20 APRIL 1889, Page 2

The Mahdi, according to accounts believed in Cairo, has been

driven back upon Khartoum by "El Senoussi," and is expecting attack even there. This statement is treated in London as favourable news, but we are by no means sure that it is pleasant. It means that the head of the great semi- monastic organisation which has adherents from Tunis to the Congo, has beaten the Ma,hdists after a doubtful contest raging for at least two years. That rids us and Egypt of one enemy, but only to substitute another who may prove much more dangerous. The Senoussia has been accumulating means for a generation, intends, we may be certain, to extend its rule, and once in possession of Khartoum, may strike south- ward at Emin Pasha, or northward at Egypt itself, always the great object of desire to the desert tribes. We may have again to fight for the Talley, and that soon, which, as we are always cheated of our reward by French jealousy, is not a pleasing prospect. It is a curious destiny which at this time of day makes the movements of " Saracens " once more important to Englishmen, and compels them to be interested in " Paynim " organisations, as in the days of the third Crusade. Fortunately, the new armour of civilisation is more effective than that of the knights of old, or El Senoussi might put us out of Egypt without much trouble. His men are as brave as our own, and probably five times as numerous.