fo fcrupuious have I been, that I would not ma.ke the fmallefl: variation even when my friends thought it would be an improvement. I know with how much pleafure we read what is perfectly authentick.

Count Rivarola was fo good as to re- turn me full and diftin^ anfwers to a ■variety of queries which I fent him with re- gard to many particulars concerning Cor- fica. I am much indebted to him for this, iand particularly {b, from the obH- ging manl?er in which he did it.

Th6J reverend Mr. Burnaby, chaplain to the Britifli fa(5lory at Leghorn, made a tour to Gorfica in 1766, at the fame time with the honourable and reverend Mr. Hervey now bifliop of Cloyne. Mr. Bur- naby was abfent from Leghorn when J


xviii PREFACE.

was there, fo I had not the pleafure of be- ing perfonally known to him. But he with great poUtenefs of his own accord, fent me a copy of the Journal which he made of what he obferved in Corlica. I had the fatisfadlion to find that we agreed in every thing which both of us had confidered. But I found in his Journal, obfervations on feveral things which I had omitted ; and feveral things which I had remarked, I found fet in a clearer light. As Mr. Bur- naby was fo obliging as to allow me to make what ufe I pleafed of his Journal, I have freely interwoven it into my work.

I acknowledge my obligations to my efteemed friend Sir John Dick, Bart, his Britannick Majeily's Conful at Leghorn, to Signor Gian Quilico Cafa Bianca, to the learned Greek phyfician Signor Stefan o- poli, to Colonel Buttafoco, and to the Ab- be Roflini. Thefe gentlemen have all con- tributed their aid in eredling my little mo- nument to liberty.

I am alfb to thank an ingenious gentle- man who has favoured me with the tranf-


lations of Seneca's Epigrams. I made ap- plication for this favour, in the London Chronicle ; and to the honour of litera- ture, I found her votaries very liberal. Se- veral tranflations were fent, of which I took the liberty to prefer thofe which had the fignature of Patricius, and which were improved by another ingenious correfpon- dent under the fignature of Plebeius. By a fubfequent application I begged that Pa- tricius would let me know to whom I was obliged for what I confidered as a great ornament to my book. He has complied with my requefl ; and 1 beg leave in this publick manner, to acknowledge that I am indebted for thofe tranflations to Tho- mas Day Efquire, of Berkfhire, a gentle- man whofe fituation in life is genteel, and his fortune affluent. I mufl add that al- though his verfes have not only the fire of youth, but the maturity and corredlnefs

of age, Mr. Day is no more than nine- teen.

Nor can I omit to exprefs my fenfe of

the candour and politenefs with which

b 2



Sir James Steuart received the remark which I have ventured to make in op- polition to a pafTage concerning the Corfi- cans, in liis Inquiry into the Principles of PoUtical Oeconomy.

I have fubmitted my book to the re- vifal of feveral gentlemen who honour me with their regard, and I am feniible how much it is improved by their cor- redlions. It is therefore my duty to re- turn thanks to the reverend Mr. Wyvill redour of Black Notely in EfTex, and to my old and mofl intimate friend the re- verend Mr. Temple redlour of Mamhead in Devonfhire. I am alfo obliged to My Lord Monboddo for many judicious re- marks, which his thorough acquaintance with ancient learning enabled him to make. But I am principally indebted to the indulgence and friendly attention of My Lord Hailes, who under the name of Sir David Dalrymple*, has been long

* It is the cuftom in Scotland to give the Judges of the Court of Seflion the title of Lords by the names of their eftates. Thus Mr. Burnett is Lord Monboddo, and Sir David Dalryinple is Lord Hailes.


known to the world as an able Antiqua- rian, and an elegant and humourous Ef- fayid ; to whom the world has no fault but that he does not give them more of his own writings, when they value them fo highly.

I would however have it undeflood, that although I received the corredlions of my friends with deference, I have not always agreed with them. An authour ihould be glad to hear every candid re- mark. But I look upon a man as unwor- thy to write, who has not force of mind to determine for himfelf. I mention this, that the judgement of the friends I have named may not be conlidered as con- nected with every pafTage in this book.

Writing a book I have found to be like building a houfe. A man forms a plan, and colledls materials. He thinks he has enough to raife a large and (lately edifice ; but after he has arranged, compadled and poliflied, his work turns out to be a very fmall performance. The authour howe- ver like the builder, knows how much


labour his work has coft him ; and there- fore eftimates it at a much higher rate than other people think it deferves.

