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[302] implicit obedience. In the laying waste which was
Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar.
proposed, New England was to be spared the least.

The second night after this last effort in the British parliament to restrain the impetuous arrogance of the ministry had been defeated with contemptuous scorn, Washington gained possession of Nook Hill, and with it the power of opening the highway from Roxbury to Boston. At the appearance of this work, the British retreated precipitately; the army, about eight thousand in number, and more than eleven hundred refugees, began their embarkation at four in the morning; in less than six hours they were all put on board one hundred and twenty transports; Howe himself, among the last to leave the town, took passage with the admiral in the Chatham; before ten they were under way; and the citizens of Boston, from every height and every wharf, could see the fleet sail out of the harbor in a long line, extending from the castle to Nantasket Roads.

But where were Thacher, and Mayhew, and Dana, and Molineux, and Quincy, and Gardner, and Warren? Would that they, and all the martyrs of Lexington and Bunker Hill, had lived to gaze on the receding sails!

Troops from Roxbury at once moved into Boston, and others from Cambridge crossed over in boats. Everywhere appeared marks of hurry in the flight of the British; among other stores, they left behind them two hundred and fifty pieces of cannon, of which one half were serviceable; twenty five hundred chaldrons of sea coal; twenty five thousand bushels of wheat; three thousand bushels of barley and oats; one hundred and fifty horses; bedding and clothing for soldiers.

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