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Candide, Or The Optimist

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Candide’s disgusts.--An unexpected Meeting. 

OUR philosopher dried up as he grew happy. Then Zirza's eyes lost all their vivacity in those of Candide; her complexion, its lustre; and her lips that pure vermillion which had enchanted him at first sight. He now perceived that she walked badly and had an offensive smell; he saw, with the greatest disgust, a spot upon the face which he had never observed before to be tainted with any blemish. The vehement ardour of Zirza became burdensome to him: he could see, with great coolness, the faults of his other women, which had escaped him in his first transports of  admiration; he saw nothing in them but a barefaced impudence: he was ashamed to have walked in the steps of the wisest of men; and he found women more bitter than death.

Candide, always cherishing these Christian sentiments, spent his leisure time in walking over the streets of Sus; when one day a cavalier, in a superb dress, came up to him suddenly, and called him by his name. "Is it possible,"  cried Candide, "my lord, that you are--? It is not  possible; otherwise you are so very like the Abbé of Perigord --." "I am the very man," answered the Abbé.  Upon this Candide started back, and with his usual ingenuousness said, "Are you happy, Mr. Abbé?" "A fine question!" replied the Abbé, "The little deceit which I have put upon you has contributed not a little to gain me credit. The police had employed me for some time, but having fallen out with them, I quitted the ecclesiastical habit, which was no longer of any service to me. I went over into England, where persons of my profession are better paid. I said all I knew, and all I did not know, about the strength and weakness of the country I had lately left. I especially gave bold assurances that the French were the dregs of the world, and that good sense dwelt nowhere but in London. In short, I made a splendid fortune, and have just concluded a treaty at the Court of Persia, which tends to exterminate all the Europeans who come for cotton and silk into the Sophi's dominions, to the detriment of the English."
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