Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

and Turkish governors of provinces and limited amount of European guidance and districts in the Soudan abused the powers assistance will be indispensable in order entrusted to them, and ground down the to avoid a recurrence to the abuses of the people under them, and, with greedy rapac. past." ity, appropriated to themselves the goods Everybody will agree with Sir Evelyn and money they had no right to. It is not that now is not the time to attempt a resurprising that many of those whom Mr. conquest or a re-occupation. It is one Gladstone described as “men struggling thing to have kept it in 1883, and another to be free,” and to fight whom he imme- thing to try to retake it in 1892. But it diately afterwards sent British troops, is possible that civilizing influences may should have been goaded into insurrec- spread there without recourse to the tion. But the rule of even the Egyptian sword, and that the different provinces pashas was preferable to anarchy, and may gradually come under the influence under British guidance this rule would of Egyptian and European control. The soon have been converted into a real and continuation of the barrage up the Nile lasting blessing for all the inhabitants of would go a long way towards effecting the Soudanese provinces. The results of this. Were the Nile navigable to Kharthe anarchy of the last ten years, for which toum, independent of the obstructions of Mr. Gladstone's government is chiefly the cataracts, and were the water stored responsible, are too horrible to contem- at various points for the purposes of irriplate. The population in 1882 was con gation, not only would hundreds of thousidered to be by those best informed on sands of feddans of land be made fertile, the subject about eleven millions. Father but the whole of the provinces would be Ohrwalder, who has recently escaped from brought within the reach of civilizing Khartoum and made his way to Cairo, is influences. Many schemes for the ex. of opinion that three-fifths of this popula- tension of the barrage are now under tion of the Soudan have been destroyed consideration, and their eventual success during the last ten years by war, famine, depends entirely upon whether or not and disease. The rule of the Mahdist | Egypt remains under European control. dervishes is cruel in the extreme; there If European control is necessary, as no is great discontent, and we are told that one acquainted with the East can doubt, the whole population of the Soudan, with for retaining the advantages Egypt has the exception, perhaps, of the race that already in recent years acquired, and for supply the soldiers for the Mahdi's army, still further developing the vast resources " would welcome the re-establishment of of the country and the adjacent provinces, Egyptian rule.”

the only remaining question is what EuroWhen Lord Granville disclaimed respon- pean control is the best. Joint control sibility of the Soudan in 1883, and adopted has already been tried and it has not proved the easy policy of letting things take their | a success. One of the evils that retard course, all the consequences of his action progress in Egypt now is the liability she were foretold by those acquaicted with is under in various matters to the interthe country. Nobody understood the cir- ference of the various powers. The recumstances of the country better than Sirtention of the capitulations and the voice Samuel Baker, and again and again in the the various powers have in the expendicolumns of the Times he raised his voice ture of certain of her funds are distinct against England's satuous neglect, and and acknowledged disadvantages. The foretold the dire consequences which have dual control of France and England honsince actually come to pass. The advo. estly and with good faith on the part of cates of laissez faire then were certain both countries commenced under the govthat the Soudan ought never to have be- ernment of Lord Beaconsfield, succeeded longed to Egypt, and that when once it during fine weather but collapsed on the was separated it would never again be first approach of a storm. If there is to annexed. I am not quite sure that Sir be any effective and beneficial European Evelyn Baring himself did not to some control it must be that of one European extent share their views. If he did, he nation, and the only nations that could has altered them now. He tells us in his exercise that control are either France or last report that the “Soudan, so far, at England. Considering the events of the least, as Khartoum, ought to be, and he last ten years, it seems absolutely impostrusts will be eventually, re-occupied by sible that France could take the place that Egyptian troops," and adds that, “i should England now holds. The material interthat event ever take place, a certain very ests of this country in Egypt have always

