¶ … Candide written Voltaire. You Candide-Literture.org find story. It long. Here a web site
The Old Woman
Scene I: Candide's farm, a fairly lonesome plot of land with doting greenery lining the unkempt fields. In the back there are a few dilapidated farmhouses, anemic looking cows, and other visible signs that the place is in a state of decline. Candide stands before the Young Baron, an incredulous look smeared across his face. The Young Baron returns his glance with a look of defiance more befitting his father than a man of the Young Baron's stature; Cunegonde, virtually cock-eyed and drained from an overdose of sun and lack of luxury, anxiously taps her foot on the ground, looking between the two men nervously, yet remains silent.
Candide (struggling to restrain the smile that keeps tugging at his lips): "Again, good Baron, you maintain that this is your final position on the matter? There is nothing I can do to dissuade you, and convince you of my honorable intentions to marry your, uh, lovely sister?
Young Baron (puffing his chest out some, as if his speech has been well rehearsed in advance): The only thing that could alter my position on this matter would be if some Baron of the Empire appeared out of thin air, ceremoniously adopted you, then proceeded to slit his own throat so that the sum of his inheritance and his name was bestowed upon you as his sole heir. In that case, I would perform the wedding ceremony between you and my sister myself. But since that scenario is as likely to happen as flying aircraft transporting passengers back and forth between continents, my answer is and always will be no, you will never marry lady Cunegonde so long as I, and she, live.
[Eruption occurs. Candide unabashedly pumps his fist several times in the air, alternately exclaiming shouts of "yes," while making mock gestures of prayer for gratitude. Cacambo, Pangloss and Martin exchange high fives, slapping each other on the back and shouting "told you. Didn't I tell you so?" Cunegonde, for her part, promptly bursts into tears and has to be consoled by the old woman, who holds while making dirty looks at Candide. The Young Baron takes in the reaction in a confused sort of way, yet struggles to maintain his typical pomp and dignity.]
Candide [struggling to regain composure]: My apologies, Baron, for such an unbridled display of emotion. My intended response was to acquiesce respectfully, since in this, as in virtually all other matters, your judgment is unparalleled and your resolution is without error. [Beaming at Cunegonde, a look of triumph adorning his visage]. I have learned better than to contradict those superior to me in nobility, bloodline, and morals. It is with great…sadness, that I am unable to fulfill my promise of marrying you.
[Cunegonde's sobs turn to wails; she still refuses to look up and instead bawls into The Old Woman's shoulder. The crowd begins to dissipate, Candide and Pangloss leave together, as do Martin and Cacambo after the latter begrudgingly gives the other a few banknotes due to a recently settled wager. Suddenly, the voice of The Old Woman rings through the farm, halting virtually all in their tracks.
The Old Woman: Halt! Before this congregation disperses, I should like to be permitted to make an inquiry of Pangloss. Are you not a renowned philosopher and academician, who has spent a significant amount of time teaching the theories of causes and effects to Candide, the Young Baron and to his disheartened sister?
Pangloss [straightening up some]: That is true in every respect?
The Old Woman: Therefore, being that every cause has an effect, is it not true that the cause of the Baron's perspective regarding his lineage and that of his sister can in some measure be attributed to your teachings?
Pangloss [scratching his head]: I suppose, in some measure it may be argued that one of the causes producing the effect produced by such a cause very well may be
The Old Woman: And has the terrible, virtually unutterable misfortunes befallen upon this small company, including not only your own but also that befalling Cunegonde and the Young Baron, not given you and all of this company sufficient reason to consider the very cause of this cause and effect theory? Has it not given you cause to effect a point-of-view that may not be your own, or verifiably proven?
Pangloss [utterly baffled at this point]: Well, that is, if you insist
The Old Woman: Then need not we confirm...
Cacambo and Martin, heretofore looking uninterested, visibly perk up while the Young Baron also takes an abrupt interest in the line of questioning. Candide, renewed by the fresh burst of ugliness he catches within the facade and figure of his possible bride, suddenly starts slinking away.
Pangloss [Alternating glances between Candide's slowly shrinking figure and The Old Woman's staunch stance]: I'm afraid I didn't quite catch that which you were
The Old Woman: Lest you fear revealing yourself to be a quack, and therefore disavowing the education of these three good souls we see before us, you are obligated to verify the means of your philosophy with the One-Who-Knows-All.
Pangloss [starting to sweat]: You don't mean
The Old Woman: That's exactly who I mean…the Whirling Dervish.
The entire party (Candide, Cacambo, Pangloss, The Old Woman, Martin, The Young Baron and Cunegonde) outside the front window of the home of the Whirling Dervish. All stand enrapture (mouths agape, paused in mid-stride) at some sort of activity taking place inside. Inside, the Whirling Dervish pays no heed to his unannounced visitors, as he is too engulfed in the loud music being played by a small band consisting of a flute, conga drums, and a guitar. The entire house is diffused in a palpable mist of smoke, and the Dervish intermittently passes a pipe of some sort to the band members, who take long pulls while continuing to play. Before long, the Dervishes finger snapping, toe-tapping and head-nodding take flight into a full blown dance routine, as he spontaneously wiggles about the domicile, dancing and chanting to the sounds of the music.
Martin: Who is yon idiot whose poor taste in music is only surpassed by his inordinate lack of rhythm.
Pangloss: You are looking upon the Whirling Dervish, the most renowned philosopher on this continent, whose teaching taught the teachings of teachers everywhere, including mine, and whose teachings taught the teachings I taught to all who would teach.
Young Baron [visibly unimpressed]: Is he of royalty?
Pangloss: The nobility of this pedagogue and the wealth of knowledge which he professes is not to be surpassed by any king, queen, nor baron throughout this or any other land. He may be the most learned man who ever lived. Best, I think, to leave the communication to me.
[After several unheeded attempts to knock on the door, Pangloss finally succeeds in kicking the door in, which brings the Dervishes whirling, and his accompanying music, to an abrupt halt].
Dervish: Who is that who so boldly interrupts my whirl?
Pangloss: Forgive us, exalted one, but we are a humble company who dare to ask your exultancy for much needed accounting of a dilemma that has been troubling us for some time.
Dervish: Then be quick about it, as my band is not fond of breaks -- although it gives me a chance to partake in my second favorite past time. [So saying, he snatches the pipe from the flutist, and proceeds to cough exceedingly through a prolonged hit].
Pangloss: Many thanks, oh learned one. The short of the matter is that there was once a Baron, who had the most magnificent castle there ever was to see. Within that castle he had innumerable possessions of significant worth such as doors, windows, dogs that doubled for hounds, grooms that could be employed as huntsmen, silverware enough to go around for all within, and above all else -- a piece of tapestry. On one particular occasion this Baron took a fancy to a particular young lady, who's affection he hoped to earn in the hopes of one day producing offspring. Such a courtship they endured, the likes of which were all but unheard of within the kingdom
Cunegonde: Is this my life's story?
The Old Woman: It very well could be his.
Dervish: To the point now, man, I have plenty tapestries of my own, and a pair of feet that long to whirl.
Candide: What he means to say your Excellency, is that he was employed as…
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