Enter a NEIGHBOUR [a spectator of the battle].
NEIGHBOUR. Madam, grieve not so much.
CLARISSA. Am I wont to grieve without a cause? Wou'd to God I did;—mock me not—What voice is that? methinks I know it—some angel sent to comfort me?—welcome then. [She turns about.] Oh, my Neighbour, is it you? My friend, I have need of comfort. Hast thou any for me?—say—will you not speak? Where's my husband?—my son?—my brother? Hast thou seen them since the battle? Oh! bring me not unwelcome tidings! [Cries.]
NEIGHBOUR. [Aside. What shall I say?] Madam, I beheld them yesterday from an eminence.
CLARISSA. Upon that very eminence was I. What then?—
NEIGHBOUR. I saw the brave man Warren, your son and brother.
CLARISSA. What? O ye gods!—Speak on friend—stop—what saw ye?
NEIGHBOUR. In the midst of the tempest of war—
CLARISSA. Where are they now?—That I saw too—What is all this?
NEIGHBOUR. Madam, hear me—
CLARISSA. Then say on—yet—Oh, his looks!—I fear!
NEIGHBOUR. When General Putnam bid the vanguard open their front to the—
CLARISSA. Oh, trifle not with me—dear Neighbour!—where shall I find them?—say—
NEIGHBOUR. [Aside. Heavens! must I tell her!] Madam, be patient—right and left, that all may see who hate us, we are prepar'd for them—
CLARISSA. What then?—Can you find 'em?—
NEIGHBOUR. I saw Warren and the other two heroes firm as Roxbury stand the shock of the enemy's fiercest attacks, and twice put to flight their boasted phalanx.—
CLARISSA. All that I saw, and more; say—wou'd they not come to me, were they well?—
NEIGHBOUR. Madam, hear me—
CLARISSA. Oh! he will not speak.
NEIGHBOUR. The enemy return'd to the charge, and stumbling o'er the dead and wounded bodies of their friends, Warren received them with indissoluble firmness, and notwithstanding their battalious aspect, in the midst of the battle, tho' surrounded with foes on ev'ry side—
CLARISSA. Oh, my Neighbour!—
NEIGHBOUR. Madam—his nervous arm, like a giant refresh'd with wine, hurl'd destruction where'er he came, breathing heroic ardour to advent'rous deeds, and long time in even scale the battle hung, till at last death turn'd pale and affrighted at the carnage—they ran—
CLARISSA. Who ran?
NEIGHBOUR. The enemy, Madam, gave way—
CLARISSA. Warren never ran—yet—oh! I wou'd he had—I fear—[Cries.]
NEIGHBOUR. I say not so, Madam.
CLARISSA. What say ye then? he was no coward, Neighbour—
NEIGHBOUR. Brave to the last. [Aside. I forgot myself.]
CLARISSA. What said you? O Heavens! brave to the last! those words—why do you keep me thus?—cruel—
NEIGHBOUR. [Aside. She will know it.] I say, Madam, by some mistaken orders on our side, the enemy rallied and return'd to the charge with fresh numbers, and your husband, son, and brother—Madam—
CLARISSA. Stop!—O ye powers!—What?—say no more—yet let me hear—keep me not thus—tell me, I charge thee—
NEIGHBOUR. [Aside. I can hold no longer, she must know it.] Forgive me, Madam—I saw them fall—and Michael, the archangel, who vanquish'd Satan, is not more immortal than they. [Aside. Who can relate such woes without a tear?],
CLARISSA. Oh! I've heard enough—too—too much [Cries.] yet—if thou hast worse to tell—say on—nought worse can be—O ye gods!—cruel—cruel— thrice cruel—cou'd ye not leave me one—[She faints, and is caught by her friend, and placed in a chair; he rings the bell, the family come in, and endeavour to bring her to.]
NEIGHBOUR. With surprising fortitude she heard the melancholy relation, until I came to the last close—she then gave me a mournful look, lifted up her eyes, and immediately sunk motionless into my arms.
WOMAN. Poor soul!—no wonder—how I sympathize with her in her distress—my tender bosom can scarcely bear the sight! A dreadful loss! a most shocking scene it was, that brothers should with brothers war, and in intestine fierce opposition meet, to seek the blood of each other, like dogs for a bare bone, who so oft in generous friendship and commerce join'd, in festivals of love and joy unanimous as the sons of one kind and indulgent father, and separately would freely in a good cause spend their blood and sacrifice their lives for him.
NEIGHBOUR. A terrible black day it was, and ever will be remembered by New-England, when that vile Briton (unworthy the name of a Briton), Lord Boston (curse the name!), whose horrid murders stain American soil with blood; perish his name! a fratricide! 'twas he who fir'd Charlestown, and spread desolation, fire, flames and smoke in ev'ry corner—he was the wretch, that waster of the world, that licens'd robber, that blood-stain'd insulter of a free people, who bears the name of Lord Boston, but from henceforth shall be called Cain, that pillag'd the ruins, and dragg'd and murder'd the infant, the aged and infirm—(But look, she recovers.)
CLARISSA. O ye angels! ye cherubims and seraphims! waft their souls to bliss, bathe their wounds with angelic balsam, and crown them with immortality. A faithful, loving and beloved husband, a promising and filial son, a tender and affectionate brother: Alas! what a loss!—Whom have I now to comfort me?—What have I left, but the voice of lamentation: [She weeps.] Ill-fated bullets—these tears shall sustain me—yes, ye dear friends! how gladly wou'd I follow you—but alas! I must still endure tribulation and inquietudes, from which you are now exempt; I cannot cease to weep, ye brave men, I will mourn your fall—weep on—flow, mine eyes, and wash away their blood, till the fountain of sorrow is dried up—but, oh! it never—never will—my sympathetic soul shall dwell on your bosoms, and floods of tears shall water your graves; and since all other comfort is deny'd me, deprive me not of the only consolation left me of meditating on your virtues and dear memories, who fell in defense of liberty and your country—ye brave men—ye more than friends—ye martyrs to liberty!—This, this is all I ask, till sorrow overwhelms me.—I breathe my last; and ye yourselves, your own bright spirits, come and waft me to your peaceful abode, where the voice of lamentation is not heard, neither shall we know any more what it is to separate.
