13. Obliged To Part
From Candide by Voltaire (1759)

How Candide was obliged to part from the fair Cunegonde and the old woman.

The beautiful Cunegonde having heard the old woman's story, paid her all the civilities that were due to a person of her rank and merit. She approved of her proposal, and engaged all the passengers, one after another, to relate their adventures, and then both Candide and she confessed that the old woman was in the right.

"It is a great pity," said Candide, "that the sage Pangloss was hanged, contrary to custom, for he would tell us most surprising things concerning the physical and moral evils which cover both land and sea; and I should be bold enough, with due respect, to propose some objections."

While each passenger was relating his story, the ship advanced in her voyage. They landed at Buenos-Ayres. Cunegonde, Captain Candide, and the old woman, waited on the governor, Don Fernandes d'Ibaraa, y Figueora, y Mascarenes, y Lampourdos, y Souza. This nobleman was possessed of pride suitable to a person dignified with so many titles. He spoke to other people with so noble a disdain, turned up his nose, carried his head so high, raised his voice so intolerably, assumed so imperious an air, and affected so lofty a gait, that all those who saluted him were tempted to beat him. He was an excessive lover of the fair sex. Cunegonde appeared to him the prettiest woman he had ever seen. The first thing he did, was to ask whether she was not the Captain's wife? The manner in which he put the question alarmed Candide. He durst not say that she was his wife, because, in reality she was not. He durst not tell him that she was his sister, because she was not that either, and though this officious lie might have been of service to him, yet his soul was too refined to betray the truth.

"Miss Cunegonde," said he, "intends me the honour of marrying me, and we beseech your Excellency to grace our nuptials with your presence."

Don Fernandes d'lbaraa, y Figueora, y Mascarenes, y Lampourdos, y Souza, turning up his mustaches, forced a grim smile, and ordered Captain Candide to go and review his company. Candide obeyed, and the Governor remained alone with Miss Cunegonde. He declared his passion, protested that he would marry her the next day in the face of the church, or otherwise, as it should be agreeable to a person of her charms. Cunegonde desired a quarter of an hour to consider the proposal, to consult with the old woman, and to make up her mind.

Said the old woman, to Cunegonde,

"Miss, you can reckon up seventy-two descents in your family, and not one farthing in your pocket. It is now in your power to be the wife of the greatest lord in South America, who has very pretty whiskers; and what occasion have you to pique yourself upon inviolable fidelity? You have been ravished by the Bulgarians; a Jew and an inquisitor have been in your good graces. Misfortunes have no law on their side. I confess, that were I in your place, I should have no scruples to marry the governor, and make the fortune of Captain Candide."

While the old woman was thus speaking, with all the prudence which age and experience dictated, they descried a small vessel entering the port, which had on board an Alcald and Alguazils. The occasion of their voyage was this.

The old woman had shrewdly guessed, that it was a cavalier with a big sleeve that stole the money and jewels from Cunegonde in the city of Badajos, when she and Candide were making their escape. The man having offered to sell some of the diamonds to a jeweller, the latter recognized them as the inquisitor's. The cavalier, before he was hanged, confessed he had stolen them. He described the persons he had stolen them from, and told the route they had taken. The flight of Cunegonde and Candide being by this means discovered, they were traced to Cadiz, where a vessel was immediately sent in pursuit of them; and now the vessel was in the port of Buenos-Ayres. A report was spread, that an Alcald was going to land, and that he was in pursuit of the murderers of my lord the grand inquisitor. The old woman saw in a moment what was to be done.

"You cannot run away," said she to Cunegonde, "and you have nothing to fear; it was not you that killed my lord; and besides, the governor, who is in love with you, will not suffer you to be ill treated. Therefore stay here."

She then ran to Candide.

"Fly," said she, "or in an hour you will be burnt alive."

He had not a moment to lose; but how could he part from Cunegonde, and where could be fly to for shelter?

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