Page:The Hessians and the other German auxiliaries of Great Britain in the revolutionary war.djvu/44

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
32
THE HESSIANS.


The danger of being obliged to defend the Landgrave of Hesse in his quarrels in Europe was then pointed out, and the opinion was expressed “that Great Britain never before entered into a treaty so expensive, so unequal, so dishonorable, and so dangerous in its consequences.”

In introducing the protest, the Duke of Richmond gave a short history of the several treaties entered into, since 1702, with the Landgraves of Hesse, and showed that the successive landgraves, from time to time, rose in their demands; and still, as they continued to extort better terms, never failed to establish their former extortion as a precedent for the basis of the new succeeding treaty, always taking care to make some new demand on Great Britain. This treaty was “a downright, mercenary bargain, for the taking into pay of a certain number of hirelings, who were bought and sold like so many beasts for slaughter. . . . But taking it on the other ground, that the treaties were formed on the basis of an alliance, what would be the consequence? That if any of these powers were attacked, or should wantonly provoke an attack, for the engagement was left general and unconditional, we should give them all the succor in our power. Thus, for the assistance of a few thousand foreign mercenaries, we are not only to pay double, but we are to enter into a solemn engagement to exert our whole force to give them all the succor in our power, if the Landgrave or the Duke shall be attacked or disturbed in the possession of his dominions.”

The Duke of Richmond further remarked on the danger of keeping a body of twelve thousand foreign-