Eager the patriot meets his desperate foe With full intent to give the fatal blow; The cause he fights for animates him high, His wife, his children and his liberty: For these he conquers, or more bravely dies, And yields himself a willing sacrifice.
SCENE I. Near Norfolk, in Virginia, on board a man-of-war, LORD KIDNAPPER, in the state-room; a boat appears rowing towards the ship.
SAILOR and BOATSWAIN.
SAILOR. Damn my eyes, Mr. Boatswain, but here's a black flag of truce coming on board.
BOATSWAIN. Sure enough—where are they from?
SAILOR. From hell, I suppose—for they're as black as so many devils.
BOATSWAIN. Very well—no matter—they're recruits for the Kidnapper.
SAILOR. We shall be all of a colour by and by—damn me—
BOATSWAIN. I'll go and inform his Lordship and his pair of doxies of it; I suppose by this time they have trim'd their sails, and he's done heaving the log.
SCENE II. Near the state-room.
BOATSWAIN. Where's his Lordship?
SERVANT. He's in the state-room.
BOATSWAIN. It's time for him to turn out; tell him I want to speak to him.
SERVANT. I dare not do it, Boatswain; it's more than my life is worth.
BOATSWAIN. Damn your squeamish stomach, go directly, or I'll go myself.
SERVANT. For God's sake! Boatswain—
BOATSWAIN. Damn your eyes, you pimping son of a bitch, go this instant, or I'll stick my knife in your gammons.
SERVANT. O Lord! Boatswain. [SERVANT goes.]
BOATSWAIN [solus]. What the devil—keep a pimp guard here, better station the son of a bitch at the mast head, to keep a look out there, lest Admiral Hopkins be upon us.
KIDNAPPER. What's your will, Boatswain?
BOATSWAIN. I beg your Lordship's pardon [Aside. But you can soon fetch up Leeway, and spread the water sail again.], please your honour, here's a boat full of fine recruits along side for you.
KIDNAPPER. Recruits, Boatswain? you mean soldiers from Augustine, I imagine; what reg'mentals have they on?
BOATSWAIN. Mourning, please your honour, and as black as our tarpawling.
KIDNAPPER. Ha, ha, well well, take 'em on board, Boatswain, I'll be on deck presently.
BOATSWAIN. With submission to your honour, d' ye see, [Scratching his head.] I think we have gallows-looking dogs enough on board already—the scrapings of Newgate, and the refuse of Tyburn, and when the wind blows aft, damn 'em, they stink like polecats—but d' ye see, as your honour pleases, with submission, if it's Lord Paramount's orders, why it must be so, I suppose—but I've done my duty, d' ye see—
KIDNAPPER. Ha, ha, the work must be done, Boatswain, no matter by whom.
BOATSWAIN. Why, aye, that's true, please your honour, any port in a storm—if a man is to be hang'd, or have his throat cut, d' ye see—who are so fit to do it as his own slaves? especially as they're to have their freedoms for it; nobody can blame 'em, nor your honour neither, for you get them for half price, or nothing at all, d' ye see me, and that will help to lessen poor Owld England's taxes, and when you have done with 'em here, and they get their brains knock'd out, d' ye see, your honour can sell them in the West-Indies, and that will be something in your honour's pocket, d' ye see—well, ev'ry man to his trade—but, damn my impudence for all, I see your honour knows all about it—d' ye see.
SCENE III. LORD KIDNAPPER returns to his state-room; the BOATSWAIN comes on deck and pipes.
All hands ahoy—hand a rope, some of you Tories, forward there, for his worship's reg'ment of black guards to come aboard.
BOATSWAIN. Your humble servant, Gentlemen, I suppose you want to see Lord Kidnapper?—Clear the gangway there of them Tyburn tulips. Please to walk aft, brother soldiers, that's the fittest birth for you, the Kidnapper's in the state-room, he'll hoist his sheet-anchor presently, he'll be up in a jiffin—as soon as he has made fast the end of his small rope athwart Jenny Bluegarter and Kate Common's stern posts.
FIRST SAILOR. Damn my eyes, but I suppose, messmate, we must bundle out of our hammocks this cold weather, to make room for these black regulars to stow in, tumble upon deck, and choose a soft berth among the snow?
SECOND SAILOR. Blast 'em, if they come within a cable's length of my hammock, I'll kick 'em to hell through one of the gun ports.
BOATSWAIN. Come, come, brothers, don't be angry, I suppose we shall soon be in a warmer latitude—the Kidnapper seems as fond of these black regulars (as you call 'em, Jack) as he is of the brace of whores below; but as they come in so damn'd slow, I'll put him in the humour of sending part of the fleet this winter to the coast of Guinea, and beat up for volunteers, there he'll get recruits enough for a hogshead or two of New-England rum, and a few owld pipe-shanks, and save poor Owld-England the trouble and expense of clothing them in the bargain.
FIRST SAILOR. Aye, BOATSWAIN, any voyage, so it's a warm one—if it's to hell itself—for I'm sure the devil must be better off than we, if we are to stay here this winter.
SECOND SAILOR. Any voyage, so it's to the southward, rather than stay here at lazy anchor—no fire, nothing to eat or drink, but suck our frosty fists like bears, unless we turn sheep-stealers again, and get our brains knock'd out. Eigh, master cook, you're a gentleman now—nothing to do—grown so proud, you won't speak to poor folks, I suppose?
COOK. The devil may cook for 'em for me—if I had any thing to cook—a parcel of frozen half-starv'd dogs. I should never be able to keep 'em out of the cook room, or their noses out of the slush-tub.
BOATSWAIN. Damn your old smoky jaws, you're better off than any man aboard, your trouble will be nothing,—for I suppose they'll be disbursted in different messes among the Tories, and it's only putting on the big pot, cockey. Ha, ha, ha.
COOK. What signifies, Mr. Boatswain, the big pot or the little pot, if there's nothing to cook? no fire, coal or wood to cook with? Blast my eyes, Mr. Boatswain, if I disgrease myself so much, I have had the honour, damn me (tho' I say it that shou'dn't say it) to be chief cook of a seventy-four gun ship, on board of which was Lord Abel-Marl and Admiral Poke-Cock.
BOATSWAIN. Damn the liars—old singe-the-devil—you chief cook of a seventy-four gun ship, eigh? you the devil, you're as proud as hell, for all you look as old as Matheg'lum, hand a pair of silk stockings for our cook here, d' ye see—lash a handspike athwart his arse, get a ladle full of slush and a handful of brimstone for his hair, and step one of you Tories there for the devil's barber to come and shave and dress him. Ha, ha, ha.
