Fiction > Voltaire > Candide, or The Optimist

François Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694–1778).  Candide, or The Optimist.  1884.
Chapter X
In what distress Candide, Cunegund, and the Old Woman arrive at Cadiz; and of their Embarkation
“WHO could it be that has robbed me of my moidores and jewels?” exclaimed Miss Cunegund, all bathed in tears. “How shall we live? what shall we do? where shall I find Inquisitors and Jews who can give me more?” “Alas!” said the old woman, “I have a shrewd suspicion of a reverend Father Cordelier, who lay last night in the same inn with us at Badajoz. God forbid I should condemn any one wrongfully, but he came into our room twice, and he set off in the morning long before us.” “Alas!” said Candide, “Pangloss has often demonstrated to me that the goods of this world are common to all men, and that every one has an equal right to the enjoyment of them; but according to these principles, the Cordelier ought to have left us enough to carry us to the end of our journey. Have you nothing at all left, my dear Miss Cunegund?” “Not a sous,” replied she. “What is to be done, then?” said Candide. “Sell one of the horses,” replied the old woman. “I will get behind Miss Cunegund, though I have only one side to ride on; and we shall reach Cadiz, never fear.”  1
  In the same inn there was a Benedictine friar, who bought the horse very cheap. Candide, Cunegund, and the old woman, after passing through Lucina, Chellas, and Letrixa, arrived at length at Cadiz. A fleet was then getting ready, and troops were assembling, in order to reduce the reverend fathers Jesuits of Paraguay, who were accused of having excited one of the Indian tribes in the neighbourhood of the town of the Holy Sacrament, to revolt against the kings of Spain and Portugal. Candide, having been in the Bulgarian service, performed the military exercise of that nation before the general of this little army with so intrepid an air, and with such agility and expedition, that he gave him the command of a company of foot. Being now made a captain, he embarks with Miss Cunegund, the old woman, two valets, and the two Andalusian horses which had belonged to the Grand Inquisitor of Portugal.  2
  During their voyage they amused themselves with many profound reasonings on poor Pangloss’s philosophy. “We are now going into another world, and surely it must be there that everything is best; for I must confess that we have had some little reason to complain of what passes in ours, both as to the physical and moral part. Though I have a sincere love for you,” said Miss Cunegund, “yet I still shudder at the reflection of what I have seen and experienced.” “All will be well,” replied Candide. “The sea of this new world is already better than our European seas; it is smoother, and the winds blow more regularly.” “God grant it,” said Cunegund. “But I have met with such terrible treatment in this that I have almost lost all hopes of a better.” “What murmuring and complaining is here indeed!” cried the old woman. “If you had suffered half what I have done there might be some reason for it.” Miss Cunegund could scarce refrain from laughing at the good old woman, and thought it droll enough to pretend to a greater share of misfortunes than herself. “Alas! my good dame,” said she, “unless you had been ravished by two Bulgarians, had received two deep wounds in your body, had seen two of your own castles demolished, had lost two fathers and two mothers, and seen both of them barbarously murdered before your eyes, and, to sum up all, had two lovers whipped at an auto-da-fé, I cannot see how you could be more unfortunate than I. Add to this, though born a baroness, and bearing seventy-two quarterings, I have been reduced to a cook-wench.” “Miss,” replied the old woman, “you do not know my family as yet; but if I were to show you everything, you would not talk in this manner, but suspend your judgment.” This speech raised a high curiosity in Candide and Cunegund, and the old woman continued as follows.  3

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