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upon European maps. When the Nile is and I should have enriched it. But the full it is possible to go from Khartoum to Turkish government, even for its own adFascher by water. There is a branch of vantage, will not take trouble. As for me, the Bahr-el-Arab flowing north by Kalaka, I took great trouble; I worked hard and which Zebehr navigated when he was lost long. All that I did is wasted now, but if upon the rivers in 1862, and by which circumstances had gone otherwise, if, inFascher can be reached. There have stead of living at Cairo for ten years, I been many explorers of the Soudan, but had been in Darfour for ten years, it except in so far as they have special sci- would now be a peaceful country with entific knowledge which enables them, in roads open in all directions, and its riches the pasha's words, to see more than he would be passing out in caravans to exçould see, the pasha believes himself to change with the goods of Europe. know those countries better than any for- “On the whole, therefore, you think it eign traveller. From his childhood it has is a country which would pay for good been his habit to observe interesting government?” things, and he has travelled not for a year "Dear lady, any garden with a good or two but for the greater part of his life gardener will bring forth fruit. But the in the Soudan. To attempt to sum up in gardener must watch it. He must know this place all that he said of it would be what is good for rose-trees and what good impossible. Briefly, it was this. There for apples. He must give water where are in the Soudan ivory, feathers, hides, water is needed. He must know when to wax, gum, tamarinds, honey, dates, sugar- dig and when to prune. He must let the canes, india-rubber and indigo, cotton, green fruit have sun, and gather his harcorn and tobacco, horses, camels, cows, vests when they are ripe. If these things and all the wild animals that I have named. had been done in Darfour, the country There are iron and copper, and I believe would have been prosperous, and this a other minerals. But the case stands in good governor would do. Those who say this way. Rich as it is in material the that Darfour is barren speak as foreignSoudan has hardly any manufactures. ers. It is badly governed, and nothing Except in Darfour it has no factories for prospers; but it is a rich country, and the the making of clothes, arms, or cutlery, people are faithful, simple, and good. If none for cannon and powder, none for rib- they have a good chief, they worship him bons and laces and ornaments. Nor has like God, and do all that he tells them. it any coinage. Whether for beauty, for If they have had a bad chief, they are teruse, or for war, it possesses scarcely any- rified and they run away. For kindness thing which is made. Timber is useless they will do anything, but they can only until it is cut. Ivory is no good unless it be governed by kindness." comes to market. Now, if the roads were At the time of Zebehr's conquest, Daropen and safe, the goods in which the four, although in many respects barbaric, Soudan is rich would come to Europe, was not a new country like the provinces European manufactures would go into the of the White Nile. It was an old-estabSoudan, and all alike would be richer. lished empire. Its cities had their traMore than this, if the roads were open ditions. Manufactures and trade were men of science would travel along them, established. Government, imperfect as it and knowledge, which the natives want was, had a definite organization.
