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160                     JOURNEYS IN PEESIA          LETTER xxiv

Under the rule of the present Prince Governor com-
plete religious toleration exists in Hamadan, and the
missionaries have a fair field, though it must never be
forgotten that a proselytising Christian, rendering honour
to Christ as God, by his mere presence introduces a dis-
turbing element into a Moslem population. In consequence
of this tolerant official spirit there are a few Moslem girls
among the sixty boarders here. In addition there are
a large number of day pupils.

The girls live in native fashion, and wear native
dresses of red cotton printed with white patterns, white
cli&dars, and such ornaments as they possess. They sit
on the floor at their meals, at each of which one of the
ladies is present. They have excellent food, meat once
a day in summer and twice in winter, bread, tea, soup,
curds, cheese, melons, cucumbers, pickles, and gourds.
The winter supplies are now being laid in, and cara-
vans of asses are arriving daily with firewood, cheeses,
and melons. The elder girls cook, and all the washing,
making, and mending are done at home, each elder girl
in addition having a small family of young ones under
her care. The only servant is the Iheestie or water-carrier.
The dormitories, class-rooms, eating-room, and hammam
are large and well ventilated, but very simple.

A plain but thorough education of the "National
School" type is given, in combination with an industrial
training, fitted for girls whose early destiny is wifehood
and maternity. Some of the teachers are men, but the
religious instruction, on which great stress is laid, is given
by the ladies themselves, and is made singularly interest-
ing and attractive. Music and singing are regarded as
among the recreations. The discipline is perfect, and the
t dirtiest, roughest, lumpiest, and most refractory raw
material is quickly transformed into cleanliness, bright-
ness, and docility, partly by the tone of the school and