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army, therefore, could boast that December, it seemed hopeless whenever it had really made the
to accumulate sufficient attempt to cross bayonets it had supplies at advanced depots to been victorious. “There are, I think, strong, symp
enable the force to advance. toms that infantry fighting is con- In twenty-four hours he had stantly tending more and more to grasped the whole situation, assume the character of an artillery had realised the causes of the duel a pure fire fight; that two bodies approach to within a distance desertion of the carriers,—the at which their fire tells with full long enforced absences from effect, and that beyond that neither home, the mixture of men of party can advance till the other is different tribes, the irregular not merely shaken, but has actually given way; that, in point of fact, the payment, the want of human retreat of the defenders has usually sympathy with these human preceded the final advance of the beasts of burden. In less than assailants, and has been determined forty - eight hours he had denot by the gallant rush of a body of vised the remedy. Adapting men, whether formed or unformed, but by the intensity of the concen
the Prussian etappen system trated, sustained, and ever-increasing with every detail of which his fire brought to bear.
studies had made him familiar “The battles of the great civil war bear out the opinions expressed by
-to the peculiar character of American officers, that no advance
Gold Coast transport, on the can succeed against good troops hold- 19th he issued instructions, ing a fair defensive position till these organising the transport into have been not merely, shaken, but two branches—regimental and practically broken and destroyed as a
local. fighting body."
All organisation to be
by tribes, each man to be regisSuch are some of my recol- tered and numbered. For the lections of Colley as a teacher, one branch, the regiment would writer, and speaker upon the be its home, where it would Art of War. We were next to find always the same masters, come together under more try- always food and shelter. For ing conditions than those of the other branch, carriage forthe class-room and the lecture ward, and return without loads, theatre — in the swamps and daily from and to one fixed forests of the Gold Coast. The station, was to be the rule. story of his work there has been There were far too few officers well told by Sir William Butler. for the task, and at first the But it can only really be appre- carriers could scarcely realise the ciated by those of us who were blessing of the change. There present at Cape Coast Castle were still desertions, still failwhen he arrived, and who had ures.
But Colley's extraordinwatched, with ever-growing ary exertions, his combined anxiety, the melting away of firmness and kindness, his marthe carriers, upon whom the vellous powers of organisation, advance depended, and the prevailed, and before long the feeble and spasmodic efforts of sullen faces had turned to the Control Department to push smiles, the silence on the march supplies to the front. When to a chatter like that of a tribe Colley arrived on the 17th of monkeys. Colley's omnipres
ence was a source of incessant him to the front.
He never wonder to us. The record of showed fatigue, though few his work in the last days of men could have stood what he January and first of February cheerfully went through. He 1874, given by Sir William was always the same, cool, calm, Butler at p. 102, would be re- clear-headed, indomitable markable in any climate. But energy when we realise that all these Sir William Butler quotes miles were travelled on foot, in Winwood Reade as saying, the most exhausting climate in “ More than once I have heard the world, the energy of the the remark, What should we man is almost miraculous. have done without Colley?'”
It was on one of these days There was not one of us at the —the 31st January—that, dur- headquarters who did not often ing the fight at Amoaful, I first ask that question aloud, and saw Colley under fire, and learnt ask it daily in our inmost what his coolness was under heart. those conditions. I was sent In February 1875 we started by Sir Garnet with an order together for Natal, two memto Colonel (now Sir Evelyn) bers of a staff of four, of whom Wood, and I found him with Sir William Butler was a third, Captain Luxmoore, R.N., and under Sir Garnet Wolseley, on Colonel Colley, standing up that mission which Sir William among some men of the Nava Butler has described in his Brigade, who were keeping up eighth and ninth chapters. a brisk engagement with the This time the chief's mission Ashantis in the bush a short was one of peace and diplomdistance off. The noise caused acy, and there was no fightby the firing was so great that, ing. One of Colley's letters, in order to call Colonel Wood's published at p. 122 of the Life, attention, I touched him on the describes our work under our shoulder, and as I did so, he chief.
