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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 50

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new Muslim, and the festival ends with a sumptuous dinner. Women make a simple confession of faith, as above. As I am going to speak of the marriage of Turks, let me say something first of their loves. It is quite clear that Turkish men cannot indulge in amorous converse with women, the latter being always well guarded in their houses, and not even when they are betrothed are the lovers allowed to meet, or to see each other before the wedding day. They contrive how-ever to make a lively and even extravagant show of their passion. They often pass under the windows of the loved one, singing songs, and brandishing an unsheathed khanjar or knife. Then they put the point to their arms or breast, drive it into the flesh, and as they draw it out enlarge the wound. If the lady does not notice these affectionate demonstrations her lover is satisfied with being able to show her later the scars. Even the Greeks, who have copied many of the Turkish customs, are guilty sometimes of like childishness. What the women do is unseen. Turks can take wives of three kinds, with whom they may consort; legitimate wives, whom they marry; Kebin, whom they hire ; and slaves, whom they buy. The legitimate wives whom they must marry, and cannot see until they do marry, may be four in number, whom they may have at one time, and in the same house. The Qazi, who acts on these occasions as notary, registers the contract of marriage. One of its chief and invariable conditions is the assignment to the bride of a dowry, although the portion she brings her husband be little or nothing. After this the bride-groom goes on horseback, accompanied by a festive crowd of relations and friends, to pray in the mosque, where the Imam confirms the contract with his blessing. When these acts, which are considered of Divine obligation, are completed the bride is led to the bridegroom's house, covered with a veil. On his return from the mosque he removes this veil, in token that so he will remove the reproach of her sex, and then leaves 46 Concerning the City of Nicosia, Capital [CH.

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