Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/87

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


an undeserved blot which no one would have thought it worth while to remove, but, as it is, any attempt to answer the charge would be an insult to one of the most beautiful and noble characters in history, and all suspicions fall to the ground before the name, the virtues, and the glory of General Washington. The assassin of De Jumonville could never have become a great man.

When the war broke out. General Washington was the proprietor of a splendid estate in Virginia, and he brought with him when he joined the army, a number of fine horses. He dressed in the most simple manner, without any of the marks distinctive of a commanding officer, and he gave away large sums to the soldiers, by whom he was adored. But all that he gave was from his own purse, for he had refused to receive any emoluments from the Government.

I ought to mention to the praise of the Marquis de la Fayette, that he followed the example of the commander-in-chief, and incurred great expense, purchasing