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held back in the full confidence of its being ushered in with the particulars of some great and decisive fuccess. Those which came to hand, after a tedious season of expectation, bore a very different complexion. The insuperable difficulties that necessarily suspended the operations of an army in such a coun. try, and under such circumstances, were now practi. cally discovered. The double defeat of Baum and Breyman, by a supposed broken and ruined militia, in an attempt to remove or to lefsen some of those difficule ties, was still more dispiriting, and not in any degree cured by the hopes which the General expressed of support and aslistance from the co-operation of Sir William Howe's army; both as it marked a despondency of success from their own force, and that the minifters knew the impossibility of his receiving any support from that quarter. But, as if it had been to crown the climax of ill news and ill fostune; the same dispatches were accompanied with others from Sir Guy Carleton, which brought an account of the failure of the expedition to Fort Stanwix, the bold and unex. pected attack of the rebels on the side of Ticonderago, and of a still more unexpected and extraordinary event in a short sketch of the desperate and doubtful action which was fought on the 19th of September, between General Burgoyne and Arnold ; which, naked as it was of circumstances, seemed to shew the latter to be the assailant, by the mention of his returning to his camp, when darkness had put an end to the combat.
Although the knowledge of these events seemed to open a view to some of the succeeding misfortunes, and even seemed to presage a part of these severe hardships and calamities which betel the northern arBbb
my, it was still hoped by those who were most fan. guine in their expectations, that the General being so near Albany, could not fail in making his march good to that place ; and that then being securely lodged, he would have an opportunity of concerting matters with Sir Henry Clinton, and of their jointly or separately distrefsing the northern colonies; or if the season and other circumstances did not favour that design, they might determine upon the propriety of maintaining the post at Albany, during the winter ; or of advancing to New York, if it was thought more eligi. ble. In the worst case that could happen, it was never doubted but they would be able to make good a retreat to Canada. So great was the faith of the ministry and their fanguinary fupporters, in the omni. potence of this army, that they judged it impossible for any force the Americans could send against them to conquer them; and those who hinted the smallest fufpicion of these troops'not being invincible, were ready to become the objects of the severest ridicule. Many for a good while had prognosticated the disaster which befel this army, and freely declared their fentiments ; but their most rational conjectures were interpreted as proceeding from disaffection to the goveroment, and a spirit of rebellion. Many of the old Jacobites, who had now by means of a secret influence worked themselves into power, or by means of their friends, had fliptinto places of finecure, began to speak of rebellion in a new stile, and throw the fcandal of it
upon the best friends of the British constitution. Some of them even proceeded so far' as to affirm that the revolution was itself a rebellion, and that the colo: nilts were no less rebels for pleading their rights from that constitution,
Thę heroism of the Frazers, and other chiefs who had made had made but an indifferent figure at Cullo. den was now extoled to the skies, and the Scotcha Highlanders under their cominand were represented as the most invincible troops in the world. The colonists were set forth in all the ridiculous attitudes of rebellion, cowardice, and insignificance ; fo one would have thought that instead of sending such irrefiftable troops to subdue them, that the very draughts of our army might have served for that purpose. There is always an inconsistency in the language and conduct of men when they are under the influence of preju. dice, and ruled by their pride and passions; and of all the characters in society, there are none so ready to give way to these unreasonable affections, as those who are inclined to the lust of dominion and arbitrary power. The noblest exertions of the human mind, and the purest principles of freedom and liberty are an eye-fore to men affected with the luft of domina. tion.
Amidst the various contests and debates in parlia. ment, and the disputes at home concerning the American war, the pews of the convention at Saratoga, and the surrender of General Burgoyne's whole army threw a considerable damp upon the confidence of the ministry, and almost confounded those who had exceeded all bounds in their extravagance of boasting. While parliament were houly dispuling concerning the measures to be adopted for carrying on the war, and all rational proposals for an accomodation were 1e. jected by a dead majority, upon the third of Decem, ber, the dismal news of the surrender of the whole northern army arrived, and the first certain accounts thereof were disclosed by the miniter who had the
honour of directing it. The astonishment of all could not exceed the confusion of the ministers ; :hey were thunder-struck at the tidings, and a guilty confusion overspread their countenances. Altho' not convinced of their error, nor converted from principles which are a disgrace to human nalure, they almost gnashed their teeth for pain, and were reduced to feel the agonies of condemnation. Though the loss of so many brave men and citizens was much to be lamented, yet the indignation of the people, and the ignorance, wickedness, and folly of the contrivers of that unjust and horrid war, carried off a great degree of the sorrow which many felt at the loss and disgrace of our army, As our troops were taken prisoners of war, some thought it more fortunate than if they had been killed in battle, in a cause, the orthodoxy of which had never yet been fully demonstrated by the most fanguine advocates thereof.
It may easily be supposed that those who had been from the beginning against that bloody and unreasonable war, would be ready to let the ministry hear of the folly and weakness of their measures. The ininia ster's declaration in the House of Commons concerning the convention of Saratoga,brought forth the severest as well as the most just and equitable charges against him. The principle and policy of the war were arraigned, and the incapacity of the ministry to carry it on, suppose it had been just, was painted in the strongest colours. The whole plan of the expedition was condemned in the strongest terms; it was declared an absurd, inconsistent and impracticable scheme, and which the chief of a tribe of lavages would have been ashamed to acknowledge. The hero of this scheme was told that they did not judge him from crents, but had warned him
of the fatal confequences of his plan before this event had happened. That they had been laughed at for warning him of what had happened, and told that they were speaking by prophecy. They asked him if he was now satisfied with the truth of their prophecies and predi&tions. They affirmed that ignorance had itamped every step of the expedition, but it was the ignorance of the minister, and not of the general ; a minifter that would venture fitting in his closet, nor only to direct the general operations, but all the particular movements of a war carried on in the interior defarts of America, and at the distance of three thou. sand miles.
The northern expedition was perhaps as ill-contriv. ed and unsuccessfully executed, as any that is record. ed in history, The pretended design of it was to form a junction between Sir William Howe and General Burgoyne, through woods and desarıs, rivers and lakes ; where many large vessels were to be built, many extensive woods to be cut through, and roads continu. ally inpaffable, to be levelled, mended, and repaired. This mealure might have been effected by sea in less than a month, without much danger, and at a more moderate expence.
But the ignorance, and stupidity of the contriver of this expedition is beyond all parallel in history; for at the very time that he intendo ed that the two armies should join, he ordered the one army to march from New York to the southward, and commanded the northern army from Canada to follow it. This was a strange method for these two bodies to meet in any center, to march in the same line of direction after each o her ; but this minister. who ever since his service in the last war had formed ideas of military operations, different from all others