François Marie Arouet de Voltaire (16941778). Candide, or The Optimist. 1884.
In what manner Candide found Miss Cunegund and the Old Woman again
WHILE Candide, the Baron, Pangloss, Martin, and Cacambo were relating their several adventures, and reasoning on the contingent or non-contingent events of this world, on causes and effects, on moral and physical evil, on free-will and necessity, and on the consolation that may be felt by a person when a slave and chained to an oar in a Turkish galley, they arrived at the house of the Transylvanian prince on the coasts of the Propontis. The first objects they beheld there was Miss Cunegund and the old woman, who were hanging some table-cloths on a line to dry.
The Baron turned pale at the sight. Even the tender Candide, that affectionate lover, upon seeing his fair Cunegund all sun-burnt, with blear-eyes, a withered neck, wrinkled face and arms, all covered with a red scurf, started back with horror; but recovering himself, he advanced towards her out of good manners. She embraced Candide and her brother; they embraced the old woman, and Candide ransomed them both.
There was a small farm in the neighbourhood which the old woman proposed to Candide to make a shift with till the company should meet with a more favourable destiny. Cunegund, not knowing that she was grown ugly, as no one had informed her of it, reminded Candide of his promise in so peremptory a manner that the simple lad did not dare to refuse her. He then acquainted the Baron that he was going to marry his sister. I will never suffer, said the Baron, my sister to be guilty of an action so derogatory to her birth and family; nor will I bear this insolence on your part; no, I never will be reproached that my nephews are not qualified for the first ecclesiastical dignities in Germany; nor shall a sister of mine ever be the wife of any person below the rank of a baron of the empire. Cunegund flung herself at her brothers feet, and bedewed them with her tears, but he still continued inflexible. Thou foolish fellow, said Candide, have I not delivered thee from the galleys, paid thy ransom and thy sisters too, who was a scullion and is very ugly, and yet condescend to marry her; and shalt thou pretend to oppose the match? If I were to listen only to the dictates of my anger, I should kill thee again. Thou mayest kill me again, said the Baron, but thou shalt not marry my sister while I am living.