66

been far greater than those of France. Our bors are calculating upon a possible change trade with it is infinitely larger, and for of government. every French vessel that passes through The declarations made with regard to the Canal there are fisteen British. Con. Egypt by Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Morley sidering our position in lodia it is simply at Newcastle will probably have no real impossible that we could quietly allow effect upon the policy of this country with Egypt to pass under French control. regard to Egypt; but in Egypt itself and Experts may differ as to whether the Ca in France, and perhaps in other European nal or the Cape would be the best route countries, they have already had a disto India in time of war, but the safe course turbing effect little thought of by their is to secure as far as possible that both authors. In Egypt they bave done much should be open to us. In 1882, when mischief. With all her present prosperity danger was at hand, France voluntarily there is one thing that that country stands withdrew from the dual control. She greatly in need of, viz., capital; up to now practically renounced her responsibilities British investors have been very slow in under that arrangement and by her action sinking their capital in Egypt, and the compelled us alone to pull the chestnuts sole reason that prevents them doing so out of the fire. During that time she had is the uncertainty of the continuance of only one ing to omplain of -- the British control there. Were it absolutely speeches of Mr. Gladstone. He was then certain that the Egyptian policy of this the responsible minister of this country, country would be continuous ihe same and while his actions were necessitating a under a Radical government as it has been prolonged stay of British troops in Egypt under the Unionist one - there can be no he was constantly declaring that their stay doubt that British capital would flow rapwas only temporary and implying that it idly to that country to the mutual advanwould be for a very short period. No one tage of both nations. The one weak plank would impute to Mr. Gladstone iosincerity in the Egyptian platform is the element in the mischievous declarations he was of doubt, the uncertainty as to the contithen in the babit of making. He, no nuity of British control. That it will condoubt, implicitly believed them. They tinue is almost a certainty. Even if the only show that he was entirely ignorant of Radical party were to come in, events the country and the people with whom he would be too strong for them again, as was interfering, and that when he drifted they were in 1882, and the Newcastle decinto interference, he had never considered larations, like many others similar, would what the permanent consequences of such have to be explained away. Lord Roseinterference, from the very nature of the bery would probably be foreign secretary, case, must necessarily be. His declara- and he is certain to continue the policy he tions have undoubtedly rendered the posi. adopted for six months in 1886. After tion of Great Britain far more difficult ihan Lord Salisbury, Lord Rosebery probably it otherwise would have been, and are the understands the bearings of foreign policy main cause of the irritation felt by many better than any other statesman belonging of the French. Lord Salisbury, recogniz. to any of the political parties, and were he ing the obligations such declarations im- left to himself the interests of the Empire posed upon this country, did his best to would be safe. The question is, Will he redeem them by proposing what is known be left to himself? The Radical party of as the Drummond-Wolff Convention. All the present day consists of a variety of candid Frenchmen now admit that it was sections -- some with imperial instincts, as foolish for them not to accept this con- like the writers in the Pall Mall Gazette vention -- as an arrangement entirely re- and the more moderate members of the deeming the foolish promises made by party; others, with self-denying views, Mr. Gladstone - as it was for them in like Mr. Morley and Sir Wilfrid Lawson, 1882 to have withdrawn their ships from who apparently do not think that any posthe harbor of Alexandria. Every fair session we have is worth fighting for ; minded person must admit that the French others, like the Irish members, who would as a nation have nothing whatever to com- always side with the enemies of Great plain of in Lord Salisbury's policy of the Britain, and others, with wondrous conviclast seven years. It is impossible to for- tions on non-intervention, universal arbi. mulate any charge against it, and the tration, and peace at any price — and the chances are that we should hear no com- probabilities are that Lord Rosebery plaints of it from the other side of the would be hampered, as Lord Granville Channel were it not that our astute neigh was, and that the difficulties inherent in

ers.

the management of foreign affairs would been thousands of French peasants who

1 be enormously enhanced by the diver- had invested their savings in Egyptian gence of the views of his Radical support securities.

All parties in England are desirous of Not only have the Newcastle declara- being on the best possible terms with tions of Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Morley France. She is our nearest neighbor, and had an injurious effect in Egypt, but they we have far more in common with her, in have already raised false hopes both in sentiment and interests, than we have Turkey and France. Politics, like pov. with any other nation of Europe. It erty, makes strange bedfellows, and were should be our aim to maintain the most the issue not so grave it would be amusing cordial relations with her. That they feel to think of Turkish pashas gloating over a certain amount of soreness at our pres. the prospect of their old “bag.and-bag- ence in Egypt is unquestionably true. gage foe, Mr. Gladstone, coming again | To a great extent they are angry with into power.

That they expect some per themselves for the two fatal mistakes sonal gain from the event, if it happens, their political leaders made in ordering is certain. They do not anticipate this their feet to run away in 1882, and in happy result from any affection that the rejecting the Drummond-Wolff convenlate prime minister may have towards tion. Great as were the mistakes made them, but they think, not without reason, by Mr. Gladstone's government in that that in the general hurly-burly which his year, the one mistake of the French gove return to power would inevitably produce, ernment was greater. What, however, they may gain some of their lost authority, now sustain and increase the irritation and that there may be some chance of the and annoyance are the false hopes raised return of the good old times of kourbash by such speeches as those made by Mr. and corvée. The French were so elated Gladstone and Mr. Morley at Newcastle. with the speeches referred to that they If by any untoward chance, and by the wished to fête the heroes of them, and folly of the electors in not knowing upon actually invited the statesman who had what the true interests of the nation demade promises which it was impossible to pend, the Radical party were to be refulfil to a public banquet. Had the invi- turned to power at the general election, tation been accepted, it would have been one of the first things France would reinteresting to see whether a French audi- quire would be the fulfilment of the ence would have been as satisfied with the expectations raised by Radical oratory. explaining away of the obvious meaning This could not be complied with without of words as are certain constituencies of the upsetting of all the great work that Great Britain and Ireland.

