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Of public roads the country can now boast some thousands of miles. In 1906 there were barely 1600 miles of roads open, and many of these were merely cleared tracks, unmetalled and unbridged. To-day the mileage may probably be put at 5000, while some of the roads are so well constructed that mechanical traction over them is quite possible. Bridges of steel and of wood, wells at intervals which vary according to requirements, telephone wires stretching even through the tenantless desert, and nearly 10,000 miles of over-head telegraph wires, facilitate communications throughout the country.
Trade and industry, aided and encouraged by so many improvements, have responded well; but for the misfortune of a low Nile for the past three years the latest statistics would have afforded far better results than they do. Nevertheless, they show that the total value of the external trade has risen from E2,135,0041. in 1907 to E3,294,9621. in 1913; the value of the imports has advanced during the same period from E1,604,1371. to E2,109,7761., while the exports have more than doubled, growing from E449,3291. to E1,185,1861.
Agriculture continues to be an uncertain pursuit in the Sudan owing to its dependence upon the rainfall in some districts, especially those of the Red Sea littoral, and to the seasonable rise of the Nile in others. For three years in succession the river has failed, occasioning much distress among the cultivators. In five years' time at the latest, however, the great Ghezireh irrigation scheme,* which, at a cost of 1,300,0001., is destined to bring incalculable benefits to the Sudan by providing an abundance of water, will, to a great extent, offset the disappointments and losses occasioned by an erratic Nile. A permanent source of wealth-agriculture and cotton cultivation combined—will thus be provided, with the practical certainty that no further violent fluctuation in the prosperity of the people, who are largely dependent upon cultivation of the soil, will occur. Fortunately even with the present discouraging situation, by reason of which the expansion of the cultivated area is limited by
Since this article was written, the outbreak of war in Europe has caused all work in connexion with this and other irrigation enterprises in Egypt and the Sudan to be suspended.
climatic conditions, the returns show that the area under crops has been enlarged, the energy and enterprise of the people proving remarkably stable. The Administration has devoted much time, consideration and money to placing Sudanese agriculture upon a firm footing. The amount of crops under cultivation in 1913 reached a total of 2,255,226 feddans * against 1,847,021 feddans in 1912.
That the material well-being of the people has improved since the establishment of Anglo-Egyptian administration seems clear from the steady advance which is shown in their ability to purchase certain luxuries, to which the majority of them must have been almost complete strangers, even so recently as a decade ago. Their tastes and requirements, it would seem, can now be satisfied, even at a time when poor agricultural seasons have to be faced. Since 1908, native purchases of imported cotton fabrics advanced in value from E391,0471. to E503,6161.; of sugar, from E133,6261. to E258,7501.; of coffee, from E37,8631. to E67,5451. ; of tea, from E27,7211. to E39,1141., and of foreign spices-of which the Sudanese are inordinately fond--from E5,4381. to E12,6231.
The steady improvement in the country's finances affords further testimony to the remarkable economic expansion of the Sudan. In 1898 the entire revenue, which had been estimated to produce E80001., amounted to a little over E35,0001. ; to-day it exceeds E1,644,0001. There exists no longer any necessity for the annual contribution received from Egypt; the parent country, over a period of 15 years—from 1899 to 1913—had found an annual sum ranging between E391,7901. (in 1904) and E516,3451. (in 1911) to enable the Sudan budget to be balanced. The Government has now elected to walk henceforth alone and unaided; it is even endeavouring to repay gradually to Egypt the large advances which have been made at various times towards the cost of its economic development. The capital sum of that debt, which has been already slightly reduced, stands to-day at E5,198,7007.
It may, perhaps, be suggested that the Administration has acted rather precipitately in abandoning the Egyptian annual contribution; this, time will show. The loss to the Sudan unquestionably comes at a moment which could scarcely have been worse chosen on account of the poor state of the country's chief source of revenuetaxation upon agricultural produce—the heavy expenditure upon grain for a partly-famishing people, and the payment falling due upon a portion of the new Sudan loan of 3,000,0001., including the expenses of management and those of the sinking fund, both of which must be found by the Government out of revenue.
* One feddan = 1.038 acres,
The financial progress of the Sudan will, therefore, be watched with great interest for the next year or so; inasmuch, however, as the situation is fundamentally sound, and the permanent advantages accruing from the great Ghezireh irrigation scheme approach nearer and nearer to realisation, no reason for anxiety can be said to exist.
