Lady Mary Montague Essay

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Lady Mary Wortley Montagu Lady Mary Wortley Montague came into the Turkish baths with certain assumptions but was pleasantly surprised when her assumption walking into the bagnio was wrong. Having nothing but her own personal experiences within the European court to set her expectations prior to participating in the Turkish baths, having the chance to live through this experience opened Lady Mary’s eyes as to how different societies can treat one another. Montague seemed to describe the baths in awe when she arrived. The sense of calmness and serenity surrounded her. Walking into such a place where you are not accustomed to the sunlit, stone domes or rooms paved with fountains “[F]alling first into marble basins, and then running on the floor in little channels made for that purpose, which carried the streams in to the next room” (101) would make one want to really see what such a place would have to offer. Walking into the bagnio, Lady Mary was in an extraordinary riding dress but received no sense of admiration or curiosity. Instead, she walked in “[W]ith all the obliging civility possible” (101) and received a level of politeness that she was not used to from her homeland : “I know no European court where the ladies would have behaved themselves in so polite a manner to such a stranger. I believe there were two hundred women, and yet none of those disdainful smiles, or satiric whispers that never fail in our assemblies, when anybody appears that is not dressed exactly in the fashion. They repeated over and over to me, Uzelle, pek uzelle, which is nothing but Charming, very charming” (101). Although there was a couch where ladies sat on sofas with cushions and rich carpets and their slaves sitting behind them on a second couch, there was no “[D]istiction of rank by their dress, all being in the state of nature, that is, in plain English, stark naked,

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