has been done during the last seven years, France and Turkey are the only powers and that section of the Radical party that in any way are jealous of British in which has the same imperial instincts as tervention in Egypt. The other powers the members of the Unionist party would of Europe are content that matters should not permit it; the only result would be remain as they are. That they should increased irritation on the part of France, prefer British control to French is only and the embittering of the relations benatural. Had France intervened instead tween the two countries. of Great Britain she would probably have As for Egypt, it would be the height of acted as she has in Tunis and in other cruelty to arrest in any way the beneficial places within the sphere of her influence, treatment she is now undergoing. The her protective system favoring French last seven years of good government have producers, and placing those of other improved and benefited her condition far countries at a disadvantage. Now, so long beyond the anticipations of even those as Egypt is under British control, every who have the strongest faith in the effects power has exactly the same rights and of good government. Another seven years facilities for trading and manufacturing as of similar government will vastly increase we have ourselves. Had the French and place on a firm basis ihose improvegained Tel-el-Kebir there can be but little ments, and Europe and Great Britain, as doubt that short work would have been well as Egypt, will reap the benefit. Should made with the capitulations afterwards. this bright future be marred by the acEngland, on the contrary, in every possi- cession of the Radical party to power, a ble way, has consulted the wishes of the serious responsibility will rest with the various powers, and sought their co-oper- electorate of Great Britain and Ireland. ation, and amongst the chief gainers have

W. T. MARRIOTT.

66

ness?”

66

From Temple Bar. “But why did you not come to us?" AUNT ANNE.

“I couldn't," the old lady answered in

an obstinate tone. “I felt that it would CHAPTER VIII.

not be treating you properly to present It was not at all a bad thing to do, myself before Florence thought, as she sat and consid- and miserable you while I was so poor

paused ered over the arrangement Mr. Fisher had into the fire for a moment, then suddenly so suddenly made in regard to the house went on “the woman at the corner where in town and the cottage at Witley. The I went every morning to buy a newspaper, country would do the children good, and saw that I was poor, and presumed upon Aunt Anne would probably enjoy it. Of it. Once she said I looked nipped up, and course the latter would consent to go with asked me to sit down and get warm. I them. Indeed she had clearly no other reproved her for familiarity, and never resource, Florence wondered if she went to the shop again." would like it.

But perhaps she meant it for kindBut Mrs. Baines was so full of news herself when she returned that she had “She should have remembered her pono time to listen to any one else.

sition, my love, and asked me in a different “ My love,” she said, “I have passed a manner. There is nothing more painful most important day."

to bear than the remembrance of one's “Relate your adventures, Aunt Anne.” own rank in life when one has to encounter But at this request Mrs. Baines winked the hardships that belong by right to a and spoke slowly.

lower class." Aunt Anne paused again “ I had an engagement in the morning," for a moment, and gave a long sigh before she began, and hesitated. " When I had she went on : “We won't go over it, my fulfilled it," she went on, “I thought it dear. If Mrs. North had shown less levright, Florence, to go and call on Sir Wility in her conduct and more consideration liam Rammage. He has been ill, and I to me, I should have been there still inwanted to assure him of my sympathy. stead of living on your charity.” Besides, I felt that it was due to you — that “Oh no, Aunt Anne.”. it was an imperative duty on my part to Yes, my love, it is so; even though ask him for an allowance, and that it was you'love me and I love you, it is charity; his duty to give it to me.

and I felt it keenly when you resented my “But, Aunt Anne

little offering of cream this morning “Yes, my love. I am living now on vou, to whom I would give everything I your generous kindness; don't think that possess.” I am insensible to it. But for your ten- “Oh no, Aunt Anne " interrupted derness, my darling, I should have been Florence. alone in a little lodging now, as I was

" And so

and so," continued the old when — when I was first left a widow." lady with a little gasp, “I went to Sir

“ I should not like to think of you in a William Rammage once more. I told little lodging, Aunt Anne,” Florence said him - I told him” — she stopped --" I gently; and then she added gaily, “but told him how our mothers had stood over continue your adventures.”

