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[100] noon of the twenty fifth, tidings of the Bunker
Chap. XLVII.} 1775. July.
Hill battle reached the cabinet, and spread rapidly through the kingdom and through Europe. ‘Two more such victories,’ said Vergennes, ‘and England will have no army left in America.’ The great loss of officers in the battle saddened the anticipations of future triumphs; the ministry confessed the unexampled intrepidity of the rebels; many persons from that time believed, that the contest would end in their independence: but difficulties only animated the king; no one equalled him in ease, composure, and even gayety. He would have twenty thousand regular soldiers in America by the next spring. Barrington, the secretary at war, was of opinion, ‘that no such number could be procured;’ he therefore entreated the secretary of state to give ‘no expectation of the kind in the despatches going out to the colonies;’ and he wrote plainly to his sovereign: ‘The proposed augmentation cannot possibly be raised, and ought not to be depended on.’ But George the Third, whose excitement dispelled hesitation and gloom and left in his heart nothing but war, threw his eye confidently over the continent of Europe, resolved at any cost to accomplish his purpose.

The ministers were of opinion that Gage, at an

early day, ought to have occupied the heights of Dorchester and of Charlestown; and he was recalled, though without official censure. For the time, the command in America was divided; and assigned in Canada to Carleton, in the old colonies to Howe. Ten thousand pounds and an additional supply of three thousand arms were forwarded to Quebec, and notwithstanding the caution of Barrington, word was

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