Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/114

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patches, and was afraid to fight, and the laugh was on our side.

A little later on, Comte d'Estaing appeared before New York with a fleet of twelve vessels of the line and several frigates.

The American army, encouraged by the presence of the French Fleet, advanced the lines close to the city.

D'Estaing had hoped to be able to attack the British fleet in the port, with the advantage of superior force. Admiral Howe's squadron consisted only of seven or eight vessels of 50 guns. The French ships, being much larger, drew too much water, and were afraid of venturing too far in, for fear of running aground. The Languedoc, d'Estaing's flag vessel, mounted no guns. They were therefore obliged to renounce their original plan, and change their tactics.

The Marquis de la Fayette gave me a letter of introduction to Comte d'Estaing, which I presented, though I was a trifle nervous at the idea of an interview with such an important personage. He