His numerous eccentricities were neither
Chap. XLI.} 1775. June 17.
exaggerations nor caricatures of any thing American, and in their excess disclosed a morbid mind.
Having no fellow feeling with the common people, he wanted capacity to array a nation in arms; and he would have preferred a country of slaves under a lenient master, to a democratic government.
His sordid soul had no passion so strong as covetousness; in affluence, he thought his income ‘miserably scanty,’ and he was always seeking to escape spending money even on himself.
Claiming to ‘have passed through the higher military ranks in some of the most respect able services of Europe
, and to be a major general of five years standing,’ he had waited upon congress with the thought of being chosen commander in chief.
Before he would consent to take rank after Ward
, whom he despised, he exacted a promise of indemnity on renouncing his half pay; and at the very moment of his accepting employment from a body, which was looking to France
for sympathy, he assured his king of his readiness to serve against the natural hereditary enemies of England
with the utmost alacrity and zeal.
Ever brooding over the risk he ran, he often regretted having hazarded his ‘all’ in the American
Such was the man who, in the probable event of Ward
's early resignation, was placed next in command to Washington
New York had been asked to propose the third major general
; she had more than one citizen of superior military talent, but her provincial congress which was consulted, limited the choice to those who possessed ‘the gifts of fortune,’ and selected Philip Schuyler
hesitated, saying: ‘His consequence ’