What I learned today translating Eugene’s Memoirs: a harem attempted to rape Eugene.

This is from Book 1, page 44, of Eugene’s Memoirs:


“The first floor was occupied by the women composing the harem of Murad Bey; they were housed there as if in barracks. It was there that a grotesque and very embarrassing scene awaited me.

“At the sight of a being as new as I was for most of these women, they showed me the most unwelcome curiosity; they surrounded me, touched me, they wanted to grab and undo my clothes. They were feeling me to the utmost degree of indecency. In vain Madame Murad Bey ordered them to go away. In vain, I repelled them myself roughly enough. It was necessary to call in the eunuchs, who, rushing in at the behest of their mistress, beat these women so they would finally let go of me.”