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us? Why should they not serve us with whatever we call for, and
afterwards sit down and eat up what we leave? If they commit faults, why
should they not suffer correction? It is their business only to bring up
our children, pound our rice, make our oil, and do every other kind of
drudgery, purposes to which only their low and inferior natures are
The Circassian custom of breeding young girls, on purpose to be sold in
the public market to the highest bidder, is generally known. Perhaps,
however, upon minute examination, we shall find that women are, in some
degree, bought and sold in every country, whether savage or civilized.
The women of the East, have in general, always exhibited the same
appearance. Their manners, customs, and fashions, unalterable like their
rocks, have stood the test of many revolving ages. Though the kingdoms
of their country have often changed masters, though they have submitted
to the arms of almost every invader, yet the laws by which their sex are
governed and enslaved, have never been revised nor amended.
Had the manners and customs of the Asiatic women been subject to the
same changes as they are in Europe, we might have expected the same
changes in the sentiments and writings of their men. But, as this is not
the case, we have reason to presume that the sentiments entertained by
Solomon, by the apocryphal writers, and by the ancient Bramins, are the
sentiments of this day.
Though the confinement of women be an unlawful exertion of superior
power, yet it affords a proof that the inhabitants of the East are
advanced some degrees farther in civilization than mere savages, who
have hardly any love and consequently as little jealousy.
This confinement is not very rigid in the empire of the Mogul. It is,
perhaps, less so in China, and in Japan hardly exists.
Though women are confined in the Turkish empire, they experience every
other indulgence. They are allowed, at stated times, to go to the public
baths; their apartments are richly, if not elegantly furnished; they
have a train of female slaves to serve and amuse them; and their persons
are adorned with every costly ornament which their fathers or husbands
Notwithstanding the strictness of confinement in Persia, their women are
treated with several indulgences. They are allowed a variety of precious
liquors, costly perfumes, and beautiful slaves: their apartments are
furnished with the most elegant hangings and carpets; their persons
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