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Title: Zadig - Or, The Book of Fate
Author: Voltaire, 1694-1778
Language: English
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Book of Fate.


Oriental HISTORY,

Translated from the




    ----_Quo fata trahunt, retrahuntque sequamur.
    Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum,
    Tendimus in Latium._----VIRG.


Printed for IOHN BRINDLEY, Bookseller
to His Royal Highness the Prince of
_Wales_, in _New Bond-Street_.








The 18th of the Month _Scheval_, in the Year of the _Hegira_, 837.

Thou Joy of ev'ry Eye! Thou Torment of every Heart! Thou Intellectual
Light! I do not kiss the Dust of thy Feet; because thou seldom art
seen out of the Seraglio, and when thou art, thou walkest only on
the Carpets of _Iran_, or on Beds of Roses.

I here present you with a Translation of the Work of an ancient
_Sage_, who having the Happiness of living free from all Avocations,
thought proper, by Way of Amusement, to write the History of
_Zadig_; a Performance, that comprehends in it more Instruction
than, 'tis possible, you may at first be aware of. I beg you would
indulge me so far as to read it over, and then pass your impartial
Judgment upon it: For notwithstanding you are in the Bloom of your
Life; tho' ev'ry Pleasure courts you; tho' you are Nature's Darling,
and have internal Qualities in proportion to your Beauty; tho' the
World resounds your Praises from Morning till Night, and consequently
you must have a just Title to a superior Degree of Understanding
than the rest of your Sex; Yet your Wit is no ways flashy; Your
Taste is refin'd, and I have had the Honour to hear you talk more
learnedly than the wisest _Dervise_, with his venerable Beard, and
pointed Bonnet: You are discreet, and yet not mistrustful; you are
easy, but not weak; you are beneficent with Discretion; you love
your Friends, and create yourself no Enemies. Your most sprightly
Flights borrow no Graces from Detraction; you never speak a
misbecoming Word, nor do an ill-natur'd Action, tho' 'tis always in
your Power. In a Word, your Soul is as spotless as your Person. You
have, moreover, a little Fund of Philosophy, which gives me just
Grounds to hope that you'll relish this Historical Performance
better than any other Lady of your Quality would do.

It was originally compos'd in the _Chaldean_ Language, to which both
you and my self are perfect Strangers. It was translated, however,
into _Arabic_, for the Amusement of the celebrated Sultan OULOUG-BEG.
It first appear'd in Public, when the _Arabian_ and _Persian_ Tales
of One Thousand and One Nights, and One Thousand and One Days, were
most in Vogue: OULOUG chose rather to entertain himself with the
Adventures of _Zadig_. The Sultanas indeed were more fond of the
former. How can you, said the judicious OULOUG, be so partial, as to
prefer a Set of Tales, that are no ways interesting or instructive,
to a Work, that has a Variety of Beauties to recommend it? Oh!
replied the Sultanas, the less Sense there is in them, the more they
are in Taste; and the less their Merit, the greater their

I flatter my self, thou Patroness of Wisdom, that thou wilt not copy
after those thoughtless Sultanas, but give into the Sentiments of
OULOUG. I am in hopes likewise, when you are tir'd with the
Conversation of such as make those senseless Romances abovemention'd
their favourite Amusements, you will vouchsafe to listen for one
Minute or two, to the Dictates of solid Sense. Had you been
_Thalestris_ in the Days of _Scander_, the Son of _Philip_; had you
been the Queen of _Sheba_, in the Reign of _Solomon_, those Kings
would have been proud to have taken a Tour to visit you.

May the Celestial Virtues grant, that your Pleasures may meet with
no Interruption; your Charms know no Decay; and may your Felicity be




I, Who have subscrib'd my Name hereto, ambitious of being thought a
Man of Wit and Learning, have perus'd this MANUSCRIPT, which I find,
to my great Mortification, amusing, moral, philosophical, and fit to
be read, even by those who have an utter Aversion to Romances; for
which Reason, I have depretiated it, as it deserves, and have in
direct Terms told the CADI-LESQUIER, that 'tis a most detestable


  CHAP. I.     _The blind Eye_
  CHAP. II.    _The Nose_
  CHAP. III.   _The Dog and the Horse_, &c.
  CHAP. IV.    _The Envious Man_
  CHAP. V.     _The Force of Generosity_
  CHAP. VI.    _The Just Judge_
  CHAP. VII.   _The Force of Jealousy_
  CHAP. VIII.  _The Thresh'd Wife_
  CHAP. IX.    _The Captive_
  CHAP. X.     _The Funeral Pile_
  CHAP. XI.    _The Evening's Entertainment_
  CHAP. XII.   _The Rendezvous_
  CHAP. XIII.  _The Free-booter_
  CHAP. XIV.   _The Fisherman_
  CHAP. XV.    _The Basilisk_
  CHAP. XVI.   _The Tournaments_
  CHAP. XVII.  _The Hermit_
  CHAP. XVIII. _The Riddles, or Ænigmas_



Oriental History.


_The Blind_ EYE.

In the Reign of King _Moabdar_, there was a young Man, a Native of
_Babylon_, by name _Zadig_; who was not only endowed by Nature with
an uncommon Genius, but born of illustrious Parents, who bestowed on
him an Education no ways inferior to his Birth. Tho' rich and young,
he knew how to give a Check to his Passions; he was no ways
self-conceited; he didn't always act up to the strictest Rules of
Reason himself, and knew how to look on the Foibles of others, with
an Eye of Indulgence. Every one was surpriz'd to find, that
notwithstanding he had such a Fund of Wit, he never insulted; nay,
never so much as rallied any of his Companions, for that Tittle
Tattle, which was so vague and empty, so noisy and confus'd; for
those rash Reflections, those illiterate Conclusions, and those
insipid Jokes; and, in short, for that Flow of unmeaning Words,
which was call'd polite Conversation in _Babylon_. He had learned
from the first Book of _Zoroaster_, that Self-love is like a Bladder
full blown, which when once prick'd, discharges a kind of petty
Tempest. _Zadig_, in particular, never boasted of his Contempt of
the Fair Sex, or of his Facility to make Conquests amongst them. He
was of a generous Spirit; insomuch, that he was not afraid of
obliging even an ungrateful Man; strictly adhering to that wise
Maxim of _Zoroaster_. _When you are eating, throw an Offal to the
Dogs that are under the Table, lest they should be tempted to bite
you._ He was as wise as he could well be wish'd; since he was fond
of no Company, but such as were distinguish'd for Men of Sense. As
he was well-grounded, in all the Sciences of the antient
_Chaldeans_, he was no Stranger to those Principles of Natural
Philosophy, which were then known: And understood as much of
Metaphysics as any one in all Ages after him; that is to say, he
knew little or nothing of the Matter. He was firmly convinc'd, that
the Year consisted of 365 Days and an half, tho' directly repugnant
to the new Philosophy of the Age he liv'd in; and that the Sun was
situated in the Center of the Earth; And when the Chief Magi told
him, with an imperious Air, that he maintain'd erroneous Principles;
and that it was an Indignity offered to the Government under which
he liv'd, to imagine the Sun should roll round its own Axis, and
that the Year consisted of twelve Months, he knew how to sit still
and quiet, without shewing the least Tokens of Resentment or

As _Zadig_ was immensely rich, and had consequently Friends without
Number; and as he was a Gentleman of a robust Constitution, and
remarkably handsome; as he was endowed with a plentiful Share of
ready and inoffensive Wit: And, in a Word, as his Heart was
perfectly sincere and open, he imagin'd himself, in some Measure,
qualified to be perfectly happy. For which Purpose he determin'd to
marry a gay young Lady (one _Semira_ by name) whose Beauty, Birth
and Fortune, render'd her the most desirable Person in all
_Babylon_. He had a sincere Affection for her, grounded on Honour,
and _Semira_ conceiv'd as tender a Passion for him. They were just
upon the critical Minute of a mutual Conjunction in the Bands of
Matrimony, when, as they were walking Hand in Hand together towards
one of the Gates of _Babylon_, under the Shade of a Row of
Palm-trees, that grew on the Banks of the River _Euphrates_, they
were beset by a Band of Ruffians, arm'd with Sabres, Bows and
Arrows. They were the Guards, it seems, of young _Orcan_ (Nephew of
a certain Minister of State) whom the Parasites, kept by his Uncle,
had buoy'd up with a Permission to do, with Impunity, whatever he
thought proper. This young Rival, tho' he had none of those internal
Qualities to boast of that _Zadig_ had, yet he imagin'd himself a
Man of more Power; and for that Reason, was perfectly outrageous to
see the other preferr'd before him. This Fit of Jealousy, the Result
of mere Vanity, prompted him to think that he was deeply in Love
with the fair _Semira_; and fir'd with that amorous Notion, he was
determin'd to take her away from _Zadig_, by Dint of Arms. The
Ravishers rush'd rudely upon her, and in the Transport of their
Rage, drew the Blood of a Beauty, the Sight of whose Charms would
have soften'd the very Tigers of Mount _Imaüs_. The injur'd Lady
rent the very Heavens with her Exclamations. Where's my dear
Husband, she cried? They have torn me from the Arms of the only Man
whom I adore. She never reflected on the Danger to which she was
expos'd; her sole Concern was for her beloved _Zadig_. At the same
Time, he defended her, like a Lover, and a Man of Integrity and
Courage. With the Assistance only of two domestic Servants, he put
those Sons of Violence to Flight, and conducted _Semira_, bloody as
she was, and in fainting Fits, to her own House. No sooner was she
come to her self, but she fix'd her lovely Eyes on her Dear
Deliverer. O _Zadig_, said she, I love thee as affectionately, as if
I were actually thy Bride: I love thee, as the Man, to whom I owe my
Life, and what is dearer to me, the Preservation of my Honour. No
Heart sure could be more deeply smitten than that of _Semira_. Never
did the Lips of the fairest Creature living utter softer Sounds;
never did the most enamoured Lady breathe such tender Sentiments of
Love and Gratitude for his signal Service; never, in short, did the
most affectionate Bride express such Transports of Joy for the
fondest Husband. Her Wounds, however, were but very superficial, and
she was soon recover'd. _Zadig_ receiv'd a Wound that was much more
dangerous: An unlucky Arrow had graz'd one of his Eyes, and the
Orifice was deep. _Semira_ was incessant in her Prayers to the Gods
that they might restore her _Zadig_. Her Eyes were Night and Day
overwhelm'd with Tears. She waited with Impatience for the happy
Moment, when those of _Zadig_ might dart their Fires upon her; but
alas! the wounded Eye grew so inflam'd and swell'd, that she was
terrified to the last Degree. She sent as far as _Memphis_ for
_Hermes_, the celebrated Physician there, who instantly attended his
new Patient with a numerous Retinue. Upon his first Visit, he
peremptorily declared that _Zadig_ would lose his Eye; and foretold
not only the Day, but the very Hour when that woful Disaster would
befal him. Had it been, said that Great Man, his right Eye, I could
have administred an infallible Specific; but as it is, his
Misfortune is beyond the Art of Man to cure. Tho' all _Babylon_
pitied the hard Case of _Zadig_, they equally stood astonish'd at
the profound Penetration of _Hermes_. Two Days after the Imposthume
broke, without any Application, and _Zadig_ soon after was perfectly
recover'd. _Hermes_ thereupon wrote a very long and elaborate
Treatise, to prove that his Wound ought not to have been heal'd.
_Zadig_, however, never thought it worth his while to peruse his
learned Lucubrations; but, as soon as ever he could get abroad,
determin'd to pay the Lady a Visit, who had testified such uncommon
Concern for his Welfare, and for whose Sake alone he wish'd for the
Restoration of his Sight. _Semira_ he found had been out of Town for
three Days; but was inform'd, by the bye, that his intended Spouse,
having conceived an implacable Aversion to a one-ey'd Man, was that
very Night to be married to _Orcan_. At this unexpected ill News,
poor _Zadig_ was perfectly thunder-struck: He laid his Disappointment
so far to Heart, that in a short Time he was become a mere Skeleton,
and was sick almost to death for some Months afterwards. At last,
however, by Dint of Reflection, he got the better of his Distemper;
and the Acuteness of the Pain he underwent, in some Measure,
contributed towards his Consolation.

Since I have met with such an unexpected Repulse, said he, from a
capricious Court-Lady, I am determin'd to marry some substantial
Citizen's Daughter. He pitch'd accordingly upon _Azora_, a young
Gentlewoman extremely well-bred, an excellent Oeconomist, and one,
whose Parents were very rich.

Their Nuptials accordingly were soon after solemniz'd, and for a
whole Month successively, no two Turtles were ever more fond of each
other. In Process of Time, however, he perceiv'd she was a little
Coquettish, and too much inclin'd to think, that the handsomest
young Fellows were always the most virtuous and the greatest Wits.


_The_ NOSE.

One Day _Azora_, as she was just return'd home from taking a short
Country airing, threw herself into a violent Passion, and swell'd
with Invectives. What, in God's Name, my Dear, said _Zadig_, has
thus ruffled your Temper? What can be the Meaning of all these warm
Exclamations? Alas! said she, you would have been disgusted as much
as I am, had you been an Eye-witness of that Scene of Female
Falshood, as I was Yesterday. I went, you must know, to visit the
disconsolate Widow _Cosrou_, who has been these two Days erecting a
Monument to the Memory of her young deceased Husband, near the Brook
that runs on one side of her Meadow. She made the most solemn Vow,
in the Height of her Affliction, never to stir from that Tomb, as
long as ever that Rivulet took its usual Course.--Well! and wherein,
pray, said _Zadig_, is the good Woman so much to blame? Is it not an
incontestable Mark of her superior Merit and Conjugal-Affection?
But, _Zadig_, said _Azora_, was you to know how her Thoughts were
employ'd when I made my Visit, you'd never forget or forgive her.
Pray, my dearest _Azora_, what then was she about? Why, the
Creature, said _Azora_, was studying, to be sure, to find out Ways
and Means to turn the Current of the River.

_Azora_, in short, harangu'd so long, and, was so big with her
Invectives against the young Widow, that her too affected, vain Shew
of Virtue, gave _Zadig_ a secret Disgust.

_Zadig_ had an intimate Friend, one _Cador_ by Name, whose Spouse
was perfectly honest, and had in reality a greater Regard for him,
than all Mankind besides: This Friend _Zadig_ made his Confident,
and bound him to keep a Project of his entirely a Secret, by a
Promise of some valuable Token of his Respect. _Azora_ had been
visiting a Female Companion for two Days together in the Country,
and on the third was returning home: No sooner, however, was she in
Sight of the House, but the Servants ran to meet her with Tears in
their Eyes, and told her, that their Master dy'd suddenly the Night
before; that they durstn't carry her the doleful Tidings, but were
going to bury _Zadig_ in the Sepulchre of his Ancestors, at the
Bottom of the Garden. She burst into a Flood of Tears; tore her
Hair; and vow'd to die by his Side. As soon as it was dark, young
_Cador_ came, and begg'd the Favour of being introduc'd to the
Widow. He was so, and they wept together very cordially. Next Day
the Storm was somewhat abated, and they din'd together; _Cador_
inform'd her, that his Friend had left him the much greater Part of
his Effects, and gave her to understand, that he should think
himself the happiest Creature in the World, if she would condescend
to be his Partner in that Demise. The Widow wept, sobb'd, and began
to melt. More Time was spent in Supper than at Dinner. They
discoursed together with a little more Freedom. _Azora_ was lavish
of her Encomiums on _Zadig_; but then, 'twas true, she said, he had
some secret Infirmities to which _Cador_ was a Stranger. In the
Midst of their Midnight Entertainment, _Cador_ all on a sudden
complain'd that he was taken with a most violent pleuretic Fit, and
was ready to swoon away. Our Lady being extremely concern'd, and
over-officious, flew to her Closet of Cordials, and brought down
every Thing she could think of that might be of Service on this
emergent Occasion. She was extremely sorry that the famous _Hermes_
was gone from _Babylon_, and condescended to lay her warm Hand upon
the Part affected, in which he felt such an agonizing Pain. Pray
Sir, said she, in a soft, languishing Tone, are you subject to this
tormenting Malady? Sometimes, Madam, said _Cador_, so strong, that
they bring me almost to Death's Door; and there is but one Thing can
infallibly cure me; and that is, the Application of a dead Man's
Nose to the part affected. An odd Remedy truly, said _Azora_. Not
stranger, Madam, said he, than the Great *_Arnon's_ infallible
Apoplectic Necklaces.

    * There was at this Time in _Babylon_, a famous Doctor,
      nam'd _Arnon_, who both cur'd Apoplectic Fits, and
      prevented them from affecting his Patients, as was
      frequently advertiz'd in the Gazettes, by a little
      never-failing Purse that he hung round their Necks.

This Assurance of Success, together with _Cador's_ personal Merit,
determin'd _Azora_ in his Favour. After all, said she, when my
Husband shall be about to cross the Bridge _Tchimavar_, from this
World of Yesterday, to the other, of To-morrow, will the Angel
_Asrael_, think you, make any Scruple about his Passage, should his
Nose prove something shorter in the next Life than 'twas in this?
She would venture, however, and taking up a sharp Razor, repair'd to
her Husband's Tomb; water'd it first with her Tears, and then
intended to perform the innocent Operation, as he lay extended
breathless, as she thought, in his Coffin. _Zadig_ mounted in a
Moment; secur'd his Nose with one Hand, and the Incision-Knife with
the other. Madam, said he, never more exclaim against the Widow
_Cosrou_. The Scheme for cutting my Nose off was much closer laid
than hers of throwing the River into a new Channel.


_The_ DOG _and the_ HORSE.

_Zadig_ found, by Experience, that the first thirty Days of
Matrimony (as 'tis written in the Book of _Zend_) is Honey-Moon; but
the second is all Wormwood. He was oblig'd, in short, as _Azora_
grew such a Termagant, to sue out a Bill of Divorce, and to seek his
Consolation for the future, in the Study of Nature. Who is happier,
said he, than the Philosopher, who peruses with Understanding that
spacious Book, which the supreme Being has laid open before his
Eyes? The Truths he discovers there, are of infinite Service to him.
He thereby cultivates and improves his Mind. He lives in Peace and
Tranquility all his Days; he is afraid of Nobody, and he has no
tender, indulgent Wife to shorten his Nose for him.

Wrapped up in these Contemplations, he retir'd to a little Country
House on the Banks of the _Euphrates_; there he never spent his Time
in calculating how many Inches of Water run thro' the Arch of a
Bridge in a second of Time, or in enquiring if a Cube Line of Rain
falls more in the _Mouse-Month_, than in that of the _Ram_. He
form'd no Projects for making Silk Gloves and Stockings out of
Spiders Webbs, nor of China-Ware out of broken Glass-Bottles; but he
pry'd into the Nature and Properties of Animals and Plants, and
soon, by his strict and repeated Enquiries, he was capable of
discerning a Thousand Variations in visible Objects, that others,
less curious, imagin'd were all alike.

One Day, as he was taking a solitary Walk by the Side of a Thicket,
he espy'd one of the Queen's Eunuchs, with several of his
Attendants, coming towards him, hunting about, in deep Concern, both
here and there, like Persons almost in Despair, and seeking, with
Impatience, for something lost of the utmost Importance. Young Man,
said the Queen's chief Eunuch, have not you seen, pray, her
Majesty's Dog? _Zadig_ very cooly replied, you mean her Bitch, I
presume. You say very right Sir, said the Eunuch, 'tis a
Spaniel-Bitch indeed.--And very small said _Zadig_: She has had
Puppies too lately; she's a little lame with her left Fore-foot, and
has long Ears. By your exact Description, Sir, you must doubtless
have seen her, said the Eunuch, almost out of Breath. But I have not
Sir, notwithstanding, neither did I know, but by you, that the Queen
ever had such a favourite Bitch.

Just at this critical Juncture, so various are the Turns of
Fortune's Wheel! the best Palfrey in all the King's Stable had broke
loose from the Groom, and got upon the Plains of _Babylon_. The Head
Huntsman with all his inferior Officers, were in Pursuit after him,
with as much Concern, as the Eunuch about the Bitch. The Head
Huntsman address'd himself to _Zadig_, and ask'd him, whether he
hadn't seen the King's Palfrey run by him. No Horse, said _Zadig_,
ever gallop'd smoother; he is about five Foot high, his Hoofs are
very small; his Tail is about three Foot six Inches long; the studs
of his Bit are of pure Gold, about 23 Carats; and his Shoes are of
Silver, about Eleven penny Weight a-piece. What Course did he take,
pray, Sir? Whereabouts is he, said the Huntsman? I never sat Eyes on
him, reply'd _Zadig_, not I, neither did I ever hear before now,
that his Majesty had such a Palfrey.

