The most interesting of all the many religious sects in India are the Parsees, the residue of one of the world's greatest creeds, descendants of the disciples of Zoroaster, and the Persian fire worshipers, who sought refuge in India from the persecution of the all-conquering Mohammedans about the seventh century. They have not increased and probably have diminished in numbers, but have retained the faith of their fathers undefiled, which has been described as "the most sublime expression of religious purity and thought except the teachings of Christ." It is a curious fact, however, that although the Parsees are commercially the most enterprising people in India, and the most highly educated, they have never attempted to propagate or even to make known their faith to the world. It remained for Anquetil Duperron, a young Frenchman, a Persian scholar, to translate the Zend Avesta, which contains the teachings of Zoroaster, and may be called the Parsee bible. And even now the highest authority in Parsee theology and literature is Professor Jackson, who holds the chair of oriental languages in Columbia University, New York. At this writing Professor Jackson is in Persia engaged upon investigations of direct interest to the Parsees, who have the highest regard and affection for him, and perfect confidence in the accuracy of his treatment of their theology in which they permit him to instruct them.

The Parsees have undoubtedly made more stir in the world in proportion to their population than any other race. They are a small community, and number only 94,000 altogether, of whom 76,000 reside in Bombay. They are almost without exception industrious and prosperous, nearly all being engaged in trade and manufacturing, and to them the city of Bombay owes the greatest part of its wealth and commercial influence.

While the Parsees teach pure and lofty morality, and are famous for their integrity, benevolence, good thoughts, good works and good deeds, their method of disposing of their dead is revolting. For, stripped of every thread of clothing, the bodies of their nearest and dearest are exposed to dozens of hungry vultures, which quickly tear the flesh from the bones.

In a beautiful grove upon the top of a hill overlooking the city of Bombay and the sea, surrounded by a high, ugly wall, are the so-called Towers of Silence, upon which these hideous birds can always be seen, waiting for their feast. They roost upon palm trees in the neighborhood, and, often in their flight, drop pieces of human flesh from their beaks or their talons, which lie rotting in the fields below. An English lady driving past the Towers of Silence was naturally horrified when the finger of a dead man was dropped into her carriage by one of those awful birds; and an army officer told me, that he once picked up by the roadside the forearm and hand of a woman which had been torn from a body only a few hours dead and had evidently fallen during a fight between the birds. The reservoir which stores the water supply of Bombay is situated upon the same hill, not more than half a mile distant, and for obvious reasons had been covered with a roof. Some years ago the municipal authorities, having had their attention called to possible pollution of the water, notified the Parsees that the Towers of Silence would have to be removed to a distance from the city, but the rich members of that faith preferred to pay the expense of roofing over the reservoir to abandoning what to them is not only sacred but precious ground. The human mind can adjust itself to almost any conditions and associations, and a cultured Parsee will endeavor to convince you by clever arguments that their method is not only humane and natural, but the best sanitary method ever devised of disposing of the dead.

Funeral ceremonies are held at the residence of the dead; prayers are offered and eulogies are pronounced. Then a procession is formed and the hearse is preceded by priests and followed by the male members of the family and by friends. The body is not placed in a coffin, but is covered with rich shawls and vestments. When the gateway of the outer temple is reached, priests who are permanently attached to the Towers of Silence and reside within the inclosure, meet the procession and take charge of the body, which is first carried to a temple, where prayers are offered, and a sacred fire, kept continually burning there, is replenished. While the friends and mourners are engaged in worship, Nasr Salars, as the attendants are called, take the bier to the ante-room of one of the towers. There are five, of circular shape, with walls forty feet high, perfectly plain, and whitewashed. The largest is 276 feet in circumference and cost $150,000. The entrance is about fifteen or twenty feet from the ground and is reached by a flight of steps. The inside plan of the building resembles a circular gridiron gradually depressed toward the center, at which there is a pit, five feet in diameter. From this pit cement walks radiate like the spokes of a wheel, and between them are three series of compartments extending around the entire tower. Those nearest the center are about four feet long, two feet wide and six inches deep. The next series are a little larger, and the third, larger still, and they are intended respectively for men, women and children.

