discrimination to its duty, and not admit a fact but such as circumstances may seem to warrant.
Leghorn, after its possession by the French, became, as Buonaparte had intended it should be, the chief seat of preparation for the invasion of Corsica. General Gentili, a countryman of Buonaparte's, was placed at the head of the enterprise. Not having vessels enough to transport the whole of his troops at once, General Gentili detached General Casalta, another Corsican, with a small division, which, having embarked on board 14 feluccas and other small craft, sailed out of the port of Leghorn, and on the 19th of October landed on the island ; unobserved, we believe, by a single British cruiser, although a contemporary informs us, that, at this very time, "Cockburn in the Minerve blockaded Leghorn." *
Casalta was soon joined by a considerable number of patriotic Corsicans, and, thus reinforced, marched against Bastia, near which he arrived on the 21st. Master of the heights that command the city, and certain of the support of the inhabitants, the general summoned the garrison of Bastia to surrender in an hour. " The English troops amounted to very near 3000 men. " † Here we must be allowed to express a doubt; and yet we have no means of showing how the fact really was. In the port lay the Captain and Egmont 74s, with some other vessels, and on board of these, it appears, under the personal direction of Commodore Nelson, the British troops embarked.
The following is an English account, which describes in very creditable, and, we have no doubt, in very just terms, the exertions of the British officers in performing this important service. "The great body of Corsicans were perfectly satisfied, as they had good reason to be, with the British government, sensible of its advantages, and attached to it ; but when they found that the English intended to evacuate the island, they naturally and necessarily sent to make their peace with the French. The partisans of France found none to oppose them. A committee of thirty took upon themselves the government of Bastia, and sequestered all the British property ; armed Corsicans mounted guard at every place, and a plan was laid for seizing the viceroy. Commodore Nelson, who was appointed to superintend the evacuation, frustrated these projects. On the 14th of October, 1796, he sent word to the committee, that, if the slightest opposition was made to the embarkation and removal of British property, he would batter the town down. A privateer, moored across the mole head, pointed her guns at the officer who carried this message, and muskets were levelled against him from the shore. Hereupon Captain Sutton, pulling out his watch, gave them a quarter of an hour to deliberate upon their answer. In
* Brenton, vol. ii., p. 130.
† Victoires et Conquêtes tome vii., p. 158.
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