Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/89

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tunity every day of acquiring even this much, under General Washington. It did not enter into his plans to readily engage with the enemy on every opportunity. He watched his time and chance before he struck a blow; the principle of "armed temporization" was his daily study, and, as events have proved, he well deserved the title which has been claimed for him of the American Fabius.

The British, occupied in the pleasures which they found in Philadelphia, allowed us to pass the winter in tranquillity; they never spoke of the camp at Valley Forges except to joke about it, and we for our part might almost have forgotten that we were in the presence of an enemy if we had not received a chance visitor. We were at table at head-quarters,—that is to say in the mill, which was comfortable enough,—one day, when a fine sporting dog, which was evidently lost, came to ask for some dinner. On its collar were the words. General Howe. It was the British commander's dog. It was sent back under a flag of truce, and General Howe replied