When the bearers have brought the body into the anteroom of the tower they strip it entirely of its clothing. Valuable coverings are carefully laid away and sent to the chamber of purification, where they are thoroughly fumigated, and afterward returned to the friends. The cotton wrappings are burned. The body is laid in one of the compartments entirely naked, and in half an hour the flesh is completely stripped from the bones by voracious birds that have been eagerly watching the proceedings from the tops of the tall palms that overlook the cemetery. There are about two hundred vultures around the place; most of them are old birds and are thoroughly educated. They know exactly what to expect, and behave with greatest decorum. They never enter the tower until the bearers have left it, and usually are as deliberate and solemn in their movements as a lot of undertakers. But sometimes, when they are particularly hungry, their greed gets the better of their dignity and they quarrel and fight over their prey.

After the bones are stripped they are allowed to lie in the sun and bleach and decay until the compartment they occupy is needed for another body, when the Nasr Salars enter with gloves and tongs and cast them into the central pit, where they finally crumble into dust. The floor of the tower is so arranged that all the rain that falls upon it passes into the pit, and the moisture promotes decomposition. The bottom of the pit is perforated and the water impregnated with the dust from the bones is filtered through charcoal and becomes thoroughly disinfected before it is allowed to pass through a sewer into the bay. The pits are the receptacles of the dust of generations, and I am told that so much of it is drained off by the rainfall, as described, that they have never been filled. The carriers are not allowed to leave the grounds, and when a man engages in that occupation he must retire forever from the world, as much as if he were a Trappist monk. Nor can he communicate with anyone except the priests who have charge of the temple.

The grounds are beautifully laid out. No money or labor has been spared to make them attractive, and comfortable benches have been placed along the walks where relatives and friends may sit and converse or meditate after the ceremonies are concluded. The Parsees are firm believers in the resurrection, and they expect their mutilated bodies to rise again glorified and incorruptible. The theory upon which their peculiar custom is based is veneration for the elements. Fire is the chief object of their worship, and they cannot allow it to be polluted by burning the dead; water is almost as sacred, and the soil of the earth is the source of their food, their strength and almost everything that is beautiful. Furthermore, they believe in the equality of all creatures before God, and hence the dust of the rich and the poor mingles in the pit.

Parsee temples are very plain and the form of worship is extremely simple. None but members of the faith are admitted. The interior of the temple is almost empty, except for a reading desk occupied by the priest. The walls are without the slightest decoration and are usually whitewashed. The sacred fire, the emblem of spiritual life, which is never extinguished, is kept in a small recess in a golden receptacle, and is attended by priests without interruption. They relieve each other every two hours, but the fire is never left alone.

The Mohammedans have many mosques in Bombay, but none of them is of particular interest. The Hindu or Brahmin temples are also commonplace, with two exceptions. One of them, known as the Monkey Temple, is covered with carved images of monkeys and other animals. There are said to be 300 of them, measuring from six inches to two feet in height. The other is the "Walkeshwar," dedicated to the "Sand Lord" occupying a point upon the shore of the bay not far from the water. It has been a holy place for many centuries. The legend says that not long after the creation of the world Rama, one of the most powerful of the gods, while on his way to Ceylon to recover Stia, his bride, who had been kidnaped, halted and camped there for a night and went through various experiences which make a long and tedious story, but of profound interest to Hindu theologians and students of mythology. The temple is about 150 years old, but does not compare with those in other cities of India. It is surrounded by various buildings for the residence of the Brahmins, lodging places for pilgrims and devotees, which are considered excellent examples of Hindu architecture. Several wealthy families have cottages on the grounds which they occupy for a few days each year on festival occasions or as retreats.