COOK. No, Mr. Boatswain, it's not pride—but look 'e (as I said before), I'll not disgrease my station, I'll throw up my commission, before I'll stand cook for a parcel of scape gallows, convict Tory dogs and run-away Negroes.
BOATSWAIN. What's that you say? Take care, old frosty face—What? do you accuse his worship of turning kidnapper, and harbouring run-away Negroes?—Softly, or you'll be taken up for a Whig, and get a handsome coat of slush and hog's feathers for a christmas-box, cockey: Throw up your commission, eigh? throw up the pot-halliards, you mean, old piss-to-windward? Ha, ha, ha.
COOK. I tell you, Mr. Boatswain—I—
BOATSWAIN. Come, come, give us a chaw of tobacco, Cook—blast your eyes, don't take any pride in what I say—I'm only joking, d' ye see——
COOK. Well, but Mr. Boatswain——
BOATSWAIN. Come, avast, belay the lanyards of your jaws, and let's have no more of it, d' ye see. [BOATSWAIN pipes.] Make fast that boat along side there.
[Exeunt ev'ry man to his station.
SCENE IV. LORD KIDNAPPER comes up on the quarter-deck.
KIDNAPPER. Well, my brave blacks, are you come to list?
CUDJO. Eas, massa Lord, you preazee.
KIDNAPPER. How many are there of you?
CUDJO. Twenty-two, massa.
KIDNAPPER. Very well, did you all run away from your masters?
CUDJO. Eas, massa Lord, eb'ry one, me too.
KIDNAPPER. That's clever; they have no right to make you slaves, I wish all the Negroes wou'd do the same, I'll make 'em free—what part did you come from?
CUDJO. Disse brack man, disse one, disse one, disse one, disse one, come from Hamton, disse one, disse one, disse one, come from Nawfok, me come from Nawfok too.
KIDNAPPER. Very well, what was your master's name?
CUDJO. Me massa name Cunney Tomsee.
KIDNAPPER. Colonel Thompson—eigh?
CUDJO. Eas, massa, Cunney Tomsee.
KIDNAPPER. Well then I'll make you a major—and what's your name?
CUDJO. Me massa cawra me Cudjo.
KIDNAPPER. Cudjo?—very good—was you ever christened, Cudjo?
CUDJO. No massa, me no crissen.
KIDNAPPER. Well, then I'll christen you—you shall be called Major Cudjo Thompson, and if you behave well, I'll soon make you a greater man than your master, and if I find the rest of you behave well, I'll make you all officers, and after you have serv'd Lord Paramount a while, you shall have money in your pockets, good clothes on your backs, and be as free as them white men there. [Pointing forward to a parcel of Tories.]
CUDJO. Tankee, massa, gaw bresse, massa Kidnap.
SAILOR. [Aside.] What a damn'd big mouth that Cudjo has—as large as our main hatch-way——
COOK. [Aside.] Aye, he's come to a wrong place to make a good use of it—it might stand some little chance at a Lord Mayor's feast.
KIDNAPPER. Now go forward, give 'em something to eat and drink there. [Aside.] Poor devils, they look half starved and naked like ourselves.
COOK. [Aside.] I don't know where the devil they'll get it: the sight of that fellow's mouth is enough to breed a famine on board, if there was not one already.
SAILOR. Aye, he'd tumble plenty down his damn'd guts and swallow it, like Jones swallow'd the whale.
KIDNAPPER. To-morrow you shall have guns like them white men—Can you shoot some of them rebels ashore, Major Cudjo?
CUDJO. Eas, massa, me try.
KIDNAPPER. Wou'd you shoot your old master, the Colonel, if you could see him?
CUDJO. Eas, massa, you terra me, me shoot him down dead.
KIDNAPPER. That's a brave fellow—damn 'em—down with them all—shoot all the damn'd rebels.
SERJEANT. [Aside.] Brave fellows indeed!
SERJEANT. I wait your Lordship's commands.
KIDNAPPER. Serjeant, to-morrow begin to teach those black recruits the exercise, and when they have learn'd sufficiently well to load and fire, then incorporate them among the regulars and the other Whites on board; we shall in a few days have some work for 'em, I expect—be as expeditious as possible. [Aside to him.] Set a guard over them every night, and take their arms from them, for who knows but they may cut our throats.
SERJEANT. Very true, My Lord, I shall take particular care.
[Exit KIDNAPPER; SERJEANT and NEGROES walk forward.
SERJEANT. Damn 'em, I'd rather see half their weight in beef.
BOATSWAIN. Aye, curse their stomachs, or mutton either; then our Cook wou'dn't be so damn'd lazy as he is, strutting about the deck like a nobleman, receiving Paramount's pay for nothing.
SERJEANT. Walk faster, damn your black heads. I suppose, Boatswain, when this hell-cat reg'ment's complete, they'll be reviewed in Hyde park?——
BOATSWAIN. Aye, blast my eyes, and our Chaplain with his dirty black gown, or our Cook, shall be their general, and review 'em, for he talks of throwing up his pot-halliards commission, in hopes of it.
SERJEANT. Ha, ha, ha.——
COOK. I'd see the devil have 'em first.——
[Exeunt SERJEANT, &c.
SCENE VI. In the cabin.
LORD KIDNAPPER, CAPTAIN SQUIRES, and CHAPLAIN.
KIDNAPPER. These blacks are no small acquisition, them and the Tories we have on board will strengthen us vastly; the thoughts of emancipation will make 'em brave, and the encouragement given them by my proclamation, will greatly intimidate the rebels—internal enemies are worse than open foes.——
CHAPLAIN. Very true, My Lord; David prayed that he might be preserved from secret enemies.
KIDNAPPER. Aye, so I've heard, but I look upon this to be a grand manoeuvre in politics; this is making dog eat dog—thief catch thief—the servant against his master—rebel against rebel—what think you of that, parson?
CHAPLAIN. A house divided thus against itself cannot stand, according to scripture—My Lord, your observation is truly scriptural.
KIDNAPPER. Scripture? poh, poh—I've nothing to do with scripture—I mean politically, parson.
CHAPLAIN. I know it very well; sure, My Lord, I understand you perfectly.
