A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 785 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07.
servants, and provender for their horses; and as they shew themselves valiant and faithful their wages are increased.  They never walk singly about the city, which would be deemed dishonourable, but always by two or three together; and if they chance to meet with two or three women in the streets, for whom even they are in use to wait in the neighbourhood of such houses as the women frequent, licence is granted to such as first meet them to carry them to certain taverns where they abuse them.  When the Mamelukes attempt to uncover the faces of these women, they strive all they can to prevent being known, and are generally allowed to go away without having their veils lifted.  Hence it sometimes happens, when they think to have abused the daughter of some nobleman or person of condition, that they have fallen in with their own wives, as actually happened while I was there.  The women of Damascus beautify and adorn themselves with great attention, wearing silk clothes, which they cover with an outer garment of cotton as fine as silk.  They wear white buskins, and red or purple shoes, having their heads decorated with rich jewels and ear-rings, with rings on their fingers and splendid bracelets on their arms.  They marry as often as they please, as when weary of, or dissatisfied with their husbands, they apply to the chief of their religion, called the cady, and request of him to divorce them, which divorcement is called talacare in their language, after which they are at liberty to contract a new marriage; and the same liberty is allowed to the husbands.  Some say that the Mahometans have usually five or six wives, but as far as I could learn they have only two or three.  They eat openly in the markets or fairs, and there they cook all their food, living on the flesh, of horses, camels, buffaloes, goats, and other beasts, and use great quantities of fresh cheese.  Those who sell milk drive flocks of forty or fifty she-goats through the streets, which they bring to the doors of those who buy, driving them even into their chambers, though three stories high, where the animals are milked, so that every one gets their milk fresh and unadulterated.  These goats have their ears a span long, and are very fruitful.  They use many mushrooms, as there are often seen at one time 20 or 30 camels loaded with mushrooms coming to market, and yet all are sold in two or three days.  These are brought from the mountains of Armenia, and from Asia Minor, now called Turkey, Natolia, or Anatolia.  The Mahometans use long loose vestures both of silk and cloth, most having hose or trowsers of cotton, and white shoes or slippers.  When any Mahometan happens to meet a Mameluke, even though the worthier person, he must give place and reverence to the Mameluke, who would otherwise beat him with a staff.  Though often ill used by the Mahometans, the Christians have many warehouses in Damascus, where they sell various kinds of silks and velvets, and other commodities.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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