Imatges de pÓgina

mission to Vienna, where he associated intimately with the Orloffs, to whom he had become 'caro padre.' Louis the Fifteenth, who was at the time ruling without the hindrance of a Parliament, had probably despatched Saint-Germain to the Austrian capital to gather all possible information as to the partition of Poland. The Treaty of Petersburg, by which this was effected, was arranged during his visit, and Austria, Russia, and Prussia shared the spoils. After its conclusion SaintGermain returned to Paris and remained there till the death of Louis the Fifteenth.' Louis the Sixteenth, on his accession, recalled Choiseul to his Councils, and Saint-Germain left France. The next few years he spent in Germany in the society of the, at that time, unknown leaders of the secret societies. Bieberstein, Weishaupt, Prince Charles of Hesse, and Mirabeau are known to have been his friends; he instructed Cagliostro in the mysteries of the magician's craft, and worked in conjunction with Nicolai at securing the German press in the interest of the perfectibilist movement. In 1784 the illuminate Dr. Biester, of Berlin, certified that Saint-Germain had been 'dead as

door nail for two years.' Great uncertainty and vagueness surround his latter days, for no confidence can be reposed in the announcement of the death of one illuminate by another, for, as is well known, all means to secure the end were in their code justifiable, and it may have been to the interest of the society that Saint-Germain should have been thought dead. He is reported to have attended the Paris Congress of Masonry as a representative mason in 1785, but no proof of this is available. Madame d'Adhémar 10 whose memoirs one cannot help suspecting are apocryphal, alleges that Saint-Germain frequently had interviews with the King and Queen, in which he warned them of their approaching fate, but ‘M. de Maurepas, not wishing the salvation of the country to come from any one but himself, ousted the thaumaturgist and he reappeared no more' (1788).

Madame d’Adhémar copied a letter from Saint-Germain containing prophetic verses.

The time is fast approaching when imprudent France,
Surrounded by misfortune she might have spared herself,
Will call to mind such hell as Dante painted.
Falling shall we see sceptre, censor, scales,
Towers and escutcheons, even the white flag.
Great streams of blood are flowing in each town ;
Sobs only do I hear, and exiles see.
On all sides civil discord loudly roars
And uttering cries, on all sides virtue flees
As from the Assembly votes of death arise.
Great God, who can reply to murderous judges ?

And on what brows august I see the swords descend !
The Queen asked Madame d'Adhémar what she thought of the

• The 10th of May, 1774.

* Les Souvenirs de Marie-Antoinette, cit. by Mrs. Cooper Oakley, vol. xxiii. Theos. Rev.



They are dismaying; but they cannot affect Your Majesty,' she said.

Saint-Germain, who had other prophecies to make, offered to meet Madame d’Adhémar in the Church of the 'Récollets' at the eight o'clock Mass. She went to the appointed place in her sedan chair and recounts the words of the 'Wundermann.'

S.-G. I am Cassandra, prophet of evil ... Madame, he whosows the wind reaps the whirlwind . . . I can do nothing; my hands are tied by a stronger than myself.

Mme. Will you see the Queen ?
8.-G. No; she is doomed.
Mme. Doomed to what ?
S.-G. Death.
Mme. And you—you too ?

S.-G. Yes-like Cazotte. Return to the Palace; tell the Queen to take heed to herself, that this day will be fatal to her.

Mme. But M. de Lafayette----

S.-G. A balloon inflated with wind! Even now they are settling what to do with him, whether he shall be instrument or victim ; by noon all will be decided. . . . The hour of repose is past, and the decrees of Providence must be fulfilled.

Mme. What do they want ?

S.-G. The complete ruin of the Bourbons. They will expel them from all the thrones they occupy and in less than a century they will return in all their different branches to the rank of simple private individuals. France as Kingdom, Republic, Empire, and mixed Government will be tormented, agitated, torn. From the hands of class tyrants she will pass to those who are ambitious and without merit.

