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    About the same time Sir James Yeo, who had dared to attack the superior squadron of Commodore Chauncey on Lake Ontario, and took two of his schooners, now prevailed on the spiritless Sir George Prevost to join him in an attack on Sacketts Harbour. Here the Americans had a dockyard, where they built vessels for the lake fleet, and had now a frigate nearly ready for launching. Sir George consented, but, on reconnoitring the place, his heart failed him, and he returned across the water towards Kingston. Sir James was highly chagrined, but prevailed on this faint-hearted governor to make the attempt. Seven hundred and fifty men were landed, who drove the Americans at the point of the bayonet from the harbour, and set fire to the new frigate, to a gun-brig, and to the naval barracks and arsenal abounding with stores. Some of the Americans were in full flight into the woods, and others shut themselves up in log barracks, whence they could soon have been burnt out. In the midst of this success the miserable Sir George Prevost commanded a retreat. Men and officers, astonished at the order, and highly indignant at serving under so dastardly a commander, were, however, obliged to draw off. The Americans, equally amazed, turned back to endeavour to extinguish the flames. The arsenal, the brig, and the stores were too far gone; but the new frigate, being built of green wood, had refused to burn, and they recovered it but little injured. Thus, however, was lost the chance of crushing the American superiority on the lake, which must have been the case had Sacketts Harbour been completely destroyed.

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    There were some circumstances, however, which came out that created considerable suspicion and displeasure in Ireland. Wood had given a bribe to the king's mistress, the Duchess of Kendal, to procure him the contract, and the Government had ordered the coinage without paying the Irish Privy Council and Lord-Lieutenant the compliment of consulting them on this occasion. Swift saw these errors, and seized on them for his own purposes. He did not stop to inquire whether, after all, the proposed coinage would not, in any circumstances, be much better than the present distressing scarcity of copper money, and whether the farthings and halfpence might not turn out as good, though they were contracted for. It was enough for him that there was a cause of discontent which he could fan into a flame against the British Government. He threw all his spiteful soul into it, and his "Drapier's Letters" inflamed the public mind to such a degree that Walpole was compelled to cancel the patent.

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