The Works of Voltaire: A Contemporary Version [Introduction; Candide; Political Dissertations] - Vol. 1

By Voltaire; William F. Fleming | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI.

CANDIDE AND MARTIN, WHILE THUS REASONING
WITH EACH OTHER, DRAW NEAR TO THE COAST OF
FRANCE.

AT LENGTH they descried the coast of France, when Candide said to Martin, "Pray Mr. Martin, were you ever in France?"

"Yes, sir," said Martin, "I have been in several provinces of that kingdom. In some, one-half of the people are fools and madmen; in some, they are too artful; in others, again, they are, in general, either very good-natured or very brutal; while in others, they affect to be witty, and in all, their ruling passion is love, the next is slander, and the last is to talk nonsense."

"But, pray, Mr. Martin, were you ever in Paris ?"

"Yes, sir, I have been in that city, and it is a place that contains the several species just described; it is a chaos, a confused multitude, where everyone seeks for pleasure without being able to find it; at least, as far as I have observed during my short stay in that city. At my arrival I was robbed of all I had in the world by pickpockets and sharpers, at the fair of St. Germain. I was taken up myself for a robber, and confined in prison a whole week; after which I hired myself as corrector to a press, in order to get a little money towards defraying my expenses back to Holland on foot. I knew the whole tribe of scribblers, malcontents, and fanatics. It is said the

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