KIDNAPPER. Faith that's all I care for; if we can stand our ground this winter, and burn all their towns that are accessible to our ships, and Colonel Connolly succeeds in his plan, there's not the least doubt but we shall have supplies from England very early in the spring, which I have wrote for; then, in conjunction with Connolly, we shall be able to make a descent where we please, and drive the rebels like hogs into a pen.
CHAPLAIN. And then gather them (as the scriptures say) as a hen gathereth her chickens.
KIDNAPPER. True, Mr. Scripture.
CAPTAIN SQUIRES. Very good, but you must take care of the hawks.
KIDNAPPER. What do you mean by the hawks, Captain?
CAPTAIN SQUIRES. I mean the shirt-men, the rifle-men, My Lord.
KIDNAPPER. Aye, damn 'em, hawks indeed; they are cursed dogs; a man is never safe where they are, but I'll take care to be out of their reach, let others take their chance, for I see they have no respect to persons—I suppose they wou'd shoot at me, if I were within their reach.
CHAPLAIN. Undoubtedly, they would be more fond of you than of a wild turkey; a parcel of ignorant, unmannerly rascals, they pay no more respect to a Lord than they wou'd to a devil.
KIDNAPPER. The scoundrels are grown so damn'd impudent too, that one can scarcely get a roasting pig now-a-days, but I'll be even with some of 'em by and by.
CHAPLAIN. I hope we shall get something good for our Christmas dinner—so much abstinence and involuntary mortification, cannot be good for the soul—a war in the body corporal is of more dangerous consequence than a civil war to the state, or heresy and schism to the church.
KIDNAPPER. Very true, parson—very true—now I like your doctrine—a full belly is better than an empty sermon; preach that doctrine;—stick to that text, and you'll not fail of making converts.
CHAPLAIN. The wisest of men said, there is nothing better, than that a man should enjoy that which he hath, namely, eat, drink, and be merry, if he can.
KIDNAPPER. You're very right—Solomon was no fool, they say—[He sings.]
Give me a charming lass, Twangdillo cries, I know no pleasure, but love's sweet joys.
Give me the bottle, says the red face sot, For a whore I'd not give six-pence, not a groat.
Yet two is better than one, my Lord, for the scriptures further say, if one be alone, how can there be heat? You seem to be converted to that belief, for you have a brace of them, as the Boatswain says.
KIDNAPPER. Ha, ha. It's a pity but you were a bishop, you have the scriptures so pat—now I'll go and take a short nap, meanwhile; Captain, if any thing new happens, pray order my servant to wake me.
CAPTAIN SQUIRES. I will, my Lord.
CHAPLAIN. And you and I'll crack a bottle, Captain; (bring a bottle, boy!) 'tis bad enough to perish by famine, but ten thousand times worse to be chok'd for want of moisture. His Lordship and two more make three; and you and I and the bottle make three more, and a three-fold cord is not easily broken; so we're even with him.
CAPTAIN SQUIRES. With all my heart.—Boy, bear a hand!
TOM. Coming, sir.
CHAPLAIN. Tom, Tom!—make haste, you scoundrel!—fetch two bottles. I think we can manage it.
Enter TOM with the bottles.
CHAPLAIN. That's right, Tom.—Now bring the glasses, and shut the door after you.
SCENE VII. In Boston. A council of war after the battle of Bunker's-Hill.
LORD BOSTON, ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE, ELBOW ROOM, MR. CAPER, GENERAL CLINTON, EARL PERCY.
LORD BOSTON. I fully expected, with the help of the last reinforcement you brought me over, and the advice and assistance of three accomplish'd and experienc'd Generals, I should have been able to have subdued the rebels, and gain'd immortal laurels to myself—have return'd to Old England like a Roman Consul, with a score or two of the rebel Generals, Colonels and Majors, to have grac'd my triumph.
ELBOW ROOM. You have been vastly disappointed, sir—you must not look for laurels (unless wild ones) nor expect triumphs (unless sham ones) from your own victories or conquests in America.
LORD BOSTON. And yet, not more disappointed than you, sir—witness your thrasonical speeches on your first landing, provided you had but elbow room—and Mr. Caper too, to bring over Monsieur Rigadoon, the dancing-master, and Signor Rosin, the fiddler forsooth; he thought, no doubt, to have country danc'd the rebels out of their liberty with some of his new cuts—with his soft music to have fascinated their wives and daughters, and with some of 'em, no doubt, to have taken the tour of America, with his reg'ment of fine, sleek, prancing horses, that have been feeding this six months on codfish tails; he thought to have grown fat with feasting, dancing, and drinking tea with the Ladies, instead of being the skeleton he now appears to be—not to mention any thing of his letter, wherein he laments Tom's absence; for "had Tom been with him (he says) he wou'd have been out of danger, and quite secure from the enemy's shot."
PERCY. I think, Gentlemen, we're even with you now; you have had your mirth and frolic with us, for dancing "Yankee Doodle," as you called it, from Lexington.—I find you have had a severer dance, a brave sweat at Bunker's Hill, and have been obliged to pay the fiddler in the bargain.
CLINTON. However, Gentlemen, I approve (at proper seasons) of a little joking, yet I can by no means think (as we have had such bad success with our crackers) that this is a proper time to throw your squibs.
LORD BOSTON. I grant you, sir, this is a very improper time for joking; for my part, I was only speaking as to my own thoughts, when Mr. Elbow Room made remarks, which he might as well have spared.
ELBOW ROOM. I took you, sir, as meaning a reflection upon us for our late great loss, and particularly to myself, for expressing some surprise on our first landing, that you should suffer a parcel of ignorant peasants to drive you before 'em like sheep from Lexington; and I must own I was a little chagrin'd at your seeming so unconcern'd at such an affair as this (which had nearly prov'd our ruin), by your innuendoes and ironical talk of accomplish'd Generals, Roman Consuls and triumphs.
LORD BOSTON. My mentioning accomplish'd Generals, surely, sir, was rather a compliment to you.
ELBOW ROOM. When irony pass current for compliments, and we take it so, I shall have no objection to it.
MR. CAPER. The affair of Lexington, My Lord Boston, at which you were so much affrighted (if I am rightly inform'd), was because you then stood on your own bottom, this of Bunker's Hill you seem secretly to rejoice at, only because you have three accomplish'd and experienc'd Generals to share the disgrace with you, besides the brave Admiral Tombstone—you talk of dancing and fiddling, and yet you do neither, as I see.
