Fiction > Montesquieu > Persian Letters
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Montesquieu (1689–1755).  Persian Letters.  1901.
 
Letter CXLVII
The Chief Eunuch to Usbek, at Paris
 
THINGS have come to such a pass here that it is not to be endured; your wives imagine that your departure exempts them from all restraint; there has been most atrocious behavior: I myself tremble at the harrowing story I am about to tell.  1
  Some days ago Zelis, on her way to the mosque, let her veil fall, and appeared before the people with her face almost wholly uncovered.  2
  I found Zachi in bed with one of her maids, a thing absolutely forbidden by the laws of seraglio.  3
  I intercepted, by the merest chance in the world, a letter which I send you: I have never been able to discover to whom it was sent.  4
  Yesterday evening a young fellow was observed in the garden of the seraglio; he made his escape over the wall.  5
  Add to this all that has not come to my knowledge; for you are certainly betrayed. I await your orders; and until the happy moment of their receipt, I shall be in a state of intolerable anxiety. But, if you do not leave all these women to my discretion, I will not be responsible for one of them, and will have news as heartrending to send you every day.

  THE SERAGLIO AT ISPAHAN, the 1st of the moon of Rhegeb, 1717.
  6
 
 
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