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quired nowhere else. Once more had he been taught, in a way not to be forgotten, that it is never well to underrate one's opponent. He had looked deeper, too, and had seen what the whole continent soon understood, that English troops were not invincible, that they could be beaten by Indians, and that they were after all much like other men. This was the knowledge, fatal to British supremacy, which Braddock's defeat brought to Washington and to the colonists, and which was never forgotten. Could he have looked into the future, he would have seen also in this ill-fated expedition an epitome of much future history. The expedition began with stupid contempt toward America and all things American, and ended in ruin and defeat. It was a bitter experience, much heeded by the colonists, but disregarded by England, whose indifference was paid for at a heavy cost. After the hasty retreat, Colonel Dunbar, stricken with panic, fled onward to Philadelphia, abandoning everything, and Virginia was left naturally in a state of great alarm. The assembly came together, and at last, thoroughly frightened, voted abundant money, and ordered a regiment of a thousand men to be raised. Washington, who had returned to Mount Vernon ill and worn-out, was urged to solicit the command, but it was not his way to solicit, and he declined to do so now. August 14th, he wrote to his mother: "If it is in my power to avoid going to the Ohio again, I shall; but if the command is pressed upon me by the general voice of the country, and offered upon such terms as cannot be objected against, it would reflect dishonor on me to refuse it." The same day he was offered the command of all the Virginian forces on his own terms, and accepted. Virginia believed in Washington, and he was ready to obey her call. He at once assumed command and betook himself to Winchester, a general without an army, but still able to check by his presence the existing panic, and ready to enter upon the trying, dreary, and fruitless work that lay before him. In April, 1757, he wrote: "I have been posted then, for more than twenty months past, upon our cold and barren frontiers, to perform, I think I may say, impossibilities; that is, to protect from the cruel incursions of a crafty, savage enemy a line of inhabitants, of more than three hundred and fifty miles in extent, with a force inadequate to the task." This terse statement covers all that can be said of the next three years. It was a long struggle against a savage foe in front, and narrowness, jealousy, and stupidity behind; apparently without any chance of effecting anything, or gaining any glory or reward. Troops were voted, but were raised with difficulty, and when raised were neglected and ill-treated by the wrangling governor and assembly, which caused much ill-suppressed wrath in the breast of the commander-inchief who labored day and night to bring about better discipline in camp, and who wrote long letters to Williamsburg recounting existing evils and praying for a new militia law. The troops, in fact, were got out with vast difficulty even under the most stinging necessity, and were almost worthless when they came. Of one "noble captain" who refused to come, Washington wrote: "With coolness and moderation this great captain answered that his wife, family, and corn were all at stake; so were those of his soldiers; therefore it was impossible for him to come. Such is the example of the officers; such the behavior of the men; and upon such circumstances depends the safety of our country!" But while the soldiers were neglected, and the assembly faltered, and the militia disobeyed, the French and Indians kept at work on the long, exposed frontier. There panic reigned, farmhouses and villages went up in smoke, and the fields were reddened with slaughter at each fresh incursion. Gentlemen in Williamsburg bore these misfortunes with reasonable fortitude, but Washington raged against the abuses and the inaction, and vowed that nothing but the imminent danger prevented his resignation. "The supplicating tears of the women," he wrote, "and moving petitions of the men melt me into such deadly sorrow that I solemnly declare, if I know my own mind, I could offer myself a willing sacrifice to the butchering enemy, provided that would contribute to the people's ease." This is one of the rare flashes of personal feeling which disclose the real man, warm of heart and temper, full of human sympathy, and giving vent to hot indignation in words which still ring clear and strong across the century that has come and gone. Serious troubles, moreover, were complicated by petty annoyances. A Maryland captain, at the head of thirty men, undertook to claim rank over the Virginian commander-in-chief because he had held a king's commission; and Washington was obliged to travel to Boston in order to have the miserable thing set right by Governor Shirley. This affair settled, he returned to take up again the old disheartening struggle, and his outspoken condemnation of Dinwiddie's foolish schemes and of the shortcomings of the government began to raise up backbiters and malcontents at Williamsburg. "My orders," he said, "are dark, doubtful, and uncertain; to-day approved, to-morrow condemned. Left to act and proceed at hazard, accountable for the consequences, and blamed without the benefit of defence." He determined nevertheless to bear with his trials until the arrival of Lord Loudon, the new commander-in-chief, from whom he expected vigor and improvement. Unfortunately he was destined to have only fresh disappointment from the new general, for Lord Loudon was merely one more incompetent man added to the existing confusion. He paid no heed to the South, matters continued to go badly in the North, and Virginia was left helpless. So Washington toiled on with much discouragement, and the disagreeable attacks upon him increased. That it should have been so is not surprising, for he wrote to the governor, who now held him in much disfavor, to the speaker, and indeed to every one, with a most galling plainness. He was only twenty-five, be it remembered, and his high temper was by no means under perfect control. He was anything but diplomatic at that period of his life, and was far from patient, using language with much sincerity and force, and indulging in a blunt irony of rather a ferocious kind. When he was accused finally of getting up reports of imaginary dangers, his temper gave way entirely. He wrote wrathfully to the governor for justice, and added in a letter to his friend, Captain Peachey: "As to Colonel C.'s gross and infamous reflections on my conduct last spring, it will be needless, I dare say, to observe further at this time than that the liberty which he has been pleased to allow himself in sporting with my character is little else than a comic entertainment, discovering at one view his passionate fondness for your friend, his inviolable love of truth, his unfathomable knowledge, and the masterly strokes of his wisdom in displaying it. You are heartily welcome to make use of any letter or letters which I may at any time have written to you; for although I keep no copies of epistles to my friends, nor can remember the contents of all of them, yet I am sensible that the narrations are just, and that truth and honesty will appear in my writings; of which, therefore, I shall not be ashamed, though criticism may censure my style."