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She here dips her feet, by way of preparation, some half-dozen times, in the little channels of warm water that traverse the floor, and then enters another hall, where there are several fountains of warm water. The sulphureous vapour that fills this hall is almost suffocating to one not accustomed to Turkish bathing; and the scene which it exhibits resembles nothing that we know of at this side of the Ægean. The slaves in attendance upon the bathers can scarcely be counted. They are seen through the dim, humid clouds, half naked, busied about their mistresses, or passing and repassing, their arms folded on their bosoms, balancing on their heads piles of napkins; and they may be heard calling to each other in shrill cries that are repeated by the domes, while some two or three hundred blithesome matrons, gay-hearted girls, and laughing children, partially dressed in fine linen, saturated with vapour, are engaged, some in undergoing the shampooing process, some in whispering to each other their adventures, some in singing, some in talking at the very top of their “ sweet voices,” some in regaling themselves with lemonade, sherbet, or confectionary. Miss Pardoe tells us—and really nothing can give one a more lively idea of the intensity of enjoyment in which these bathers are occasionally spellbound—that such was their preference for their own dear selves--such their indifference to the passers-by—that of the whole vapour-charmed assembly not more than “ half-a-dozen of them turned their heads even to look at the English stranger," (i. e. Miss Pardoe,) while she glided to the fountain prepared for her-positively not more!
Some future annotator on her work will perhaps ascribe this indifference on the part of the said bathers to the supposition that, inasmuch as she was at the moment
linen robe, which permitted no peculiarity of nation to be visible, and inasmuch also as the vapours of the hall perhaps concealed the Saxon contour of her countenance, she was not in a situation to attract all the notice which otherwise she would have necessarily obtained. Nevertheless, the circumstance is remarkable, the more especially when we remember that upon her first appearance in the crowd that gathered to witness the weekly progress of the Sultan to the Mosque, his Celestial Highness looked back no less than twice at the blooming stranger, and afterwards (God forgive him!) despatched I know not how many of his equerries to inquire who she was, and all about her! To me it is surprising that she did not, in a day or two from that captivating moment, become the Grand Seignora.
The bather, standing or sitting, as she thinks fit, on a slab of heated marble, remains for some time at the mercy of her slaves, who, after the usual appliances, pour over her successive basins of the medicated element, tempered according to her own choice, until she experiences, again and again, those sensations of nympholepsy, or voluptuous exhaustion, which constitute the crowning delight of this Oriental luxury. She then winds a napkin with fringed ends about her head, folds her wrapper closely around her person, and escapes to the “cooling "room, whence she finally emerges to the outer hall; her hair is then plaited and enveloped in a painted muslin handkerchief (a modern innovation), and she sinks off for a while, in a sort of demi-faint, amongst the cushions of her box. She next awakes, and—eats her dinner,
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, in her description of scenes which she declares herself to have witnessed in these baths, certainly gives us no
very favourable idea of the morality practised by the Turkish damsels of her day. I would fain believe that her ladyship exaggerated not a little —that she happened to light upon rather a mixed assembly—and that a mind, not always very pure in itself, mistook, for exhibitions of passion, the natural expressions of healthful and innocent enjoyment. There are some persons who can see in a perfect artiste of the ballet, while going through her admirable evolations, or in an exquisite statue which discloses the human figure in the perfection of its God-like formation, nothing but provocatives to the meaner impulses of animal existence. Depend upon it, that spectators of that species, however exalted they may appear by the accident of rank, or the splendour of costume, are by nature no other than members of the very lowest herd of the “ profane vulgar.”
THE FUNERAL OF
BY THE AUTHORESS OF
THE BRIDE OF SIENA.”
I saw a sight to-day that made me sad-
AN EPISODE OF 1648.
Letter from Emma Gartenberg to Marie Herwart. Do not be angry with me, my dear sister, for having kept you so long in suspense for my reply-I, whom your husband so often complimented on the dexterity with which I handled my pen. You will think, perhaps, that the fêtes which have taken place on occasion of the peace, and which have been celebrated here, as in the rest of Germany, with so much pomp, have prevented me from writing to you. It is true that I was present at these solemnities, but really and truly my heart and mind were less moved by them than were those more advanced in years, and more given to reflection than myself.
You know well that I was born during the siege which was so fortunately raised, and that I have grown up in the midst of the continued troubles of war, so they do not intimidate me. Besides this, our city was, after all, never badly treated by foreign soldiery, and I cannot figure to myself that all the horrors which are recounted of war are true. That every one should now rejoice in the calm we possess, appears to me of course both natural and just; but at the same time we are continually receiving sad intelligence from all parts as to the misery and famine which desolate whole countries. How then can one give up one's heart entirely to joy and happiness?
The fêtes then, my dear, cannot serve me as an excuse for not having written to you for so long a time, but, in spite of your laughing at me, I must tell you that the cause has been of another character—domestic occupations; and, in one word, the direction of the house, which is left entirely to me at the present moment.
You will doubtless ask me how all this has come to pass, and how it has fallen out that our good cousin Cunégonde has voluntarily deprived herself of the custody of the keys ? This, my dear Marie, is precisely the great piece of news I have to tell you—but which I shall measure out to you in as small quantities each time as nurses and doctors do wine to their patients when getting convalescent-so that I may thus have the pleasure of speaking to you at greater length. I laugh myself at the comparison I have thus made, but one necessarily identifies oneself with the subjects of which we are constantly hearing. Now, the good cousin Cunegonde, during the last few weeks of her sojourn here, did nothing else but talk to me of miraculous cures and wounded generals; and to have heard her talk, any one would have thought her a head surgeon to a hospital or a regiment.
