and How Candide Became Acquainted with Martin
Our travelers' first day's journey was very pleasant; they were elated with the prospect of possessing more riches than were to be found in Europe, Asia, and Africa together. Candide, in amorous transports, cut the name of Miss Cunegund on almost every tree he came to. The second day two of their sheep sunk in a morass, and were swallowed up with their Jading; two more died of fatigue; some few days afterwards seven or eight perished with hunger in a desert, and others, at different times, tumbled down precipices, or were otherwise lost, so that, after traveling about a hundred days they had only two sheep left of the hundred and two they brought with them from El Dorado.
Said Candide to Cacambo, "You see, my dear friend, how perishable the riches of this world are; there is nothing solid but virtue."
"Very true," said Cacambo, "but we have still two sheep remaining, with more treasure than ever the King of Spain will be possessed of; and I espy a town at a distance, which I take to be Surinam, a town belonging to the Dutch. We are now at the end of our troubles, and at the beginning of happiness."
"Good God," said Candide in Dutch, "what dost thou here, friend, in this deplorable condition?"
"I am waiting for my master, Mynheer Vanderdendur, the famous trader," answered the Negro.
"Was it Mynheer Vanderdendur that used you in this cruel manner?"
"Yes, sir," said the Negro; "it is the custom here. They give a linen garment twice a year, and that is all our covering. When we labor in the sugar works, and the mill happens to snatch hold of a finger, they instantly chop off our hand; and when we attempt to run away, they cut off a leg. Both these cases have happened to me, and it is at this expense that you eat sugar in Europe [JS1]; and yet when my mother sold me for ten patacoons on the coast of Guinea, she said to me, 'My dear child, bless our fetishes; adore them forever; they will make thee live happy; thou hast the honor to be a slave to our lords the whites, by which thou wilt make the fortune of us thy parents.'
"Alas! I know not whether I have made their fortunes; but they have not made mine; dogs, monkeys, and parrots are a thousand times less wretched than I. The Dutch fetishes who converted me tell me every Sunday that the blacks and whites are all children of one father, whom they call Adam. As for me, I do not understand anything of genealogies; but if what these preachers say is true, we are all second cousins; and you must allow that it is impossible to be worse treated by our relations than we are."
"Optimism," said Cacambo, "what is that?"
"Alas!" replied Candide, "it is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst." [JS2]
And so saying he turned his eyes towards the poor Negro, and shed a flood of tears; and in this weeping mood he entered the town of Surinam.
Immediately upon their arrival our travelers inquired if there was any vessel in the harbor which they might send to Buenos Ayres. The person they addressed themselves to happened to be the master of a Spanish bark, who offered to agree with them on moderate terms, and appointed them a meeting at a public house. Thither Candide and his faithful Cacambo went to wait for him, taking with them their two sheep.
Candide, who was all frankness and sincerity, made an ingenuous recital of his adventures to the Spaniard, declaring to him at the same time his resolution of carrying off Miss Cunegund from the Governor of Buenos Ayres.
"Oh, ho!" said the shipmaster, "if that is the case, get whom you please to carry you to Buenos Ayres; for my part, I wash my hands of the affair. It would prove a hanging matter to us all. The fair Cunegund is the Governor's favorite mistress."
These words were like a clap of thunder to Candide [JS3]; he wept bitterly for a long time, and, taking Cacambo aside, he said to him, "I'll tell you, my dear friend, what you must do. We have each of us in our pockets to the value of five or six millions in diamonds; you are cleverer at these matters than I; you must go to Buenos Ayres and bring off Miss Cunegund. If the Governor makes any difficulty, give him a million; if he holds out, give him two; as you have not killed an Inquisitor, they will have no suspicion of you. I'll fit out another ship and go to Venice, where I will wait for you. Venice is a free country, where we shall have nothing to fear from Bulgarians, Abares, Jews or Inquisitors."
