A story for which Napier was noted involved a delegation of Hindu locals approaching him and complaining about prohibition of Sati, often referred to at the time as suttee, by British authorities. This was the custom of burning a widow alive on the funeral pyre of her husband. The exact wording of his response varies somewhat in different reports, but the following version captures its essence:Maybe they used to build better Englishmen than they do today.
"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; [then] beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
Thursday, April 21, 2011
General Sir Charles Napier (August, 10, 1782 – August 29, 1853)