I have endeavoured to avoid an often- tatious difplay of learning. By the idle and the frivolous indeed, any appearance of learning is called pedantry. But as I do not write for fiich readers, I pay no regard to their cenfures. Thofe by whom I wifli to be judged, will I hope, approve of my adding dignity to Corfica, by ihew- ing its coniideration among the ancients, and will not be difpleafed to find my page fornetimes embellifhed with a feafonable quotation from the Glaflicks. The tranf- lations are afcribed to their proper au- thours. "What are not fo afcribed are my own.

It may be neceffary to fay fomething in defence of my orthography. Of late it has become the fafhion to render our language more neat and trim by leaving out k after c, and u in the lafl fyllable of words which ufed to end in our. The il- luftrious Mr. Samuel Johnfon, who has a^

PREFACE. xxiii

lone executed in England what was the task of whole academies in other countries, has been careful in his Didlionary to pre- ferve the k as a mark of Saxon original. He has for moft part too, been careful to preferve the u, but he has alfo omitted it in feveral words. I have retained the k, and have taken upon me to follow a ge- neral rule with regard to words ending in our. Wherever a word originally Latin has been tranfmitted to us through the medium of the French, I have written it with the charadleriftical u. An attention to this may appear trivial. But I own I am one of thofe who are curious in the formation of language in its various modes ; and therefore wifli that the affi- nity of Englifli with other tongues may not be forgotten. If this work Ihould at any future period be reprinted, I hope that care will be taken of my orthogra- phy.

He who publifhes a book, afFecling

not to be an authour, and profeffing an indifFerence for literary fame, may pof-



fibly impofe upon many people flich. ati idea of his confequence as he wifhes may be received. For my part, I ihould be proud to be known as aqi authour ; and I have an ardent ambition for litera^ ry fame ; for of all pofTeflions I ihould ima- gine literary fame to be the moft valuable. A man who has been able to furnifh a book which has been approved by the world, has eflablifhed himfelf as a re- fpedlable charadler in diitant fociety, with- out any danger of having that character leflened by the obfervation of his ^eak- nefles. To prefer ve an uniform dignity am^ong tLofe who fee us every day, is hardly poiTible ; and to aim at it, mufl put us under the fetters of a perpetual reflraint. The authour of an approved book may allow his natural diipolition an eafy play, and yet indulge the pride of fuperiour genius when he coniiders that by thofe who know him only as an authour, he never ceafes to be re- fpe(5led. Such an authour when in his hours of gloom and difcontent, may have


;the confolation to think that his writings are at that very time giving pleafure to numbers ; and ftich an authour may che- rifh the hope of being remembered after death, which has been a great objecH: to the nobleft minds in all ages.

Whether I may merit any portion of literary fame, the publick will judge. Whatever my am.bition may be, I trvift jthat m.y confidence is not too great, nor fny hopes too fanguine.


To the Third Edition.

T Now beg leave to prefcnt the world with a more corredl edition of my Account of Corlica. I return my iincere thanks to thofe who have taken the trouble to point out feveral faults, with a fpirit of candid criticifm. I hope they will not be offend- ed that in one or two places I have pre- ferved my own reading, contrary to their opinion ) as I never would own that I am wrong, till I am convinced that it is {o. My orthography I have fufficiently ex- plained ; and although fome pleafantry has been fliewn, I have not met with one ar- gument againft it.

In juftice to Mr. Burnaby, I muft ob- ferve, that the erroneous tranflation of a pafTage in Livy, which is corrected in this edition, page 64, was mine ; it being no

xxviii PREFACE.

part of his Journal, in which the original text only was quoted. In comparing the former editions with this, it will appear that my firfl tranflation renders the mean- ing of Livy, but does not convey the turn of exprefTion, as I hope I have now done.

While I have a proper fenfe of my obli- gations to thofe who have treated me with candour, I do not forget that there have been others who have chofen to treat mc in an illiberal manner. The refentment of fome has evidently arifen from the grateful admiration which I have exprelTed of Mr. Samuel Johnfon. Over fuch, it is a triumph to me, to aflure them, that I ne- ver ceafe to think of Mr. Johnfon, with the fame warmth of afFeclion, and the fame dignity of veneration. The refentment of others it is more difficult to explain. For what fliould make men attack one who never offended them, who has done his befl to entertain them, and who is enga- ged in the moft generous caufe ? But I am told by thofe who have gone before me in


literamre, that the attacks of fuch flioiild rather flatter me, than give me difplea- fure.