LORD BOSTON. And pray, sir, what did you do with the commission, the post, the Duke of Grafton gave you, in lieu of your losses at Preston election, and the expenses of your trial at the king's bench for a riot, which had emptied your pockets?—Why you sold it—you sold it, sir—to raise cash to gamble with.——
ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE. Damn it, don't let us kick up a dust among ourselves, to be laugh'd at fore and aft—this is a hell of a council of war—though I believe it will turn out one before we've done—a scolding and quarrelling like a parcel of damn'd butter whores—I never heard two whores yet scold and quarrel, but they got to fighting at last.
CLINTON. Pray, Gentlemen, drop this discourse, consider the honour of England is at stake, and our own safety depends upon this day's consultation.
LORD BOSTON. 'Tis not for argument's sake—but the dignity of my station requires others should give up first.
ELBOW ROOM. Sir, I have done, lest you should also accuse me of obstructing the proceedings of the council of war.
MR. CAPER. For the same reason I drop it now.
LORD BOSTON. Well, Gentlemen, what are we met here for?
ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE. Who the devil shou'd know, if you don't?—damn it, didn't you send for us?
LORD BOSTON. Our late great loss of men has tore up the foundation of our plan, and render'd all further attempts impracticable—'t will be a long time ere we can expect any more reinforcements—and if they should arrive, I'm doubtful of their success.
CLINTON. The provincials are vastly strong, and seem no novices in the art of war; 'tis true we gain'd the hill at last, but of what advantage is it to us?—none—the loss of 1400 as brave men as Britain can boast of, is a melancholy consideration, and must make our most sanguinary friends in England abate of their vigour.
ELBOW ROOM. I never saw or read of any battle equal to it—never was more martial courage display'd, and the provincials, to do the dogs justice, fought like heroes, fought indeed more like devils than men; such carnage and destruction not exceeded by Blenheim, Minden, Fontenoy, Ramillies, Dettingen, the battle of the Boyne, and the late affair of the Spaniards and Algerines—a mere cock-fight to it—no laurels there.
MR. CAPER. No, nor triumphs neither—I regret in particular the number of brave officers that fell that day, many of whom were of the first families in England.
ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE. Aye, a damn'd affair indeed—many powder'd beaus—petit maitres—fops—fribbles—skip jacks—macaronies—jack puddings—noblemen's bastards and whores' sons fell that day—and my poor marines stood no more chance with 'em than a cat in hell without claws.
LORD BOSTON. It can't be help'd, Admiral; what is to be done next?
ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE. Done?—why, what the devil have you done? nothing yet, but eat Paramount's beef, and steal a few Yankee sheep—and that, it seems, is now become a damn'd lousy, beggarly trade too, for you hav'n't left yourselves a mouthful to eat.
"Bold at the council board, But cautious in the field, he shunn'd the sword."
LORD BOSTON. But what can we do, Admiral?
ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE. Do?—why, suck your paws—that's all you're like to get. [Aside.] But avast, I must bowse taught there, or we shall get to loggerheads soon, we're such damn'd fighting fellows.
LORD BOSTON. We must act on the defensive this winter, till reinforcements arrive.
ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE. Defensive? aye, aye—if we can defend our bellies from hunger, and prevent a mutiny and civil war among the small guts there this winter, we shall make a glorious campaign of it, indeed—it will read well in the American Chronicles.
LORD BOSTON. I expect to be recalled this winter, when I shall lay the case before Lord Paramount, and let him know your deplorable situation.
ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE. Aye, do—and lay it behind him too; you've got the weather-gage of us this tack, messmate; but I wish you a good voyage for all—and don't forget to tell him, the poor worms are starving too, having nothing to eat, but half starv'd dead soldiers and the ships' bottoms. [Aside.] A cunning old fox, he's gnaw'd his way handsomely out of the Boston cage—but he'll never be a wolf, for all that.
MR. CAPER. I shall desire to be recalled too—I've not been us'd to such fare—and not the least diversion or entertainment of any sort going forward here—I neither can nor will put up with it.
ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE. I think we're all a parcel of damn'd boobies for coming three thousand miles upon a wild-goose chase—to perish with cold—starve with hunger—get our brains knock'd out, or be hang'd for sheep-stealing and robbing hen-roosts.
LORD BOSTON. I think, Admiral, you're always grumbling—never satisfied.
ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE. Satisfied? I see no appearance of it—we have been here these twelve hours, scolding upon empty stomachs—you may call it a council of war (and so it is indeed, a war with the guts) or what you will—but I call it a council of famine.
LORD BOSTON. As it's so late, Gentlemen, we'll adjourn the council of war till to-morrow at nine o'clock—I hope you'll all attend, and come to a conclusion.
ADMIRAL TOMBSTONE. And I hope you'll then conclude to favour us with one of them fine turkeys you're keeping for your sea store [Aside.] or that fine, fat, black pig you or some of your guard stole out of the poor Negroe's pen. As it's near Christmas, and you're going to make your exit—you know the old custom among the sailors—pave your way first—let us have one good dinner before we part, and leave us half a dozen pipes of Mr. Hancock's wine to drink your health, and a good voyage, and don't let us part with dry lips.
Such foolish councils, with no wisdom fraught, Must end in wordy words, and come to nought; Just like St. James's, where they bluster, scold, They nothing know—yet they despise being told.
 See Burgoyne's letter.
SCENE I. At Montreal.
GENERAL PRESCOT and OFFICER.
So it seems indeed, one misfortune seldom comes alone.—The rebels, after the taking of Ticonderoga and Chamblee, as I just now learn by a Savage, marched immediately to besiege St. John's, and are now before that place, closely investing it, and no doubt intend paying us a visit soon.
OFFICER. Say you so? then 'tis time to look about us.
GEN. PRESCOT. They'll find us prepar'd, I'll warrant 'em, to give 'em such a reception as they little dream of—a parcel of Yankee dogs.
OFFICER. Their success, no doubt, has elated them, and given 'em hopes of conquering all Canada soon, if that's their intent.
GEN. PRESCOT. No doubt it is—but I'll check their career a little.——
Enter SCOUTING OFFICER, with COLONEL ALLEN, and other prisoners.
