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An Irish view of Arnold

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

November 26.—A correspondent in Dublin, Ireland, says: —Various conjectures have been hazarded, concerning the birth and parentage of the celebrated Mr. Arnold, whose dereliction of the American cause has been magnified in its utter ruin. Risum teneatis! Some have extended their effrontery so far as to pronounce him an Irishman, but to their confusion the secret has at length transpired. Fort George, in the Highlands of Scotland, had the honor of giving birth to this hero; and there he passed his youth, until sent for by a Yorkshire relation, a dealer in horses. During his residence in that shire, he added that cunning, for which it is proverbially noted, and a competent knowledge of the mysteries of the turf, to the prudent maxims of his native district. The circumstances of his voyage to America are still enveloped in mystery, though some assert that it was strictly according to law, and in consequence of a judicial injunction. However, by a series of concurring incidents, with his own application and address, he jockeyed himself into the confidence of the Americans, and attained a degree of elevation, superior to his most sanguine expectations. His tergiversation is generally attributed to a Scotch Seer, whom he retained in his camp, and who informed him with all the infallibility of second sight, that the day would come when the English would subdue America, and swallow millions at a meal. The suggestions of his countryman, according with the dictates of his native prudence, determined the conduct of our modern Almanzor. What a pity! must every humane reader exclaim, that the generous, the unfortunate Andre has fallen a victim in attending to the artifices of a being so contemptible.1


1 New Jersey Gazette, June 27, 1781.