Here I waited in a very disagreeable kind of company until the 29th, for tho’ the squadron anchored off Block island the preceding afternoon, the haziness of the weather rendered them invisible to us. In the morning when the fog was dissipated, their appearance was as sudden as a change of decorations in an opera house.
From John Laurens to Henry Laurens, 4th August 1778
Laurens is describing the arrival of Count d’Estaing’s fleet at Newport, Rhode Island. There had been thick fog obscuring the fleet from the view of Laurens’s detachment, however when it lifted on the 29th, Laurens also described their appearance being ‘as sudden, as if they had been brought to view by raising a curtain.’