Study Guide

Candide

by Voltaire

Candide eText - Chapter IX

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Chapter IX

What Became of Cunegonde, Candide, the Grand Inquisitor, and the Jew

THIS ISSACHAR WAS the most choleric Hebrew that had ever been seen in Israel since the Captivity in Babylon.

“What!” said he, “thou bitch of a Galilean, was not the Inquisitor enough for thee? Must this rascal also share with me?”

In saying this he drew a long poniard which he always carried about him; and not imagining that his adversary had any arms he threw himself upon Candide: but our honest Westphalian had received a handsome sword from the old woman along with the suit of clothes. He drew his rapier, despite his gentleness, and laid the Israelite stone dead upon the cushions at Cunegonde's feet.

“Holy Virgin!” cried she, “what will become of us? A man killed in my apartment! If the officers of justice come, we are lost!”

“Had not Pangloss been hanged,” said Candide, “he would give us good counsel in this emergency, for he was a profound philosopher. Failing him let us consult the old woman.”

She was very prudent and commenced to give her opinion when suddenly another little door opened. It was an hour after midnight, it was the beginning of Sunday. This day belonged to my lord the Inquisitor. He entered, and saw the whipped Candide, sword in hand, a dead man upon the floor, Cunegonde aghast, and the old woman giving counsel.

At this moment, the following is what passed in the soul of Candide, and how he reasoned:

If this holy man call in assistance, he will surely have me burned; and Cunegonde will perhaps be served in the same manner; he was the cause of my being cruelly whipped; he is my rival; and, as I have now begun to kill, I will kill away, for there is no time to hesitate. This reasoning was clear and instantaneous; so that without giving time to the Inquisitor to recover from his surprise, he pierced him through and through, and cast him beside the Jew.

“Yet again!” said Cunegonde, “now there is no mercy for us, we are excommunicated, our last hour has come. How could you do it? you, naturally so gentle, to slay a Jew and a prelate in two minutes!”

“My beautiful young lady,” responded Candide, “when one is a lover, jealous and whipped by the Inquisition, one stops at nothing.”

The old woman then put in her word, saying:

“There are three Andalusian horses in the stable with bridles and saddles, let the brave Candide get them ready; madame has money, jewels; let us therefore mount quickly on horseback, though I can sit only on one buttock; let us set out for Cadiz, it has the finest weather in the world, and there is great pleasure in traveling in the cool of the night.”

Immediately Candide saddled the three horses, and Cunegonde, the old woman and he, traveled thirty miles at a stretch. While they were journeying, the Holy Brotherhood entered the house; my lord the Inquisitor was interred in a handsome church, and Issachar's body was thrown upon a dunghill.

Candide, Cunegonde, and the old woman, had now reached the little town of Avacena in the midst of the mountains of the Sierra Morena, and were speaking as follows in a public inn.