Lord Kitchener, speaking at Khartoum early in 1912, declared : “The future is bright, and the good administration in the Sudan, of which I am glad to see abundant proofs, will, I feel sure, result in a steady extension of the prosperity of the people.' If, since these words were uttered, a slight set-back has occurred in the wellbeing of the people for reasons already fully explained, their present position nevertheless reflects the ultimate and even the speedy result of the painstaking, cautious and eminently honest government which the country enjoys. Much has been done, much remains to do. The hybrid form of government,' as Lord Cromer has called it, has worked so well that not even the most pronounced pessimist can pretend that the experiment-introduced in the face of the most determined opposition upon the part of conventional diplomatists and many international jurists—has failed to justify the policy of Lord Salisbury. Probably the very unconventionality and novelty of the essay appealed to that great Foreign Minister, who, moreover, must have known something of the sterling ability of the men to whom the future administration of the Sudan was to be entrusted-Cromer, Kitchener and Wingate, a triumvirate which will assuredly go down into history as one of the most brilliantly successful regenerating influences known.
PERCY F. MARTIN.
Art. 2.–CATULLUS AT HOME.
1. Gai Valeri Catulli Carmina. Edit. J. P. Postgate.
London: Bell, 1889. 2. A Commentary on Catullus. By Robinson Ellis.
Second Edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889. 3. Criticisms and Elucidations of Catullus. By H. A. J.
Munro. Second Edition. London: Bell, 1905. 4. Catullus ; Latin text with English prose translation.
By F. W. Cornish. (Loeb Classical Library.) London :
Heinemann, 1912. THERE is a pleasant fascination in trying to form a clear mental picture of the surroundings amidst which a poet was born and bred, and in attempting to trace whether this environment exercised any recognisable influence on the direction which his genius followed, or on the forms in which it found expression. Among the Latin poets, for example, we can realise fairly well the rural conditions in which Virgil spent his youth on the great Lombard plain. In his earlier verse, amidst all the imagery which is there borrowed from Greek sources, it is not difficult to perceive also an inspiration that came from the fields and woods, the pastures and farms among which the Mincio wound its way; and the memory of these landscapes of his boyhood continued to be traceable in his poetry up to the end. Again, in the case of Horace, we recognise the lasting impression made on his young imagination by the features of his native Apuliaits thirsty Summers, its flooded Aufidus, its hills, its forests and wood-pastures, its little hill-towns, and its thrifty and industrious peasantry. The poems of Catullus, dealing as they do, in the main, with the incidents of his life in Rome, afford perhaps less distinct indications of the influence of youthful associations. Yet we venture to think that from a careful study of them, in connexion with the physical features of the region of Cisalpine Gaul where he was born and spent his youth, some facts and inferences may be gleaned which go to show that early surroundings exercised certain influence on his muse. We propose in the following pages to attempt to trace the source and nature of this influence.
The first three books on our list need no commendation from us. The commentaries of Prof. Munro and Prof. Ellis are classics in their line; and Prof. Postgate's edition of the poet supplies the best text available for English readers. The little volume of the Loeb Classical Library,' which includes the Poems of Catullus, gives a good Latin text on one page and on the page opposite a scholarly and elegant English prose version by the ViceProvost of Eton. No handier edition of the poet could be desired; it should find a place in the travelling outfit of every lover of Catullus who makes a pilgrimage to Sirmio. The volume also contains the Latin text of Tibullus with a spirited English rendering by Prof. Postgate, and as if to fill up the measure of its attractiveness, it concludes with the delightful Pervigilium Veneris,' excellently Englished by Mr J. W. Mackail.
Among the many interesting historical associations which enhance the picturesque attractiveness of Verona, the well-founded claim of that city to be the birthplace of the greatest of Latin lyric poets is surely one of the most notable. The modern town contains few, if any, remains of Roman architecture that connect our age directly with that of Catullus. The noble arena, the ruins of a stately theatre, one or two of the arches of a bridge that still spans the rapid river, the antique gateways through which the tide of traffic still continues to ebb and flow, probably all belong to generations that lived after him. But the natural features of the district must remain much as they were when he spent his youth among them. The rushing Adige still sweeps through the town. From the heights which tower above its rapid current, the eye beholds the same noble prospect across the plains of Lombardy, to the cones of the Euganean Hills on the one side and the long range of the southern Alps on the other. No one who knows and loves his Catullus can gaze on that varied landscape without emotion. As we note, one after another, the features that were so familiar to the poet, and let our imagination dwell upon the past, his brief and troubled life, with its alternations of overmastering joy and profoundest grief, seems to unfold itself before us. We think of his boyhood and youth at Verona, where, under the roof of his father, a man of repute in the city, he must have come