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Back to Chapter 12: The Adventures of the Old Woman Continued
French version: Comment Candide Fut Obligé de se Séparer de la Belle Cunégonde et de la Vieille
The fair Cunegund
, being thus made acquainted with the history of
the old woman's life and adventures, paid her all the respect and
civility due to a person of her rank and merit. She very readily
acceded to her proposal of engaging the passengers to relate their
adventures in their turns, and was at length, as well as Candide,
compelled to acknowledge that the old woman was in the right.
"It is a thousand pities," said Candide, "that the sage Pangloss
should have been hanged contrary to the custom of an auto-da-fe, for
he would have given us a most admirable lecture on the moral and
physical evil which overspreads the earth and sea; and I think I
should have courage enough to presume to offer (with all due
respect) some few objections."
While everyone was reciting his adventures, the ship continued on
her way, and at length arrived at Buenos Ayres, where Cunegund,
Captain Candide, and the old woman, landed and went to wait upon the
governor, Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y
Souza. This nobleman carried himself with a haughtiness suitable to
a person who bore so many names. He spoke with the most noble
disdain to everyone, carried his nose so high, strained his voice to
such a pitch, assumed so imperious an air, and stalked with so much
loftiness and pride, that everyone who had the honor of conversing
with him was violently tempted to bastinade His Excellency. He was
immoderately fond of women, and Miss Cunegund appeared in his eyes a
paragon of beauty. The first thing he did was to ask her if she was
not the captain's wife. The air with which he made this demand alarmed
Candide, who did not dare to say he was married to her, because indeed
he was not; neither did he venture to say she was his sister,
because she was not; and though a lie of this nature proved of great
service to one of the ancients, and might possibly be useful to some
of the moderns, yet the purity of his heart would not permit him to
violate the truth.
"Miss Cunegund," replied he, "is to do me the honor to marry me, and
we humbly beseech Your Excellency to condescend to grace the
ceremony with your presence."
Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y
Souza, twirling his mustachio, and putting on a sarcastic smile,
ordered Captain Candide to go and review his company. The gentle
Candide obeyed, and the Governor was left with Miss Cunegund. He
made her a strong declaration of love, protesting that he was ready to
give her his hand in the face of the Church, or otherwise, as should
appear most agreeable to a young lady of her prodigious beauty.
Cunegund desired leave to retire a quarter of an hour to consult the
old woman, and determine how she should proceed.
The old woman gave her the following counsel:
"Miss, you have seventy-two quarterings in your arms, it is true,
but you have not a penny to bless yourself with. It is your own
fault if you do not become the wife of one of the greatest noblemen in
South America, with an exceeding fine mustachio. What business have
you to pride yourself upon an unshaken constancy? You have been
outraged by a Bulgarian soldier; a Jew and an Inquisitor have both
tasted of your favors. People take advantage of misfortunes. I must
confess, were I in your place, I should, without the least scruple,
give my hand to the Governor, and thereby make the fortune of the
brave Captain Candide."
While the old woman was thus haranguing, with all the prudence
that old age and experience furnish, a small bark entered the
harbor, in which was an alcayde and his alguazils. Matters had
fallen out as follows.
The old woman rightly guessed that the Franciscan with the long
sleeves, was the person who had taken Miss Cunegund's money and
jewels, while they and Candide were at Badajoz, in their flight from
Lisbon. This same friar attempted to sell some of the diamonds to a
jeweler, who presently knew them to have belonged to the Grand Inquisitor, and stopped them. The Franciscan, before he was hanged,
acknowledged that he had stolen them and described the persons, and
the road they had taken. The flight of Cunegund and Candide was
already the towntalk. They sent in pursuit of them to Cadiz; and the
vessel which had been sent to make the greater dispatch, had now
reached the port of Buenos Ayres. A report was spread that an
alcayde was going to land, and that he was in pursuit of the murderers
of My Lord, the Inquisitor. The sage old woman immediately saw what
was to be done.
"You cannot run away," said she to Cunegund, "but you have nothing
to fear; it was not you who killed My Lord Inquisitor: besides, as the
Governor is in love with you, he will not suffer you to be
ill-treated; therefore stand your ground."
Then hurrying away to Candide, she said, "Be gone hence this
instant, or you will be burned alive."
Candide found there was no time to be lost; but how could he part
from Cunegund, and whither must he fly for shelter?
On to Chapter 14: The Reception Candide and Cacambo Met with among the Jesuits in Paraguay