Upon the land side of the boulevard which skirts the shore of the bay, not far from the university of Bombay, is the burning ghat of the Hindus, where the bodies of their dead are cremated in the open air and in a remarkably rude and indifferent manner. The proceedings may be witnessed by any person who takes the trouble to visit the place and has the patience to wait for the arrival of a body. It is just as public as a burial in any cemetery in the United States. Bodies are kept only a few hours after death. Those who die at night are burned the first thing in the morning, so that curious people are usually gratified if they visit the place early. Immediately after a poor Hindu sufferer breathes his last the family retire and professional undertakers are brought in. The latter bathe the body carefully, dress it in plain white cotton cloth, wrap it in a sheet, with the head carefully concealed, place it upon a rude bier made of two bamboo poles and cross pieces, with a net work of ropes between, and four men, with the ends of the poles on their shoulders, start for the burning ghat at a dog trot, singing a mournful song. Sometimes they are followed by the sons or the brothers of the deceased, who remain through the burning to see that it is properly done, but more often that duty is entrusted to an employe or a servant or some humble friend of the family in whom they have confidence. Arriving at the burning ghat, negotiations are opened with the superintendent or manager, for they are usually private enterprises or belong to corporations and are conducted very much like our cemeteries. The cheapest sort of fire that can be provided costs two rupees, which is sixty-six cents in American money, and prices range from that amount upwards according to the caste and the wealth of the family. When a rich man's body is burned sandal-wood and other scented fuel is used and sometimes the fire is very expensive. After an agreement is reached coolies employed on the place make a pile of wood, one layer pointing one way and the next crossed at right angles, a hole left in the center being filled with kindling and quick-burning reeds. The body is lifted from the bier and placed upon it, then more wood is piled on and the kindling is lit with a torch. If there is plenty of dry fuel the corpse is reduced to ashes in about two hours. Usually the ashes are claimed by friends, who take them to the nearest temple and after prayers and other ceremonies cast them into the waters of the bay.

The death rate in Bombay is very large. The bubonic plague prevails there with a frightful mortality. Hence cremation is safer than burial. In the province of Bombay the total deaths from all diseases average about 600,000 a year, and you can calculate what an enormous area would be required for cemeteries. In 1900, on account of the famine, the deaths ran up to 1,318,783, and in 1902 they were more than 800,000. Of these 128,259 were from the plague, 13,600 from cholera, 5,340 from smallpox, and 2,212 from other contagious diseases. Hence the burning ghats were very useful, for at least 80 percent of the dead were Brahmins and their bodies were disposed of in that way.

It is difficult to give an accurate idea of Brahminism in a brief manner, but theoretically it is based upon the principles set forth in a series of sacred books known as the Vedas, written about 4,000 years ago. Its gods were originally physical forces and phenomena - nature worship, - which was once common to all men, the sun, fire, water, light, wind, the procreative and productive energies and the mystery of sex and birth, which impressed with wonder and awe the mind of primitive humanity. As these deities became more and more vague and indefinite in the popular mind, and the simple, instinctive appeal of the human soul to a Power it could not see or comprehend was gradually debased into what is now known as Brahminism, and the most repugnant, revolting, cruel, obscene and vicious rites ever practiced by savages or barbarians. There is nothing in the Vedas to justify the cruelties of the Hindu gods and the practices of the priests. They do not authorize animal worship, caste, child-marriage, the burning of widows or perpetual widowhood, but the Brahmins have built up a stupendous system of superstition, of which they alone pretend to know the mystic meaning, and their supremacy is established. Thus the nature worship of the Vedas has disappeared and has given place to terrorism, demon worship, obscenity, and idolatry.

