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scarcely knew the scaby report, must have been hateful and odious in the highest degree.
In these difficulties a negotiation is said to have been set on foot with the court of Petersburgh for 50,000 Russians, but without effe&t. A long negoti. ation was also carried on at the Hague, for the Scotch Brigades, which had for many years been employed in the Dutch service, and always been allowed to be recruited from Scotland. The Dutch, who consider their own case once to have been the same with that of the Americans, avoided falling into an inconsistency in helping to oppress others by rejecting the propofal. The Dutch considered this war as extremely impolitical, and, except those in the Scotch interest, it was generally condemned over all Holland. It is not to the honour of Great Britain, that in all the countries of Europe, in which public affairs are a subject of either writing or conversation, the general voice has been in favour of the Americans. It is said that Voltaire and Rousseau, who seldom agreed in any one thing, were unanimous in their opinion in behalf of America, and condemned the measures of the Brie tish ministry. It has been always affirmed by the friends of the ministry, that the opposition of their mea. sures was frivolous and unreasonable, and proceeded from disaffection; but even men and philosophers quite uninterested, have had the same opinion with those that have been so unjustly charged with difaffection.
After the ministry were disappointed in their hopes of altistance from Holland and Ruffia, they were obliged to apply to the petty German princes for a fufficient number of their flasih yaffals to aflirt in enslaving the colonies. These little tyrants, who suppose that their subjects are made for no other purpuse but to serve the ends of their ambition, and P
supply that beggarly dignity which they affect to support, were ready to bring their slaves to so good a market, where they were secured in a fufficient price for them, whether dead or alive, to uphold the tawdry fplendor of their despotical courts, The Princes of Hefse and Brunswick, and some others of inferior sig. nificance, furnished the quotas agreed for, but even these were still insufficient to accompany the fanguinary purpose of a ministry that thirsted greedily after blood. It was thought also necessary to fend five battalions of his Majesty's electoral troops to the garrifons of Gibraltar, to replace the likę number of English forces, with an intention to increase the power of the British army in America. Had the liberties of all Europe been at stake, or the Protestant religion been in the utmoit danger, the government of Britain could not have shewn more anxiety, than they did to have the colonists brought to unconditional submission to the will of ministers, In the midst of all this zeal and diligence to fulfil the end of their schemes, they were dreadfully thwarted by the hand of providence, which though themselves could not or would not perc zive it, was observed by all the world beside, who had opportunity to contemplate the events. After providing 5000 axen, 14,000 sheep, and a vast nun, her of hogs, and large quantities of vegetables, together with 5000 chaldrons of coals, and large abundance of sour crout, with near half a million value of falt provisioas, the wind and weather proved unfa. vourable. The fleet was detained upon our coasts, and tossed about with tempests, till the greatest part of the sheep and hogs perished, so that the channel was strewed with floating carcases of these animals. The four crout fermented too faft, and of confequence perished, The wind and wçather did not prove fa
vourable after they cleared the coast. In the midseas, wird and weather were particularly unfavourable, and nearer they approached America the wind grew more contrary and tempestuous. The periodi. cal winds blew full in their teeth, and drove them from the coast, and several of them were drove to the West Indies, where they arrived in great distress. Others which were got entangled with the American coasts, were either taken or seized in those harbours and creeks, where they put in for shelter. The few that arrived at Boston were prodigiously shattered, and their cargoes suffered greatly. Very little of the vast provision, procured at an enormous expence, arrived at the place of its destination.
The account of these disasters rendered the ministry ftill more unpopular, and the nation considered there misfortunes as much to proceed from mismanagement as froin accidental causes. They perceived that neither the season of the year, nor the course of the winds had been taken into the scheme of the ministry ; that they had sent away the fleets at an improper season, as if they intended to throw all the provisions into the sea, and wantonly to waste the substance of the nation. Their policy had failed in almost every thing, and their schemes were all abortive. Finding that the nation was more and more disgusted with their proceedings, they wanted to turn the views of the people to some new object. Nothing is more ready to attract the attention, and affect the minds of perfons of any feeling, than objects of distress : the humanity of this country was now addressed in behalf of those who had suffered in the American war, and a subscription was opened about the end of the year, for the relief of the soldiers at Boston, and of the wi. dows and children of those that were pain. The
scheme was most liberally supported, and several thousand pounds were subscribed in a short time. That part
of the scheme that related to the soldiers was considered by no means as an act of charity; for as government had received money to supply the troops, it was thought fit they should be supplied therewith, without begging from the public. Many therefore witheld their bounty both on that account, and also out of principle, because they would not have an hand in carrying on so unjust and unrighteous a war, as they considered this to be. Others thought too much had been spent already, and therefore refused to give any fupport to a scheme that only would, in the end, ruin the nation. To move the sympathy of the nation, some ships were loaded with maimed soldiers, their wives and children, in the most wretched condition. The present was a most pitiful spectacle ; and exerted the humanity of the benevolent. This was the firft ocular demonstration that we had at home that the Americans could fight. We had been told that the provincials would not stand, that they run away at the sight of our men; and few of our foldiers were either killed or wounded. But now the question was in every one's mouth, who wounded and maimed them in such a manner? Hence it began to be believed, even at home, that the colo. nists would fight, and that our loss had been greater than the ministry had told us. This subscription was considered as a fout of political touch-stone, and the degree of attachment to government was supposed to be measured by the extent of the bounty.
The ministry were now at their last shift with regard to the means to be used to keep the spirit of the people in favour of the American war. Conspiracies were contrived to throw reproach upon the lords
and gentlemen in opposition to the meafures of
government, and the most distinguished noblemen and gentlemen were pointed at. They were charged with being the incendiaries, who by their dark and wicked practices had kindled the war. This kind of stile was crammed into many addresses, and the news. papers were industriously filled with it. It was confidently asserted in these ministerial vehicles of scandal and abufe, that a very great number of letters from che most considerable peers and members of parliament had been intercepted, and were actually in the hands of government.
These it was said would be laid before the council of the nation, when the tower would be speedily fitted with persons of rank, and a rich harvest of impeachments and punishments succeed. This scandal was carried so far, that it was said, a number of the members of both houses who were described and understood, would not venture to attend their duty in parliament at the meeting thereof. Thefe were impotent malicious shifts, which generally attend a weak cause, and are never practifed unless by desperate and wicked men. They always fuggest the crimes which they accuse others of, and sometimes put into the minds of bad men, to do what they never would have thought of,
At the opening of the feflion of parliament, an exe traordinary report of a conspiracy went abroad, which at first seemed alarming, but in the end appear. ed as full of folly as it was of wickedness. This matter is so well known, and was fo fully set forth in the gazette and other papers, that it is necdless to enJarge upon it. It may suffice to observe, that Mr Sayre, a banker in London, and an American by birth was accused of a design of seizing the person of the King, to convey him out of the nation, and then