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Chapter 9 – What Happened to Cunegund, Candide, the Grand Inquisitor, and the Jew

VoltaireNov 03, 2016'Command+D' Bookmark this page

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This same Issachar was the most choleric little Hebrew that had ever
been in Israel since the captivity of Babylon.

“What,” said he, “thou Galilean slut? The Inquisitor was not
enough for thee, but this rascal must come in for a share with me?”

In uttering these words, he drew out a long poniard, which he always
carried about him, and never dreaming that his adversary had any arms,
he attacked him most furiously; but our honest Westphalian had
received from the old woman a handsome sword with the suit of clothes.
Candide drew his rapier, and though he was very gentle and
sweet-tempered, he laid the Israelite dead on the floor at the fair
Cunegund’s feet.

“Holy Virgin!” cried she, “what will become of us? A man killed in
my apartment! If the peace-officers come, we are undone.”

“Had not Pangloss been hanged,” replied Candide, “he would have
given us most excellent advice, in this emergency; for he was a
profound philosopher. But, since he is not here, let us consult the
old woman.”

She was very sensible, and was beginning to give her advice, when
another door opened on a sudden. It was now one o’clock in the
morning, and of course the beginning of Sunday, which, by agreement,
fell to the lot of My Lord Inquisitor. Entering he discovered the
flagellated Candide with his drawn sword in his hand, a dead body
stretched on the floor, Cunegund frightened out of her wits, and the
old woman giving advice.

At that very moment, a sudden thought came into Candide’s head.
“If this holy man,” thought he, “should call assistance, I shall
most undoubtedly be consigned to the flames, and Miss Cunegund may
perhaps meet with no better treatment: besides, he was the cause of my
being so cruelly whipped; he is my rival; and as I have now begun to
dip my hands in blood, I will kill away, for there is no time to
hesitate.”

This whole train of reasoning was clear and instantaneous; so
that, without giving time to the Inquisitor to recover from his
surprise, he ran him through the body, and laid him by the side of the
Jew.

“Here’s another fine piece of work!” cried Cunegund. “Now there
can be no mercy for us, we are excommunicated; our last hour is
come. But how could you, who are of so mild a temper, despatch a Jew
and an Inquisitor in two minutes’ time?”

“Beautiful maiden,” answered Candide, “when a man is in love, is
jealous, and has been flogged by the Inquisition, he becomes lost to
all reflection.”

The old woman then put in her word:

“There are three Andalusian horses in the stable, with as many
bridles and saddles; let the brave Candide get them ready. Madam has a
parcel of moidores and jewels, let us mount immediately, though I have
lost one buttock; let us set out for Cadiz; it is the finest weather
in the world, and there is great pleasure in traveling in the cool
of the night.”

Candide, without any further hesitation, saddled the three horses;
and Miss Cunegund, the old woman, and he, set out, and traveled thirty
miles without once halting. While they were making the best of their
way, the Holy Brotherhood entered the house. My Lord, the
Inquisitor, was interred in a magnificent manner, and Master
Issachar’s body was thrown upon a dunghill.

Candide, Cunegund, and the old woman, had by this time reached the
little town of Avacena, in the midst of the mountains of Sierra
Morena, and were engaged in the following conversation in an inn,
where they had taken up their quarters.

 

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