Montesquieu

Usbek to Pharan in the Fatmé gar­dens


Rejoice, and reco­gnize these sacred let­ters ; have the grand eunuch kiss them, and the inten­dant of my gar­dens : I for­bid them to lay a hand on you before my return. Tell them to buy the eunuch who is lacking.1 Fulfill your duty, as if you always had me wat­ching you, for be sure that the more my mer­cies are great, the more you shall be puni­shed, if you abuse them.

Paris this 25th day of the moon of Rhegeb 17132

Already in letter 25 Usbek’s confidence in his eunuchs, as in his wives, seemed uncertain.

This letter, which is a reply to the two previous ones, arrives six months and eighteen days later, the longest such interval in the novel. There must be delays in transmission, or else Usbek waited some time before replying. See the beginning of letter 65.