To thofe who have hnaghied themfelves very witty in fneering at me for being a Chriftian, I wonld recommend the ferious ftudy of Theology, and I hope they will attain to the fame comfort that I have, in the belief of a Revelation by which a Sa- viour is proclamed to the world, and " life and immortality are clearly brought " to light."

I am now to return thanks to My Lord Lyttelton, for being fo good as to allow me to enrich my book with one of his Lord- fhip's letters to me. I was indeed moft anxious that it fhould be pubUfhed ; as it contains an eulogium on Pafcal Paoli, equal to any thing that I have foimd in the writings of antiquity. Nor can I deny that I was very defirous to ihew the world that this worthy and refpedlablc Noble- man, to whom genius, learning and vir-


tue owe fo much, can amidft all his literary honours be pleafed with what I have been able to write.

May I be permitted to fay that the fuc- cefs of this book has exceeded my warm- ed hopes. When I firfl ventured to fend it into the world, I fairly owned an ardent defire for literary fame. I have obtained my defire : and whatever clouds may over- cafl my days, I can now walk here among the rocks and woods of my anceftors, with an agreeable confcioufnefs that I have done fomething worthy.

AucHiNLECK, Ayrshire, 29 Odobcr, 1768.



Letter from the Right Honourable George Lord Lyttelton to James Bofwell, Efq;

page iii

Introduftion. 33


Of the Situation, Extent, Air, Soil, and Pro- dudions, ofCorfica. 43


A concife View of the Revolutions which Corfi- ca has undergone from the earlieft times. Z^j


The prefent State of Corfica, with refped to Government, Religion, Arms, Commerce, Learning, the Genius and Charafter of its Inhabitants. 1 73

Appendix, containing Corfican State Papers.


The Journal of a Tour to Corfica ; and Me- nioirs of Pafcal Paoh, 285



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T IBERTYisfo natural, and fo dear to •^^ mankind, whether as individuals, or as members of fociety, that it is indifpenfibly ne- ceflary to our happinefs. Every thing great and worthy arifeth from it. Liberty gives health to the mind, and enables us to enjoy the full exer- cife of our faculties. He who is in chains cannot move either eafily or gracefully -, nothing elegant or noble can be expecfted from thofe, whofe fpi- rits are fubdued by tyranny, and whofe powers are cramped by reftraint.

There are, indeed, who from the darkeft pre- judice, or moft corrupt venality, would endeavour



to reafon mankind out of their original and ge- nuine feelings, and perfuade them to fubftitute ar- tificial fentiment in place of that which is implant ed by God and Nature. They would maintain, that flavery will from habit become eafy, and, that mankind are truly better, when under confine- ment and fubjedlion to the arbitrary will of a few.

Such dodrine at this, could never have gained any ground, had it been addreffed to calm rea- fon alone. Its partifans therefore have found it neceilary to addrefs themfelves to the imagina- tion and palTions ; to call in the aid of enthufi- afm and fuperftition ; in fome countries to inftill a ftrange love and attachment to their fovereigns -, and in others to propogate certain myftical noti- ons, which the mind of man is wonderfully rea- dy to receive, of a divine right to rule -, as if their fovereigns had defcended from heaven. This laft idea has been cherifhed for ages, from the ' Cara Deum foboles. The beloved offspring of the Gods,' among the Romans, to thofe various ele- vated and endearing epithets, which modern na- tions have thought proper to bellow upon their fovereigns.

But whatever fophifms may be devifed in fa- vour of flavery, patience under it, can never be any thing but ' the effed of a fickly conftitutiojn,


' which creates a lazinefs and defpondency, that

* puts men beyond hopes and fears : mortifying ' ambition, and other aftive qualities, which

* freedom begets •, and inftead of them, affording ' only a dull kind of pleafure, of being carelefs ' and infenfible {a).*

There is no doubt, but by entering into focie- ty, mankind voluntarily give up a part of their natural rights, and bind themfelves to the obe- dience of laws, calculated for the general good. But, we muft diftinguilh between authority, and cpprefTion ; between laws, and capricious dic- tates •, and keeping the original intention of go- vernment ever in view, we fliould take care that no more reftraint be laid upon natural liberty, than what the neteflities of fociety require.

