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to them, as in the knowledge of war. A delicate child, he was reared with difficulty ; but, like Nelson, he gradually acquired strength and firmness. Although he never assumed a very robust make, yet he early exhibited that nervous elasticity and activity, indicative of great powers of endurance, and aptitude for physical exertion. In January, 1794, before he had completed his twelfth year, he obtained a commission in the 33rd regiment.
A soldier almost from his cradle, he acquired the art of working on a soldier, by appealing to the higher instead of the lower feelings of his nature; and on this system he has since invariably acted. At this period of his life he enjoyed peculiar advantages, as the advice and example of his father (no ordinary man) must have much contributed to form a character capable of preserving rigid discipline, while beloved by his men.
Napier first served in the Irish rebellion in 1798, and was aide-de-camp to Sir James Duff
, commanding in Limerick, in 1800. He again served in Emmett's rebellion, in 1803. While acting on the staff at this period, a circumstance occurred which may be recorded. Whilst in coloured clothes, occupied in making a reconnoisance in the neighbourhood of the Phænix Park, a selfimportant civilian of some note observed him, and coming up, questioned him authoritatively as to his occupation. Napier's efforts to satisfy him not proving satisfactory, he was taken into custody as a rebel spy, and he, with his portfolio, &c. were seized, and carried in triumph to the Royal Hospital. We may imagine the horror and dismay of his captor, on young Napier desiring the guard to relieve the gentleman from his load, and show him the shortest way out of the premises, humorously humming after his discomfited assailant the well-known lines of the smuggler's song:
“ “ Your permit, why not show it before ?'
· Because it came into my nob, sir, That as waiting for me on the shore,
Your worship was wanting a job, sir.'' In 1804, he obtained a company in the 50th, with which he served for many years, and in which he much distinguished himself
. He obtained his majority in 1806, and, as major, commanded the 50th all through Sir John Moore's retreat, and at the battle of Corunna. Here the career of Major Napier was nearly closed.
It was a matter of extreme importance to silence an advanced gun which was making great havoc in the English lines, and a shot from which very gun eventually struck down Sir John Moore. Napier, as one of Moore's majors, par excellence, advanced upon it. The ground was much broken, consisting of walled gardens, and byroads, with deep cuttings. In the heat of the combat, Napier had seized a musket, and gained a position, on which he stood firing and rallying his men, urging them to form for a rush upon the gun. Four only of his gallant 50th were able to reach him, so deadly was the fire to which they were exposed. Finding further attempt vain, and observing that he was cut off from his regiment by a party of the enemy who had concealed themselves in the village, whilst he passed, he called upon his little band to endeavour, with him, to cut their way through. Three were instantly cut down : the fourth was wounded, and called on Napier to help him. Napier, whilst assisting him, was wounded in the leg, having the fibula fractured by a musket-ball. He now relinquished his musket, and, using his sword as a support, endeavoured to regain his regiment. At this moment he felt a wound inflicted in his back by a soldier who had emerged from one of the houses. Turning rapidly round, he seized the musket of his assailant, which having struck upon his spine, fortunately did not penetrate deeply. Whilst struggling, several other soldiers closed in upon him ; but, with a degree of activity almost supernatural, he managed to keep his close antagonist between him and his assailants, never losing hold of the musket. At length the unequal combat was terminated by a French soldier coming up with a short sabre, and felling him to the earth with a blow on the skull, which was supposed to have cleft it in twain. As he lay in this state, he was rifled by the soldiers with such ferocity, that they tore away a portion of his dress with his watch ; and one, conceiving that he
VOL. XXXII.-NO. CXCI.
perceived some vitality remaining, was about to extinguish it, when he was rescued by the humanity of a French drummer, whose admiration bad been excited by his bravery. While the French were carrying Napier to the rear, he in some degree recovered consciousness, and saw Hennessey, an Irishman of the 50th, one of the stragglers who had survived the murderous conflict, deep in the French position. coming all alone, with his musket at the charge, towards Napier's escort, with the full intention of rescuing his commander, or being himself killed. Napier at once ordered him to lay down his arms and surrender. “ And for fwhat should I surrindher ?" was the reply. However, the habit of obedience was too strong, and Hennessey merely vented his displeasure by letting the butt of his musket drop heavily on the drummer's legs, and pushing him away from beside Napier, determined, if he could not rescue, at least to carry his commander.
Soult, with the chivalric spirit of a great warrior, rewarded Napier's preserver, and treated himself with the greatest possible kindness. He avoided even sending him to France, to exempt him from the operation of Napoleon's inhuman system of refusing cartels, and recommended him to the consideration of his successor, Ney, who also dealt with him rather as a friend than a prisoner, permitted him to return to England on parole, and eventually procured bis liberation by an exchange. His friends, however, were convinced of his death for upwards of three months after the battle of Corunna ; they even obtained from the Prerogative Court administration of his personal estate; and the first intimation they had of his survival was the announcement of his arrival at Exeter, where they hurried to meet him, absolutely dressed in mourning, worn for his loss.
