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Candide, Or The Optimist

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Candide continues his Travels, and in what quality.

I HAVE nothing left," said our philosopher, "but to make myself either a slave or a Turk. Happiness has forsaken me for ever. A turban would corrupt all my pleasures. I shall be incapable of tasting tranquillity of soul in a religion full of imposture, into which I enter merely from a motive of vile interest. No, I shall never be content if I cease to be an honest man. Let me make myself, then, a slave." Candide had no sooner taken this resolution than he set about putting it into execution. He chose an Armenian merchant for his master, who was a man of a very good character, and passed for virtuous as much as an Armenian can be. He gave Candide two hundred sequins as the price of his liberty. The Armenian was upon the point of departing for Norway. He took Candide with him, in hopes that a philosopher would be of use to him in his traffic. They embarked, and the wind was so favourable for them that they were not above half the usual time in their passage. They even had no occasion for buying a wind from the Lap-land witches, and contented themselves with giving them some stock-fish, that they might not disturb their good fortune with their enchantments, which sometimes happens, if we may believe Moreri's Dictionary on this head.

The Armenian no sooner landed than he provided a stock of whale-blubber, and ordered our philosopher to go over all the country to buy him some dried salt fish. He acquitted himself of his commission in the best manner he could, returned with several reindeer loaded with this merchandize, and made profound reflections on the astonishing difference which is to be found between the Laplanders and other men. A very diminutive female Laplander, whose head was a little bigger than her body, her eyes red and full of fire, a flat nose, and mouth as wide as possible, wished him a good day with an infinite grace. "My little lord," says this being (a foot and ten inches high) to him, "I think you very handsome; do me the favour to love me a little." So saying, she flew to him, and caught him round the neck. Candide pushed her away with horror.
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