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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

n
THE EGYPTIAN  PROBLEM               CH. n
|                    '  ;                           which, in spite of the British Admiral's warning, Arabi
v-                                                  was believed to be erecting fresh batteries.    The French
Ji                                                  fleet had sailed away the day before.    Italy declined our
invitation to co-operate.    The Sultan did not  decline,
J                  "                              but procrastinated.    Very reluctantly the British Govern-
f                                                   ment undertook single-handed the task which none would
j;                   !                              share with England, and within two months Sir Garnet
f                    I                              Wolseley had scattered Arabi's vaunted army at Tel-el-
Bl*                   |                              Kebir and the British flag floated on the citadel of Cairo.
|                   ;                              The authority of the Khedive was restored in name,
and Arabi, who had surrendered to our troops, was put on trial for his life as a rebel, but ultimately spared at our instance and sent in exile to Ceylon.
• i  •                               I saw him several times during the last few months of
his stormy dictatorship.    He looked the fellah that   he !  .                           was by birth.     His heavy features betrayed a  strain of
African blood, but he looked one straight in the face and his manners were courteous. He was very ignorant, and to some extent a tool in the hands of abler men. But I believe he was honest and well-meaning, and a
!,                                                patriot according to his lights.    He strenuously   denied
I                              having been privy to the Alexandria massacre, and his
I                   ,                              orders   certainly availed to stop the disturbances there
'»                                                 as soon as he was prevailed upon to issue them.    I saw
him again many years afterwards in Ceylon. He told me frankly that though he had distrusted us intensely
I                                                in those troublous times, all he heard from Egypt since
the British Occupation had satisfied him that we were doing great things for the fellaheen to whom he himself belonged, and he could not but be grateful to us for having befriended them. But he added in almost the same
!                                                words which an Egyptian statesman afterwards used to
\                 .  ,                           me, who was for many years one of Lord Cromer's most
'               -                                loyal coadjutors, " there will be no assurance of peace
'                '-                              in Egypt so long as the Turkish house of Mehemet Ali
:                               has not been turned out of the country.'' -The young Abbas
J                ,'                             Hilmi had then just succeeded to the Khediviate, and
{                                 was already justifying " Arabi the Egyptian's " warning.Minister, whilst his brother