The instructions to Sir Drummond Wolff have been pub- lished
at last. As regards Egypt, they are vague, the Foreign Office only telling him to strengthen the Khedive's Govern- ment, to look to the payment of the Bondholders as the best preventive of foreign intervention, and not to force European civilisation on the people too hard. As each Government in turn gives those instructions, and nobody realises them, there is nothing in that to notice. As regards the Soudan, however, Lord Salisbury had definite ideas. He wanted the Sultan to take up that burden, and ordered Sir Drummond Wolff to tell his Majesty that England could not be expected to carry the Soudan for ever, and that if he would not do his share, he must not grumble if other Powers (subaudi Italy) were applied to. The contrast between his clearness about the Soudan and his vagueness about Egypt is almost comic. The mission was of no use, however. The Sultan wanted Egypt, which is rich, and did not want the Soudan, which is poor, and he refused all Sir D. Wolff's propositions with an imperturbable calm, which at last, it is said, tried that shrewd person's temper. The English failing and the Turks refusing, suppose we let the Arabs govern their own deserts ?