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the beauty and gracefulness of their women. The celebrated Aspasia, first the mistress, and afterwards the wife of Pericles, was of Ionia. Her wit and eloquence must have equalled her beauty; for we are told that Plato loved to discourse philosophy with her, and that Pericles sought her advice in great political emergencies. As Zenobia, queen of Palmyra and the East, is the most remarkable among Asiatic women. Her genius struggled with, and overcame, all the obstacles presented by oriental laws and customs. She is said to have been as beautiful as Cleopatra, from whom she claimed descent. She knew the Latin, Greek, Syriac, and Egyptian languages; had drawn up, for her own use, an abridgment of oriental history; and read Homer and Plato under the tuition of Longinus. She was the companion and friend of her husband, and accompanied him on his hunting excursions with eagerness, and courage equal to his own. She despised, the effeminacy of a covered carriage, and often afeared on horseback in military costume. Sometimes she marched several miles on foot, at the head of the troops. Having revenged the murder of her husband, she ascended the throne, and for five years governed Palmyra, Syria, and the East, with wonderful steadiness and wisdom. After a long and desperate resistance she was conquered by the Roman emperor Aurelian, who had grown jealous ‘of the increasing wealth and power of his rival. The conduct of Zenobia after her capture tarnishes all the lustre of her character. She who had conducted many battles by her wisdom, and gained them by her valor, trembled when she heard the ferocious Roman soldiery demand her death; and she sought to save herself by sacrificing her best friends to the resentment of the conqueror.
Zenobia, almost weighed down with jewels, and chained with gold, walked, a splendid captive, in the triumph of Aurelian. That emperor, however, treated his unfortunate rival with a degree of clemency unusual in ancient times. He gave Zenobia a very elegant villa, about twenty miles from Rome. The great Queen of the East sunk into the obscurity of private life, and her daughters married into noble families.
Many of the customs of the ancient Jews still prevail in Syria. The rude mill by which they grind their corn is turned by two women, as it was in the days of our Saviour. The excellent wells in the neighborhood of mount Lebanon are still the resort of women, who carry thence large jars of water on their heads, as the daughters of the patriarchs did of old. They are very timid; and if a stranger approaches the fountains they immediately dray their veils. In common with many other Asiatic nations, they bake their bread in small cakes against a heated brick wall. When the cake is sufficiently done, it drops of itself. This no doubt was the manner in which Sarah “baked cakes on the hearth” when Abraham entertained the strangers in his tent. When a Syrian lady is betrothed, her lover sends her a ring and other jewels, according to his rank and wealth. After these are accepted, she is not allowed to see her intended husband, or any gentleman but her nearest relatives, until the wedding ceremonies are completed. There is no period fixed for the bridegroom to send for the bride; but during the fourteen previous days he repeatedly sends presents to her; and five days before she is summoned from her father's house, he sends a confidential woman with jewels for her head, neck, and arms. Under the care of this woman, the bride is bathed, her hands stained red, and her face painted like a doll. Presents from friends are sent to the bath, and the bride walks several times round the fountain, adorned with a succession of new dresses and ornaments, accompanied by lighted candles, and the joyful cries of her attendants. After this, she is required to sit in a corner with closed eyes the whole day, except at the hours of eating. The relatives of the bridegroom escort her to his house, mounted on a horse, with her eyes still closed, accompanied by musicians, women bearing torches, and mules loaded with the dresses, ornaments, or household utensils, which she has received. As the procession passes along, the people invoke blessings on the bride.
The Syrian women ride astride on horseback, veiled; but they are less scrupulous than most Asiatic women about removing their veils, when comfort or convenience requires it.
made a journey into the mountains of Syria, speaks of the inhabitants as remarkable for their kindness and simplicity. They had never before seen a European lady, and their curiosity was much excited. The men stopped her horse to present bouquets and benedictions; and the women crowded her apartments, bringing baskets full of delicious grapes and figs The young lady says: “As I passed, blessings were invoked upon me, as upon an Arab bride. I was everywhere received with the affectionate welcome of an old friend, rather than with the courteous greeting of a stranger. The women were extremely neat in their appearance, and though evidently very poor, would accept of no remuneration for their offerings.” The Syrian women wear a very high odd headdress, called the tantoura, not unlike the horn of a unicorn. It is made of wood, pasteboard, and tinsel, or of the precious metals set with gems. The inhabitants of the mountains are less tawny than those who live in the plains. About Lebanon their complexion resembles that of the French. The women of Damascus and Tripoli are celebrated for their fairness, and for their beautiful dark eyes, which are usually visible, though a veil covers the rest of the face. Among many sacred relics which abound in Syria, they profess to show the kitchen and fireplace of the virgin Mary, and the fountain where she was accustomed to draw water. Jn the mountains of the Anti-Libanus are a peculiar class of people called Druses. They have scarcely any religion, observe neither fasts nor festivals of any kind, and allow brothers and sisters to intermarry. They live in a very secluded manner, and rarely take several wives. The women are extremely modest and industrious. They grind corn and make bread after the old scripture fashion. The Druses divorce their wives on the slightest pretext. If a wife ask her husband's permission to go out, and he says, “Go,” without adding, “but come back again,” she is divorced. Though both should wish it, they cannot live together again, without being re-married according to Turkish forms. These people are very jealous, but rarely punish a criminal wife with death; divorce is the usual penalty. The Turks in Syria, as well as in other parts of their empire, kill a woman as soon as they suspect her; and the fine incurred by a seducer is enormously heavy. • The Turkomans are a wandering tribe, living in tents like Bedouins. They are peculiar for giving a dowry with their daughters, instead of receiving a price for them. They are exceedingly scrupulous about the honor of their women. If a brother should see his sister receiving a kiss even from her betrothed lover, he would shoot the poor girl on the spot; yet, with the usual inconsistency of mankind, they are themselves extremely fond of intrigues, and pride themselves not a little on success. The Turkoman wumen are very industrious and