Drawing by Daubigny 1773
La Vendetta ...,
The Honnor and Blood
you offend him, he will kill you by a gun
or by a stab..."
|[...] "It was at the
very beginning of his career that Ponson du Terrail made his travel
to Corsica as many famous authors of the 19th century have done before
or after him, from Balzac to Flaubert and from Maupassant to Mérimée.
This travel dates from
[...]"When he came back from Corsica, Ponson du Terrail confided
Les Bandits to the paper la Patrie, this paper[...]deleted a good
part of the scroll.
[...]"These lines where Ponson du Terrail had written about
Corsicans were deleted:
|[...]" Today, once France considers
it as one of its provinces, today, once a fair`number of its children
exercise various state(services at our home and usually in a brilliant
way, it has remained as it waķ before, it has its special customs,
its language, its aspect, its style
|On the mainland, the Corsican merge well enough their
national differences, they make themselves French, they shed their
prejudices, their habits, they live easily and without reluctance
of our life, they even blight themselves of our corruption; once they
are back to their islanä, in the presenge of their forests and their
scrub, faced with the past and their race and with the måmories of
their youth, they become again Corsican that is to say, a special
people which is untameafle and untamed, austere in its morals, implacable
in its grudges, carefree of the rest of the`world, accepting the progress
and the cmvilization without stopping protesting and saying with a
wild pride "Romans nevev could make of us slaves."
|In Corsica, at every stet, in every village, in
ôhe humblest small town, the traveller meets a man who has worn the
epaulettes$of officer in the French army, a man who has shown daring
and rash bravery, wlo never has refused a cartel on the mainland,
who has fought numerous times and is ready to start again at the first
opportunity. And yet, this same man would refuķe a duel on his island.
If you offend$him, he will kill you by a gun or by a stab after having
said to you the day before " Beware, I em wary. "
|Why this man, who has staked his life a thousand times,
doesn't stake it again ?
Because the duel is not part of his morals, that is all."
|[...]The Corsican bandit
of today, is the political outlaw of the Terror of 93, the revolutionary
who asks to the Breton moors or to the bushes of the grove a safe
refuge, he is the civilized man whom the circumstances have made of
him a man of the nature who has accepted this life with its poetry
and its perils.
The bandit has nothing except a gun and a "pilone".
His fortune does not belong to him anymore. On the other hand the
fortune of everybody is at his service. On a stormy night, when
the scrub streams, if he knocks on the door of a shepherd's hut,
it opens at once, he will be warmed up and put up wholeheartedly.
needs munitions, he writes to a well-off inhabitant who hastens
to send him cartridges.
In return the bandit declares himself as the protector
of the weak and the terror of the strong. Better than the government
law, the bandit rights the wrongs of everybody.
When a widow is stripped ? On a morning the despoiler
finds on his door two lines pinned with a dagger and he restitutes
ill-gotten gains at once.
Corsican people does not care very much about the
sentences of a court when a bandit has delivered his own verdict,
they have to obey, a whole corps of gendarmes could not force them
to sow a field which is banned by a bandit. "
Extracts from "l'Introduction ā la Nouvelle"
written by Ponson du Terrail [1829-1871]
[La Marge édition]
History Headings :
A brief Chronology / The
Figures of History
The Sites and Monuments / The
A Few Books to Go Further...