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Chapter 2 – What Befell Candide among the Bulgarians

Candide, thus driven out of this terrestrial paradise, rambled a long time without knowing where he went; sometimes he raised his eyes, all bedewed with tears, towards heaven, and sometimes he cast a melancholy look towards the magnificent castle, where dwelt the fairest of young baronesses. He laid himself down to sleep in a furrow, heartbroken, and supperless. The snow fell in great flakes, and, in the morning when he awoke, he was almost frozen to death; however, he made shift to crawl to the next town, which was called Wald-berghoff-trarbkdikdorff, without a penny in his pocket, and half dead with hunger and fatigue. He took up his stand at the door of an inn. He had not been long there before two men dressed in blue[footnoteRef:3] fixed their eyes steadfastly upon him. [3: Candide is about to be recruited into the Prussian army and do his bit in the Seven Years War (1756-63) between the Prussians and the French, a conflict which had the usual effects of warfare upon the countysides of central Europe. The recruiting officers of Frederick the Great wore blue uniforms and were feared in villages everywhere they showed up. As for the remark about Candide=s size: Frederick reputedly tried to have units of his armyBcompanies and regimentsBcomposed of soldiers of roughly the same size in order to produce an impression of uniformity when they were on parade. ]

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ALook,@ said one of them to the other, Athere=s a well-made young man of the right [email protected] Upon which they came up to Candide and with the greatest civility and politeness invited him to dine with them.

AGentlemen,@ replied Candide, with a most engaging modesty, you do me much honor, but upon my word I have no [email protected]

AMoney, [email protected] said one of the blues to him, Ayoung persons of your appearance and merit never pay anything; why, are not you five feet five inches [email protected]

AYes, gentlemen, that is indeed my size,@ replied he, with a low bow.

ACome then, sir, sit down along with us; we will not only pay your reckoning, but will never suffer such a clever young fellow as you to want money. Men were born to assist one [email protected]

AYou are perfectly right, gentlemen,@ said Candide, Athis is precisely the doctrine of Master

Pangloss; and I am convinced that everything is for the [email protected]

His generous companions next entreated him to accept of two crowns[footnoteRef:4], which he readily complied with, at the same time offering them his note for the payment, which they refused, and sat down to table. AHave you not a great affection forCA [4: Presumably the fee paid to new recruits in compensation for enlisting. ]

@O yes! I have a great affection for the lovely Cuné[email protected]

AMaybe so,@ replied one of the blues, Abut that is not the question! We were going to ask you whether you have a great affection for the King of the [email protected]

AFor the King of the [email protected] said Candide. AOh, Lord! not at all, why I never saw him in my [email protected]

AIs it possible? Oh, he is a most charming king! Come, we must drink his [email protected] AWith all my heart, gentlemen,@ said Candide, and off he tossed his glass.

[email protected] cried the blues; Ayou are now the support, the defender, the hero of the Bulgarians; your fortune is made; you are in the high road to [email protected]

So saying, they handcuffed him, and carried him away to the regiment. There he was made to wheel about to the right, to the left, to draw his rammer, to return his rammer, to present, to fire, to march, and they gave him thirty blows with a cane; the next day he performed his exercise a little better, and they gave him but twenty; the day following he came off with ten, and was looked upon as a young fellow of surprising genius by all his comrades.

Candide was struck with amazement, and could not for the soul of him conceive how he came to be a hero. One fine spring morning, he took it into his head to take a walk, and he marched straight forward, conceiving it to be a privilege of the human species, as well as of the brute creation, to make use of their legs how and when they pleased. He had not gone above two leagues when he was overtaken by four other heroes, six feet high, who bound him neck and heels, and carried him to a dungeon. A courtmartial sat upon him, and he was asked which he liked better, to run the gauntlet six and thirty times through the whole regiment, or to have his brains blown out with a dozen musket-balls? In vain did he remonstrate to them that the human will is free, and that he chose neither; they obliged him to make a choice, and he determined, in virtue of that divine gift called free will, to run the gauntlet six and thirty times.

