Skip to main content
118 THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM CHAP.
were unpalatable. Mbhamed Said fell, but the Khedive gained nothing by the change, as it was Hussein Rushdi Pasha who succeeded him and remained Prime Minister throughout the war, after as well as before Abbas was deposed.
Lord Kitchener realised, not for the first time, where the real source of mischief lay. It was hopeless to reform the Khedive, and so long as he occupied the dominant position which he had steadily regained during the second phase of the Occupation at our expense as well as at the expense of his own people, there could be no real progress, but only retrogression in the very task which British policy had assigned to itself in relaxing British control. Not under such a ruler as Abbas could the Egyptians ever have a'chance of learning even the elements of self-government. His religion sat light upon him, but he was quite ready to mobilise for his own ends the forces of Mahomedan fanaticism, and not the least of his achievements was to manoeuvre himself under the guise of a reformer into a position of supreme authority over the ulemas and grand ulemas of the University of El Azhar before whose fetwas the rulers of Egypt had in olden times trembled. With all the despotic instincts of an Abdul Hamid, whom he courted as long as he reigned in Constantinople, he was just as ready to come to terms with the Committee of Union and Progress after the Turkish revolution. A Turk at heart, imbued with the contempt so common amongst all Turco-Egyptians for the fellaheen, as they are apt to call all who are of unmixed Egyptian descent, he contrived to rob Egyptian Nationalism of its best elements by instilling into it an anti-foreign and more specifically anti-British virus. Brought up in Vienna to despise Parliamentary institutions and to believe in the divine right of kings and Khedives, he succeeded in perverting the immature representative bodies we had called into existence in Egypt, and lest they should grow to be a check upon his own arbitrary tendencies, heiscretion which he began to urge on his august master's credit was the visit which heocialf light railways and the introduc