Cacambo greatly applauded this wise resolution. He was inconsolable at the thoughts of parting with so good a master, who treated him more like an intimate friend than a servant; but the pleasure of being able to do him a service soon got the better of his sorrow. They embraced each other with a flood of tears. Candide charged him not to forget the old woman. Cacambo set out the same day. This Cacambo was a very honest fellow.
Candide continued some days longer at Surinam, waiting for any captain to carry him and his two remaining sheep to Italy. He hired domestics, and purchased many things necessary for a long voyage; at length Mynheer Vanderdendur, skipper of a large Dutch vessel, came and offered his service.
"What will you have," said Candide, "to carry me, my servants, my baggage, and these two sheep you see here, directly to Venice?"
The skipper asked ten thousand piastres, and Candide agreed to his demand without hestitation.
"Ho, ho!" said the cunning Vanderdendur to himself, "this stranger must be very rich; he agrees to give me ten thousand piastres without hesitation."
Returning a little while after, he told Candide that upon second consideration he could not undertake the voyage for less than twenty thousand.
"Very well; you shall have them," said Candide.
"Zounds!" said the skipper to himself, "this man agrees to pay twenty thousand piastres with as much ease as ten."
Accordingly he went back again, and told him roundly that he would not carry him to Venice for less than thirty thousand piastres.
"Then you shall have thirty thousand," said Candide.
"Odso!" said the Dutchman once more to himself, "thirty thousand piastres seem a trifle to this man. Those sheep must certainly be laden with an immense treasure. I'll e'en stop here and ask no more; but make him pay down the thirty thousand piastres, and then we may see what is to be done farther."
Candide sold two small diamonds, the least of which was worth more than all the skipper asked. He paid him beforehand, the two sheep were put on board, and Candide followed in a small boat to join the vessel in the road. The skipper took advantage of his opportunity, hoisted sail, and put out to sea with a favorable wind. Candide, confounded and amazed, soon lost sight of the ship.
He returned back to the shore overwhelmed with grief; and, indeed, he had lost what would have made the fortune of twenty monarchs.
Straightway upon his landing he applied to the Dutch magistrate; being transported with passion he thundered at the door, which being opened, he went in, told his case, and talked a little louder than was necessary. The magistrate began with fining him ten thousand piastres for his petulance, and then listened very patiently to what he had to say, promised to examine into the affair on the skipper's return, and ordered him to pay ten thousand piastres more for the fees of the court.
This treatment put Candide out of all patience; it is true, he had suffered misfortunes a thousand times more grievous, but the cool insolence of the judge, and the villainy of the skipper raised his choler and threw him into a deep melancholy. The villainy of mankind presented itself to his mind in all its deformity, and his soul was a prey to the most gloomy ideas. After some time, hearing that the captain of a French ship was ready to set sail for Bordeaux, as he had no more sheep loaded with diamonds to put on board, he hired the cabin at the usual price; and made it known in the town that he would pay the passage and board of any honest man who would give him his company during the voyage; besides making him a present of ten thousand piastres, on condition that such person was the most dissatisfied with his condition, and the most unfortunate in the whole province. [JS5]
Upon this there appeared such a crowd of candidates that a large fleet could not have contained them. Candide, willing to choose from among those who appeared most likely to answer his intention, selected twenty, who seemed to him the most sociable, and who all pretended to merit the preference. He invited them to his inn, and promised to treat them with a supper, on condition that every man should bind himself by an oath to relate his own history; declaring at the same time, that he would make choice of that person who should appear to him the most deserving of compassion, and the most justly dissatisfied with his condition in life; and that he would make a present to the rest.
This extraordinary assembly continued sitting till four in the morning. Candide, while he was listening to their adventures, called to mind what the old woman had said to him in their voyage to Buenos Ayres, and the wager she had laid that there was not a person on board the ship but had met with great misfortunes. Every story he heard put him in mind of Pangloss.
