LETTER xx A WATERED GARDEN 125 of the whole was the contrast between the " dry and thirsty land where no water is " and abundant moisture, between the scanty and scorched herbage of the arid mountains and the " trees planted by the rivers of water," but I confess that the length and overpowering fatigue of that thirty-three miles' march, much of it in blazing heat, following on three nights without sleep, soon dulled my admiration of the plain. Hour after hour passed on its gravelly margin, then came melon beds, files of donkeys loaded with melons in nets, gardens of cucum- bers and gourds, each with its " lodge," irrigation channels, dykes, apricot and mulberry orchards, lanes bordered with the graceful elcegnus, a large and busy village, where after a very uncertain progress we got a local guide, and then a low isolated hill, crowned by a dwelling arranged for security, and a liberally planted garden, a platform with terraced slopes and straight formal walks, a terrace with a fine view, and two tanks full of turtles (which abound in many places) under large willows, giving a pleasant shade. Between them I have pitched my tents, with the lines of an old hymn constantly occurring to meó " Interval of grateful shade, Welcome to my weary head." Burujird, one and a half mile off, and scarcely seen above the intervening woods, gives a suggestion of civilisa- tion to the landscape. In the sunset, which is somewhat fiery, Shuturun and the precipices of the Tang-i-Bahrain are reddening. The last three marches have been more severe than the whole travelling of the last three months. Happy thought, that no call to " boot and saddle" will break the stillness of to-morrow morning! I. L. B.