I Did Not See Any Very Handsome Women Here; They Had Only Good Eyes,
But Neither Noble Nor Expressive Features.
The summer harem, in which I was received, was a pretty building, in
the most modern style of European architecture, with lofty, regular
It stood in the middle of a small flower-garden, which was
surrounded by a large fruit-garden.
After I had been here rather more than an hour, a table was laid,
and chairs placed round it. The principal woman invited me to join
them, and leading the way, seated herself at the table, when,
without waiting till we were seated, she hastily picked out her
favourite morsels from the various dishes with her hands. I was
also compelled to help myself with my hands, as there was no knife
and fork in the whole house, and it was only towards the end of the
meal that a large gold teaspoon was brought for me.
The table was profusely covered with excellent meat-dishes, with
different pilaus, and a quantity of sweet-meats and fruits. I found
them all delicious, and one dish so much resembled our fritters,
that I almost thought it was meant for them.
After we had finished, those who had not room to sit down with us
took their seats together with some of the principal attendants:
after them came, in succession, the inferior slaves, among whom were
some very ugly negresses; these also seated themselves at the table,
and ate what remained.
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