The three great gods of the Hindus are Siva, Vishnu and Brahma, with innumerable minor deities, some 30,000,000 altogether, which have been created during emergencies from time to time by worshipers of vivid imaginations. When we speak of Hinduism or Brahminism as a religion, however, it is only a conventional use of a term, because it is not a religion in the sense that we are accustomed to apply that word. In all other creeds there is an element of ethics; morality, purity, justice and faith in men, but none of these qualities is taught by the Brahmins. With them the fear of unseen powers and the desire to obtain their favor is the only rule of life and the only maxim taught to the people. And it is the foundation upon which the influence and power of the Brahmins depend. The world and all its inhabitants are at the mercy of cruel, fickle and unjust gods; the gods are under the influence of the Brahmins; hence the Brahmins are holy men and must be treated accordingly. No Hindu will offend a Brahmin under any circumstances, lest his curse may call down all forms of misfortune. A Hindu proverb says:

"What is in the Brahmin's books, that is in the Brahmin's heart. Neither you nor I knew there was so much evil in the world."

The power of the priests or Brahmins over the Hindus is one of the phenomena of India. I do not know where you can get a better idea of their influence and of the reverence that is paid to them than in "Kim," Rudyard Kipling's story of an Irish boy who was a disciple of an old Thibetan lama or Buddhist monk. That story is appreciated much more keenly by people who have lived or traveled in India, because it appeals to them. There is a familiar picture on every page, and it is particularly valuable as illustrating the relations between the Brahmins and the people. "These priests are invested," said one of the ablest writers on Indian affairs, "with a reverence which no extreme of abject poverty, no infamy of private conduct can impair, and which is beyond anything that a mind not immediately conversant with the fact can conceive. They are invariably addressed with titles of divinity, and are paid the highest earthly honors. The oldest and highest members of other castes implore the blessing of the youngest and poorest of theirs; they are the chosen recipients of all charities, and are allowed a license in their private relations which would be resented as a deadly injury in any but themselves."

This reverence is largely due to superstitions which the Brahmins do their best to cultivate and encourage. There are 30,000,000 gods in the Hindu pantheon, and each attends to the affairs of his own particular jurisdiction. Most of them are wicked, cruel and unkind, and delight in bringing misfortunes upon their devotees, which can only be averted by the intercession of a priest. Gods and demons haunt every hill and grove and gorge and dark corner. Their names are usually unknown, but they go on multiplying as events or incidents occur to which the priests can give a supernatural interpretation. These gods are extremely sensitive to disrespect or neglect, and unless they are constantly propitiated they will bring all sorts of disasters. The Brahmin is the only man who knows how to make them good-natured. He can handle them exactly as he likes, and they will obey his will. Hence the superstitious peasants yield everything, their money, their virtue, their lives, as compensation for the intercession of the priests in their behalf.

The census of 1901 returned 2,728,812 priests, which is an average of one for every seventy-two members of the Hindu faith, and it is believed that, altogether, there are more than 9,000,000 persons including monks, nuns, ascetics, fakirs, sorcerers, chelas, and mendicants or various kinds and attendants employed about the temples who are dependent upon the public for support. A large part of the income of the pious Hindu is devoted to the support of priests and the feeding of pilgrims. Wherever you see it, wherever you meet it, and especially when you come in contact with it as a sightseer, Brahminism excites nothing but pity, indignation and abhorrence.

Buddhism is very different, although Buddha lived and died a Hindu, and the members of that sect still claim that he was the greatest, the wisest and the best of all Brahmins. No two religions are so contradictory and incompatible as that taught by Buddha and the modern teachings of the Brahmins. The underlying principles of Buddha's faith are love, charity, self-sacrifice, unselfishness, universal brotherhood and spiritual and physical purity. He believed in none of the present practices of the Hindu priests. There is a striking resemblance between the teachings of Buddha and the teachings of Christ. Passages in the New Testament, reporting the words of the Savior, seem like plagiarisms from the maxims of Buddha, and, indeed, Buddhist scholars tell of a myth concerning a young Jew who about five centuries after Buddha, and twenty centuries ago, came from Syria with a caravan and spent several years under instruction in a Buddhist monastery in Thibet. Thus they account for the silence of the scriptures concerning the doings of Christ between the ages of 12 and 20, and for the similarity between his sermons and those preached by the founder of their religion. Buddha taught that good actions bring happiness and bad actions misery; that selfishness is the cause of sin, sorrow and suffering, and that the abolition of self, sacrifices for others and the suppression of passions and desires is the only true plan of salvation. He died 543 years before Jesus was born, and within the next two centuries his teachings were accepted by two-thirds of the people of India, but by the tenth century of our era they had been forgotten, and a great transformation had taken place among the Indo-Ayran races, who began to worship demons instead of angels and teach fear instead of hope, until now there are practically no Buddhists in India with the exception of the Burmese, who are almost unanimous in the confession of that faith. It is a singular phenomenon that Buddhism should so disappear from the land of its birth, although 450,000,000 of the human race still turn to its founder with pure affection as the wisest of teachers and the noblest of ideals.