us together, years and years ago.". Mrs. Baines gave a long sigh, and was “ Yes, I know," Florence said soothsilent for a moment. She sat down on ingly. She had heard this so often be. the easy-chair and, as if she had not heard fore. " I hope he was good to you ?” Florence's interruption, went on with a “My dear, he listened with compuncstrange tragic note in her voice:

tion, but he saw the force of what I said. "I never told you about that time, He will write and tell me how much he Florence. I had three pounds in the will allow me," she added simply. world when I came to London ; just three “I am very glad, Aunt Anne; I hope pounds to maintain my position until I he will write soon, and be generous. I could find something to do. I had a little know it will make you happier.” room at Kilburn - a little room at the top “It will, indeed," and Mrs. Baines gave of the house; and I used to sit day after another long sigh. “ I shall not be depen. day, week after week, waiting. I had no dent on any one much longer." coals, only a little spirit-lamp by which I "Excepi upon him,” Florence said un. made some water hot, then poured it into wittingly. a jug and covered it over and warmed my “No, I shall not feel that I am depenhands by it; it was often an hour before dent even upon him," and she looked up it grew cold, my love."

quickly. “He will give it and I shall take

66

[ocr errors]

a

a

it for the honor of the family. I told him give me, my love ; it is not that I do not how impossible it was that I could go on appreciate your hospitality - yours and living upon you and Walter, that it would Walter's – I do. But I feel that it would be a disgrace. I couid not live upon him sadden all my dear ones who are gone, if either. He has shown me so little sym- they knew that I was alone in the world, pathy, my love, that I could not endure it. without a home of my own. That is why I shall take the allowance from him as I | I went to Sir William Rammage, Florshould take an inheritance, knowing that ence; and though he said little, I feel it is not given to me for my own sake. I sure that he saw the matter in a proper could not take it in any other spirit; but light, and felt as I do about it.” it would be as wrong in him to forget what • What did he say?" is due to us, as it would be in me to let “ He said he would think it over, and him do so. It would shed dishonor on when he had made up his mind he would his name."

write to me. My love, would you permit And again she was silent, she seemed me to ring the bell?". to be living over the past, to be groping “Yes, of course. Why do you always her way back among days that were over ask me? Don't you feel at home here, before Florence was ever born, to be see- dear Aunt Anne?" Florence asked, thinking people whose very names had not been ing that Sir William's answer had, after heard for years.

all, committed him to little. “They would rise in their graves if I “ I hope I shall never so far forget mywere left to starve," she continued, “I self as not to treat you with the courtesy have always felt it; and it was but right that you have a right to expect, my dartowards them that I should go to William; ling. I will never take advantage of our it was due to them even that I should live relationship. Jane,” she said, with quite on you and Walter, my darling, till I re- another manner, and in a cold and slightly ceived an adequate income.”

haughty tone, to the servant who had Suddenly her voice changed again, the entered, “would you have the goodness wonderful smile came back — the happy to divest me of my cloak?- and if your look that always seemed as if it had trav- mistress gives you permission, perhaps elled from the youth she had left long you would carry it up to my room ?” years behind.

“Yes, ma'am,” said Jane respectfully, “ You understand, my love?" she asked. but without much willingness in her man"Bless you for all your kiodness, but I ner. The servants bad learned to resent am not going to intrude upon you much the tone in which Mrs. Baines usually longer. I have already seen an apartment spoke to them. “She treats us like dirt," that will, I think, suit my requirements,” the housemaid explained to the cook; " Oh, no."

“and if we're made of dirt, I should like “Yes, my love, it will be much better. to know what she's made of? She gave You cut me to the quick this morning, me a shilling the other day, and another Florence,” and her voice grew sad ; "you time a new apron done up in a box from said that you would have to send away the draper's; but I don't care about her your dear children because my ence for all her presents. I know she always would spoil them.”

sees every speck of dust that others would " Aunt Anne!” Florence began in con- be blind to; it's in her wink that she sternation.

does.” “Yes, dear, yes,” the old lady said sol. " And now, Aunt Anne, that you have emoly, “it gave me the deepest pain, as I told me all your news, I want you to listen sat and thought it over in the privacy of to mine," Florence said. my own chamber. But when I came Then she gave an account of Mr. Fishdown-stairs and you shared your dear er's visit, and of the letting of the house mother's gist with me, I knew that you for a couple of months. loved me sincerely."

“So, Aunt Anne," she continued trium" I do," said Florence soothingly, phantly, “I want you to be very, very good,

“I am sure of it, my darling," with even and to go with the children and two of more solemnity, “but it will be better that the servants to the cottage at Witley toI should take an apartment. It will re-morrow, and to be the mistress of the joice your tender heart to know that by great establishment, if you will, and mother your gift you have helped me to secure to the children till I come; that proves one, and when I receive my allowance how bad I think your influence is for them, from Sir William I shall feel that I am doesn't it, you únkind old dear?” — and independent once more. You must for- she stooped and kissed Mrs. Baines.

9

« VorigeDoorgaan »