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The prudent Laurens, (who hath won the heart
209. Laurens, (who hath won the heart, &c.-Lieutenantcolonel John Laurens (the eldest son of the celebrated Henry Laurens, who was confined in the Tower of London) had been appointed by Congress, an. 1780, as their special minister to the court of Versailles, where "his superior talents as a statesman and negociator," added to his "engaging manners and insinuating address, procured him the most favourable reception. He won the hearts of those who were at the helm of public affairs,” and particularly of the marquis de Castries, who directed the marine of France. See Ramsay, ii. 262-3. 279.
212. 214. Hancock, Adams,-In the proclamation issued by general Gage, an. 1775, offering pardon to all those who should lay down their arms, Samuel Adams and John Hancock were alone excepted from the benefit of it; their offences being declared "to be of too flagitious a nature to admit of any other consideration than that of condign punishment.— No other notice was taken by the Congress of this proclamation, than to choose Mr. Hancock president of that assembly." Belsham, ii. 143; Life of W. ii. 288; Ramsay, i. 200-1.
214. and numbers more-Such as the Madisons, Draytons, Monroes, &c. &c.
215. E'en their women, rous'd, &c.-Women are patriots by nature; the American women have excelled their nature. "With a ready acquiescence, with a firmness always cheerful, and a constancy never lamenting the sacrifices which were made, they not only yielded up all the elegancies, delicacies, and even conveniences, to be furnished by wealth and commerce, but, consenting to share the produce of their own labour, they gave up without regret a considerable portion of the covering designed for their own families, to supply the wants of a distressed soldiery; and heroically suppressed the involuntary sigh, which the departure of their brothers, their sons and their husbands for the camp rended from their bosoms."
The eloquent language of Mr. Burke has not failed to do
By Motte's example, and by Caldwell's woes,
them justice. "He apostrophized with a degree of enthusiasm upon the noble spirit of men, whom if they had not been rebels he would be lavish in praising; of women, who, reduced by the ruins of civil discord to the most horrible situation of distress and poverty, had constancy, generosity, and public spirit, to strip the blankets, in a freezing season, from themselves and their infants, to send them to the camp, and preserve that army which they had sent out to fight for their liberty. And shall Britons overlook such virtue? and will they persist in oppressing it?" &c. See Life of W. iv. p. 298. 482; ii. 164; Almon's Parl. Deb. Nov. 1777, viii. p. 18; Ramsay, ii. 172.
216. Motte's example,-" The British (an. 1781) had built their works round Mrs. Motte's dwelling-house. She with great cheerfulness furnished the Americans with materials for firing her own house. These being thrown by them on its roof soon kindled into flame. The firing of the house, which was in the centre of the British works, compelled the garrison, consisting of 165 men, to surrender at discretion." Ramsay, ii. 247.
216. Caldwell's woes,-" An incursion (an. 1780) was made into Jersey from New York, with 5000 men, commanded by lieut.-gen. Kniphausen. They landed at Elizabeth-town, and proceeded to Connecticut farms. In this neighbourhood lived the Rev. Mr. James Caldwell, a presbyterian clergyman of great activity, ability, and influence, whose successful exertions in animating the Jersey militia to defend their rights had rendered him particularly obnoxious to the British. When the royal forces were on their way into the country, a soldier came to his house in his absence, and shot his wife Mrs. Caldwell instantly dead, by levelling his piece directly at her through the window of the room in which she was sitting with her children." Such is the account given by Dr. Ramsay (ii. 182) of an act which "excited universal indignation:" but on the other side the British contended "that this lady was the victim of a random shot, and even that the fatal ball had proceeded from the militia." The reader may see the matter discussed in the Life of Washington, iv. 276.