For more than anything else in those lands, administrative purposes the country was would go down to them. There are many divided into districts, each of which had useful things in the Soudan of which no its governor, or basha, who held office by one knows the existence. I believe it, for the will of the sultan. Each district fur. instance, to be rich in minerals, but I have nished tribute and soldiers to the empire. not sufficient knowledge myself on that The manner in which the tribute was colsubject to pronounce with certainty. If | lected depended upon the individual basha. the roads were open manufacturers also Usually the poor gave nothing, while the would soon settle themselves near to their rich contributed according to their riches. bases of supply. Little by little the coun. There was an irregularity in the whole try would be added to the civilized world. method of procedure which, in the hands Bút for any one man to achieve this it is of a cruel governor, left opening for hidenecessary that he should be supported ous injustice, but, administered by a just from outside. Had I been the subject of man, suited well enough with the irreguan energetic government, and able and lar, half-comprehending wildness of the willing to do all that I did by myself, the people. Out of the tribute the basha was government would have supported me, Tallowed to keep a certain proportion for
the purpose of maintaining a military con- from the kingdoms lying to the west and tingent. He did not give his soldiers any north of Darfour. pay, but he gave arms and a horse and Ismail Yacoub, for whom the way was certain privileges to individuals chosen thus prepared, was briefly described by for military service. They were free in the pasha in a term which the interpreter time of peace to do as they pleased, but translated as a “rubbish man.” He came in return for these advantages they were into Darfour knowing nothing of the bound to follow him in war when called country which he had undertaken to govupon. Once a year the soldiers of each ern, and having no thought but to get rich. district were called out and inspected by One of his first acts was to seize some of the sultan. If he was pleased with their the leading men and even women of high number and condition, the governor of family, and to send them down in irons to the district was praised and rewarded; if, Cairo. Some died on the way, others are on the contrary, he was displeased, the to this day in prison there. “ That,” the basha was correspondingly censured or, pasha commented, “is not the way to it might be, removed. The internal gov- govern. He ought to have had every one ernment of the district depended almost of those men for his friends." He brought entirely upon the personal character of with him a staff of seventy clerks, and the basha. So long as the tribute was proceeded to levy a poll tax of forty piaspaid and the military contingent
tres upon a people who had never been tory, the sultan asked few questions. The individually taxed before. The poll tax readiest means of escape from an oppress- was to become due at the age of sixteen, ive governor was for the people to load so that a man having several sons at home their goods upon camels and fee into the had to pay for them and for himself too. desert. In a country where wide tracts The very poor hitherto had paid nothing. existed of rich and unclaimed land this Farmers and others had made their con. was easy to do, and under bad governors tributions to the government in grain or whole villages migrated, thus depriving in any goods that they happened to posthe district of their labor and their tribute. sess. The notion of a poll tax of two dolIn the most literal manner the rule of the lars a head, which, in the case of large unjust impoverished the land, and was to families, mounted up to such a sum in the a certain extent checked by its own con- year as they seldom saw, filled them with sequences. Round Darfour there were dismay. Although the country is rich the wild tribes who made constant raids upon larger number of individuals are excess. the sultan's dominions, and the prisoners ively poor. They have food but no coin, taken in these border wars were enslaved. and could not pay if they would. To be Otherwise there was not much slave-hunt called upon to do so simply terrified them ing in Darfour itself. It was in the neigh- and drove them from their homes.* Depborhood of Shekka, along the caravan utations came to Zebehr imploring him to roads, that slave-hunting was unendura intercede, and he remonstrated with Is. ble. At the beginning of the war Zebehr mail Yacoub. had no desire but to put down slave-hunt- “ This is not government,” he said, “it ing, in order to clear the roads. In the is spoliation. What you are doing will eight letters which passed between him ruin the country, and sooner or later it and the sultan this is clearly set forth as will rise against you." the cause of the war. But when at the Ismail at first resented the interference, end of the two campaigns he found him- and signified to Zebebr that it was no self master of Darfour, his views began business of his. Afterwards he sent for to enlarge; he entertained schemes for him, and asked his advice, saying in the government of that great province, mockery: “What do you suppose I am and interested himself in the people. going to do? Shall I leave this people While the negotiations between him and untaxed ?” the Egyptian government on the subject “I do not say that you should leave of its transfer were taking place, he took them untaxed,” Žebehr replied, “but that one or two steps which appeared to him this tax you have put them is too necessary in organization, and applied heavy for a first year. Hear me! In the himself to a study of existing conditions, entering into relations with the great men . If a tax of two dollars should seem small as a cause of the country, and gathering information of insurrection, let the reader remember the Irish tithe from them. He did not forget his favor- riots, when in one parish in Carlow upwards of two
hundred of the defaulters were rated at only a farthing ite policy of opening the roads, but re- a year, and in some cases the tithe fell to the seventh ceived deputations having that object of a farthing.
let the tax for the poor be two | remains, and some day a better race may and a half piastres, and the tax for the go down and teach civilization without moderately rich five piastres, and the tax oppression. for rich men be ten piastres. This shall “When you yourself undertook to pay be as a trial for them and for you.” a yearly tribute to the Egyptian govern
Ismail replied: "No, I see very well ment, from what source did you propose that the country is rich; and the tax that to draw it?" you propose is too small.”
