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icate, and has been very ill. He also showed us his little boy, carried in by his old mother. The wetnurse (a black woman) was also presented to us, with her own boy, twelve months old, standing by her; and when we said she could not be a good nurse for both, he told her, sans gêne, to open her dress, and let us judge for ourselves if she had not enough food for the baby! Altogether the interior of the families here is very different from any thing one ever heard of. The wife still seems to be, what she was originally, a slave; and her chief, and, indeed, only merit seems to be her implicit obedience. However, in this country the man may separate from his wife when he pleases, with or without any reason, if he thinks her dgly, or disagreeable in any way; for instance, snoring, or grinding her teeth in her sleep, would give him a right to a divorce! Abdel Kader Bey is also a great favorite among us all, being most amiable and good-tempered. He speaks German, having been for eight years at a college in Vienna, but no other language that we could understand; and we have not made any progress in Arabic, which, indeed, it seems impossible to learn.
From his house we went to pay a visit to our Captain, Achmet Bey, who lives beyond the Kazr-el-Nil. When we arrived he was praying, and could not come
Captain Achmet Bey's Wife.
to us, but his wife soon appeared, and received us most heartily and warmly, kissing both the Princess and myself most violently. She was really very pretty indeed, with a dark complexion and a pretty nose, lovely teeth and mouth, and the real Eastern eyes and face. She is the only pretty woman I have as yet seen here, but rather fat. Very smartly dress-ed, in a sort of violet silk dress, woven with gold, and trowsers of the same, the skirt of the dress looped up to the sides; with a pearl necklace, diamonds on her head, as well as earrings and brooches. She was very nice, and had very pleasant manners, but could not speak any thing but her own tongue, yet she never ceased talking! Her husband arrived a few minutes after, and seemed most delighted and proud to show her to us.
She also sent for her baby, a two-months' old little boy, and at once settled him down for a
meal, no further preparations being necessary, as the • gown was not even fastened in front, just only a little
drapery! Certainly these people do not know the meaning of the word shyness, which is in such contradiction to their religious scruples about ever showing their faces to a man! She showed us some embroidery of her own work, and gave us some of it.
When we returned home we found the Prince waiting for us, as it was already 7.30, and Colonel
and Mrs. Stanton, Sir Henry Pelly, and Major Alison had been asked to dinner at seven o'clock. After dinner we talked together till about eleven o'clock, when we went to bed. Lord Huntly and Lord Gosford had arrived from India, and came after dinner.
March 23. This being the first day of the Beiram, a great feast here, we got up early and dressed in our best, the gentlemen in uniform. The latter went at a quarter to ten to pay a visit to the Viceroy, and it is the custom on this day for every body to go and pay their respects to his Highness in full uniform; while the Princess, Mrs. Stanton, Miss McLean, myself, and Abdel Kader Bey, started at 10.30 to pay a visit to la Grande Princesse, the Viceroy's mother, who holds a sort of drawing-room in the harem. We drove through the garden, which was now quite lovely—one mass of flowers, and far prettier than when we were here last. We were received at the entrance by the Viceroy's eldest son, and inside a great number of slaves who were waiting for us. The harem band played in the hall, and slaves in their best and smartest dresses lined all the way up to the room where we found the Princess. We sat down, and had coffee and pipes as on our last visit. Soon after, the second and third Princesses arrived, dressed to-day almost quite like Europeans. Their dresses were of a
Visit to the Viceroy's Harem.
sort of beautiful chiné silk, the bodies made exactly in the French fashion, and the skirts looped up, so as to show the wide trowsers underneath. They really looked very pretty, and both cheerful and happy. They had very few but very handsome jewels on. The fourth wife, mother of the Crown Prince, was there also. Besides these Princesses, there were the Viceroy's daughters, and a great many other ladiesamong them a daughter of Mehemet Ali, the widow of Said Pasha—who all came to pay their respects. On entering the room they made the usual salaam and gestures with the hands, and courtesies to the old Princess, after which they all sat down in a row. The usual sort of conversation now began through the interpreting of the young Prince, consisting of questions as to how the Princess had liked her journey, about her children, etc., and then little civil speeches were exchanged about their mutual delight in seeing each other again. Presently some wonderful music began from a singer that had a great reputation here, þut who, to my taste, was simply awful. She was covered with jewels, and was by way of being handsome. The old Princess thinks so much of her singing that she has given her a large estate !
We were asked to go up stairs to see the room prepared for the wedding of the Viceroy's eldest daughter. This was, indeed, a very curious sight. The walls were covered with artificial flowers — long wreaths that looked as if they grew out of the panels, and which spread their branches all over the walls. The ceiling was hung with draperies of tarlatan, in brilliant colors, with silver tassels and feathers. All round the walls the most extraordinary children's toys were put up on small brackets—wooden horses, tin soldiers, and beasts of all kinds; in short, a regular collection of German playthings; and this seemed to be what they all most admired! The carpet was spread over with little gold spangles. A sort of dais, with three large white and gold chairs, was built up for the bride and two of the Princesses.
We then went back to the old Princess down stairs, and the Prince, having sent in to say that he had arrived to fetch away the Princess, we soon left, after coffee and pipes had again been handed round. The Princesses took us to the garden gate, and seemed much amused when the Princess tried, by signs, to persuade them to come out with her and see the Prince. He and the gentlemen had been smoking in another room. Their coming to the palace in this manner is looked upon as a piece of civility or etiquette, though, of course, they never see the Prin