In all that followed Arabi was put forward as the leader of the discontented Egyptians; he was in reality little more than the mouthpiece and puppet of abler men such as Ali Rubi and Mahmud Sami.
About the middle of the same century grammar had a far abler exponent at Rome in the person of Aelius Donatus, the preceptor of St Jerome, as well as the author of a text-book that remained in use throughout the middle ages.
Europe has perhaps never seen an abler series of princes than these fourteen lineal descendants of Dirk I.
But what may seem to a Napoleon the best course is not necessarily the one that suggests itself to a mediocre mind, and the greater the gulf which separates the two minds the greater the uncertainty which must prevail on the side of the abler commander.
So prognosis became pessimistic, and the therapeutics of the abler men negative, until fresh hopes arose of stemming the tides of evil at their earliest flow.