“ Not from the taxes of the poor! I Zebehr said: “You think so, but you was a working merchant, as every gov. are mistaken. You have to remember ernor of a semi-civilized State must be if that in many districts where you see crops he wants to have a revenue without opthe people have filed away on account of pression. I have told you of my income. the war.
All is unsettled; and what you I had of course a number of clerks who have to do is to encourage the people and kept my books, and if I were at home I to draw them back, in order that the coun- could tell you exactly what profits came try may be at peace and prosper again. from each branch of trade. I cannot Their own government has been very bad. carry the details in my memory; but It will be easy to teach them to have con- roughly, as well as I remember, my last fidence in you. Put light taxes upon accounts showed a net profit of £12,000 a them, they will come back, they will work month. It was from this that I should and grow rich, they will be pleased, and have paid my tribute, and it would have think your government good. Good gov.been well worth my while to have given ernment taxes the rich and not the poor. £15,000 a year in order to have the supIt makes people prosperous before it port and sympathy of the government. taxes them heavily."
As you know, I never paid the tribute ; for Ismail Yacoub would not listen to rea. the conquest of Darfour, following in the son. His house at home was empty, and same year in which the agreement was he wanted to fill it. He was not a gov- signed, altered all arrangements." ernor, for he had no thought of those he " But you do not disapprove of the governed, and no sympathy with their principle of taxing a people in order to wants. He did not wish patiently to cul- meet the expenses of government?” tivate the soil, but to sweep off the crops “On the contrary! On the contrary !
What he did was like reaping So long as the people get full value from green corn.
He ruined the country in the government for what they pay it is order to enrich himself a little. So it has just and right that they should be taxed. ever been with the governors of the Sou- But in barbarous countries the tax must dan. That district well governed might be very small, and the governor cannot be in time the treasury of Egypt, but no expect to draw a large income from it. one knows how it is despoiled. You have in the countries of which we were speak. to understand that difficulty of transport ing, a small tax is desirable for two reamakes Khartoum as far, perhaps farther, sons. One reason is to give an excuse for from Cairo than India is from London. counting the population, and the second Everything is in the hands of the govern- is to accustom the people to the idea of ors, and it is essential that they should be government as a valuable thing — a thing good men. But instead of this, every which it is worth their while to pay for, governor goes down poor and comes back and which must be supported by them. rich. To change is no use, for it only Unless there is an idea of mutual duty sends a hungry man in the place of one between the governed and the government half satisfied. It is for this reason that political order is not possible. But for the Turkish government cannot keep the both these reasons it was essential that Soudan. Still do not think that the Turk- the tax should be scarcely more than nomish rule has been altogether bad for these inal. As regards the counting of the barbarous peoples. There has been some people, a heavy tax simply frightened good and some bad in it. When the them away. I have told you how it was Turks conquered the country it was very their habit to fee from their own bad wild. There were no roads, it was im- governors into the desert, and far from possible that merchants should travel. enabling the governor to count them, the The good done by the Turkish govern- tax evidently caused them to be hidden ment has been to open the roads. The from him, thus defeating, its own end. evil has been that greedy officials have Again, with regard to teaching them the cheated and oppressed the natives. But benefits of settled government, a large tax the roads remain, and the habit of trade I was in excess of any benefits that they
could realize. It seemed to them that they and many other similar negotiations came gave more than they received, and instead to nothing in consequence of the failure of a beneficial interchange of profit, gov- of his principal hope. ernment appeared in the light of an organ- It was at this period that the commonly ized system of robbery."