SCOUTING OFFICER. Sir, I make bold to present you with a few prisoners—they are a scouting detachment from the army besieging St. John's.
GEN. PRESCOT. Prisoners? Rebels, I suppose, and scarcely worth hanging.
COL. ALLEN. Sir, you suppose wrong—you mean scarcely worth your while to attempt.
GEN. PRESCOT. Pray, who are you, sir?
COL. ALLEN. A man, sir, and who had the honour, till now, to command those brave men, whom you call rebels.
GEN. PRESCOT. What is your name? If I may be so bold?
COL. ALLEN. Allen.
GEN. PRESCOT. Allen?
COL. ALLEN. Yes, Allen.
GEN. PRESCOT. Are you that Allen, that Colonel Allen (as they call him) that dar'd to take Ticonderoga?
COL. ALLEN. The same—the very man.
GEN. PRESCOT. Then rebels you are, and as such I shall treat you, for daring to oppose Lord Paramount's troops, and the laws of the land.
COL. ALLEN. Prisoners we are, 'tis true—but we despise the name of a rebel—With more propriety that name is applicable to your master—'tis he who attempts to destroy the laws of the land, not us—we mean to support them, and defend our property against Paramount's and parliamentary tyranny.
GEN. PRESCOT. To answer you were a poorness of spirit I despise; when rebels dare accuse, power that replies, forgets to punish; I am not to argue that point with you: And let me tell you, sir, whoever you are, it now ill becomes you thus to talk—You're my prisoner—your life is in my hands, and you shall suffer immediately—Guards! take them away.
COL. ALLEN. Cruel insult!—pardon these brave men!—what they have done has been by my orders—I am the only guilty person (if guilt there be), let me alone suffer for them all. [Opening his breast.] Here! take your revenge—Why do you hesitate?—Will you not strike a breast that ne'er will flinch from your pointed bayonet?
GEN. PRESCOT. Provoke me not—Remember you're my prisoners.
COL. ALLEN. Our souls are free!—Strike, cowards, strike!—I scorn to beg my life.
GEN. PRESCOT. Guards! away with them—I'll reserve you for a more ignominious death—your fate is fix'd—away with them.
COL. ALLEN. [Going off.] Be glutted, ye thirsters after human blood—Come, see me suffer—mark my eye, and scorn me, if my expiring soul confesses fear—Come, see and be taught virtue, and to die as a patriot for the wrongs of my country.
[Exeunt PRISONERS and GUARDS.
SCENE II. A Dungeon.
COL. ALLEN. What! ye infernal monsters! murder us in the dark?—What place is this?—Who reigns king of these gloomy mansions?—You might favour us at least with one spark of light—Ye cannot see to do your business here.
OFFICER. 'Tis our orders.
COL. ALLEN. Ye dear, ye brave, wretched friends!—now would I die for ye all—ye share a death I wou'd gladly excuse you from—'Tis not death I fear—this is only bodily death—but to die noteless in the silent dark, is to die scorn'd, and shame our suff'ring country—we fall undignify'd by villains' hands—a sacrifice to Britain's outcast blood-hounds—This, this shakes the soul!—Come then, ye murderers, since it must be so—do your business speedily—Farewell, my friends! to die with you is now my noblest claim since to die for you was a choice deny'd—What are ye about?—Stand off, ye wretches!
OFFICER. I am order'd to lay you in irons. [They seize him.] You must submit.
COL. ALLEN. What, do you mean to torture us to death with chains, racks and gibbets? rather despatch us immediately—Ye executioners, ye inquisitors, does this cruelty proceed from the lenity I shewed to the prisoners I took?—Did it offend you that I treated them with friendship, generosity, honour and humanity?—If it did, our suff'rings will redound more to our honour, and our fall be the more glorious—But remember, this fall will prove your own one day—Wretches! I fear you not, do your worst; and while I here lay suff'ring and chain'd on my back to the damp floor, I'll yet pray for your conversion.
OFFICER. Excuse us, we have only obey'd our order.
COL. ALLEN. Then I forgive you; but pray execute them.
Oh! my lost friends! 'tis liberty, not breath, Gives the brave life. Shun slav'ry more than death. He who spurns fear, and dares disdain to be, Mocks chains and wrongs—and is forever free; While the base coward, never safe, tho' low, Creeps but to suff'rings, and lives on for woe!
SCENE III. In the Camp at Cambridge.
GENERAL WASHINGTON, GENERAL LEE, and GENERAL PUTNAM.
Our accounts from the Northward, so far, are very favourable; Ticonderoga, Chamblee, St. John's and Montreal our troops are already in possession of—and Colonel Arnold, having penetrated Canada, after suff'ring much thro' cold, fatigue and want of provisions, is now before Quebec, and General Montgomery, I understand, is in full march to join him; see these letters.
GEN. LEE. The brave, the intrepid Arnold, with his handful of fearless troops, have dar'd beyond the strength of mortals—Their courage smil'd at doubts, and resolutely march'd on, clamb'ring (to all but themselves) insurmountable precipices, whose tops, covered with ice and snow, lay hid in the clouds, and dragging baggage, provisions, ammunition and artillery along with them, by main strength, in the dead of winter, over such stupendous and amazing heights, seems almost unparallelled in history!—'Tis true, Hannibal's march over the Alps comes the nearest to it—it was a surprising undertaking, but when compar'd to this, appears but as a party of pleasure, an agreeable walk, a sabbath day's journey.
GEN. PUTNAM. Posterity will stand amazed, and be astonish'd at the heroes of this new world, that the spirit of patriotism should blaze to such a height, and eclipse all others, should outbrave fatigue, danger, pain, peril, famine and even death itself, to serve their country; that they should march, at this inclement season, thro' long and dreary deserts, thro' the remotest wilds, covered with swamps and standing lakes, beset with trees, bushes and briars, impervious to the cheering rays of the sun, where are no traces or vestiges of human footsteps, wild, untrodden paths, that strike terror into the fiercest of the brute creation.
No bird of song to cheer the gloomy desert! No animals of gentle love's enliven!
GEN. LEE. Let Britons do the like—no—they dare not attempt it—let 'em call forth the Hanoverian, the Hessian, the hardy Ruffian, or, if they will, the wild Cossacks and Kalmucks of Tartary, and they would tremble at the thought! And who but Americans dare undertake it? The wond'ring moon and stars stood aloof, and turn'd pale at the sight!