"My old master," said he, "would be confoundedly put to it to demonstrate his favorite system. Would he were here! Certainly if everything is for the best, it is in El Dorado, and not in the other parts of the world."
At length he determined in favor of a poor scholar, who had labored ten years for the booksellers at Amsterdam: being of opinion that no employment could be more detestable.
This scholar, who was in fact a very honest man, had been robbed by his wife, beaten by his son, and forsaken by his daughter, who had run away with a Portuguese. He had been likewise deprived of a small employment on which he subsisted, and he was persecuted by the clergy of Surinam, who took him for a Socinian . It must be acknowledged that the other competitors were, at least, as wretched as he; but Candide was in hopes that the company of a man of letters would relieve the tediousness of the voyage. All the other candidates complained that Candide had done them great injustice, but he stopped their mouths by a present of a hundred piastres to each.
The old philosopher, whose name was Martin, took shipping with Candide for Bordeaux. Both had seen and suffered a great deal, and had the ship been going from Surinam to Japan round the Cape of Good Hope, they could have found sufficient entertainment for each other during the whole voyage, in discoursing upon moral and natural evil [JS6].
Candide, however, had one advantage over Martin: he lived in the pleasing hopes of seeing Miss Cunegund once more; whereas, the poor philosopher had nothing to hope for. Besides, Candide had money and jewels, and, not withstanding he had lost a hundred red sheep laden with the greatest treasure outside of El Dorado, and though he still smarted from the reflection of the Dutch skipper's knavery, yet when he considered what he had still left, and repeated the name of Cunegund, especially after meal times, he inclined to Pangloss's doctrine.
"And pray," said he to Martin, "what is your opinion of the whole of this system? What notion have you of moral and natural evil?"
"Nay, now you are jesting," said Candide; "there are no Manichaeans existing at present in the world."
"And yet I am one," said Martin; "but I cannot help it. I cannot for the soul of me think otherwise."
"Surely the Devil must be in you," said Candide.
"He concerns himself so much," replied Martin, "in the affairs of this world that it is very probable he may be in me as well as everywhere else; but I must confess, when I cast my eye on this globe, or rather globule, I cannot help thinking that God has abandoned it to some malignant being. I always except El Dorado. I scarce ever knew a city that did not wish the destruction of its neighboring city; nor a family that did not desire to exterminate some other family. The poor in all parts of the world bear an inveterate hatred to the rich, even while they creep and cringe to them; and the rich treat the poor like sheep, whose wool and flesh they barter for money; a million of regimented assassins traverse Europe from one end to the other, to get their bread by regular depredation and murder, because it is the most gentlemanlike profession. Even in those cities which seem to enjoy the blessings of peace, and where the arts flourish, the inhabitants are devoured with envy, care, and inquietudes, which are greater plagues than any experienced in a town besieged.[JS9] Private chagrins are still more dreadful than public calamities. In a word," concluded the philosopher, "I have seen and suffered so much that I am a Manichaean."
"And yet there is some good in the world," replied Candide.
"Maybe so," said Martin, "but it has escaped my knowledge."
While they were deeply engaged in this dispute they heard the report of cannon, which redoubled every moment. Each took out his glass, and they spied two ships warmly engaged at the distance of about three miles. The wind brought them both so near the French ship that those on board her had the pleasure of seeing the fight with great ease. After several smart broadsides the one gave the other a shot between wind and water which sunk her outright. Then could Candide and Martin plainly perceive a hundred men on the deck of the vessel which was sinking, who, with hands uplifted to Heaven, sent forth piercing cries, and were in a moment swallowed up by the waves.
"Well," said Martin, "you now see in what manner mankind treat one another."
"It is certain," said Candide, "that there is something diabolical in this affair." As he was speaking thus, he spied something of a shining red hue, which swam close to the vessel. The boat was hoisted out to see what it might be, when it proved to be one of his sheep. Candide felt more joy at the recovery of this one animal than he did grief when he lost the other hundred, though laden with the large diamonds of El Dorado.
