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Montesquieu (1689–1755).  Persian Letters.  1901.
 
Letter XXVII
Usbek to Nessir, at Ispahan
 
WE are now at Paris, that proud rival of the city of the sun. 1  1
  When I left Smyrna, I commissioned my friend Ibben to forward to you a box, containing some presents for you, which you will receive along with this letter. Although I am five or six hundred leagues distant from him, we exchange news as easily as if he were at Ispahan and I at Koum. I send my letters to Marseilles, whence vessels are constantly sailing for Smyrna: from Smyrna he dispatches those destined for Persia by the Armenian caravans which start every day for Ispahan.  2
  Rica enjoys the best of health: the strength of his constitution, his youth, and his natural gayety enable him to pass unhurt through every ordeal.  3
  I, however, am far from well; depressed both in body and mind, I surrender myself to reflections which become daily more melancholy. My impaired health makes me long for my own land, and adds to the strangeness of this one.  4
  But I conjure you, dear Nessir, on no account to let my wives know how depressed I am. If they love me, I would spare their tears; and if not, I have no desire to increase their frowardness.  5
  If my eunuchs believed me in danger, if they dared to hope that a base compliance would pass unpunished, they would soon cease to be deaf to the seductive voice of that sex, which can melt rocks, and move inanimate things.  6
  Farewell, Nessir. It is a great happiness to me that I can confide in you.

  PARIS, the 5th of the moon of Chahban, 1712.
  7
 
Note 1. Ispahan.—(M.) [back]
 
 
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