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negro driver rolled off his seat uttering a terrified yell.
Good lawd! good lawd, save dis niggah!” After a few moments of excitement and wild confusion, the horses were subdued; but the negro ran away as fast as his legs could carry him. One of the ladies now spoke her thanks, and Noah started at the sound of her voice. It was Anne Saturfield.
In a few moments, he found himself on the seat, driving the thoroughly subdued horses to the house of Mr. Saturfield. He saw the ladies to the house and was invited to renew their acquaintance. Never was one more happy than Noah at this time.
The evening for the Braddock ball came, and the Robinson home was all light and splendor. Sweetest strains of music floated out through the casement, and the passers by paused to gaze through the windows at the gayly dressed ladies and gentle
Fashionable people in powdered wigs were seen gliding about the apartment. Coaches and sleighs were coming and unloading their human freight.
Noah Stevens was among the early arrivals, awaiting with breathless anxiety the appearance of Miss Saturfield. People so fashionable as the Saturfields were of course late. While waiting,
he heard the loud jingle of sleigh bells, and a sleigh drawn by four horses dashed up.
“She has come,” thought Noah.
The parlor and drawing-rooms presented a lively scene at this moment. They glowed with light and splendor, and uniforms glittered in the lamplight. The musicians filled the air with harmonious strains. The door was suddenly opened and the master of ceremonies, a tall, straight young fellow in white knee breeches and scarlet coat with powdered wig, announced:
“ General Braddock !”
At this instant, a short, stout man in uniform, with chapeau on his head and a sword which almost reached the floor, stumbled over a rug and fell sprawling into the room. There was a flutter of excitement. The young ladies tittered and giggled. Mrs. Robinson and the older ladies were horrified at the awkward entrance of so great a man as General Braddock, while her sister Mary Philipse could not restrain her merriment.
Mr. Robinson sprang forward to assist the gentleman to rise.
He was uninjured by his accident, though his chapeau had fallen off, and with it his powdered wig, exposing a large, bald head.
Never mind me, sir. Egad! I am all right. Zounds! that fool don't understand politeness, or he would have caught me!"
He was a stout man, smooth shaven and so low in stature that the tails of his military coat almost touched the floor.
“I am sorry, general, that this happened,” began Mr. Robinson.
“General!" roared the new-comer, mopping his florid face with his handkerchief. “Zounds! but dub me a general, and I will tumble in head first every day in the week.”
Are you not General Braddock?"
No, sir! I am Major Bridges !” roared the officer, in a voice something less powerful than a lion's. "I am only a member of the general's staff, come to announce his arrival,” and the attitude which Major Bridges struck was eccentric and comic.
“I am glad to meet you, Major Bridges, and I hope the general will favor us with his presence as soon as convenient.”
Egad! you will find him quite a ladies' man and—zounds! but here he comes himself.”
General Braddock, accompanied by another staff officer entered, and was introduced to the guests by Mr. Robinson.
Well, major, did you announce our arrival ?” asked the general.
“That I did, General, and in a striking manner, too,” answered Major Bridges.
When Braddock was told how the major tumbled
into the room, he laughed heartily at the mishap, and the major declared that the general would make him the butt of ridicule for six months to come.
Braddock was a tall, stately Irish gentleman of forty, with a clear, piercing, steel-blue eye.
was major-general and commander-in-chief of all English-American forces. Edward Braddock was a man in fortune desperate and in manners brutal, in temper despotic, obstinate and intrepid, expert in the niceties of a review and harsh in discipline. As the English secretary of war had confidence only in regular troops, it was ordered that the general and field-officers of the provincial forces should have no rank, when serving with the general and field-officers commissioned by the king. This order so disgusted Washington, that he retired from the service and his regiment was disbanded.
Braddock came to America with the utmost contempt for Americans, and his death was the greatest blessing which could have happened to them. Had he lived, the general would have set up a military despotism in the colonies, with himself as the head.
Mr. Robinson introduced the gay general and his staff-officers to his guests. When he came to Noah Stevens, the general said:
you are the Mr. Stevens, who was with Mr. Washington at Fort Necessity ?”
I was with Colonel Washington, general,” Noah answered.
“Why not call him general? Titles in this country are cheap. Call him general.
“He deserves the honors he has won."