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BOOK England, after having executed their conciliaXVIII. tory commission in a mode which left America 1778. in a far worse state of irritation and inflamma

bility than they found it. The earl of Carlisle had brought with him an order, little calculated to add weight to his mission, for the immediate evacuation of the city of Philadelphia, and the retreat of the army to New York. This was a measure, however mortifying, which was ren

* Governor Johnstone had very early fallen into extreme disgrace by an indirect attempt to bribe some of the leading members of the congress; which assembly thereupon passed a formal resolution, that they would have no farther intercourse with him in his public capacity, and his name was accordingly omitted in the papers subsequently addressed by the commissioners to the congress. This ridiculous and ineffectual overture was made through the medium of a Mrs. Ferguson, who was suspected not to have been endowed with all that SECRECY requisite to the discharge of so delicate an office. Governor Johnstone, who, on his first arrival in America, had complimented the congress in high-flown and extravagant terms, on this mortifying exposure changed his language to the lowest abuse. The fact, however, was clearly ascertained; and the governor, in his ludicrous distress, might be allowed to exclaim, in the words of SHAKSPEARE,

"Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women!"

Mr. Jos. Reed, to whom an offer of 10,000l. had been made, in order to secure his good offices, nobly replied, "that he was not worth purchasing; but, such as he was, the king of Great Britain was not rich enough to do it."


dered very necessary by the departure of a strong BOOK squadron from the port of Toulon in the month of April, which was supposed to be destined for 1778. the Delawar, and which the naval force under lord Howe was in no condition to oppose.

On the 18th of June the whole British army passed the Delawar. Some weeks previous to this event, general Howe had resigned the command to sir Henry Clinton. Though uniformly in a certain degree successful in his enterprises, this officer acquired little accession of military reputation in America. Brave as a soldier, but, in the capacity of general, slow, cautious, and indecisive, he deviated into an extreme the opposite of general Burgoyne, who was censured as rash, presumptuous, and romantic. The character civil and military of sir William Howe has been drawn with uncommon force and happiness by the pen of general Lee. He sums up all, by pronouncing him "naturally good humoured, complaisant, but illiterate and indolent to the last degree; unless as an executive soldier, in which capacity he is all fire and activity--brave and cool as Julius Cæsar. His understanding is rather good than otherwise; but, totally confounded and stupefied with the immensity of the task imposed upon him, he shut his eyes, fought his battles, advised with his counsellors, received his orders from North and Germaine,



BOOK each more absurd than the former-shut his eyes, fought again, and is now to be called to account for acting according to instructions." Considering that the military exploits performed by sir William Howe were not quite equal to those recorded of don Bellianis, or sir Lancelot of the Lake, it cannot but be matter of surprise to find his departure from America celebrated by a triumphal festival, resembling some Paladin entertainment in necromantic bower or hall. All the colors of the army were placed in a grand avenue 300 feet in length, lined with the king's troops, between two triumphal arches, for the general to march along in pompous procession, followed by a numerous train of attendants, with seven silken knights of the blended rose, and seven more of the burning mountain, and fourteen damsels dressed in the Turkish fashion, to a spacious area, where a magnificent tournament in the style of ancient chivalry was exhibited in honor of the hero. On the top of each triumphal arch was a figure of fame, bespangled with stars, blowing from her trumpet in letters of light, "TES LAURIERS SONT IMMORTELS!"

The march of the British army through the Jerseys was not unattended with difficulty. Encumbered with an enormous train of baggage, extending the length of twelve miles, the whole



country hostile, the bridges broken down before, BOOK and a vigilant enemy pressing close behind, the utmost prudence and circumspection of the new general were necessary to make a vigorous and effectual defence against those attacks to which a retreating army is so peculiarly exposed. Instead of proceeding in a direct route to Brunswic, the general determined, by bending his march to the right, and approaching the seacoast, at once to disappoint the expectation of the enemy, and to avoid the difficulty attending passage of the Rariton.


On the evening of the 27th of June the royal army encamped in the vicinity of Monmouth Court-house, and early the next inorning they re-commenced their march. Scarcely were they in motion when the enemy were discovered moving in force at some distance on both flanks. The first division under general Knyphausen proceeding with the escort of carriages to the heights of Middletown, the English commander immediately formed his troops, with a view to bring on a general engagement. General Lee, who had been some time since exchanged, advanced with the van of the American army to the attack, in conformity to the directions of general Washington; but several of the brigades under his command being thrown into confusion by an impetuous assault of the British cavalry, he ordered a

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BOOK retreat, with a view to form anew in an advantageous position behind a ravine and morass. the interim general Washington arrived at the head of the main army, and expressed in strong terms his astonishment and indignation at the retrograde motion of the van. General Lee replied with equal warmth; but in the result the troops of the van were ordered to form in front of the morass, where an obstinate engagement ensued, till, the Americans being again worsted and broken, general Lee was again under the necessity of ordering a retreat, which he conducted with great skill and courage, himself being one of the last who remained on the field. The British light infantry and rangers, in the mean time, who had filed off to the left, and attempted an assault on the American main body, where general Washington commanded in person, met with such a reception as compelled them, after repeated efforts, to desist from the attack; and the day being intensely hot, the action, in which the two armies appear to have sustained nearly equal loss, ceased from mere weariness and fatigue. At midnight sir Henry renewed his march in profound silence, and on the 30th of June arrived in safety at Sandy Hook, from whence he passed over to New York without farther molestation.

The high spirit of general Lee could not,

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