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forsaken in its barrenness, the character of the human inhabitant hardens in proportion to the sterility of his country-he becomes a thorn in the flesh to those who have to govern. A good minister would endeavour to improve the face of nature by the development of her scant resources, thereby to ameliorate the condition of the inbabitants and to convert the nomad into a useful citizen. The Arabs who are now in insurrection are pastoral people, and are nomadic from necessity, as they wander with their flocks over an enormous area in search of the scarce pasturage wbich desert valleys afford their numerous herds. These people are wild because they live and die in desert places; they dislike all government, and become dangerous rebels in times of civil disturbance. They are warlike and independent from the fact that they have no fixed abode, and nothing which would be imperilled by their absence; no property beyond their animals, which can be quickly marched to distances far from the reach of all authority.
A good government would endeavour to alter these untoward conditions. If the natural sterility of the soil can be improved, if fertile land is rendered barren through excessive drought, and could be made productive through irrigation, if means of transport can be effected to bring within reach of markets commodities which are now neglected through immensity of distance, it is the duty of a government to arrange the means for a general development that shall call into action the energies of all subjects, and raise the standard of their character in proportion to the improvement of their surroundings.
The Arabs of the desert would cease to be nomadic if they could be assured of pasturage. If the fertile soil of Upper Egypt between the Atbara and Blue Nile were supplied with means of irrigation, and the new settlers should be protected by a just administration, the nomads would quickly exchange their tents of camel-hair for the more solid dwelling of a village home, and they would devote themselves to agriculture.
An agricultural population is generally peaceful. Disturbance would endanger their possessions, their crops could not be moved. The fact of having something to lose is a potent safeguard against civil strife, and, in self-defence, the Egyptian Government should endeavour to promote the permanent settlement of the Arab tribes in localities that would reward their industry. To effect this it will be necessary to awaken the resources of the country by irrigation, and by a railway from Souakim to the Nile.
There could not be a better example of the effect produced upon a population by an extension of the facilities for cultivation than is to be seen in the North-West Provinces of India, where, within twenty years, a warlike race has been completely tamed by the influ
ence of agricultural employment, the land being nourished and rendered profitable by artificial irrigation. The same result would be attained by the development of the Central Soudan in the contracted limit of Upper Egypt.
The policy of the British Government is inscrutable, but the interests of Egypt are plain to all those experienced in the country. The insurrection of the Soudan must be stamped out. England must effect this, as she has assumed the direction of the Egyptian administration; otherwise there will be anarchy in the Delta.
. When peace sball have been restored, the frontier of Upper Egypt must be determined, and the capital will be Khartoum. A general reform must be introduced that will be a guarantee of justice. The Arab tribes of the desert should pay a fixed annual tribute, to avoid the complications induced hy levying taxes. Abyssinia must be contented with a restoration of territory and a newly defined boundary. No alliance should be entered into by England with Abyssinia against the Arabs in revolt, unless as an absolute extremity, as the moral effect would be injurious. It would appear like a crusade of two Christian Powers against the Mahommedans, and the movement would assume a religious character that might be wrongly interpreted in Arabia, and perhaps in India.
If England shall restore confidence in Upper Egypt according to the rectified frontier that I have traced, she will have made an important stride to regain that confidence which we have lost in Cairo. If we declare manfully and without ambiguity a policy that can be understood as a fixed determination to maintain our influence, and our position as the guardian of Egyptian and British interests combined in undoubted union, and exhibit an unmistakable resistance to any attempts on the part of other countries either to control or to dictate our action, Egypt will be convinced of our sincerity, and her representatives will cordially co-operate with our exertions for the public welfare. When confidence shall have been re-established, and security guaranteed, there will be a new field for the employment of British capital and for industrial enterprise. Railways and irrigation works will quickly change the aspect of that Upper Egypt which was so hastily condemned as worthless ; millions of acres, which now represent no value, will spring into immediate wealth, and will assure a supply of corn and cotton that would be conveyed to Great Britain by a maritime route which in a time of general hostility would be effectually protected. The Red Sea and Suez Canal would be rigidly guarded, and Port Said, Cyprus, Malta, with Gibraltar, would be coaling stations that would secure the Mediterranean voyage. the entire shipping from the East passes through the ('anal towards England, the safety of that route must be absolutely determined; therefore it is incumbent upon our Government to consider the
advantages that would accrue to a thoroughly assured passage for the food and cotton supplies, upon which England must always depend as imports from foreign shores. By the unforeseen force of circumstances England has been placed in a position unsought-for and undesired, but from which there is no retreat. It is ridiculous and hypocritical to fix a date for our departure: there are important duties and national trusts thåt admit of no definite limit in time : the future conceals secrets which Time alone can reveal; but an alliance with Egypt, with mutual confidence thoroughly secured, will discover England mistress of the situation whenever the peace of the East may be endangered.
