322 JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN LETTER sxix
pillars, only lighted up the central group, consisting of
Sulti and Marta in the highest place, the English priest
in his turban and cassock, the grotesque visage of Shlimon
the Jester, and the beautiful face and figure and splendid
dress of Ishai the Patriarch's brother, as proud as proud
can be, but sitting among the retainers of his ancient
house playing on a musical instrument, the hereditary
familiarity of serf and lord blending with such expressions
of respect as " your foot is on my eyes," and the favourite
asseveration, " by the Head of Mar Shimun." The black-
ness in which the lofty roof was lost, the big ovens with
their busy groups, the rows of men, half-seen in the dim-
ness, lounging on natural ledges of rock, and the uphill
floor with its uncouth plenishings, made up such a picture as
the feudalism of our own middle ages might have presented.
My letterl from the Turkish Ambassador at Tihran
was sent to Julamerik this afternoon, and has produced
another zaptieh, and an apology! I. L. B.
1 Translation of a letter given to the author by His Excellency the
Turkish Ambassador to the Court of Tihran.
" Among the honoured of English ladies is Mrs. Bishop. On this tour
of travel she has a letter of recommendation from the Exalted Government
of England, issued by the English Embassy in Tihran, and earnest request
is made that in her passage through the Imperial Territory she be well
protected. As far as ssaptiehs are necessary let them be given for her
safety, all necessary provision for her most comfortable travel be per-
fected, and all her requests from the High Government of the Osmanlis
" That all courtesy and attention be shown to this distinguished lady,
this letter is given from the Embassy at Tihran."
As various statements purporting to be narratives of attacks made upon
me in Turkey have appeared in Russian and other papers, I take this op-
portunity of saying that they are devoid of any foundation. I was never
robbed while in the dominion of His Majesty the Sultan: courtesy was shown
me by all the Turkish officials between the Persian frontier and Erzerum,
and efficient escorts of steady and respectful zaptiehs were readily supplied.