The teachings of Buddha survive in a sect known as the Jains, founded by Jina, or Mahavira, a Buddhist priest, about a thousand years ago, as a protest against the cruel encroachments of the Hindus. Jina was a Perfect One, who subdued all worldly desires; who lived an unselfish life, practiced the golden rule, harmed no living thing, and attained the highest aim of the soul, right knowledge, right conduct, temperance, sobriety, chastity and a Holy Calm.

There are now 1,334,148 Jains in India, and among them are the wealthiest, most highly cultured and most charitable of all people. They carry their love of life to extremes. A true believer will not harm an insect, not even a mosquito or a flea. All Hindus are kind to animals, except when they ill treat them through ignorance, as is often the case. The Brahmins represent that murder, robbery, deception and every other form of crime and vice may be committed in the worship of their gods. They teach that the gods themselves are guilty of the most hideous depravity, and that the sacrifice of wives, children, brothers, sisters and friends to convenience or expediency for selfish ends is justifiable. Indeed, the British government has been compelled to interfere and prohibit the sacrifice of human life to propitiate the Hindu gods. It has suppressed the thugs, who, as you have read, formerly went about the country killing people in order to acquire holiness; it has prohibited the awful processions of the car of Juggernaut, before which hysterical fanatics used to throw their own bodies, and the bodies of their children, to be crushed under the iron wheels, in the hope of pleasing some monster among their deities. The suppression of infanticide, which is still encouraged by the Brahmins, is now receiving the vigilant attention of the authorities.

Every effort has been made during the last fifty years to prevent the awful cruelties to human beings that formerly were common in Hindu worship, but no police intervention has ever been necessary to protect dumb animals; nobody was ever punished for cruelty to them; on the contrary, animal worship is one of the most general of practices among the Hindus, and many beasts and reptiles are sacred. But the Jains go still further and establish hospitals for aged and infirm animals. You can see them in Bombay, in Delhi, Lucknow, Calcutta and other places where the Jains are strong. Behind their walls may be found hundreds of decrepit horses, diseased cows and bullocks, many dogs and cats and every kind of sick, lame and infirm beast. Absurd stories are told strangers concerning the extremes to which this benevolence is carried, and some of them have actually appeared in published narratives of travel in India. One popular story is that when a flea lights upon the body of a Jain he captures it carefully, puts it in a receptacle and sends it to an asylum where fat coolies are hired to sit around all day and night and allow fleas, mosquitoes and other insects to feed upon them. But although untrue, these ridiculous stories are valuable as illustrating the principles in which the Jains believe. They are strict vegetarians. The true believers will not kill an animal or a fish or a bird, or anything that breathes, for any purpose, and everybody can see that they strictly practice what they preach.

His most gracious majesty, King of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India, has more Mohammedan subjects than the Great Turk or any other ruler. They numbered 62,458,061 at the last census. They are a clean, manly, honorable and industrious portion of the population. Commercially they do not rank as high as the Parsees, who number only 94,190, or the Jains, who number 1,334,148, but are vastly superior to the Hindus from any point of view. They are not so ignorant nor so filthy nor so superstitious nor so submissive to their priests. They are self-respecting and independent, and while the believers in no other creed are more scrupulous in the performance of their religious duties, they are not in any measure under the control or the dictation of their mullahs. They have their own schools, called kuttebs, they take care of their own poor very largely; drunkenness and gambling are very rare among them. They are hospitable, kind to animals and generous. The difference between the Mohammedans and the Hindus may be seen in the most forcible manner in their temples. It is an old saying that while one god created all men, each man creates his own god, and that is strikingly true among the ignorant, superstitious people of the East. The Hindu crouches in a shadow to escape the attention of his god, while the Mohammedan publicly prays to his five times a day in the nearest mosque, and if no mosque is near he kneels where he stands, and takes full satisfaction in a religion of hope instead of fear.