The prophecies preserved by Madame d'Adhémar remind us of those of Cazotte, which La Harpe affirms were uttered in his presence, but it is always difficult for plain people, no matter how credulous they be, to credit any human being with foreknowledge of events, and it is quite probable that Madame d’Adhémar," writing her memoirs in the early nineteenth century in the red afterglow of the Revolution, not only confused dates, but even invented words more prescient than any Saint-Germain ever spoke. However that be, and even if the words of Madame d’Adhémar are not to be relied on, we find ourselves still face to face with an enigmatic personality of unusual power and numberless parts. He has been dead a little more than a century, and so in time is almost one of ourselves; he lived surrounded by spies and secret agents; he took no pains to conceal his habits from the world, and yet he remains a mystery. He was involved in many of the most important events of the eighteenth century and was responsible for much of its diplomacy. Some day, perhaps, his life may be set down as a consecutive story inspired by a definite aim.

We can only hope that it may be done, for it would prove whether Saint-Germain was, as men have so often called him, a charlatan, or whether he was, as some believe him to have been, a political genius of unrivalled ambition and accomplishment.


11 She died in 1822.



0, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day.

CHARLES GEORGE GORDON in the flower of his manhood was cut down by the reaper Death within two days of his fifty-second birthday; yet not before he had sown, by the ensample of a noble life, seeds of justice, humanity and loving kindness, seeds which even to-day are pushing forth strong shoots and which, assuredly, under the present wise Anglo-Egyptian administration, will yield in the fulness of time an ever-increasingly fruitful harvest. On the left bank of the Blue Nile stood the palace where Gordon, with hunger and despair as his constant companions, dwelt for those last ten weary, anxious months—the resulting strain turning his hair a snowy white-and whence daily, from its flat roof, he directed his gaze northwards, scouring the river with his powerful field-glass, in wistful yearning for the coming of the long-expected British redcoats who never rewarded his patient vigilance. In the sturdy hope of instilling fresh courage into the hearts of the worn-out garrison, Gordon reiterated day by day of the tarrying redcoats— They must come to-morrow'; and at last a morrow, the anniversary of Gordon's birth, did dawn when the wayworn soldiers sighted Khartoum, but it was too late, for, ere their arrival, Gordon, who but on the eve had said to a Mohammedan friend, 'God created me without fear,' had, without fear, obeyed the crowning summons of his Creator.

The story's heart, to me, still beats against its side.

After Khartoum had fallen the palace was looted and demolished, but on its ruins another stately pile has arisen wherein Gordon's memory is kept green by a tablet marking the fatal spot where on the 26th of January, 1885, he was done to death. And even as a new palace sprang up on the ashes of the old, so likewise, after a thorough clearing away of the ruins of Gordon's city, a new Khartoum has been planned and built on the ancient site. This new city lies at an altitude of 1263 feet above sea level, has a moderate yearly rainfall of but some forty inches, and a mean annual temperature of 84° Fahrenheit; by water it is 1560 miles from the source of the Nile at Ripon Falls, and 1920 miles from the Rosetta mouth of that fertilising river. Slowly but surely vaccination is reducing the small-pox mortality among the Soudanese ; the old mosquito-breeding pools have been filled up, and the mosquito brigade is still doing good work. Thus the new Khartoum may be said to enjoy a fairly salubrious climate, which, moreover, should yearly become more and more healthy. The violent sandstorms (haboob) that occasionally envelop the city are indeed annoying, though infrequent ; fierce gales from the north blow up thick banks of sand-clouds which fill the air—and, incidentally, one's eyes, ears and nose—with fine powdered sandstone, and ofttimes are even dense enough to eclipse the sun. But I have never heard the haboob described as a harbinger of disease as in the case of the yellow wind' which heralds cholera. If the name Khartoum was derived originally from the shape of the whole large tract of land between the White and Blue Niles then presumably the generally accepted sig. nification, ‘elephant's trunk,' is correct; but if, as is possible, the city was named in olden times from the narrow, tapering tongue of land, but a mile wide at its base, which terminates at Khartoum Point at the junction of the rivers, then the more correct translation of the Arabic word 'Hh'rtoum' would appear to be 'tusk' rather than trunk.' At the junction of the rivers, though the waters meet they do not at once commingle, but for a space flow side by side, the muddy stream of the White Nile keeping distinct from the clear iron-grey waters of its Blue sister.

