SOMETHING has been said in previous chapters of that speculative fever which possessed Egypt for several years, and the collapse that followed. How these things operated in certain individual cases may be learnt by considering the history of that enterprising Greek, Mr. Aristides Vaporopoulos, whom a classically-minded friend of mine calls Aristides the Moderately Just.
His father was an innkeeper in Corfu during that queer forgotten episode when the Ionian Islands were a British Protectorate, and, of all people in the world, Mr. Gladstone was the Lord High Commissioner thereof. Vaporopoulos the elder migrated to Malta and set up a tavern in Valetta. Here his son was born; and that is why he was baptised William Albert, as well as Aristides, and why he always calls himself 'Mr.,' and has been known to refer to the British Islands as 'home.'
In doing odd jobs about the inn the youth early acquired a useful miscellaneous education and considerable knowledge of the world. He served thin wine to Italian sailors, coffee and lemonade to his own countrymen and the island aborigines, occasionally