The Head Huntsman, as well as the Head Eunuch, upon his answering
their Interrogatories so very exactly, not doubting in the least,
but that _Zadig_ had clandestinely convey'd both the Bitch and the
Horse away, secur'd him, and carried him before the grand Desterham,
who condemn'd him to the _Knout_, and to be confin'd for Life in
some remote and lonely Part of _Siberia_. No sooner had the Sentence
been pronounc'd, but the Horse and Bitch were both found. The Judges
were in some Perplexity in this odd Affair, and yet thought it
absolutely necessary, as the Man was innocent, to recal their
Decree. However, they laid a Fine upon him of Four Hundred Ounces of
Gold, for his false Declaration of his not having seen, what
doubtless he did: And the Fine was order'd to be deposited in Court
accordingly: On the Payment whereof, he was permitted to bring his
Cause on to a Hearing before the grand Desterham.

On the Day appointed for that Purpose he open'd the Cause himself,
in Terms to this or the like Effect.

Ye bright Stars of Justice, ye profound Abyss of universal
Knowledge, ye Mirrors of Equity, who have in you the Solidity of
Lead, the Hardness of Steel, the Lustre of a Diamond, and the
Resemblance of the purest Gold! Since ye have condescended so far,
as to admit of my Address to this August Assembly, I here, in the
most solemn Manner, swear to you by _Orosmades_, that I never saw
the Queen's illustrious Bitch, nor the sacred Palfrey of the King of
Kings. I'll be ingenuous, however, and declare the Truth, and
nothing but the Truth. As I was walking by the Thicket's Side, where
I met with her Majesty's most venerable chief Eunuch, and the King's
most illustrious chief Huntsman, I perceiv'd upon the Sand the
Footsteps of an Animal, and I easily inferr'd that it must be a
little one. The several small, tho' long Ridges of Land between the
Footsteps of the Creature, gave me just Grounds to imagine it was a
Bitch whose Teats hung down; and for that Reason, I concluded she
had but lately pupp'd. As I observ'd likewise some other Traces, in
some Degree different, which seem'd to have graz'd all the Way upon
the Surface of the Sand, on the Side of the fore-Feet, I knew well
enough she must have had long Ears. And forasmuch as I discern'd;
with some Degree of Curiosity, that the Sand was every where less
hollow'd by one Foot in particular, than by the other three, I
conceiv'd that the Bitch of our most august Queen was somewhat
lamish, if I may presume to say so.

As to the Palfrey of the King of Kings, give me leave to inform you,
that as I was walking down the Lane by the Thicket-side, I took
particular Notice of the Prints made upon the Sand by a Horse's
Shoes; and found that their Distances were in exact Proportion; from
that Observation, I concluded the Palfrey gallop'd well. In the next
Place, the Dust of some Trees in a narrow Lane, which was but seven
Foot broad, was here and there swept off, both on the Right and on
the Left, about three Feet and six Inches from the Middle of the
Road. For which Reason I pronounc'd the Tail of the Palfrey to be
three Foot and a half long, with which he had whisk'd off the Dust
on both Sides as he ran along. Again, I perceiv'd under the Trees,
which form'd a Kind of Bower of five Feet high, some Leaves that had
been lately fallen on the Ground, and I was sensible the Horse must
have shook them off; from whence I conjectur'd he was five Foot
high. As to the Bits of his Bridle, I knew they must be of Gold, and
of the Value I mention'd; for he had rubb'd the Studs upon a certain
Stone, which I knew to be a Touch-stone, by an Experiment that I had
made of it. To conclude, by the Prints which his Shoes had left of
some Flint-Stones of another Nature, I concluded his Shoes were
Silver, and of eleven penny Weight Fineness, as I before mention'd.

The whole Bench of Judges stood astonish'd at the Profundity of
_Zadig's_ nice Discernment. The News was soon carried to the King
and the Queen. _Zadig_ was not only the whole Subject of the Court's
Conversation; but his Name was mention'd with the utmost Veneration
in the King's Chambers, and his Privy-Council. And notwithstanding
several of their Magi declar'd he ought to be burnt for a Sorcerer;
yet the King thought proper, that the Fine he had deposited in
Court, should be peremptorily restor'd. The Clerk of the Court, the
Tipstaffs, and other petty Officers, waited on him in their proper
Habit, in order to refund the four Hundred Ounces of Gold, pursuant
to the King's express Order; modestly reserving only three Hundred
and ninety Ounces, part thereof, to defray the Fees of the Court.
And the Domesticks swarm'd about him likewise, in Hopes of some
small Consideration.

_Zadig_, upon winding up of the Bottom, was fully convinc'd, that it
was very dangerous to be over-wise; and was determin'd to set a
Watch before the Door of his Lips for the future.

An Opportunity soon offer'd for the Trial of his Resolution. A
Prisoner of State had just made his Escape, and pass'd under the
Window of _Zadig's_ House. _Zadig_ was examin'd thereupon, but was
absolutely dumb. However, as it was plainly prov'd upon him, that he
did look out of the Window at the same Time, he was sentenc'd to pay
five Hundred Ounces of Gold for that Misdemeanor; and moreover, was
oblig'd to thank the Court for their Indulgence; a Compliment which
the Magistrates of _Babylon_ expect to be paid them. Good God! said
he, to himself, have I not substantial Reason to complain, that my
impropitious Stars should direct me to walk by a Wood's-Side, where
the Queen's Bitch and the King's Palfrey should happen to pass by?
How dangerous is it to pop one's Head out of one's Window? And, in a
Word, how difficult is it for a Man to be happy on this Side the



As _Zadig_ had met with such a Series of Misfortunes, he was
determin'd to ease the Weight of them by the Study of Philosophy,
and the Conversation of select Friends. He was still possess'd of a
little pretty Box in the Out-parts of _Babylon_, which was furnish'd
in a good Taste; where every Artist was welcome, and wherein he
enjoy'd all the rational Pleasures that a virtuous Man could well
wish for. In the Morning, his Library was always open for the Use of
the Learned; at Night his Table was fill'd with the most agreeable
Companions; but he was soon sensible, by Experience, how dangerous
it was to keep learned Men Company. A warm Dispute arose about a
certain Law of _Zoroaster_; which prohibited the Eating of Griffins:
But to what Purpose said some of the Company, was that Prohibition,
since there is no such Animal in Nature? Some again insisted that
there must; for otherwise _Zoroaster_ could never have been so weak
as to give his Pupils such a Caution. _Zadig_, in order to
compromize the Matter, said; Gentlemen, If there are such Creatures
in Being, let us never touch them; and if there are not, we are well
assur'd we can't touch them; so in either Case we shall comply with
the Commandment.

A learned Man at the upper End of the Table, who had compos'd
thirteen Volumes, expatiating on every Property of the Griffin, took
this Affair in a very serious Light, which would greatly have
embarrass'd _Zadig_, but for the Credit of a Magus, who was Brother
to his Friend _Cador_. From that Day forward, _Zadig_ ever
distinguish'd and preferr'd good, before learned Company: He
associated with the most conversible Men, and the most amiable
Ladies in all _Babylon_; he made elegant Entertainments, which were
frequently preceded by a Concert of Musick, and enliven'd by the
most facetious Conversation, in which, as he had felt the Smart of
it, he had laid aside all Thoughts of shewing his Wit, which is not
only the surest Proof that a Man has none, but the most infallible
Means to spoil all good Company.

Neither the Choice of his Friends, nor that of his Dishes, was the
Result of Pride or Ostentation. He took Delight in appearing to be,
what he actually was, and not in seeming to be what he was not; and
by that Means, got a greater real Character than he actually aim'd

Directly opposite to his House liv'd _Arimazes_, one puff'd up with
Pride, who not meeting with Success in the World, sought his Revenge
in railing against all Mankind. Rich as he was, it was almost more
than he could accomplish, to procure ev'n any Parasites about him.
Tho' the rattling of the Chariots which stopp'd at _Zadig's_ Door
was a perfect Nuisance to him; yet the good Character which every
Body gave him was still a higher Provocation. He would sometimes
intrude himself upon _Zadig_, and set down at his Table without any
Invitation; when there, he would most certainly interrupt the Mirth
of the Company, as Harpies, they say, infect the very Carrion that
they eat.

_Arimazes_ took it in his Head one Day to invite a young Lady to an
Entertainment; but she, instead of accepting of his Offer, spent the
Evening at _Zadig's_. Another Time, as _Zadig_ and he were chatting
together at Court, a Minister of State came up to them, and invited
_Zadig_ to Supper, but took no Notice of _Arimazes_. The most
implacable Aversions have frequently no better Foundations. This
Gentleman, who was call'd the _envious Man_, would have taken away
the Life of _Zadig_ if he could because most People distinguish'd
him by the Title of the _Happy Man_. "An Opportunity of doing
Mischief, says _Zoroaster_, offers itself a hundred Times a Day; but
that of doing a Friend a good Office but once a Year."

_Arimazes_ went one Day to _Zadig's_ House, when he was walking in
his Garden with two Friends, and a young Lady, to whom he said
Abundance of fine Things, with no other Design but the innocent
Pleasure of saying them. Their Conversation turn'd on a War that the
King had happily put an End to, between him and his Vassal, the
Prince of _Hyrcania_. _Zadig_ having signaliz'd himself in that
short War, commended his Majesty very highly, but was more lavish of
his Compliments on the Lady. He took out his Pocket Book, and wrote
four extempore Verses on that Occasion, and gave them the Lady to
read. The Gentlemen then present begg'd to be oblig'd with a Sight
of them, as well as the Lady, But either thro' Modesty, or rather a
self-Consciousness that he hadn't happily succeeded, he gave them a
flat Denial. He was sensible, that a sudden poetic Flight must prove
insipid to every one but the Person in whose Favour it is written,
whereupon he snapt the Table in two whereon the Lines were wrote,
and threw both Pieces into a Rose-bush, where they were hunted for,
but to no Purpose. Soon after it happened to rain, and all the
Company flew into the House, but _Arimazes_. Notwithstanding the
Shower, he continued in the Garden, and never quitted it, till he
had found one Moiety of the Tablet, which was unfortunately broke in
such a Manner, that even the half Lines were good sense, and good
Metre, tho' very short. But what was still more remarkably
unfortunate, they appear'd at first View, to be a severe satyr upon
the King: The Words were these:

                                        _To flagrant Crimes
                                             His Crown he owes;
                                         To peaceful Times
                                             The worst of Foes._

This was the first Moment that ever _Arimazes_ was happy. He had it
now in his Power to ruin the most virtuous and innocent of Men. Big
with his execrable Joy, he flew to his Majesty with this virulent
Satyr of _Zadig's_ under his own Hand. Not only _Zadig_, but his two
Friends and the Lady were immediately close confin'd. His Cause was
soon over; for the Judges turn'd a deaf Ear to what he had to say.
When Sentence of Condemnation was pass'd upon him, _Arimazes_, still
spiteful, was heard to say, as he went out of Court, with an Air of
Contempt, that _Zadig's_ Lines were Treason indeed, but nothing
more. Tho' _Zadig_ didn't value himself on Account of his Genius for
Poetry; yet he was almost distracted to find himself condemn'd for
the worst of Traitors, and his two Friends and the Lady lock'd up in
a Dungeon for a Crime, of which he was no ways guilty. He wasn't
permitted to speak one Word for himself. His Pocket-Book was
sufficient Evidence against him. So strict were the Laws of
_Babylon_! He was carried to the Place of Execution, through a Croud
of Spectators, who durstn't condole with him, and who flock'd about
him, to observe whether his Countenance chang'd, or whether he died
with a good Grace. His Relations were the only real Mourners; for
there was no Estate in Reversion for them; three Parts of his
Effects were confiscated for the King's Use, and the fourth was
devoted, as a Reward, to the use of the Informer.

Just at the Time that he was preparing himself for Death, the King's
Parrot flew from her Balcony, into _Zadig's_ Garden, and alighted on
a Rose-bush. A Peach, that had been blown down, and drove by the
Wind from an adjacent Tree, just under the Bush, was glew'd, as it
were, to the other Moiety of the Tablet. Away flew the Parrot with
her Booty, and return'd to the King's Lap. The Monarch, being
somewhat curious, read the Words on the broken Tablet, which had no
Meaning in them as he could perceive, but seem'd to be the broken
Parts of a Tetrastick. He was a great Admirer of Poetry; and the odd
Adventure of his Parrot, put him upon Reflection. The Queen who
recollected full well the Lines that were wrote on the Fragment of
_Zadig's_ Tablet, order'd that Part of it to be produc'd: Both the
broken Pieces being put together, they answered exactly the
Indentures; and then the Verses which _Zadig_ had written, in a
Flight of Loyalty, ran thus,

    _Tyrants are prone to flagrant Crimes;
       To Clemency his Crown he owes;
     To Concord and to peaceful Times,
       Love only is the worst of Foes._

Upon this the King order'd _Zadig_ to be instantly brought before
him; and his two Friends and the Lady to be that Moment discharg'd.
_Zadig_, as he stood before the King and Queen, fix'd his Eyes upon
the Ground, and begg'd their Majesty's Pardon for his little
worthless, poetical Attempt. He spoke, however, with such a becoming
Grace, and with so much Modesty and good Sense, that the King and
the Queen, ordered him to be brought before them once again. He was
brought accordingly, and he pleas'd them still more and more. In
short, they gave him all the immense Estate of _Arimazes_, who had
so unjustly accus'd him; but _Zadig_ generously return'd the wicked
Informer the Whole to a Farthing. The envious Man, however, was no
ways affected, but with the Restoration of his Effects. _Zadig_
every Day grew more and more in Favour at Court. He was made a Party
in all the King's Pleasures, and nothing was done in the
Privy-Council without him. The Queen, from that very Hour, shew'd
him so much Respect, and spoke to him in such soft and endearing
Terms, that in Process of Time, it prov'd of fatal Consequence to
herself, her Royal Consort, to _Zadig_, and the whole Kingdom.
_Zadig_ now began to think it was not so difficult a Thing to be
happy as at first he imagin'd.


_The_ Force _of_ Generosity.

The Time now drew near for the Celebration of a grand Festival,
which was kept but once in five Years. 'Twas a constant Custom in
_Babylon_ at the Expiration of the Term above-mention'd, to
distinguish that Citizen from all the Rest, in the most solemn
Manner, who had done the most generous Action; and the Grandees and
Magi always sat as Judges. The _Satrap_ inform'd them of every
praise-worthy Deed that occurr'd within his District. All were put
to the Vote, and the King himself pronounc'd the Definitive
Sentence. People of all Ranks and Degrees came from the remotest
Part of the Kingdom to be present at this Solemnity. The Victor,
whoever he was, receiv'd from the King's own Hand a golden Cup,
enrich'd with precious Stones, and upon the Delivery, the King made
use of the following Salutation. _Receive this Reward of your
Generosity, and may the Gods grant me Thousands of such valuable

Upon this memorable Day, the King appear'd in all the Pomp
imaginable on his Throne of State, surrounded by his Grandees, the
Magi, and the Deputies, from all the surrounding Nations, of every
Province that attended these public Sports, where Honour was to be
acquir'd, not by the Velocity of the best Race-Horse, or by bodily
Strength, but by intrinsic Merit. The principal _Satrap_ proclaim'd,
with an audible Voice, such Actions as would entitle the Victor to
the inestimable Prize; but never mention'd one Word of _Zadig's_
Greatness of Soul, in returning his invidious Neighbour all his
Estate, notwithstanding he would have taken away his Life: That was
but a Trifle, and not worth speaking of.

The first that was set up for the Prize, was a Judge, that had
occasion'd a Citizen to lose a very considerable Cause, through some
Mistake, for which he was no ways responsible, and made him
Restitution out of his private Purse.

The next Candidate was a Youth, that tho' violently in Love with one
that he intended shortly to make his Spouse, yet resign'd her to his
Friend, who was just expiring at her Feet; and moreover, gave her a
Portion at the same Time.

After this appear'd a Soldier, who, in the _Hyrcanian_ War, had done
a much more glorious Action than the Lover. A Gang of _Hyrcanians_
having taken his Mistress from him, he fought them bravely, and
rescued her out of their Hands: Soon after, he was inform'd, that
another Band of the same Party had hurried away his Mother to a
Place not far distant; he left his Mistress, all drown'd in Tears,
and ran to his Mother's Assistance: After that Skirmish was over, he
returned to his Sweet-heart, and found her just expiring. He would
fain have plung'd a Dagger into his Heart that Moment; but his
Mother remonstrated to him, that, should he die, she should be
entirely helpless, and upon that Account only he had Courage to live
a little longer.

The Judges seem'd very much inclin'd to give their Votes for the
Soldier; but the King prevented them, by saying, that the Soldier's
Action was praise-worthy enough, and so were those of the rest, but
none of them give me any Surprize. What _Zadig_ did Yesterday
perfectly struck me with Astonishment. I'll mention another
Instance. I had some few Days ago, as a Testimony of my Resentment,
banish'd my Prime-Minister, and Favourite _Coreb_ from the Court. I
complain'd of his Conduct in the warmest Terms; and all my
Sycophants about me, told me that I was too merciful; and loaded him
with the sharpest Invectives. I ask'd _Zadig_ what his Opinion was
of _Coreb_; and he dar'd to give him the best of Characters. I must
confess, I have read in our publick Records, indeed, of Instances
where Restitution have been generally made, for Injuries committed
by Mistake; where a Mistress has been resign'd; and where a Mother
has been preferr'd to a Mistress; but I never read of a Courtier,
that would speak to the Advantage of a Minister in Disgrace, and
against whom the Sovereign was highly incens'd. I'll give 20,000
Pieces of Gold to every Candidate that has been this Day proclaim'd,
but I'll give the Cup to no one but _Zadig_.

Sire, said _Zadig_, 'tis your Majesty alone, that deserves the Cup;
'tis you alone who have done an Action of Generosity, never heard of
before; since you, who are King of Kings, wasn't exasperated against
your Slave, when he contradicted you in the Heat of your Passion.
Every Body gaz'd with Eyes of Admiration on the King and _Zadig_.
The Judge, who had generously made Restitution for his Error; the
Lover, who had married his Mistress to his Friend; the Soldier, who
had preferr'd the Welfare of his Mother to that of his Mistress;
received the promis'd Donation from the Monarch, and saw their Names
register'd in the Book of _Fame_: But _Zadig_ had the Cup. The King
got the universal Character of a good Prince, which he did not long
preserve. This joyful Day was solemniz'd with Festivals beyond the
Time by Law establish'd. Tragedies were acted there that drew Tears
from the Spectators; and Comedies that made them laugh; Entertainments,
that the _Babylonians_ were perfect Strangers to: The Commemoration
of it is still preserv'd in _Asia_. Now, said _Zadig_, I am happy at
last; but he was grosly mistaken.



Young as _Zadig_ was, he was constituted chief Judge of all the
Tribunals throughout the Empire. He fill'd the Place, like one, whom
the Gods had endow'd with the strictest Justice, and the most solid
Wisdom. It was to him, the Nations round about were indebted for
that generous Maxim; _that 'tis much more Prudence to acquit two
Persons, tho' actually guilty, than to pass Sentence of Condemnation
in one that is virtuous and innocent_. It was his firm Opinion, that
the Laws were intended to be a Praise to those who did well, as much
as to be a Terror to Evildoers. It was his peculiar Talent to render
Truth as obvious as possible: Whereas most Men study to render it
intricate and obscure. On the very first Day of his Entrance into
his High Office, he exerted this peculiar Talent. A rich Merchant,
and a Native of _Babylon_, died in the _Indies_. He had made his
Will, and appointed his two Sons Joint-Heirs of his Estate, as soon
as they had settled their Sister, and married her with their mutual
Approbation. Moreover, he left a specific Legacy of 30,000 Pieces of
Gold to that Son, who should, after his Decease, be prov'd to love
him best. The Eldest erected to his Memory a very costly Monument:
The Youngest appropriated a considerable Part of his Bequest to the
Augmentation of his Sister's Fortune: Every one, without Hesitation,
gave the Preference to the Elder, allowing the Younger to have the
greatest Affection for his Sister. The Legacy therefore was
doubtless due to the Eldest.

Their Cause came before _Zadig_, and he examin'd them apart. To the
former, said _Zadig_, Your Father, Sir, is not dead, as is reported,
but being happily recover'd, is on his Return to _Babylon_. God be
praised, said the young Man! but I hope the Expence I have been at
in raising this superb Monument will be consider'd. After this,
_Zadig_ repeated the same Story to the Younger. God be praised, said
he! I will immediately restore all that he has left me; but I hope
my Father will not recal the little Present I have made my Sister.
You have nothing to restore, Sir; you shall have the Legacy of the
thirty thousand Pieces; for 'tis you that have the greatest
Veneration for your deceased Father.

