Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/197

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


walls of which were covered with maps, were open, and in the midst of this solitude I found two clerks, each sitting at his own table, engaged in writing. At last I met a servant, or rather the servant, for there was but one in the house, and asked for the Secretary. He replied that his master was absent for the moment, having gone to the barber's to be shaved. Mr. MacHenry's name figured in the State Budget for $2000 (10,500 francs), a salary quite sufficient in a country where the Secretary for War goes in the morning to his neighbour, the barber at the corner, to get shaved.

I was as much surprised to find all the business of the War Office transacted by two clerks, as I was to hear that the Secretary had gone to the barber's; both details were in harmony with the spirit of a nation that knew how to pay its debts. This recalls to my mind the very singular recompense which the American Congress awarded to General Stark, the conqueror of Burgoyne.

The British general, dressed in a mag-