The French captain quickly perceived that the victorious ship belonged to the crown of Spain; that the other was a Dutch pirate, and the very same captain who had robbed Candide. The immense riches which this villain had amassed, were buried with him in the deep, and only this one sheep saved out of the whole.
"You see," said Candide to Martin, "that vice is sometimes punished. This villain, the Dutch skipper, has met with the fate he deserved."
"Very true," said Martin, "but why should the passengers be doomed also to destruction? God has punished the knave, and the Devil has drowned the rest [JS10]."
The French and Spanish ships continued their cruise, and Candide and Martin their conversation. They disputed fourteen days successively, at the end of which they were just as far advanced as the first moment they began. However, they had the satisfaction of disputing, of communicating their ideas, and of mutually comforting each other. Candide embraced his sheep with transport.
"Since I have found thee again," said he, "I may possibly find my Cunegund once more."
Draw Near to the Coast of France
At length they descried the coast of France, when Candide said to Martin, "Pray Monsieur Martin, were you ever in France?"
"Yes, sir," said Martin, "I have been in several provinces of that kingdom. In some, one half of the people are fools and madmen; in some, they are too artful; in others, again, they are, in general, either very good-natured or very brutal; while in others, they affect to be witty, and in all, their ruling passion is love, the next is slander, and the last is to talk nonsense [JS11]."
"But, pray, Monsieur Martin, were you ever in Paris?"
"Yes, sir, I have been in that city, and it is a place that contains the several species just described; it is a chaos, a confused multitude, where everyone seeks for pleasure without being able to find it; at least, as far as I have observed during my short stay in that city. At my arrival I was robbed of all I had in the world by pickpockets and sharpers, at the fair of Saint-Germain. I was taken up myself for a robber, and confined in prison a whole week; after which I hired myself as corrector to a press in order to get a little money towards defraying my expenses back to Holland on foot. I knew the whole tribe of scribblers, malcontents, and fanatics. It is said the people of that city are very polite; I believe they may be."
"For my part, I have no curiosity to see France," said Candide. "You may easily conceive, my friend, that after spending a month in El Dorado, I can desire to behold nothing upon earth but Miss Cunegund. I am going to wait for her at Venice. I intend to pass through France, on my way to Italy. Will you not bear me company?"
"With all my heart," said Martin. "They say Venice is agreeable to none but noble Venetians, but that, nevertheless, strangers are well received there when they have plenty of money; now I have none, but you have, therefore I will attend you wherever you please."
"Now we are upon this subject," said Candide, "do you think that the earth was originally sea, as we read in that great book which belongs to the captain of the ship?"
"I believe nothing of it," replied Martin, "any more than I do of the many other chimeras which have been related to us for some time past."
"To make us mad," said Martin.[JS12]
"Are you not surprised," continued Candide, "at the love which the two girls in the country of the Biglugs had for those two monkeys? -You know I have told you the story."
"Surprised?" replied Martin, "not in the least. I see nothing strange in this passion. I have seen so many extraordinary things that there is nothing extraordinary to me now."
"Do you think," said Candide, "that mankind always massacred one another as they do now? Were they always guilty of lies, fraud, treachery, ingratitude, inconstancy, envy, ambition, and cruelty? Were they always thieves, fools, cowards, gluttons, drunkards, misers, calumniators, debauchees, fanatics, and hypocrites?"
"Do you believe," said Martin, "that hawks have always been accustomed to eat pigeons when they came in their way?"
"Doubtless," said Candide.
"Well then," replied Martin, "if hawks have always had the same nature, why should you pretend that mankind change theirs?"
