National Geographic : 1923 Sep
THE COASTS OF CORSICA 227 Photograph by Maynard Owen Williams THE MONUMENT TO NAPOLEON ON THE PLACE DU DIAMANT: AJACCIO This statue to Corsica's "Little Corporal" is derisively styled "The Inkstand." The four standing figures represent Napoleon's brothers (see text, page 232). in India, or on the Dalmatian coast. The men wear brown corduroy; sometimes their sashes are broad enough and bright enough to add pigment to the picture. But the Corsicans are humble folk. They gladly subordinate themselves to the scenery, saying that the land is so beautiful that it needs no polychrome costumes to make it attractive. And when one sees with what indifferent suc cess the town folk do wear colors, he quickly reconciles himself to the somber garb which stands out so modestly against the beauty of the land itself. The Corsican is to France what the Georgian was to Russia. He is not con stitutionally lazy; but the idea of subor dination to man, time clock, or season is abhorrent to him. He would rather be a shabby gentleman than a rich servant. Countless tiny terraces, where crops grow at such cost of labor as one finds among the Ifugaos of the Philippines or among the Chinese, testify to the fact that the Corsican is not truly slovenly. A certain thrift and foresight are habitual with him. THE GREEKS GAVE CORSICA THE NAME "MOST BEAUTIFUL" When the Greeks, no amateurs in beauty, called Corsica "Kalliste"-Most Beautiful - they referred to rugged coasts where blood-red rocks plunge deep into the sea, where a soft haze carries the succession of loveliness across wide plains, between tall mountains, to some distant snow-clad peak, all opalescent under the soft glow of departing day, where cascades pour their shower of pearls against rock cliffs as black as ebony. Corsica is interesting because it is Cor sica. With all its discomforts, the lag gard land is worth a visit because it is laggard. Such unspoiled spots are so few in the modern world that one can tolerate petty inconveniences for the sake of knowing a people who have been little affected by modernism.