Perhaps the limits between the power of go- vernment, and the liberty of the people, fhould not be too ftriftly marked out. Men of tafte rec- kon that picture hard, where the outhnes are fo flrong, as to be clearly feen. They admire a piece of painting, where the colours are delicately blend- ed, and the tints, which point out every particu- lar objefl, arc foftened into each other, by an in- fenfible gradation. So in a virtuous ftate, there fhould be fuch a mutual confidence between the

(^) My lord Molefworth's Account of Denmark, p. 69.

A 2


government and the people, that the rights of each fliould not be exprefsly defined.

But flagrant injuftice, on one fide or other, is not to be concealed ; and, without queflion, it is the privilege of the fide that is injured, to vin- dicate itfelf.

I have been led into thefe reflexions from a confideration of the arguments by which ingeni- ous men in the refinement of politicks have en- deavoured to amufe mankind, and turn away their attention from the plain and fimple notions of liberty.

Liberty is indeed the parent of felicity, of eve- ry noble virtue, and even of every art and fcience. Whatever vain attempts have been made to raife the generous plants under an opprefllve chmate, have only fhewn more evidently the value of freedom.

It is therefore no wonder that the world has at all times been roufed at the mention of liber- ty ', and that we read with admiration and a vir- tuous enthufiafm, the gallant achievements of thofe who have diftinguiftied themfelves in the glorious caufe, and the hiftory of fl:ates who were animated with the principle of freedom, and made it the bafis of their conftitution.


Should any one tranfmit to pofterity the an- nals of an cnllaved nation, we fhould fleep over whole ages of the humbling detail. Every thing would be fo poor, fo tame, and fo abje(5l, that one might as well perufe the records of a prifon- houfe.

But we have a manly fatisfaflion in reading the hiftory of the ancient Romans ; even abflraft- ing from their eonnedions and their broils with other ftates. Their internal progrefs alone af- fords ample matter of fpeculation to a judicious and fpirited obferver of human nature. We love to trace the various fprings of their conduft, and of their advancement in civilization. We con- template with pleafure the ferments between the patricians and plebeians, the ftrong exertions of rude genius, the vigorous exercifes and hardy virtues of men uncontrouled by timid fubjedion.

They who entertain an extravagant veneration for antiquity, would make us believe, that the divine fire of liberty has been long ago exhaufted, and that any appearances of it which are to be found in modern times, are but feeble and dim. They would make us believe that the world is grown old, that the ftrength of human nature is decayed, and that we are no more to exped: thofe


noble powers which dignified men in former ages.

But the truth is, that human nature is the fame at all times, and appears in different lights merely from a difference of circumflances. In the lan- guage of the fchoolmen, the fubftance is fixed, the accidents only vary. Rome has yet the feven hills on which the conquerors of the world dwelt, and thefe are inhabited by Romans. Athens ftill occupies the fpace from whence philofophy and genius difFuled a radiance to all the nation? around, and is pofTeffed by Athenians. But neither of thefe people now retain any refem- blance of their illuflrious anceftors ; this is entire- ly owing to the courfe of political events, which has produced a total change in their manners.

That the fpirit of liberty has flourifhed in mo- dern times, we may appeal to the hiftories of the Swifs, and of the Dutch ; and the boldeft proofs of it are to be found in the annals of our own country.

But a mofl diftinguifhed example of it adlually exifls in the illand of Corfica. There, a brave an4 refolute nation, has now for upwards of fix and thirty years, maintained a conftant ilruggle againft the opprefTion of the republick of Genoa. Thefe valiant iHanders were for a long time looked upon


as an inconfiderable band of malecontents, as a diforderly troop of rebels, who would fpeedily be compelled to refume thofe chains which they had frowardly Hiaken off. They have however con- tinued fteady to their purpofe. Providence has favoured them -, and Europe now turns her eyes upon them, and with aftonifhment fees them on the eve of emancipating themfelves for ever from a foreign yoke, and becoming a free and inde- pendent people.

Libcrtas quae fera tamen relpexit

Refpexit tamen et longo poft tempore venit.

