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the starch military etiquette becoming an aid-de-camp of Frederic the Great, — Rochambeau, D'Estaing, Lauzun, Duportail, De Grasse, Ternay, Pulaski, strangely swept from oldfashioned saloons and camps, to New England rocks and Carolina pine-barrens, - present each his own true, every-day physiognomy. The old Governor of Connecticut has an odd fascination of his own. There was as much chivalry in the straitlaced Jonathan Trumbull, as there was in the eccentric veteran rover, Charles Lee. For blood or bone, we would back him against any racer of the Revolution; and nobody excelled him as a prompt, precise, pains-taking man of business.
Whether Washington was to be helped to gunpowder, or the Sound to be cleared of British ships, or New York tories to be kept in order, the exigency always found him wide awake. But till Washington got used to the excellent patriot, we can fancy him puzzling over the edifying reflections interwoven into the more fugitive matter, and wondering whether a scrap from the last Sunday's sermon of the Lebanon minister had not crept into the Governor's despatch. The following letter is in his characteristic strain. We desire to read nothing better. When, after this fashion, sword and Bible are thrown into the same scale, the other arm of the balance is pretty likely to kick the beam.
“ Lebanon, 31 August, 1776. “Sir,- Adjutant-General Reed's letter, of the 24th instant, came to hand Tuesday morning, the 27th ; yours, of the same date, yesterday.
“On receiving the former, I advised with my Council. We concluded to send Benjamin Huntington, Esq., one of my Council, with direction to take with him Major Ely, at New London, an officer there well acquainted with the people on Long Island, to proceed there and consult and agree with some of the sure friends of our cause, with secrecy as far as the circumstances would admit, for a number of their men, assured friends, and well acquainted on the Island, to join with a body from this State, if possible to accomplish your wishes, to cause a diversion to the enemy, to harass them on their rear, and to prevent their excursions in pursuit of the provisions the Island affords. I hear they sailed for the Island yesterday. His return is expected the beginning of next week. VOL. LXXVII. — NO. 160.
“ If he succeeds according to our hopes, no exertions of this State, I trust, will be wanting, at this critical conjuncture, to harass and keep the enemy at bay, to gain time and every advantage the case may admit. I shall give the earliest intelligence of our proceedings, that you may coöperate with our designs. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. It is nothing with God to help, whether many, or with those that have no power. He hath so ordered things, in the administration of the affairs of the world, as to encourage the use of means; and yet, so as to keep men in continual dependence upon him for the efficacy and success of them ; to make kings and all men to know the reins of the world are not in their hands, but that there is One above who sways and governs all things here below.
“I am closing. A post comes in, and brings the letters, copies of which are inclosed. I now expect Mr. Huntington's speedy return. Have sent for my Council. My own thoughts, and such as come to me, are to send forward four or five of the companies now stationed at New London, with four field pieces, I hope six pieces, to join those men which may be ready for the service on Long Island; four or five companies to follow from New London as soon as they can be marched down; and also to order on other companies to take the places of such as are removed from thence.
“I am inclined to think we shall fall upon some measure similar to what is mentioned. No delay can be admitted at this critical moment. Please to give me the earliest intelligence how we may best serve agreeably to your desires.
“Shall send in the morning this intelligence to Governor Cooke, of Providence, and ask his assistance in the best way he shall think the circumstances of that State will admit.
“September 1st. Inclosed is a copy of another letter, dated yesterday, from Southold, that you may observe the contents. I hope to pursue our measures so as to stop the enemy getting into Suffolk county. I am, with esteem and regard, your Excellency's
“ Most obedient, humble servant.”
The following, of earlier date, was no unfit inauguration of the Virginia chief's first appearance in a New England camp.
“ Lebanon, 13 July, 1775. “SIR, -Suffer me to join in congratulating you, on your appointment to be General and Commander-in-Chief of the troops raised, or to be raised, for the defence of American liberty. Men, who have tasted
freedom, and who have felt their personal rights, are not easily taught to bear with encroachments on either, or brought to submit to oppression. Virtue ought always to be made the object of government. Justice is firm and permanent.
“ His Majesty's ministers have artfully induced the Parliament to join in their measures, to prosecute the dangerous and increasing difference between Great Britain and these Colonies with rigor and military force ; whereby the latter are driven to an absolute necessity to defend their rights and properties by raising forces for their security.
“ The Honorable Congress have proclaimed a Fast to be observed by the inhabitants of all the English Colonies on this continent, to stand before the Lord in one day, with public humiliation, fasting, and prayer, to deplore our many sins, to offer up our joint supplications to God, for forgiveness, and for his merciful interposition for us in this day of unnatural darkness and distress.
“ They have, with one united voice, appointed you to the high station you possess. The Supreme Director of all events hath caused a wonderful union of hearts and counsels to subsist among us.
