hands; should that fortress be taken the Canadians
would enter heartily into the Union
and send their deputies to congress.
‘Fortune,’ said he, ‘favors the brave; and no fatal consequences are likely to attend a failure.’
One day the general, accompanied by his aidede-camp, Macpherson, the pure-minded, youthful enthusiast for liberty, went out to meditate on ‘the spot where Wolfe
had fallen, fighting for England
in friendship with America
He ran a parallel in his mind between the career of Wolfe
and his own; he had lost the ambition which once sweetened a military life, and a sense of duty was now his only spring of action; if the Americans
should continue to prosper, he wished to return to the retired life in which he alone found delight; but said he, ‘should the scene change, I shall be always ready to contribute to the public safety.’
And his last message to his brother-in-law was: ‘Adieu, my dear Robert; may your happy talents ever be directed to the good of mankind.’
As the time for the assault drew near, three captains in Arnold
's battalion, whose term of service was soon to expire, created dissension and showed a mutinous disaffection to the service.
In the evening of the twenty third, Montgomery
repaired to their quarters, and in few words gave them leave to stand aside; ‘he would compel none; he wanted with him no persons who went with reluctance.’
His words recalled the officers to their duty, but the incident hurried him into a resolution to attempt gaining Quebec
before the first of January, when his legal authority to restrain the waywardness of the discontented would cease.
At sundown of Christmas