related incident of the council under the This and much more Zebehr laid before tree is supposed to have taken place. Ismail Yacoub. The only result was that “There is a large tree,” wrote Colonel Ismail Yacoub sent complaints to Cairo Gordon, “on the left-hand side of the road that Zebehr was thwarting him and frus- from Obeid to Shaka about two miles from trating his plans, giving up the province Shaka. Under this tree Zebehr assembled to him nominally, but not allowing him to his officers and swore them to obey him. have his own way. The khedive tele. If he sent word to them to attend to the graphed to Zebehr to forbid any interfer arrangements made under the tree they
on his part with the schemes of were to revolt.” I read this passage from Ismail Yacoub, and then Zebehr felt that Birkbeck Hill's “Gordon in Central Afthe only hope of saving Darfour lay in a rica” to the pasha. He smiled and shook personal interview with the khedive. Any his head. " Another of Idris Abtar's," he report that he might write ran risk of said ; “there is not a word of truth in it. suppression, or what was worse, of falsi- It is not only untrue. If you think of it fication. He thought that if he saw the you will see that it is so unlikely as to be khedive face to face, and reported to him impossible. At the time at which it is personally of the state of things in Dar- supposed to have happened I was strong four, some good might be achieved. He and at the head of a victorious army. therefore telegraphed that he wished to go Every one knows that I am no coward. down and see the khedive at Cairo. The If I had contemplated a revolt against the khedive answered with a very cordial in- government I should not have been such vitation to him to come, and he went down a fool as to hand over the province to in state. Before starting he disbanded Ismail Yacoub, to leave my army in the the greater part of his army, and put the hands of a child, and to go and put myself remaining six thousand under the nomi- voluntarily into the khedive's power at nal command of his son Suleiman, a lad Cairo. Also you must know that these of fifteen.*
are all old stories examined during three He was already on the way when he was years by the khedive Ismail and proved to overtaken by a deputation from the king have no foundation. It is absurd after of Borku, who offered himself as a trihu so searching an investigation to ask me tary, and proposed to open his roads. now to deny them. If there had been The letter of this king was also among foundation for them, do you suppose that the papers that were taken at the time of I should be alive to give you this contra. Zebehr's imprisonment by the English. diction? Assuredly not." His deputation brought with it two horses The action of Idris Abtar and his relaas a present to Zebehr. Zebehr sent back tion to Gordon, which involved to some four horses fully caparisoned, and said, considerable extent also the pasha's rela“ If your king is in earnest let him send tion to Gordon, belong properly to a later and meet me at Cairo, where we will dis- portion of Zebehr's life, but as I do not cuss these things before the khedive, and propose to carry this narrative further enter into a treaty."
than his arrival at Cairo in 1875, I repeat The king of Tagali also came and of- here some portion of what he told me with fered himself, saying, “We have heard a regard to it. Zebehr was at Cairo when good report of
you will have Gordon went for the second time into the us we will submit ourselves to you." Ta. Soudan. They met just before Gordon gali is a mountainous district in Kordofan, started for Khartoum, and they talked about three days' journey south of El over the affairs of the province. Gordon Obeid, and it is a very wild place, which asked Zebehr to give him such help as he up to that time had preserved its indepen- could, and Zebehr promised to do so. dence, refusing to submit to the rulers of “ You are European and I am Arabic,” he either Darfour or Kordofan. To the king said, “but we can be friends. I have a of Tagali, Zebehr also answered that these son about sixteen years of age. He is matters would be arranged before the yours. I give him to you, and I will write khedive, and he pursued his way. These to him to obey you in everything." He • Gordon speaks of this lad as being two-and-twenty to honor Gordon and to follow his instruc
wrote accordingly to Suleiman, telling him years of age at the time of his death. His real age was
tions. When Gordon got down into the
