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THE arrest of Zaghlul and the other three leaders on the afternoon of March 9th was the match that fired the train which, consciously or unconsciously, the Party of Independence had laid. The news spread throughout Cairo in the course of the evening, and the next morning there was trouble. The first to stir were, as usual, the students. They struck work and poured noisily into the streets ; first the ancient Islamic School of El Azhar and then the modern School of Law, thus illustrating once more the twofold current of Mahomedan reaction on the one hand, and of Western quasi-revolutionary tendencies on the other, which have from the beginning swelled the tide of Egyptian Nationalism. The Schools of Commerce, Engineering, and Medicine promptly followed suit. Crowds began by gathering outside the railway station, where they waited in vain to greet the departing Four. But when they learnt that these were already on their way to Alexandria, they dispersed into little groups that went their several ways, to other schools, to Government offices, or to native centres of resort, to carry the woeful tidings. Their activities were soon attended with results. On the same day, street lamps and tramway cars were smashed in the Sharia Mohamed Ali, in the heart of the modern Europeanised Cairo. The next morning, the 10th, large crowds of street roughs and holidaymaking workmen paraded
177 wy, and probably their Governments, would protest vigorously against it as a gross betrayal of common European interests.