The long threatened Bombardment of the Forts thrown up by ARABI PASHI has
commenced. An act of self-defense, brought about by the arrogant ignorance
of the military adventurer who has risen from the Egyptian army, and who,
because he had met hitherto with no opposition, fancied himself so strong as
to be invincible.
In the words of ARTEMUS WARD (applied by him to the first NAPOLEON) he
"tried to do too much - and he DID it." The 'Times' correspondent describes
him as having no idea of the fighting strength of the Western Powers. There
is certainly an absurd aspect of the situation; terrible enough it is as an
exhibiition of the most destructive sea armament the world ever saw in
Alexandria, the strongest and almost the only fortress of Egypt, possesses
five large forts, supporting these are the earthworks erected within the
last few weeks by ARABI PASHA's orders; but the number of heavy rifled
cannon to be found on them could be counted on a man's fingers.
Against these, eight of the largest ironclads in the world directed their
force, with what result we know. But the Egyptians will cause us more
damage otherwise than by their army; by the temporary stoppage of the Suez
Canal, that shortest road to our Eastern Empire.
There is only one bright side to the crisis. The stoppage of the Canal will
apply equally to all our rivals in commerce as to us, and Englishmen can
readily adapt themselves to the new situation; though it may cause us
considerable embarrassment, it will not affect us as materially as a war
with a formidable State.
We at home are only aware of it through the newspapers as yet, and shall be
able to get nearly all we require just as though no war were in progress.
The people of Cumberland may at any rate congratulate themselves on one
fact - to them of greater importance than some people have any idea of - and
that is, that the prices of the garments supplied by the WIGTON CLOTHING
FACTORY will not be in any way affected by the bombardment of Alexandria.
THE FACTORY HAS BRANCHES AT: --
CARLISLE, PENRITH, WORKINGTON, MARYPORT, COCKERMOUTH