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After my boat was loaded and everything ready, three days of heavy squalls prevented our starting, and it was not till the 21st of March that we got away. Early next morning we entered the little river, and in about an hour we reached the Sultan's house, which I had obtained permission to use.

They concluded, at last, that it would be next to impossible to climb the rock anywhere on the side that faced them, save by scaling several walls. They had just finished their luncheon when the gate opened, and an officer and four soldiers issued out. They at once rose, and went to meet them. "I have the governor's order to admit you, on the production of the sultan's pass."

"All this can be given," answered the boy. And the sister of the Princess said: "The gifts must be as many as the blades of grass in our city." "It shall be granted," said Balatama. "You must give a bridge built of stone to cross the great river," said one. And another: "A ship of stone you must give, and you must change into gold all the cocoanuts and leaves in the Sultan's grove."

I did not ask for a province, though this was in the wide-extended power of Tippoo Sultan to confer; but as I had a great curiosity to see the diamond mines of Golconda, of which both in Europe and in India I had heard so much, I requested the sultan's permission to visit those which belonged to him.

Christian writers and readers are too apt to confound the seraglio with the harem, and to suppose that the former means the apartments belonging to the sultan's ladies; whereas the word seraglio, or rather sernil, represents the entire palace of which the harem, or females' dwelling, is but a comparatively small portion.

But so soon as the kaid has amassed sufficient wealth, the governor of his province, or one of the high wazeers in the Sultan's capital, will despoil him and sell his place to the highest bidder, and in the fulness of time the Sultan will send for that wazeer or governor, and treat him in similar fashion. "Mektub," it is written, and who shall avoid destiny?

It is easy to believe, also, that the dome of this mosque covers the rock where Abraham was about to offer up his son, for it is surely the highest point on Mount Moriah. Looking along the wall you can see the Golden Gate, with the decay of which, the Mohammedans say, will come the fall of Islam, just as the Sultan's power shall pass away when the last sacred dog dies.

We wondered what kind of reception we should have, for people's ideas on this point vary greatly. In order not to offend the sultan's prejudices too much, we determined to dissemble, and I decided not to wear my little camera, and Imam Sharif packed the plane-table out of sight.

The Kislar Aga had at last discovered a Circassian slave, who, he thought, would effect the purpose. She was beautiful, and I had already engrossed the sultan's attentions for more than two years. Men will be fickle, and I expected no otherwise. What I required was the dominion over the mind; I cared little about the sultan's attentions to other women.

The astonishment of the valiant warriors of Islam as I wheel briskly down the thronged avenue can be better imagined than described; the soldiers whom I pass immediately commence yelling at their comrades ahead to call their attention, while epauletted officers forget for the moment their military dignity and reserve as they turn their affrighted chargers around and gaze after me, stupefied with astonishment; perhaps they are wondering whether I am not some supernatural being connected in some way with the celebration of the Sultan's birthday a winged messenger, perhaps, from the Prophet.

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