PERSIAN GULF                                       1456                                                          PERU

who have joined the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, the whole number of Christians can hardly exceed 75,000. Christian misions how ver, are making steady progress. The populat.on i~ estimated at 7,653,000. The chief cities are Teheran, the capital (280,000), Tabriz (200,000) and Ispahan (70,000).

Government. The government L a pure despotism, the shah or padishah possessing absolute authority over life and property. His deputies, the governors of provinces and districts, possess a like authority over those under them, although they are accountable to the shah and may be punished by him for any acts that he does not approve. The revenue is derived almost exclusively from a tax on the land and its products, and as a natural result the peasantry are seriously oppressed by the provincial governors. It is believed that, great as are the legal taxes, the illegal exactions amount to nearly an equal sum. The present shah succeeded on Jan. 8, 1907. In 1905 the people .demanded representative institutions. In January of 1906 the shah consented to the establishment of a national council. Constitutional government began m October, but the parliament was dissolved in 1908 and the country is in political turmoil. For the history of ancient Persia see Cyrus the Great, Darius and Xerxes. Consult Rawlinson's 7~he Five Great Monarchies.

Per'sian Qulf, an arm of the Indian Ocean, lying between Arabia and Persia. Its length is 600 miles, its breadth varying from 50 to 25c miles. The total area is about 75,000 square miles. The order of its periodic currents is precisely the reverse of those of the Red Sea, as they ascend from May to October and descend from October to May. The greatest depth does not exceed 50 fathoms. Oriental geographers give this gulf the name of the Green Sea, from the strip of water of a greenish color lying along the Arabian coast.

Persim'mon or Date-Plum, a tree from 30 to 60 feet in height, which yields a fruit about the size of a plum, with six to eight oval seeds. The color of the fruit when ripe is orange-red or reddish-brown. It is very astringent until over-ripe and mellowed by frost, when it has a sweet and agreeable taste. It is a native of the southern portions of North America, where one tree often yields several bushels of fruit. While distinctively a southern tree, it grows as far north as Long Island and as far west as Illinois. In the lower Atlantic and Gulf states the tree is very common, and is there found at its best. Where it has space it is a wide-spreading tree. The leaves are long, thick, smooth and lustrous, dark green above but lighter below. The bark is very dark; the almost black wood is close grained and hard, and is used for shoelasts and shutters.

Perth Am'boy, N. J., a city and port of entry in Middlesex County, situated at the mouth of Raritan River, where it falls into Raritan Bay, at the foot of Staten Island Sound, 20 miles south of New York City. It is reached from the latter by a number of railroads, chiefly the Central of New Jersey, the Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Deposits of kaolin and fire-clay are found in the city, and give employment to terra-cotta, drain-tile and fire and glazed-brick works etc. There also are machine-shops; iron foundries; chemical, emery and cork works; oil-refineries, lead and cement works, ship-yards and two silve-/ and copper refineries, one of which ranks as the largest in the world; together with the large coal and freight wharves of Lehigh Valley Railroad, abutting on the fine harbor. There are good schools, churches, banks and other civic equipments. Population 32,121.

Perth, a city of Scotland, on the right bank of the Tay, 43 miles from Edinburgh and 62 from Glasgow. The great beauty of its surroundings — the noble river, the two wooded heights, Moncrieff and Kinnoul Hills, each 700 feet high, and away to the north the Grampians — makes The Fair City well-worthy the name. A handsome bridge of nine arches connects the city with the suburb of Bridgend, where Ruskin spent a portion of his childhood. Along the Tay extend two beautiful public parks, each containing nearly 100 acres. Population 34,3 59-

Peru', a republic of South America, is bounded on the north by Ecuador, on the east by Brazil and Bolivia, on the south by Chile and the Pacific Ocean and on the west by the Pacific. Its area is not definitely known, but is estimated at about 695,733 square miles. The population, not including wild Indians, according to the latest census was 4,609,999 the aboriginal Inca Indians constituting more than half of this number. The Peruvian government considers the total population as under 3,000,000.

Surface. The length of Peru along the Pacific is nearly 1,500 miles or, measured on the coast of the United States, as far as from Massachusetts to the southern point of Florida; its breadth at its northern boundary is between 700 and 800 miles, but at the southern one is less than 100 miles. The surface is divided into three distinct tracts, the climate of which varies from torrid heat to arctic cold, while their products range from the stunted herbage of the mountain slopes to the rich fruits of the tropical valleys. These three separate regions are the Coast, the Sierra and the Montana. The coast is a strip 30 to 60 miles in width, extending from the Pacific to the western Cordillera. For the mosc part it is a sandy desert, but it contains