Page:The Hessians and the other German auxiliaries of Great Britain in the revolutionary war.djvu/35

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

Minister of Landgrave Frederick II.; but I do not know on what authority. The writer pointed out such novel facts as that men had in all ages slaughtered each other, that the Swiss had long been in the habit of fighting as mercenaries, that the ten thousand Greeks under Xenophon did the same, and he considered it unjust to blame his contemporaries for what seemed to be a natural instinct of mankind. He noticed that the present letting-out of troops by Hesse was perhaps the tenth occasion of the sort since the beginning of the century. He showed the benefits which the Landgrave had bestowed on his country, and the affection in which he was held by his people. He drew attention—and this was, perhaps, his best argument—to the fact that the Landgrave of Hesse and the Duke of Brunswick were so nearly connected with the English royal family that their descendants might be one day called to the throne of Great Britain.[1] As for the boasted Liberty of the Americans, she was but a deceitful siren, for all history proved that republican governments were as tyrannical and cruel as monarchies.

Meanwhile the Freiherr von Gemmingen, minister to the Margrave of Anspach, was a little ashamed of the business in which he found himself. “It always seems very hard to me to deal in troops,” writes he to his agent in London, “but the Margrave is determined to set his affairs in order at any price, and to pay all his own debts and those of his predecessors. So the good that may come out of such a treaty of subsidy will far outweigh the hatefulness of the business.”

  1. This argument was not mentioned in the British Parliament, where it might, perhaps, have been received with derision.