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proposedl — typities the kiud of civilization which the Gallic race are introducing into the land of the Pharaohs. Is this unfortunate country destined never to be the scene of reasonable achievemonts: Obelisks, pyramidls, ir barrage, are these the only works on which Egyptian hands can be employed ?
Within the last four or five years, however, the Pasha has reverted to the idea of a railway, the advantages of which are now more apparent. We ca-ily appreciable. A great change has takrii place in Egypt. Insteal of an occasional passenger content to traverse the desert on the awkward dromedary or the humble ass twice a month, there is a regular influx of strangers from itsiin, as well its from Europie, into the country. The products of the worgeou: East are once more beginning to find their way to the eliterranean through this channel ; and through it likewise the civilization, the science, the wisdom of the West, are continually flowing back towarls their supposedl sources. Every year increases the number of persons that ply on the route, so that it is impossible not to see that as soon as the work is finished it will attoril an amply remunerative return; and then when the principle that railways make traffic has operated the profit will be very great indeed.
In 1843, accordingly, Mohammed Ili again came to a determination to proceed with this project, and actually requested Mr. R. Galloway to proceed to England for the purpose of completing the necessary arrangements. There appeared now no prospect of any change taking place; and the next steamer was positively to carry out the final order, which having once left Egypt could with difficulty be recalled. It was necessary therefore that those who were interested in suppressing this useful undertaking should vigorously exert themselves, empluy crery resource of diplomacy, or even descend into the mazy paths of intrigue. Such exertions were inade, and the result was that as Mr. R. Galloway was about to enıbark the order previously given was countermanded, and from that day to this scarcely any rcal progress has been made towards the accomplishment of this important object.
It is scarcely necessary to point to the French consulate as the quarter whence the opposition which was so successful proceeded. In many instances England has been reduced to guess at the machinations of her rival; she has found herself in presence of a secret enemy, and being compelled to fight him with his own arms has often been defeated for want of an opportunity of a fair
hand to hand struggle. In Egypt it is otherwise. There the rivalry, the hostility, the opposition of France are undisguised. Her consuls have openly avowed, for example, their determination to prevent, if possible, the railway from ever being carried out ; and as England unfortunately has not taken up the subject in a tone sufficiently peremptory the railway has necessarily miscarried or at least been postponed.
No great penetration is required to divine the motives that urge the French Government to adopt the line of policy at which we have above hinted. In addition to the ever-living jealousy that exists between the two nations, Egypt is too important a country for England, and still possesses too much of the traditional affection of France, to allow the latter to behold us quietly running a railway through its territory. Without certain precautions this work might of course, if such were our desire, open a way to conquest. But we know the Pasha too well to suppose that he would not take every precaution to prevent us from acquiring any military advantage by means of a railway. It is evident that Louis Philippe, whatever he may attempt to promise the Pasha, must know that no improvement in the transit of our mail and passengers can directly contribute to the establishment of British authority on the banks of the Nile. A superior degree. of sagacity to that which he possesses might teach him indeed that danger to the independence of Egypt can arise not from facilities given to the transit, but from obstacles thrown in its way, that there is no surer means of inducing us to lay aside any ambitious pretensions he may suppose us to entertain than to give us the fruits of victory without its dangers. A safe and rapid transmission of travellers and intelligence through Egypt, secured by binding treaties, will quite satisfy England; whereas, if she is to be irritated there is no better way of doing it than by the cunning conduct at present pursued by the French agents in Egypt.
We are not among those inclined ever to give the most Machiavellian interpretation to the actions of men.
In this instance, as we have before hinted, jealousy of Great Britain, a desire to impede her movements, to embarrass her merely for the sake of doing so, seem chiefly to impel France to action. She loves, without any immediate purpose of advantage to herself, to cast little stumbling-blocks in the path of that gigantic power whose greatness overshadows and alarms her. For this purpose her agents, especially in the East, present themselves everywhere
unler various forms and names, but always with the same view, and the same mode of artion. Having no great object to accomplislı, even the best vif thier are compelled to descend to little
Being commissioneel to carry out no extensive scheme of polivy, lout simply to annoy, impedle, and pester, with diplomatic good-humour, i dreaded rival, all their actions necessarily correspond with their object, and are small, crooked, obscure, or insignificant. In Abyssinia, the Rol Sea, the Persian Gulf, everywhere we have encountered in ill-paid Frenchman labouring with commendable perseverance to do what we have done, to prolong, if he cannot ultimately prevent the attainment of our desires, or if he is powerless in both these capacities to misrepresent our actions and libel our policy. In Egypt, the personal character of the present French consul-general has given a little more variety and openness to proceedings essentially similar. M. Barrot has 310t publicly wished the success of the railway, and privately opposed it. IIe has declared, with a frankness perhaps disagreeable to his Government, that his intention is ever to resist the execution of this project, and if we are to believe report, has given his reasons pretty plainly.
