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having dressed and put on his ornaments, should interview the women of
the harem, who should also be dressed and decorated with jewels. Then
having given to each of them such a place and such respect as may suit
the occasion and as they may deserve, he should carry on with them a
cheerful conversation. After that he should see such of his wives as may
be virgin widows re-married, and after them the concubines and dancing
girls. All of these should be visited in their own private rooms.
When the King rises from his noonday sleep, the woman whose duty it is
to inform the King regarding the wife who is to spend the night with him
should come to him accompanied by the female attendants of that wife
whose turn may have arrived in the regular course, and of her who may
have been accidentally passed over as her turn arrived, and of her who
may have been unwell at the time of her turn. These attendants should
place before the King the ointments and unguents sent by each of these
wives, marked with the seal of her ring, and their names and their
reasons for sending the ointments should be told to the King. After this
the King accepts the ointment of one of them, who then is informed that
her ointment has been accepted, and that her day has been settled.
At festivals, singing parties and exhibitions, all the wives of the King
should be treated with respect and served with drinks.
But the women of the harem should not be allowed to go out alone,
neither should any women outside the harem be allowed to enter it except
those whose character is well known. And lastly the work which the
King's wives have to do should not be too fatiguing.
Thus ends the conduct of the King towards the women of the harem, and of
their own conduct.
A man marrying many wives should act fairly towards them all. He should
neither disregard nor pass over their faults, and should not reveal to
one wife the love, passion, bodily blemishes, and confidential
reproaches of the other. No opportunity should be given to any one of
them of speaking to him about their rivals, and if one of them should
begin to speak ill of another, he should chide her and tell her that she
has exactly the same blemishes in her character. One of them he should
please by secret confidence, another by secret respect, and another by
secret flattery, and he should please them all by going to gardens, by
amusements, by presents, by honouring their relations, by telling them
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