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

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

CHAPTER XVII.

HOW CANDIDE HAD A MIND TO KILL HIMSELF, AND
DID NOT DO IT—WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM AT AN
INN.

"DEAR Cacambo, formerly my valet, now my equal, and always myfriend,thou hast borne a share in my misfortunes; thou hast given me salutary advice ; and thou hast been witness to my love for Miss Cunegund—" "Alas! my old master," said Cacambo, "it is she who has served you this scurvy trick; it is she who, after having learned from your fellow-servants, that your love for Zenoida was as great as hers for you, revealed the whole to the barbarous Wolhall." "If this is so," said Candide, "I have nothing further to do but die." Our philosopher pulled out of his pocket a little knife, and began whetting it with a coolness worthy of an ancient Roman or an Englishman. "What do you mean to do?" cried Cacambo. "To cut my throat," answered Candide. "A most noble thought!" replied Cacambo; "but the philosopher ought not to take any resolution but upon reflection: you will always have it in your power to kill yourself, if your mind does not alter. Be advised by me, my dear master; defer your resolution till to-morrow; the longer you delay it, the more courageous will the action be." "I perceive the strength of thy reasoning," said Candide; "besides, if I should cut my throat

-267-

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