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‘ [281] talents, but your presence will be as neces-
Chap. LVIII.} 1776. Feb.
sary in New York.’ In like manner Franklin wrote: ‘I am glad you are come to New York; but I also wish you could be in Canada;’ and on the nineteenth the congress destined him to ‘that most arduous service.’ John Adams, who had counselled his expedition to New York, wrote to him complacently, ‘that a luckier or a happier one had never been projected;’ and added: ‘We want you at New York; we want you at Cambridge; we want you in Virginia; but Canada seems of more importance, and therefore you are sent there. I wish you the laurels of Wolfe and Montgomery, with a happier fate.’ Elated by such homage, Lee indulged his natural propensities, and made bold to ask money of the New York congress; ‘two thousand dollars at the least,’ said he; ‘if you could make it twenty five hundred it would be more convenient to me;’ and they allowed him the gratuity. ‘When I leave this place,’ so he wrote to Washington on the last day of February, the ‘provincial congress and inhabitants will relapse into their hysterics; the men-of-war will return to their wharfs, and the first regiments from England will take quiet possession of the town.’ Those about him chimed in with his revilings. ‘Things will never go well,’ said Waterbury, ‘unless the city of New York is crushed down by the Connecticut people;’ and Sears set no bounds to his contumelious abuse of the committee of New York and its convention.

On the first of March, after a warm contest among

the delegates of various colonies, each wishing to have him where they had most at stake, on the motion of

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