A young Lady that was very rich, had entred into a Marriage-Contract
with two _Magis_; and having receiv'd Instructions from both Parties
for some Months, she prov'd with Child. They were both ready and
willing to marry her. But, said she, he shall be my Husband, that
has put me into a Capacity of serving my Country, by adding one to
it. 'Tis I, Madam, that have answered that valuable End, said one;
but the other insisted 'twas his Operation. Well! said she, since
this is a Moot-point, I'll acknowledge him for the Father of the
Child, that will give him the most liberal Education. In a short
Time after, my Lady was brought to Bed of a hopeful Boy. Each of
them insisted on being Tutor, and the Cause was brought before
_Zadig_. The two Magi were order'd to appear in Court. Pray Sir,
said _Zadig_ to the first, what Method of Instruction do you propose
to pursue for the Improvement of your young Pupil? He shall first be
grounded, said this learned Pedagogue, in the Eight Parts of Speech;
then I'll teach him Logic, Astrology, Magick, the wide Difference
between the Terms Substance and Accident, Abstract and Concrete,
_&c. &c._ As for my Part, Sir, I shall take another Course, said the
second; I'll do my utmost to make him an honest Man, and acceptable
to his Friends. Upon this, _Zadig_ said, you, Sir, shall marry the
Mother, let who will be the Father.

There came daily Complaints to Court against the _Itimadoulet_ of
_Media_, whose Name was _Irax_. He was a Person of Quality, who was
possess'd of a very considerable Estate, notwithstanding he had
squander'd away a great Part of it, by indulging himself in all
Manner of expensive Pleasures. It was but seldom that an Inferior
was suffer'd to speak to him; but not a Soul durst contradict him:
No Peacock was more gay; no Turtle more amorous; and no Tortoise
more indolent and inactive. He made false Glory and false Pleasures
his sole Pursuit.

_Zadig_, undertaking to cure him, sent him forthwith, as by express
Order from the King, a Musick-Master with twelve Voices, and 24
Violins, as his Attendants; a Head Steward, with six Men Cooks, and
4 Chamberlains, who were never to be out of his Sight. The King
issued out his Writ for the punctual Observance of his Royal Will;
and thus the Affair proceeded.

The first Morning, as soon as the voluptuous _Irax_ had open'd his
Eyes, his Musick-Master, with the Voices and Violins, entred his
Apartment. They sang a Cantata, that lasted two Hours and three
Minutes. Every three Minutes the Chorus, or Burthen of the Song, was
to this Effect.

    _Tisn't in Words to speak your Praise;
      What mighty Honours are your Due!
     To worth like yours we Altars raise,
      No Monarch's happier, Sir, than you._

After the Cantata was over, the Chamberlain address'd him in a
formal Harangue for three Quarters of an Hour without ceasing;
wherein he took Occasion to extol every Virtue to which he was a
perfect Stranger; when the Oration was over, he was conducted to
Dinner, where the Musicians were all in waiting, and play'd, as soon
as he was seated at his Table. Dinner lasted three Hours before he
condescended to speak a Word. When he did; you say Right, Sir, said
the chief Chamberlain; scarce had he utter'd four Words more, but
Right, Sir, said the second. The other two Chamberlain's Time was
taken up in laughing with Admiration at _Irax's_ Smart Repartees, or
at least such as he ought to have made. After the Cloth was taken
away, the adulating Chorus was repeated.

This first Day _Irax_ was all in Raptures; he imagin'd, that this
Honour done him by the King of Kings, was the sole Result of his
exalted Merit. The second wasn't altogether so agreeable; The third
prov'd somewhat troublesome; the fourth insupportable; the fifth was
tormenting; and at last, he was perfectly outrageous at the
continual Peal in his Ears of No Monarch's happier Sir, than you,
You say right, _&c._ and at being daily harangu'd at the same Hour.
Whereupon he wrote to Court, and begg'd of his Majesty to recal his
Chamberlain, his Musick-Master, and all his Retinue, his Head
Steward and his Cooks, and promis'd, in the most submissive Manner,
to be less vain, and more industrious for the future. Tho' he didn't
require so much Adulations, nor such grand Entertainments, he was
much more happy; for, as _Sadder_ has it, _One continued Scene of
Pleasure, is no Pleasure at all_.

_Zadig_ every Day gave incontestable Proofs of his wondrous
Penetration, and the Goodness of his Heart; he was ador'd by the
People, and was the Darling of the King. The little Difficulties
that he met with in the first Stage of his Life, serv'd only to
augment his present Felicity. Every Night, however, he had some
unlucky Dream or another, that gave him some Disturbance. One while,
he imagin'd himself extended on a Bed of wither'd Plants, amongst
which there were some that were sharp pointed, and made him very
restless and uneasy; another Time, he fancied himself repos'd on a
Bed of Roses, out of which rush'd a Serpent, that stung him to the
Heart with his envenom'd Tongue. Alas! said he, waking, I was one
while upon a Bed of hard and nauseous Plants, and just this Moment
repos'd on a Bed of Roses. But then the Serpent.--


_The Force of_ JEALOUSY.

The Misfortunes that attended _Zadig_ proceeded, in a great Measure,
from his Preferment; but more from his intrinsic Merit. Every Day he
had familiar Converse with the King, his Royal Master, and his
august Consort, _Astarte_. And the Pleasure arising from thence was
greatly enhanc'd from an innate Ambition of pleasing, which, in
regard to Wit, is the same, as Dress is to Beauty. His Youth, and
graceful Deportment, had a greater Influence on _Astarte_, than she
was at first aware of. Tho' her Affection for him daily encreas'd;
yet she was perfectly innocent. _Astarte_ would say, without the
least Reserve or Apprehension of Fear, that she was extreamly
pleas'd with the Company of one, who was, not only a Favourite of
her Husband, but the Darling of the whole Empire. She was
continually speaking in his Commendation before the King: He was the
Subject of her whole Discourse amongst her Ladies of Honour, who
were as lavish of their Praises as herself. Such repeated
Discourses, however innocent, made a deeper Impression on her Heart,
than she at that Time apprehended. She would every now and then send
_Zadig_ some little Present or another; which he construed as the
Result of a greater Value for him than she intended. She said no
more of him, as she thought, than a Queen might innocently do, who
was perfectly assur'd of his Attachment to her Husband; sometimes,
indeed, she would express her self with an Air of Tenderness and

_Astarte_ was much handsomer than either his Mistress _Semira_, who
had such a natural Antipathy to a one-eyed Lord, or _Azora_, his
late loving Spouse, that would innocently have cut his Nose off. The
Freedoms which _Astarte_ took, her tender Expressions, at which she
began to blush, the Glances of her Eye, which she would turn away,
if perceiv'd, and which she fix'd upon his, kindled in the Heart of
_Zadig_ a Fire, which struck him with Amazement. He did all he could
to smother it; he call'd up all the Philosophy he was Master of to
his Aid; but all in vain, for no Consolation arose from those

Duty, Gratitude, and an injur'd Monarch, presented themselves before
his Eyes, as avenging Deities: He bravely struggled; he triumph'd
indeed; but this Conquest over his Passions, which he was oblig'd to
check every Moment, cost him many a deep Sigh and Tear. He durst not
talk with the Queen any more, with that Freedom which was too
engaging on both Sides; his Eyes were obnubilated; his Discourse was
forc'd and unconnected; he turn'd his Eyes another Way; and when,
against his Inclination, they met with those of the Queen, he found,
that tho' drown'd in Tears, they darted Flames of Fire: They seem'd
in Silence to intimate, that they were afraid of being in love with
each other; and that both burn'd with a Fire which both condemn'd.

_Zadig_ flew from her Presence, like one beside himself, and in
Despair; his Heart was over-charg'd with a Burthen, too great for
him to bear: In the Heat of his Conflicts, he disclos'd the Secrets
of his Heart to his trusty Friend _Cador_, as one, who, having long
groan'd under the Weight of an inexpressible Anguish of Mind, at
once makes known the Cause of his Torments by the Groans, as it
were, extorted from him, and by the Drops of a cold Sweat, that
trickled down his Cheeks.

_Cador_ said to him; 'tis now some considerable Time since, I have
discover'd that secret Passion which you have foster'd in your
Bosom, and yet endeavour'd to conceal even from your self. The
Passions carry along with them such strong Impressions, that they
cannot be conceal'd. Tell me ingenuously _Zadig_; and be your own
Accuser, whether or no, since I have made this Discovery, the King
has not shewn some visible Marks of his Resentment. He has no other
Foible, but that of being the most jealous Mortal breathing. You
take more Pains to check the Violence of your Passion, than the
Queen herself does; because you are a Philosopher; because, in
short, you are _Zadig_; _Astarte_ is but a weak Woman; and tho' her
Eyes speak too visibly, and with too much Imprudence; yet she does
not think her self blame-worthy. Being conscious of her Innocence,
to her own Misfortune, as well as yours, she is too unguarded. I
tremble for her; because I am sensible her Conscience acquits her.
Were you both agreed, you might conceal your Regard for each other
from all the World: A rising Passion, that is smother'd, breaks out
into a Flame; Love, when once gratified, knows how to conceal itself
with Art. _Zadig_ shudder'd at the Proposition of ungratefully
violating the Bed of his Royal Benefactor; and never was there a
more loyal Subject to a Prince, tho' guilty of an involuntary Crime.
The Queen, however, repeated the Name of _Zadig_ so often, and her
Cheeks glow'd with such a red, when ever she utter'd it; she was one
while so transported, and at another, so dejected, when the
Discourse turn'd upon him in the King's Presence; she was in such a
Reverie, so confus'd and stupid, when he went out of the Presence,
that her Deportment made the King extremely uneasy. He was convinc'd
of every Thing he saw, and form'd in his Mind an Idea of a thousand
Things he did not see. He observ'd, particularly, that _Astarte's_
Sandals were blue; so _Zadig's_ were blue likewise; that as the
Queen wore yellow Ribbands, _Zadig's_ Turbet was of the same Colour:
These were shocking Circumstances for a Monarch of his Cast of Mind
to reflect on! To a Mind, in short, so distemper'd as his was,
Suspicions were converted into real Facts.

All Court Slaves, and Sycophants, are so many Spies on Kings and
Queens: They soon discover'd that _Astarte_ was fond, and _Moabdar_
jealous. _Arimazius_, his envious Foe, who was as incorrigible as
ever; for Flints will never soften; and Creatures, that are by
Nature venemous, forever retain their Poison. _Arimazius_, I say,
wrote an anonymous Letter to _Moabdar_, the infamous Recourse of
sordid Spirits, who are the Objects of universal Contempt; but in
this Case, an Affair of the last Importance; because this Letter
tallied with the baneful Suggestions that Monarch had conceiv'd. In
short, his Thoughts were now wholly bent upon Revenge. He determin'd
to poison _Astarte_ on a certain Night, and to have _Zadig_
strangled by Break of Day. Orders for that Purpose were expressly
given to a merciless, inhuman Eunuch, the ready Executioner of his
Vengeance. At that critical Conjuncture, there happen'd to be a
Dwarf, who was dumb, but not deaf, in the King's Apartment. Nobody
regarded him: He was an Eye and Ear-witness of all that pass'd, and
yet no more suspected than any irrational Domestic Animal. This
little Dwarf had conceiv'd a peculiar Regard for _Astarte_ and
_Zadig_: He heard, with equal Horror and Surprize, the King's Orders
to destroy them both. But how to prevent those Orders from being put
into Execution, as the Time was so short, was all his Concern. He
could not write, 'tis true, but he had luckily learnt to draw, and
take a Likeness. He spent a good Part of the Night in delineating
with Crayons, on a Piece of Paper, the imminent Danger that thus
attended the Queen. In one Corner, he represented the King highly
incens'd, and giving his cruel Eunuch the fatal Orders; in another,
a Bowl and a Cord upon a Table; in the Center was the Queen,
expiring in the Arms of her Maids of Honour, with _Zadig_ strangled,
and laid dead at her Feet. In the Horizon was the rising Sun, to
denote, that this execrable Scene was to be exhibited by Break of
Day. No sooner was his Design finish'd, but he ran with it to one of
_Astarte's_ Female Favourites, then in waiting, call'd her up, and
gave her to understand, that she must carry the Draught to _Astarte_
that very Moment.

In the mean Time, the Queen's Attendants, tho' it was Dead of Night,
knock'd at the Door of _Zadig's_ Apartment, wak'd him, and deliver'd
into his Hands a Billet from the Queen. At first he could not well
tell whether he was only in a Dream or not, but soon read the
Letter, with a trembling Hand, and a heavy Heart: Words can't
express his Surprise, and the Agonies of Despair which he was in
upon his perusal of the Contents. _Fly_, said she, _Dear_ Zadig,
_this very Moment; for your Life's in the utmost Danger: Fly, Dear_
Zadig, _I conjure you, in the Name of that fatal Passion, with which
I have long struggled, and which I now venture to discover, as I
am to make Atonement for it, in a few Moments, by the Loss of my
Life. Tho' I am conscious to myself of my Innocence, I find I am to
feel the Weight of my Husband's Resentment, and die the Death of a

_Zadig_ was scarce able to speak. He order'd his Friend _Cador_ to
be instantly call'd, and gave him the Letter the Moment he came,
without opening his Lips. _Cador_ press'd him to regard the
Contents, and to make the best of his Way to _Memphis_. If you
presume, said he, to have an Interview with her Majesty first, you
inevitably hasten her Execution; or if you wait upon the King, the
fatal Consequence will be the same: I'll prevent her unhappy Fate,
if possible; you follow but your own: I'll give it out, that you are
gone to the _Indies_: I'll wait on you as soon as the Hurricane is
blown over, and I'll let you know all that occurs material in

_Cador_, that Instant, order'd two of the fleetest Dromedaries that
could be got, to be in readiness at a private Back-Door belonging to
the Court; he help'd _Zadig_ to mount his Beast, tho' ready to drop
into the Earth. He had but one trusty Servant to attend him, and
_Cador_, overwhelm'd with Grief, soon lost Sight of his dearly
beloved Friend.

This illustrious Fugitive soon reach'd the Summit of a little Hill,
that afforded him a fair Prospect of the whole City of _Babylon_:
But turning his Eyes back towards the Queen's Palace, he fainted
away; and when he had recover'd his Senses, he drown'd his Eyes in a
Flood of Tears, and with Impatience wish'd for Death. To conclude,
after he had reflected, with Horror, on the deplorable Fate of the
most amiable Creature in the Universe, and of the most meritorious
Queen that ever liv'd; he for a Moment commanded his Passion, and
with a Sigh, made the following Exclamations: What is this mortal
Life! O Virtue, Virtue, of what Service hast thou been to me! Two
young Ladies, a Mistress, and a Wife, have prov'd false to me; a
third, who is perfectly innocent, and ten thousand Times handsomer
than either of them, has suffer'd Death, 'tis probable, before this,
on my Account! All the Acts of Benevolence which I have shewn, have
been the Foundation of my Sorrows, and I have been only rais'd to
the highest Spoke of Fortune's Wheel, for no other Purpose than to
be tumbled down with the greater Force. Had I been as abandon'd as
some Miscreants are, I had like them been happy. His Head thus
overwhelm'd with these melancholy Reflections, his Eyes thus sunk in
his Head, and his meagre Cheeks all pale and languid; and, in a
Word, his very Soul thus plung'd in the Abyss of deep Despair, he
pursu'd his Journey towards _Egypt_.


_The Thrash'd_ WIFE.

_Zadig_ steer'd his Course by the Stars that shone over his Head.
The Constellation of Orion, and the radiant Dog-star directed him
towards the Pole of Canope. He reflected with Admiration on those
immense Globes of Light, which appear'd to the naked Eye no more
than little twinkling Lights; whereas the Earth he was then
traversing, which, in Reality, is no more than an imperceptible
Point in Nature, seem'd, according to the selfish Idea we generally
entertain of it, something very immense, and very magnificent. He
then reflected on the whole Race of Mankind, and look'd upon them,
as they are in Fact, a Parcel of Insects, or Reptiles, devouring one
another on a small Atom of Clay. This just Idea of them greatly
alleviated his Misfortunes, recollecting the Nothingness, if we may
be allow'd the Expression, of his own Being, and even of _Babylon_
itself. His capacious Soul now soar'd into Infinity, and he
contemplated, with the same Freedom, as if she was disencumber'd
from her earthly Partner, on the immutable Order of the Universe.
But as soon as she cower'd her Wings, and resumed her native Seat,
he began to consider that _Astarte_ might possibly have lost her
Life for his Sake; upon which, his Thoughts of the Universe vanish'd
all at once, and no other Objects appear'd before his distemper'd
Eyes, but his _Astarte_ giving up the Ghost, and himself overwhelm'd
with a Sea of Troubles: As he gave himself up to this Flux and
Reflux of sublime Philosophy and Anxiety of Mind, he was insensibly
arriv'd on the Frontiers of _Egypt_: And his trusty Attendant had,
unknown to him, stept into the first Village, and sought out for a
proper Apartment for his Master and himself. _Zadig_ in the mean
Time made the best of his Way to the adjacent Gardens; where he saw,
not far distant from the High-way, a young Lady, all drown'd in
Tears, calling upon Heaven and Earth for Succour in her Distress,
and a Man, fir'd with Rage and Resentment, in pursuit after her. He
had now just overtaken her, and she fell prostrate at his Feet
imploring his Forgiveness. He loaded her with a thousand Reproaches;
nor did he spare to chastise her in the most outrageous Manner. By
the _Egyptian's_ cruel Deportment towards her, he concluded that the
Man was a jealous Husband, and that the Lady was an Inconstant, and
had defil'd his Bed: But when he reflected, that the Woman was a
perfect Beauty, and to his thinking something like the unfortunate
_Astarte_, he perceiv'd his Heart yearn with Compassion towards the
Lady, and swell with Indignation against her Tyrant. For Heaven's
sake, Sir, assist me, said she, to _Zadig_, sobbing as if her Heart
would break, Oh! deliver me out of the Hands of this _Barbarian_:
Save, Sir, O save my Life. Upon these her shocking Outcries, _Zadig_
threw himself between the injur'd Lady and the inexorable Brute. And
as he had some smattering of the _Egyptian_ Tongue, he expostulated
with him in his own Dialect, and said: Dear Sir, if you are endow'd
with the least Spark of Humanity, let me conjure you to have some
Pity and Remorse for so beautiful a Creature; have some Regard, Sir,
to the Weakness of her Sex. How can you treat a Lady, who is one of
Nature's Master-pieces, in such a rude and outrageous Manner, one
who lies weeping at your Feet for Forgiveness, and one who has no
other Recourse than her Tears for her Defence? Oh! Oh! said the
jealous-pated Fellow in a Fury to _Zadig_, What! You are one of her
Gallants, I suppose. I'll be reveng'd of thee, thou Villain, this
Moment. No sooner were the Words out of his Mouth, but he quits hold
of the Lady, in whose Hair he had twisted his Fingers before, takes
up his Lance in a Fury, and endeavours to the utmost of his Pow'r to
plunge it in the Stranger's Heart: _Zadig_, however, being cool,
warded the intended Blow with Ease. He laid fast hold of his Lance
towards the Point. One strove to recover it, and the other to snatch
it away by Force. They broke it between them. Whereupon the
_Egyptian_ drew his Sword. _Zadig_ drew his: They fought: The former
made a hundred rash Passes one after another, which the latter
parried with the utmost Dexterity. The Lady sat herself upon a
Grass-plat, adjusting her Head-dress, and looking on the Combatants.
The _Egyptian_ was too strong for _Zadig_, but _Zadig_ was more
nimble and active. The latter fought as a Man whose Hand was guided
by his Head; the former as a Mad-man who dealt about his Blows at
random. _Zadig_ took the Advantage, made a Plunge at him, and
disarm'd him. And forasmuch as he found that the _Egyptian_ was
hotter than ever, and endeavour'd all he could to throw him down by
Dint of Strength, _Zadig_ laid fast hold of him, flew upon him, and
tripp'd up his Heels: After that, holding the Point of his Sword to
his Breast, like a Man of Honour, gave him his Life. The _Egyptian_,
fir'd with Rage, and having no Command of his Passion, drew his
Dagger, and wounded _Zadig_ like a Coward, whilst the Victor
generously forgave him. Upon that unexpected Action, _Zadig_, being
incens'd to the last Degree, plung'd his Sword deep into his Bosom.
The _Egyptian_ fetch'd a hideous Groan, and died upon the Spot.
_Zadig_ then approach'd the Lady, and with a kind of Concern, in the
softest Terms told her, that he was oblig'd to kill her Insulter,
tho' against his Inclinations. I have aveng'd your Cause, and
deliver'd you out of the merciless Hands of the most outrageous Man
I ever saw. Now, Madam, let me know your farther Will and Pleasure
with me. You shall die, you Villain! You have murder'd my Love. Oh!
I could tear your Heart out. Indeed, Madam, said _Zadig_, you had
one of the most hot-headed, oddest Lovers I ever saw. He beat you
most unmercifully, and would have taken away my Life because you
call'd me in to your Assistance. Would to God he was but alive to
beat me again, said she, blubbering and roaring; I deserv'd to be
beat. I gave him too just Occasion to be jealous of me. Would to God
that he had beat me, and you had died in his Stead! _Zadig_ more
astonish'd, and more exasperated than ever he was in all his Life,
said to her: Really, Madam, you put on such extravagant Airs, that
you tempt me, pretty as you are, to thresh you most cordially in my
Turn; but I scorn to concern my self any more about you. Upon this,
he remounted his Dromedary, and made the best of his Way towards the
Village: But before he had got near a hundred Yards, he return'd
upon an Out-cry that was made by four Couriers from _Babylon_. They
rode full Speed. One of them, spying the young Widow, cried out.
There she is, That's she. She answers in every Respect to the
Description we had of her. They never took the least Notice of her
dead Gallant, but secur'd her directly. Oh! Sir, cried she to
_Zadig_, again and again, dear Sir, most generous Stranger, once
more deliver me from a Pack of Villains. I most humbly beg your
Pardon for my late Conduct and unjust Complaint of you. Do but stand
my Friend, at this critical Conjuncture, and I'll be your most
obedient Vassal till Death. _Zadig_ had now no Inclination to fight
for one so undeserving any more. Find some other to be your Fool
now, Madam; you shan't impose upon me a second Time. I'll assure
you, Madam, I know better Things. Besides he was wounded; and bled
so fast that he wanted Assistance himself: And 'tis very probable,
that the Sight of the _Babylonian_ Couriers, who were dispatch'd
from King _Moabdar_, might discompose him very much. He made all the
Haste he could towards the Village, not being able to conceive what
should be the real Cause of the young Lady's being secur'd by those
_Babylonish_ Officers, and as much at a Loss, at the same Time, what
to think of such a Termagant and a Coquet.



