the King had given him a regiment of dragoons, and that His Majesty had granted me a commission as capitaine de remplacement, which entitled me to half-pay. The Minister of War confirmed the good news in an official letter, in which he said that by the wish of an important personage who did not wish his name to be known,—though I easily guessed it,—and who had taken me under his protection, the price of the brevet, that is to say 7000 francs, was remitted, and I had nothing to pay for my commission. I had no further happiness to desire, for, since the end of the "Seven Years' War," France had been at peace, and the army swarmed with young officers with aristocratic names. It was more difficult to be a cavalry captain in 1779 than it was to be a colonel twenty or thirty years later.
The French Government was then meditating a descent on England. A large army assembled in Brittany and Normandy, under the command of the Comte de Vaux.
Many transport ships were also col-