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when you ring any one up is generally an Egyptian or a Berberine, who cannot speak any European language. Flat life is greatly on the increase among Greeks and other lower-class nations. They take a lodger for one or two rooms, and make him pay the whole rent, and live in the rest.
Nearly every suffragi in Cairo is a Berberine. They have a club. It paid 64 per cent. the first year, but it was joined more by educated Copts. Berberines are not liable to conscription ; they have always been immune ; it is said on the ground of their loyalty at the time of the first Sudan trouble. That is not the Berberine's idea as to the cause of his immunity. He is so vain that he really believes that it is because people are afraid that, if the Berberines were got together in one regiment, not a force in the world could stand against them, and that every decent-looking girl in the country would want to marry one of them. It is a common thing, they say, for a Berberine to snatch the rifle out of the hand of a chief, and twist it until it is of no further use. One wonders what kind of chief goes about carrying a rifle for Berberines to snatch. The Berberines apparently make good use of their club. Every Berberine in Cairo knows every other one, and he helps to support that other if he is out of work. At irregular intervals the Government arrests all the Berberines in Cairo who are out of employment, and ships them back to their own country on the banks of the Nile, between Assuan and Wady Halfa.
Suffragis in Cairo generally wear white galabeahs with red tarbooshes, but particular people prefer a white turban, very big, to a tarboosh, for real blacks. Every servant until he discovers that his master knows the etiquette, tries to go about in a white knitted skull-cap: it is a distinct lack of respect if he comes before his master in this. The tall brown felt tarboosh is worn only by prisoners, common fellahin, and ghaffirs. Hotel servants and servants on Cook's boats wear smart red sashes like belts; in the Sudan these are never worn by servants at breakfast-time. Red slippers are worn with very pointed toes, much too long, as the Egyptian does
not turn his slippers down at the heel like a Tunisian. He prefers to wear ridiculous boots of fancy colours, pale lemon predominating, though often with sky-blue or silver-grey tops. But few employers allow this on account of the noise. Ramidge's servant, Mustapha, who was a very small boy, wishing to be very grand, begged a pair of old shooting. boots from him.
Another flower of Berberine conversation which I heard was that the erection of the Assuan Dam was the greatest mistake Lord Cromer ever made ; that it was erected to swamp two Berberine villages, to which servants, whom he disliked, belonged. No lie about the English is too big or too foolish for the Egyptian to believe. Ramidge once had a camera fastened to the back of a donkey. The donkey had the usual boy with it. When Ramidge wanted to use the camera, he found that the roll of films had been turned right round till it was all used up. The boy said he had seen the donkey biting at the saddle, and it must have caught the handle for turning the films in its teeth.
When Ramidge was living at an old villa near Matariyeh his servant told him one day that three men had been murdered the previous night in the road between the villa and the station, two by robbers and one by an afrit.' He begged Ramidge never to send him to the station again by night. He had himself seen no fewer than seven afrits in one night, while he was coming back late. Ramidge discovered from the police that there never had been a murder on that road, though they could not be sure about the afrit. An Egyptian will believe anything in the way of a superstition.
Egyptian suffragis are always threatening their masters with the law-courts. Mustapha II., a Berberine, threatened to take Ramidge into court when he was going to beat him for not washing a meshrebiya screen as he had been ordered. Ramidge put the beating off till he could lose his temper. He only had to put it off till the next morning when he was waiting for the tea he was in the habit of drinking before he got up. He had to wait so long that he went to look for
· Evil spirit.
the boy, and found him asleep on the couch in the sittingroom. Then he dismissed all threats of law-courts from his mind, and only a broken stick prevented murder. The boy howled for an hour, and was a very much better servant for ever after. Berberine servants are really very good cooks, but they steal your clothes. The Egyptian suffragi is original in one way: he prefers to wear his shirt outside his trousers. If you have bright socks they always go. He does not care about ties—for one thing he does not wear them; but handkerchiefs are popular, and white coats. As a rule, your own servant will only steal small things of which you have a great number. But if you have a visitor he is fair game ; if the suffragi does not want your visitor's things himself, he will take them from him to be able to make presents to you after the visitor is gone.
The Berberine does not worry you much with his prayers as a rule : all natives agree in regarding the English as being absolutely without religion of any kind.
When a burglar breaks into your house your suffragi comes to call you. He can be really courageous if he has you with him to help; otherwise he hides.
There are unfortunately very few Levantine servants about: they are excellent; they thieve from everybody except you, but never from you. And there are very few Italian servants. Ramidge waited a year to get one.
Sometimes the Egyptian suffragi can read and write. But this is exceptional, and it is not to be encouraged, because, if your servant can read, he reads all day. No Egyptian suffragi in Cairo has ever heard of ancient Egypt; he is not half the man that the Sudanese is; he has no more thoughts than a monkey, while the Sudanese have a beautiful folk-lore. Your house-boy robs you of tea and sugar and that kind of thing, but your cook is content to rob you with commissions. Punctuality is one of the Egyptian suffragi's best points ; another is that he always does all in his power to make his master cut a dignified figure before strangers. He never runs down his master to other servants. On the contrary, he lies to make his master appear a better master, and richer and more