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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

8                      THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
Early in 1829 Mehemet All received orders from Constantinople to send his fleet to the Golden Horn and to f urnisfat a contingent of 20,000 men for the campaign in Asia. He did not openly refuse to obey the Imperial commands, but he had reason to distrust the Sultan's good fqith and perhaps also his chances in a war against Russia. During the Morean expedition, when the Sultan was growing jealous of Ibrahim's fame as a victorious leader of Islam, there had been a plot to get the Egyptian army into Turkish transports and bring it to Constantinople to await the Sultan's pleasure, which might have taken the same form as it had with the ill-fated Janissaries. He temporised until the Turkish defeats and the Peace of Adrianople in 1829 had given the full measure of Turkey's weakness.
The sacrifices he had made in Arabia and in Morea f ox* his Ottoman master had earned for him as yet no adequate reward. Like the Pharaohs of old, he cast his eyes across the desert of Sinai to the more fertile land of Syria. He asked for the Pashalik of Acre in lieu of that of the Morea, which had become an empty title. Acre was, moreover, a real thorn in his flesh. For it had. become a sanctuary for thousands of his own subjects who had sought refuge there from military recruitment and other exactions. He demanded in the first place that these should be handed over to him. But he had to reckon with the bitter personal enmity of Khusrev, the Ottoman Vizier, who now stood high in the Sultan's favour—" a shrewd, bold, illiterate barbarian," as Six-Henry Bulwer describes him, who " was ready to have every man in the Empire drowned, poisoned or decapitated if it was necessary to carry out the views of himself or his master." He had once in Cairo owed his life to Mehemet Ali, and the humiliation of it never ceased to rankle. He caused a sarcastic refusal to be sent to Mehemet Ali, reminding him that the natives of Egypt were not his chattels and were free to settle wherever they chose under the Sultan's "beneficent" rule. Such a, dominions in AsiaEurope and strained the resources ofne to death in the streets of the capital. Egypt wasit in Egypt.    Within the first year of the Occupation