What a week of excitement this has been, even for those without near relations in that far away Nile Valley! Never in all my life do I.remember what might be called the aggressive, grasping, ruling spirit of the typical John Bull to have been so united and so universal. War and the pity of it, and the question why it has to be, which was so strong a feeling and which had such large numbers of supporters in the old Crimean day and even in the Indian Mutiny time, seems now simply non-existent. Is this gain or is it loss? Is it progress or is it retrogression? A most curious and, to me, poetic description, showing the conservativeness of the East, and how certain effects suggesting certain word-paintings were the same in the time of David as to-day, struck me very forcibly when I read it in yesterday's 'spectator,' and I record it here. That a figure of speech which has long puzzled somewhat ignorant Bible commentators should be explained, as with a limelight flash, by the unconscious wording of a war-correspondent of to-day seems indeed a drawing together of all historic times:
'The telegraphic despatch conveying the news of the battle of Omdurman contained an interesting illustration of a verse of the sixty-eighth Psalm which has caused some difficulty to commentators. The Prayer Book version reads (verse 14): "When the Almighty scattered kings for their sake: then were they as white as snow in Salmon" - i.e., as generally explained, the flashing of the armour of the slain warriors resembled the snow shining on the dark boughs of the forest. Unconsciously perhaps the writer of the telegraphic despatch has used the same simile. His words are: "After the dense mass of the Dervishes had melted to companies and the companies to driblets, they broke and fled, leaving the field white with jibba-clad corpses, like a meadow dotted with snowdrifts."'
Is this really the last of these snow-flecked plains, or will another Mahdi and other Dervishes arise in future ages, to once more strew the ground with these white-clad corpses?