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Voltaire: What happened to Cunegonde, Candide, the Grand Inquisitor, and a Jew

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Candide

This Issachar was the most choleric Hebrew that had been seen in Israel since the captivity in Babylon.

“What!” he said, “bitch of a Galilean, it is not enough the Inquisitor? Must this rascal also share you with me?”

In saying this he drew a long dagger, which he always had with him, and, not believing that his opponent is armed, he threw himself upon Candide; but our good Vestphalian had received a fine sword from the old woman with the full coat. He draws his sword, though he had a very gentle disposition, and extends the dead Israelite to the floor, at the feet of the beautiful Cunegonde.

“Holy Virgin!” she exclaimed, “What are we going to become? A man killed at my house! If justice comes, we are lost.”

“If Pangloss had not been hanged,” said Candide, “he would give us good advice in this extremity, for he was a great philosopher. In his absence, let us consult the old woman.”

She was very cautious, and began to say her opinion when another little door opened. It was an hour after midnight, it was the beginning of Sunday. This day belonged to the Inquisitor. He enters and sees Candide spanking, sword in hand, a dead on the ground, Cunegonde aghast, and the old woman giving advice.

Here is what happened in the soul of Candide, and how he reasoned: ‘If this holy man calls for help, they will infallibly burn me, they will be able to do the same with Cunegonde; he made me whip pitilessly; he is my rival; I will kill him; there is no need to swing.’ This reasoning was clear and rapid; and, without giving the Inquisitor time to return from his surprise, he also pierces him, and throws him beside the Jew.

“Here is another,” said Cunegonde; “there is no more remission; we are excommunicated, our last hour has come! How did you, you who were born so gentle, kill a Jew and a prelate in two minutes?”

“My beautiful lady,” replied Candide, “when one is in love, jealous, and whipped by the inquisition, he no longer knows himself.”

The old woman then spoke, and said:

“There are three Andalusian horses in the stable, with their saddles and bridles, which the brave Candide prepares; Madame has money and diamonds, let us quickly ride on horseback, though I can only stand on a buttock, and go to Cadiz; it is the happiest time in the world, and it is a great pleasure to travel during the cool of the night.”

Immediately Candide saddles the three horses; Cunegonde, the old woman, and he, cover thirty miles in a row. As they walked away, the holy Hermann arrived in the house, the Inquisitor is buried in a beautiful church, and Issachar was thrown into the streets.

Candide, Cunegonde, and the old woman, were already in the little town of Avacena, in the midst of the mountains of the Sierra Morena; and they spoke this way in a tavern.

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