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Chapter 3

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
Grave?

Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire

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