Oriental harems and scenery
I can recall many days of the period of my sojourn in the East which possess for me a certain charm, notwithstanding the fatigue and excitement with which they were filled; days of painful journeyings alternating with still more painful stoppages that occurred between my departure from Anatolia in January, 1852, and my arrival at Jerusalem in the spring of that year. Within a few months l was able to observe the bright and dark sides of that oriental life of which a somewhat long residence in a quiet valley of Asia Minor had disclosed to me only the severest aspects. Of aIl the souvenirs bequeathed to mc by the Orient, there are none accordingly that l investigate with more cheerfulness than these, none that l yield to more readily when I strive to fix my ideas concerning the strange people amongst whom l was for a moment transported. A few episodes detached from this period of my life will perhaps justify the preference with which my thought now recurs to it. They will furthermore show, in certain particulars, the physiognomy of the populations which this journey permitted me to observe, and whereof the accounts up to this day made public gave me but a very faint idea.