WASHINGTON AT YORKTOWN
BY HENRY CABOT LODGE
 DURING the assault Washington stood in an embrasure of the
grand battery, watching the advance of the men. He was
always given to exposing himself recklessly when there was
fighting to be done, but not when he was only an observer.
This night, however, he was much exposed to the enemy's
fire. One of his aides, anxious and disturbed for his
safety, told him that the place was perilous.
"If you think so," was the quiet answer, "you are at liberty
to step back."
The moment was too exciting, too fraught with meaning, to
think of peril. The old fighting spirit of Braddock's field
was unchained for the last time. He would have liked to head
the American assault, sword in hand, and as he could not do
that, he stood as near his troops as he could, utterly
regardless of the bullets whistling in the air about him.
Who can wonder at his intense excitement at that moment?
Others saw a brilliant storming of two out-works, but to
Washington the whole Revolution and all the labor and
thought and conflict of six years were culminating in the
smoke and din on
 those redoubts, while out of the dust and heat of the sharp,
quick fight success was coming.
He had waited long, and worked hard, and his whole soul went
out as he watched the troops cross the abatis and scale the
works. He could have no thought of danger then, and when all
was over, he turned to Knox and said:—
"The work is done, and well done. Bring me my horse."
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