XVI.14 On the government of the household in the Orient

A man chan­ges wives so often in the Orient that they can­not be in charge of the hou­se­hold. It is the­re­fore the eunuchs who do that : they are given all the keys, and they have the dis­po­si­tion of the hou­se­hold busi­ness. In Persia, says Mr. Chardin, women are given their clo­thing, as chil­dren would be.1 Thus this duty that seems to suit them so well, this duty which eve­ryw­here else is the first of their duties, is no concern of theirs.

[In the original there are quotation marks here, but it is in fact a paraphrase, as these exact words are not found in Chardin’s text.]