No sooner was _Zadig_ arriv'd at the _Egyptian_ Village
before-mention'd, but he found himself surrounded by a Croud. The
People one and all cried out! See! See! there's the Man that ran
away with the beauteous Lady _Missouf_, and murder'd _Cletofis_.
Gentlemen, said he, God forbid that I should ever entertain a
Thought of running away with the Lady you speak of: She is too much
of a Coquet: And as to _Cletofis_, I did not murder him, but kill'd
him in my own Defence. He endeavour'd all he could to take my Life
away, because I entreated him to take some Pity and Compassion on
the beauteous _Missouf_, whom he beat most unmercifully. I am a
Stranger, who am fled hither for Shelter, and 'tis highly
improbable, that upon my first Entrance into a Country, where I came
for Safety and Protection, I should be guilty of two such enormous
Crimes, as that of running away with another Man's Partner, and that
of clandestinely murdering him on her Account.

The _Egyptians_ at that Time were just and humane. The Populace, tis
true, hurried _Zadig_ to the Town-Goal; but they took care in the
first Place to stop the Bleeding of his Wounds, and afterwards
examin'd the suppos'd Delinquents apart, in order to discover, if
possible, the real Truth. They acquitted _Zadig_ of the Charge of
wilful and premeditated Murder; but as he had taken a Subject's Life
away, tho' in his own Defence, he was sentenc'd to be a Slave, as
the Law directed. His two Beasts were sold in open Market, for the
Service of the Hamlet; What Money he had was distributed amongst the
Inhabitants; and he and his Attendant were expos'd in the
Market-place to public Sale. An _Arabian_ Merchant, _Setoc_ by Name,
purchas'd them both; but as the Valet, or Attendant, was a robust
Man, and better cut out for hard Labour than the Master, he fetch'd
the most Money. There was no Comparison to be made between them.
_Zadig_ therefore was a Slave subordinate to his Valet; they secur'd
them both, however, by a Chain upon their Legs; and so link'd they
accompanied their Master home. _Zadig_, as they were on the Road,
comforted his Fellow-Slave, and exhorted him to bear his Misfortunes
with Patience: But, according to Custom, he made several Reflections
on the Vicissitudes of human Life. I am now sensible, said he, that
my impropitious Fortune has some malignant Influence over thine;
every Occurrence of my Life hitherto has prov'd strangely odd and
unaccountable. In the first Place, I was sentenc'd to die at
_Babylon_, for writing a short Panegyrick on the King, my Master. In
the next, I narrowly escap'd being strangled, for the Queen his
Royal Consort's speaking a little too much in my Favour; and here I
am a joint-Slave with thy self; because a turbulent Fellow of a
Gallant would beat his Lady. However, Comrade, let us march on
boldly; let not our Courage be cast down; all this may possibly have
a happier Issue than we expect. 'Tis absolutely necessary that these
_Arabian_ Merchants should have Slaves, and why should not you and
I, as we are but Men, be Slaves as Thousands of others are? This
Master of ours may not prove inexorable. He must treat his Slaves
with some Thought and Consideration, if he expects them to do his
Work. This was his Discourse to his Comrade; but his Mind was more
attentive to the Misfortunes of the Queen of _Babylon_.

Two Days afterwards _Setoc_ set out with his two Slaves and his
Camels, for _Arabia Deserta_. His Tribe liv'd near the Desert of
_Horeb_. The Way was long and tedious. _Setoc_, during the Journey,
paid a much greater Regard to _Zadig's_ Valet, than to himself;
because the former was the most able to load the Camels; and
therefore what little Distinctions were made, they were in his
Favour. It so happen'd that one of the Camels died upon the Road:
The Load which the Beast carried was immediately divided, and thrown
upon the Shoulders of the two Slaves; _Zadig_ had his Share.
_Setoc_, couldn't forbear laughing to see his two Slaves crouching
under their Burthen. _Zadig_ took the Liberty to explain the Reason
thereof; and convinc'd him of the Laws of the Equilibrium. The
Merchant was a little startled at his philosophical Discourse, and
look'd upon him with a more favourable Eye than at first. _Zadig_,
perceiving he had rais'd his Curiosity, redoubled it, by instructing
him in several material Points, which were in some Measure,
advantageous to him in his Way of Business: Such as, the specific
Weight of Metals, and other Commodities of various Kinds, of an
equal Bulk; the Properties of several useful Animals, and the best
Ways and Means to make Such as were wild, tame by Degrees, and fit
for Service: In short, _Zadig_ was look'd upon by his Master, as a
perfect Oracle. _Setoc_ now thought the Master the much better Man
of the two. He us'd him courteously, and had no Room to repent of
his Indulgence towards him.

Being got to their Journey's End, the first Step that _Setoc_ took
was to claim a Debt of five hundred Ounces of Silver of a _Jew_, who
had borrow'd it in the Presence of two Witnesses; but both of them
were dead; and as the _Jew_ was conscious he couldn't be cast for
Want of Evidence, appropriated the Merchant's Money to his own Use,
and thank'd God that it lay in his Power for once to bite an
_Arabian_ with Impunity. _Setoc_ discover'd to _Zadig_ the unhappy
Situation of his Case, as he was now become his Confident. Where was
it, pray, said _Zadig_, that you lent this large Sum to that
ungrateful Infidel? Upon a large Stone, said the Merchant, at the
Foot of Mount _Horeb_. What sort of a Man is your Debtor, said
_Zadig_? Oh! he is as errand a Rogue as ever breath'd, reply'd
_Setoc_. That I take for granted; but, says _Zadig_, is he a lively,
active Man, or is he a dull heavy-headed Fellow? He is one of the
worst of Pay-masters in the World, but the merriest, most sprightly
Fellow I ever met with. Very well! said _Zadig_, let me be one of
your Council when your Cause comes to be heard. In short, he
summon'd the _Jew_ to attend the Court; where, when the Judge was
sat, _Zadig_ open'd the Cause: Thou impartial Judge of this Court of
Equity, I am come here, in behalf of my Master, to demand of the
Defendant five hundred Ounces of Silver, which he refuses to pay,
and would fain traverse the Debt. Have you, Friend, your Witnesses
ready to prove the Loan, said the Judge? No, they are dead; but
there is a large Stone still subsisting, on which the Money was
deposited; and if your Excellence, will be pleas'd to order the
Stone to be brought in Court, I don't doubt but the Evidence it will
give, will be Proof sufficient of the Fact. I hope your Excellence
will order, that the _Jew_ and myself shall be oblig'd to attend the
Court, till the Stone comes, and I'll dispatch a special Messenger
to fetch it, at my Master's Expence. Your Request is very
reasonable, said the Judge. Do as you propose; and so call'd another

When the Court was ready to break up, Well! said the Judge to
_Zadig_, is your Stone come yet? The _Jew_, with a Sneer, replied,
your Excellence may wait here till this Time To-morrow, before the
Stone will appear in Court; for 'tis above six Mile off, and it will
require fifteen Men to remove it from its Place. 'Tis well! replied
_Zadig_. I told your Excellence that the Stone would be a very
material Evidence. Since the Defendant can point out the Place where
the Stone lies, he tacitly confesses, that it was upon that Stone
the Money was deposited. The _Jew_ thus unexpectedly confuted, was
soon oblig'd to acknowledge the Debt. The Judge order'd that the
_Jew_ should be tied fast to the Stone, without Victuals or Drink,
till he should advance the five hundred Ounces of Silver, which were
soon paid accordingly, and the _Jew_ releas'd. The Slave _Zadig_,
and this remarkable Stone-Witness, were in great Repute all over



_Setoc_, transported with his good Success, of a Slave made _Zadig_
his Favourite Companion and Confident; he found him as necessary in
the Conduct of his Affairs, as the King of _Babylon_ had before done
in the Administration of his Government; and lucky it was for
_Zadig_ that _Setoc_ had no Wife.

He discover'd, that his Master was in his Temper benevolent,
strictly honest, and a Man of good natural Parts. _Zadig_ was very
much concern'd, that One of so much Sense should pay divine
Adoration to a whole Host of created, tho' Celestial Beings, that is
to say, the Sun, Moon, and Stars, according to the antient Custom of
the _Arabians_. He talk'd, at first, to his Master, with great
Precaution on so important a Topick. But at last told him, in direct
Terms, that they were created Bodies, as others, tho' of less
Lustre, and that there was no more Adoration due to them, than to a
Stock or a Stone. But, said _Setoc_, they are eternal Beings to whom
we are indebted for all the Blessings we enjoy; they animate Nature;
they regulate the Seasons; they are, in a Word, at such an infinite
Distance from us, that it would be downright impious not to adore
them. You are more indebted, said _Zadig_, to the Waters of the Red
Sea, which transport so many valuable Commodities into the _Indies_.
Why, pray, may not they be deem'd as antient as the Stars? And if
you are so fond of paying your Adoration on Account of their vast
Distance; why don't you adore the Land of the _Gangarides_, which
lies in the utmost Extremities of the Earth. No, said _Setoc_, there
is something so surprisingly more brilliant in the Stars than what
you speak of; that a Man must adore them whether he will or not.

At the Close of the Evening, _Zadig_ planted a long Range of Candles
in the Front of his Tent, where _Setoc_ and he were to sup that
Night: And as soon as he perceiv'd his Patron to be at the Door, he
fell prostrate on his Knees before the Wax-Lights. O ye everlasting,
ever-shining Luminaries, be always propitious to your Votary, said
_Zadig_. Having repeated these Words so loud as _Setoc_ might hear
them, he sat down to Table, without taking the least Notice of
_Setoc_. What! said _Setoc_, somewhat startled at his Conduct, art
thou at thy Prayers before Supper? I act just as inconsistently,
Sir, as you do; I worship these Candles; without reflecting on their
Makers, or yourself, who are my most beneficent Patron.

_Setoc_ took the Hint, and was conscious of the Reproof that was
conceal'd so genteely under a Vail. The superior Wisdom of his Slave
enlightned his Mind; and from that Hour he was less lavish than ever
he had been, of his Incense to those created Beings, and for the
future, paid his Adoration to the eternal God who made them.

At that Time there was a most hideous Custom in high Repute all over
_Arabia_, which came originally from _Scythia_; but having met with
the Sanction of the bigotted Brachmans, threatn'd to spread its
Infection all over the _East_. When a married Man happen'd to die,
if his dearly beloved Widow ever expected to be esteem'd a Saint,
she must throw herself headlong upon her Husband's Funeral-Pile.
This was look'd upon as a solemn Festival, and was call'd the
Widow's Sacrifice. That Tribe which could boast of the greatest
Number of burnt-Widows, was look'd upon as the most meritorious. An
_Arabian_, who was of the Tribe of _Setoc_, happen'd just at that
Juncture, to be dead, and his Widow (_Almona_ by Name) who was a
noted Devotee, publish'd the Day, nay, the Hour, that she propos'd
to throw herself (according to Custom) on her deceased Husband's
Funeral Pile, and be attended by a Concert of Drums and Trumpets.
_Zadig_ remonstrated to _Setoc_, what a shocking Custom this was,
and how directly repugnant to human Nature; by permitting young
Widows, almost every Day, to become wilful Self-Murderers; when they
might be of Service to their Country, either by the Addition of new
Subjects, or by the Education of such as demanded their Maternal
Indulgence. And, by arguing seriously with _Setoc_ for some Time, he
forc'd from him at last, an ingenuous Confession, that the barbarous
Custom then subsisting, ought, if possible, to be abolish'd. 'Tis
now, replied _Setoc_, above a thousand Years since the Widows of
_Arabia_ have been indulg'd with this Privilege of dying with their
Husbands; and how shall any one dare to abrogate a Law that has been
establish'd Time out of Mind? Is there any Thing more inviolable
than even an antient Error? But, replied _Zadig_, Reason is of more
antient Date than the Custom you plead for. Do you communicate these
Sentiments to the Sovereigns of your Tribes, and in the mean while
I'll go, and sound the Widow's Inclinations.

Accordingly he paid her a Visit, and having insinuated himself into
her Favour, by a few Compliments on her Beauty, after urging what a
pity it was, that a young Widow, Mistress of so many Charms, should
make away with herself for no other reason but to mingle her Ashes
with a Husband that was dead; he, notwithstanding, applauded her for
her heroic Constancy and Courage. I perceive, Madam, said he, you
was excessively fond of your deceased Spouse. Not I truly, reply'd
the young _Arabian_ Devotee. He was a Brute, infected with a
groundless Jealousy of my Virtue; and, in short, a perfect Tyrant.
But, notwithstanding all this, I am determin'd to comply with our
Custom. Surely then, Madam, there's a Sort of secret Pleasure in
being burnt alive. Alas! with a Sigh, cried _Almona_, 'tis a Shock
indeed to Nature; but must be complied with for all that. I am a
profess'd Devotee, and should I shew the least Reluctance, my
Reputation would be lost for ever; all the World would laugh at me,
should I not burn myself on this Occasion: _Zadig_ having forc'd her
ingenuously to confess, that she parted with her Life more out of
Regard to what the World would say of her, and out of Pride and
Ostentation, than any real Love for the deceas'd, he talk'd to her
for some considerable Time so rationally, and us'd so many
prevailing Arguments with her to justify her due Regard for the Life
which she was going to throw away, that she began to wave the
Thought, and entertain a secret Affection for her friendly Monitor.
Pray, Madam, tell me, said _Zadig_, how would you dispose of
yourself, upon the Supposition, that you could shake off this vain
and barbarous Notion? Why, said Dame, with an amorous Glance, I
think verily I should accept of yourself for a second Bed-fellow.

The Memory of _Astarte_ had made too strong an Impression on his
Mind, to close with this warm Declaration: He took his leave,
however, that Moment, and waited on the Chiefs. He communicated to
them the Substance of their private Conversation, and prevailed with
them to make it a Law for the future, that no Widow should be
allow'd to fall a Victim to a deceased Husband, till after she had
admitted some young Man to converse with her in private for a whole
Hour together. The Law was pass'd accordingly, and not one Widow in
all _Arabia_, from that Day to this, ever observ'd the Custom. 'Twas
to _Zadig_ alone that the _Arabian_ Dames were indebted for the
Abolition, in one Hour, of a Custom so very inhuman, that had been
practis'd for such a Number of Ages. _Zadig_, therefore, with the
strictest Justice, was look'd upon by all the Fair Sex in _Arabia_,
as their most bountiful Benefactor.


_The Evening's Entertainment._

_Setoc_, who would never stir out without his Bosom-Friend (in whom
alone, as he thought, all Wisdom center'd) resolv'd to take him with
him to _Balzora_ Fair, whither the richest Merchants round the whole
habitable Globe, us'd annually to resort. _Zadig_ was delighted to
see such a Concourse of substantial Tradesmen from all Countries,
assembled together in one Place. It appear'd to him, as if the whole
Universe was but one large Family, and all happily met together at
_Balzora_. On the second Day of the Fair, he sat down to Table with
an _Egyptian_, an _Indian_, that liv'd on the Banks of the River
_Ganges_, an Inhabitant of _Cathay_, a _Grecian_, a _Celt_, and
several other Foreigners, who by their frequent Voyages towards the
_Arabian_ Gulf, were so far conversant with the _Arabic_ Language,
as to be able to discourse freely, and be mutually understood. The
_Egyptian_ began to fly into a Passion; what a scandalous Place is
this _Balzora_, said he, where they refuse to lend me a thousand
Ounces of Gold, upon the best Security that can possibly be offer'd.
Pray, said _Setoc_, what may the Commodity be that you would deposit
as a Pledge for the Sum you mention. Why, the Corpse of my deceased
Aunt, said he, who was one of the finest Women in all _Egypt_. She
was my constant Companion; but unhappily died upon the Road. I have
taken so much Care, that no Mummy whatever can equal it: And was I
in my own Country, I could be furnish'd with what Sum soever I
pleas'd, were I dispos'd to mortgage it. 'Tis a strange Thing that
Nobody here will advance so small a Sum upon so valuable a
Commodity. No sooner had he express'd his Resentment, but he was
going to cut up a fine boil'd Pullet, in order to make a Meal on't,
when an _Indian_ laid hold of his Hand, and with deep Concern, cried
out, For God's Sake what are you about? Why, said the _Egyptian_, I
design to make a Wing of this Fowl one Part of my Supper. Pray, good
Sir, consider what you are doing, said the _Indian_. 'Tis very
possible, that the Soul of the deceas'd Lady may have taken its
Residence in that Fowl. And you wouldn't surely run the Risque of
eating up your Aunt? To boil a Fowl is, doubtless, a most shameful
Outrage  done  to Nature. Pshaw! What a Pother you make about the
boiling of a Fowl, and flying in the Face of Nature, replied the
_Egyptian_ in a Pet; tho' we _Egyptians_ pay divine Adoration to the
Ox; yet we can make a hearty Meal of a Piece of roast Beef for all
that. Is it possible, Sir, that your Country-men should act so
absurdly, as to pay an Ox the Tribute of divine Worship, said the
_Indian_? Absurd as you think it, said the other, the Ox has been
the principal Object of Adoration all over _Egypt_, for these
hundred and thirty five thousand Years, and the most abandon'd
_Egyptian_ has never been as yet so impious as to gain-say it. Ay,
Sir, an hundred thirty five thousand Years, say you, surely you must
be out a little in your Calculation. 'Tis but about fourscore
thousand Years, since _India_ was first inhabited. Sure I am, we are
a more antient People than you are, and our _Brama_ prohibited the
eating of Beef long before your Nation ever erected an Altar in
Honour of the Ox, or ever put one upon a Spit. What a Racket you
make about your _Brama_! Is he able to stand the least in
Competition with our _Apis_, said the _Egyptian_? Let us hear, pray,
what mighty Feats have been done by your boasted _Brama_? Why,
replied the _Bramin_, he first taught his Votaries to write and
read; and 'tis to him alone, all the World is indebted for the
Invention of the noble Game of Chess. You are quite out, Sir, in
your Notion, said a _Chaldean_, who sat within Hearing: All these
invaluable Blessings were deriv'd from the Fish _Oannés_; and 'tis
that alone to which the Tribute of divine Adoration is justly due.
All the World will tell you, that 'twas a divine Being whose Tail
was pure Gold, whose Head resembled that of a Man, tho' indeed the
Features were much more beautiful; and that he condescended to visit
the Earth three Hours every Day, for the Instruction of Mankind. He
had a numerous Issue, as is very well known, and all of them were
powerful Monarchs. I have a Picture of it at Home, to which, as in
Duty I ought, I Say my Prayers at Night before I go to Bed, and
every Morning that I rise. There is no Harm, Sir, as I can conceive,
in partaking of a Piece of roast Beef; but, doubtless, 'tis a mortal
Sin, a Crime of the blackest Dye, to touch a Piece of Fish. Besides,
you cannot justly boast of so illustrious an Origin, and you are
both of you mere Moderns, in Comparison to us _Chaldeans_, You
_Egyptians_ lay claim to no more than 135,000 Years, and you
_Indians_, but of 80,000. Whereas we have Almanacks that are dated
4000 Centuries backwards. Take my Word for it; I speak nothing but
Truth; renounce your Errors, and I'll make each of you a Present of
a fine Portrait of our _Oannés_.

