Rev. Mr Briscall - his first name is not given, but he is most likely the Samuel Briscall (b. 1788), who was chaplain to Lord Wellington - is a young clergyman Jonathan Strange meets when first attempting to make himself useful to his lordship in the Peninsula early in 1811. Mr. Strange has not yet been successful in proving his worth. Lord Wellington is inclined to dismiss him. It is Mr Briscall who gives Strange sound, practical advice as to how he should make himself acceptable. He suggests that he should inform himself at first hand about conditions by leaving his hotel in Lisbon and going into the field to live among the soldiers, and tells him how he may improve his acquaintance with them by carrying about little treats to recommend him - principally brandy and champagne. By this means, and most especially by conversing with the soldiery, he will grow to a better understanding of what is required in warfare: and once he sees what is required, and can offer it, there will be no doubt of his success with Lord Wellington. Unlike most good advice this is carefully followed, and in time it answers very well.