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tremendous and painful feats of caligraphy. He was so engrossed with his scholastic pursuits that he forthwith proceeded to give an English lady who was present lessons in Arabic, reciting from his stock of English phrases, and putting them in Arabic. He wrote his name for her on a card, setting himself resolutely down at the table, inking his fingers a good deal, and spending seven or eight minutes upon the task.
When concluded it ran “Ahmed Arabi, the Egyptian ; Colombo,” with the date. He might almost have stormed a town with a similar expenditure of time and physical labour.
It was regrettable to find that the names of the rank-and-file of the Fourth Party awakened no responsive chord in the mind of the illustrious man whose chequered career they had followed with varying attention. He seemed all unconscious that in the spring of a session Sir Henry Wolff and Mr. Gorst had denounced the Government for not eating up Arabi, man and horse, and in the autumn of the same session had truculently returned to the attack with the charge of cruel and cowardly severity towards a pure and highminded patriot whom the fortunes of war had delivered into their hands. But for the leader of the party the exile soldier
cherishes the loveliest feelings of gratitude and respect.
“ You will see Lord Churchill when you return ! ” he said, speaking, as all but the simplest remarks were made, through the interpreter. “ Salute him for me, and give him my thanks. I honour him as the friend of slaves, the champion of the oppressed.”
As Arabi was unmistakably in earnest, I trust I preserved a grave countenance whilst taking charge of this message. But I could not help thinking of Lord Randolph's good fortune which kept him away from the House at the epoch when the exigencies of party conflict led the Fourth Party on another tack, and Sir Henry Wolff and Mr. Gorst, outHeroding the daughter of Herod, nightly demanded that Mr. Gladstone should produce the head of Arabi on a charger.
Whatever discontent may have ruffled the bosom of Arabi on first taking up his residence on the island has now disappeared or is judiciously controlled. He declares himself happy and contented, cut adrift from war and politics, and passing a peaceful life, battling only for supremacy over English verbs, and giving up his mind to circumventing the tendency of the plural to creep into his exercises when grammatical accuracy demands
the singular. He likes the climate, except that it is too wet, which means that at pretty regular intervals a thundercloud of rain bursts over the thirsty island and keeps it ever green. He certainly looks well and happy, and talking to him under the cool verandah, with the soft air wandering through the quiet garden, one would not readily associate this gentlemannered, kindly faced man with the acts that will make the name of Arabi Bey live in history.
THE LIVERPOOL OF INDIA.
WHEN I was at Hongkong I heard a plaintive protest against the ignorance prevalent in England on matters pertaining to the colony.
“ They do not even know,” the indignant colonist said, by way of climax," that Hongkong is an island.”
That is a just and unanswerable reproach, and, by way of averting its adaptation to Bombay, I hasten to say that the city is actually an island, extending over an area of twenty-two square miles. It is one of the few valuable acquisitions that came with the Stuarts, being ceded to this country in 1661 as part of the dowry of the Portuguese princess Catharine on her marriage with Charles II. Some little difficulty followed upon this arrangement, the Portuguese captain in possession declining to fulfil the treaty, and the
British soldiers who had been sent out to take over the place were landed on the island off Carwar to await the settlement of the dispute, which many anticipated by dying. Charles II. was exceedingly wrath with his father-in-law, blustered a good deal, demanded £100,000 by way of compensation, and finally took nothing. Two years later the English troops somehow or other got into Bombay, and in 1668, nothing in the way of money being squeezable out of the new possession, King Charles handed it over to the East India Company for an annual payment of £10.
The Company proceeded in business-like manner to improve the attractiveness of the place, and had succeeded so well that in 1675, when Dr. John Fryer visited it, the original population of 10,000 souls had been multiplied sixfold. They were, according to the early traveller's account, a very mixed lot—"a set of the most confounded rascals in the world, as Sir John Astley, on an historical occasion, urbanely described the Irish Home Rulers in the House of Commons. What the East India Company wanted was men and women to fill up the new settlement, which speedily became the Alsatia of India.
Strangely enough, this early characteristic of mixed nationality clings to Bombay to the