5 NOVEMBER 1881, Page 1


THERE has been a small explosion this week of the subterra- nean fire always smouldering in Egypt. The editor of a French journal there, L'Egypte, with that intolerance of creeds Frenchmen often display, in a recent issue styled Mahommed '" the false prophet." The phrase naturally enough provoked Mahommedans, and "the Sheikhs of Azhar," expounding popular feeling, signified to him that they had sentenced him -to death, and that he would consequently be assassinated. An intimation of that kind is serious, as hundreds of Dervishes would execute the order, and die with delight afterwards; And the unlucky editor applied for protection to his Consul. The Consul gave him a guard, but on inquiry found the danger so real, that he advised the Editor to quit Egypt instantly, and sent him in disguise and under a special escort on board the steamer, where he remained in hiding for -two hours, until the anchor was lifted. He loses, of course, his occupation and his property. The editor was foolish to make a remark which even in Bombay has before this provoked sanguinary riots; but the incident reveals how feeble the Euro- peans are, when the real forces in Egypt begin to stir. The Dervishes, backed by the mob and sure of the sympathies of the soldiery, would not have cared two straws for the risk of French vengeance. They would have expected aid from Allah, and have shouted " Kairouan !" the occupation of which city was, it is admitted, the causa cancans of the whole business.