Supplementary Letter II

, par Stewart

Jaron to the principal eunuch [1]

The farther Usbek travels from the seraglio, the more he turns his head toward his sacred wives. He sighs, he sheds tears ; his grief becomes bitter and his suspicions are reinforced. He wants to increase the number of their guards. He is going to send me back, with all the blacks who accompany him. He no longer fears for himself : he fears for what is a thousand times dearer to him than himself.

I am therefore to live under your rule, and share your duties. Ye gods, how much the contentment of a single man requires !

Nature seemed to have placed women in dependency, and freed them from it. Disorder used to arise between the two sexes, because their rights were reciprocal. We have entered the level of a new harmony : we have put loathing between the wives and us ; and love between men and their wives.

My brow is about to become stern. I shall let fall dark gazes. Joy shall flee my lips. The outside will be tranquil, and the spirit uneasy. I shall not await the wrinkles of age to manifest its anxieties. [2]

I would enjoyed following my master to the Occident : but my will belongs to him. He wants me to guard his wives : I shall guard them faithfully. I know how I am to behave with that sex, who, when we do not allowed them to be vain, begin to grow arrogant ; and I know it is less easy to humiliate than to obliterate. I fall under your gaze.

Smyrna this 12th day of the moon of Zilcadé 1711

Letter 21


[1Letter first published in 1758.

[2One of the effects of the addition of this letter, which responds to Supplementary Letter I, is to reinforce not only the awareness of antipathy between wives and eunuchs, but of the intrinsic unhappiness in the very condition of the eunuchs.