The proclamation immediately did much good. General Gordon, on arrival
at Khartoum, was hailed as a deliverer, and. reports the place to be now as safe as Cairo. He dismissed the Egyptian Governor, who has been flogging people to death, and harassing his subjects in all ways ; burnt all the official registers of debts, especially debts to the State ; prohibited the use of the whip, cleared out the prisons, which were found full of horrors, and reduced taxation one-half. The people declare that he is better than the Mahdi, he is raising a Soudanese force, under a negro who served with distinction in Mexico, and he has acknowledged the Mahdi as Emir of Kordofan. The Sheikhs come in readily to consult him, he is sending the Egyptian garrison of Khartoum back to Cairo, and he proposes, it is stated, shortly to visit the Mahdi in El Obeid. He is perfectly confident that he can rescue all the garrisons, and is certainly within the range of his influence unresisted. He is, in fact—and the English public will do well to bear this in mind—for the moment in the only position which suits his special genius, that of an absolute sovereign, and he may perform feats which seem marvellous. The grand test of his strength, however, a direct collision between his influence and that of the Mahdi, has not yet arrived ; and as Tokar has fallen, and the European troops are halted, orders may yet be sent to attack him in Khartoum.