Let us listen to his principal argument. “ I am afraid that if the railway ever is de we shall norer hare the crinal.” The railway then stands in the way of some other project, which is at once a favourite and of apparent inferiority. We presume that even the French consul will acknowledge that the canal is not a thing to be loved per se. Is it not then extraordinary that such an argument as this should be seriously put forward ?
Are we not at liberty to infer that France patronises the canal simply in order to stifle the project of the railway ? Is there any
other explanation of so strange a process of reasoning? Are we not forced to believe, when we hear the two schemes put into such curious opposition, that they really occupy in the mind of the speaker, a position very different from what he avows? M. Barrot patronises the canal, affirms its vast superiority, its importance to the cause of civilization and humanity ; and yet fears that the establishment of the railway would prevent the canal ever being made ; he must conclude then that the former would fulfil all the useful purposes of the latter, that it is acknowledged in fact to be the only feasible work, and that the canal is merely put forward as a blind.
We do not intend to enter into the question of the actual
practicability of this “Great Cut” as it has been called, from Suez to the Mediterranean; but will simply observe that the vast cost of its formation, the length of time it would occupy, and the little comparative benefit that would arise from it, would be sufficient to deter any reasonable person from the attempt, even if all the real advantages its most sanguine promoters propose were not to be obtained by more economical means. However, if France really desires to perform this stupendous work, let her undertake it, but let her not endeavour to prevent Great Britain from constructing a railway, which will in fact be indispensable to carry to her field of action the requisite materials, and the supplies for the vast numbers of men, whom for perhaps a quarter of a century it will be necessary to employ!
It now remains only to inquire how it is that we have suffered France successfully to oppose us in this particular. Certainly there has not been any remarkable reluctance on the part of our Government to give it support. Opinions have changed since a British minister so singularly thwarted the desire of Mohammed Ali, and rejected his overtures. Lord Aberdeen in October, 1843, after the French consul had dissuaded the Pasha from commencing the railroad, forwarded the most positive instructions to Colonel Barnet, our consul-general in Egypt, to give every support to the undertaking ; but we are sorry to say that the supineness or indifference of this gentleman, or it may be the persuasion of his bosom friend, the French consul-general, prevented him from fulfilling those instructions and induced him to neglect in a most singular manner his duty to his employers and his country. On him rests the responsibility of having been the means of preventing, instead of assisting the execution of a work of such paramount importance to British interests, both in a commercial and political point of view.
Let us hope that Lord Palmerston, with his accustomed energy, will
pursue the example set him by his predecessor. We hear that the question has already been presented to him, and that it has occupied his most serious attention. It will be necessary, however, for him to bear in mind one circumstance. Whatever goodwill he may possess and evince, nothing will avail unless strenuous, urgent and precise instruction be given to the new consul-general. No doubt must be suffered to remain on Mr. Murray's mind as to how far he may go in his support ; but armed with distinct orders, having in view a specific object, he must be enabled to go
to the Pasha and explain himself fully and freely ; he must make opportunities of exerting his influence if he cannot find them, and, finally, he must remember that a petty jealousy and an affectation of rivalry are unworthy the character of a British representative. If what we here counsel be a prophecy ; for we do not flatter ourselves that it will affect the decisions of Government or the conduct of its representative_of whom indeed we have great hope; we shall soon have to congratulate the Pasha on the commencement of a work which will confer great blessings on the industry and commerce of his country, whilst it multiplies its chances of independence, of security against foreign aggression ; and to announce to Great Britain that the best route to the vast possessions in Asia is indeed open and secure, and that she need no longer fear any interruption in her constant communications with the Indies, with China, with Australia, and that important country now beginning to unfold its riches before us, the vast island of Kalamantan.
“ THE HIOUR AND THE MAN.”
He is a little gentle child,
Upon a tender mother's knee,
In its unclouded infancy ;
The wondered gaze, the upward look,
The first sweet page of nature's book.
A creature formed of smiles and tears,
And thoughtfulness beyond his years;
A thing of life and glee,
At tale of misery.
In th’ open brow of the fearless youth,
The earnest flush of conscious truth ;