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304 JOUENEYS IN KURDISTAN LETTER xxix
mourners and the departed, and between the departed
and the souls of those already in Hades.1
In spite of the perils around, " marrying and giving in
marriage " go on much as usual. Mar Gauriel, Bishop of
Urmi, has come up on nothing less important than a
matrimonial errand, to ask for the hand of the Patriarch's
niece, a small child of eight years old, the daughter of
Ishai and Asiat, for his nephew, a boy of fourteen. Girls
may marry at twelve, and the beautiful Asiat, the child's
mother, is only twenty. I was invited to tea when the
proposals were made in a neutral house, where Mr.
Browne interpreted the proceedings for me. Mar
Gauriel, handsomely dressed in red, with a Jchelat or
" coat of honour " given him by the Shah over his usual
clothes, looked as blithe and handsome as a suitor should.
He sat on one side of the floor with a friend to help his
suit, and on the other were seated Sulti, Asiat, and the
Conversation was general for a time; then the Bishop,
with a change of face which meant business, produced a
small parcel, and laid on the floor, with a deliberate pause
between the articles, carbuncle and diamond rings, gold-
headed pins, gold bracelets, a very fine pink coral neck-
1 A portion of one of the latter follows :—
The newly dead.—" Hail, my brethren and friends who sleep. Open
the door that I may enter in and see your ranks."
Those in Hades,—" Come, enter and see how many giants are sleeping
here, and have been made dust and rust and worms in the bosom of SheoL
Come, enter and see, 0 child of death, the race of Adam: see and gaze
where thy kind dwells. Come, enter and see the abundance of the bones
and their commingling. The bone of the king and the bone of the servant
are not separated. Come, enter and see the great corruption we are dwell-
The mourners.—" Wait for the Lord, who will come and raise you by
His right hand."
Translations of the Liturgies are to be found in Dr. Badger's valuable
book, The Nestorians and their Rituals.