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‘ [149] wrote a very polite epistle,’ requesting her friendly
Chap. L.} 1775. Sept.
assistance: ‘I accept the succor that your majesty offers me of a part of your troops, whom the acts of rebellion of my subjects in some of my colonies in America unhappily require; I shall provide my minister with the necessary full powers; nothing shall ever efface from my memory the offer your imperial majesty has made to me on this occasion.’ Armed with this letter, Gunning was ordered to ask an audience of the empress, and to request of her the assistance of twenty thousand disciplined infantry, completely equipped and prepared on the opening of the Baltic in spring, to embark by way of England for Canada, where they were to be under the supreme command of the British general. The journey from London to Moscow required about twenty three days; yet they were all so overweeningly confident, that they hoped to get the definitive promise by the twenty third of October, in season to announce it at the opening of parliament; and early in September Lord Dartmouth and his secretary hurried off messages to Howe and to Carleton, that the empress had given the most ample assurances of letting them have any number of infantry that might be wanted.

On the eighth, Suffolk despatched a second courier to Gunning, with a project of a treaty for taking a body of Russian troops into the pay and service of Great Britain. The treaty was to continue for two years, within which the king and his ministers were confident of crushing the insurrection. The levy money for the troops might be seven pounds sterling a man, payable one half in cash and the other half on embarkation. A subsidy was not to be refused. ‘I ’

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