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LETTER xxvii               PIOUS PHRASES                            243

the kingdom of Heaven," and when a man makes a pur-
chase, or enters on a new house, or puts on a new garment,
it is customary to say to him, "May God bless your
house, your garment," etc. A child learning the letters
of the alphabet is taught to say at the close, " Glory to
Christ our King." A copyist begins his manuscript by
writing within an ornamental margin, " In the strength
of our Lord Jesus Christ we begin to write," and a man
entering on a piece of work honours the Apostolic com-
mand by saying, " If the Lord will I shall accomplish it."1
My friends tell me that I shall find the Syrians of
the mountains a different people, and a mountaineer is
readily recognised in the streets by the beauty and
picturesqueness of his dress.

The eight days in Urmi have been a very pleasant
whirl, a continual going to and fro between the College
and the 'Fiske Seminary, the English clergy house and
the Sisters' house, receiving Syrian visitors at home and
holding a reception for them in the city, calling on
the Governor, visiting the English upper school, where
deacons, in the beautiful Syrian costume, with daggers
in their girdles, look more like bandits than^ theological
students, and spending a day at Geog-tapa, where I saw
Shamasha Khananeshoo's (Deacon Abraham's) orphanage,
dined with him and his charming wife, and a number
of other Syrians in Syrian style, and went to the
crowded Geog-tapa church, where the part of the floor
occupied by the women looked like a brilliant tulip-bed.
Here, in the middle of the service, the Qasha or priest
said that the people, especially the women, were very
anxious to know for what reason I was travelling, to
which evidence of an enlightened curiosity I returned a

1 The national customs of the Syrians are endless, and in many ways
very interesting. They are treated very fully in a scarce volume called
Residence m Persia, among the JNestorians, by Dr. Justin Perkins.