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Lord Cromer notes that £150,000 was due to a Paris dressmaker. Moreover, Isma‘il and his own Finance Minister engaged in an operation on the Stock Exchange, the basis of which was that he was to “bear" his own stock! And on one occasion the Government, in part payment of a debt due to a local bank, handed over £230,000 worth of Unified Stock at a price of 313: in other words, in order to pay £72,000, the Government saddled the country permanently with a debt of £230,000, of which the interest charge, at the then prevailing rate of 6 per cent., amounted to £13,800 a year.
The productive and recuperative powers of Egypt have been proverbial from time out of mind, but the most sanguine reformer in 1883 could never have expected to witness such a state of prosperity in the country as now exists. Lord Cromer laid it down as an axiom that “sound finance must form the basis of all good government, [and] reforms in every other direction must necessarily be made dependent on the assured maintenance of financial equilibrium, without having recourse to fiscal measures of a vexatious or oppressive nature," and the prosperity of Egypt illustrates daily the truth of these pregnant words. He admits that in spending £E.224,000,000 some minor errors may have been made, but it need hardly be said that if such errors were made, they were due to circumstances caused by the reckless extravagance of Isma‘il and his Ministers, and not to any defect in the financial policy which the British have pursued unswervingly in the country. Egypt's “race against bankruptcy” has been won by Lord Cromer, whose strong band has ceaselessly guided and supported every detail of the wise, honest, and farsighted plans for the resurrection of the country which he himself inaugurated, and by the little band of civil and military officials who bave performed their duties with fidelity and discretion.
THE COUNTRY OF EGYPT. Geology.-In ancient days Egypt proper terminated at Aswan (Syene), but now the term Egypt includes that portion of the Nile valley which lies between the Mediterranean and Wadi Halfa, i.e., between 22° and 31° 30' N. latitude.
According to Captain H. G. Lyons,* Director-General of Surveys of Egypt, the country consists chiefly of a series of sedimentary deposits of Cretaceous and Tertiary ages, which have been laid down upon the uneven and eroded surface of a great mass of crystalline rocks, which come to the surface on the edge of the eastern desert and also cover large areas of it. The direction of the Nile Valley is generally north and south, and is due to the great tarth movements which took place in Miocene times ; indeed, the Nile Valley itself has been determined by a line of fracture which is traceable from the sea nearly to the First Cataract. Into this valley in late Miocene or carly Pliocene times the sea penetrated at least as far as Esna, and laid down thick deposits of sand and gravel on the floor of the valley and up to the foot of the cliffs bounding it, while the tributary streams, fed by a rainfall much heavier than that of to-day, brought down masses of detritus from the limestone plateaux and piled them up along the margins of the valley. A subsequent rise of the area converted this “fiord" into a river valley, and the deposition of the Nile mud and the formation of cultivable land began. The crystalline rocks occur at Aswân, Kalâbshah, Wâdi Halfa, and other points further south, forming cataracts and gorges. East and north-east of Ķena their base is a gneiss, overlaid by mica, talc, and chlorite schists, and above these is a thick volcanic series, into which intrudes a gray hornblendic granite, and also a later red granite. The best known of these is the red hornblendic granite of Aswân, which was largely used by the Egyptians for temples, statues, etc., and also the fine porphyry, much used by the Roman emperors. The tops of such rocks rise to the surface of the ground at Aswan, Kalâbshah, and Wâdî Halfa.
' I quote from his description of the geology of Egypt written for Major Willcocks, C.M.G., and printed in Egyptian Irrigation, and edition, London, 1899.
