By the overthrow of Mahdism, the great region of Central Africa has been opened to civilisation. From the date of the splendid victory of Omdurman, 2nd September 1898, may be reckoned the creation of a vast Soudan empire. At so early a stage, it is idle to speculate whether the country will be held as a British possession, or as a province of Egypt. "The land of the blacks," and their truculent Arab despoilers, has the intrinsic qualities that secure distinction. Given peace, it may be expected that the mixed negroid races of the Upper Nile will prove themselves as orderly and industrious as they are conspicuously brave. Whoever rules them wisely, will have the control of the best native tribes of the Dark Continent, the raw material of a mighty state. This, too, is foreshadowed; the dominant power in Central Northern Africa, if no farther afield, will have its capital in Khartoum, "Ethiopia will soon stretch out her hands unto God."
ruel, far beyond his dead master--"the cruellest man on earth," Slatin Pasha dubbed him,--by his exactions and treacheries soon overreached himself. Events were hastening to the overthrow of Mahdism. Sheiks and tribes fell away from the Khalifa and returned to the fold of orthodox Mohammedanism. By 1889, as an aggressive force seeking to enlarge its boundaries, Mahdism was spent. Thereafter, stage by stage, its power dwindled, although Omdurman, the dervish capital, remained the headquarters of the strongest native military power that North Africa has ever known.
Lord Cromer has been blamed for many things he did, and much that he left undone, during the earlier days of Mahdism. A fuller knowledge of the whole circumstances justifies my saying that, as custodian of British interests, he acted throughout with singular prudence and great forbearance. It was not with his wish or approval that several of the untoward expeditions against the dervishes were undertaken. It is permissible to regret th
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