Setoc, who could not separate himself from this man, in whom dwelt
wisdom, carried him to the great fair of Balzora, whither the richest
merchants in the earth resorted. Zadig was highly pleased to see so
many men of different countries united in the same place. He considered
the whole universe as one large family assembled at Balzora.
Setoc, after having sold his commodities at a very high price, returned
to his own tribe with his friend Zadig; who learned, upon his arrival,
that he had been tried in his absence, and was now going to be burned
by a slow fire. Only the friendship of Almona saved his life. Like so
many pretty women, she possessed great influence with the priesthood.
Zadig thought it best to leave Arabia.
Setoc was so charmed with the ingenuity and address of Almona that he
made her his wife. Zadig departed, after having thrown himself at the
feet of his fair deliverer. Setoc and he took leave of each other with
tears in their eyes, swearing an eternal friendship, and promising that
the first of them that should acquire a large fortune should share it
with the other.
Zadig directed his course along the frontiers of Assyria, still musing
on the unhappy Astarte, and reflecting on the severity of fortune which
seemed determined to make him the sport of her cruelty and the object
of her persecution. "What," said he to himself, "four hundred ounces of
gold for having seen a spaniel! condemned to lose my head for four bad
verses in praise of the king! ready to be strangled because the queen
had shoes of the color of my bonnet! reduced to slavery for having
succored a woman who was beat! and on the point of being burned for
having saved the lives of all the young widows of Arabia!"