chief. He speaks of the beautifell back, struck by a slug on ful climate, and of the luxury a rib over the heart, and I of working hard with men all dropped on my knee to sup- equally eager, working in perport him. When I looked up, fect harmony. We were all I saw Colley, with his pencil soldiers, but we were put to in hand, quietly sketching the anything but military work. group. 1
Colley became Treasurer and However constantly he might Postmaster-General of the colsupervise the work on the line ony; Butler became Protector of communications, never, of Immigrants. Both of these far as we could see, resting or appointments carried seats in sleeping, one thing was certain, the Legislative Council. that when there was to be a Private Secretary and Clerk of fight, his duties would bring the
the Executive Council. We
1 A picture, enlarged from this sketch, is, or was, in the possession of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
rose early, worked hard, and last came Colley's turn. I saw little of each other till late knew how perfectly he had in the afternoon. But the de- mastered his subject, how thorlightful evenings that we passed oughly he had prepared his artogether, when every subject in gument. He rose, and in a heaven and earth was discussed, few terse sentences spoke of the enlivened by Butler's wit and need of a strong Government, Colley's pertinent illustrations, and defined what in Parliaremain among the pleasantest ment is meant by that term. memories of
And then, to our astonishment, It was then, in the close inti- he hesitated, and paused, and macy of our companionship in at last sat down, saying that Government House, in our walks he regretted he was unable to and rides together, and in our continue his speech. That talks, prolonged often into the night he was most unhappy. late night, in each other's rooms, The second reading had been which were side by side, that I carried; but I found and left learnt that part of Colley's him inconsolable, not because he nature which more than any had failed, but because, he said, other chained my imagination, he had disgraced the staff. His and which can never be dissoci
was touching beyond ated from him in my memory, words. -his splendid loyalty and chiv- It is a strange thing, this alry. No one, I think, can read sudden paralysis of speech Sir William Butler's Life of which sometimes seizes the coolhim without being struck by est of men. I have three times this feature of his character; witnessed it in men from whom, but when one lived in his close least of all, could it have been intimacy it shone like a star. expected. I have, in the House His chivalrous courtesy to of Commons, seen a man who women in thought, word, and had been a member of the last deed, his loyalty to his chief Government, whom I had heard and to his comrades, were alike on previous occasions speak and untarnished.
debate with ease and fluency, Sir William Butler has told, break hopelessly down after the in Colley's own words, the his- opening sentences of a carefully tory of the debate in the Legis- prepared speech, for which he lative Council. I shall never had obtained a night for deforget that night. I watched bate. I have, at a public dinthe debate, which was to seal ner, among men of his own the success or failure of Sir Gar- cloth, seen a great and famous net's mission, from the gallery operating surgeon, the one man behind the Speaker. Butler whose nerve, one would think, made a clever and amusing could never fail, break down speech. The chief opponent of in the same way. And here the Government bill
was a man, one of whose pregentleman named Winter, whom vious clear and logical speeches Butler spoke of as “this Win- I have already quoted from, a ter of our discontent.” And at practised lecturer, a man of
cool, calm brain, seized in the committees and commissions same way.
would be saved if they would And now I must tell a sequel all act clearly on those lines ! to this event, which illustrates From the time when what I have said of the chivalry parted in South Africa I saw and loyalty of the man. Some but little of him for the next time afterwards, I gave by re- four years. But early in 1878, quest a lecture on the opening when he came home on leave, of a large new hall. There some of his old comrades of was a crowded room, and Sir the Ashanti campaign, among Garnet and the staff were pres- them Sir Garnet Wolseley, gave ent. The lecture was a success, him a dinner before his marand Sir Garnet said some kind riage. We loaded the table words at its close. Then Colley with flowers, many orange came up to me, his face beam- blossoms among them, and ing with pleasure. “Thank chaffed him unmercifully; and you, thank you,” he said ; "now I never him in better I don't so much mind my fail- health and spirits.
