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[298] fury that two or three vessels were driven on shore;
Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar.
rain fell in torrents on the morning of the sixth; so that the movement against the American lines was still further delayed, till it became undeniably evident, that the attempt must end in the utter ruin of the British army. ‘If we had powder,’ said Washington, ‘I would give them a dose they would not well like.’ Their hostile appearances subsided; Howe called a second council of war, and its members were obliged to advise the instant evacuation of Boston.

When the orders for that evacuation were issued, the loyal inhabitants and the royalists who had fled to the town for refuge, were struck with sudden horror and despair, as though smitten by a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. Their error had grown from their confidence in the overwhelming force of the British power, which was to have been able to ravage the country in undisputed triumph, and restore them to the safe enjoyment of their possessions. Some of them were wretched time-servers, whose loyalty was prompted by the passion for gain and advancement; others were among the wealthiest and most upright persons in the colony, who, from the principle of honor, had left their homes, their fortunes, and even their families, to rally round the standard of their sovereign. Now the condition of the army was so desperate, that there was no time even to propose a capitulation for their safety, and the best that their sovereign could offer them was a passage in crowded transports from the cherished land of their nativity to the inhospitable shores of Nova Scotia, where they must remain, cut off from all that is dearest and

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