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■♦ WrltlDg to the « Times" of 17th Oct. r Sir Samuel Baker says : — The letter front 00l Tale In the "Times" of thli day (15th inst. ) increases the interest m the qaeatlon of a defl -otlon of the upper Nile, or its afflmnts. The opinion whloh I ex' pressed m yoac columns concerning the possibility of diverting the various affluents (especially the Atbara) from their coarse Is by no means original, a* there oan be little doubt that it has been attempted, although It is dlffioalt to determine, by aotukl proof, by whom, or at what particular period. There are references m Eaeklel to an Interference with the river, whlob, In the amblgnoui language of propheoy, can hardly be defined, bat they certainly imply that the coons of the Nile would be interrupted by a bos* tile Power to the detriment of. ISgypt* Ezakiel, xxix, 8— "Behold I will bring a eword upon thee (♦ «, an enemy) and out off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste: aad they shall know that I am the Lord ; because He hath nald, The river is mine, and I have made It. Behold, therefore, I am against thee, and against thy river*, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tawer of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia, This is a carious allusion geographically, as the local disturbance is mentioned as between Syene and Ethiopia, whtoh would employ an m ecforenoe with ha Atbara river. Again, m Ezaklel, xxx, 12, Is a morestriking passage— 4 ' And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand l of the wicked ; and I will. make the land waste, and all that Is therein, by the hand of atrangers ; I the Lord have spoken." 1 Isaiah, xix, 4—" And the Egyptians 1 will I give over Into the hand of a ornel Lord : and a fierce King shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts. And the waters shall fail from the sea (lake ?), and the river shall be wasted and ; dried up. And they shall then turn the rivers far away ; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried op'; the. reeds and fhgs shall wither. The paper reeds (papyrus) by the brooks, by the month of the brooks, and everything sown by the brooks shall wither, be driven away and be no more. . t " Only tlm morning I have received • book kindly preiented to me by the author, " Prophesies concerning England and Egypt," m whioh the important question of a deflection of the Nile towards the east is carefully discussed. He says :— " Bat this power of destroying the riohes of JSgjpt, o tanning the courre of the Nile into the deserts north of Xh&rtonm or Berber (i.e., below the con« flaencj of the Biae and White Nile) Is m the hands of the Abyssinlans * and, improbable though it may apper. Ik hss already been threatened," "We could very soon repay you m kind," says a letter from the King of Abyssinia, a.i* 1704, to the Pasha of Cairo, threatening to make the NHe the Instrument of vengqanoe foe an Insult, "If we were Inclined to revenge the Insult you have offered us. The Nile would be anffiolent to punish yon, since God has pnt Into oar power Hlb fonntaln, His outlet, and His increase, and that we oan dispose to do you harm. . • ." (" Br oca's Travel's 11., p. 625, oited by the author of " Armageddon," vol. IIL, p. p. 149-157.) There are many verses m the Old Testament that night be applied to the question of the Nile, and the student of anolent history is well aware that one of the favorite strategical operations of war was to Interrupt the water supply of the emeny. I>, is supposed that Oeylon was rained by catting off the Irrigation works daring: civil wars between North and Booth* Babylon fell by a diversion of the river which rendered an approach feasible along the exhausted bed, and numerous instances could be olted where oonslder* able engineering skill was exhibited Id paralysing the water supply by diverting a river's course, . The testimony whlph I have ignored from Scripture history is sufficient toprove that the ancients, although ignorant of the actual sources, were thoroughly alive to the possibility of interference with the Nile, and the knowledge of sooh a possibility exists among the Soudan Arabs at the present day. Whether they have. eommenoed soon operations as woold have caused the terrible oalamlty of aa unpreoedentedty low Nile In Egypt ws can* not aay, as the peculiar vlligance of the Mahdl's followers prevents all attempts at communication with Berber or Khartoum* The faot remains, they have the power, which England recklessly abandoned to their hands, Egypt depends upon the Nile, whloh is now commanded by the enemy*

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Bibliographic details

THE DEFLECTIONS OF THE NILE, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2045, 24 January 1889

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THE DEFLECTIONS OF THE NILE Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2045, 24 January 1889