Page:The Hessians and the other German auxiliaries of Great Britain in the revolutionary war.djvu/37

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25
THE TREATIES.


caused by nothing but dirty selfishness. I pity the poor Hessians who end their lives unhappily and uselessly in America.”[1] Napoleon, when thirty years afterwards he drove away the then Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel (the Count of Hanau of our treaties), expressed the feeling of a later age: “The House of Hesse-Cassel has for many years sold its subjects to England. Thus have the electors gathered such great treasures. This vile avarice now overthrows their house.”

But the infamy of the man-selling princes is perpetuated in Germany more by the words of the best-beloved of her poets than by those of the two greatest generals of the last century. In his tragedy of “Cabale und Liebe,” written during the progress of the American war, Schiller has left an eloquent protest against the vile traffic. “But none were forced to go?” says Lady Milford to the old chamberlain, who is telling her how his two sons, with seven thousand of their countrymen, have been sent off to America. “Oh, God! no,” he answers — “all volunteers. It is true, a few saucy fellows stepped out of the ranks and asked the colonels how much a yoke the prince sold men; but our most gracious master ordered all the regiments to march on to the parade ground, and had the jackanapes shot down. We heard the crack of the rifles, saw their brains spatter the pavement, and the whole army shouted, ‘Hurrah! to America!’

Lady. Oh, God! oh, God! And I heard nothing? and I noticed nothing?

  1. Quoted by Kapp in Sÿbel's “Historische Zeitschrift,” II. 6=42, 1879, p. 314.