Page:The Hessians and the other German auxiliaries of Great Britain in the revolutionary war.djvu/34

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THE HESSIANS.


is fair, also, to consider that rebellion was in those days looked on with far sterner eyes than at present, and that, by people of a conservative turn of mind, at least, it was treated not as a political mistake, but as a heinous crime.

Quite different was the style in which the liberals of Europe spoke of the war and of the mercenaries. The principles which were to bring about the French Revolution were at work, and some of the actors of that great drama were already stepping upon the stage. Mirabeau, then a fugitive in Holland, published a pamphlet addressed “To the Hessians and other nations of Germany, sold by their Princes to England.” It is an eloquent protest against the rapacity of the princes, a splendid tribute to the patriotism of the Americans. The genius of Mirabeau could look far enough into the future to recognize in the North American continent an asylum for the oppressed of all nations. His blow at the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel struck home. Not only did the latter attempt to buy up the edition of the pamphlet, but he caused an answer to be published, which only had the effect of calling forth a rejoinder, in which the future tribune maintains that an offense against the freedom of nations is the greatest of crimes. In the same spirit wrote Abbé Raynal and others, some of them better known in Europe, at that time, than Mirabeau, and against them a paper warfare was kept up in the Dutch journals, then the most influential, because the freest, on the Continent. In the public library at Cassel is an interesting little pamphlet published in 1782 in French, and also in German. This pamphlet is attributed by Kapp to Schlieffen, the