A Little Way From Him, There Was A Sort Of Play Going On - A Clown
And A Knowing One, Like
Widdicombe and the clown with us, - the
buffoon answering with blundering responses, which made all the
audience shout with laughter;
But the only joke which was
translated to me would make you do anything but laugh, and shall
therefore never be revealed by these lips. All their humour, my
dragoman tells me, is of this questionable sort; and a young
Egyptian gentleman, son of a Pasha, whom I subsequently met at
Malta, confirmed the statement, and gave a detail of the practices
of private life which was anything but edifying. The great aim of
woman, he said, in the much-maligned Orient, is to administer to
the brutality of her lord; her merit is in knowing how to vary the
beast's pleasures. He could give us no idea, he said, of the wit
of the Egyptian women, and their skill in double entendre; nor, I
presume, did we lose much by our ignorance. What I would urge,
humbly, however, is this - Do not let us be led away by German
writers and aesthetics, Semilassoisms, Hahnhahnisms, and the like.
The life of the East is a life of brutes. The much maligned
Orient, I am confident, has not been maligned near enough; for the
good reason that none of us can tell the amount of horrible
sensuality practised there.
Beyond the Jack-pudding rascal and his audience, there was on the
green a spot, on which was pointed out to me a mark, as of blood.
That morning the blood had spouted from the neck of an Arnaoot
soldier, who had been executed for murder.
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