Letter 23

, par Stewart

Usbek to Ibben in Smyrna

I have received a letter from your nephew Rhedi : he informs me that he is leaving Smyrna in order to see Italy ; that the sole aim of his journey is to acquire learning, and thereby make himself more worthy of you. I congratulate you on having a nephew who will some day be the comfort of your old age.

Rica is writing you a long letter ; he has told me he spoke to you much about this country. Thanks to his lively mind he grasps everything quickly. I who think more slowly am not in a position to tell you anything. [1]

You are the subject of our most affectionate conversations. We cannot say enough about the fine welcome you gave us in Smyrna and the services which your friendship renders us every day. May you, generous Ibben, find friends everywhere as grateful and faithful as we are !

May we meet again soon, and experience again the happy days that pass so agreeably between two friends ! Adieu.

Paris this 4th day of the moon of Rebiab II, 1712


[1On the age difference between Usbek and Rica, see letter 25. Rica’s “lively spirit” and “natural gaiety” will again be evoked in letter 46.