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Grélois, Jean-Pierre (ed.): Dr John Covel. Voyages en Turquie 1675-1677. Paris, Lethielleux, 1998.

 

 

Ramazan in Magnesia (Manesia)

 

 

Dr John Covel - Asia Minor, 1675-1677

At night we went to severall of their coffehouses, which here are not put down yet; but severall hundreds may meet together, as I think at least that number was in one of greatest. There it was Ramazan, and they were all open till past midnight. Though they are so strickt as neither to eat nor drink all day, yet I perceive all is but a shew of piety. For here the greatest part of the night they spend here in seing puppet playes and lascivious dancing, and hearing most beastly bawdy songs. Their puppets they expose not (I suppose as thinking it some kind of idolatry), but by the light of a candle shew their shadowes through a peice of tiffany or Trabezond cloth. But never did I see such bawdery and nastinesse in my life, and yet set out so loggerheadlike as is impossible to imagine. The pugianello comes in with a boble alwayes as big and as long as his arme, with a bump at the end to shew him true Mussleman (circumcised), and this puppet Turk acts all the bawdery and villany with women, boyes, beasts in specie that the others think, approve, and act in others in good earnest. But too much of that to their shame. That night I lost my horse.

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