persian letters characters

Zélis let her veil fall on the way to the mosque, so that other people saw her face. Jaron is upset at being told to return to guard the Seraglio. Two days after his death, a letter for the Chief Eunuch arrived. Usbek, voyaging in a strange land, is experiencing doubt. Narsit congratulates himself on running a well-ordered seraglio and mentions that the slave sent to retrieve the letter from Usbek from some Armenian merchants was robbed: the letter was taken (suggesting that the woman to whom it was written has influence outside the seraglio). They hang out in the Tuileries and habitually prognosticate about politics and military matters.

But more powerful still is the Pope, who can make the King believe that three and one are the same number, that bread is not bread, and that wine is blood.

Persia itself may be in danger from the Mongol hordes. Letter 68: Rica (Paris) to Usbek (elsewhere). Some of the books are interpretations of the Scriptures, so Rica thinks there must no longer be many doubts about religion. An editor

But Roxana and Zélis were anxious to visit, and judging by the last letter the reader can deduce that each of them has a lover there.
He also says it was most likely Zélis who was supposed to receive the letter. Letter 30: Rica (Paris) to Ibben (Smyrna).

This is interesting new information for the reader. Usbek notices that the Christians he’s met have a vast difference between profession and belief, between belief and conviction, and between conviction and practice. This summary is based on the John Davidson translation, published in 1899 by Gibbings & Co., London. Mirza is unsatisfied with the mollahs’ religiously inspired answer. A physician from a nearby country cured the Troglodites during a great plague, but they refused to pay him for his effort.

In closing, Rhedi reflects on a “happier time” or Golden Age in which everything was peaceful and simple. He also describes a man behaving irrationally and uttering nonsense, claiming that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost.

Usbek reprimands her for having been caught alone with the eunuch Nadir, and she nurses a hatred for the Chief Eunuch. Letter 44: Usbek (Paris) to Rhedi (Venice).

Letter 87: Rica (Paris) to an unknown person. So the justice and pro-social regard for other people’s well-being, which Usbek studiously ignores, is a virtue he preaches but does not seem to practice. This somehow robs Usbek of honor.

She then regarded him as an enemy who had outraged her, and for three months she could not look at him without blushing with what Usbek describes as modesty. He would far rather have continued traveling with Usbek toward the west. Besides having conquered China twice, they have subdued Muscovy, taken over much of the Mogul empire, and made conquests in Europe, Asia, and even Africa. Yet the books are chiefly explanations about what the authors believed, based on their interpretation. She is resigned to being treated poorly and like a criminal despite having done nothing wrong. He asks Usbek why he had to hear of it from somebody besides Usbek. They practiced subsistence farming, each planting only enough to satisfy himself. According to Usbek, but ironically to the modern reader, Paris is full of liberty and equality (fraternity, the third part of the goal of the French Revolution, not being mentioned).
At this point in his life, the Chief Eunuch regards all women with indifference. Usbek claims that all four women are equal in beauty, however Roxana is virtuous as well so he loves her better. Letter 106: Rhedi (Venice) to Usbek (Paris). He tells him to not tell his wives how depressed he is. Letter 125: Usbek (Paris) to Rhedi (Venice).

Usbek asks his cousin, who is a dervish, whether Christians might be proto-Muslims because of some similarities in belief and custom.

Usbek rebukes Narsit for not opening the letter to the Chief Eunuch. Accordingly, the other wrong for which Usbek rebukes Zachi might also be either imaginary or committed by some other woman.

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