ViRG. Eclog. I. When a long age of vent'rous toil was paft, Celtftial freedom bleft their ifle at laft.

The fmallnefs of the Corfican ftate does not render it lefs an objed of admiration. On the contrary, we ought to admire it the more. The ingenious Mr. Hum.e (a) hath fhewn \\s, that Rhodes, Thebes, and many of the famous an- cient ftates were not fo numerous as the people of Corfica now are. If the ten thoufand Greeks have gained immortal honour, becaufe they were op- pofed to the armies of the Perfian monarch, Shall not the Corficans be found deferving of glory, who have let themfelves againft a republick, which («) EfHiy on the populoufnels of ancient nations.


has been aided at different times by the power of France, and by that of the empire of Germany ?

The Corficans have been obliged to (hew par- ticular force of fpirit. The Swils and the Dutch were both afTifted by powerful nations in the re- covery of their liberties : but during the long and bloody war which Corfica has carried on, the Pow« ers of Europe, who might be fuppofed friendly to her, have flood aloof, and fhe has fingle and un^ fupported, weathered the ftorm, and arrived at; the degree of confequence which fhe now holds.

To give an account of this ifland, is what I am now to attempt. The attempt is furely lau- dable ; and I am perfuaded that my readers will grant me every indulgence, when they confider how favourable is the fubje<5t. They will confi- der that I am the firft Briton who has had the curiofity to vifit Corfica, and to receive fuch infor- mation as to enable him to form a juft idea of it ; and they will readily make allowance for the en- thufiafm of one who has been among the brave iflanders, when their patriotick virtue is at its height, and who has felt as it were a communi- cation of their fpirit.

The plan which I have prefcribed to myfelf is, to give a Geographical and Phyfical defcriptioq pf the 'flandj that my readers may b^ mad? ag-.


quainted with the country which in thefc latter days has produced fo heroick a race of patriots. To exhibit a concife view of the Revolutions it has undergone from the earlieft times, which will prepare the mind, and throw light on the fequel. To Ihew the Prefent State of Corfica j and to fub- join my Journal of a Tour to that ifland, in which I relate a variety of anecdotes, and treafure up many memoirs of the illuftrious General of the

Corficans Memorabilia Paoli.

I do moft fincerely declare, that I feel myfelf inferiour to the tafk. But I hope the fketch which I give, will be of fome immediate fervice, and will induce others to execute a more perfe<5l plan. I Ihall be happy if I contribute in a certain degree to give the world a juft idea of Corfica, and to in- tereft the generous in its favour j and I would adopt for this work a fimple and beautiful infcription on the front of the Palazzo Tolomei at Siena,

Qiiod potiii feci ; faclant meliora potentes. I've done my beft ; let abler men do mofe.


Of the Situation^ Extent^ Air^ Soil, and Pro- di'Mions, of Corsica.

/^ O R S I C A is an ifland of the Mediterranean ^""'^ fea, fituated between the 41 and 43 de- gree of north latitude, and between the 8 and 10 degree of eaft longitude, reckoning from London. It hath on the north the Ligurian fea, and gulf of Genoa. On the eaft, the Tufcan fea ; on the fouth, a ftrait of ten miles which feparates it from Sardinia ; and on the weft the Mediterranean. It is about 100 miles fouth of Genoa, and 80 fouth- weft of Leghorn, from whence it can plain- ly be feen when the weather is clear. It is 150 miles in length, and from 40 to 50 in breadth, being broadeft about the middle. It is reckoned 322 miles in circumference ; but an exad mea- furement round it would extend to 500 miles, as it is edged with many promontories, and with a variety of bays.



Pliny the elder hath given ns a fhort, but very accurate account of the geography of Corfica j ' In Liguflico mari eft Corfica quam Graeci Cyr- ' non appellavere, fed Thufco proprior, a fepten- ' trione in meridiem projedla, longa pafTuum CL ' millia,lata majore ex parte L,circuituCCCXXII, ' civit^tes habet XXXIII et colonias Marianam a

* Mario dedu6lam, Aleriam a didatore Sylla (a). ' In the Ligurian fea, but nearer to Tufcany than

* to Liguria, is Corfica, which the Greeks called

* Cyrnus. It extendeth from north to fouth, and

* is about 1 50 miles in length, for the moll part ' 50 in breadth, and 322 in circumference. It ' hath 3 3 ftates and two colonies, Mariana found-

