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Montesquieu (1689–1755).  Persian Letters.  1901.
 
Letter CXXIV
Usbek to the Mollah Mehemet Ali, Guardian of the Three Tombs, at Koum
 
TO what end are the fasts of the imans, and the sackcloth of the mollahs? The hand of God has twice lain heavy upon the children of the law: the sun has obscured his beams and seems to shine only upon their overthrow: their armies assemble to be dispersed like dust.  1
  The empire of the Osmanli is shaken by two defeats more disastrous than it ever experienced before. A Christian Mufti supports it with great difficulty: the grand vizier of Germany 1 is the scourge of God, sent to chastise the followers of Omar; he carries everywhere the wrath of Heaven, enraged at their rebellion and their treachery.  2
  Holy spirit of the imans, thou weepest night and day over the children of the Prophet, whom the detestable Omar misled: thy bowels are moved at the sight of their misfortunes: thou desirest their conversion, and not their perdition: thou wouldst have them united under the standard of Hali through the tears of the saints; and not scattered among the mountains and the deserts through terror of the infidels.

  PARIS, the 1st of the moon of Chalval, 1718.
  3
 
Note 1. Prince Eugene, who defeated the Turks at Peterwardein, took Belgrade in 1717, and concluded the advantageous peace of Passarowitz in 1718. [back]
 
 
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