He had gone through his discipline twice, and the regiment being composed of 2,000 men, they composed for him exactly 4,000 strokes, which laid bare all his muscles and nerves from the nape of his neck to his stern. As they were preparing to make him set out the third time our young hero, unable to support it any longer, begged as a favor that they would be so obliging as to shoot him through the head; his request being granted, a bandage was tied over his eyes, and he was made to kneel down.

At that very instant, His Bulgarian Majesty happening to pass by made a stop, and inquired into the delinquent’s crime, and being a prince of great penetration, he found, from what he heard of Candide, that he was a young metaphysician, entirely ignorant of the physical world; and therefore, out of his great clemency, he condescended to pardon him, for which his name will be celebrated in every newspaper in every age. A skillful surgeon made a cure of the flagellated Candide in three weeks by means of emollient unguents prescribed by Dioscorides[footnoteRef:5]. His sores were now scabbed over and he was able to march, when the King of the Bulgarians gave battle to the King of the Abares[footnoteRef:6]. [5: A treatise on medical remedies dating from the first centuryBnot exactly the most up-todate in Voltaire=s day. A hit in the spirit of the Enlightenment upon veneration for antiquated texts. ] [6: The Abares, as opponents of the Prussians, represent the French. ]

Chapter 3 – How Candide Escaped from the Bulgarians and What Befell Him Afterward

Never was anything so gallant, so well accoutered, so brilliant, and so finely disposed as the two armies. The trumpets, fifes, oboes, drums, and cannon made such harmony as never was heard in Hell itself. The entertainment began by a discharge of cannon, which, in the twinkling of an eye, laid flat about 6,000 men on each side. The musket bullets swept away, out of the best of all possible worlds, nine or ten thousand scoundrels that were cluttering its surface. The bayonet was next the sufficient reason of the deaths of several thousands. The sum of casualites might amount to thirty thousand souls. Candide trembled like a philosopher, and concealed himself as well as he could during this heroic butchery.

At length, while the two kings were causing Te Deums[footnoteRef:7] to be sung in their camps, Candide took a resolution to go and reason somewhere else upon causes and effects. After passing over heaps of dead or dying men, the first place he came to was a neighboring village, in the Abarian territories, which had been burned to the ground by the Bulgarians, agreeably to the laws of war. Here lay a number of old men covered with wounds, who beheld their wives dying with their throats cut and hugging their children to their breasts, all stained with blood. There several young virgins, whose bodies had been ripped open after they had satisfied the natural necessities of the Bulgarian heroes, breathed their last; while others, half-burned in the flames, begged to be dispatched out of the world. The ground about them was covered with the brains, arms, and legs of the dead. [7: A prayer of thanksgiving for victory, here sung by both sides. ]

Candide made all the haste he could to another village, which belonged to the Bulgarians, and there he found the heroic Abares had enacted the same tragedy. Thence continuing to walk over twitching limbs or through ruined buildings, at length he got beyond the theater of war, with a little food in his backpack and Cunégonde’s image in his heart. When he arrived in Holland his food ran out, but having heard that the inhabitants of that country were all rich and Christians, he was sure that he would be treated by them as he had been at the Baron’s castle before he had been driven thence through the power of Cunégonde’s bright eyes.

He asked charity of several grave-looking people, who one and all answered him that if he continued to follow this trade they would have him sent to the house of correction, where he should be taught to get his bread. He next addressed himself to a person who had just come from haranguing a numerous assembly for a whole hour on the subject of charity. The orator, squinting at him under his broad-brimmed hat, asked him sternly, what brought him thither and whether he was for the good old cause?

ASir,@ said Candide, in a submissive manner, AI conceive there can be no effect without a cause; everything is necessarily concatenated and arranged for the best. It was necessary that I should be banished from the presence of Cunégonde; that I should afterwards run the gauntlet; and it is necessary I should beg my bread, till I am able to get it. All this could not have been [email protected]

ATell me, friend,@ said the orator, Ado you hold the Pope to be [email protected]

ATruly, I never thought about it,@ said Candide, Abut whether he is or not, I am in want of something to [email protected]

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