But enough of this. My preface is a long one; and now my letter will be short. You know how it came to pass that the good Cunégonde came to our house, and how she refused everything for herself in order to bring up the son of her deceased husband-that son-in-law whose eulogium she was ever pronouncing with all the enthusiasm which naturally belongs to her character. You also know perhaps that she obtained for him some years since the grade of Licentiate in medicine,
and then of private surgeon to one of the Imperial colonels. He used to send her from time to time little packets of good gold coin-but Cunégonde never spent one of them. For some time past she had not received any news from him, and I often heard her weeping in the night, and sighing so sorrowfully that my young heart was rendered quite sad. But imagine, my dear Marie, the joy of poor Cunégonde the other day, when at last a letter came from him. She had never till then shown me even one of his letters—but that one I was allowed to see. He told her that he had been offered a place at the Imperial Court if he would change his religious opinions, which he refused doing; and that he intended soon to return to be near her; and that thereafter she should no longer be at the charge of her rich relatives. I confess to you this last phrase in his letter gave me pain, as you know well we never thought of Cunégonde but as our equal and friend. Yes, Marie, he said all this, and a great deal more too; but in order to repeat the very beautiful and kind things he wrote, and expressed so well and so elegantly, I confess it requires more talent and memory than I possess.
But to be brief. The good old Cunégonde evidently no longer wished to stay, and every now and then she quietly and timidly gave my father to understand that it did not suit her any longer to eat our bread, so that at last he consented that she should give up to me the charge of the house. This cost us, my dear Marie, many a tear; but she has left us, and her son-in-law has arrived.
In a very few days I am about to perform a promise I made her, that of going to see her new residence—and the miraculous Doctor; and, believe me, I will not fail to give you a detailed account of all I see and hear.
Our father is in good health—he is gay in his way of being so—and begs me to say all sorts of kind things to you all for him. I hear him moving about his money-bags in his chest, and so he will soon be wanting me, and I must close my epistle.
I commend you, and all your dear children, to the protection of God. Adieu !
Letter from Marie Herwart to Emma Gartenberg. I thank you much, my dear little Emma, for your interesting letter, and for all the news it contained ; and although I was pretty well informed as to the change which had taken place in our family-house, yet I was delighted to learn all the particulars from your gentle hand.
We are all in good health, for which really we cannot be sufficiently thankful to Heaven, considering how humid and unhealthy is the season. This is all I have to say of ourselves, who love you dearly, and are delighted to hear of your happiness.
But now let me say a few words about your Doctor, and the miracles in curing he has performed. I advise you, my dear Emma, to take care of your heart. I remember perfectly that the young Palmer, whom we used to call Cousin Max, in former years, when you were quite a child, carried you in his arms whenever we went out to walk, and amused you, and was most kind to you; and I recollect that when your doll vexed you, or when your little bird was ill, your tears were soon dried up the moment
you heard the kind voice of Cousin Max. All this is now present to my recollection as if it had passed yesterday; and yet many a summer has gone over your precious head since that day, my dear sister.
From those halcyon hours to the present time I had never seen the young Palmer but once, when he had a congé for some days; but about three weeks since, going through our city, he came to see us. Oh Emma! what a splendid creature has this Cousin Max become! He wore the Hungarian costume, and the people in the street stopped to see him pass. His pelisse of black velvet, adorned with gold, looked splendid upon him. As to my husband, who, as you know, is not very loquacious, he was so much pleased with Cousin Max, that he made him stop very late in the evening, and wanted to persuade him to come and live here.
If I were to write a book about all he told us, I should soon fill it. As for myself I could do nothing but listen-he is so eloquent and so handsome. Even the little Adelaide would not go to bed, but prayed to sit up to hear the “fine gentleman” tell us his stories. Ah Emma! Emma! I repeat, my dear sister, take care of your heart!-take care of your heart !
Letter from Maximilian Palmer to the Imperial Captain
Gaspard de Geismar. Here I am, arrived in my natal town, my good friend! I have just finished arranging my books and my instruments, and the first sheet of paper on which I write in my new abode is to write to you, my dear Geismar, whom Providence has given me for a friend, and who in ill as in good fortune, in the difficult career of favour and popularity, as on the field of battle and death, was always my counsellor and my faithful companion.
Accustomed as you have been from your youth to the tumult of war, and to the noise and bustle of camps, you will scarcely be able to understand the indefinable sentiment which fills the soul of a peaceful student in science, when he returns to his tranquil abode after long years of absence and fatigue. I, who have travelled with indifference over so many countries, was seized with an inexpressible emotion on seeing once more the towers and steeples of the city where I was born. How many times have I not walked on the field of battle in the midst of the dead and the wounded with courage and firmness,—and yet at the sight of the wall which surrounded the cemetery of my natal town, my eyes were suffused with tears. I thought of my father and my mother; and then I thought that I also should have my little niche in this sepulchre of many generations.
But I was roused from these sad reflections by the cordial, affectionate, and delicious reception which I experienced from my good mother-in-law; and I should have profoundly afflicted this excellent woman if she had suspected that my heart had even one pulsation which was not joyous and happy. It is impossible to depict to you, my dear friend, her transports of tenderness and happiness, and scarcely had she become a little calmed than she again threw herself into my arms, and wept again and again for joy. Then she showed me most deliberately, and in great