And justly centred, (for not acts alone,
Nor words, but e'en his inmost thoughts, are all
That be my care. What, shall we these permit,
By moneyed muckworms, merchant-ministers, 235
227. Ephialtes, Otus, &c.-Compare the scholiast upon Homer's Iliad. 385; and Odyss. λ. 307, &c.
235. moneyed muckworms," My lords! (said the great Chatham, an. 1770,) while I had the honour of serving his majesty, I never ventured to look at the treasury but at a distance; it is a business that I am unfit for, and to which I never could have submitted. The little I know of it has not served to raise my opinion of what is vulgarly called the moneyed interest. I mean that blood-sucker, that muckworm, which calls itself the friend of government-that pretends to serve this or that administration, and may be purchased, on the same terms, by any administration that advances money to government, and takes special care of its own emoluments." Debrett's Debates, v. 356.
235. merchant-ministers,—Perhaps the pernicious effect of the junction of the merchant and the sovereign is nowhere so clearly demonstrated as in the possessions of our merchants in India. There, from the humble factor they have become the "magnificent Dewan;" from the habiliment of the suppliant they have proceeded through the rapid steps of aggrandizement to array themselves in the imperial purple; while their whole course has been marked with the confiscation of property, the deposition of rajans, the murder of
Embroil'd in endless warfare. Mammon! haste,
brahmans, and the extirpation of nations. Such has been, in one part of the world, the effect of this monstrous union, and such will ever be the effect of a government which can regulate its conduct by such an odions maxim of policy as that" where there is treasure there is treason." But the more enlightened part of the British nation abhor such policy: they have endeavoured to bring it to a condign punishment, and thus avert the judgment of an offended Deity. They have failed of success, and the prophecy of Isaiah must be fulfilled. See Belsham's G. III. vol. iii. p. 73–9. 101. 115 note. 152164. 185; and vol. i. 220.
236. in endless warfare.-If we compare the number of years in which this nation has been engaged in war, with that in which it has enjoyed the blessings of peace, the balance will be found to be pretty equal. Hence one statesman has called us "a little choleric island ;" and another, upon the authority of Mr. Hume, has observed" that England had too great a propensity to war, and was too pertinacious in conti. nuing it.' Nor must we omit the dying injunction of Henry IV. who advised his son, 66 never to let the English remain long in peace, which was apt to breed intestine commotions; but to employ them in foreign expeditions-that all the restless spirits might find occupation for their inquietude."
I had a purpose now
Lest rest, and lying still, might make them look
Shakes. 2. Hen. IV. act 4. sc. 4. Various are the canses usually assigned for this supposed national propensity. Some have attributed it to our foreign dominions and our claim to the crown of France; others, to continental connections and balance of power; others again, to commercial views and the dominion of the sea. But with all due submission I shall beg leave to move the previous question, and inquire whether the nation is really choleric, unquiet, and prone to war. If I look around me, I see no signs of such a disposition. I see a virtuous, an honest, an industrious, a benevolent, and a hospitable people. I see too, what I do not wish to see, an oppressed people-a people patient, almost to a proverb, under accumulated burthens, and although ardent in the cause of liberty, yet submitting,
Thy choicest stores; lest warn'd at last by ill
through the delusions of sophistry, to the daily infringement of their rights and privileges. In such a people, removed as they are from the tumults of the continent, where shall be found either time, inclination, or opportunity for war? They aspire to no arbitrary power; they seek no connections but those of mutual benefit; they have provided by their laws against the bad effects of foreign dominions; they perceive that their rulers themselves have mistaken the balance of power; and they know and feel that agriculture, commerce, and manufactures are the pursuits of peace. That ministers and rulers should endeavour to excite a propensity to war, for various other reasons than the finding of occupation for restless spirits, is a truth that needs no demonstration; but it must be credulity itself that will give credit to the affirmation that such a propensity is natural to a people, whom the ocean separates from the continent, who boast of their free constitution, and who profess to be worshippers of the prince of peace. Almon's Parl. Deb. vi. p. 23; Belsham's G. III. v. 295-6. Encyc. Britan. art. England, p. 635. See Blackstone, Introd. sect. 4, p. 111, and compare Miles's Letter to the Prince of Wales, p. 102-3.
240. North and Hillsborough-The former was first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer during the American war; and the latter, for part of the time, secretary of