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The Mosaic: Comprising Mateo Falcone and Other Tales by Emily Mary Waller

The Mosaic: Comprising Mateo Falcone and Other Tales by Emily Mary Waller

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Emily Mary Waller
Forgotten Books
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The Mosaic: Comprising Mateo Falcone and Other Tales

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Excerpt from The Mosaic: Comprising Mateo Falcone and Other Tales

Coming out of Porto-Vecchio, and turning north-west toward the centre of the island, the ground is seen to rise very rapidly, and, after three hours' walk by tortuous paths, blocked by large boulders of rocks, and sometimes cut by ravines, the traveller finds himself on the edge of a very broad mâquis or open plateau. These plateaus are the home of the Corsican shepherds, and the resort of those who have come in conflict with the law. The Corsican peasant sets fire to a certain stretch of forest to spare himself the trouble of manuring his lands: so much the worse if the flames spread further than is needed. Whatever happens, he is sure to have a good harvest by sowing upon this ground, fertilised by the ashes of the trees which grew on it. When the corn is gathered, they leave the straw because it is too much trouble to gather. The roots, which remain in the earth without being consumed, sprout, in the following spring, into very thick shoots, which, in a few years, reach to a height of seven or eight feet.

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