Fiction > Montesquieu > Persian Letters
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Montesquieu (1689–1755).  Persian Letters.  1901.
 
Letter V
Rustan to Usbek, at Erzeroum
 
YOU are the one subject of conversation at Ispahan; nothing is talked of but your departure: some ascribe it to a giddy spirit, others to some heavy affliction; your friends are your only defenders, and they make no converts. People fail to understand why you should forsake your wives, your relations, your friends, and your native country, to visit lands of which Persians know nothing. Rica’s mother is inconsolable; she wants her son again, whom, she declares, you have decoyed away. As for me, my dear Usbek, I am, of course, anxious to approve of all your actions; but I do not see how I am to pardon your absence, and, however good your reasons may be, my heart will never appreciate them.

  ISPAHAN, the 28th of the first moon of Rebiab, 1 1711.
  1
 
Note 1. Rabi means “the spring” in Persian. Rabi-ul-awal, “the first (month) of spring,” is the third of the Persian year. [back]
 
 
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