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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

i   MEHEMET ALI: CREATOR OF MODERN EGYPT   1&
some sort of sympathy for Egypt instead of that indifference to her interests which permits her to be sacrificed to the bolstering up of Tiirkey."
Had Palmerston's mind not been obsessed with the dread of Russia and jealousy of France, which drove him at crucial moments to support the Sultan against Mehemet Ali, it is conceivable that British influence, and with it a broader and more liberal conception of economic and administrative progress, would have gained a hold on the great Pasha which might have transformed the future history of Egypt. Many Frenchmen served him well, but France had not the colonial experience which Great Britain had already then acquired. French statesmen thought only of courting Mehemet Ali's friendship as that of a valuable chessman on the crowded board of international diplomacy. What he did with his own people they cared not at all. Had British statesmen taken him in hand, they might have taught him the principles which they themselves were beginning to apply to the governance of the greatest of our own Oriental dependencies, that the secret of strength lay in the welfare and contentment of the masses. For with all his faults, and imbued as he was with the traditions of Oriental despotism, Mehemet Ali was easily receptive of new ideas. In his own selfish way, he took a genuine pride in the country to which his star had guided him. " I love Egypt/5 he had told Burckhardt, " with the ardour of a lover, and if I had ten thousand lives, I would willingly sacrifice them all to possess her/5 He did not make of Egypt a nation, for, himself an alien by birth, the people of Egypt were so little to him that he never even learnt to speak their language. Yet by giving Egypt for the first time a place and a name in modern history, and securing, at the cost of however tremendous sacrifices, a measure of autonomy which at least released her from the direct grip of predatory Turkish officials, he created in the rising generations of Egyptians a sense of pride in their country which became
o 2sed, when  lie wrote a pamphlet on " Egypt in 1837," in which he appealed to British members of Parliament " to showWithin the first year of the Occupation