otton, and soon followed the Oriental custom of erecting awnings or coverings for protection from the sun's rays. The Emperor Cæsar is said to have constructed a huge screen extending from his own residence along the Sacred Way to the top of the Capitoline Hill. The whole of the Roman Forum was also covered in by him in a similar way. Coverings for tents, sail cloth made from cotton, and fancy coverlets were also in use among the people of these stirring times.
And now comes the important question: Was cotton indigenous to India in these very early times? and was it carried and afterwards planted in Egypt, Africa, and America?
As an attempt is made to successfully answer this question, our minds are thrown back to the time when Christopher Columbus, a Genoese, having heard of India, desired to find a new way to that country. Comparatively poor himself, he was unable to equip an expedition, and laid his scheme before the Council of Genoa. They declined to have anything to do with it, and he