CONCERNING POLITICS AND PERSONS
THE Government of the Sudan is an anomaly within an anomaly, as I was forcibly reminded one bright morning in Omdurman when I watched a battalion of the Egyptian army on parade. The sun glanced on a long line of swarthy Arabs and absolute negroes, arrayed in uniforms which only the genius of Anglo- Indian military tailoring could have devised; three or four young Englishmen in brown helmets and khaki rode along the ranks; the band was drumming and trumpeting vigorously to the tune of 'Men of Harlech'; the colour party bore a green and gold flag with the Khedivial crescent. Suddenly the colonel rapped out half a dozen sharp orders in--Turkish. Not in English, you perceive, which is the language of the officers, not in the colloquial Arabic, which is the language of the men; but in Turkish, which is as much a foreign tongue to all grades as Chinese. And it was brought home to me by this curious linguistic performance that I was under the shadow of the Sultan, in a land which is still, according to vague political fiction, linked on to that queer conglomerate, the Ottoman Empire.
Egypt is not an independent country, still less, I need hardly say, does it 'belong' to England; it is a province