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per to display a female face, that they used to fire at English merchant-ships the figure-head of which represented a woman; but the custom of veiling the face, by a muslin tied over the mouth and chin, is gradually going out of fashion, especially with the young. . The Turkish ladies spend some of their most agreeable hours in the public baths appropriated to their use. These baths are lighted by bell glas so at the top, and consist of apartments of different degrees of temperature. The last room is so hot that high wooden clogs must be worn to protect the feet from the pavement, and a sudden perspiration trickles from the pores at the moment of entrance. Yet the women go very frequently, and sometimes remain in this atmosphere five or six hours, while their attendants rub them with a kind of brush, and pull the joints till they crack. This operation, at first a little painful, is said to be followed by a sensation peculiarly agreeable. Having made plentiful use of perfumed soap and pomatum, braided their tresses, and pared their nails, the bathers pass into the next room, the temperature of which is lower. Here clean beds are prepared for delicious repose after the relaxation of the bath. Coffee and cordials are likewise furnished in this room, and sometimes a whole party of women dine there, and stay till evening, listening to stories, and discussing the important affairs of love and dress. Turkish women generally have a sallow complex
ion with dark eyes. A face like a full moon, and a
person decidedly fleshy, are among their requisites for beauty. The grandees are said to place a peculiar value upon fair-haired girls, probably on account of their rarity. The wedding ceremonies are simple. All the relations send presents of furniture, clothes, or jewels, which are the property of the wife in case of her husband's death. Sometimes, when the marriage contracts are signed, a solemn promise is exacted from the man that he will never marry again during the lifetime of his wife. The bridal ceremony is performed by an iman or priest, who joins the hands of the parties, and recites certain prayers from the Koran. It sometimes takes place at the bridegroom's house, but more generally at a mosque. The day before the wedding the bride goes to the bath, where her female relations and friends take off her dress, sing a bridal song, and offer their various gifts. The parties are escorted to the mosque in state, accompanied by friends and relations in arabahs,” drawn by oxen decorated with ribbons and garlands. The arabah in which the bride is conveyed is closed, but the others are open. The bridal veil is bright red bordered with yellow. The eyebrows of the bride are united in one broad black streak, by means of antigony and gall nuts; and her fingers are stained with hennah. When the new part of the mail forms a contrast with the stained part, it is considered peculiarly beautiful. Sometimes a childish love of
* Light wagons.
ornament is carried so far, that gilt paper cut in the form of crescents, and various fantastic shapes, are stuck upon the face. Before the arabah which contains the bride are borne several trees surrounded with hoops, from which hang festoons of gold thread or tinsel, which wave in the breeze, and glitter when the sun glances on them. The procession consists of dancers, musicians, mountebanks, horses loaded with the furniture and apparel of the bride, and the relatives and friends on horseback, or in carriages. When the bridegroom leaves the mosque, his friends strike him smartly on the shoulders for good luck. Girls are usually betrothed at the age of three or four years, and receive the nuptial benediction at twelve or fourteen. The custom of not allowing the bridegroom to see the bride until after the ceremony is contrary to the precepts of the Koran ; for Mohammed says to one of his disciples, who was about to take a wife, “First see her, that you may judge how you should like to live with her.” The wedding festivities last four days; the men feasting and frolicking in one set of apartments, the women in another. They usually begin on Monday, to avoid interfering with the Mohammedan Sabbath, which comes on Friday. A single life is very disreputable, and widows almost invariably marry again, unless they are very old. A Turkish woman is respected by her family and the world in proportion to the number of her children. In general they have very numerous claims to this kind of distinction. The Koran declares that a woman who dies unmarried is in a state of reprobation. . The common idea that Mohammedans believe women have no souls, is not founded upon any thing contained in the Koran. Mohammed expressly says: “Whoso worketh good, male or female, shall enter paradise;” and the pilgrimage to Mecca, for the salvation of their souls, is enjoined upon women as well as men, with the proviso that they must be accompanied by their husbands, or near male relations. The Mohammedan law forbids pigs, dogs, women, and other impure animals to enter a mosque; and the hour of prayers must not be proclaimed by a female, a madman, a drunkard, or a decrepit person The first prohibition was no doubt intended to prevent the frequent meetings between the sexes which would be likely to take place during religious services. The last regulation implies no peculiar contempt for women; the same classes would be excluded from the priesthood in Christian countries. The Turkish proverb, that “A woman causes the ruin or prosperity of a house,” implies that female influence is in some degree acknowledged and appreciated. Jests at the expense of women prevail in Turkey, as they do all over the world. Nass-red-dyn, the Turkish Æsop, wishing to propitiate the conquer. ing Tamerlane, proposed to carry him some fruit. “Hold,” said he, “two heads are better than one; I will ask my wife whether I had better carry quinces or figs.” His wife replied, “Quinces will please him
best, because they are larger and finer.” “However useful the advice of others may be,” rejoined Nassred-dyn, “it is never well to follow that of a woman; I am determined to take figs.” When he arrived in the camp, Tamerlane amused himself with throwing the figs at his bald head. At every blow Nass-red-dyn exclaimed, “God be praised!” Tamerlane inquired what he meant. “I am thanking God that I did not follow my wife's advice,” replied Nass-red-dyn; “for if I had brought quinces instead of figs, I should certainly have a broken head.” - # Women do not attend funerals in Turkey, the ceremonies of which are very simple. At the death of a husband they put on a particular kind of headdress, and wear no ornaments for twelve months. At the grave the iman repeats a prayer, and calls the deceased three times by his name, and by that of his mother, never by his father's. If the mother's name be unknown, they call him “son of Mary,” the blessed virgin; if the deceased be a woman under similar circumstances, they call her “daughter of Eve.” A column with a sculptured turban on the top designates the grave of a man; a kind of vase, or marble bowl, is placed on the top of columns erected for women. After a rain, the birds come to these vases to drink. In Syria, Armenia, and Turkey, the color of mourning is celestial blue. In 1755, Othman III. made very severe ordinances with regard to women. He forbade their going abroad on Friday; would not allow them to do their