Awkward and uncourtly, at heart shy, he was but a poor figurehead for the stately court of France.
This derivation is, however, fanciful; the name bucentaurus is unknown in ancient mythology, and the figurehead of the bucentaurs, of which representations have come down to us, is the lion of St Mark.
Arabi, as has been said, was rather the figurehead than the inspirer of the movement of 1881-1882; and was probably more honest, as he was certainly less intelligent, than those whose tool, in a large measure, he was.
Himself, who put him forward as the figurehead of a party professing to aim at protecting the Egyptians from the grasping tyranny of their Turkish and European oppressors.
That the theory of the triple manifestation of the deity was indeed only a compromise between Brahmanical aspirations and popular worship, probably largely influenced by the traditional sanctity of the number three, is sufficiently clear from the fact that, whilst Brahma, the creator, and at the same time the very embodiment of Brahmanical class pride, has practically remained a mere figurehead in the actual worship of the people, Siva, on the other hand, so far from being merely the destroyer, is also the unmistakable representative of generative and reproductive power in nature.
They were not so contemptible at the time, because England and Ireland were full of adventurers who were ready to back any cause, and who looked on the king of the moment as no more than a successful member of their own classa base-born Welshman who had been lucky enough to become the figurehead of the movement that had overturned an unpopular usurper.
During the whole of that period Napoleon, who seems to us to have been the leader of all these movements--as the figurehead of a ship may seem to a savage to guide the vessel--acted like a child who, holding a couple of strings inside a carriage, thinks he is driving it.