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In Washington Square
the soaring towers, the exuberance of life, and the glitter and reverberance and "go" combine to exhilarate. One catches the New York spirit, and then it is all up with pessimism. One sees the best, revels in it, applauds it, and calls that New York. Rightly, I think.
She launched the first floating-hospital, was the first to assail cruelty to children and to animals. She has stamped out a
traffic in babies that still flourishes in Massachusetts. She befriends the fallen. Her Night Court, with all its tragedy, is compassionate in principle. She has stopped hounding the ex-convict. Her municipal philanthropies amount to a tenmillion dollar largess every year. At her College of the City of New York tuition is free. Her churches reach out affectionately toward curmudgeons, strangers,
We rose at last under the morning star.
We rose, and greeted our brothers, and welcomed our foes.
Spoke of small things, remembering not old woe
They sat and listened to the brooks and birds,
By HERBERT ADAMS GIBBONS Author of "The New Map of Africa," etc.
FTER the failure of the Khartum relief expedition and the death of General Gordon, the British Government ordered Egypt and the British army to drop the Sudan. During the decade that followed the shameful fiasco of 1884, the Gordon legend alone was in the mind of the Britisher who never left his tight little island, and who considered that fact a kind of virtue. The Mahdi reigned supreme in the Sudan, and after his death, his successor, the Khalifa, continued to exterminate the tribes of the upper tributaries of the Nile. For all British cabinets and the British public seemed to care, the dervishes were welcome to keep the Sudan, and the early eighties were "past history."
But some Englishmen did care and did not forget. In fact, there was never a moment that the thought of the eventual reconquest of the Sudan and of the retrieving of the honor of British arms was not before them. They had the vision. They lived with eyes fixed on the goal. The battle of Omdurman on September 2, 1898, which made possible the reconquest and redemption of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and the foundation of its present splendid government, was the culminating event of more than ten years of herculean effort on the part of a handful of men whose enthusiasm was fortunately matched by their foresight, patience, and ability. The victory won at Omdurman was the beginning of a new era for the British Empire in Africa and throughout the world. History will give to those who worked for it and those who won it credit for far more than the rehabilitation of the Sudan.
British colonial administrators have succeeded in building an empire despite, rather than with the help of, their Government and the great mass of their fellow-countrymen. Problems confronting
them in their field of action have never been more difficult than the problem of getting and keeping support from home. London is the bête noire of the English official overseas. Cablegrams from home cause more trouble than native uprisings. In regard to foreign policy, Conservative and Liberal cabinets are very much the same. They are guided by the fears and the hopes of general elections, and they hate like poison to spend the British taxpayers' money overseas, to sanction any policy that is likely to cause fighting in which British troops must be engaged, to offend the nonconformist conscience. Colonial administrators who keep in mind constantly these three points, and who plan to get results without coming into conflict with the Government on any one of them, succeed in making for themselves great careers, and gain honors, if not peace of mind. Those who do not keep these points in mind never get very far in a colonial career.
The reconquest of the Sudan needed a decade of preparation. There was never any hope at all of convincing the British public of the necessity of pouring out blood and treasure to get back to Khartum. Unwillingness to pay the price had been the cause of the debacle of 1884. The only other possible way of accomplishing what they had in mind was to put Egypt upon a sound financial basis, and to create an Egyptian army that knew how to fight and that would fight. The invasion of the Sudan, culminating in the victory of Omdurman, was possible only because Lord Cromer made Egypt's revenues exceed her expenditures, and because Lord Kitchener got an Egyptian army into good fighting shape. When this was accomplished, and not before, it was pointed out to London that Egypt could contribute both in men and money very substantially to an expedition against
irrigation projects on a large scale be justifiable or possible until the head-waters of the Nile were under AngloEgyptian control. Never would the African
There had also to be an appeal to public opinion in England, and in particular to the nonconformist conscience. So for years one can read in Lord Cromer's annual reports a skilfully introduced and skilfully emphasized Leitmotiv, the necessity to Egypt of the reclamation of the Sudan. There never could be security in upper Egypt until the dervishes were crushed.
traffic stopped until the region from the equator to WadyHalfa was policed by Europeans. Com
mon humanity and moral re
sponsibility also demanded the
of the Sudan,
for the native
though it would have been desirable, to
ing to Great Britain's anomalous position in Egypt, problem
the was exceedingly delicate both from the international and the Ottoman point of view.
A convention signed at Cairo on January 19, 1899, by the British and Egyptian governments stated that the territory south of the twenty-second parallel of latitude was to be administered by a governor-general appointed by Egypt with the assent of Great Britain. The British and Egyptian flags were to be used together. No duties were to be levied on imports from Egypt, and duties on imports from other countries, by way of the Red Sea, were not to exceed the Egyptian tariffs. As long as it should be necessary, Egypt was to make good the deficit in the Sudan budget. But the money invested
Since Egyptian money and Egyptian lives were largely instrumental in the reconquest of the Sudan, and since the legal rights to the territories it would comprise rested wholly in the Ottoman Empire and the Egyptian khedives, it was impossible,
1 At Adowa, not far from the Sudan border, the Italians were disastrously defeated by the Abyssinians in 1896.