the flames were checked. The British soldiers were infuriated by the belief that the fire was the work of rebel incendiaries, and in the disorganization of the day they cut loose from the control of their officers and committed gross outrages, bayoneting a number of men, both Whigs and Tories, whom on the spur of the moment they accused of being privy to the plot for burning the city. Two or three years afterward there was another great fire, which consumed much of what the first had spared.
On the day of this first fire an American spy, Nathan Hale, was captured. His fate attracted much attention on account of his high personal character. He was a captain in the patriot army, a graduate of Yale, and betrothed to a beautiful girl; and he had volunteered for the dangerous task from the highest sense of duty. He was hanged the following morning, and met his death with quiet, unflinching firmness, his last words expressing his regret that he had but one life to lose for his country. He was mourned by his American comrades as deeply and sincerely and with to the full as much reason as a few years later Andre´ was mourned by the officers of the king.
Four or five thousand American soldiers were captured in the battles attending the taking of New York; and thenceforward the city was made the prison-house of all the captured patriots. The