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[264] but the price was so high, that after contracting for
Chap. LVII.}
twelve thousand, he further bargained to supply four hundred Hessian chasseurs, armed with rifle barrelled guns; and then three hundred dismounted dragoons; and then three corps of artillery, taking care for every addition to make a corresponding increase in the double subsidy.

To escape impressment, his subjects fled into Hanover; King George, who was also elector of Hanover, was therefore called upon ‘to discourage the elopement of Hessian subjects into that country, when the demand for men to enable the landgrave to fulfil his engagement with Great Britain was so pressing.’

It was also thought essential to march the troops through the Electorate to their place of embarkation, for it was not doubted, ‘if the Hessians were to march along the left bank of the Weser, through the territories of Prussia and perhaps half a score of petty princes, one half of them would be lost on the way by desertion.’ The other half went willingly, having been made to believe that America was the land of golden spoils, where they would have free license to plunder, and the unrestrained indulgence of their passions.

Every point in dispute having been decided ac cording to the categorical demands of the landgrave, the treaty was signed on the thirty first day of January. This would have seemed definitive; but the payment of the double subsidy was to begin from the day of the signature of the treaty; the landgrave, therefore, put back the date of the instrument to January the fifteenth.

His troops were among the best in Europe; their

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