In Nubia nearly the whole of the eroded surface of the crystalline rocks has been overlaid by a yellowish sandstone, which at its base usually becomes a quartz con glomerate. Above these lies a large series of green and gray clays with thick band of soft white limestone. Next comes an immense thickness of soft white limestone, which forms the cliffs of the Nile Valley from Luxor to Cairo, and furnishes almost the whole of the building stone in Egypt. These strata have been greatly affected by the great carth movements of the Miocene period, which resulted in the formation of the Red Sea, Gulf of Suez, Gulf of Aķaba, the Jordan Valley, and the Nile Valley, and the salts of the Wâdî Națrûn are due to the shore lagunes when they existed there. As a result of this, thick deposits of sand and gravel were laid down, which to-day underlie the later Nile mud deposits and which furnish a good water supply. After this, climatic conditions analogous to those of to-day seem to have soon set in, and river deposits of dark sandy mud were laid down, which were at levels considerably above the deposits of to-day. Nile mud with shells similar to those now existing occurs in Nubia at 30 metres, and in Egypt at lesser heights, above the present Nile food level. To-day the Nile is depositing in its bed at the rate of about oʻ12 metre per century. At Benha, Mahallat Rûḥ (in the Tanța district), and Kaiyûb (all in the Delta), the thickness of the layer of Nile mud is 17, 18, and 12'5 metres respectively; while at Zakázik, Beni Suwel, and Suhag (all in the Nile Valley), it is 33'11 and 17 metres respectively. Between the First and Second Cataracts the proportion of sandstone to granite is about 9 to 1, and good granite is only met with at Kalâbshah, where the pass is about 168 yards wide, and the depth of water at low Nile about 11 feet. No fossils whatever are found in the Nubian sandstone.
From Abu Simbel northwards the valley is bounded on the left by the high limestone plateau called by the Arabs Sinn al-Kiddál), which, at this point, is more than 50 miles distant from the river, and it gradually approaches the stream until at Aswân it is only 25 miles distant, and at Gebelen it marches with the river. There is a similar plateau between Gebelên and Esnah. At the First Cataract there is an extensive outcrop of granite and quartz diorite.
Between Aswân and a little south of Esnah the river flows between sandstone hills, except at the plains of Kom Ombos and Edfù; these plains were originally ancient deltas of rivers coming down from the high ranges which skirt the Red Sea. In the Kom Ombos plain the Nile deposit is about 80 feet above the maximum flood level of to-day. At Ra'âmah, about 38 miles north of Aswan, limestone is met with, and immediately north of it is the sandstone of Silsila. The channel at Silsila vloes not represent the original bed of the Nile, for it is only a branch of it; the true channel, which was nearly a mile wide and 50 feet deep, lies on the right of the hill in which the quarries are, and is now buried under mud and sill. There was never a cataract at Silsila. At Luxor the Nile again enters low denuded plains, and a part of the plateau of the Sinn al-Kiddâb lies on its left; the plateau again appears at Ķena, and from this place to Cairo the river flows between limestone hills. At Ķena the lower Londinian formation dips below the level of the Nile deposit, and the upper Londinian formation monopolizes the whole section of the limestone as far as a point midway between Asyùț and Minyah; here the lower Parisian strata appear on the tops of the plateaux, and the upper Londinian strata finally disappear a little to the north of Minyah. The lower Parisian formation is now generally met with as far as Cairo.
The Ancient Egyptians called Egypt J. Bay or be Re Baqet ; gooo _ 4
Ta-mera, and o Qemt. Baq seems to refer to Egypt as the olive-producing country, and Ta-merà as the land of the inundation ; the name by which it is most commonly called in the inscriptions is Qem, i.e., “Black,” from the darkness of its soil. It was also called the “land of the sycamore," and the "land of the eye of Horus” (i.e., the Sun). It was divided by the Egyptians into two parts: 1. Upper Egypt Toote Ta-res or 427 7 Ta-qemā, “ the southern land ”; and II. Lower Egypt
Ca-me”, “the northern land.” The kings of Egypt styled themselves suten båt,“ king of the South and North,” and neb taui, “lord of two earths."*
The country was divided into nomes, the number of which is variously given ; the list given by some of the classical authorities contains thirty-six, but judging by the monuments the number was riearer forty. The nome (hesp) was divided into four parts ; 1, the capital town (nut): 2, the cultivated land ; 3, the marshes, which could only at times be used for purposes of cultivation ; and 4, the canals, which had to be kept clear and provided with sluices, etc.,
* As ruler of the two countries, cach king wore the crown which was made up or the tesher, or red crown, representing the northern part of Egypt, and , the hetch, or white crown, represent. ing the southern part of Egypt.