LETTER szix A REJECTED SUITOR 305
lace, with a gold and turquoise pendant, and finally a
long chain of hollow balls of massive filigree silver,
beautiful enough to " fetch" any woman. The mother
and aunt sat rigidly, assumed stony faces, and would not
admire. But Mar Gauriel had other weapons in his
armoury, and produced from a large bundle articles of
dress of full size, among which were Constantinople gauze
gowns sprigged with gold, a green silk gown covered with
embroidery, and lastly a sort of coat of very rich cloth of
gold, a costly thing. The child's eyes sparkled at this.
The Bishop looked up from it at the two women, but a
look of contempt alone flitted across their stony faces.
Then he began his plea, which was loud and eloquent.
He said he could get a hundred brides for his nephew,
who would be good workers, but the daughter of Asiat
should be a princess, and have servants to wait upon her,
and have nothing to do. He said he would wait four years
for her, he only wanted a promise. He was not tactful.
He set forth the advantages of an alliance with himself
too strongly for a suitor. The house of Mar Shimun is
very proud and its connection is courted by all, and the
ladies were obdurate and literally frowned on his plea,
looking with well-acted contempt upon the glittering
display on the floor. Two days later the Patriarch him-
self rejected Mar G-auriers suit, saying, " It would be a
shame for the House of Mar Shimun—it would be a
shameful example to betroth so young a girl." There
the matter must rest, for a time at least.
An actual marriage is arranged, and this time the bride,
Sanjani, is a handsome and very attractive girl of four-
teen years old, with a strong will and individuality. She
has been several times to see me, and I have become quite
interested in her. Yesterday a number of men were seen
descending the dizzy zigzags which lead from Jelu down
the mountain on the other side of the Terpai ravine, and
VOL. II X