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grace," is quite out of the question. That Scott's work is limited to the emendations on Hogg's manuscript which I have noted (two or three similar trifles I do not trouble the reader with), perhaps nobody not wedded to a preconceived opinion will doubt or deny. If, then, Hogg is not a wholesale and most crafty forger, his pedigree for the ballad is probable; and I have proved that for the possibility of survival of ballads of the sixteenth century into the eighteenth we have examples, while others known through Godsoroft are irrecoverably lost.

I confess that I did not expect to arrive at a firm belief in the relative antiquity of "Auld Maitland," but I see no other course open to me. Moreover, I find Hogg honest in his dealings with Scott about other old ballads, so far as I have traced the correspondence.

A difficulty on which Colonel Elliot based part of his theory of "deception" was caused by Lockhart. In his 'Life of

Scott' (vol. ii. p. 99) he represented Scott as receiving the ballad manuscript from Laidlaw in the autumn vacation of 1802. But Hogg, on June 30, 1802, was already writing to Scott about the ballad, and Colonel Elliot had only seen parts of that letter which increased his suspicions. Had he read Ritson's letter to Scott of June 10, 1802, he would have perceived that Ritson had already received from Scott the MS. which Laidlaw gave him in the spring vacation (March 11May 12) of 1802, and that Scott's letter to Ellis, announcing that he had he had sent the original Laidlaw MS. to Ritson (Lockhart, vol. ii. p. 101), is of May 1802.

But for the very kind assistance of Mr William Macmath, who aided me with his exhaustive knowledge of the Abbotsford ballad MSS., and with his exact transcripts of the Hogg-Laidlaw MS., and of letters from Hogg to Scott, I could not have so thoroughly cleared the honesty of both "the laird" and "the herd."



THERE was a time when the annual reports of his Majesty's Agent and Consul-General at Cairo might be read with pride and satisfaction. They recorded the opinions and observations of a great administrator, who interpreted the duties of government in a plain and honourable sense. Lord Cromer was heretic enough to believe that it was the duty of a governor to govern. If his practice were a clear reflection of his theory, he thought that peace, order, and prosperity were of higher value to a community than the lawless repetition of dangerous catchwords. And the result was that we could point to Egypt as a noble example of what British justice and British character might achieve. Even if the foolish doctrines of Tom Paine were not yet rampant in Cairo, for the gratification of Mr J. M. Robertson, Egypt was governed not merely with a firm hand but in the best interests of all, Moslem or Christian, who made Egypt their home.

To-day all is changed. There is cause neither for satisfaction nor for pride in Sir Eldon Gorst's most recent statement. It is the work not of a ruler but of a politician, who seems

to think that there is definite virtue in popular government, quite apart from the evil which it may inflict upon an unprepared country. There is no controversy which Sir Eldon does not treat with weakness and indecision. That which he gives with one hand he takes with the other. His report bears no trace of that which is of the highest value in dealing with races different

from us in blood and in temperament. In vain we seek for some clear-cut expression of understanding and authority. We find instead a sad series of timid hypotheses.

The murder of Boutros Ghali Pasha, a crime of which the miserable Wardani has rightly been found guilty, might have been avoided by the exercise of a little firmness. If ever a piece of wickedness were inspired by political fanaticism it was this. Boutros was a Copt, a Christian, and a Minister, and therefore trebly hateful to the Moslem Nationalists. The spirit which breathed in his murderer was easily inflamed. The Nationalist Press, which served no other purposes than treachery and rebellion, was treated with the utmost kindness by the Government,

and with considerable ingenuity it armed the assassin's hand. For years it has abused the Copts with all the energy of which it is capable. Here is a bright specimen of its eloquence, now more than a year old: "The Copts should be kicked to death. They still have faces and bodies similar to those of demons and monkeys, which is a proof that they hide poisonous spirits within their soul. The fact that they exist in the world confirms Darwin's theory that human beings are generated from monkeys. You sons of adulterous women! You descendants of the bearers of trays! You tails of camels with your monkey faces! You bones of bodies!" And so on, with the proper cant of inflammatory speech.

Having done what it could to discredit the Copts in particular and all Christians in general, the Nationalist Press proceeded to preach the duty of rebellion, the necessity of throwing off the English yoke. "This land was polluted by the English," wrote the notorious "El Lewa" in September 1909, "putrified with their atrocities as they suppressed our beloved dustour, tied our tongues, burned our people alive and hanged our innocent relatives, and perpetrated other horrors, at which the heavens are about to tremble, the earth to split, and the mountains to fall down." The method of requiting these "horrors "" was, thought "El Lewa," perfectly simple. "Let us take a new step," said the carefully cher

ished editor. cheap while we seek our independence. Death is far better than life for you if you remain in your present situation."

"Let our lives be

And thus it was that Boutros Ghali Pasha came by his death.

