15. The Brother Killed
From Candide by Voltaire (1759)

How Candide killed the brother of his dear Cunegonde.

"I SHALL ever have present to my memory," said the baron, "that horrible day, wherein I saw my father and mother killed, and my sister ravished. When the Bulgarians were gone, my sweet sister was nowhere to be found; and I, together with my father and mother, two maids, and three little lads that were murdered, were flung into a cart, in order to be buried in a chapel, which belonged to the clerics, about two leagues distant from our family-castle. A cleric sprinkled us with holy water, which being very salty, and some drops falling into my eyes, he could perceive my eye-balls move; on which he put his hand on my side, and felt my heart beat; I was taken care of, and, in about three weeks time, no one would have thought that any thing had ailed me. You know very well my dear Candide, I was very handsome, but I grew more so; on which account, the superior of the house conceived a very great affection for me, and some time after sent me to training. The superior was then looking out for a recruit of young men from Germany. For the rulers of Paraguay take as few Spanish as they can; but choose foreigners, because they, think they can tyrannize over them as they please. I was therefore made choice of, as a proper person to go to work in this vineyard. I set sail in company with a Polander and a Tirolesian. On my arrival, I was honoured with a lieutenancy. At present I am a colonel. We shall give the King of Spain's army a warm reception; I can assure you that they will be beaten. Providence has sent you hither to assist us. But is it true, that my dear sister Cunegonde is in our neighbourhood, at the governor of Buenos-Ayres's house?"

Candide swore that it was as true as the gospel. On this their tears gushed out afresh.

The Baron could not refrain from embracing Candide, whom he called his brother, and his protector.

"Ah, perhaps," said he, "we two may enter the city in triumph, and recover my sister Cunegonde."
"There is nothing I could wish for more," said Candide, "for I expected to be married to her, and I have some hopes I shall yet."
"The insolence of the fellow!" replied the Baron. "Can you dare to think of marrying my sister, who can show seventy-two quarterings in her coat of arms? How dare you have the effrontery to speak to me thus!"

Candide being quite thunderstruck at this, replied,

"My revered father, all the quarterings in the world do not signify a farthing. I have delivered your sister from the hands of a Jew, and an inquisitor; she lies under a great many obligations to me, and is willing to marry me. Master Pangloss always told me that all men are equal. I am determined to marry her."
"We will see whether you will, you villain!" said the cleric Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, at the same time giving him a blow on the face with the flat part of his sword.

Candide drew his weapon immediately, and plunged it up to the hilt in the Baron's body; but drawing it out again, and looking upon it as it reeked, he cried out,

"O God'. I have killed my old master, my friend, my brother-in-law. I am one of the best-natured men in the world, yet I have killed three men."

Cacambo, who stood sentry at the door of the arbor, and who heard the noise, ran in.

"We have nothing now to do but to sell our lives as dearly as we can," said his master to him, "and if they should force their way into the arbor, let us at least die with our arms in our hands."

Cacambo, who had been in circumstances of a similar nature, did not stand long to rack his brains for an expedient, but took the dress which the Baron wore, put it upon Candide, gave him the dead man's cap, and made him mount his horse. All this was done in the twinkling of an eye.

"Let us gallop away, master," says he, "everybody will take you for some cleric that is going express, and we shall get to the frontiers before they can overtake us."

They fled like lightning, before these words were quite out of his mouth, crying out in Spanish,

"Make way, make way for the Colonel."
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