* ed by Marius, and Aleria founded by the di6la- ' tor Sylla.' Of thefe 33 ftates, not above five or fix can now be traced •, and the colonies are only to be marked by their ruins. But the ufual fidelity of Pliny is to be credited in this account. Pomponius Mela (h) defcribes the fituation of Corfica, as does Ptolemy (c),

Seneca the philofopher hath left us two moft horrid piftures of Corfica, very falfe indeed, but executed with uncommon ftrength of fancy and cxpreflion. Stoick as he was, of a grave and fe-

{a) Plin. Nat. Hift. lib. ii. cap. 6. {!>) Pomp. Mel.

lib. ii. cap. 7. {c) Ptol, Geog. lib. iii. cap. 2.


vere demeanour, he did not efcape the Emperour's jealoufy, but being accufed as one of the many gallants with whom the profligate Julia had been guilty of adultery, he was banifhed to Corfica, where he remained for feven years -, and where in the province of Capo Corfo they flill Ihew an old ruin called ' II torre di Seneca, Seneca's Tower.' Here he compofed his books De Confolatione to Polybius, and to his mother Helvia, with feveral other works ; and here he indulged his fretted imagination in the following epigrams,


Corfica Phocaeo tellus habitata colono,

Corfica quae Graio nomine Cyrnus eras : Corfica Sardinia brevior, porre(5tior Ilva ;

Corfica pilcofis per\ia fluminibus : Corfica terribilis quum primum incanduit aeftas ;

Saevior, oftendit quum ferus ora canis : Parce relegatis, hoc eft, jam parce lepultis,

Vivorum cineri fit tua terra levis.

O fea-girt Corfica ! whole rude domains, Firft own'd the culture of Phocaean fwains ; Cyrnus, fince thus the Greeks thy ifieexprefs. Greater than Ilva, than Sardinia lefs ; O Corfica ! whofe winding rivers feed, Unnumber'd as their fands, the finny breed :

46 A N A C C O UN T

O Corfica ! whofe raging heats diiJnay, When firft returning fummer pours her ray ; Yet fiercer plagues thy fcorching fliores dilpenfe. When Sirius fheds his baneful influence : Spare, fpare the banifh'd ! fpare, fince fuch his doom, A wretch, who living, feeks in thee a tomb ! Light lay thy earth, in pity to his pains. Light lay thy earth upon his lad remains.



Barbara praeruptis inclufa eft Corfica faxis;

Horrida, defertis undique vafta locis. Non poma autumnus, fegetes non educat aeftas j

Canaque Palladio numere bruma caret; Umbrarum nuUo ver eft laetabile foetu,

Nullaque in infaufto nafcitur herba folo : Non panis, non hauftus aquae, non ultimus ignis.

Hie fola haec duo funt, exful, et exfilium.

O ! Corfica, whom rocks terrific bound. Where nature fpreads her wildeft defarts round. In vain revolving feafons cheer thy foil. Nor rip'ning fruits, nor waving harvefts Cnilc : Nor blooms the oli\fe mid the winter drear; The votive olive to Minerva dear. See, fpring returning, Ipreads her milder reign ! Yet (hoots no herb, no verdure clothes the plain. No cooling (prings to quench the traveller's thirft From thy parch'd hills in grateful murmurs burft ; Nor, haplefs ifle! thy barren fiiores around. Is wholefome food, fair Ceres' bounty, found.


Nor ev'n the laft fad gift, the wretched claim, Tlie pile funereal, and the (acred flame. Nought here, a.las ! furrounding feas enclole. Nought but an exile, and an exile's woes.


He hath alfo vented his fpleen againft the place of his exile, in the fame extravagant manner, in his books De Confolatione. But we muft confi- der, that notwithftanding all the boafted firmnefs of Seneca, his mind was then clouded with me- lancholy, and every objed around him appeared in meful colours.

Corfica is, in reality, a moft agreeable ifland. It had from the ancient Greeks the name of K«AXtrii,Callifba, on account of its beauty; and we may believe it was held in confiderable eftimation, fince Callimachus places it next to his favourite Delus,

H ^ oifjSeI' ^outco'cc (i,i~ '/%iia Ki'po; ottyi^iT

Ovx ovorr' Callim.