A Native of _Cambalu_, entring into the Debate, said, I have a very
great Veneration, not only for the _Egyptians_, _Chaldeans_,
_Greeks_, and _Celtæ_; but for _Brama_, _Apis_, and the _Oannés_,
but in my humble Opinion, the *_Li_, or as 'tis by some call'd,
the *_Tien_, is an Object more deserving of divine Adoration than
any Ox, or Fish, how much soever you may boast of their respective
Perfections. All I shall say, in regard to my native Country, 'tis
of much greater Extent, than all _Egypt_, _Chaldea_, and the
_Indies_ put together. I shall lay no Stress on the Antiquity of my
Country; for I imagine 'tis of much greater Importance to be the
happiest People, than the most antient under the Sun. However, since
you were talking of the Almanacks, I must beg the Liberty to tell
you, that ours are look'd upon to be the best all over _Asia_; and
that we had several very correct ones before the Art of Arithmetick
was ever heard of in _Chaldea_.

    * _The_ Chinese _Term_, Li, _signifies, properly
      speaking, natural Light, or Reason; and_ Tien, _the
      Heavens, or the supreme Being._

You are all of you a Parcel of illiterate, ignorant Bigots, cry'd a
_Grecian_: 'Tis plain, you know nothing of the Chaos, and that the
World, as it now stands, is owing wholly to _Matter_ and _Form_. The
_Greek_ ran on for a considerable Time; but was at last interrupted
by a _Celt_, who having drank deep, during the whole Time of this
Debate, thought himself ten Times wiser than any of his Antagonists;
and wrapping out a great Oath, insisted, that all their Gods were
nothing, if set in Competition with the _Teutath_ or the Misletoe on
the Oak. As for my part, said he, I carry some of it always in my
Pocket: As to my Ancestors, they were _Scythians_, and the only Men
worth talking of in the whole World: 'Tis true, indeed, they would
now and then make a Meal of their Country-men, but that ought not to
be urg'd as any Objection to his Country; and, in short, if any one
of you, or all of you, shall dare to say any thing disrespectful of
_Teutath_, I'll defend its Cause to the last Drop of my Blood. The
Quarrel grew warmer and warmer, and _Setoc_ expected that the Table
would be overset, and that Blood-shed would ensue. _Zadig_, who
hadn't once open'd his Lips during the whole Controversy, at last
rose up, and address'd himself to the _Celt_, in the first Place, as
being the most noisy and outrageous. Sir, said he, Your Notions in
this Affair are very just: Good Sir, oblige me with a Bit of your
Misletoe. Then turning about, he expatiated on the Eloquence of the
_Grecian_, and in a Word, soften'd in the most artful Manner all the
contending Parties. He said but little indeed to the _Cathayian_;
because he was more cool, and sedate than any of the others. To
conclude, he address'd them all in general Terms, to this or the
like Effect: My dear Friends, You have been contesting all this
while about an important Topick, in which 'tis evident, you are all
unanimously agreed. Agreed, quotha! they all cried, in an angry
Tone, How so, pray? Why said he to the hot, testy _Celt_, is it not
true, that you do not in effect adore this Misletoe, but that Being
who created that Misletoe and the Oak, to which it is so closely
united? Doubtless, Sir, reply'd the _Celt_. And you, Sir, said he,
to the _Egyptian_, You revere, thro' your venerable _Apis_, the
great Author of every Ox's Being. We do so, said the _Egyptian_. The
mighty _Oannés_, tho' the Sovereign of the Sea, continued he, must
give Precedence to that Power, who made both the Sea, and every Fish
that dwells therein. We allow it, said the _Chaldean_. The _Indian_,
adds he, and the _Cathayan_, acknowledge one supreme Being, or first
Cause, as well as you. As to what that profound worthy Gentleman the
_Grecian_ has advanc'd, is, I must own, a little above my weak
Comprehension, but I am fully persuaded, that he will allow there is
a supreme Being on whom his favourite Matter and Form are entirely
dependent. The _Grecian_, who was look'd upon as a Sage amongst
them, said, with Abundance of Gravity, that _Zadig_, had made a very
just Construction of his Meaning. Now, Gentlemen, I appeal to you
all, said _Zadig_, whether you are not unanimous to a Man, in the
Debate upon the Carpet, and whether there are any just Grounds for
the least Divisions or Animosities amongst you. The whole Company,
cool at once, caress'd him; and _Setoc_, after he had sold off all
his Goods and Merchandize at a round Price, took his Friend _Zadig_
Home with him to the Land of _Horeb_. _Zadig_, upon his first
Arrival was inform'd, that a Prosecution had been carried on against
him during his Absence, and that the Sentence pronounc'd against him
was, that he should be burnt alive before a slow Fire.



Whilst _Zadig_ attended his Friend _Setoc_ to _Balzora_, the Priests
of the Stars were determin'd to punish him. As all the costly
Jewels, and other valuable Decorations, in which every young Widow
that sacrificed her self on her Husband's Funeral-pile, were their
customary Fees, 'tis no great Wonder, indeed, that they were
inclin'd to burn poor _Zadig_, for playing them such a scurvy Trick.
_Zadig_ therefore, was accus'd of holding heretical and damnable
Tenets, in regard to the Celestial Host: They depos'd, and swore
point-blank, that he had been heard to aver, that the Stars never
sat in the Sea. This horrid blasphemous Declaration thunder-struck
all the Judges, and they were ready to rend their Mantles at the
Sound of such an impious Assertion; and they would have made
_Zadig_, had he been a Man of Substance, paid very severely for his
heretical Notions. But in the Height of their Pity and Compassion
for even such an Infidel, they would lay no Fine upon him; but
content themselves with seeing him roasted alive before a slow Fire.
_Setoc_, tho' without Hopes of Success, us'd all the Interest he had
to save his bosom Friend from so shocking a Death; but they turn'd a
deaf Ear to all his Remonstrances, and oblig'd him to hold his
Tongue. The young Widow _Almona_, who by this Time was not only
reconcil'd to living a little longer, but had some Taste for the
Pleasures of Life, and knew that she was entirely indebted to
_Zadig_ for it, resolv'd, if possible, to free her Benefactor from
being burnt, as he had before convinc'd her of the Folly of it in
her Case. She ponder'd upon this weighty Affair very seriously; but
said nothing to any one whomsoever. _Zadig_ was to be executed the
next Day; and she had only a few Hours left to carry her Project
into Execution. Now the Reader shall hear with how much Benevolence
and Discretion this amiable Widow behav'd on this emergent Occasion.

In the first Place, she made use of the most costly Perfumes; and
drest herself to the utmost Advantage to render her Charms as
conspicuous as possible; And thus gaily attir'd, demanded a private
Audience of the High Priest of the Stars. Upon her first Admittance
into his august and venerable Presence, she address'd herself in the
following Terms. O thou first-born and well-beloved Son of the Great
Bear, Brother of the Bull, and first Cousin to the Dog, (these you
must know were the Pontiff's high Titles) I come to confess myself
before you: My Conscience is my Accuser, and I am terribly afraid I
have been guilty of a mortal Sin, by declining the stated Custom of
burning my self on my Husband's Funeral-pile? What could tempt me,
in short, to a Prolongation of my Life, I can't imagine, I, who am
grown a perfect Skeleton, all wrinkled and deform'd. She paus'd, and
pulling off, with a negligent but artful Air, her long silk Gloves;
She display'd a soft, plump, naked Arm, and white as Snow: You see,
Sir, said she, that all my Charms are blasted. Blasted, Madam, said
the luscious Pontiff; No! Your Charms are still resistless: His
Eyes, and his Mouth, with which he kiss'd her Hand, confirm'd their
Power: Such an Arm, Madam, by the Great _Orasmades_, I never saw
before. Alas! said the Widow, with a modest Blush; my Arm Sir, 'tis
probable, may have the Advantage of any hidden Part; but see, good
Father, what a Neck is here; as yellow as Saffron, an Object not
worth regarding. Then she display'd such a snowy, panting Bosom,
that Nature could not mend it. A Rose-Bud on an Ivory Apple, would,
if set in Competition with her spotless Whiteness, make no better
Appearance than common Madder upon a Shrub; and the whitest Wool,
just out of the Laver, were she but by, would seem but of a
light-brown Hue.

Her Neck, her large black, sparkling Eyes, that languishingly
roll'd, and seem'd as 'twere, on Fire; her lovely Cheeks, glowing
with White and Red, her Nose, that was not unlike the Tower of Mount
_Lebanon_, her Lips, which were like two Borders of Coral, inclosing
two Rows of the best Pearls in the _Arabian_ Sea; such a
Combination, I say, of Charms, made the old Pontiff judge she was
scarce twenty Years of Age; and in a kind of Flutter, to make her a
Declaration of his tender Regard for her. _Almona_, perceiving him
enamour'd, begg'd his Interest in Favour of _Zadig_. Alas! my dear
Charmer, my Interest alone, when you request the Favour, would be
but a poor Compliment; I'll take care his Acquittance shall be
signed by three more of my Brother Priests. Do you sign first,
however, said _Almona_. With all my Soul, said the amorous Pontiff,
provided----you'll be kind, my dearest. You do me too much Honour,
said _Almona_; but should you give your self the Trouble to pay me a
Visit after Sunset, and as soon as the Star _Sheat_ twinkles on the
Horizon, you shall find me, most venerable Father, repos'd upon a
rosy-colour'd silver Sopha, where you shall use your Pleasure with
your humble Servant. With that she made him a low Courtesy; took up
_Zadig's_ general Release as soon as duely sign'd, and left the old
Doatard all over Love, tho' somewhat diffident of his own Abilities.
The Residue of the Day he spent in his Bagnio; he drank large
enlivening Draughts of a Water distill'd from the Cinnamon of
_Ceilan_, and the costly Spices of _Tidor_ and _Ternate_, and waited
with the utmost Impatience for the up-rising of the brilliant

In the mean time _Almona_ went to the second Pontiff. He assur'd her
that the Sun, Moon, and all the starry Host of Heav'n, were but
languid Fires to her bright Eyes. He put the Question to her, in
short, at once, and agreed to sign upon her Compliance. She suffer'd
herself to be over-persuaded, and made an Assignation to meet him at
a certain Place, as soon as the Star _Algenib_ should make its
Appearance. From him she repair'd to the third and fourth Pontiff,
taking care, wherever she went, to see _Zadig's_ Acquittance duely
sign'd, and made fresh Appointments at the Rising of Star after

When she had carried her Point thus far, she sent a proper Message
to the Judges of the Court, who had condemn'd _Zadig_, requesting
that they would come to her House, that she might advise with them
upon an Affair of the last Importance. They waited on her
accordingly; she produc'd _Zadig's_ Discharge duly sign'd by four
several Hands, and told them the Definitive Treaty between all the
contracting Parties. Each of the pontifical Gallants observ'd their
Summons to a Moment. Each was startled at the Sight of his Rival;
but perfectly thunderstruck to see the Judges, before whom the Widow
had laid open her Case. _Zadig_ procur'd an absolute Pardon, and
_Setoc_ was so charm'd with the artful Address of _Almona_, that he
married her the next Day. _Zadig_ went afterwards to throw himself
at the Feet of his fair Benefactress. _Setoc_ and he took their
Leave of each other with Tears in their Eyes, and vowing that an
eternal mutual Friendship should be preserv'd between them; and, in
short, should Fortune at any Time afterwards prove more propitious
than could well be expected to either Party; the other should
partake of an equal Share of his Success.

_Zadig_ steer'd his Course towards _Syria_; forever pondering on the
hard Fate of the justly-admir'd _Astarte_, and reflecting on his own
Stars that so obstinately darted down their malignant Rays, and
continu'd daily to torment him. What, said he! to pay four hundred
Ounces of Gold for only seeing a Bitch pass by me; to be condemn'd
to be beheaded for four witless Verses in Praise of the King; to be
strangled to Death, because a Queen was pleas'd to look upon me; to
be made a Prisoner, and sold as a Slave for saving a young Lady from
being sorely abus'd by a Brute rather than a Man; and to be upon the
Brink of being roasted alive, for no other Offence than saving for
the future all the Widows in _Arabia_ from becoming idle
Burnt-Offerings, and mingling their Ashes with those of their
deceased worthless Husbands.



_Zadig_, arriving at the Frontiers which separate _Arabia Petræa_
from _Syria_, and passing by a very strong Castle, several arm'd
_Arabians_ rush'd out upon him, and surrounding him, cried out:
Whatever you have belonging to you is our Property, but as for your
Person, that is entirely at our Sovereign's Disposal. _Zadig_,
instead of making any Reply, drew his Sword, and as his Attendant
was a very couragious Fellow, he drew likewise. Those who laid hold
on them, first fell a Sacrifice to their Fury: Their Numbers
redoubled: Yet still, Both dauntless, determin'd to conquer or to
die. When two Men defend themselves against a whole Gang, the
Contest, doubtless, cannot last long. The Master of the Castle, one
_Arbogad_ by Name, having been an Eye-Witness from his Window, of
the Intrepidity and surprising Exploits of _Zadig_, took a Fancy to
him. He ran down therefore in Haste, and giving Orders himself to
his Vassals to desist, deliver'd the two Travellers out of their
Hands. Whatever Goods or Chattels, said he, come upon my
Territories, are my Effects; and whatever I find likewise that is
valuable upon the Premises of others, is my free Booty; but, as you
appear, Sir, to me to be a Gentleman of uncommon Courage, you shall
prove an Exception to my general Rule. Upon this, he invited _Zadig_
into his magnificent Mansion, giving his inferior Officers strict
Orders to use him with all due Respect; and at Night _Arbogad_ was
desirous of supping with _Zadig_. The Lord of the Mansion was one of
those _Arabians_, that are call'd _Free-booters_; but a Man who now
and then did good Actions amongst a Thousand bad ones. He plunder'd
without Mercy; but was liberal in his Benefactions. When in Action,
intrepid; but in Traffick, easy enough; a perfect _Epicure_ in his
Eating and Drinking, an absolute _Debauchee_, but very frank and
open. _Zadig_ pleas'd him extremely; his Conversation being very
lively, prolong'd their Repast: At last, _Arbogad_ said to him; I
would advise you, Sir, to enlist yourself in my Troop; you cannot
possibly do a better Thing: My Profession is none of the worst; and
in Time, you may become perhaps as great a Man as myself. May I
presume, Sir, to ask you one Question; how long may you have
follow'd this honourable Calling? From my Youth upwards, replied his
Host, I was only a _Valet_ at first to an _Arabian_, who indeed was
courteous enough; but Servitude was a State of Life I could not
brook. It made me stark-mad to see, in a wide World, which ought to
be divided fairly between Mankind, that Fate had reserv'd for me so
scanty a Portion. I communicated my Grievance to an old Sage
_Arabian_. Son, said he, never despair; once upon a Time, there was
a Grain of Sand, that bemoan'd itself, as being nothing more than a
worthless _Atom_ of the Deserts. At the Expiration, however, of a
few Years, it became that inestimable Diamond, which at this very
Hour, is the richest, and most admir'd Ornament of the _Indian_
Crown. The old Man's Discourse fir'd me with some Ambition; I was
conscious to myself that I was at that Time the _Atom_ he mention'd,
but was determin'd, if possible, to become the _Diamond_. At my
first setting out, I stole two Horses; then I got into a Gang; where
we play'd at small Game, and stopp'd the small Caravans; thus I
gradually lessen'd the wide Disproportion, which there was at first
between me and the rest of Mankind: I enjoy'd not only my full Share
of the good Things of this Life, but enjoy'd them with Usury. I was
look'd upon as a Man of Consequence, and I procur'd this Castle by
my military Atchievements. The _Satrap_ of _Syria_ had Thoughts of
dispossessing me; but I was then too rich to be any Ways afraid of
him; I gave the _Satrap_ a certain Sum of Money, upon Condition that
I kept quiet Possession of my Castle. And, moreover, I aggrandiz'd
my Domains; for he constituted me, at the same Time, Treasurer of
the Imports that _Arabia Petræa_ paid to the King of Kings. I
executed my Trust, in every Respect, as I ought, in the Capacity of
a Collector; but I never did, nor never intended to balance my

The grand _Desterham_ of _Babylon_ sent hither, in the Name of the
King _Moabdar_, a petty _Satrap_, with a Commission to strangle me.
He and his Attendants arriv'd here with his Royal Warrant. I was
appriz'd of the whole Affair, and, accordingly, order'd his whole
Retinue, consisting of four inferior Officers, to be strangled
before his Face, after the same Manner as was intended for my
Execution. After this, I ask'd him what he thought the Commission
with which he was entrusted, might reasonably be valued at; he
answer'd, that he presum'd his Premium (had he succeeded) might have
amounted to about three Hundred Pieces of Gold. I made him sensible,
that it would be for his Interest to be a commission'd Officer under
me; I made him accordingly Deputy _Free-booter_. He is at this very
Day not only the best Officer, but the richest I have in all my
Court. If my Word may be credited, I'll raise your Fortune as I have
done his. Never was Trade brisker in our Way; for _Moabdar_, is
knock'd on the Head, and all _Babylon_ in the utmost Confusion.
_Moabdar_ kill'd, said you! cry'd _Zadig_, and pray, Sir, what is
become of his Royal Consort, _Astarte_? I know nothing at all of
that Affair, replied _Arbogad_, all that I have to say, is, that
_Moabdar_ became a perfect Madman, and had his Brains beat out; that
all the People in _Babylon_ are cutting one another's Throats, and
that the whole Empire is laid waste; that there is still an
Opportunity for making several bold Pushes; and let me tell you,
Sir, I have done my Part, and made the most on't. But the Queen,
Sir, said _Zadig_; pray favour me so far, as to inform me, if you
know any Thing of the Queen. I have heard great Talk, said he, of a
certain Prince of _Hyrcania_; 'tis very possible, she may have
listed herself amongst his Concubines, if she had the good Fortune
to escape the Resentment of those popular Tumults; but my Head, Sir,
is better turn'd for the Highway than for News; I have taken several
Ladies Prisoners in the Course of my Excursions; I keep none of them
for my Part; and as to such as are handsomer than ordinary, I make
the best Market I can of them, without enquiring who they are. Their
Quality or Titles will fetch no Price at all; a Queen, if she be
homely, is worth nothing. 'Tis probable, Sir, I have dispos'd of the
Lady myself; and 'tis possible, likewise, she may be dead; 'tis no
Concern of mine; and to my thinking, it should be an Affair of no
Manner of Importance to you. After this Declaration, he drank so
hard, and confounded his Ideas in such a Manner, that _Zadig_ was
not one whit the wiser. Upon which he was struck dumb, confounded,
and stood as motionless as a Statue. _Arbogad_, in the mean while,
swill'd down whole Bumpers, told a Hundred merry Tales, and swore a
thousand Times over, that he was the happiest Creature upon God's
Earth; persuading _Zadig_ to be as merry, and thoughtless as
himself. At last, being gradually overcome by the Fumes of his
Liquor, he fell fast asleep. _Zadig_ spent the Remainder of the
Night in deep Contemplation, and in all the Uneasiness of Mind
imaginable. What, said he, the King first became crazy, and then was
murder'd. I think I have just Grounds for Complaint. The whole
Empire is in Confusion, and torn to Pieces, and this Free-booter is
as happy as a King. O Fortune! O Fate! a Highwayman as happy as a
Monarch! and the most amiable Creature that Nature ever fram'd has
suffer'd perhaps, an ignominious Death, or perhaps, is in a State of
Life a thousand Times worse than Death itself! O _Astarte! Astarte!_
What art thou become?

As soon as it was Break of Day he went out, and ask'd every one he
saw if they knew any Thing of her: But the whole Gang were too
intent upon other Matters, to return him any Answer. By Virtue of
their Night's Excursions, they had brought in some fresh Booty, and
were busy in dividing the Spoil. All the Favour he could procure, in
their Hurry and Tumult, was, to go away without the least
Examination. He took the Advantage of their Remissness, and mov'd
off the Premises, but more overwhelm'd with Grief and deep
Reflection than ever.

_Zadig_, in his March, was very restless and uneasy. His Thoughts
were forever rolling on the unfortunate _Astarte_, the King of
_Babylon_, his Bosom-Friend _Cador_, the happy _Free-booter_,
_Arbogad_, the fair _Coquet_, that was taken Prisoner on the
Confines of _Egypt_, by the _Babylonish_ Courier; in a Word, on the
various Scenes of Misfortunes and Disappointments, which he had
successively met with.



