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[299] pleasantest in life; condemned to hopeless inferiority
Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar.
in a dreary place of exile; foregoing for the future the pride and joy of healthful activity; exchanging the delight of a love of country for a paralyzing, degrading sentiment of useless loyalty; beggared in their sympathies as well as in their fortunes; doomed to depend on the scanty charities, grudgingly doled out, of a monarch for whom they had surrendered every thing, and to find how hard are the steps of the great men's houses, at which needy suppliants must ever renew their importunities.

The greatest disgrace to the arms of the British was the manifest confession of their inability to protect their friends, who had risked every thing in their cause. Who could now put trust in their promises? On the eighth, Howe, through the selectmen of Boston, wished to come to an understanding with Washington that the town should be spared, provided he might be suffered to leave it without molestation. The unauthenticated proposal could meet with no reply from the American commander in chief, who continued to strengthen his lines, drew nearer and nearer to his enemy, and used his artillery sparingly only from want of ammunition. On the night following the ninth, a strong detachment began a fort on Nook Hill, which commanded Boston Neck; but some of the men having imprudently lighted a fire, the British, with their cannon and mortars, were able to interrupt the work; and yet as Washington did not abandon his design, Howe was compelled to hasten his embarkation. In November he had given as a reason for not then changing the scene of the war, that he had not transports enough

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