Not the least curious feature in the “hair-breadth 'scapes” he experienced in this battle, was the fracture of two of his ribs, which occurred early in the engagement without any assignable cause, but then supposed to be from the concussion of a cannon-shot. For his gallant conduct in this battle he obtained a medal—a reward then seldom given, and much prized. When his parcle had expired, he served as a volunteer at the Coa, where two horses were killed under him, and at Busaco, where he was shot through the face, the bullet lodging behind the ear, and splintering the articulation of the jaw-bone. With this dreadful hurt, he made his way, under a fierce sun, to Lisbon, more than one hundred miles. He was also present at Fuentes, in the second siege of Badajos, and many skirmishes. He obtained his rank of lieutenant-colonel in the 102d Regiment in 1811, and went out to Bermuda in command of it. In 1813, he served in the expedition to Chesapeake Bay, under Sir Sidney Beckwith. At Craney Island, his regiment was very much cut up. ALterwards, he commanded at the affair of Little Hampton, which proved most successful. Having made every effort to reach Waterloo as a volunteer, he arrived from Ghent on the field the evening of the 18th, too late to take part in the battle, but he was present throughout the march upon Paris, and at the storming of Cambray. Returning from this campaign, the ship sunk off Flushing, and he saved himself by swimming. On his return to England, he entered the senior department of the military college as a pupil
, and passed the first years of the peace in intense application to the acquisition of further knowledge of the arts of war and of civil government.
In the year 1823, he was appointed on the Ionian staff, and subsequently, Lieutenant-Governor (or Resident, as it is termed in the Ionian Islands) of Cepbalonia. Here he had, though under most adverse circumstances, some opportunity of displaying those talents for government, which he has since so usefully exercised in Scinde.
The circumstances of the Ionian Islands, on Colonel Napier's arrival there, singularly resembled those of Ireland a few years since. An active, intelligent
, acute population, injured by centuries of misgovernment, had acquired habits of falsehood, fraud, and resistance to law; the feudal proprietary, of a race distinct from that of the population, possessed and exercised enormous influence over their tenants ; the people, split into factions, hated their domestic opponents with bitterness, far exceeding any they could feel towards a foreign enemy; assassination was frequent-while the criminal, when convicted, was looked on rather as the victim of the injustice of the judge, or of the vengeance of some
powerful opponent, than as one expiating his offences by a just punishment. At the same time, and as a natural consequence of such a state of society, the commerce of the Islands was much depressed. The communications with the interior were mere mule-tracks-in many places not even mule-tracks existed; the barbours were impracticable ; the islanders suffered under grievous taxation, enforced on an unjust basis, and were compelled to give up time and labour for the construction of public works, though the public works never were made available, and money for their completion could not be procured. With characteristic energy, Napier applied himself the reform of some of those evils and abuses in his Island of Cephalonia, and for a time he was eminently successful. Sir Thomas Maitland, the then Lord High Commissioner, in his system of government, made each Resident almost despotic in his own island. Colonel Napier wielded the power thus committed to him with a sagacity which well repaid the confidence reposed in him. The burden of taxation was more equally distributed; the system of the corvée, or forced labour, was put on a more equitable and less onerous footing ; justice was equally distributed between man and man-between the state and her subjects. The following anecdote illustrates the change worked by him in the administration of justice, at least of the changed feeling of the people with regard to it. A poor man was carrying home some fish, when the servant of a Greek, high in station, insisted on his selling them, and by threats of his master's vengeance, had almost terrified him into compliance. Another man of the lower class coming up, said—“ Fear him not ; do you not know that it is now the laws, and not the SIGNORI, which rule us ?" Such a remark shows what, at least, was the opinion of the populace; they were gaining confidence in the laws--the first step towards having them obeyed.
The physical features of Cephalonia opposed great difficulties to the open.ng of communications between the opposite sides of the island. Sheer up through'its centre rises an almost perpendicular chain of mountains. One of the most available passes has a rise of 1,500 feet in so short a space, that a man standing at the spot where it begins to ascend from the level, can converse with one at the top of the pass ; yet even through this and similar regions did Napier cause roads practicable for traffic to be opened, without imposing additional expense on the island. By the erection of lighthouses, he facilitated trade. He took steps to imbue the people with agricultural knowledge—in short, adopting that vigorous and decided line which the circumstances of the country rendered necessary, he was a wise and beneficent ruler, a worthy successor of the Homeric Sovereign--μεγαθύμων Κεφαλλήνων.
But unfortunately Sir Thomas Maitland's successor in office was in almost everything the reverse of that strong-minded governor.
