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THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
for granted, and no one probably was more surprised and shocked than he when the news reached him in his exile that the next mutiny to occur in the Egyptian army, in February, 1880, just a year after the one he had himself instigated, was a mutiny of Egyptian-born officers against their comrades of non-Egyptian stock. The lead was taken by three colonels, one of whom, Arabi, an Egyptian of fellah origin, was to become the leader of the first Nationalist uprising. They presented their petition, which denounced the Minister of War, Osman Pasha Rifki, of course a Turk, for grossly unjust treatment of the Egyptian officers, to Riaz, who was entirely ignorant of military affairs and undertook to lay their grievances before the Khedive, the titular head of the army. It was resolved to arrest the colonels, but the secret leaked out, and when, in obedience to a summons, they presented themselves at the Ministry of War, they had their regiments behind them ready to move if they did not reappear within a given time, and their regiments moved so effectively that the Khedive was advised to dismiss the Minister of War, and appoint in his stead the nominee of the mutinous troops, Mahmoud Pasha Sarni.
There was another lull, but only on the surface. The officers watched the Ministers and the Ministers the officers, both sides intensely suspicious and full of secret fears. In July the soldiers invented a form of demonstration which the latter-day Nationalists have made their own. A gunner was killed in the streets of Alexandria. His comrades marched with the corpse to the Ras-el-Teen Palace, where the Khedive was staying, and, forcing their way in, bore it into his presence, adjuring him to avenge the army of which he was the chief. There were intrigues and counter-intrigues, the foreign Powers meantime staying their hands, and co-operation between the British and French representatives growing less cordial. On September 9th, an order was issued removing one of the most notoriously disaffected regiments fromil had always taken the ascendancy of the Turkish caste therefore determined to entrust