fleet which was to support the attack on Quebec
selected the generous and kind-hearted Saunders
, an officer who to unaffected modesty and steady courage joined the love of civil freedom.
The command of the army in the river St. Lawrence
was conferred on Wolfe
, who, like Washington
, could have found happiness in retirement.
His nature, at once affectionate and aspiring, mingled the kindliest gentleness with an impetuous courage, which was never exhausted or appalled.
He loved letters and wrote well; he had studied the science of war profoundly, joining to experience a creative mind; and the vehement passion for immortal glory overcame his motives to repose.
‘I feel called upon,’ he had once written, on occasion of his early promotion, ‘to justify the notice taken of me by such exertions and exposure of myself as will probably lead to my fall.’
And the day before departing for his command, in the inspiring presence of Pitt
, he forgot danger, glory, every thing but the overmastering purpose to devote himself for his country.
All the while, ships from every part of the world were bringing messages of the success of British arms.
In the preceding April, a small English squadron made a conquest of Senegal
; in December, negroes crowded on the heights of the island of Goree
to gaze on the strange spectacle of war, and to witness the surrender of its forts to Commodore Augustus Keppel
In the Indian
seas, Pococke maintained the superiority of England
In the West Indies
, in January, 1759, a fleet of ten line-of-battle ships, with six thousand effective troops, made a fruitless attack on Martinico; but, sailing for Guadaloupe, the best of the West India
possessions of France
, after the losses