Ferdinand De Lesseps entered the diplomatic service of France in the family tradition. Foreseeing the day when a canal between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean would be an actuality, he took especial care to cement relationships with the family of Mehemet Ali, viceroy of Egypt, whose ten year old son, Said, was overweight. De Lesseps taught the boy horse back riding with salutary effect. He was posted later in Spain and Rome, where his wife Agathe died of fever. At 40 spurious charges were made against him which prejudiced his future in the diplomatic service, so he resigned to manage his mother-in- law's farm. At that point young Said became viceroy of Egypt and De Lesseps broached again the idea of the canal which had long ago been advocated by Lapere Napoleon's engineer. Through the long harangues between European and mid- Eastern powers, De Lesseps and Said maintained their friendship and mutual respect though Said did not live through the completion of the Suez Canal. The difficulties of construction are not dealt with to any extent. Worthwhile background material.