Montesquieu

Pharan1 to Usbek, his sove­reign lord


If you were here, magni­fi­cent lord, I would come before you all cove­red in white paper, and there still would not be enough to write down all the aggres­sions of your prin­ci­pal black eunuch, the most vicious of all men, against me since you left.

On pre­text of some sati­ri­cal remarks which he pre­tends I made over the mis­for­tune of his condi­tion, he is taking impla­ca­ble ven­geance on me ; he has pro­vo­ked against me the cruel inten­dant of your gar­dens, who since your depar­ture assi­gns me to insur­moun­ta­ble labors, in which I have a thou­sand times expec­ted to expire, without losing for a minute my eager­ness to serve you. How often have I said to myself : I have a mas­ter full of gent­le­ness, and I am the most wret­ched slave there is on earth !

I confess, magni­fi­cent lord, that I did not think I was des­ti­ned for grea­ter mise­ries ; but this black­guard of a eunuch has tried to push his cruelty to the maxi­mum. A few days ago, on his own autho­rity, he assi­gned me to the guard of your sacred wives, in other words to an exe­cu­tion that would be for me a thou­sand times more cruel than death. Those who at birth have had the mis­for­tune of recei­ving such treat­ment from their cruel parents per­haps console them­sel­ves by the fact that they have never known any other state than theirs ; but that I should be made to come down from huma­nity, and be depri­ved of it, I should die of grief if I did not die from that but­chery.

I embrace your feet, sublime lord, in deep humi­lity : allow me to feel the effects of that much-res­pec­ted vir­tue, and let it not be said that by your order there is one more mise­ra­ble per­son on earth.

From the Fatmé Gardens this 7th day of the moon of Maharram 1713

This letter and the following contain the only mentions of this character in the novel.