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

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

CHAPTER XIII.

THE HISTORY OF ZENOIDA—HOW CANDIDE FELL IN
LOVE WITH HER.

"I AM come of one of the most ancient families in Denmark; one of my ancestors perished at that horrid feast which the wicked Christiern prepared for the destruction of so many senators. The riches and dignities with which our family has been distinguished have hitherto served only to make them more eminently unfortunate. My father had the presumption to displease a great man in power by boldly telling him the truth; he was presently accused by suborned witnesses of a number of crimes which had no foundation. His judges were deceived. Alas! where is that judge who can always discover those snares which envy and treachery lay for unguarded innocence? My father was sentenced to be beheaded. He had no way left to avoid his fate but by flight; accordingly he withdrew to the house of an old friend, whom he thought deserving of that truly noble appellation; we remained some time concealed in a castle belonging to him on the seaside; and we might have continued there to this day, had not the base wretch with whom we had taken refuge attempted to repay himself for the services rendered us in a manner that gave us all reason to detest him. This infamous monster had conceived a most unnatural passion for my mother and myself at the same time; he attempted our virtue by methods the

-253-

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