Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/83

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


monized perfectly with these attributes. This general, who has since become so celebrated for his talents and successes, was just beginning to play that important part in history that he has since so gloriously sustained, in every capacity, military, civil, and political. But I intend here only to speak of the general.

He was surrounded by his officers, who for the most part were, like me, on their first campaign. Many of them had been far from imagining, a short time before, that they were intended for a military career. I saw, standing near the Commander-in-Chief, Gates, the victor at Saratoga, a small man, about fifty years of age: two years before that he was merely a rich farmer, yet quiet and simple as he looked he had made himself a name in history. This agriculturist turned soldier, who was wearing on his head a woollen cap surmounted by a farmer's hat, had just received the sword of General Burgoyne, who, dressed in full uniform, and with his breast covered with all the orders England could give, came to him to surrender.