Recipient: Digges, Thomas
Recipient: Church, William Singleton
Novr. 19th 1780
[salute] Dr Sr.
The Bundle by Mr. B[romfield] I received, and one or two Parcells since. Yesterday I received the N. Papers and yours of the 14th.
I wish to know, how Sir. J. Y. Mem. is considered among you. Will they declare this Republick in Rebellion, or not? Whenever my Lord H—h has charged Faction and Cabal, it has been followed Soon by outlawry, and Charges of Rebellion and War.1
Poor Arnold! Where are his Laurels?—So much for attempting to convert the Tory Ladies.2
I dont wonder, there is no Exultation. A poor crippled, Piece of frail Mortality, hobbling on Crutches can no longer be an active Soldier. Will he go out? If he does he will meet Riflemen, and Hunters.
This Defection is not So shocking, as the Example of the Son of the Count of Egmont, delivering up to the Spaniards that very Brussells where the Citizens dipt their Hankerchiefs in his Fathers Blood in order to preserve the prescious Drops.3
It must have been a Bargain to march a Body of Men into Some Position to be Surrenderd up. As to a Body of 3000 Men, or their Officers being corrupted, I know better.4
Can you discover, whether Mr. [Laurens] had a Commission as Plenipo. or only to negotiate a Loan. This is a material Question.
Mr. Searle's desires his Respects to you.5
With great Regard yrs
1. See JA's letter of 16 Nov.
to the president of Congress, No. 20, and note 4
2. For JA's previous reference to the “Tory Ladies,” see his letter of 14 July
to Edmund Jenings (above).
3. The Duke of Alva executed Lamoral, Count of Egmont, in Brussels' main square on 5 June 1568. His son, Philip of Egmont, initially supported the Orangist rebellion, but ultimately returned his allegiance to Spain and in June 1579 led an assault on Brussels. The effort failed and he was forced to withdraw as the townspeople, who remembered his father, jeered (Gordon Griffiths, William of Hornes, Lord of Hèze and the Revolt of the Netherlands, Berkeley, 1954, p. 14–15, 30, 43, 59, 69–70, 80).
4. The London newspapers of 14 Nov., which Digges presumably enclosed with his letter of that date
(above), carried the first reports to reach England of Benedict Arnold's treason. Although it has not been found, JA refers here to one of those reports.
5. Both this sentence and the dateline are in John Thaxter's hand.