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ZADIG - The Book of Faith (Illustrated) Historical Novel - A Story from Ancient Babylonia von Voltaire (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 02.03.2016
  • Verlag: e-artnow
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ZADIG - The Book of Faith (Illustrated)

This carefully crafted ebook: 'ZADIG - The Book of Faith (Illustrated)' is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Zadig or The Book of Fate is a famous novel and work of philosophical fiction written by Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. Disillusioned with women, Zadig turns to science but his knowledge lands him in prison. Upon his release from prison, Zadig rises in favour with the king and queen of Babylonia and is eventually appointed prime minister, but he is forced to flee the kingdom after his love for queen Astarté is discovered. Having reached Egypt, Zadig kills an Egyptian man while valiantly saving a woman from the attack and this crime means that he must become a slave. After earning his freedom, he begins his journey back to Babylonia in order to discover what has become of Astarté and he is taken captive by a group of Arabs, from whom he learns that king Moabdar has been killed. On his return, the final part of the challenge to be king is taking place. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire's own day. It is philosophical in nature, and presents human life as in the hands of a destiny beyond human control. François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 190
    Erscheinungsdatum: 02.03.2016
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9788026850731
    Verlag: e-artnow
    Größe: 987 kBytes
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ZADIG - The Book of Faith (Illustrated)

The Basilisk.

Table of Contents

Arriving in a beautiful meadow, he there saw several women, who were searching for something with great application. He took the liberty to approach one of them, and to ask if he might have the honor to assist them in their search.

"Take care that thou dost not," replied the Syrian. "What we are searching for can be touched only by women."

"Strange," said Zadig. "May I presume to ask thee what it is that women only are permitted to touch?"

"It is a basilisk," said she.

"A basilisk, madam! and for what purpose, pray, dost thou seek for a basilisk?"

"It is for our lord and master, Ogul, whose castle thou seest on the bank of that river, at the end of that meadow. We are his most humble slaves. The lord Ogul is sick. His physician hath ordered him to eat a basilisk, stewed in rose-water; and as it is a very rare animal, and can only be taken by women, the lord Ogul hath promised to choose for his well-beloved wife the woman that shall bring him a basilisk. Let me go on in my search; for thou seest what I shall lose if I am forestalled by my companions."

The basilisk.

The Basilisk, called "Cockatrice" in "holy writ," was first described by certain ancient historians of unquestioned imaginative ability, but of very doubtful veracity; and they have also enriched the popular mythology with minute descriptions of the Phoenix, the Griffin, the Centaur, the Chimera, the Unicorn, and many other fanciful and mythical creations.

The learned and pious naturalist, Charles Owen, D.D., of London, England, (from whose celebrated Essay Towards a Natural History of Serpents , published in 1742, the preceding engraving has been copied), tells us that "the Basilisk is a serpent of the Draconick line-the property of Africa; that in shape it resembles a cock, the tail excepted; that the Egyptians say it springs from the egg of the bird Ibis, and others, from eggs of a cock; that it is gross in body, of fiery eyes and sharp head, on which it wears a crest like a cock's comb; that it has the honor to be styled Regulus by the Latins- the little king of serpents ; that it is terrible to them, and its voice puts them to flight, that, as tradition adds, its eyes and breath are killing; that dreadful things are attributed to it by the poets; and that, according to Pliny, the venom of the Basilisk is said to be so exalted, that if it bites a staff 'twill kill the person that makes use of it; but this," continues the reverend doctor of divinity, "is tradition without a voucher."

The "inspired" prophet Isaiah, whose writings are venerated by both Jews and Christians, and whose prophetic utterances have so long been discussed with more zeal than discretion by the sectarians, tells us, (Isaiah xiv. 29), that "Out of the serpent's root shall come forth a Cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery, flying serpent." This somewhat incoherent prediction has never been satisfactorily explained by the learned commentators who are specially educated in our colleges for solving theological enigmas, and who have failed to show, to the confusion of scientists and the admiration of a believing world, how a Cockatrice may emerge from a "serpent's root," and why a Cockatrice's "fiery and flying fruit" should have formed a theme for prophetic inspiration.-E.

Zadig discovers Queen Astarte.--"In her hand she held a small rod with which she was tracing characters on the fine sand that lay between the turf and the brook."

Zadig left her and the other Assyrians to search for their basilisk, and continued his journey through the meadow; when coming to the brink of a small rivulet, he found a lady lying on the grass, and who was not searching for any thing. Her person seemed majestic; but her face was covered with a veil. She wa

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