Home » Articole » Articles » Arts » Literature » Short stories » Voltaire: How Candide fled from the Bulgarians, and what became of him

Voltaire: How Candide fled from the Bulgarians, and what became of him

posted in: Short stories 0


Nothing was so beautiful, so light, so brilliant, so well ordered as the two armies. The trumpets, the fifes, the oboes, the drums, the cannons; all formed such a harmony that there never was in Hell. The guns at first shot down about six thousand men on each side; then the musketry removed from the best of the worlds about nine or ten thousand rascals who infected the surface. The bayonet was also sufficient reason for the death of a few thousand men. The whole could well amount to some thirty thousand souls. Candide, who trembled like a philosopher, hid himself as best as he could during this heroic butchery.

Finally, while the two kings were singing Te Deum, each in his camp, he decided to go elsewhere to think about reasons and effects. He passed over heaps of dead and dying men, and at first reached a neighboring village; it was in ashes; it was a barren village, which the Bulgarians had burned, according to the laws of public law. Here old men, riddled with blows, watched dying their slaughtered women, who held their children to their bloody breasts; there, girls, disembowelled after having satisfied the natural desires of some heroes, made the last sighs; others, half burnt, cried out that they were about to be killed. Brains were scattered on the ground beside cut arms and legs.

Candide fled to another village as quickly as possible: he belonged to the Bulgarians, and the barbarous heroes had treated him likewise. Candide, still walking on palpitating limbs or through the ruins, finally came out of the theater of war, carrying a few little provisions in his sack, and never forgetting Miss Cunegonde. His provisions were over when he was in Holland; but having heard that every one was rich in that country, and that it was Christian, he did not doubt that he would be treated as well as he had been in the caastle of the Baron, before he had been driven out of it for the beautiful eyes of Miss Cunegonde.

He asked alms to several serious persons, who all told him that if he continued to do this job he would be locked up in a house of correction to teach him how to live.

He then addressed a man who had just spoken by himself one hour at a time about charity in a great assembly. The orator, looking at him from the side, said to him:

What are you doing here? Are you there for the good cause?

:There is no effect without a cause,: Candide replied modestly; “everything is chained necessarily and arranged for the best. I had to be driven away from Miss Cunegonde, and I had to go through the wands, and I must ask for my bread, until I can win; all this could not be otherwise.”

My friend,” said the orator, “do you think that the pope is the antichrist?

I had not yet heard him say,replied Candide,but whether he is or not, I lack bread.

You do not deserve to eat it,said the other. Go, rascally, go, wretched, I do not get close to your life.

The wife of the orator having put his head to the window, and seeing a man who doubted that the pope was an antichrist, poured over him a full….

Oh, Heaven! What excess of religious zeal to ladies!

A man who had not been baptized, a good Anabaptist named James, saw the cruel and ignominious manner in which one of his brothers was thus treated, a two-footed being without feathers, which had a soul; he brought him home, cleansed him, gave him bread and beer, gave him as present two florins, and even wished to teach him to work in his manufactures of the Persian stuffs which were made in Holland. Candide, almost bowing to him, exclaimed:

Master Pangloss had told me that everything is at its best in this world, for I am infinitely more touched by your extreme generosity than by the harshness of this gentleman with a black cloak; and of his wife.

The next day, when he was walking, he met a beggar, all covered with pustules, with dead eyes, the tip of his nose gnawed, his mouth crooked, his teeth black, and speaking of his throat, tormented with a violent cough, and spitting a tooth at each effort.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *