Take a visual journey through Voltaire's Candide

 

 

Chapter XI:
The History of the Old Woman

Illustration by Rockwell Kent from: Voltaire. Candide. New York: Random House, 1928. NYPL, Rare Book Division. By Permission of the Plattsburgh State Art Museum, The Rockwell Kent Gallery & Collection.


bagatelle: a trifle; not worth mentioning.

Said the Old Woman, "I was affianced to the most excellent Prince of Massa Carara. Such a prince! as handsome as myself, sweet-tempered, agreeable, brilliantly witty, and sparkling with love. I loved him as one loves for the first time — with idolatry, with transport. The nuptials were prepared. There was surprising pomp and magnificence; there were continual fêtes, carousals, and comic operas; and all Italy composed sonnets in my praise, though not one of them was passable. I was just upon the point of reaching the summit of bliss, when an old marchioness who had been mistress to the Prince, my husband, invited him to drink chocolate with her. He died in less than two hours of most terrible convulsions. But this is only a bagatelle."

back 
15
forward