Soudan he was immediately surrounded quired into the matter, but clever as Gorby natives, many of whom were jealous of don was, just and wise, too, as he was, he Zebehr, and he was told that Suleiman labored under one great disadvantage in was preparing to make war. Suleiman those countries. _He did not speak Arabic was at Shekka with six thousand soldiers. well enough. The interpreters were in He held them at Gordon's disposal ; but Idris Abtar's pay. Therefore, all the Gordon was told that they were for the stories which came to Gordon's ears were purpose of fighting against him. He did modified to fit with what Idris Abtar said. not at first believe it, but he was per. Gordon did his best. He endeavored to suaded by the people about him. He then collect natives of ability around him, but desired Suleiman to meet him at Dara, they had not been accustomed to honest which Suleiman did. After compliments, dealing with the government. Idris Abtar Gordon said straight out to Suleiman," I was very rich, and some of the most emi. hear you are going to make war against nent men were not above accepting bribes. me.”' Suleiman replied that it was not so, When Gordon took council with them that he was prepared to obey him and to they assured him that Idris Abtar spoke honor him in all things. Gordon told him the truth, and that Suleiman was making of the interview he had had in Cairo with ready to fight against the government. Zebehr, and called upon him, if he was “Now all the time they understood quite loyal as he professed to be, to give up his well,” the pasha said, “what I want you troops. Suleiman agreed to do so, and at to bear in mind, that to Suleiman, Idris the appointed time, when the troops were Abtar was simply his father's servant, apdrawn up in parade, he sounded his bugle pointed by his father and not dependent and declared that he gave them into the on the government. Suleiman was too hands of the governor, and that they were young to be wise in his conduct at this no longer his troops but Gordon's troops. time. Having so lately assured Gordon Gordon distributed the soldiers through of his faith he ought to have known, upon the provinces, and afterwards went to stay finding disorder and trouble in Mandugba, in Suleiman's house at Shekka. He gave that it was not for him to try to settle it Suleiman a medal, made him a colonel, alone. He ought to have laid the whole and reported what he had done to Cairo. matter before Gordon, saying, ' Advise me He also made him a present of arms. now what to do.' If he had had the sense “Now all this shows," the pasha said, to ask him, Gordon would have helped “that my son, so far, did his duty as I him to put Idris Abtar down and all would told him to do, and Gordon was pleased have been well. He had twelve uncles with him." *
The mischief arose upon with him for councillors. If they had his return to Mandugba.
been wise they would have sent him to When the troops had been disbanded at Gordon, but between them they had no Shekka, Suleiman went to Mandugba and sense, and Suleiman acted like a child not made the discovery of the bad conduct of knowing the difficulties of life.” Idris Abtar, who had now ruled there for Gordon's councillors at Khartoum ad. three years,
He had proved himself vised that Idris Abtar should be made thoroughly dishonest. Zebehr's business governor of the White Nile. Two thouwas ruined, his laws were set aside, the sand soldiers were given to him, and he country had been hunted over for slaves; went down to fight against the boy. Suthere was riot and anarchy in Mandugba, leiman, hearing of it, wrote to Gordon, and Idris Abtar himself was not even liv. saying: “ This man is a badly behaved ing there ; he was at Dagu. Suleiman servant of my father's. He lies; he is reproached him bitterly, saying, “You dangerous and depraved. I blamed him were put here as steward for my father, for his conduct and he Aed to you. Now but him you have robbed, and you have you put my servant over me. I cannot wronged his people. Now I will make for the shaine of it submit to him. Send, justice between you.
if you please, any man except this one. Upon this Idris was frightened and es. Let him be Turkish or European and I caped to Khartoum, where, by means of will submit; but I cannot to my servant.' bribery, he succeeded in laying the story Before any answer could come Idris atin his own colors before Gordon. He tacked. Suleiman fought and was victo. declared that Suleiman was preparing to rious. Many were killed ; Idris himself make war upon Gordon. Gordon in ran away, and returned by water to Khar.
toum, where he laid his complaint and • The account given by Gordon at the time, although
The pasha reit differs very much in spirit, corroborates this narra report before Gordon. tive in the main facts.
peated these circumstances twice over