Sunday, February 5, 2012

General Paoli


James Boswell befriended General Pasquale Paoli on a visit to Corsica, later making Paoli famous throughout all Europe, by publishing his “An Account of Corsica” (1768).  Paoli was perhaps one of the more honorable of Boswell’s companions, many of which were a point of concern for Boswell’s strict father.  An account of the elder Lord Auchinleck’s feelings in this regard is taken from John Gibson Lockhart’s “Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott”.

‘The following notices of Boswell himself, and his father, Lord Auchinleck, may be taken as literal transcripts from Scott’s Table-Talk:—

….“Old Lord Auchinleck was an able lawyer, a good scholar, after the manner of Scotland, and highly valued his own advantages as a man of good estate and ancient family; and, moreover, he was a strict Presbyterian and Whig of the old Scottish cast. This did not prevent his being a terribly proud aristocrat; and great was the contempt he entertained and expressed for his son James, for the nature of his friendship, and the character of the personages of whom he was engouĂ© one after another. ‘There’s nae hope for Jamie, mon,’ he said to a friend. ‘Jamie is gane clean gyte. What do you think, mon? He’s done wi’ Paoli—he’s off wi’ the land louping scoundrel of a Corsican; and whose tail do you think he has pinned himself to now, mon?’ Here the old judge summoned up a sneer of most sovereign contempt. ‘A dominie, mon—an auld dominie! he keeped a schule, and caud it an acaadamy.’…’

Pasquale Paoli died on February 5th, 1807.

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