The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 1889 DERVISHES.
The Teporte which have reached us from the seat of England's " little war " m the Soudan have several times described our enemies as •* Dervishes," who were appearing m hundreds and even thousands against the British soldiers and their allies. From the phraseology of the reports it might be assumed that the rising was confined to this peculiar class of religious fanatics, but though the insurrection is no doubt fostered by the Dervishes the actual fighting is being done by the Soudanese troops, each party of which is accompanied into action by a Dervish of more or less Banctity who excites the valour of his followers by promises of the sensual delights which Mahomet promises shall roward the faithful, when they reach a future state. The ejaculations m which these promises are made are accompanied with the most frantic gesticulations, the Dervish working himself into a state of frenzy which is frequently shared by his hearera, and m this state they rush heedlessly upon any foe, however formidable. It is probably owing to the frantic manner m which the Soundanese warriors have fought that they have been included m the designation which properly belongs only to their priests, so that when we hear of five hundred Dervishes have been killed, we must not too hastily assume that the Mahomedan priesthood is being exterminated.
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