When _Zadig_ had travelled some few Leagues from _Arbogad's_ Castle,
he found himself arriv'd at the Banks of a little River; incessantly
deploring, as he went along, his unhappy Fate, and looking upon
himself as the very Picture of ill Luck. He perceiv'd at a little
Distance a Fisherman, reclin'd on a verdant Bank by the River-side,
trembling, scarce able to hold his Net in his Hand, (which he seem'd
but little to regard) and with uplift Eyes, imploring Heaven's
Assistance. I am, doubtless, said the poor Fisherman, the most
unhappy Wretch that ever liv'd! No Merchant in all _Babylon_, it is
very well known, was ever so noted for selling Cream-Cheeses as
myself; and yet I am ruin'd to all Intents and Purposes. No Man of
my Profession ever had a handsomer, more compleat Housewife, than my
Dame was; but I have been treacherously depriv'd of her. I had still
left a poor, pitiful Cottage, but that I saw plunder'd and
destroy'd. I am cubb'd up here in a Cell; I have nothing to depend
upon but my Fishery, and not one single Fish have I caught. Thou
unfortunate Net! I'll never throw thee into the Water more: Much
sooner will I throw myself in. No sooner were the Words out of his
Mouth, but he started up, and ran to the River-side, like one that
was resolutely bent to plunge in, and get rid of a miserable Life at
once. Is it possible, said _Zadig_? Is there then the Man in Being
more wretched than myself? His Benevolence, and good Will to save
the poor Man's Life, was as quick as the Reflection he had just
made! He ran to his Assistance; he laid hold of him; and ask'd him,
with an Air of Pity and Concern, the Cause of his rash Intention.
'Tis an old saying, that a Person is less unhappy when he sees
himself not singular in Misfortune. But if we will credit
_Zoroaster_, this is not from a Principle of Malignity, but the
Effect of a fatal Necessity. He was attracted, as it were, to any
Person in Distress, as being One in the same unhappy Circumstances.
The Transport of a happy Man, would be a Kind of Insult; but two
Persons in bad Circumstances, are like two weak Shrubs, which, by
propping up each other, are fenc'd against a Storm. Why are you thus
cast down, said _Zadig_ to the Fisherman? Never sink Man, under the
Weight of your Burden. I can't help it, said the poor Fisherman; I
have not the least Prospect of Redress. I was once, Sir, the tip-top
Man of the whole Village of _Derlbach_, near _Babylon_, where I
liv'd, and with the Help of my Wife, made the best Cream-Cheeses
that were ever eaten in the _Persian_ Empire. Her Majesty, the Queen
_Astarte_, and the famous Prime-Minister _Zadig_ were very fond of
them. I serv'd the Court with about six Hundred of them, I went the
other Day in Hopes of being paid; but before I had well got into the
Suburbs of _Babylon_, I was inform'd, that not only the Queen, but
_Zadig_ too had privately left the Court: Whereupon I ran directly
to _Zadig's_ House, tho' I never sat Eye on the Man in all my Life.
There I found the Court-Marshals of the grand _Desterham_,
plundering, by Virtue of his Majesty's Mandate, all his Effects, in
the most loyal Manner. From thence I made the best of my Way to the
Queen's Kitchin; where, applying my self to the Steward of her
Household, and his inferior Officers; one of them told me she was
dead; another, that she was confin'd in Prison; a third, indeed,
said that she had made her Escape by Flight; all in general,
however, assur'd me for my Comfort, that my Cheeses would never be
paid for. From thence I went, with my Wife in my Hand, to Lord
_Orcan's_; who was another of my Court-Customers; of whom we begg'd
for Shelter and Protection: The Favour, I confess, was readily
granted to my Wife; but as for my own Part, I was absolutely
rejected. She was fairer, Sir, than the fairest Cheese I ever sold;
from whence I date all my Misfortunes; and the red that adorn'd her
blushing Cheeks was ten Times more lively than any _Tyrian_ Scarlet.
And between you and I, Sir, that was the main Cause of my Wife's
Reception, and my Disgrace. Whereupon I wrote a doleful Letter to my
Wife, in all the Agonies of one in the deepest Despair: 'Tis very
well, said she, to the Messenger; I have some little Knowledge of
the Man; I have heard say no one sells better Cream-Cheeses than he
does; desire him, next Time he comes, to bring a small Parcel with
him, and let him know, I'll take care he shall be punctually paid.

In the Height of my Misfortunes, I determin'd to seek Redress in a
Court of Equity: I had but six Ounces of Gold left: Two whereof went
for a Fee to my Counsellor; two to my Lawyer, who took my Cause in
Hand, and the other two to the Judge's Clerk. Notwithstanding what I
had done, my Cause was not so much as commenc'd; and I had already
disburs'd more Money than all my Cheeses and my Wife with them were
worth. I return'd therefore to my Native Habitation, with a full
Resolution to sell it for the Ransom of my Wife.

My little Cot, with the Appurtenances, were worth about threescore
Ounces of Gold: But as the Purchasers found I was necessitous, and
drove to my last Shifts; the first whom I apply'd to, offer'd me
thirty Ounces; the second, twenty; and the third, but ten: Just as I
had come to Terms of Accommodation with one of them, the Prince of
_Hyrcania_ came to _Babylon_, and swept all before him. My little
Cottage, with all its Furniture, was first plunder'd of all that was
valuable, and at last reduc'd to Ashes.

Having thus lost my Money, my Wife, and my House, I withdrew to this
Desart, where you see me. I have since endeavour'd to get my Bread
by Fishing; but the Fish, as well as all Mankind, desert me. I
scarce catch one in a Day; I am half starv'd; and had it not been
for your unexpected Benevolence and Generosity, I had been at the
Bottom of the River before this.

This long Detail of Particulars, however, was not deliver'd without
several Interruptions; for, said _Zadig_, with Abundance of Warmth
and Confusion, Have you never heard, Sir, of what is become of the
Queen _Astarte_? No Sir, not I, said the disconsolate Fisherman; but
this I know, to my Sorrow, that neither the Queen, nor _Zadig_, ever
paid me the least Consideration in the World for my Cream Cheeses;
that my dear Spouse is taken from me; and that I am drove to the
very Brink of Despair. I am verily persuaded, said _Zadig_, that you
will not lose all your Money. I have heard much talk of that same
_Zadig_; they say he is very honest, and that if ever he returns to
_Babylon_, as 'tis to be hop'd he will, he'll discharge his Debts
with Interest, like a Man of Honour. But, as for your Wife, who
appears to me, to be no better than a Wag-tail, never take the
Trouble, if you'll take my Advice, to hunt after her any more. Be
rul'd, and make the best of your Way to _Babylon_. I shall be there
before you, as I shall ride, and you will be on Foot. Make your
Applications to the illustrious _Cador_; tell him you met his Friend
upon the Road; and stay there still I come. Observe my Orders, and
'tis very probable it may turn out to your Advantage.

O puissant _Orosmades_, continu'd he, you have made me, 'tis true,
an Instrument of Comfort to this poor Man; but what Friend will you
raise for me, to alleviate my Sorrows? Having utter'd this short
Expostulation, he gave the distrest Fisherman one full Moiety of all
the Money he brought with him out of _Arabia_. The Fisherman,
thunder-struck, and transported with Joy at so unexpected a
Benefaction, kiss'd the Feet of _Cador's_ Friend, and cried out,
sure you are a Messenger of Heaven, sent down to be my Saviour!

In the mean Time, _Zadig_ every now and then ask'd him Questions,
and wept as he ask'd them. What! Sir, said the Fisherman, can you,
who are so bountiful a Benefactor, be in Distress yourself? Alas!
said he, Friend, I am a hundred Times more unhappy than thou art.
But pray, Sir, said the good Man, how can it possibly be, that he,
who is so lavish of his Favours, should be overwhelm'd with greater
Misfortunes than the Man he so generously relieves? Your greatest
Uneasiness, said he, arose from the Narrowness of your Circumstances;
but mine proceeds from an internal, and much deeper Cause. Pray, Sir,
said the Fisherman, has _Orcan_ robb'd you of your Wife? This
Interrogatory put _Zadig_ in a Moment upon a Retrospection of all his
past Adventures. He recollected the whole Series of his Misfortunes;
commencing from that of the Eunuch and the Huntsman, to his Arrival
at the Free-booter's Castle. Alas! said he, to the Fisherman,
_Orcan_, 'tis true, deserves severely to be punish'd: But for the
Generality, we find, such worthless Barbarians are the Favourites of
Fortune. Be that, however, as it will, go as I bade you, to my Friend
_Cador_, and wait there till I come. They took their Leave; the
Fisherman blessing his propitious Stars, and _Zadig_ cursing, every
Step he went, the Hour he was born.



As _Zadig_ was traversing a verdant Meadow, he perceiv'd several
young Female _Syrians_, intent on searching for something very
curious, that lay conceal'd, as they imagin'd, in the Grass. He took
the Freedom to approach one of them, and ask her, in the most
courteous Manner, if he might have the Honour to assist her in her
Researches. Have a care, said she. What we are hunting after, Sir,
is an Animal, that will not suffer itself to be touch'd by a Man.
'Tis somewhat surprizing, said _Zadig_. May I be so bold, pray, as
to ask you what you are in Pursuit after, that shuns the Touch of
any Thing but the Hands of the Fair Sex. 'Tis, Sir, said she, the
_Basilisk_: A _Basilisk_, Madam, said he! And pray, if you will be
so good as to inform me, with what View, are you searching after a
Creature so very difficult to be met with? 'Tis, Sir, said she, for
our Lord and Master _Ogul_, whose Castle, you see, situate on the
River-side, at the Bottom of the Meadow. We are all his Vassals.
_Ogul_, you must know, is in a very bad State of Health, and his
first Physician has order'd him, as a Specific, to eat a _Basilisk_,
boil'd in Rose water: And as that Animal is very hard to be catch'd,
and will suffer nothing to approach it, but one of our Sex, our
dying Sovereign _Ogul_ has promis'd to honour her, that shall be so
happy as to catch it for him, so far as to make her his Consort. The
Case, being thus circumstantiated, Sir, I hope you will not
interrupt me any longer, lest my Rivals here in the Field should
happen to circumvent me.

_Zadig_ withdrew, and left the _Syrian_ Ladies in Quest of their
imaginary Booty, in order to pursue his intended Journey. But as he
came to the Banks of a Rivulet, at the remotest part of the Meadow,
he perceiv'd another young Lady, reclin'd on the Grass, and entirely
disengag'd. Her Stature seem'd majestic, but her Face was cover'd
with a Vail; and her Eyes were fixt, as one at her Looking-glass, on
the River. Every now and then a Sigh burst out, as if her Heart were
breaking. In her Hand she held a little Wand or Rod, with which she
was tracing out some Characters on the dry Sand, that lay between
the flow'ry Bank she sat on, and the purling Current. _Zadig's_
Curiosity induc'd him, unperceiv'd, to observe her Operations at
some Distance. But approaching nearer, and perceiving very
distinctly the first Character to be an _Z_. the next an _A_. and
the third a _D_. he started; but when he saw the additional Capitals
of _I_ and _G_. his Astonishment was too great for Words to express.
He stood for some Time perfectly thunder-struck, and as motionless
as a Statue; At last, in a soft, faultring Tone, he broke Silence: O
generous Lady, said he, forgive a Stranger, one overwhelm'd with
Sorrows like yourself, if he asks you, by what amazing Accident he
finds the Name of _Zadig_ delineated by so angelick a Hand. Thus
unexpectedly interrupted, and at the Sound of those Words, she
turn'd her Head; and with a trembling Hand, lifting up her Vail, she
espy'd _Zadig_ himself. Upon which, she shriek'd; and as her Heart
was flutter'd between the two Extreams of Transport and Surprize,
she fainted away, and gently dropp'd into his Arms. 'Twas, it seems
_Astarte_ her self; 'twas the Queen of _Babylon_; 'twas the very
_Goddess_ whom _Zadig_ ador'd; 'twas, in short, the very identical
Lady, whose hard Fate he had so long deplor'd; and for whose sake he
had felt so many agonizing Pains. For a few Minutes he stood
speechless, and depriv'd, as it were, of all his senses, whilst his
Eyes were fixt on his _Astarte_, who began to revive; and cast a
wishful Glance at him, attended with some Confusion. O ye immortal
Powers, cried he, who preside over the Destiny of us frail Mortals!
Ye have restor'd me my _Astarte_; but alas! at what a Conjuncture,
in what a Place, and in what a State and Condition do I view her? He
threw himself prostrate on the Ground, and kiss'd the Dust of her
Feet. The Queen of _Babylon_ rais'd him up, and oblig'd him to sit
by her on the flow'ry Bank whereon she was repos'd. Every now and
then she wip'd her Eyes, as the Tears trickl'd down afresh her
lovely Cheeks. Twenty times she endeavour'd to renew her Discourse;
but was interrupted by her Sighs; she ask'd him over and over to
relate to her the Hardships he had ran thro' since their parting,
and by what Chance he came to traverse that solitary Meadow; but
prevented him at the same Time from returning any Answer, by
repeating Question upon Question. At last, she gave him a particular
Detail of her own Misfortunes, and again requested to know his. Both
of them, in short, having, in some Measure, appeas'd the Tumult of
their Souls; _Zadig_, in a few Words, inform'd her of the Motives
that brought him thither.

But tell me, O unfortunate, tho' ever-venerable Queen, how I came to
find you out, reclining on this verdant Bank, dress'd in this
servile Habit, accompanied by other Female Slaves, who, I find, have
been all Day long in Quest after a _Basilisk_, which, as I
understand, is by Order of a celebrated Physician, to be dissolv'd
in Rose-water, as a specific Medicine for his dying Patient.

Whilst they busy in their fruitless Search, said the beauteous
_Astarte_, I'll tell you the whole Series of Sorrows which I have
undergone since last we parted; and since Heav'n has thus
unexpectedly blest my Eyes once more with the Sight of my dear
_Zadig_, I'll no longer exclaim against my impropitious Stars.

You are not insensible, that the jealous King my Spouse, was
disgusted to find you the most amiable of all Mortals, and that for
no other Reason he determin'd to strangle you, and poison me. You
know very well too, that indulgent Heav'n inspir'd, as it were, my
little Dwarf, with artful Means to give me timely Notice of the rash
Resolutions of the King, my cruel Husband.

No sooner had the faithful _Cador_ oblig'd you to obey my Orders, and
to fly the Court, but he ventur'd to enter my Apartment in the Dead
of Night thro' a private Door. He snatch'd me up, and convey'd me
directly into the Temple of _Orosmades_, where the holy _Magus_, who
was his Brother, lock'd me up in that august and awful Statue, that
stands erect upon the Pavement of the Temple, and _Colossus_-like,
touches the lofty Ceiling with his Head. There I lay conceal'd, or
rather buried for some Time; tho' taken all imaginable Care of, and
furnish'd with all the Necessaries of Life by that venerable, and
loyal Priest. In the mean Time, his Apothecary enter'd at Break of
Day into my Apartment, with a Potion in his Hand, compos'd of Opium,
black Hellebore, Aconite, and other Ingredients still more baneful.
Whilst this mercenary Officer of the King's Vengeance was thus
employ'd, another as inhuman as himself, went to your Lodgings with
the silken Cord. Both, however, were disappointed, as both of us
were fled. _Cador_, very officious, flew to the King, in order the
more artfully to blind him; and in a feign'd Passion, rail'd at us
both, and charg'd us both as perfidious Traitors. As for that
Villain _Zadig_, said he, he has taken his Flight towards _India_;
and your false, ungrateful Consort, Sire, said he, is fled to
_Memphis_. The Guards were order'd that Moment to pursue us both.

The Couriers, who flew after me, knew nothing of me. I had never
expos'd my Face unveil'd to any one but your self, and that too in
the Presence, and by the express Order of my Royal Master. As they
had no other Marks to distinguish me from others but my Stature, as
it had been describ'd, a young Lady, just of my Size, but in all
Probability much more handsome, presented herself to their View, on
the Frontiers of _Egypt_. She was found alone, and in a very
disconsolate Condition. This Lady must, doubtless, said they to
themselves, be the Queen of _Babylon_: And without listning to her
Complaints, convey'd her instantly to my Husband _Moabdar_. Their
gross Blunder at first incens'd his Majesty to the last Degree; but
after he had view'd the Lady with an attentive Eye, he found she was
extremely pretty, and was soon pacify'd. Her Name was _Missouf_. I
have been since inform'd, that her Name in the _Egyptian_ Language
signifies the _Fair Coquet_. And in Effect, she was so: She had as
much Art, however, as Caprice. For she pleas'd the King of Kings: In
short, she had such an Ascendancy over him, that he didn't scruple
in publick to own her as his Wife. When she had secur'd him thus far
in her Toils, she never conceal'd her Power, but play'd the Part of
a perfect Humourist. She indulg'd herself in every Whim that came in
her Head, without Fear of being brow-beat. In the first Place, She
insisted that the Chief Magus, who was old and gouty, should dance a
Saraband before her; and upon his modest Refusal to comply with so
preposterous a Request, she persecuted him without Mercy: Nothing
would serve her Turn, in the next Place, but his Majesty's grand
Master of the Horse must make her a Minc'd-pye. The Gentleman took
the Liberty to let her know, that he was no profess'd Cook; a Tart,
however, he must make for her, and she got him turn'd out of his
Place for being so monstrously careless, as to burn one _Corner_ of
the Crust. Whereupon she gave his Post to her favourite Dwarf, and
made her Fop of a Page the Keeper of his Majesty's great Seal, and
Confidence. Thus she reign'd arbitrary, and was the Female Tyrant of
_Babylon_. All the World deplor'd the Loss of me their former Queen.
The King, who never acted the Part of a Tyrant, till the Moment he
would have imprison'd me, and strangled you, seem'd to have drown'd
all his good Qualities in his Dotage on that capricious Enchantress.
He came to the Temple on the solemn Festival of the sacred Fire. I
saw him prostrate on the Pavement before the Statue, wherein I was
enclos'd, imploring the Gods to show'r down their choicest Blessings
on his beauteous _Missouf_. I, with an audible and distinct, but
hollow Tone, address'd my self thus, like an Oracle, to the King of
Kings. _The Gods reject the Vows of a Monarch, that acts the Tyrant
o'er his Subjects; One, who could think of murdering an innocent
Wife; and admit of a worthless Beauty to supply her Place._
_Moabdar_ was so startled at this unexpected Answer from the God he
ador'd, that he was just at the Point of Distraction. The Oracle
that I had deliver'd, and the tyrannical Proceedings of his new
Spouse _Missouf_, were enough to deprive him of his Senses. In
short, in a few Days he became a perfect Mad-man. Her Caprice, which
seem'd a Judgement from above, portended a sudden Revolution. His
Subjects accordingly revolted, and were instantly up in Arms.
_Babylon_, that had so long indulg'd herself in Indolence and Ease,
became the Seat, or Theatre of a bloody Civil War. Whereupon I was
taken from my magnificent Prison, the Bowels of his God, and set up
at the Head of a very powerful Party. Your Friend _Cador_ flew to
_Memphis_ in hopes to find you there, and bring you back to
_Babylon_. The Prince of _Hyrcania_, hearing of these intestine
Broils, return'd with a powerful Army, in order to form a third
Party, among the _Babylonians_. He attack'd the King, who fled with
his fair, but fickle _Egyptian_ before him. _Moabdar_, however, was
so closely pursu'd, that he dy'd of the Wounds he receiv'd in his
Retreat. _Missouf_ became the fair Victim of the Conqueror. As for
my own Part, I had the Misfortune to be over-power'd likewise, and
taken Prisoner by an _Hyrcanian Party_, who brought me into the
Presence of the young Prince, at the very Juncture when _Missouf_
stood before him. You'll smile, doubtless, when I tell you the
Prince look'd upon me as the most amiable Captive of the two; but
then, I presume you will be sorry to hear, that my hard Fate doom'd
me to be a Vassal in his Seraglio. He told me, in direct Terms, that
as soon as he had put an happy Issue to one Military Expedition,
which would not, he flatter'd himself, be long unexecuted, he would
honour me with a Visit. Judge the dreadful Apprehensions I was
under, upon his making such a peremptory Declaration. My Obligations
to _Moabdar_ were all cancell'd, and I was free to be the Bride of
_Zadig_; but instead of that, I fell into the Toils of a
_Barbarian_. I answer'd him with all the Resentment becoming one of
my high Character and unspotted Virtue. I had always heard say, that
Heav'n bestow'd on Persons of my Rank, such a peculiar Mark of
Majesty and Grandeur, that with a bare Word, or the Glance of an
angry Eye, they could bring down, and abase the Pride of those
audacious Creatures that durst to thwart their Inclinations. I
talk'd as big as a Queen; but I was treated like the most servile
Domestic. The saucy _Hyrcanian_, without so much as vouchsafing me
one Single Word, turn'd to his black Eunuch, and told him that I was
very impertinent; but yet he could not help thinking I was very
pretty. He gave him therefore particular Orders to take care of me,
and put me under the same Regimen, with respect to my Diet, as one
of his Favourites, in order that I might recover my Colour, which
was somewhat too languid; in a Word, that I might become worthy in a
little Time of his Royal Favours, and be duely qualified to receive
him, when he should honour me so far as to fix the Day. I told him,
I would die first: He replied, with a Sneer, that young Ladies, like
me, seldom kill'd themselves, and that they were made for Enjoyment;
and then turn'd upon his Heel, with as careless an Air, as a Man
would part with his Paroquet, when he had shut her up close in her
gilded Cage. What a shocking State was I in for the first Queen of
the Universe! Nay, I'll say more, for a Heart that was wholly
devoted to her _Zadig_!