“Now, therefore, be strong and very courageous. May the God of the armies of Israel shower down the blessings of his Divine Providence on you, give you wisdom and fortitude, cover your head in the day of battle and danger, add success, convince our enemies of their mistaken measures, and that all their attempts to deprive these Colonies of their inestimable constitutional rights and liberties are injurious and vain. I am, with great esteem and regard, Sir,
“Your most obedient humble servant."
Greene is the largest contributor to the collection; and next to him, Lafayette. Several of Greene's letters relate to the extreme embarrassments of his service as QuartermasterGeneral, but nearly half to that very interesting year, from the autumn of 1780, that he was in the command of the Southern Department. The following paragraph, in which he despatches the battle of Eutaw Springs, which turned the tide of war in the South, is a good illustration of his modest, disinterested, and vigorous character.
“Since I wrote to you before, we have had a most bloody battle. It was by far the most obstinate fight I ever saw. Victory was ours; and had it not been for one of those little incidents which frequently happen, in the progress of war, we should have taken the whole British
army. Nothing could exceed the gallantry of our officers, or the bravery of the troops. I do myself the honor to inclose you a copy of my letter to Congress, and beg leave to refer you to Captain Pierce, one of my Aids, who is the bearer, and who will give your Excellency a full history of all matters in this department, both as to force and supplies. I am trying to collect a body of militia to oppose Lord Cornwallis, should he attempt to escape through North Carolina. And you may rest assured nothing shall be left unattempted, in my power, to impede his march, so as to give your army time to get up with him; but my force is very small, and I am exceedingly embarrassed with numerous wounded.” Vol. iii. pp. 406, 407.
Lafayette's filial devotion throws a vein of romantic sentiment into the conglomerate marble of Washington's common experience. An affection so tender, a confidence so perfect, between actors on the great theatre of politics and war, is something of the rarest occurrence. · The Theban pair, with their “ virtues in heroic concord joined,” are nothing to it. Scipio and Lælius would have missed each other less. Ninus and Euryalus, had they only belonged to something more substantial than poetry, might have furnished a sort of parallel on a small scale. Lafayette pours out his homage to. his" guide, philosopher, and friend,” in language almost consecrated hitherto to the communications of lovers.
“ To hear from you, my most respected friend, will be the greatest happiness I can feel. The longer the letters you write, the more blessed with satisfaction I shall think myself. I hope you will not refuse me that pleasure as often as you can. I hope you will ever preserve that affection, which I return by the tenderest sentiments.”
“ Farewell, my most beloved General; it is not without emotion I bid you this last adieu, before so long a separation. Don't forget an absent friend, and believe me, forever and ever, with the highest respect and tenderest affection."
“ On Board the Alliance, 10 January, 1779. “I open again my letter, my dear General, to let you know that I am not yet gone; but, if the wind proves fair, I shall sail to-morrow. Nothing from Philadelphia ; nothing from head-quarters. So that everybody, as well as myself, is of opinion that I shall be wrong to wait any longer. I hope I am right, and I hope to hear soon from you. Adieu, my dear and forever beloved friend, -adieu." Vol. ii. pp. 248, 249.
“I beg your pardon, my dear General, for giving you so much trouble in reading my scrawls ; but we are going to sail, and my last adieu I must dedicate to my beloved General. “Adieu, my dear General. I know your heart so well, that I am sure that no distance can alter your attachment to me. With the same candor, I assure you that my love, my respect, my gratitude for you, are above expression ; that, at the moment of leaving you, I felt more than ever the strength of those friendly ties that forever bind me to you, and that I anticipate the pleasure, the most wished-for pleasure, to be again with you, and, by my zeal and services, to gratify the feelings of my respect and affection." Vol. iii. p. 461.
“What must your virtuous and good heart feel, on the happy instant when the revolution you have made is now firmly established ! I cannot but envy the happiness of my grandchildren, when they will be about celebrating and worshipping your name. To have one of their ancestors among your soldiers, to know he had the good fortune to be the friend of your heart, will be the eternal honor in which they shall glory.” Ibid. p. 546.
“Adieu, my dear General. Accept, with your usual goodness, the affectionate tribute of a heart so entirely devoted to you, that no words can ever express the respect, the love, and all the sentiments, with which you know it is glowing for you, and that make me until my last breath, your obedient, humble, and affectionate friend." Vol. iv. pp. 61, 62.
"I am sorry our meeting again is deferred; but, when you are absent, I endeavour to guess what you would have advised me to do, and then do it.” Ibid. p. 81.
“ I have received your affectionate letter of the 8th ; and from the known sentiments of my heart to you, you will easily guess what my feelings have been in perusing the tender expressions of your friendship. No, my beloved General, our late parting was not by any means a last interview. My whole soul revolts at the idea ; and could I harbour it an instant, indeed, my dear General, it would make me miserable. I well see you never will go to France. The inexpressible pleasure of embracing you in my own house, of welcoming you in a family where your name is adored, I do not much expect to experience ; but to you I shall return, and within the walls of Mount Vernon, we shall yet often speak of old times. My firm plan is to visit now and then my friends on this side of the Atlantic; and the most beloved of all friends I ever had, or ever shall have anywhere, is too strong