Usbek to his Wives, at the Seraglio at Ispahan
I UNDERSTAND that the seraglio at Ispahan is in disorder, that it is full
of quarrels, and intestine divisions. At my departure did I not recommend
you to be at peace and maintain a good understanding?
You promised this; was it to deceive
It is you who will be deceived, if
I choose to follow the counsels of the chief eunuch; if I choose to employ
my authority to make you live as I exhorted you to do.
I do not, however, see why I should
make use of those violent means until I have tried all others. Do, then,
for your own sakes, what you have not cared to do for mine.
The first eunuch has a great subject
of complaint: he says that you pay no attention to him. How can
you harmonise that behaviour with the modesty which should belong to your
condition? Is not your virtue confided to him during my absence?
It is a sacred treasure, of which he is the guardian. But the contempt
with which you treat him, makes it apparent that those who are charged to
lead you in the paths of honour are irksome to you.
Change your behavior then, I beg you;
and see to it that I may be able still to reject the proposals which have
been made to me against your freedom and your tranquility.
For I wish you to forget that I am
your master, and to be remembered only as your husband.
Paris, the 5th of the moon of Chahban, 1714.