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shaded by the extensive canvass awnings used in Persia.

The windows are constructed of polygonal spaces, in appearance like the compartments of a honeycomb, one, two, or three inches in diameter. Those in which the interstices are of the smallest pattern are left open—that is, without the spaces being filled up-so that the air is admitted freely, while a person can look through without being observed from without. The window toward the street is usually of this kind ;

and such was doubtless the kind of " lattice” through which the mother of Sisera, with her ladies, (Judges v. 28,) looked forth for her expected son. These sashes, when of wider texture, are usually filled with small diamondshaped pieces of glass, which are translucent, but not transparent, corresponding in size to the interstices, and of various bright glaring colours, which give to the whole, as viewed from within, a brilliant and somewhat imposing appearance. A single window of a Persian parlour, thus glazed, will cost twenty or thirty pounds, or even much more, according to the delicacy of the wood-work, for in all kinds of joining the Persians are great amateurs, and are really very skilful. It is related by Mr. Fraser, that

the Persian princes, who were some years ago in London, seemed to bestow more genuine admiration on nothing than on the various curious specimens of joinery and wood-carving which came incidentally under their notice. The middle classes cover their sashes with oiled paper; and another circumstance in which their houses differ from those of the higher class is, that the latter are mounted in front with a projection, from two to five feet wide, which consist of jutting rafters, inclining a little upward, on which jointed planks are fitted, and the whole is often tastefully painted and curiously carved. This projection adds much to the beauty of the edifice, as well as protects its walls and windows from the weather.

If the houses in Palestine, as is not unlikely, were of similar arrangements, our Lord probably stood in the gallery formed by this projection, when the friends of the paralytic man vainly sought access to him through the crowd which filled the court, and therefore went up to the roof, and, removing some of the boards which covered this part, were enabled to let their helpless friend down to the place where Jesus stood. Our acquaintance with various oriental houses, has presented difficulties to every other explanation, and has shown this to be the most natural and intelligible of any. To remove any part of the substantial flat roof for such a purpose, would be very difficult, and would overwhelm the interior with the dust and rubbish of which such roofs are composed.

The outsides of the houses in Persia are plastered with a mixture of mud and cut straw, of which also, as in ancient Egypt, (Exod. v. 7,) the sun-dried bricks are composed. This is not unpleasant to the European eye, (probably from its having some rough resemblance to what we call Roman cement,) especially when, as is often the case, the margins of the doors and windows are dressed with white plaster, which, alternating with the spaces of brown mud, impart a kind of liveliness to the front.

But when we enter the interior of a good Persian house, we forget the narrow approach, and that the walls and exterior surface are of mud. The rooms are beautifully plastered with an admirable white gypsum, much firmer, harder, and more dazzlingly white, than anything of the same kind we possess, and the floors are covered with the richest carpets the east can furnish. The floors are first plastered with a mixture of lime and earth, and are thus rendered hard and level ; they are then covered with the reed mats, over which the carpets are laid. It is probably known to most of our readers that these carpets, which are so much prized by us, under the name of " Turkey carpets," are really the manufacture of Persia.

The walls in the interior of the rooms are not dead surfaces, but are relieved by a row of recesses, about a yard square, the same height from the floor, and a few inches deep, at intervals of a foot or more from each other. High rooms have two rows of such recesses, with a ledge projecting two or three inches, to separate them. These recesses are intended for effect rather than use, but some of them are occasionally used to contain curious ornamental articles. Plastering is also often wrought into various diamonds, and curious geometrical figures, and into arabesques, flowers, and cornices of considerable elegance. The walls are not unusually painted, sometimes painted and gilded ; and, at others—but rarely, unless in royal palaces—they are almost wholly lined with mirrors. Results which are tawdry, rather than splendid, when supplying the substantial magnificence which we expect to find in royal

palaces, are agreeable and elegant in private houses ; and, upon the whole, the Persians may be praised for the interior decorations of their rooms by the arts of the joiner and the plasterer. The ceilings are often wholly of unpainted wood, forming a large and admirable piece of joinery, like an immense sash, with innumerable blind panes or compartments, of the same wood as the framework. These ceilings are made on the floor, and raised whole to their place, by very simple though ingenious mechanical contrivances. They are seen only in good houses, and are highly and justly prized by the Persians.

The courts which form the areas of their dwellings are, in the higher class of houses, neatly paved, in the borders and through the centres, with smooth stones or tiles, and the intervening spaces are decorated with flowerbeds, rose-bushes, and other shrubs, and often bubbling fountains. “As I have beheld princes and nobles," says the Rev. Judkin Perkins,*

* In work entitled “ A Residence of Eight Years in Persia,” published at Andover, in the United States, in 1843. It is chiefly occupied with the Nestorians, but it contains many interesting observations respecting Persia, which have usefully assisted our own observations in the preparation of this work, particularly in the present portion of it.

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