Read more Read more

Persian Letters. vol. 2 by Charles de Secondat baron de Montesquieu, John Davidson, Edouard de Beaumon, Letter LXXXII. Moscow, 1715





 

  •  Of all the nations of the world, my dear Usbek, none has excelled that of the Tartars in the splendour and magnitude of its conquests. This people is the veritable ruler of the earth: all the others seem to be intended for its service; it is alike the founder and the destroyer of empires; in all times, it has afforded the world signs of its prowess; in every age it has been the scourge of the nations. Twice the Tartars conquered China, and they still keep it in subjection.They rule over those vast territories which form the Mogul’s empire.
  • Masters of Persia, they sit upon the throne of Cyrus and Hystaspes. They have subdued Muscovy. Under the name of Turksthey have made immense conquests in EuropeAsia, and Africa; and they are the dominant power in these three quarters of the earth. In more remote times, from them issued forth some of those races who overthrew the Roman empire. What are the conquests of Alexander compared with those of Zenghis Khan? Nothing is wanting to this victorious nation except historians to celebrate its achievements. What immortal deeds have been buried in oblivion! Of how many empires founded by them is the origin unknown to us! This warlike nation occupied exclusively with its immediate glory, and certain of conquest in every age, gave no thought to the commemoration of its fame.