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.