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others of the civil magistrates, and by Padre Mariani, rector of the university, a man of learning and abilities; as a proof of which, he had been three years at Madrid, in the character of secretary to the General of the Franciscans. I remember a very eloquent expression of his on the state of his country. "Corsica," said he, "has for many years past been bleeding at all her veins. They are now closed. But after being so severely exhausted, it will take some time before she can recover perfect strength." I was also visited by Padre Leonardo, of whose animating discourse I have made mention in a former part of this book.
Indeed I should not have been at a loss, though my very reverend fathers had been all my society. I was not in the least looked upon as a heretic. Difference of faith was forgotten in hospitality. I went about the convent as if I had been in my own house; and the fathers, without any impropriety of mirth, were yet as cheerful as I could desire. I had two surgeons to attend me at Corte, a Corsican and a Piedmontese ; and I got a little Jesuit's bark from the spiceria, or apothecary's shop, of the Capuchin convent. I did not, however, expect to be effectually cured till I should get to Bastia.
Letter to Dr. Johnson.
On one of the days that my ague disturbed me least, I walked from the Franciscan convent to Corte, purposely to write a letter to Mr. Samuel Johnson. I told my revered friend, that from a kind of superstition agreeable in a certain degree to him, as well as to myself, I had, during my travels, written to him from loca solennia, places in some measure sacred. That as I had written to him from the tomb of Melancthon (1), sacred to learning and piety, I now wrote
(1) [See antè, Vol. VI. p. 255.]
to him from the palace of Pascal Paoli, sacred to wisdom and liberty; knowing that, however his political principles may have been represented, he had always a generous zeal for the common rights of humanity. I gave him a sketch of the great things I had seen in Corsica, and promised him a more ample relation. Mr. Johnson was pleased with what I wrote here; for I received at Paris an answer from him, which I keep as a valuable charter:-" When you return, you will return to an unaltered, and, I hope, an unalterable friend. All that you have to fear from me is the vexation of disappointing me. Come home, however, and take your chance. I long to see you, and to hear you; and hope that we shall not be so long separated again. Come home, and expect such a welcome as is due to him, whom a wise and noble curiosity has led where, perhaps, no native of this country ever was before."
LETTER 474. TO MR. ELPHINSTONE. (1)
April 20. 1749.
SIR, I have for a long time intended to answer the letter which you were pleased to send me, and know not why I have delayed it so long, but that I had nothing particular either of inquiry or information to send you; and the same reason might still have the same consequence, but I find in my recluse kind of life that I am not likely to have much more to say at one time than at another, and that therefore I may endanger, by an appearance of neglect long continued, the loss of such an acquaintance as I know not where to supply. I therefore write now to assure you how sensible I am of the kindness you have always expressed to me, and how much I desire the cultivation of that benevolence which perhaps nothing but the distance between us has hindered from ripening before this time into friendship. Of myself I have very little to say, and of any body else less; let me however be
(1) [See antè, Vol. I. p. 245.]