Any reader of Claudio Monteverdi's Letters, if he opens them hoping to learn something about the great man's take on art and music, is bound to be disappointed: the Letters contain nothing but matters of jobs, appointments and vacancies, promotions, pay, arrears, pay increase requests (usually rejected), reimbursement of job-related expenses, etc.
In this, it turns out, Monteverdi's Letters are universal. This is the typical artist prose.
Take this folio, signed by Muzaffar-'Ali, 1b of manuscript R. 957, at the Topkapi library, addressed to his sponsor, the great Bahram Mirza, a famous patron of books and younger brother of Shah Tahmasp (the one who, having stopped drinking coffee in his old age lost his mind, says Orhan Pamuk, and dispersed his atelier):
The beautifully dressed youth is Muzaffar-'Ali himself. And this is what he holds in his hand:
The calligraphy reads:
Your servant, Muzaffar-'Ali, would like to bring to Your Highness's attention that it is known to Your Highness that the wages of this humble one while working for Your Highness were six tuman and now they are three tuman, and this situation has deeply distressed this humble one.
It then trails off:
Whatever Your Highness command...