Chapter 29 – What Manner Candide Found Miss Cunegund and the Old Woman Again

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While Candide, the Baron, Pangloss, Martin, and Cacambo, were
relating their several adventures, and reasoning on the contingent
or noncontingent 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 shores of the Propontis. The first objects
they beheld there, were Miss Cunegund and the old woman, who were
hanging some tablecloths 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 sunburned,
with bleary eyes, a withered neck, wrinkled face and arms, all covered
with a red scurf, started back with horror; but, not withstanding,
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 neighborhood which the old woman
proposed to Candide to make shift with till the company should meet
with a more favorable 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 Baron of the Empire.”

Cunegund flung herself at her brother’s 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 sister’s, 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.”


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