Was there ever such a Our next meeting was at noble, generous heart ?
Port Durnford, .on the coast “I wish,” he wrote after this of Zululand, in July 1879, a debate was over, —“I wish I day or two after Sir Garnet was acting, and had done Wolseley's arrival there with talking.' And in action High Commissioner and Comhe left us all far behind. That mander-in-Chief, when Colley journey through Swaziland to came from India to take up Delagoa Bay, much of it on the post of chief of the staff. foot, without guides or inter- Once again, with lightning preters, is a feat that is really quickness, he mastered the marvellous. He walked 400 whole situation, and set free miles and drove 600 miles in the chief's mind from harassing the roughest of post-carts in details. We lived together in thirty-three days. It was the camp for two months. At this old energy of the Ashanti time he was suffering from a days again. On his return, he, temporary but distressing afNapier Broome, and I served fection of the eyes, brought on together as a committee of three by overwork in India, but it on the conduct of the public in no way abated his energy. business of the colony. I shall How well I remember that never forget how his keen brain night of storm at Entonjaneni clove through the web of de- described by Sir William tails to the heart of the prob- Butler at pages 235, 236, lem. It was a lesson that has and Colley's cheerfulness under served me in good stead since. those most depressing condiHe made us lay down our tions, when in one night our guiding principles first, and transport oxen died by hunthen arrange the details to dreds; the dispositions made suit the principles. What for the capture of Cetywayo; masses of useless reports by the dusky potentate's entry into camp, a prisoner, wrapped for his start. Before he left, he in an old table-cloth, yet every told me that Sir Garnet had inch a king; the blowing up decided I was to officiate as of the powder taken from the chief of the staff, and excliff - side magazine, superin- plained to me clearly and contended by Colley; the great cisely the condition of affairs. snake, writhing among the
among the He returned to India. We powder barrels, put there, said who remained had a sharp and the Zulus, by the witch-doctors interesting little campaign in to guard the magazine, but the north of the Transvaal, brought to a speedy end by when the stronghold of a chief John Dunn's rifle.
called Sekukuni was captured And then, when the settle- by assault, and that chief himment of Zululand was accom- self taken prisoner and brought plished, we entered the Trans- to Pretoria. Early in 1880, vaal, passing together “over affairs in the Transvaal seemed Laing's Nek, under the shadow to have so quieted down that of Majuba Mountain”; and so Sir Garnet, leaving the Adon to Standerton, where Sir ministrator, Sir Owen Lanyon, Garnet held that interview in charge, returned to Maritzwith Joubert in which he told burg. Sir Garnet, who had him the irrevocable decision of only accepted the High Comthe British Government to re- missionership and command on tain the Transvaal. At that the condition that he was to interview there were four of us return home as soon as military present—Sir Garnet Wolseley, operations were at an end, had Colley, St Leger Herbert, and recommended that Colley, whose myself. St Leger Herbert, no term of service in India was, soldier by profession, but a born with Lord Lytton's expiring fighting man, brave and hand- term of Viceroyalty, nearing its
a god, sleeps in the end, should succeed him, and the yellow desert sand of the Government offered the post to Soudan, where a bullet found Colley. its mark at Gubat. Colley lies Once again, and once only, I beside his comrades near the was to meet my friend. At field where he fought and fell. Maritzburg I received a tele
Near the end of September gram from him, asking me if I came the message from Lord would accept the post of private Lytton summoning Colley back secretary to the Viceroy. Sir to India, to his post of private Garnet bade me go; Herbert secretary, the
at Stewart, who had actually put Kabul having occurred. Great his things on board the steamer as must have been his unwil- at Durban to return to Englingness to part with him, Sir land, was offered my post, and Garnet, “ in view of the urgency hastened up to Maritzburg. A of the demand, had no alter- steamer taking troops conveyed native but to allow him to me from Durban to Bombay. return.” He took but a few There I heard from Colley, sayhours to make the preparations ing he had gone up to Simla,