The facts being not in dispute, now let us turn to Sir Eldon Gorst's interpretation of them. He does not deny that the motives of the crime are purely political. "The murderer," says he, "merely repeated the accusations which have been alleged against Boutros Pasha in the columns of the Nationalist Press." Thus no link is missing in the chain of evidence. Sir Eldon knows as well as another where to put the blame. "I have no hesitation," thus he writes, "that the leaders of the Nationalist party are morally responsible for the murder of Boutros Pasha." Secure as he is in the knowledge of events and their causes, he has taken no steps to prevent a recurrence of the crime. The editors and proprietors of the Nationalist Press are permitted to go almost unscathed. Press Law, revived in 1909, has not been applied, save with the greatest moderation, and it is difficult to understand why the Egyptian Government discards the instrument which lies ready to its hand. The poor warnings, timidly given, went unregarded. The treme Nationalist journals continued, as Sir Eldon admits, "to pour odium and contempt on the authorities, and the Government may perhaps be blamed for not having



used more freely the powers which they possessed to put a stop to these abuses." Never before in a State paper have we met with so grossly oynical a pronouncement. As Sir Eldon himself says, it admits of no doubt. The murder of Boutros Pasha was the work of the Nationalist Press. The Egyptian Government had full powers to supress the Nationalist Press. For a reason which is not explained, the Egyptian Government declined to exercise its powers, and it must appear in the eyes of all sane men an accomplice before the fact in the crime of Wardani.

All, however, is not lost: guilty as the Nationalists are, lightly as they have been let off, they are solemnly adjured not to do it again. They must mend their ways. They must no longer stir up the evil passions of the ignorant and credulous. If they persist in their wicked courses, something really will be done. The Press Law will be applied with greater severity than heretofore. "No obligation of Government," declares Sir Eldon Gorst, "is more imperative than to proteot efficiently the lives and reputations of those who devote themselves to the service of their country." Which is it tragedy or comedy? We can find no answer to the riddle.

We have never yet heard a satisfactory argument in favour of a free Press. Even in countries where the art of printing has been familiar for centuries, the danger of licence is perfectly well understood. If the editors of English jour

nals were guilty of the incitements to murder which have disgraced the Nationalist Press of Egypt, they would have time to reflect upon their evil-doing in the seclusion of a prison-cell. What madness is it, then, that gives to Egypt a criminal freedom not allowed in the more highly civilised West? The poor creatures, for the excitement of whose weak minds "El Lewa" and "Al Alam have done their worst, are for the most part wholly illiterate. Ignorance persuades them to put an exaggerated value upon what they are told stands in type.

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The printing-press, in their simple eyes, is a kind of magician's cauldron which transforms the vainest fiction into a grave or solemn fact. Only two or three in a hundred can read at all. And the mob gathers round the man who can read aloud in patient trust. "Is that really there?" they ask in amazement, and being reassured, they murmur, "It must be true if it is written there." And their faith in authority is so great, that they are convinced all is true that the Government allows to be written, or, to or, to reverse the argument, if it were not true, the Government would not permit it to be said. Little they know of the gentle processes of modern Radicalism!

Was there ever so mad a reduction to absurdity of unlicensed printing? For the mere fad, which never yet did good to a single human soul, the Egyptian Government is willing to risk the peace and safety of the community. It

refuses to disarm the assassin for no better reason than unctuously to repeat a catch-word already discredited in the eighteenth century. To follow so vain a policy would be madness in England. How shall we characterise it in Egypt, where criminal editors are told that they are guilty, and urged, in melting accents, not to do it again? It is not by compliance, supine as this, that empires have been held in the past or will be held in the time to come. And the Egyptian Government will presently discover that its amiability is mistaken for weakness, that its concessions are ascribed to fear.

And with a free Press Egypt has acquired the beginnings of what by an irony is known as a free government. There is a Legislative Council and Provincial Councils-all the apparatus, in brief, which is supposed to be necessary to train the Egyptians in the governing of themselves. Here we find another instance of old wine in new bottles, and we can only hope that the evil effects which usually follow the experiment may be averted, At present the prospect is not good, as is proved by the episode of the Concession to the Suez Canal Company. This project, of equal importance and delicacy, was laid before the Legislative Council last autumn. It was approved in the main by the Council, and then referred in pure wantonness to the General Assembly-in_wantonness, because, as Sir Eldon Gorst admits, “the question was not

one of those upon which the Government are obliged, by the terms of the Organic Law, to consult the General Assembly." The result might have been foreseen. The General Assembly, most of whose members, we are told, do not know where Suez is, and are convinced that the proposal of the Company is but a scheme to plunder Egypt of its lawful rights and hand the proceeds of the swindle over to the Soudan, appointed a committee to discuss the question, and the committee incontinently rejected the proposal. Sir Eldon Gorst approves the reference of the matter to the Assembly. He does not approve the Assembly's report. "Neither the tone of the document," says he, "nor the arguments adduced in support of its conclusion, can be said to have justified the hope that the scheme would be examined with an open mind, and the chief feature by which the report is characterised is entire lack of confidence in the intentions and good faith of the Government." What, then, have the Legislative Council, Sir Eldon Gorst, and the world gained by the transaction? The Radical pedant no doubt will congratulate himself that another experiment has been made in "free" institutions. The political philosopher will note once more the criminal folly of hurling power at the head of those unfit to use it.

Upon whom lies the responsibility for the weakness which is gravely imperilling the British rule in Egypt? Who

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