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 1719