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Candide, Or The Optimist

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The Adventures of the Old Woman (continued). 

ASTONISHED and delighted to hear my native language, and no less surprised at the young man's words, I told him that there were far greater misfortunes in the world than what he complained of. And to convince him of it, I gave him a short history of the horrible disasters that had befallen me; and as soon as I had finished, fell into a swoon again. He carried me in his arms to a neighbouring cottage, where he had me put to bed, procured me something to eat, waited on me with the greatest attention, comforted me, caressed me, told me that he had never seen anything so perfectly beautiful as myself, and that he had never so much regretted the loss of what no one could restore to him. "I was born at Naples," said he, "where they caponize two or three thousand children every year; several die of the operation; some acquire voices far beyond the most tuneful of your ladies; and others are sent to govern states and empires. I underwent this operation very happily, and was one of the singers in the Princess of Palestrina's chapel." "How," cried I, "in my mother's chapel!" "The Princess of Palestrina, your mother!" cried he, bursting into a flood of tears. "Is it possible you should be the beautiful young princess whom I had the care of bringing up till she was six years old, and who at that tender age promised to be as fair as I now behold you?" "I am the same," replied I. "My mother lies about a hundred yards from hence, cut in pieces, and buried under a heap of dead bodies."  

I then related to him all that had befallen me, and he, in return, acquainted me with all his adventures, and how he had been sent to the court of the King of Morocco by a Christian prince, to conclude a treaty with that monarch; in consequence of which he was to be furnished with military stores and ships to enable him to destroy the commerce of other Christian governments. 
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