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by the stomach.' • The Portuguese are now,' writes the Duke, • the fighting cocks of the army. I believe we owe their merits
more to the care we have taken of their pockets and bellies than ' to the instruction we have given them. As for the French troops, it is notorious that they will do nothing unless regularly paid and fed.' (Desp. x. 569.) And here, while on the subject of 'prog,' we find the origin of the Duke's Waterloo banquet: - June 22. To-day Lord Wellington celebrates • Salamanca by a great dinner; his victories and successes will
soon ruin him in wine and eating; and if he goes on as he · has, he had better keep open house at once; and his calendar • of feasts will be as full as the Romish one with red letter • days.' (Vol. ii. p. 4.) Finally, as the minor rods of Pharaoh's magicians were swallowed by that of Aaron, the hundred victories concentrated in the commemoration of the 18th of June.
Naturally the Judge Advocate considered it part of his duty to dine with the Duke whenever he could, and his host-an epicure in rice and iced water-recognised his judgment, and when a previous engagement was pleaded, said, “Very well ; • but I advise you to come to me nevertheless, as you will get a * much better dinner, for General Hill gives the worst dinners 'going '(vol. ii. p. 242.); his just now were so very good that • Mr. Larpent feared for the aides-de-camp, who will be ill of ' excess.' (Vol. ii. p. 181.) The Duke had, however, provided even for that risk, and had a notion that exercise made head-quarters • so healthy, and that hounds were the great cause' (vol. ii. p. 168.); hence he encouraged fox-hunting, a sure remedy for the otium castrense, and as the best bracer up of mind, body, and nerve, for those the first to take a Spanish fence are never the last to break a French square. The chase - mimic war -- was what of all things on earth the Duke really loved the most during every period of his life, and in which he indulged the earliest and continued to the last. He placed his 'meets' on a par with his victories; thus, the · Vine Hunt' hangs up in the gallery of Strathfieldsaye with Salamanca, as Melton Hunt' does with · Waterloo' at Apsley House; and both runs were capital. Hunting was ever his favourite metaphor. In India, he talks of 'giving chase' to the tiger Dhoondiah, as in Spain he desires ‘no better sport than to meet • Buonaparte's columns with his lines. The first time he ever signed his name, Wellington Sept. 16. 1809, asking leave ' to • have a chasse,' marked the ruling passion, as Nelson's first Peer signature addressed to Lady Hamilton, evinced his. When Mr. Larpent joined the Duke in his worst scrape'at Rueda, he was no less anxious about his troops than his hounds, and directs
Hill to bring them off from Arevalo;' and no sooner were both safe in winter quarters and the temple of Janus shut, than the kennel was opened and out he galloped, “knowing nothing of the 'sport, though very fond of it in his own way'(vol. i. p. 79.). This
. sport, however, was never allowed to interfere with duties, and he worked double tides to economise his holiday, saving every spare moment; to the last he often changed his clothes in his carriage while posting up to London to attend cabinets, having had a morning's run. In Spain, he hunts every other day • almost, and then makes up for it by great diligence and decision on the intermediate days' (vol. i. p. 85.); · When he donned the Salisbury hunt coat, sky-blue and black cape' (vol. ii. p. 247.), “and whip in hand was ready to start, business was, it must be admitted, despatched somewhat briskly, insomuch that some generals went out to get him to answer things in a hasty way he did not intend, but which they went and acted "upon; but he soon discovered this dodge. “D-n them,” said 'he, “I won't speak to them again when we are hunting.”' (Vol. i. p. 150.)
