Montesquieu

Usbek to Solim in the sera­glio in Isfahan


I place a sword in your hand. To you I entrust that which is pre­sently dea­rest to me on earth, which is my ven­geance. Assume this new employ, but bring to it nei­ther heart nor pity. I am wri­ting to my wives to obey you blindly ; in the tur­moil of so many cri­mes, they will fall before your gaze. To you I must owe my hap­pi­ness and tran­quillity : make my sera­glio as I left it, but purge it first ; exter­mi­nate the guilty, and make those who had in mind to do the same to trem­ble. What can you not anti­ci­pate from your mas­ter for such signal ser­vi­ces ? It is in your power to rise even above your condi­tion and all the rewards you have ever desi­red.

Paris this 4th day of the moon of Chahban 17191

In reply to two letters (143-144) which he must have received at the same time, Usbek writes three the same day (145-147).