From the political standpoint the Mohammedans are a very important factor in the situation in India. They are more independent than the Hindus; they occupy a more influential position than their numbers entitle them to; they have most profound pride in their religion and race, and in their social and intellectual superiority, and the more highly they are educated the more manly, self-reliant and independent they become, and the feeling between the Mohammedans and the Hindus is bitterly hostile. So much so as to make them a bulwark of the government. Several authorities told me that Mohammedans make the best officials in the service and can be trusted farther than any other class, but, speaking generally, Islam has been corrupted and debased in India just as it has been everywhere else.

One of the results of this corruption is the sect known as Sikhs, which numbers about 2,195,268. It thrives best in the northern part of India, and furnishes the most reliable policemen and the best soldiers for the native army. The Sikhs retain much that is good among the teachings of Mohammed, but have a bible of their own, called the Abi-granth, made up of the sermons of Nanak, the founder of the sect, who died in the year 1530. It is full of excellent moral precepts; it teaches the brotherhood of man, the equality of the sexes; it rejects caste, and embraces all of the good points in Buddhism, with a pantheism that is very confusing. It would seem that the Sikhs worship all gods who are good to men, and reject the demonology of the Hindus. They believe in one Supreme Being, with attributes similar to the Allah of the Mohammedans, and recognize Mohammed as his prophet and exponent of his will. They have also adopted several Hindu deities in a sort of indirect way, although the Sikhs strictly prohibit idolatry. Their worship is pure and simple. Their temples are houses of prayer, where they, meet, sing hymns, repeat a ritual and receive pieces of "karah prasad," a consecrated pastry, which means "the effectual offering." They are tolerant, and not only admit strangers to their worship, but invite them to participate in their communion.

The morning we arrived in Agra we swallowed a hasty breakfast and hurried off to the great mosque to witness the ceremonies of what might be termed the Mohammedan Easter, although the anniversary has an entirely different significance. The month of Ramadan is spent by the faithful followers of the Prophet in a long fast, and the night before it is broken, called Lailatul-Kadr, or "night of power," is celebrated in rejoicing, because it is the night on which the Koran is supposed to have come down from heaven. In the morning following, which is as much a day of rejoicing as our Christmas, the men of Islam gather at the mosques and engage in a service of thanksgiving to Allah for the blessings they and their families have enjoyed during the year past, and pray for a repetition of the same mercies for the year to come. This festival is called the "Idu I-Fitr," and we were fortunate enough to witness one of the most impressive spectacles I have ever seen. Women never appear, but the entire male population, with their children assembled at the great park which surrounds the mosque, clad in festival attire, each bringing a prayer rug to spread upon the ground. About ten thousand persons of all ages and all classes came on foot and in all sorts of vehicles, with joyous voices and congratulations to each other that seemed hearty enough to include the whole world. Taking advantage of their good humor and the thankful spirits hundreds of beggars were squatting along the roadside and appealing to every passerby in pitiful tones. And nearly everyone responded. Some people brought bags of rice, beans and wheat; others brought cakes and bread, but the greater number invested in little sea shells which are used in the interior of India as currency, and one hundred of them are worth a penny.