The Duke, in Spain, kept a fine stud, and worked them 'well;' he frequently rode “fifty miles between breakfast and
dinner,' often outstripped his companions, when the commander of so many thousands was left alone. Although he trusted to the fleetness of his steed, he was nearly taken by a French dragoon * in a green coat' galloping at Fuentes de Onoro (vol. i. p. 145.). The idea of being waylaid out hunting did not deter him more in the Peninsula
than in India, when Dhoondiah planned some such scheme in 1800. The Duke, although he had not a Melton seat, was a bold and hard rider, qualities appreciated by Spaniards, who still boast to 'witch the world with noble horsemanship,' albeit their knights and caballeros are now reduced to the ranks, to the ass and mule. Rapidity of movement has immemorially marked the meteor progress of great men on this soil: Cæsar hurried from Rome to Munda, the Waterloo of antiquity, in twenty-four days, and the first intelligence of his departure was his arrival. Lord Peterborough, who almost as quickly con
quered Spain,' and who had seen more kings and postboys than any man in Europe, was rapid and eccentric as a comet: Savary relates the racing pace of Napoleon'swift as an arrow,' and details his brigades of horse relays, and his gallop from Bayonne to Vitoria in two days. The Duke when once mounted was indefatigable : at Argaun, in 1803, he was eighteen hours in the saddle, and as many on Copenhagen, at Waterloo, in 1815. He grudged no price for an animal that united blood and bone, endurance and pace. Mr. Larpent
mentions his purchase of this good beast for two hundred and • fifty guineas, a gentleman who has gained some plates in Eng· land, and has a name' (vol. i. p. 182.), aye and one that eclipses Bucephalus; the pace was so killing, that the Duke, counting the number he had already lost in 1811, calls the Peninsula the
of horses' (Desp. May 23.). They laid down their lives to save his. Larpent gives the Duke's own account of the close
run thing'at Sorauren, where he pencilled some orders on the bridge, the people saying to me all the time, “ the French are «« coming, the French are coming !" I looked pretty sharp after them, however, every now and then until I had done, and then set off, and I saw them just near one end of the village, as I • went out at the other end’(vol. ii. p. 71.); in fact, he galloped alone up the hill. He gave written orders to diminish the chance of misunderstandings, caused by the usual mode of verbal directions: these he usually wrote so very carefully that there might be no mistake' on slips of paper, but latterly, at Waterloo for instance, out of a book of prepared skins, as less liable to injury; and his aides-de-camp were directed to bring each leaf back again that he might be sure the message had been delivered.
In these rides, as on most occasions, the Duke, to whom personal fear was unknown, exposed himself, like Lord Peterborough, to risks of all kinds, however much he found fault with other general officers for doing so, “and with what face I know not, says Mr. Larpent (vol. ii. p. 204.). It makes one shudder even now to contemplate the extent of the calamity to the world, had this precious life been sacrificed; and it is evident from this Journal that the feeling that 'every thing depended upon bim “individually,' was general with every class in the army and Spain. This conviction that all our hopes would vanish with this one * man' is ever uppermost on Mr. Larpent's mind, and confirms the axiom of Napoleon, that . Men are nought in war, it is the
One Man, the master-mind that sways the multitude.' The Duke in conformation considered the presence of Bonaparte
" equal to a reinforcement of 40,000 men,' while the Spaniards estimated his at scarcely less : There go thirty thousand men!' cried they as he rode alone up the hill at Sorauren. So it has been of old: eis èuol múploi, wrote Cicero to Atticus. The Duke felt his name to be a tower of strength, and he knew the reason why. When I come myself, the soldiers think what they have to do the most important, as I am there, and that . all will depend on their exertions; these are increased in proportion, and they will do for me what, perhaps, no one else can make them do. “Another advantage Bonaparte possessed, and which he made so much use of, was, Lord Wellington said,
his full latitude of lying ; that, if so disposed,” he said, he could not do.' (Vol. ii
. p. 49.) He felt a solemn conviction, like Joan of Arc, that he had an appointed mission to perform, and was an instrument in God's hands, brother, not our own;' and, although thousands fell at his side and ten thousand at his right hand, a still small voice within told him that no bullet was cast for him, and thus, fearing neither the arrow that struck by day or night, he passed unscathed alike from the fire of the column as from that of the sneaking assassin ; nor was he ever touched but by a spent ball at Orthez; when · Hit at last’ was all he said. And as they jest at scars who never felt a wound, when Colonel Waters was shot in the head, but not much hurt and out the next day, the Duke told him his head must be like a “rock '(vol. ii. p. 22.). “Again at dinner, yesterday,' says Mr. Larpent, he was laughing at General Alava having had a
