Page:Tupper family records - 1835.djvu/235

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

with him, however, the most perfect approbation of his services from the quartermaster general. Here he remained only a short time, having, through the interest of Sir James Saumarez, with the adjutant general, been appointed on the staff of that department in the expedition which sailed under Sir John Moore, for Sweden. With it he returned, and proceeded to Portugal in the same capacity. And here, on his first approaching the coast of the Peninsula, he received the unwelcome news of the death of his friend, am," he writes, " much less affected by his loss than if it had taken place under other circumstances. If it be God's pleasure that I fall in the course of my present service, I could certainly wish to meet my fate at the close of some great day, which should stamp lasting glory on the British arms. But I have gayer hopes, and look for- ward to a happy reunion with the dear friends I have left behind." He did indeed once again meet those friends, — but it was only to return to a service where he met that fate which he had thus mai-ked out for himself ! During the campaign he neglected no means to acquire both the Portuguese and Spanish languages, in which he finally succeeded ; but he mentioned, as a proof, (among others) of the bigotry of the Spaniards, and their aversion to the heretics, who were fighting their battles, that when in Salamanca, an university where there must have been many poor scholars, he could not procure one to give him lessons on any terms. At the battle of Lugo he had some very narrow escapes, and at Corunna had his horse shot under him. Upon his return to Eng- land with the troops, he made some efforts to purchase a majority, but was diverted from this by the prospect of procuring a nomina- tion among the officers who were to be sent out with General Beresford to discipline the Portuguese troops. This appointment, however, only followed him to the Peninsula, for which he em- barked in the middle of April, 1809, still as captain on the staff in the quartermaster-general's department. His majority was dated April 20th ; and it carried with it the further step of a lieutenant- colonelcy in the Portuguese service.

Having thus attained that first great step, to which every military man looks up, as materially altering his situation, he could now indulge the hope, that in the command of a corps he should soon secure to himself that distinction which is desired by all, and by none, perhaps, more than it was by him. Nor was it long before that hope was realized. At first, indeed, he had considerable dilfi-

�� �