Home » Articole » Articles » Arts » Literature » Short stories » Voltaire, Candide: History of Cunegoride

Voltaire, Candide: History of Cunegoride

posted in: Short stories 0

History of Cunegoride

I was in my bed and slept deeply when Heaven pleased to send the Bulgarians to our beautiful castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh; they killed my father and my brother, and cut off my mother in pieces. A great Bulgarian, six feet high, seeing that at this spectacle I had lost consciousness, began to violate me; this made me return, I resumed my senses, I cried, I struggled, I bit, I scratched, I wanted to wrench the eyes of this great Bulgarian, not knowing that everything that happened in the castle of my father was a habit: the brutal stabbed me onn the left side where I still bear the mark.

Alas! I hope to see it,” said the naive Candide.

“You will see it,” said Cunegonde; “but let us continue.

Go on,” said Candide.

She took up the thread of her story:

A Bulgarian captain came in, he saw me bleeding, and the soldier was not disturbed. The captain became angry for the little respect he felt for him, this brute, and killed him on my body. Then he helped me to dress, and took me prisoner of war in his neighborhood. I whitened the few shirts he had, I made his kitchen; he thought me very pretty, it must be confessed; and I will not deny that he was very well done, and that he had a white and soft skin; besides, he had little wit, little philosophy, it was clear that he had not been educated by Dr. Pangloss. At the end of three months, having lost all his money, and being disgusted with me, he sold me to a Jew named Don Issachar, who trafficked in Holland and Portugal, and who passionately loved women. This Jew was very attached to my person, but he could not triumph; I resisted him better than to the Bulgarian soldier: a person of honor may be raped once, but his virtue is strengthened. The Jew, to tame me, took me to this country house which you see. I had hitherto believed that there was nothing on the land so beautiful as the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh; I was undeceived.

The Grand Inquisitor saw me one day at Mass; he eyed me a lot, and told me that he had to speak to me for secret business. I was conducted to his palace; I taught him my birth; he represented to me how much he was below my rank by belonging to an Israelite. It was proposed to Don Issachar to be given to this lord. Don Issachar, who is the banker of the court, and a man of credit, did not wish to do so. The inquisitor threatened him with an auto-da-fe. Finally, my intimidated Jew concluded a contract by which the house and I would belong to both of them in common; that the Jew would have for him on Mondays, Wednesdays, and on the Sabbath, and that the inquisitor would have the other days of the week. This convention has been in force for six months. It was not without quarrels; for often he was undecided if the night from Saturday to Sunday belonged to the old rule or to the new one. As for me, I have resisted so far to both of them; and I think that’s why I’ve always been loved.

Finally, to divert the scourge of earthquakes, and to intimidate Don Issachar, the Inquisitor pleased to celebrate an auto-da-fe. He did me the honor of inviting me. I was very well placed; the ladies were served refreshments between the mass and the execution. I was, indeed, horrified at seeing the two Jews and the honest Biscayan, who had married his gossip, burned: but what was my surprise, my terror, my trouble, when I saw in a san-benito, and under a miter, a figure that resembled that of Pangloss! I rubbed my eyes, I looked attentively, I saw him hang; I fell into weakness. Scarcely did I recover my senses, when I saw you stripped naked; this was the height of horror, consternation, pain, and despair. I will tell you, truthfully, that your skin is still whiter, and of a more perfect complexion than that of my captain of the Bulgarians. This sight redoubled all the feelings which overwhelmed me, which devoured me. I exclaimed, I meant, Stop, barbarians! But my voice failed, and my cries would have been useless. When you were spanked: How could it be done, I said, that the amiable Candide and the wise Pangloss were in Lisbon, one to receive a hundred lashes, and the other to be hanged by the order of the Inquisitor, whose beloved I am? Pangloss then cruelly deceived me, when he told me that all is well in the world!

Agitated, distraught, sometimes out of myself, and sometimes ready to die of weakness, my head was filled with the massacre of my father, my mother, my brother, the insolence of my ugly Bulgarian soldier, the stick of knife he gave me, my servitude, my trade as a cook, my Bulgarian captain, my ugly Don Issachar, my abominable inquisitor, the hanging of Dr. Pangloss, this great miserry in drone during which you were spanked, and especially the kiss I had given you behind a screen, the day that I had seen you for the last time. I praised God, who brought you back to me by so many trials. I advised my old lady to take care of you, and to bring you here as soon as she could. She did my commission very well; I have tasted the inexpressible pleasure of seeing you, of hearing you, of speaking to you. You must have a devouring hunger; I have great appetite; let’s start with supper.

There they both sit down to table; and, after supper, they return to the beautiful sofa of which we have already spoken; they were there when the Signor Don Issachar, one of the masters of the house, arrived. It was the sabbath day. He came to enjoy his rights, and to express his tender love.

Leave a Reply

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