At these endearing Words, _Zadig_ threw himself at her Feet, and
bath'd them with his Tears. _Astarte_ immediately rais'd him in the
most courteous and engaging Manner, and thus continu'd her
Narration.--I too plainly perceiv'd, that I was subject to the
Tyranny of a _Barbarian_, and the Rival of a Coquet, that was a
Slave like myself. She related to me all her past Adventures in
_Egypt_. From the Description she gave of her Gallant, the Time and
Place, the Dromedary he was mounted on, and from every other minute
Circumstance, I imagin'd it was your self that play'd the Hero in
her Favour. As I made no Doubt but that you resided somewhere in
_Memphis_, I determin'd to go thither my self, but in Disguise.
Beauteous _Missouf_, said I, you are of a much sprightlier
Disposition than I am; you will be able to amuse the gay young
Prince of _Hyrcania_ a thousand Times better than I shall. Find out
some Way therefore for my Escape; by which you will be sole Lady
Regent. You will oblige me to the last Degree, by your friendly
Assistance, and at the same Time get rid of a Rival. _Missouf_,
(cajol'd with the Hint) came into my Measures directly. She took
care to send me packing forthwith, with no other Attendant than an
old _Egyptian_ Slave.

No sooner had I reach'd the Borders of _Arabia_, but a notorious
Free-booter, (one _Arbogad_ by Name) pick'd me up, as I was
strolling along, and sold me to some Merchants, who convey'd me to
yonder Castle, the magnificent Residence of the Emir _Ogul_. He
purchas'd me at all Adventures, without enquiring what, or who I
was. He is a perfect Debauchee; his sole Delight lies in good
Eating, Wine, and Women; and is one, who imagines, that the Almighty
sent him into the World for no other Purpose but to gratify his
unruly Appetites. He is excessively fat, and puffs and blows every
Moment, like one half choak'd. When he has gorg'd himself so
unmercifully that he is ready to burst, his chief Physician can
persuade him to take any Thing for his Relief; tho' he laughs at
him, and despises his Advice when he's well and sober. He has
intimated to him, that at present his Life's in Danger, and nothing
will restore him but a _Basilisk_, boil'd in Rose-Water. Whereupon
the grand _Ogul_ has promis'd his last Favours to that Slave,
whoever she be, that shall be so fortunate as to catch a _Basilisk_,
for him, since it seems they are so seldom to be met with. You see I
have others to struggle for the Honour propos'd, and I never had a
less Inclination to find out this _Basilisk_ than at present, since
I have once more met with my dearest _Zadig_.

After this Declaration, _Astarte_ and _Zadig_ renew'd with Warmth
the virtuous Affection which they had long conceiv'd for each other;
and reciprocally utter'd all the tenderest Expressions that Love in
Distress could possibly devise. And the _Genii_, who preside over
all the soft Passions, wafted their mutual Vows of eternal Constancy
and Truth to the Sphere of _Venus_.

The whole Train of Slaves, after a long fruitless Search, attended
on _Ogul_, to inform him that all their strictest Search was
fruitless. _Zadig_ desired that he might have the Honour to be
introduc'd into his Presence. Accordingly he was, and his Address
was to this or the like Effect. May immortal Health descend from
Heaven to preserve a Life, Sir, so precious as yours is. I am a
Physician by Profession. I flew to your Palace, on the first News of
the dangerous Situation you were in, and have brought a _Basilisk_
with me, distill'd in Rose-Water. I can have no Hopes of the Honour
of your Bed, in Case I succeed in my Application: All the Favour I
request, is, the Release of one of your _Babylonish_ Slaves, who has
been in your Highness's Retinue for some Time. And I am willing to
be your Bond-slave in her Stead, if I fail of restoring the most
illustrious and magnificent _Ogul_ to his pristine State of Health.

The Proposition was readily embrac'd. _Astarte_ was instantly
discharg'd, and set out for _Babylon_, with a proper Attendant,
according to _Zadig's_ Direction; assuring her that she should hear
every Day, by a special Courier, of his Proceedings with his new
Patient. The Farewel which they took of each other, was very
affectionate and tender, expressive of the strongest Obligations to
each other. The Moments of Meeting, and those of Parting, are (as it
is written in the sacred Book of _Zend_) the two most remarkable
_Epochas_ of a Lover's Life. _Zadig's_ repeated Protestations of
Affection for the Queen were perfectly sincere, and the pure
Dictates of his Heart; and the Queen's Love for _Zadig_ had made a
deeper Impression on hers, than she thought proper to discover.

In the mean Time, _Zadig_, again addressing himself to _Ogul_, said;
my _Basilisk_, Sir, as others are, is not to be drest or eaten; but
all its Virtues must penetrate your whole Fabrick, thro' your Pores;
I have inclos'd my never-failing _Sudorific_ in a Bladder,
full-blown and carefully cover'd with the softest Leather. You must
kick this Bladder, Sir, once a Day about your Hall for a whole Hour
together, with all the Vigour and Activity you possibly can. This
Medicine must be repeated every Morning, and I'll attend the
Operation: Upon your due Observance of the Regimen I shall put you
under, I doubt not, but with the Blessing of Heav'n on my honest
Endeavours, I shall give you ample Demonstration of my being an
Adept in Physick. _Ogul_, upon making the first Experiment, was
ready to expire for want of Breath, and thought he should die with
the Fatigue. The second Day did not prove altogether so irksome, and
he slept much better at Night than he had done before. In short, our
Doctor in about eight Days Time, perform'd an absolute Cure. His
Patient was as brisk, active and gay, as One in the Bloom of his

Now, Sir, said _Zadig_, I'll be ingenuous with you, and disclose to
you the important Secret. You have play'd at Foot-ball these eight
Days successively; and you have liv'd all that Time, within the
Bounds of Sobriety and Moderation. Know, Sir, that there is no such
Animal in Nature as a _Basilisk_; that Health is to be secur'd by
Temperance and Exercise; and that the Art of making Health
consistent with Luxury, is altogether as impracticable, and an Art,
in all Respects, as idle and chimerical, as those of the
Philosopher's Stone, judicial Astrology, or any other Reveries of
the like airy and fantastic Nature.

_Ogul's_ Head-Physician, apprehensive that this unexpected Cure,
thus wrought by a Stranger, through such an Anti-medicinal
Preparation, might possibly not only render himself the Object of
Contempt in the Eye of his great Master, but cast a Kind of Slur in
general on his whole Fraternity, conven'd a Set of petty Doctors and
Apothecaries, who were his Vassals, and entirely devoted to his
Interest, to find out some sure Ways and Means to cut off in private
his dreadful Rival; but whilst their wicked Plot was hatching,
_Zadig_ receiv'd a Courier from the Queen _Astarte_.



The Queen was receiv'd at _Babylon_ with all the Transports of Joy
that could possibly be express'd for the safe Return of so
illustrious and so beautiful a Personage, that had run thro' such a
long Series of Misfortunes. _Babylon_ at that Time seem'd to be
perfectly serene and quiet. As for the young Prince of _Hyrcania_,
he was slain in Battle. The _Babylonians_, who were the Victors,
declar'd that _Astarte_ should marry that Candidate for the Crown,
who should gain it by a fair and impartial Election. They were
determin'd, that the most valuable Post of Honour in the World,
namely, that of being the Royal Consort of _Astarte_, and the
Sovereign of _Babylon_, should be the Result of Merit only; and not
be procur'd by any Party-Factions or Court-Intrigues. A solemn Oath
was voluntarily taken by all Parties, that he who should distinguish
himself by his superior Valour and Wisdom, should unanimously be
acknowledg'd the Sovereign-Elect.

A spacious _List_, or _Circus_, was pitched upon, surrounded with
commodious Seats, erected in an Amphitheatrical Manner, and richly
embellish'd some few Leagues from the City. Thither the Combatants,
or Champions were to repair, compleatly accoutred. Each of them had
a distinct Apartment to himself behind the _Lists_, where no Soul
could either see them, or know who they were. They were to enter the
_Lists_ four several Times. Those who were so happy as to conquer
four Competitors, were afterwards to engage each other in single
Combat; in order that he who should remain Master of the Field
should be proclaim'd the happy Victor.

Four Days afterwards, they were to meet again, accoutred as before,
and to explain all such _Ænigmas_, or _Riddles_, as the _Magi_
should think proper to propose. If their Queries should prove too
intricate and perplext for them to resolve, they were to have
Recourse to the _Lists_ again, and after that, to fresh _Ænigmas_,
before they could be entitled to the Election: So that the
_Tournaments_ were to be continu'd till One of the Candidates should
be twice a Victor, and shine as conspicuous, with respect to his
internal Qualities, as to his Dexterity and Address in heroic
Atchievements. The Queen, in the mean Time, was to be narrowly
watch'd, and allow'd only to be a Spectator of both their
Amusements, at some considerable Distance; and moreover, to be
cover'd with a Vail: Nor was she indulg'd so far as to speak one
single Word to any Candidate whomsoever, in order to prevent the
least Jealousy or Suspicion either of Partiality or Injustice.

_Astarte_ took care, by the Courier, to inform her Lover of all the
Preliminary Articles abovemention'd, not doubting but that he would
exert both his Courage and Understanding for her Sake, beyond any of
the other Competitors.

_Zadig_ accordingly set out for _Babylon_, and besought the Goddess
_Venus_, not only to fortify his Courage, but to illuminate his Mind
with Wisdom on this important Occasion.

The Night before these martial Atchievements were to commence,
_Zadig_ arrived upon the Banks of the _Euphrates_. He inscrib'd his
Device amongst the List of Combatants; concealing, at the same Time,
both his Person and Name, as the Laws of the Election required; and
accordingly, withdrew to the Apartment that was provided for him,
according to his Lot.

_Cador_, who was just return'd to _Babylon_, having hunted all
_Egypt_ over to no Purpose, in Hopes to find his Friend _Zadig_,
brought a compleat set of Armour into his Lodge, by express Orders
from the Queen: She sent him likewise One of the finest Horses in
all _Persia_. _Zadig_ knew that these Presents could come from
No-body but his dear _Astarte_, which redoubled his Vigour and his

The next Morning the Queen being seated under a Canopy of State,
enrich'd with precious Stones; and the Amphitheatres being crowded
with Gentlemen and Ladies of all Ranks and Conditions from
_Babylon_; the Competitors made their personal Appearance in the
_Circus_: Each of them went up to the grand _Magus_, and laid down
his particular _Device_ at his Feet. The _Devices_ were drawn by
Lot: That of _Zadig_ was the last. The first that advanc'd was a
Grandee, one _Itabod_ by Name, immensely rich, indeed, and very
haughty; but no ways couragious; exceedingly awkward, and a Man of
no acquir'd Parts. The Sycophants that hover'd round about him
flatter'd him, that a Man of his Merit couldn't fail of being King:
He imperiously replied, One of my Merit must be King: Whereupon he
was arm'd _Cap-a-pee_. His Armour was made of pure Gold, enamell'd
with Green. The Housings of his Saddle were green, and his Lance
embellish'd with green Ribbands. Every One was sensible, at first
Sight, by _Itobad's_ Manner of managing his Horse, that he was not
the Man whom Heav'n had pitch'd upon to sway the _Babylonish_
Scepter. The first Combatant that tilted with him, threw him out of
the Saddle; the second flung him quite over the Crupper, and laid
him sprawling on the Ground, with his Heels quiv'ring in the Air.
_Itobad_, 'tis true, remounted, but with so ill a Grace, that an
universal Laugh went round the Amphitheatre. The third, disdaining
to use his Lance, made only a Feint at him: Then catch'd hold of his
Right Leg, and whirling him round, threw him flat upon the Sand. The
Esquires, who were the Attendants, ran to his Assistance, and with a
Sneer remounted him. The fourth Combatant catch'd hold of his Left
Leg, and unhors'd him again. He was convey'd thro' the hissing
Multitude to his Lodge, where, according to the Law in that Case
provided, he was to pass the Night. And as he hobbled along, said
he, to the Esquires, what a sad Misfortune is this to One of my
Birth and Character!

The other Champions play'd their Parts much better; and all came off
with Credit. Some conquer'd two of their Antagonists, and others
were so far successful as to get the better of three. None of them,
however, except Prince _Hottam_, vanquish'd four. _Zadig_, at last,
enter'd the Lists, and dismounted all his four Opponents, one after
the other, with the utmost Ease, and with such an Air and Grace, as
gain'd him universal Applause. As the Case stood thus, _Zadig_ and
_Hottam_ were to close the Day's Entertainment in a single Combat.
The Armour of the latter was of a blue Colour mixt with Gold, and
the Housings of his Saddle were of the same. Those of the former
white as Snow. The Multitude were divided in their Wishes. The
Knight in blue was the Favourite of some of the Ladies; and others
again were Admirers of the Cavalier in white. The Queen, whose Heart
was in a perfect Palpitation, put up her secret Prayers to _Venus_
to assist her darling Hero.

The two Champions making their Passes and their Volta's, with the
utmost Dexterity and Address, and keeping firm in their Saddles,
gave each other such Rebuffs with their Lances, that all the
Spectators (the Queen only excepted) wish'd for two Kings of
_Babylon_. At last, their Horses being tired, and both their Lances
broke, _Zadig_ made use of the following Stratagem, which his
Antagonist wasn't any ways appriz'd of. He got artfully behind him,
and shooting with a Spring on his Horses Buttocks, grasp'd him
close, threw him headlong on the Sand, then jump'd into his Seat,
and wheel'd round Prince _Hottam_, while he lay sprawling on the
Ground. All the Spectators in general, with loud Acclamations, cried
out, Victory! Victory! in favour of the Champion in white. _Hottam_,
incens'd to the last Degree, got up, and drew his Sword. _Zadig_
sprang from his Horse with his Sabre in his Hand. Now, behold the
two Chieftains upon their Legs, commencing a new Trial of Skill!
where they seem'd to get the better of each other alternately; for
both were strong, and both were active. The Feathers of their
Helmets, the Studs of their Bracelets, their Coats of Mail, flew
about in Pieces, thro' the dry Blows which they a thousand Times
repeated. They struck at each other sometimes with the Edge of their
Swords, at other Times they push'd, as Occasion offer'd: Now on the
Right, then on the Left; now on the Head, then at the Breast; they
retreated; they advanc'd; they kept at a Distance; they clos'd
again; they grasp'd each other, turning and twisting like two
Serpents, and engag'd each other as fiercely as two _Libyan_ Lions
fighting for their Prey: Their Swords struck Fire almost at every
Blow. At last, _Zadig_, in order to recover his Breath, for a Moment
or two stood still, and afterwards, making a Feint at the Prince,
threw him on his Back, and disarm'd him. _Hottam_, thereupon, cried
out, O thou Knight of the white Armour! 'Tis you only are destin'd
to be the King of _Babylon_. The Queen was perfectly transported.
The two Champions were reconducted to their separate Lodges, as the
others had been before them, in Conformity to the Laws prescrib'd.
Several Mutes were order'd to wait on the Champions, and carry them
some proper Refreshment. We'll leave the Reader to judge whether the
Queen's Dwarf was not appointed to wait on _Zadig_ on this happy
Occasion. After Supper the Mutes withdrew, and left the Combatants
to rest their wearied Limbs till the next Morning; at which Time the
Victor was to produce his _Device_, before the _Grand Magus_, in
order to confer Notes, and discover the Hero whoever he might be.

_Zadig_ slept very sound, notwithstanding his amorous Regard for the
Queen, being perfectly fatigu'd. _Itabod_, who lay in the Lodge
contiguous to his, could not once close his Eyes for Vexation. He
got up therefore in the Dead of the Night, stole imperceptibly into
_Zadig's_ Apartment, took his white Armour and Device away with him,
and substituted his green One in its Place.

As soon as the Day began to dawn, he repair'd, with a seemingly
undaunted Courage, to the _Grand Magus_, to inform him, that he was
the mighty Hero, the happy Victor. Without the least Hesitation, he
gain'd his Point, and was proclaim'd Victor before _Zadig_ was
awake. _Astarte_, astonish'd at this unexpected Disappointment,
return'd with a Heart overwhelm'd with Despair, to the Court of
_Babylon_. Almost all the Spectators were mov'd off from the
Amphitheatre before _Zadig_ wak'd: He hunted for his Arms; but could
find nothing but those in green. He was oblig'd, tho' sorely against
his Will, to put it on, having nothing else in his Lodge to appear
in: Confounded, and big with Resentment, he drest himself, and made
his personal Appearance in that despicable Equipage. The Populace
that were left behind in the _Circus_, hiss'd him every Step he
took, they made a Ring about him, and treated him with all the Marks
of Ignominy and Contempt. The most cowardly Wretch breathing was
never sure so sweated, or hunted down as poor _Zadig_! He grew quite
out of Patience at last, and cut his Way thro' the insulting Mob,
with his Rival's Sabre; but he did not know what Measures to pursue,
or how to rectify so gross a Mistake. It was not in his Power to
have a Sight of the Queen; he could never recover the white Armour
again which She had sent him; That was the Compromise, or the
Engagement, to which the Combatants had all unanimously agreed:
Thus, as he was on the one Hand, plung'd in an Abyss of Sorrow; so
on the other, he was almost drove distracted with Vexation and
Resentment. He withdrew therefore, in a solitary Mood, to the Banks
of the _Euphrates_, now fully persuaded, that his impropitious Star
had shed its most baleful Influence on him, and that his Misfortunes
were irretrievable, revolving in his Mind, all his Disappointments
from his first Adventure with the Court-Coquet, who had entertain'd
an utter Aversion to a blind Eye, down to his late Loss of his white
Armour. See! said he, the fatal Consequence of being a Sluggard! Had
I been more vigilant, I had been King of _Babylon_; but what is
more, I had been happy in the Embraces of my dearest _Astarte_. All
the Knowledge of Books or Mankind; all the personal Valour that I
can boast of, has only prov'd an Aggravation of my Sorrows. He
carried the Point so far at last, as to murmur at the unequal
Dispensations of Divine Providence; and was tempted to believe, that
all Occurrences were govern'd by a malignant Destiny, which never
fail'd to oppress the Virtuous, and always crown'd the Actions of
such Villains as the green Knight, with uncommon Success. In one of
his frantick Fits, he put on the green Armour, that had created him
such a World of Disgrace. A Merchant happening to pass by, he sold
it to him for a Trifle, and took in Exchange nothing more than a
Mantle, and a Cap. In this Disguise, he took a solitary Walk along
the Banks of the _Euphrates_, every Minute reflecting in his Mind on
the partial Proceedings of Providence, which never ceas'd to torment



As _Zadig_ was travelling along, he met with a Hermit, whose grey
and venerable Beard descended to his Girdle. He had in his Hand a
little Book, on which his Eyes were fix'd. _Zadig_ threw himself in
his Way, and made him a profound Bow. The Hermit return'd the
Compliment with such an Air of Majesty and Benevolence, that
_Zadig's_ Curiosity prompted him to converse with so agreeable a
Stranger. Pray, Sir, said he, what may be the Contents of the
Treatise you are reading with such Attention. 'Tis call'd, said the
Hermit, the _Book of Fate_; will you please to look at it. He put
the Book into the Hands of _Zadig_, who, tho' he was a perfect
Master of several Languages, couldn't decypher one single Character.
This rais'd his Curiosity still higher. You seem dejected, said the
good Father to him. Alas! I have Cause enough, said _Zadig_. If
you'll permit me to accompany you, said the old Hermit, perhaps I
may be of some Service to you. I have sometimes instill'd Sentiments
of Consolation into the Minds of the Afflicted. _Zadig_ had a secret
Regard for the Air of the old Man, for his Beard, and his Book. He
found, by conversing with him, that he was the most learned Person
he had ever met with. The Hermit harangu'd on Destiny, Justice,
Morality, the sovereign Good, the Frailty of Nature; on Virtue and
Vice, in such a lively Manner, and in such a Flow of Words, that
_Zadig_ was attach'd to him by an invincible Charm. He begg'd
earnestly that he would favour him with his Company to _Babylon_.
That Favour I was going to ask my self, said the old Man. Swear to
me by _Orosmades_, that you won't leave me, for some Days at least,
let me do what I please. _Zadig_ took the Oath requir'd, and both
pursu'd their Journey.