Rich people filled their pockets with these shells and scattered them by handsful among the crowd, and the shrieking beggars scrambled for them on the ground. There were long lines of food peddlers, with portable stoves, and tables upon which were spread morsels which the natives of India considered delicacies, but they were not very tempting to us. The food peddlers drove a profitable trade because almost every person present had been fasting for a lunar month and had a sharp appetite to satisfy. After the services the rich and the poor ate together, masters and servants, because Mohammed knew no caste, and it was an interesting sight to see the democratic spirit of the worshipers, for the rich and the poor, the master and the servant, knelt down side by side upon the same rug or strip of matting and bowed their heads to the ground in homage of the God that made them all. Families came together in carriages, bullock carts, on the backs of camels, horses, mules, donkeys, all the male members of the household from the baby to the grandfather, and were attended by all men servants of the family or the farm. They washed together at the basins where the fountains were spouting more joyously than usual, and then moved forward, laughing and chattering, toward the great mosque, selected places which seemed most convenient, spread their rugs, matting, blankets and sheets upon the ground, sat in long rows facing Mecca, and gossiped cheerfully together until the great high priest, surrounded by mullahs or lower priests, appeared in front of the Midrab, the place in every mosque from which the Koran is read, and shouted for attention.

Ram Zon, one of our "bearers," who is a Mohammedan, disappeared without permission or notice early in the morning, and did not report for duty that day. His piety was greater than his sense of obligation to his employers, and I saw him in the crowd earnestly going through the violent exercise which attends the worship of Islam.

When the hour for commencing the ceremony drew near the entire courtyard, several acres in extent, was covered with worshipers arranged in rows about eight feet apart from north to south, all facing the west, with their eyes toward Mecca in expectant attitudes. The sheikh has a powerful voice, and by long experience has acquired the faculty of throwing it a long distance, and, as he intoned the service, mullahs were stationed at different points to repeat his words so that everybody could hear. The first sound was a long wailing cry like the call of the muezzeins from the minarets at the hour of prayer. It was for the purpose of concentrating the attention of the vast audience which arose to its feet and stood motionless with hands clasped across their breasts. Then, as the reading proceeded, the great crowd, in perfect unison, as if it had practiced daily for months, performed the same motions one after the other. It was a remarkable exhibition of precision. No army of well drilled troops could have done better.

The following were the motions, each in response to the intonation of a prayer by the high priest:

1. Both hands to forehead, palms and fingers together, in the attitude of prayer.

2. Bend body forward at right angles, three times in succession, keeping hands in the same position.

3. Return to upright position, with hands lowered to the breast.

4. Bow head three times to the ground.

5. Rise and stand motionless with hands at sides.

6. Hands lifted to ears and returned to side, motions three times repeated.

7. Body at right angles again, with hands clasped at forehead.

8. Body erect, kneel and bow forward, touching the forehead three times to the earth.

9. Fall back upon knees and with folded hands.

10. Rise, stand at attention with clasped hands until the cry of the mullah announced that the ceremony was over; whereupon everybody turned to embrace his family and friends in a most affectionate manner, again and again. Some were crying, some were laughing, and all seemed to be in a state of suppressed excitement. Their emotions had been deeply stirred, and long fasting is apt to produce hysteria.

The boom of a cannon in a neighboring fortress, was a signal that the obligations of Ramadan had been fulfilled, that the fast was broken, and thousands of people rushed pell-mell to the eating stands to gorge themselves with sweetmeats and other food. The more dignified and aristocratic portion of the crowd calmly sat down again upon their rugs and mats and watched their servants unload baskets of provisions upon tablecloths, napkins and trays which they spread upon the ground. Not less than seven or eight thousand persons indulged in this picnic, but there was no wine or beer; nothing stronger than tea or coffee, because the Koran forbids it. And after their feast at the mosque the rest of the day was spent in rejoicing. Gay banners of all colors were displayed from the windows of Mohammedan houses, festoons of flowers were hung over the doors, and from the windowsills; boys were seen rushing through the streets loaded with bouquets sent from friend to friend with compliments and congratulations; firecrackers were exploded in the gardens and parks, and during the evening displays of fireworks were made to entertain the Moslem population, who were assembled in each other's houses or at their favorite cafes, or were promenading the streets, singing and shouting and behaving very much as our people do on the Fourth of July.