THE FALL OF QUEBEC 81
manoeuvres, and as the former grew up his talents developed greatly along that line. He seemed absolutely devoid of fear, and was dashing and headlong in his gallantry. Combined with these qualities were enthusiastic devotion to duty and a knowledge of detail that won him the position of adjutant of his regiment in Flanders at the early age of sixteen. In his own estimation, as confided to his mother, Wolfe was endowed with but moderate abilities, aided by close application to study ; but to the commonplace leader of the former Ministry he was a hopeless enigma, if not worse. With ill-concealed animosity, the Duke of Newcastle had even gone so far in the old king's hearing as to dub Pitt's new general mad.
" Mad is he?" rejoined George II. pointedly ; "then I hope he will bite some others of my generals!"
Like Nelson many years afterwards, the young officer had the gift of sympathy and self-forgetfulness, that won for him the esteem of his equals and the affection of his men, while he was inclined to be something of a philosopher, when he had time. To his parents he was always a dutiful son, and his tender affection for his mother, revealed in many confidential