374 JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN LETTER xxxm They are grossly ignorant, and of the world which lies outside the sandjak in which they live they know nothing. The Sultan is to them a splendid myth, to whom they owe and are ready to pay a loyal allegiance. Government is represented to them by the tax-gatherer and his brutalities. Of justice, the most priceless pro- duct of good government, they know nothing but that it is a marketable commodity. With the Armenian trading communities of the cities they have slender communication, and little except nationality and religion in common. As a .rule, they live in villages by themselves, which cluster round churches, more or less distinguishable from the surrounding hovels, but there are also mixed villages in which Turks and Armenians live side by side, and in these cases they get on fairly well together, though they instinctively dislike each other, and the Turk despises his neighbour both for his race and creed. The Armenians have not complained of being maltreated by the Turkish peasants, and had there been any cause for complaint it would certainly have reached my ears. On this journey hundreds of stories have been told to me by priests of both the Old and Protestant Churches, headmen, and others, of robbery by demand, outrages on women, digging into houses, killing, collectively and individually, driving off sheep and cattle, etc., etc.1 On the whole, the same condition of alarm prevails among the Armenians as I witnessed previously among the Syrian rayaks. It is more than alarm, it is abject terror, and not without good reason. In plain English, 1 It was not possible to ascertain the accuracy of these narratives, and though many of them appeared to be established by a mass of concurrent and respectable testimony, I forbear presenting any of them to my readers, especially as the report presented to Parliament in January 1S91 (Turkey, No. 1) not only gives, on British official authority, a mass of investigated facts, but states the case of the Armenian peasantry in language far stronger than any that I should have ventured to use.