Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/138

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Now, the influence of England in Egypt is threatened from two sides. It is threatened from the north diplomatically. I do not think it is necessary that the powers should have taken up the position they have done, and I believe that with decent steering it might have been avoided; but, unfortunately, we have to face inchoate schemes which will demand the utmost jealousy and vigilance of Parliament. I do not know what arrangement the government has arrived at, but I greatly fear that it may include a multiple control, and to that I believe this country will be persistently and resolutely hostile.

But we have to face a danger of another kind. We have forces of fanatical barbarians let loose upon the south of Egypt, and owing to the blunders that have been committed this danger has reached a terrible height. Unless we intend to give over Egypt to barbarism and anarchy we must contrive to check this inroad of barbarian fanaticism, which is personified in the character and action of the Mahdi. General Gordon never said a truer thing than that you do this by simply drawing a military line. If the insurgent Mohammedans reach the north of Egypt it will not be so much by their military force, as by the moral power of their example. We have therefore to check this advance of the Mahdi's power.

Her majesty's government in the glimpses o£ policy which they occasionally afford us have