THE disorganization and bankruptcy of Turkey, reacting on Egypt, which had made possible the purchase of Khedive Ismail's 177,000 shares in the Suez Canal had other and less agreeable consequences. Bosnia and Herzegovina had revolted from the Porte in 1875, and the next year this revolt spread to Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria. For its suppression, which was justifiable enough in itself, the Porte employed irregular troops, Bashi-Bazouks, who were neither more nor less than undisciplined brigands out for loot, and they committed frightful barbarities in the revolting provinces. The Queen felt the greatest horror at these outrages, and wrote, unofficially through General Ponsonby, to Lord Derby, her Foreign Secretary, to say that the Porte should be warned that, if they continued, England must withdraw her support from Turkey. But it was impossible to dictate to the Porte what sort of troops should be employed, and Lord Derby found that the Bulgarians were no better: there was no such thing as a Turkish prisoner.* Out of this situation there developed three years of the most complicated international politics, of which, however, the main lines are clear enough.
The Serbian insurrection had from the first been encouraged by Russia; she had stiffened the Serbian forces with Russian troops, and they were under the command of Russian officers. In spite of this the insurrection in the____________________