GEN. WASHINGTON. I rejoice to hear the Canadians received them kindly, after their fatigue furnish'd them with the necessaries of life, and otherways treated them very humanely—And the savages, whose hair stood on end, and look'd and listen'd with horror and astonishment at the relation of the fatigues and perils they underwent, commiserated them, and afforded all the succour in their power.
GEN. LEE. The friendship of the Canadians and Savages, or even their neutrality alone, are favourable circumstances that cannot fail to hearten our men; and the junction of General Montgomery will inspire 'em with fresh ardour.
GEN. PUTNAM. Heavens prosper 'em!
Enter OFFICER and EXPRESS.
OFFICER. Sir, here's an Express.
EXPRESS. I have letters to your Excellency.
GEN. WASHINGTON. From whence?
EXPRESS. From Canada, sir.
GEN. WASHINGTON. From the army?
EXPRESS. From the headquarters, sir.
GEN. WASHINGTON. I hope matters go well there.—Had General Montgomery join'd Colonel Arnold when you left it?
EXPRESS. He had, sir—these letters are from both those gentlemen.
[Gives him the letters.
GEN. WASHINGTON. Very well. You may now withdraw and refresh yourself, unless you've further to say—I'll dispatch you shortly.
EXPRESS. Nothing further, sir.
[Exeunt OFFICER and EXPRESS.
GEN. WASHINGTON. [Opens and reads the letter to GENERALS LEE and PUTNAM.] I am well pleased with their contents—all but the behaviour of the haughty Carleton—to fire upon a flag of truce, hitherto unprecedented, even amongst Savages or Algerines—his cruelty to the prisoners is cowardly, and personal ill treatment of General Montgomery is unbecoming a General—a soldier—and beneath a Gentleman—and leaves an indelible mark of brutality—I hope General Montgomery, however, will not follow his example.
GEN. LEE. I hope so too, sir—if it can be avoided; it's a disgrace to the soldier, and a scandal to the Gentleman—so long as I've been a soldier, my experience has not furnish'd me with a like instance.
GEN. PUTNAM. I see no reason why he shou'dn't be paid in his own coin.—If a man bruises my heel, I'll break his head—I cannot see the reason or propriety of bearing with their insults—does he not know it's in our power to retaliate fourfold?
GEN. LEE. Let's be good natur'd, General—let us see a little more of it first——
GEN. PUTNAM. I think we have seen enough of it already for this twelve-months past. Methinks the behaviour of Lord Boston, the ill treatment of poor Allen, to be thrown into a loathsome dungeon like a murderer, be loaded with irons, and transported like a convict, would sufficiently rouse us to a just retaliation—that imperious red coat, Carleton, should be taught good manners—I hope to see him ere long in our College at Cambridge——
GEN. LEE. I doubt; he'll be too cunning, and play truant—he has no notion of learning American manners; ev'ry dog must have his day (as the saying is); it may be our time by and by—the event of war is uncertain——
GEN. PUTNAM. Very true, sir; but don't let us be laugh'd at forever.
Enter an OFFICER in haste.
OFFICER. Sir, a messenger this moment from Quebec waits to be admitted.
GEN. WASHINGTON. Let him enter.
GEN. WASHINGTON. What news bring you?
MESSENGER. I am sorry, sir, to be the bearer of an unpleasing tale——
GEN. WASHINGTON. Bad news have you?—have you letters?
MESSENGER. None, sir—I came off at a moment's warning—my message is verbal.
GEN. WASHINGTON. Then relate what you know.
MESSENGER. After the arrival and junction of General Montgomery's troops with Colonel Arnold's, Carleton was summoned to surrender; he disdaining any answer, fir'd on the flag of truce——
GEN. WASHINGTON. That we have heard—go on.
MESSENGER. The General finding no breach could be effected in any reasonable time, their walls being vastly strong, and his cannon rather light, determined to attempt it by storm—The enemy were apprized of it—however, he passed the first barrier, and was attempting the second, where he was unfortunately killed, with several other brave officers——
GEN. WASHINGTON. Is General Montgomery killed?
MESSENGER. He is certainly, sir.
GEN. WASHINGTON. I am sorry for it—a brave man—I could wish him a better fate!——
GEN. LEE. I lament the loss of him—a resolute soldier——
GEN. PUTNAM. Pity such bravery should prove unsuccessful, such merit unrewarded;—but the irreversible decree of Providence!—who can gainsay?—we may lament the loss of a friend, but 'tis irreligious to murmur at pre-ordination. What happ'ned afterwards?
MESSENGER. The officer next in command, finding their attacks at that time unsuccessful, retired in good order.
GEN. WASHINGTON. What became of Colonel Arnold?
MESSENGER. Colonel Arnold, at the head of about three hundred and fifty brave troops, and Captain Lamb's company of artillery, having in the mean time passed through St. Rocques, attacked a battery, and carried it, tho' well defended, with the loss of some men—
GEN. PUTNAM. I hope they proved more successful.
GEN. LEE. Aye, let us hear.
MESSENGER. The Colonel about this time received a wound in his leg, and was obliged to crawl as well as he cou'd to the hospital, thro' the fire of the enemy, and within fifty yards of the walls, but, thro' Providence, escap'd any further damage.——
GEN. PUTNAM. Aye, providential indeed!
GEN. WASHINGTON. Is he dangerously wounded?
MESSENGER. I am told not, sir.
GEN. WASHINGTON. I am glad of it.—What follow'd?
MESSENGER. His brave troops pushed on to the second barrier, and took possession of it.
GEN. WASHINGTON. Very good—proceed.
MESSENGER. A party of the enemy then sallying out from the palace-gate, attacked them in the rear, whom they fought with incredible bravery for three hours, and deeds of eternal fame were done; but being surrounded on all sides, and overpowered by numbers, were at last obliged to submit themselves as prisoners of war.
GEN. PUTNAM. Heav'ns! could any thing prove more unlucky? such brave fellows deserve better treatment than they'll get (I'm afraid) from the inhuman Carleton.
GEN. LEE. Such is the fortune of war, and the vicissitudes attending a military life; to-day conquerors, to-morrow prisoners.
GEN. WASHINGTON. He dares not treat them ill—only as prisoners. Did you learn how those brave fellows were treated?