knock, and telling him it was all nonsense, and that he was not hurt, when he received this blow and a worse one in the same place himself: Alava said it was to punish him for laughing at him.' (Vol. iii. p. 41.) This hit and hurt at Orthez, which made him limp a little and pull up for a day, saved Soult from annihilation. Another exposure, and often alluded to by Mr. Larpent, arose from his constantly “losing his way' from despising guides,' &c. (vol. ii. pp. 125—228.). From some phrenological peculiarity of the organ of locality, and a marked desire to find a shorter cut, and save time and distance, the Duke constantly mistook the regular way; thus down to his last hunt in his own neighbourhood, and even when near home, he expected to be shown the way. He considered this being out of it as a matter of course. • The other night, writes Mr. Larpent (vol. i. p. 299.), when he lost his way in a fog, and young Fitz
clarence pointed it out, “ How do you know that?” said the * Duke; “By that cherry tree,” was the answer, in which he “ had once been up, after taking an order to charge. It amused the Duke much, and yesterday he called to him with a very 'grave face and desired him to go and get some cherries, as if
it were an important order.' (Vol. i. p. 279.) This fruitful freak of the Fitzclarence carries us back to Don John of Austria, son of Charles V., who was pelted by the churlish peasants of Cuacos for picking the cherries ripe, his imperial father had paid for. However the Duke's instinct of localities might be at fault, his military eye never overlooked a position nor did his memory forget the feature,—the hill, the river, the house, or whatever formed the key.
It is pretty well ascertained that his uncertainty as to localities saved his life in France, when a band of assassins—trecenti
juravimus—had leagued to murder one from whom they fled in the field. They were baffled by his seldom finding his way back by the same route.
Many were the other hair-breadth escapes by field and flood, from the Duke's habit of reconnoitring personally. Thus in front of Toulouse he crossed the river, concealing his . 'general's hat with an oilskin, and got into conversation with the French vidette, dismounted, got down to the waterside, • saw all he wished, and came away. I think,' says Larpent, and many will think rightly, this was risking too much; . but no French soldier would have any idea of the Com
mander-in-chief of the allied forces going about thus with ' two attendants; yesterday, he went over alone on foot.' (Vol. iii. p. 121.) Touching disguises of dress, we have some graphic full-lengths by Mr. Larpent, of the state and grand costume of the French Marshals, which contrast curiously with the simplicity of the Duke. He is either walking about solus in his
grey great coat,' or opening his bedroom door at the French hotel, with just one sentinel in the corridor, while Soult and Suchet, all cocked hat and gold lace, kept court in inner shrines, approached only through antechambers crowded with officers in waiting. Suchet is particularly sketched, bearded like a pard, with his head, cheeks, and chin overgrown with hair like a • wild man of the woods, and his dress more splendid than the * drum major of one of our Guards' bands on a birthday.' (Vol. iii. p. 175.) The Duke meantime crosses the great square, after his grand reception as conqueror, in ‘his blue coat and round • hat, almost unknown and unnoticed.' Mr. Larpent recurs to the Duke's wardrobe: -In one instance he is not like Frederick • the Great: he is remarkably neat and most particular in his • dress, considering his situation : he is well made, knows it, and
is willing to set off to the best what nature has bestowed: in short, like every great man, present or past, almost without * exception, he is vain. He cuts the skirts of his coats shorter 'to make them look smarter; and only a short time since I • found him discussing the cut of his half boots, and suggesting • alterations to his servant when I went in upon business; the • vanity of great men shows itself in different ways, but I • believe always exists in some shape or another.' (Vol. iii. p. 7.) This discussion led no doubt to the invention of wellingtons, a calceatory variety no less comfortable than that of bluchers, and destined to a popularity coequal with the sauce devised by the Marshal Soubise, or the convenient spencers which bear the name of their noble and ingenious originator. Wellington himself, we may add, went into battle at Waterloo in white pan