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chief equerry, the captain of the gate, the captain of the guards, &c., are all of them women. Women likewise read public prayers, and perform the rites of the Mohammedan religion within the inclosures of the harem. Women practise medicine, and bury the dead. A Persian harem is in fact a miniature city, with its mosques, cemeteries, bazaars, &c. The inhabitants are divided into four classes. The princesses of the blood are called begum ; such of the king's women as have brought him children are called kanoom ; inferior women are called katoon ; and those kept for the purpose of waiting upon them are termed slaves. Each female has an apartment to herself, or lodges with some aged women, and cannot go into the other rooms, without express permission. The harem is watched by three sorts of guards, over all of whom is placed a governor, or superintendent. White eunuchs guard the outside, and are never permitted to enter the interior; black eunuchs dwell round the second inner inclosure; and within are stationed elderly women to watch day and night by turns. It is indispensably requisite that the governor of the seraglio should be very old, and exceedingly ugly. The inmates are sometimes allowed to walk in the garden, after it has been well searched, and all persons ordered to retire. When it is necessary to remove the king's women from one dwelling to another, public notice is given five or six hours beforehand of the road they are to pursue. All the inhabitants of the villages through which they are to pass must forthwith quit their habitation. A horseman rides before the cavalcade, calling with a loud voice, Prohibition | Prohibitions The ladies sometimes ride astride on horseback, closely veiled; but the wealthy generally travel in palanquins, or cages of wicker-work, covered with cloth, and supported by mules or camels. No excuse avails if any male, over seven years of age, is caught in any place where he could so much as see the camels that carry these women; even if a traveller were to stumble in his hurry to get out of the way, the guards would beat him almost to death. The first wife generally has a rank above her mumerous rivals, particularly if she be the mother of children; but this depends entirely on the caprice of the master. Misdemeanors are punished according to the discretion of the husband. When divorces take place, the dowry originally given to the wife is set aside for her support. The Persians have a superstition that the spilling of a woman's blood brings ill luck; for this reason, when the inmates of the harem are discovered in any love-intrigue they are generally muffled up in their long veils, and thrown from the top of a high tower. Interest compels these women to practise all manner of coquettish arts. The more capricious and presuming they are, the more likely are they to receive attention; if gentle and reserved, they would be overlooked in the crowd. The favorite always makes despotic use of her transient power. On all occasions, she causes the pleasure of her presence to be purchased with long delay and impatience; and when she visits her female relatives, she makes it a point not to return till her husband has sent many times for her. The Persians are generally scrupulously neat in their persons and apparel. The baths are a great place of amusement for ladies. Here they pass hours and hours, listening to stories of fairies and genii, eating sweetmeats, sharing each other's pipes, and painting their persons. The Jewesses are the oracles of the seraglio. From them the young beauties purchase all manner of cosmetics, charms, amulets, love-potions, &c. The endearing duties of a mother become a source of fear and sorrow within the walls of the royal harem; for, in order to prevent quarrels about the succession to the throne, it is customary to put large numbers of children to death, or to deprive them of their eyes. The queen-mother herself superintends these executions, to which she becomes hardened by custom. The Persian mothers possess the only shadow of power which women are allowed to have. They regulate the education and settlement of their children, and it is said a marriage is not concluded, even with the father's consent, if they oppose it. Sometimes when one of the king's women offends him, or his mother, she is married to some menial of the palace, which is considered a very disgraceful punishment. But fortunate is her lot, who is transferred from the royal harem to some favorite grandee. She receives the title of a lawful wife, and is treated like a princess. Notwithstanding the painful sacrifices and perpetual fear belonging to those who form the king's household, parents are extremely anxious to obtain the splendid bondage for a daughter; for if she happens to be a favorite, the greatest honors and emoluments are heaped on her relations. Women of the middling class are more occupied than the wives of grandees, and therefore unavoidably have more freedom. They spin, sew, embroider, superintend the house, keep account of expenses, pay the servant's wages, and see that proper care is taken of the horses. Sir Robert Porter, speaking of this class of Persian females, says, “They do all the laborious part of the household establishment; each having her own especial department, such as baking the bread, cooking the meat, drawing the water, &c. Though the latest espoused is usually spared in these labors, and the best dressed, still the whole party seem to remain in good humor. When their lord shows himself among them, it is like a master coming into a herd of favorite animals. They all rush forward, frisking about him, pleased with a caress, or frisking still if they meet with a pat instead. The four wives of my worthy host retire at sunset, and each taking her infant and cradle to the roof of her division of the house, not forgetting the skin of water she has brought from the well, deposits her babe in safety, and suspends the water-case near her, on a tripod of sticks, in order that the evaporation may cool it for next day's use. Our communicative host told me that to preserve amity among these women, he was accustomed, like all husbands who 'valued peace, to divide his time and attention equally and alternately among them. Indeed the law of Mohammed, though it allows four wives, expressly stipulates that the first married shall experience no diminution of wardrobe, or accustomed privileges, in consequence of the introduction of a new bride into the family. When women of the common classes leave their houses they scrupulously conceal their faces with a veil woven like a fine net, or a cloak with two holes just big enough for their eyes; but the neck is often less carefully covered than the face. Like all oriental women, they are very fond of perfumes and ornaments. Their clothing is usually chosen and purchased for them, as we do for little children. On the death of a husband, they lay aside all rich and showy apparel, and assume the garb of mourning, which among the Persians is pale brown. For months and months they pay daily visits to the grave, watering it with tears, rending their garments, and tearing their hair. The law allows widows to marry again, but they seldom take a second husband. In many cases, the anniversary of the birthday of the deceased is for years kept as a solemn festival by his family and friends. Several years ago, a beautiful Circassian accompanied the Persian ambassador to London, where she excited great attention, and was treated with distinguished kindness. Sir Robert Porter met her when she was returning to Persia, mounted on a miserable post-horse. He says, “The poor creature, perceiving that I was a European, rode forward to address

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