"Oh," said Candide, "there is a great deal of difference; for free will-" and reasoning thus they arrived at Bordeaux. [JS13]
What Happened to Candide and Martin in France
Candide stayed no longer at Bordeaux than was necessary to dispose of a few of the pebbles he had brought from El Dorado, and to provide himself with a post-chaise for two persons, for he could no longer stir a step without his philosopher Martin. The only thing that give him concern was being obliged to leave his sheep behind him, which he entrusted to the care of the Academy of Sciences at Bordeaux, who proposed, as a prize subject for the year, to prove why the wool of this sheep was red; and the prize was adjudged to a northern sage, who demonstrated by A plus B, minus C, divided by Z, that the sheep must necessarily be red, and die of the mange.
In the meantime, all travelers whom Candide met with in the inns, or on the road, told him to a man, that they were going to Paris. This general eagerness gave him likewise a great desire to see this capital; and it was not much out of his way to Venice.
He entered the city by the suburbs of Saint-Marceau, and thought himself in one of the vilest hamlets in all Westphalia.
Candide had not been long at his inn, before he was seized with a slight disorder, owing to the fatigue he had undergone. As he wore a diamond of an enormous size on his finger and had among the rest of his equipage a strong box that seemed very weighty, he soon found himself between two physicians, whom he had not sent for, a number of intimate friends whom he had never seen, and who would not quit his bedside, and two women devotees, who were very careful in providing him hot broths.
"I remember," said Martin to him, "that the first time I came to Paris I was likewise taken ill. I was very poor, and accordingly I had neither friends, nurses, nor physicians, and yet I did very well."
However, by dint of purging and bleeding, Candide's disorder became very serious. The priest of the parish came with all imaginable politeness to desire a note of him, payable to the bearer in the other world. Candide refused to comply with his request; but the two devotees assured him that it was a new fashion. Candide replied, that he was not one that followed the fashion. Martin was for throwing the priest out of the window. The clerk swore Candide should not have Christian burial. Martin swore in his turn that he would bury the clerk alive if he continued to plague them any longer. The dispute grew warm; Martin took him by the shoulders and turned him out of the room, which gave great scandal, and occasioned a proces-verbal.
Candide recovered, and till he was in a condition to go abroad had a great deal of good company to pass the evenings with him in his chamber. They played deep. Candide was surprised to find he could never turn a trick; and Martin was not at all surprised at the matter.
Among those who did him the honors of the place was a little spruce abbe of Perigord, one of those insinuating, busy, fawning, impudent, necessary fellows, that lay wait for strangers on their arrival, tell them all the scandal of the town, and offer to minister to their pleasures at various prices. This man conducted Candide and Martin to the playhouse; they were acting a new tragedy. Candide found himself placed near a cluster of wits: this, however, did not prevent him from shedding tears at some parts of the piece which were most affecting, and best acted.
One of these talkers said to him between acts, "You are greatly to blame to shed tears; that actress plays horribly, and the man that plays with her still worse, and the piece itself is still more execrable than the representation. The author does not understand a word of Arabic, and yet he has laid his scene in Arabia, and what is more, he is a fellow who does not believe in innate ideas. Tomorrow I will bring you a score of pamphlets that have been written against him."
"Pray, sir," said Candide to the abbe, "how many theatrical pieces have you in France?"
"Five or six thousand," replied the abbe.
"Indeed! that is a great number," said Candide, "but how many good ones may there be?"
"About fifteen or sixteen."
"Oh! that is a great number," said Martin.
Candide was greatly taken with an actress, who performed the part of Queen Elizabeth in a dull kind of tragedy that is played sometimes.
"That actress," said he to Martin, "pleases me greatly; she has some sort of resemblance to Miss Cunegund. I should be very glad to pay my respects to her."
The abbe of Perigord offered his service to introduce him to her at her own house. Candide, who was brought up in Germany, desired to know what might be the ceremonial used on those occasions, and how a queen of England was treated in France.
"There is a necessary distinction to be observed in these matters," said the abbe. "In a country town we take them to a tavern; here in Paris, they are treated with great respect during their lifetime, provided they are handsome, and when they die we throw their bodies upon a dunghill."
