There are some few heads of ancient statues; but several of them are defaced by modern additions. The few people that inhabit Hungary, live easily enough; they have no money, but the woods and plains afford them provision in great abundance; they were ordered to give us all things necessary, even what horses we pleased to demand, gratis; but Mr W—— y would not oppress the poor country people, by making use of this order, and always paid them to the full worth of what we had. For that reason, among innumerable others, I wish with all my heart to hasten my return, because I am absolutely obliged to lie in every year as long as I remain here. Although not published during her lifetime, her letters from Turkey were clearly intended for print. The appearance of them is indeed very magnificent. The duke of Wolfenbuttle has one, and the duchess of Blankenburg is not without hers, but indeed the most proportionable I ever saw. She visited several in their homes and did not find their lives confined in any unpleasant way; she found their behaviour within their own company relaxed and natural, as would be that of men together in a coffee-house.
She was supposed to be brought in dead of night from the Constantinople side and laid there. I verily believe she expects I should tell her of the Anthropophagi, men whose heads grow below their shoulders; however, pray say Something to pacify her. We should appreciate the fact Lady Mary wrote prolifically and with such elegance. My janizary, in the height of his zeal for my service, immediately locked him up prisoner in his room, telling him he deserved death for his impudence, in offering to excuse his not obeying my command; but, out of respect to me, he would not punish him but by my order. There's also an , about half the length of this text.
You see that I am very exact in keeping the promise you engaged me to make but I know not whether your curiosity will be satisfied with the accounts I shall give you, though I can assure you that the desire I have to oblige you to the utmost of my power has made me very diligent in my enquiries and observations. He was recalled in 1717, but they remained at Constantinople until 1718. The Turkish Embassy Letters is a selection from the letters she wrote during that embassy; she worked on it during her lifetime but it was not published until after her death in 1762. The emperor has several regiments of these people; but, to say the truth, they are rather plunderers than soldiers; having no pay, and being obliged to furnish their own arms and horses; they rather look like vagabond gypsies, or stout beggars, than regular troops. The great ladies seldom let their gallants know who they are, and 'tis so difficult to find it out that they can very seldom guess at her name they have corresponded with above half a year together.
They dye their nails rose colour; I own I cannot enough accustom myself to this fashion to find any beauty in it… Pg. What vexes me is, that as long as she will visit me with a troublesome equipage, I am obliged to do the same: however, our mutual interest makes us much together. To say all in a word, our most celebrated English beauties would vanish near her. I know that my peaceable disposition already gives me a very ill figure, and that 'tis publicly whispered as a piece of impertinent pride in me, that I have hitherto been saucily civil to every body, as if I thought nobody good enough to quarrel with. I suppose you may have read that the Turks have no music but what is…. You must not suppose I mean as large as those of my Lord- but about the bigness of a pea; and to these buttons large loops of diamonds in the form of those gold loops so common upon birthday coats. To the Countess of ——.
Don't fancy they are a love letter to him. I am now sitting, this present 4th of January, with the windows open, enjoying the warrn shine of the sun, while you are freezing over a sad sea-coal fire, and my chamber is set out with carnations, roses and jonquils fresh from my garden. She advanced to meet me, and presented me half a dozen of her friends, with great civility. I suppose you have read, in most of our accounts of Turkey, that their houses are the most miserable pieces of building in the world. I don't doubt, indeed, but they were at first jewels of value; but the good fathers have found it convenient to apply them to other uses, and the people are just as well satisfied with bits of glass amongst these relicks. I hope you know me enough to take my word against any report concerning me. I was sorry that decency did not permit me to stop to consider them nearer.
The Asian side is covered with fruit trees, villages and the most delightful landscapes in nature. Mohammed says that women are not capable of managing affairs of state or war. I am told the king of Denmark has so far improved upon this fashion, that his dwarf is his chief minister. I fancy it would have very much improved his art, to see so many fine women naked, in different postures, some in conversation, some working, others drinking coffee or sherbet, and many negligently lying on their cushions, while their slaves generally pretty girls of seventeen or eighteen were employed in braiding their hair in several pretty fancies. I was certainly assured that the quantity of wine last vintage was so prodigious they were forced to dig holes in the earth to put it in, not having vessels enough in the town to hold it.
Besides, that perplexing word reputation, has quite another meaning here than what you give it at London; and getting a lover is so far from losing, that 'tis properly getting reputation; ladies being much more respected in regard to the rank of their lovers, than that of their husbands. I was yesterday at the French church, and stared very much at their manner of service. Palace — six large courts — one for the guard, one for the slaves, one for officers of the kitchen, one for stables, one for divan, and one for audiences. They have a patriarch of their own at Grand Cairo, and are really of the Greek church; but their extreme ignorance gives their priests occasion to impose several new notions upon them. The houses, like those of Nottingham, are built one above another, and are intermixed in the same manner with trees and gardens. It began with Jupiter's falling in love out of a peep-hole in the clouds, and ended with the birth of Hercules.
She had to content herself with her son and her life in the country about which she expressed her feelings in a semi-comic poem, 'The Bride in the Country', until the situation changed suddenly and dramatically. We met on the other side general Veterani, who invited us, with great civility, to pass the night at a little castle of his, a few miles off, assuring us we should have a very hard day's journey to reach Essek. Content with their condition and accustomed to boundless luxury they are become great enemies to all manner of fatigues. The remains, however, of some Turkish towns, shew something of what they have been. The tower they call Julius Cæsar's, has the same situation with Nottingham castle; and I cannot help fancying, I see from it the Trentfield, Adboulton, places so well known to us. Her lively letters offer insights into the paradoxical freedoms conferred on Muslim women by the veil, the value of experimental work by Turkish doctors on inoculation, and the beauty of Arab poetry and culture.
She was sometimes very ill indeed. Lady Mary spends no time on politics, but rather turns a very discerning eye to Turkish society, architecture, life styles and mores, almost always to the benefit of the Turks in comparison to the British. I know you will tell me that I have done very badly, but if you had been in my place I believe, God forgive me, that you would have produced two or three. Lady Mary, for instance, on fashion: When one considers impartially the merit of a rich suit of clothes in most places, the respect and the smiles of favour it procures, not to speak of the envy and the signs that it occasions which is very often the principal charm to the wearer , one is forced to confess that there is need of an uncommon understanding to resist the temptation of pleasing friends and mortifying rivals, and that it is natural to young people to fall into a folly which betrays them to that want of money which the source of a thousand basenesses. It was preceded by an effendi, mounted on a camel, richly furnished, reading aloud the alcoran, finely bound, laid upon a cushion. I was so much diverted with the fancy, I resolved to examine his nest nearer; but after going up fifty steps, I found I had still fifty to go up, and then I must climb from branch to branch, with some hazard of my neck.
But I rather believe it the remains of some triumphal arch, tho' I could not see any inscription; for if that passage had been shut up, there are many others that would serve for the march of an army; and, notwithstanding the story of Baldwin earl of Flanders being overthrown in these straits, after he won Constantinople, I don't fancy the Germans would find themselves stopped by them at this day. Though anthropological value can be found in all of these letters, much of it has to be searched for because Lady Mary was not writing as an anthropologist. They meet together in a large hall, where they with their eyes fixed on the ground and their arms e the imam or preacher reads part of the Alcoran p it placed in the midst; and when he has done, eight of them make a melancholy consort with their pipes, are no unmusical instruments. I made answer, that my stay depended on the emperor, and it was not in my power to determine it. These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community.