Sunday, July 1, 2012

Candide and Martin say...

"'By the way,' Candide said, 'do you believe that the world was originally a sea, as that big book the ship captain had claims?' 'I don't believe it at all,' Martin replied. 'I don't believe any of those fantasies they've been fobbing off on us for some time now.' 'But then what was this world created for?' Candide asked. 'To infuriate us,' Martin replied. 'Were you not astonished by the love that the two girls of the land of the Orejones had for those monkeys I told you about?' Candide continued. 'Not at all,' Martin said. 'I do not see what is so strange about that sort of passion. I have seen so many extraordinary things that nothing is extraordinary anymore.'

'Do you believe that men always butchered one another the way they do today?' Candide asked. 'Do you believe that they have always been liars, rogues, traitors, ingrates, brigands, weaklings, inconstant, cowards, enviers, gluttons, drunkards, misers, self-seekers, bloodthirsty, slanderers, debauchees, fanatics, hypocrites, and fools?' 'Do you believe that hawks have always eaten pigeons wherever they have found them?' Martin asked. 'Yes, definitely,' Candide replied. 'Very well,' Martin said. 'If hawks have always had the same character, why would you expect men to have changed theirs?' 'Oh, but there is quite a difference,' Candide said, 'for, after all, free will...' Reasoning in this way, they arrived at Bordeaux."

- Candide and Martin (Candide, Voltaire, 1759. Translated from French to English by Peter Constantine, 2005)

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