SAMUEL WHITE BAKER.
CITY OF LONDON LIVERY COMPANIES. .
The income of the City of London Livery Companies for the year 1879-80 is estimated, in the Report of the Royal Commissioners on these companies, which has just been made public, as between 750,0001. and 800,0001., a sum, in the opinion of the Commissioners, exceeding the income of the two Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and of all the colleges therein ; and the Commissioners also state as their opinion that the capital value of the property of the companies cannot be less than fifteen millions sterling, an amount so large as to be unlikely to escape the true reformer's eye, and an amount, at all events, considering all the circumstances of the case, quite large enough to justify and perhaps imperatively to call for some such public inquiry as has just taken place. When the result of the labours of the Commissioners and all the information procured by them is wholly before the public, no one will be able to say that a full and sufficient inquiry has not been made.
What are the circumstances and dates of the foundation of these companies ? What the objects for which they were founded ? How far are these objects now being carried into effect? These are questions which naturally present themselves to the mind of anyone who cares to consider the subject now under discussion, and before it is possible to form any just opinion upon the recommendations contained in the Report of the Royal Commissioners it is absolutely necessary that a full and complete answer should be given to these questions. Let us take, in the first place, the answers given by the twelve great companies themselves.
We will take the companies in the order of their civic precedence.
The Mercers' Company (mercator, mercier, mercer) were in very early times associated voluntarily for the purposes of mutual aid and comfort. They come to light as a fraternity first in the time of Henry the Second, for Gilbert à Becket, the father of St. Thomas of Canterbury, is said to have been a mercer, and the fraternity of Mercers were constituted patrons of the hospital founded by the sister of St. Thomas; but the earliest date of which there is a record in the Company's books is in the year 1317, when it was reorganised, if not refounded, and an assembly was held of "toutz les bones gentz de la mercerye de Londres. It was then agreed by common assent
that for the cherishing of unity, and for the common profit of the mystery, there should yearly be chosen four persons of the mystery, called the masters, for its rule and governance, to whom all of the said mystery should be obedient; and if anyone should be disobedient thereto none should buy of or sell to him or bear him company, nor should he have the livery until he should be willing to redress the wrong (an ancient but undoubted system of boycotting). Provision was made that each member of the fraternity should pay twenty shillings, and that everyone taking an apprentice should pay two shillings at the commencement of the term and the apprentice two shillings at its expiration. No one might be an apprentice who had been a pedlar or who was the son of a slave, and no stranger (nul forein) might be made free of the mystery without common consent (a provision which obtains to the present day). Disputes were, if possible, to be settled by the masters without recourse to law. Apprentices were to serve seven years. All the mystery were to be clad in a suit (livery) once a year, at Easter ; and there was to be an annual dinner, and every liveryman, whether present or absent, was to pay two shillings for himself and twelvepence for his attendant, if present. The money of the mystery was to be in the hands of the four masters, to traffic with it and gain, and a good account was to be rendered at the end of the year. And if any of the mystery should be undeservedly reduced to poverty by adventure at sea, debtors, or feebleness of body, so as to be unable to maintain himself, he should be relieved by the alms of the mystery by their common consent.'
The records of the Grocers begin partly in Norman French, partly in Old English, as follows :—To the Honour of God, the Virgin Mary, St. Anthony, and all saints, the 9th day of May, 1345, a fraternity was founded of the Company of Pepperers of Soper's Lane, for love and unity to maintain and keep themselves together, of which fraternity are sundry beginners, founders, and donors, to preserve the said fraternity.' Twenty-two persons accorded to meet together at a dinner in the Abbot's place in Bury, and there were then chosen “two the first wardens that ever were of our fraternity,' and ordinances were agreed to providing that no person should be of the fraternity 'if not of good condition and of this craft,' i.e. Ca pepperer of Soper's Lane or a spicer in the ward of Cheap, or other people of their mystery, wherever they reside,' for contribution among the members for the purposes of the fraternity, including the maintenance of a priest, the wearing of a livery, arbitration by the wardens upon disputes between members, attendance at Mass at the Monastery of St. Anthony on St. Anthony's Day, and at a feast on that day or within the octave, at which feast the wardens should come with chaplets and choose and crown two other wardens for the year ensuing, attendance at the funerals of members, the taking of apprentices, assistance of unfortunate members ont of the common stock, and that