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The Life of Gordon, Volume II   By: (1853-1928)

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[Transcriber's Note: Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other inconsistencies. Text that has been changed to correct an obvious error is noted at the end of this ebook.]

THE LIFE OF GORDON

MAJOR GENERAL, R.E., C.B.; TURKISH FIELD MARSHAL, GRAND CORDON MEDJIDIEH, AND PASHA; CHINESE TITU (FIELD MARSHAL), YELLOW JACKET ORDER.

" 'Tis a name which ne'er hath been dishonour'd, And never will, I trust most surely never By such a youth as thou. "

SWINTON ON ADAM GORDON.

BY

DEMETRIUS C. BOULGER

AUTHOR OF "THE HISTORY OF CHINA;" "ENGLAND AND RUSSIA IN CENTRAL ASIA;" "LORD WILLIAM BENTINCK," ETC., ETC.

WITH PORTRAIT

VOLUME II

LONDON T. FISHER UNWIN PATERNOSTER SQUARE

MDCCCXCVI

[ All rights reserved. ]

[Illustration: Portrait of C. G. Gordon with signature.]

CONTENTS.

VOLUME II.

CHAP. PAGE

VIII. GOVERNOR GENERAL OF THE SOUDAN 1

IX. MINOR MISSIONS INDIA AND CHINA 38

X. THE MAURITIUS, THE CAPE, AND THE CONGO 65

XI. THE LAST NILE MISSION 97

XII. KHARTOUM 136

CHAPTER VIII.

GOVERNOR GENERAL OF THE SOUDAN.

When General Gordon left Egypt for England in December 1876 it was with the expressed determination not to return; but the real state of his mind was not bitterness at any personal grievance, or even desire for rest, although he avowed his intention of taking six months' leave, so much as disinclination to leave half done a piece of work in which he had felt much interest, and with which he had identified himself. Another consideration presented itself to him, and several of his friends pressed the view on him with all the weight they possessed, that no signal success could be achieved unless he were placed in a position of supreme authority, not merely at the Equator, but throughout the vast province of the Soudan. Such was the decision Gordon himself, influenced no doubt by the views of two friends whose names need not be mentioned, but who were well known for their zeal in the anti slavery cause, had come to a few weeks after his arrival in England; and not thinking that there was any reasonable probability of the Khedive appointing him to any such post, he telegraphed to the British Consul General, Mr Vivian, his determination not to return to Egypt. This communication was placed before the Khedive Ismail, who had a genuine admiration for Gordon, and who appreciated the value of his services. He at once took the matter into his own hands, and wrote the following letter, which shows that he thoroughly understood the arguments that would carry weight with the person to whom they were addressed:

"MY DEAR GORDON, I was astonished yesterday to learn of the despatch you had sent to Mr Vivian, in which you inform me that you will not return; all the more so when I recall your interview at Abdin, during which you promised me to return, and complete the work we had commenced together. I must therefore attribute your telegram to the very natural feelings which influenced you on finding yourself at home and among your friends. But I cannot, my dear Gordon Pasha, think that a gentleman like Gordon can be found wanting with regard to his solemn promise, and thus, my dear Gordon, I await your return according to that promise. Your affectionate

"ISMAIL."

To such a letter as this a negative reply was difficult, if not impossible; and when General Gordon placed the matter in the hands of the Duke of Cambridge, as head of the army, he was told that he was bound to return. He accordingly telegraphed to the Khedive that he was willing to go back to the Soudan if appointed Governor General, and also that he would leave at once for Cairo to discuss the matter... Continue reading book >>




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