Usbek to Ibben in Smyrna
As soon as an important person dies, people assemble in a mosque, and they deliver his funeral oration, which is a speech in his praise, by which one would be hard pressed to determine truthfully the merit of the deceased.
I would like to ban funeral ceremonies : men should be mourned at their birth, and not at their death. What good are the ceremonies and the all the dismal paraphernalia placed before a dying man in his final moments,  even the tears of his family, and the grief of his friends, except to exaggerate to him the loss he will suffer ?
We are so blind that we do not know when we should grieve or rejoice : almost all our sorrows or joys are false.
When I see the Mogul,  who goes foolishly every year and steps onto a scale to be weighed like an ox  ; when I see people rejoice that their prince has become more material, in other words less able to govern them, Ibben, I pity human extravagance.
Paris this 20th day of the moon of Rhegeb 1713