"How?" said Candide, "throw a queen's body upon a dunghill!"
"The gentleman is quite right," said Martin, "he tells you nothing but the truth. I happened to be at Paris when Miss Monimia made her exit, as one may say, out of this world into another. She was refused what they call here the rites of sepulture; that is to say, she was denied the privilege of rotting in a churchyard by the side of all the beggars in the parish. They buried her at the corner of Burgundy Street, which must certainly have shocked her extremely, as she had very exalted notions of things."
"This is acting very impolitely," said Candide.
"Lord!" said Martin, "what can be said to it? It is the way of these people. Figure to yourself all the contradictions, all the inconsistencies possible, and you may meet with them in the government, the courts of justice, the churches, and the public spectacles of this odd nation."
"Is it true," said Candide, "that the people of Paris are always laughing?"
"Yes," replied the abbe, "but it is with anger in their hearts; they express all their complaints by loud bursts of laughter, and commit the most detestable crimes with a smile on their faces."
"Who was that great overgrown beast," said Candide, "who spoke so ill to me of the piece with which I was so much affected, and of the players who gave me so much pleasure?"
"A very good-for-nothing sort of a man I assure you," answered the abbe, "one who gets his livelihood by abusing every new book and play that is written or performed; he dislikes much to see anyone meet with success, like eunuchs, who detest everyone that possesses those powers they are deprived of; he is one of those vipers in literature who nourish themselves with their own venom; a pamphlet-monger."
"Why, a pamphlet-manger," replied the abbe, "is a writer of pamphlets-a fool."
Candide, Martin, and the abbe of Perigord argued thus on the staircase, while they stood to see the people go out of the playhouse.
The abbe was not a person to show his face at this lady's house, which was frequented by none but the best company.
"She is engaged this evening," said he, "but I will do myself the honor to introduce you to a lady of quality of my acquaintance, at whose house you will see as much of the manners of Paris as if you had lived here for forty years."
Candide, who was naturally curious, suffered himself to be conducted to this lady's house, which was in the suburbs of Saint-Honore. The company was engaged at basser[JS16]; twelve melancholy punters held each in his hand a small pack of cards, the corners of which were doubled down, and were so many registers of their ill fortune. A profound silence reigned throughout the assembly, a pallid dread had taken possession of the countenances of the punters, and restless inquietude stretched every muscle of the face of him who kept the bank; and the lady of the house, who was seated next to him, observed with lynx's eyes every play made, and noted those who tallied, and made them undouble their cards with a severe exactness, though mixed with a politeness, which she thought necessary not to frighten away her customers. This lady assumed the title of Marchioness of Parolignac. Her daughter, a girl of about fifteen years of age, was one of the punters, and took care to give her mamma a hint, by signs, when any one of the players attempted to repair the rigor of their ill fortune by a little innocent deception. The company were thus occupied when Candide, Martin, and the abbe made their entrance; not a creature rose to salute them, or indeed took the least notice of them, being wholly intent upon the business at hand.
"Ah!" said Candide, "My Lady Baroness of Thunder-ten-tronckh would have behaved more civilly."
However, the abbe whispered in the ear of the Marchioness, who half raising herself from her seat, honored Candide with a gracious smile, and gave Martin a nod of her head, with an air of inexpressible dignity. She then ordered a seat for Candide, and desired him to make one of their party at play; he did so, and in a few deals lost near a thousand pieces; after which they supped very elegantly, and everyone was surprised at seeing Candide lose so much money without appearing to be the least disturbed at it. The servants in waiting said to each other, "This is certainly some English lord." [JS17]
The supper was like most others of its kind in Paris. At first everyone was silent; then followed a few confused murmurs, and afterwards several insipid jokes passed and repassed, with false reports, false reasonings, a little politics, and a great deal of scandal. The conversation then turned upon the new productions in literature.
"Pray," said the abbe, "good folks, have you seen the romance written by a certain Gauchat, