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 Vendetta and Bandits d'Honneur  
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bandcors.jpg (11979 octets)
Drawing by Daubigny 1773

La Vendetta ...,

The Honnor and Blood

"If 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 September 1851".
[...]"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.

If he 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]
"Les Bandits" [La Marge édition]

History Headings :
A brief Chronology / The Figures of History
The Sites and Monuments / The Maure Symbol

A Few Books to Go Further...


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