Fiction > Montesquieu > Persian Letters
Montesquieu (1689–1755).  Persian Letters.  1901.
Letter IV
Zephis to Usbek, at Erzeroum
AT length the black monster has resolved to drive me to despair. He is absolutely determined to deprive me of my slave, Zelida—Zelida, who serves me with such affection, and at whose magical touch new charms appear. Nor is he satisfied with the pangs this separation causes me; he is bent on my dishonor. The wretch pretends to treat as criminal the motives of my confidence, and because he was weary of standing behind the door, where I always tell him to wait, he dares to imagine that he heard or saw things which my fancy cannot even conceive. I am very unhappy! Neither my isolation nor my virtue can secure me from his preposterous suspicions. A vile slave would drive me from your heart, and I am called on to defend myself even in your bosom!—But no; I am too proud to justify myself: you alone shall vouch for my behavior—your love and my love, and—need I say it, dear Usbek?—my tears.

  THE SERAGLIO AT FATME, the 29th of the moon of Maharram, 1711.

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