Lady Montagu in Turkish Dress, by Jean-Étienne Liotard, ca. 1756 (Łazienki Palace, Warsaw).
Human understanding is as much limited as human power or human strength. The memory can retain but a certain number of languages, and ‘tis as impossible for one human creature to be perfect master of ten different languages as to have in perfect subjection ten different kingdoms, or to fight against ten men at a time. I am afraid I shall at last know none as I should do. I live in a place that very well represents the Tower of Babel; in Pera they speak Turkish, Greek, Hebrew, Armenian, Arabic, Persian, Russian, Slavonian, Walachian, German, Dutch, French, English, Italian, Hungarian; and, what is worse, there is ten of these languages spoke in my own family. My grooms are Arabs, my footmen French, English and Germans, my nurse an Armenian, my housemaids Russians, half a dozen other servants Greek, my steward an Italian, my janissaries Turks, that I live in the perpetual hearing of this medley of sounds, which produces a very extraordinary effect upon the people that are born here.
from Turkish Embassy Letters (1718)