340 JOUENEYS IN KURDISTAN LETTER xxsi of American sewing machines stitching Yorkshire cloth! One of these tailors has made a heavy cloth ulster for me, which the American ladies pronounce perfect in fit and " style!" The Armenians, with their usual industry and thrift, are always enlarging their commerce and introducing new imports. Better than this, they are paying great attention to education, and several of their merchants seem to be actuated by a liberal and enlightened spirit. It is, however, to usury not less than to trade that they owe their prosperity. The presence of Europeans in Van, in the persons of the missionaries and vice- consuls, in addition to the admirable influence exerted by the former, has undoubtedly a growing tendency towards ameliorating the condition of the Christian population. In the vilayet of Van it is estimated by Colonel Severs Bell that the Christians outnumber the Moslems by 80,000, the entire population being estimated at 340,000. In the city of Van, with a population estimated by him at 32,000, the Christians are believed to be as 3 to I.1 The formalities required for Turkish travelling are many and increasing, and from ignorance of one of them Johannes has been arrested, and Mirza marched to the Consulate by the police. I have been obliged to part with the former and send him back to Hamadan, as it would not be safe to take the risky journey to Erzerum with such an inexperienced and untrustworthy servant. Through Mr. Devey's kindness I have obtained an interpreter and servant in. Murphy O'Rourke, a British subject, but a native of Turkey, and equally at home in English, Turkish, and Armenian, though totally illiterate. I. L. B. 1 An estimate by Mr. Devey, Her Britannic Majesty's Vice-Consul at Van, gives a population of only 250,000 for the whole vilayet.