The two Travellers arriv'd that Evening at a superb Castle. The
Hermit begg'd for an hospitable Reception of himself and his young
Comrade. The Porter, whom any One might have taken for some Grandee,
let them in, but with a kind of Coldness and Contempt. However, he
conducted them to the Head-Steward, who went with them thro' every
rich Apartment of his Master's House. They were seated at Supper
afterwards at the lower End, indeed, of the Table, and where they
were taken little or no Notice of by the Host; but they were serv'd
with as much Delicacy and Profusion, as any of the other Guests.
When they arose from Table, they wash'd their Hands in a Golden
Bason set with Emeralds, and other costly Stones. When 'twas Time to
go to Rest, they were conducted into a Bed-chamber richly furnish'd;
and the next Morning two Pieces of Gold were presented to him for
their mutual Service, by a Valet in waiting; and then they were

The Proprietor of this Castle, said _Zadig_, as they were upon the
Road, seems to me to be a very hospitable Gentleman; tho' somewhat
too haughty indeed, and too imperious: The Words were no sooner out
of his Mouth, but he perceiv'd that the Pocket of his Comrade's
Garment, tho' very large, was swell'd, and greatly extended: He soon
saw what was the Cause, and that he had clandestinely brought off
the Golden Laver. He durst not immediately take Notice of the Fact;
but was ready to sink at the very Thoughts on't. About Noon, the
Hermit rapp'd at a petty Cottage with his Staff, the beggarly
Residence of an old, rich Miser. He desir'd that he and his
Companion might refresh themselves there for a few Hours. An old,
shabby Domestick let them in indeed, but with visible Reluctance,
and carried them into the Stable, where all their Fare was a few
musty Olives, and a Draught or two of sower small Beer. The Hermit
seem'd as content with his Repast, as he was the Night before. At
last, rising off from his Seat, he paid his Compliments to the old
Valet (who had as watchful an Eye over them all the Time, as if they
had been a Brace of Thieves, and intimated every now and then that
he fear'd they would be benighted) and gave him the two Pieces of
Gold, he had but just receiv'd that Morning, as a Token of his
Gratitude for his courteous Entertainment. He added moreover, I
would willingly speak one Word with your Master before I go. The
Valet, thunder-struck at his unexpected Gratuity, comply'd with his
Request: Most hospitable Sir, said the Hermit, I couldn't go away
without returning you my grateful Acknowledgments for the friendly
Reception we have met with this Afternoon. Be pleas'd to accept this
Golden Bason as a small Token of my Gratitude and Esteem. The Miser
started, and was ready to fall down backwards at the Sight of so
valuable a Present. The Hermit gave him no Time to recover out of
his Surprise, but march'd off that Moment with his young Comrade.
Father, said _Zadig_, What is all this that I have seen? You seem to
me to act in a quite different Manner from the Generality of
Mankind. You plunder One, who entertain'd you with all the Pomp and
Profusion in the World, to enrich a covetous, sordid Wretch, who
treated you in the most unworthy Manner. Son, said the old Man, that
Grandee, who receives Visits of Strangers, with no other View than
to gratify his Pride, and to raise their Astonishment at the
Furniture of his Palace, will henceforward learn to be wiser; and
the Miser to be more liberal for the Time to come. Don't be
surpris'd, but follow me. _Zadig_ was at a stand at present; and
couldn't well determine whether his Companion was a Man of greater
Wisdom than ordinary, or a Mad-man. But the Hermit assum'd such an
Ascendency over him, exclusive of the Oath he had taken, that he
couldn't tell how to leave him. At Night they came to a House very
commodiously built, but neat and plain; where nothing was wanting,
and yet nothing profuse. The Master was a Philosopher, that had
retir'd from the busy World, in order to live in Peace, and form his
Mind to Virtue. He was pleas'd to build this little Box for the
Reception of Strangers, in a handsome Manner, but without
Ostentation. He came in Person to meet them at the Door, and for a
Time, advis'd them to sit down and rest themselves in a commodious
Apartment. After some Respite, he invited them to a frugal, yet
elegant Repast; during which, he talk'd very intelligently about the
late Revolutions in _Babylon_. He seem'd entirely to be in the
Queen's Interest, and heartily wish'd that _Zadig_ had entred the
Lists for the regal Prize: But _Babylon_, said he, don't deserve a
King of so much Merit. A modest Blush appear'd in _Zadig's_ Face at
this unexpected Compliment, which innocently aggravated his
Misfortunes. It was agreed, on all Hands, that the Affairs of this
World took sometimes a quite different Turn from what the wisest
Patriots would wish them. The Hermit replied, the Ways of Providence
are often very intricate and obscure, and Men were much to blame for
casting Reflections on the Conduct of the Whole, upon the bare
Inspection of the minutest Part.

The next Topick they entred upon was the Passions. Alas! said
_Zadig_, how fatal in their Consequences! However, said the Hermit,
they are the Winds that swell the Sail of the Vessel. Sometimes,
'tis true, they overset it; but there is no such Thing as sailing
without them. Phlegm, indeed, makes Men peevish and sick; but then
there is no living without it. Tho' every Thing here below is
dangerous, yet All are necessary.

In the next Place, their Discourse turn'd on sensual Pleasures; and
the Hermit demonstrated, that they were the Gifts of Heaven; for,
said he, Man cannot bestow either Sensations or Ideas on himself; he
receives them all; his Pain and Pleasure, as well as his Being,
proceed from a superior Cause.

_Zadig_ stood astonish'd, to think how a Man that had committed such
vile Actions, could argue so well on such Moral Topicks. At the
proper Hour, after an Entertainment, not only instructive, but ev'ry
way agreeable, their Host conducted them to their Bed-chamber,
thanking Heaven for directing two such polite and virtuous Strangers
to his House. He offer'd them at the same Time some Silver, to
defray their Expences on the Road; but with such an Air of Respect
and Benevolence, that 'twas impossible to give the least Disgust.
The Hermit, however, refus'd it, and took his leave, as he propos'd
to set forward for _Babylon_ by Break of Day. Their Parting was very
affectionate and friendly; _Zadig_, in particular, express'd a more
than common Regard for a Man of so amiable a Behaviour. When the
Hermit and he were alone, and preparing for Bed, they talk'd long in
Praise of their new Host. As soon as Day-light appear'd, the old
Hermit wak'd his young Comrade. 'Tis Time to be gone, said he; but
as all the House are fast asleep, I'll leave a Token behind me of my
Respect and Affection for the Master of it. No sooner were the Words
out of his Mouth, but he struck a Light, kindled a Torch, and set
the Building in a Flame: _Zadig_, in the utmost Confusion, shriek'd
out, and would, if possible, have prevented him from being guilty of
such a monstrous Act of Ingratitude. The Hermit dragg'd him away, by
a superior Force. The House was soon in a Blaze: When they had got
at a convenient Distance, the Hermit, with an amazing Sedateness,
turn'd back and survey'd the destructive Flames. Behold, said he,
our fortunate Friend! In the Ruins, he will find an immense
Treasure, that will enable him, from henceforth, to exert his
Beneficence, and render his Virtues more and more conspicuous.
_Zadig_, tho' astonish'd to the last Degree, attended him to their
last Stage, which was to the Cottage of a very virtuous and
well-dispos'd Widow, who had a Nephew of about fourteen Years of
Age. He was a hopeful Youth, and the Darling of her Heart. She
entertain'd her two Guests with the best Provisions her little House
afforded. In the Morning she order'd her Nephew to attend them to an
adjacent Bridge, which, having been broken down some few Days
before, render'd the Passage dangerous to Strangers.

The Lad, being very attentive to wait on them, went formost. When
they were got upon the Bridge; come hither, my pretty Boy, said the
Hermit, I must give your Aunt some small Token of my Respect for her
last Night's Favours. Upon that, he twisted his Fingers in the Hair
of his Head, and threw him, very calmly, into the River. Down went
the little Lad; he came up once again to the Surface of the Water;
but was soon lost in the rapid Stream. O thou Monster! thou worst of
Villains, cry'd _Zadig_! Didn't you promise, said the Hermit, to
view my Conduct with Patience? Know then, that had that Boy liv'd
but one Year longer, he would have murder'd his Foster-Mother. Who
told you so, you barbarous Wretch, said _Zadig_? And when did you
read that inhuman Event in your _Black-Book_ of _Fate_? Who gave you
Permission pray, to drown so innocent a Youth, that had never
disoblig'd you?

No sooner had our young _Babylonian_ ceas'd his severe Reflections,
but he perceiv'd that the old Hermit's long Beard grew shorter and
shorter; that the Furrows in his Face began to fill up, and that his
Cheeks glow'd with a Rose-coloured Red, as if he had been in the
Bloom of Fifteen. His Mantle was vanish'd at once; and on his
Shoulders, which were before cover'd, appear'd four angelic Wings,
each refulgent as the Sun. O thou Messenger of Heaven! O thou
angelic Form! cry'd _Zadig_, and fell prostrate at his Feet; thou
art descended from the Empireum, I find, to instruct such a poor
frail Mortal as I am, how to submit to the Mysteries of Fate.
Mankind in general, said the Angel _Jesrad_, judge of the Whole, by
only viewing the hither Link of the Chain. Thou, of all the human
Race, wast the only Man that deserv'd to have thy Mind enlighten'd.
_Zadig_, begg'd Leave to speak. I am somewhat diffident of myself,
'tis true; but may I presume, Sir, to beg the Solution of one
Scruple? Would it not have been better to have chastiz'd the Lad,
and by that Means reform'd him, than to have cut him off thus
unprepar'd in a Moment. _Jesrad_, replied, had he been virtuous, and
had he liv'd, 'twas his _Fate_ not only to be murder'd himself, but
his Wife, whom he would afterwards have married, and the little
Infant, that was to have been the Pledge of their mutual Affection.
Is it necessary then, venerable Guide, that there should be
Wickedness and Misfortunes in the World, and that those Misfortunes
should fall with Weight on the Heads of the Righteous? The Wicked,
replied _Jesrad_, are always unhappy. Misfortunes are intended only
as a Touch-stone, to try a small Number of the Just, who are thinly
scatter'd about this terrestrial Globe: Besides, there is no Evil
under the Sun, but some Good proceeds from it: But, said _Zadig_,
Suppose the World was all Goodness, and there was no such Thing in
Nature as Evil. Then, that World of yours, said _Jesrad_, would be
another World; the Chain of Events would be another Wisdom; and that
other Order, which would be perfect, must of Necessity be the
everlasting Residence of the supreme Being, whom no Evil can
approach. That great and first Cause has created an infinite Number
of Worlds, and no two of them alike. This vast Variety is an
Attribute of his Omnipotence. There are not two Leaves on the Trees
throughout the Universe, nor any two Globes of Light amongst the
Myriad of Stars that deck the infinite Expanse of Heaven, which are
perfectly alike. And whatever you see on that small Atom of Earth,
whereof you are a Native, must exist in the Place, and at the Time
appointed, according to the immutable Decrees of him who comprehends
the Whole. Mankind imagine, that the Lad, whom I plung'd into the
River, was drown'd by _Chance_; and that our generous Benefactor's
House was reduc'd to Ashes by the same _Chance_; but know, there is
no such Thing as _Chance_, all Misfortunes are intended, either as
severe Trials, Judgments, or Rewards; and are the Result of
Foreknowledge. You remember, Sir, the poor Fisherman in Despair,
that thought himself the most unhappy Mortal breathing. The great
_Orasmades_, sent you to amend his Situation. Frail Mortal! Cease to
contend with what you ought to adore. But, said _Zadig_--whilst the
Sound of the Word But dwelt upon his Tongue, the Angel took his
Flight towards the tenth Sphere. _Zadig_ sunk down upon his Knees,
and acknowledg'd an over-ruling Providence with all the Marks of the
profoundest Submission. The Angel, as he was soaring towards the
Clouds, cried out in distinct Accents; Make thy Way towards



_Zadig_, as one beside himself, and perfectly thunder-struck, beat
his March at random. He entred, however, into the City of _Babylon_,
on that very Day, when those Combatants who had been before engag'd
in the List or Circus, were already assembled in the spacious
Outer-Court of the Palace, in order to solve the Ænigmas, and give
the wisest Answers they could to such Questions, as the _Grand
Magus_ should propose. All the Parties concern'd were present,
except the Knight of the Green Armour. No sooner had _Zadig_ made
his Appearance in the City, but the Populace flock'd round about
him: No Eye was satisfied with gazing at him: All in general were
lavish of their Praises, and in their Hearts wish'd him their
Sovereign, except the envious Man, who as he pass'd by, fetch'd a
deep Sigh, and turn'd his Head aside. The Populace with loud
Acclamations attended him to the Palace-Gate. The Queen, who had
heard of his Arrival, was in the utmost Agony, between Hope and
Despair. Her Vexation had almost brought her to Death's Door; she
couldn't conceive why _Zadig_ should appear without his
Accoutrements, nor imagine which Way _Itobad_ could procure the
snow-white Armour. At the Sight of _Zadig_ a confus'd Murmur ran
thro' the whole Place. Every Eye was surpriz'd, tho' charm'd at the
same Time to see him again: But then none were to be admitted into
the Assembly-Room except the Knights.

I have fought as successfully as any one of them all, said _Zadig_,
tho' another appears clad in my Armour; but in the mean Time, before
I can possibly prove my Assertion, I insist upon being admitted into
Court, in order to give my Solutions to such Ænigmas as shall be
propos'd. 'Twas put to the Vote. As the Reputation of his being a
Man of the strictest Honour and Veracity was so strongly imprinted
on their Minds, the Motion of his Admittance was carried in the
Affirmative, without the least Opposition.

The first Question the _Grand Magus_ propos'd was this: What is the
longest and yet the shortest Thing in the World; the most swift and
the most slow; the most divisible, and the most extended; the least
valu'd, and the most regretted; And without which nothing can
possibly be done: Which, in a Word, devours every Thing how minute
soever, and yet gives Life and Spirit to every Object or Being,
however Great?

_Itobad_ had the Honour to answer first. His reply was, that a Man
of his Merit had something else to think on, than idle Riddles;
'twas enough for him, that he was acknowledg'd the Hero of the
Circus. One said, the Solution of the Ænigma propos'd was _Fortune_;
others said the _Earth_; and others again the _Light_: But _Zadig_
pronounced it to be _Time_. Nothing, said he, can be longer, since
'tis the Measure of Eternity; Nothing is shorter, since there is
Time always wanting to accomplish what we aim at. Nothing passes so
slowly as Time to him who is in Expectation; and nothing so swift as
Time to him who is in the perfect Enjoyment of his Wishes. It's
Extent is to Infinity, in the Whole; and divisible to Infinity in
part. All Men neglect it in the Passage; and all regret the Loss of
it when 'tis past. Nothing can possibly be done without it; it
buries in Oblivion whatever is unworthy of being transmitted down to
Posterity; and it renders all illustrious Actions immortal. The
Assembly agreed unanimously that _Zadig_ was in the Right.

The next Question that was started, was, What is the Thing we
receive, without being ever thankful for it; which we enjoy, without
knowing how we came by it; which we give away to others, without
knowing where 'tis to be found; and which we lose, without being any
ways conscious of our Misfortune?

Each pass'd his Verdict. _Zadig_ was the only Person that concluded
it was LIFE. He solv'd every Ænigma propos'd, with equal Facility.
_Itobad_, when he heard the Explications, always said that nothing
in the World was more easy, than to solve such obvious Questions;
and that he could interpret a thousand of them without the least
Hesitation, were he inclin'd to trouble his Head about such Trifles.
Other Questions were propos'd in regard to Justice, the sovereign
Good, and the Art of Government. _Zadig's_ Answers still carried the
greatest Weight. What Pity 'tis, said some who were present, that
one of so comprehensive a Genius, should make such a scurvy

Most illustrious Grandees, said _Zadig_, I was the Person that had
the Honour of being Victor at your Circus; the white Armour, most
puissant Lords, was mine. That awkward Warrior there, Lord _Itobad_,
dress'd himself in it whilst I was asleep. He imagin'd, it is plain,
that it would do him more Honour than his own Green one. Unaccoutred
as I am, I am ready, before this august Assembly, to give them
incontestable Proof of my superior Skill; to engage with the Usurper
of the White Armour with my Sword only in my Mantle and Bonnet; and
to testify that I only was the happy Victor of the justly admired

_Itobad_ accepted of the Challenge with all the Assurance of Success
imaginable. He did not doubt, but being properly accoutred with his
Helmet, his Cuirass, and his Bracelets, he should be able to hue
down an Antagonist, in his Mantle and Cap, and nothing to skreen him
from his Resentment, but a single Sabre. _Zadig_ drew his Sword, and
saluted the Queen with it, who view'd him with Transport mix'd with
Fear. _Itobad_ drew his, but paid his Compliments to Nobody. He
approach'd _Zadig_, as one, whom he imagin'd incapable of making any
considerable Resistance. He concluded, 'twas in his Power to cut
_Zadig_ into Atoms. _Zadig_, however, knew how to parry the Blow, by
dexterously receiving it upon his _Fort_ (as the Swords-men call it)
by which Means _Itobad's_ Sword was snapt in two. With that _Zadig_
in an Instant clos'd his Adversary, and by his superior Strength, as
well as Skill, laid him sprawling on his Back. Then holding the
Point of his Sword to the opening of his Cuirass, Submit to be
stripp'd of your borrow'd Plumes, or you are a dead Man this Moment.
_Itobad_, always surpriz'd, that any Disappointment should attend a
Man of such exalted Merit as himself, very tamely permitted _Zadig_
to disrobe him by Degrees of his pompous Helmet, his superb Cuirass,
his rich Bracelets, his brilliant Cuisses, or Armour for his Thighs,
and other Martial Accoutrements. When _Zadig_ had equipp'd himself
_Cap-a-pee_, in his now recover'd Armour, he flew to _Astarte_, and
threw himself prostrate at her Feet. _Cador_ prov'd, without any
great Difficulty, that the White Armour was _Zadig's_ Property. He
was thereupon acknowledg'd King of _Babylon_, by the unanimous
Content of the Whole Court; but more particularly with the
Approbation of _Astarte_, who after such a long Series of
Misfortunes, now tasted the Sweets of seeing her darling _Zadig_
thought worthy, in the Opinion of the whole World, to be the Partner
of her royal Bed. _Itobad_ withdrew, and contented himself with
being call'd _my Lord_ within the narrow Compass of his own
Domesticks. _Zadig_, in short, was elected King, and was as happy as
any Mortal could be.

Now he began to reflect on what the Angel _Jesrad_ had said to him:
Nay, he reflected so far back as the Story of the _Arabian_ Atom of
Dust metamorphosed into a Diamond. The Queen and He ador'd the
Divine Providence. _Zadig_ permitted _Missouf_, the Fair Coquet, to
make her Conquests where she could. He sent Couriers to bring the
Free-booter _Arbogad_ to Court, and gave him an Honourable Military
Post in his Army, with a farther Promise of Promotion to the highest
Dignity; but upon this express Condition, that he would act for the
future as a Soldier of Honour; but assur'd him at the same Time,
that he'd make a publick Example of him, if he follow'd his
Profession of Free-booting for the future.

_Setoc_ was sent for from the lonely Desarts of _Arabia_, together
with the fair _Almonza_, his new Bride, to preside over the
commercial Affairs of _Babylon_. _Cador_ was advanc'd to a Post near
himself, and was his Favourite Minister at Court, as the just Reward
of his past Services. He was, in short, the King's real Friend; and
_Zadig_ was the only Monarch in the Universe that could boast of
such an Attendant. The Dwarf, tho' dumb, was not wholly forgotten.
The Fisherman was put into the Possession of a very handsome House;
and _Orcan_ was sentenc'd, not only to pay him a very considerable
Sum for the Injustice done him in detaining his Wife; but to resign
her likewise to the proper Owner: The Fisherman, however, grown wise
by Experience, soften'd the Rigour of the Sentence, and took the
Money only in full of all Accounts.

He didn't leave so much as _Semira_ wholly disconsolate, tho' she
had such an Aversion to a blind Eye; nor _Azora_ comfortless,
notwithstanding her affectionate Intention to shorten his Nose; for
he sooth'd their Sorrows by very munificent Presents. The envious
Informer indeed, died with Shame and Vexation. The Empire was
glorious abroad, and in the full Enjoyment of Tranquility, Peace and
Plenty, at home: This, in short, was the true golden Age. The whole
Country was sway'd by Love and Justice. Every one blest _Zadig_; and
_Zadig_ blest Heav'n for his unexpected Success.


  Transcriber's Notes:

    Spelling and punctuation are as found (for example,
    _Itabod/Itobad_ was left as printed), with one exception:
    the original reads "purcha'd" in "An _Arabian_ Merchant,
    _Setoc_ by Name, purchas'd them both;"

    Hyphenated words are closed up if all other examples are
    closed, otherwise not. If there is a mix of broken and not,
    then it was left with a hyphen.

    Italic possessives were changed for clarity (for example,
    _Zadig's_ not _Zadig_'s).

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