There is much theatre in the Turkish bath. Bathers entering
Nevilís London establishments are encouraged to exchange reality for the
world of the imagination.
This is a TEMPLE OF HEALTH and therefore there is an atmosphere of
Peace and Silence, broken only by the soothing sounds of splashing
leave the World and its Noise and Bustle behind you. You enter an
Atmosphere of Repose. Let the spirit of the place enter your mind.
the protagonist in Guy Thorneís novel When it was dark sees the London
Hammam as providing a necessary scene-change.
physical warmth, the silence, the dim lights and Oriental
decorations induced a supreme sense of comfort and bien Ítre.
It brought Constantinople back to him in vague reverie.
Perhaps, he thought, the Hammam in London is the only easy way to
obtain a sudden and absolute change of environment. Nothing else
brings detachment so readily, is so instinct with change and the
There is also much of
performance in the taking of a Turkish bath.
Gordon Stables, pseudonymous author of the Medicus column on health
matters in the Girls own paper, knowingly states in his little book on
the Turkish bath that,
Taken simply for enjoyment, a man never fails to cherish the memory
of his first bath, as does a maiden that of her first ball.
of the bathís proselytisers, Stables self-evidently proved his own
Next to the pleasure of enjoying the Anglo-Turkish bath oneself,
in propri‚ person‚, is that of hearing someone dilate on its
merits. And few who have ever tried it, will be found unwilling to
expatiate freely on the topic of Turkish bathing.
who so dilated and expatiated, were not averse to making of the bath a
prize for one who had been initiated into its mysteries.
then to the frigidarium, or cool chamber, where, still clothed in
warm towels, he sips coffee, smokes a narghilet, and indulges in
beatific sensations which only those can know who have passed
through the three purgatories of the bath.
It follows that the
uninitiated require guidance.
companionship of a habituť is almost a sine qua non if you
want to get the best results. He knows the ropes. You cannot
and do not. Be advised by this very practical hint if you are a
novice to the Ritual, for such it is.
4. The ritual of the towels