He insisted upon interfering with the detail duty of all his subordinates. Fond of display, he expended the revenues of the island in unmeaning pomps; and distrustful of his Residents, he curbed their power, and strove to govern the island through the feudal chiefs (whose baleful influence had been almost destroyed by the vigorous administrations of Sir Thomas Maitland's Residents), and by pursuing the hateful maxim, divide et impera. A misunderstanding between him and a man of Napier's vigor of mind, was inevitable. He thwarted the plans which were rapidly bringing Cephalonia out of barbarism, and crowned a series of persecutions by driving Colonel Napier from his government. But the hostility manifested by his opponent gave Napier a very singular triumph-a triumph of all others most grateful to a man of his warm feelings and anxiety to benefit
Before leaving Cephalonia, he had purchased a small plot of ground, about three-quarters of an acre, near Argostoli, the chief town. On his depar ture, occupied with more important matters, he took small heed of this patch. It was neglected, and trespassers invaded it; but when the people found that their Resident was not to return—that his career of utility to them was finished, a number of them took it under their protection, cultivated it, disposed of the proceeds, and deposited the entire amount with a friend of his, to be remitted to him ; and this they did year after year, without even letting their names be known, without hope of profit or reward, as a mark of love and respect for their old governor. What, then, did he care for the hostility of the lord high commissioner ? He felt that his people loved him; that his rule, though stern, had won for him the hearts of the keen-seeing Greeks.
Shortly after his return from Cephalonia, he thought it right to defend himself from the attacks of his persecutor, by the publication of "The Colonies and the Ionian Islands,” a book replete with information on those interesting dependencies, drawing a masterly parallel between the governments of Maitland and his successor-blowing to the winds the calumnies which had been woven against him, and lashing, with the most caustic humour, the then Commissioner. This book was rapidly bought up, and is now out of print.
The vigorous and wise policy of Colonel Napier, especially when made known to the world by his publication, procured him many admirers ; and in 1835, the Commissioners for the Colonisation of South Australia, obtained for him the offer of the governorship of that colony. His appointment was almost definitively concluded, when he discovered that it was the intention of the government to place the colony in the desert, without soldiers to defend it or to preserve order, and without a reserve fund of money or credit, to enable it to pass through the trying ordeal of the first few years of the settlement, in case of any untoward accident, such as drought, failure of crops, or devastation by the natives. In his letter to Lord Glenelg, the then Secretary for the Colonies, he asked for only two hundred men, and says, with respect to the money—“I really do not think we should have occasion to call for this money, but I am sure that if it was required, and could not be had, the result would be fearful." These requests, reasonable as they seem, were refused by the mistaken economy of the then government, and Colonel Napier felt it his duty to decline accepting the charge. He was reserved for greater things—the talents destined to save the British empire in India were not to be hidden in a remote corner of the world, though the sagacity which restored peace, trade, and prosperity to Scinde, would most probably have speedily caused the colony to flourish.
At this time he published “Colonisation, with Remarks upon Small Farms and Over Population,” in which he eloquently advocates the rights of native tribes, and denounces the atrocities too frequently perpetrated by our lawless settlers against races less barbarous than themselves, if the true test of barbarity be disregard for human suffering. While unemployed, his regard for this unhappy country induced him to fix his residence for some time in Dublin, and whilst amongst us, in the year 1838, he directed his attention to Ireland's practical wants. His pamphlet, published about this period, most ably treats of our neglected waste lands, and our defective agriculture. The alacrity with which he has lately accorded his approval to Lord Clarendon's efforts on the latter subject, and his munificent donation to the agricultural fund, attest his earnestness on this point.
By the brevet of 1837, he obtained the rank of major-general, and soon afterwards published his “Remarks on Military Law, and the Punishment of Flogging”—a work valuable in many respects, but especially in pointing out the anomalous position of a soldier in these countries, subject to two inconsistent and occasionally adverse codes, and in the strong reasoning by which he demonstrates the impropriety of flogging soldiers in time of peace an opinion now almost universal. "This book also contains many valuable suggestions for the amelioration of the condition and habits of the soldier, of which some have been already adopted; others seem likely soon to be. The anecdote with which it teems, its ready humour and fervent humanity of tone, all most characteristic of the author, make it interesting even to the least military readers. About the same time he edited De Vigny's®“ Lights and Shadows of Military Life.”
In March, 1839, he was appointed to the command of the Northern District of England. It will be recollected that at that time the manufacturing districts were convulsed by the effects of an unchecked political agitation, exciting the minds of the operatives, who were then suffering severely from the depression of trade and the high prices of produce. The Chartist conspiracy had almost reached a crisis, and scenes of unbridled sedition, like those which, from similar causes, have been of late so frequent, were of constant occurrence. The aspect of affairs, especially in the northern district, was very alarming. The populace was armed, and an outbreak might have at any moment occurred. Sir Charles Napier did all that in him lay to prevent any such lamentable event, and very much owing to his endeavours the