Reported 280 years ago (Feb 1739): Praising the bravery of the Corsican rebels

Front page January 23 1738 Belfast News Letter. The edition is in bad condition, which sections missing. The paper is equivalent to February 3 2019 in the modern calendar
Front page January 23 1738 Belfast News Letter. The edition is in bad condition, which sections missing. The paper is equivalent to February 3 2019 in the modern calendar

From the sixth surviving Belfast News Letter, Jan 23 1738, Feb 3 1739 in today’s calendar. As the pic shows, right, parts of the paper are damaged:

From the Paris A-la-main, dated Jan. 14.

THEY write from Genoa, that they have received Letters from Bastia of the 19th of last Month, with Advice that the King’s Troops in Corsica are all retired into that Town; and that the Count de Boissieux had even forbid any Officer to stir out of the Place, the Rebels having spread themselves in the open Country like desperate Men, and shewing no Respect to any Body. We are assured that two of their Chiefs, named Giasseri and Ornani, have taken upon them the Title of Lieutenant-Generals of the island, and published a Decree, forbidding, under Pain of Death and Confiscation of Effects, all the Inhabitants to acknowledge the Republick of Genoa, in any Shape whatever, and moreover enjoining them to repair to them with their Arms within fifteen Days.

If a Handful of undisciplin’d oppress’d Corsicans have bravely demonstrated, to the Face of the Sun that the haughty gasconading Troops of France are far from being invincible, when attack’d with that Spirit of Bravery which Oppression and Injuries naturally inspire in the Mind of Man; what might not Britons have done for the Service of their Country, and of Europe in general, had they exerted themselves in the late War between the House of Austria and Bourbon? And what might they not still do, would but some People shake off their Drousiness, or unslave themselves from the Power of France? The Corsicans have now gloriously distinguished themselves in the Eye of all Europe, in pursuing so gallant a Struggle in Defence of that most precious Jewel of Life, call’d LIBERTY.

May Heaven crown their Attempts with repeated Success, until they have entirely compleated their Work: And may every honest and free-soul’d Briton say, AMEN.

[This remarkable report came from a French newspaper, Paris A-la-main. Like a lot of reports at the time, it veers from news to commentary. It is not clear who is giving the pro British view. France, under Count de Boissieux, was supporting Genoa, which held Corsica, for fear of it falling to Britain, so it is strange a French paper is talking up Britain, unless it was a radical paper or unless the commentary has been added in Britain to a French news report.

The ‘War between the House of Austria and Bourbon’ was the War of Spanish Succession, which ended in 1714 when Britain and France were on opposing sides]