Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/79

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


walked badly, and passed at least six nights under the trees through not meeting with any habitation. Not knowing the language, I often strayed from the right road, which was so much time and labour lost. At last, early in November, I arrived at Valley Forges.

The American army was then encamped three or four leagues from Philadelphia, which city was then occupied by the British, who were rapidly fulfilling the prophecy of Dr. Franklin.

That celebrated man—an ambassador who amused himself with science, which he adroitly made to assist him in his diplomatic work—said, when some friends came to Passy to condole with him on the fall of Philadelphia, "You are mistaken; it is not the British army that has taken Philadelphia, but Philadelphia that has taken the British army." The cunning old diplomatist was right. The capital of Pennsylvania had already done for the British what Capua did in a few months for the soldiers of Hannibal. The Americans,—the "insurgents" as they were