Fiction > Montesquieu > Persian Letters
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Montesquieu (1689–1755).  Persian Letters.  1901.
 
Letter CLIII
Usbek to Solim, at the Seraglio at Ispahan
 
I PLACE the sword in your hand. I intrust you with what is now to me the dearest thing in the world, my vengeance, to wit. In entering upon this new employment, banish all feeling, all pity. I have written to my wives to obey you implicitly; in their guilty confusion, they will sink down at your glance. I must owe to you my happiness and my peace of mind. Give me back my seraglio as I left it. Begin by purifying 1 it; exterminate the guilty, and make those quake with fear who are inclined to become so. What may you not expect from your master for such signal services? It only remains with yourself to obtain a position far above your present one, and above anything you have ever hoped for.

  PARIS, the 4th of the moon of Chahban, 1719.
  1
 
Note 1. Expier in the original. It is used again by Montesquieu in this unusual sense in L’Esprit des Lois. [back]
 
 
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