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Candide, Or The Optimist

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Candide’s reception at Court, and what followed. 

THE reverend Ed-Ivan-Baal-Denk made no delay in presenting Candide to the king. His majesty took a particular pleasure in hearing him. He made him dispute with several learned men of his Court, and those looked upon him as a fool, an ignoramus, and idiot, which very much contributed to persuade his majesty that he was a great man. Because," said he to them, "you do not comprehend Candide's reasoning, you abuse him; but I, who also comprehend nothing at all of them, assure you that he is a great philosopher, and I swear to it by my whisker." Upon these words the literati were struck dumb.  

Candide had apartments assigned him in the palace. He had slaves to wait on him; he was dressed in magnificent clothes, and the Sophi commanded that, whatever he should say, no one should dare to assert that he was wrong. His majesty did not stop here. The venerable monk was continually soliciting him in favour of his guest, and his majesty at length resolved to rank him among the number of his most intimate favourites.

"God be praised, and our holy prophet," says the imam, addressing himself to Candide; "I am come to tell you a very agreeable piece of news: that you are happy, my dear Candide; that you are going to raise the envy of the world; you shall swim in opulence; you may aspire to the most splendid posts in the empire. But do not forget me, my friend. Think that it is I who have procured you the favour you are just upon the point of enjoying: let gaiety reign over the horizon of your countenance. The king grants you a favour which has been sought by many, and you will soon exhibit a sight which the Court has not enjoyed these two years past." "And what are these favours," demanded Candide, "with which the prince intends to honour me?"
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