though of no great size, and containing a medley of Chinese, Malay, Japanese and Siamese objects, gives a good general idea of the Siamese ancient civilization and of the civilization around her, now and in the past. Thus, suits of ancient Japanese armour and specimens of modem Siam-made writing paper are amongst such strangely assorted objects as elephant tusks of great size, and geological specimens, a cabinet in wood of the reign of the first Rama a hundred years ago, coloured and pictured on the front and lacquered black and gold on the back, embroidery in gold thread, panels of heavy silk embroidery with tinsel effects, Malay sarongs, masks for the Siamese classic stage and crowns therewith, red and black Lao lacquer, whose foundation is bamboo, mother-of-pearl inlay on wood vessels, amongst them, one especially fine decanter, specimens of pottery and earthenware and porcelain, especially interesting being those made in China to Siamese design, new glazed pottery from Chiengmai and old glazed pottery from ruined Sukothai, cases of ancient coins and of ancient notes issued by private banks, brass, swords, krises, hatchets, stuffed birds and beasts.
In the hall or throne room, annexed now to the museum, is an all-Siamese collection. The walls are frescoed with landscapes below, and above are four bands of dewas and dewa-buddhs. Amongst the drums, the smallest beat for war, the larger for fire, and the greatest for daybreak. Elephant howdahs in ivory and in gilt and vermilioned wood are there, and a collection of bronze figures of Buddha, with carved and fretted tusks of elephant and a curious horse bridle and other gear from Chiengmai. As we go out we try the beautiful tone of the curious bobbin gongs in bronze, the Karen gongs.
Close by is the National Library, housing writings of all kinds, beginning with Cambodian MSS. of 2,000 years ago, and showing the elaborate Cambodian, the compressed Cambodian and the current Siamese characters. Inscriptions on stone, dating from 625 A.D., Pali texts, cases in black and gold lacquer for sacred books, a Buddhist
Photo. Yalat Noi Studio.
A Lady of Siam.
cosmology, a water-gauge from Ayudhyaa illustrating how they took the flow of the Menam Chow Phya by certain scales, and knew by the height, the lowness or the mean if dearth or foison followed :a
a ......the higher Nilus swells,
The more it promises; as it ebbs, the seedsman, Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain,
And shortly comes to harvest.a
The Kings of old contributed to the library books in black paper, on which the Royal pen had traced white characters. These and many a thousand humbler books crowd the library.
The Royal Palace (Dusit Maha Prasat).
The main building, with three stages in three European styles, crowned by a Siamese roof, inevitably sounds like a curio in architecture, and such, indeed, it is. But it is a successful