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Candide, Or The Optimist

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Candide and Martin touch upon the English Coast: what they see there. 

"AH, Pangloss! Pangloss! Ah, Martin! Martin! Ah, my dear Miss Cunegund! What sort of a world is this?" Thus exclaimed Candide as soon as he had got on board the Dutch ship. "Why, something very foolish and very abominable," said Martin. "You are acquainted with England," said Candide; "are they as great fools in that country as in France?" "Yes but in a different manner," answered Martin. "You know that these two nations are at war about a few acres of barren land in the neighbourhood of Canada, and that they have expended much greater sums in the contest than all Canada is worth. To say exactly whether there are a greater number fit to be inhabitants of a madhouse in the one country than the other, exceeds the limits of my imperfect capacity. I know in general that the people we are going to visit are of a very dark and gloomy disposition."  

As they were chatting thus together they arrived at Portsmouth. The shore on each side the harbour was lined with a multitude of people, whose eyes were stedfastly fixed on a lusty man who was kneeling down on the deck of one of the men-of-war, with something tied over his eyes. Opposite to this personage stood four soldiers, each of whom shot three bullets into his skull with all the composure imaginable; and when it was done, the whole company went away perfectly well satisfied. "What the devil is all this for?" said Candide; "and what demon or foe to mankind lords it thus tyrannically over the world?" He then asked who was that lusty man who had been sent out of the world with so much ceremony, when he received for answer that it was an admiral. "And pray why do you put your admiral to death?" "Because he did not put a sufficient number of his fellow-creatures to death. You must know, he had an engagement with a French admiral, and it has been proved against him that he was not near enough to his antagonist."
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