MESSENGER. It was currently reported in the camp they were treated very humanely.
GEN. WASHINGTON. A change for the better.
GEN. PUTNAM. Produc'd by fear, no doubt from General Montgomery's letter—but no matter from what cause.
GEN. LEE. How far did the remainder of the army retire?
MESSENGER. About two miles from the city, where they are posted very advantageously, continuing the blockade, and waiting for reinforcements.
GEN. LEE. Did the enemy shew any peculiar marks of distinction to the corpse of General Montgomery?
MESSENGER. He was interred in Quebec, with ev'ry possible mark of distinction.
GEN. WASHINGTON. What day did the affair happen on?
MESSENGER. On the last day of the year.
GEN. WASHINGTON. A remarkable day! When was the General interred?
MESSENGER. The second of January.
GEN. LEE. What number of men in the whole attack was killed? did you learn?
MESSENGER. About sixty killed and wounded.
GEN. WASHINGTON. Have you any thing further to communicate?
MESSENGER. Nothing, sir, but to inform you they are all in good spirits, and desire reinforcements, and heavy artillery may be sent them as soon as possible.
GEN. WASHINGTON. That be our business—with all despatch. You may for the present withdraw. Serjeant!
SERJEANT. I wait your order, sir.
GEN. WASHINGTON. See that the Messenger and his horse want for nothing.
SERJEANT. I shall, sir.
[Exeunt SERJEANT and MESSENGER.
GEN. WASHINGTON. I'll despatch an Express to the Congress. This repulse, if I mistake not (or victory, as Carleton may call it), will stand 'em but in little stead—'t will be only a temporary reprieve—we'll reinforce our friends, let the consequence be what it may—Quebec must fall, and the lofty strong walls and brazen gates (the shield of cowards) must tumble by an artificial earthquake; should they continue in their obstinacy, we'll arm our friends with missive thunders in their hands, and stream death on them swifter than the winds.
GEN. LEE. I lament the loss of the valiant Montgomery and his brave officers and soldiers (at this time more especially) 'tis the fortune of war, 'tis unavoidable; yet, I doubt not, out of their ashes will arise new heroes.
GEN. PUTNAM. Who can die a more glorious, a more honourable death than in their country's cause?—let it redouble our ardour, and kindle a noble emulation in our breasts—let each American be determined to conquer or die in a righteous cause.
GEN. WASHINGTON. I have drawn my sword, and never will I sheathe it, till America is free, or I'm no more.
GEN. LEE. Peace is despaired of, and who can think of submission? The last petition from the Congress, like the former, has been disregarded; they prayed but for liberty, peace and safety, and their omnipotent authoritative supreme-ships will grant them neither: War, then, war open and understood, must be resolved on; this, this will humble their pride, will bring their tyrant noses to the ground, teach 'em humility, and force them to hearken to reason when 'tis too late. My noble General, I join you. [Drawing his sword.] I'll away with the scabbard, and sheathe my sword in the bosom of tyranny.
GEN. PUTNAM. Have you not read the speech, where frowning revenge and sounds of awful dread for disgrace at Lexington and loss at Bunker's Hill echo forth? Not smiling peace, or pity, tame his sullen soul; but, Pharaoh-like, on the wings of tyranny he rides and forfeits happiness to feast revenge, till the waters of the red sea of blood deluge the tyrant, with his mixed host of vile cut-throats, murderers, and bloody butchers.
GEN. WASHINGTON. Yet, finding they cannot conquer us, gladly would they make it up by a voluntary free-will offering of a million of money in bribes, rather than be obliged to relish the thoughts of sacrificing their cursed pride and false honour, they sending over to amuse us (to put us off our guard) a score or two of commissioners with sham negotiations in great state, to endeavour to effect, by bribery, deception and chicanery, what they cannot accomplish by force. Perish such wretches!—detested be their schemes!—Perish such monsters!—a reproach to human understanding—their vaunted boasts and threats will vanish like smoke, and be no more than like snow falling on the moist ground, melt in silence, and waste away—Blasted, forever blasted be the hand of the villainous traitor that receives their gold upon such terms—may he become leprous, like Naaman, the Syrian, yea, rather like Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, that it may stick to him for ever.
GEN. PUTNAM. I join you both, and swear by all the heroes of New-England, that this arm, tho' fourscore and four [Drawing his sword.], still nervous and strong, shall wield this sword to the last in the support of liberty and my country, revenge the insult offer'd to the immortal Montgomery, and brutal treatment of the brave Allen.
O Liberty! thou sunshine of the heart! Thou smile of nature, and thou soul of art! Without thy aid no human hope cou'd grow, And all we cou'd enjoy were turn'd to woe.
SPOKEN BY MR. FREEMAN.
Since tyrants reign, and lust and lux'ry rule; Since kings turn Neroes—statesmen play the fool; Since parli'ment in cursed league combine, To sport with rights that's sacred and divine; Destroying towns with direful conflagration, And murder subjects without provocation! These are but part of evils we could name, Not to their glory, but eternal shame. Petitions—waste paper—great Pharaoh cries, Nor care a rush for your remonstrances. Each Jacobite, and ev'ry pimping Tory, Waits for your wealth, to raise his future glory: Or pensions sure, must ev'ry rascal have, Who strove his might, to make FREEMAN a slave. Since this the case, to whom for succour cry? To God, our swords, and sons of liberty! Cast off the idol god!—kings are but vain! Let justice rule, and independence reign. Are ye not men? Pray who made men, but God? Yet men make kings—to tremble at their nod! What nonsense this—let's wrong with right oppose, Since nought will do, but sound, impartial blows. Let's act in earnest, not with vain pretence, } Adopt the language of sound COMMON SENSE, } And with one voice proclaim INDEPENDENCE. } Convince your foes you will defend your right, That blows and knocks is all they will get by 't. Let tyrants see that you are well prepar'd, By proclamations, sword, nor speeches scar'd; That liberty freeborn breathe in each soul! One god-like union animate the whole!
End of the First Campaign.
General: Inconsistent hyphenation of eye(-)lids preserved as in original General: Inconsistent punctuation of Bunker(')s-Hill preserved as in original General: Variable punctuation after Roman numerals (e.g. iv.) preserved as in original Page 290: , added after JUDAS Page 293: "confident" as in original Page 305: "They has often been told" as in original Page 314: . added after "time to find him