From the base of this tusk of land the grand river front of new Khartoum stretches for some three miles, and from this vantage ground as one drives, rides or motors along the broad thoroughfare bordering the Blue Nile, one can watch the passing steamers and quaint native craft, while across the water the green crops on Tuti Island contrast pleasantly with its white shoals, and with the more distant mud-huts of Omdurman.

In proximity to the Zoological gardens, at the western end of the Khartoum front, stands the chief hotel, which, if persistent rumour may be credited, is about to change hands and will shortly rival in comfort and luxury the best European hostelries. Continuing eastwards commodious villas are passed in quick succession, standing in pleasant gardens with sometimes, as at Mudiria House-the Governor's residence-good turf lawn-tennis courts. A mile further on is the Sirdar's palace, and nearing the eastern end of the river front, and almost exactly opposite Halfaya, or North Khartoum, railway station (which is on the right bank of the river and which shortly, it is to be hoped, will be connected with Khartoum proper by a fittingly handsome bridge), stands the Gordon Memorial College, erected as a pledge that the memory of Gordon is still alive, and that his aspirations are at length to be realised.' This college, which is the centre of the educational system of the Soudan, is attended by some four hundred pupils varying in age from seven years upwards, and aims at giving a useful, practical education. In addition to the ordinary school course, three special branches are devoted to training surveyors, engineers, and schoolmasters, and the college building contains also a reference library, laboratories, an observatory, and an economic museum with samples of Soudan products such as gums, rubber, tobaccos, various grains, cotton, &c. Running from east to west, parallel with the river frontage and in many cases bordered with trees, are broad roads intersected from the north by wide boulevards capable of practically unlimited extension southwards should the city quickly spread and expand, as I foresee it must; and these straight spacious avenues—the metalling of which is proceeding rapidly-are in striking contrast with the former town, which had 'but few commodious thoroughfares, the generality of the streets being tortuous and narrow.' From the outset the competent authorities have required all plans for buildings to be submitted for approval, and this timely action, in addition to helping to beautify the city, has also contributed to the increase in the value of building plots, which in the last five years has increased twenty-fold. Besides the Government offices, barracks, clubs, banks, cafés, and stores-many of which are striking, substantial buildings—Khartoum boasts some churches ; a magnificent mosque, for which eight thousand pounds was subscribed ; spacious market-places, and numerous bazaars. While ferreting in these bazaars one day last February I spied, among the oddments displayed for sale by a curio-dealer, an old leather bookcover mutilated at one end to make it correspond with the size of the loose leaves it contained. On opening it and glancing at the last sheet, which in books written in Arabic is the title-page, my attention was arrested by the following words (which I give in translation) : ‘In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, this Obligatory Duty (Ratib) is ordered by the Chief of Religion, the Mahdi, the Expected One, he who is promised at the end of Time. He has composed it by inspiration from the Lord, the Generous, and has revealed it unto us.

Inasmuch as Mohammed Achmed, the Mahdi (b. 1844, d. 1885) was once the all-powerful autocrat of the Soudan, to unearth a manuscript copy of the Prayer-book of this fighting purifier of the Moslem faith was an interesting discovery. With whetted appetite I read on and found that the MS., besides many prayers, contained long excerpts from the Koran and likewise an invocation to Allah to maintain love for the Moslem Bible in the hearts of the faithful. Yet later, in conversation with Sheikhs and learned friends, I heard that it was commonly believed that the Mahdi, had he lived, would have strenuously endeavoured to substitute this Ratib for Al Koran, though the latter is read daily throughout the Mohammedan world by about one hundred and seventy millions of the followers of Islam. Truly an


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VOL. LXIII-No. 371

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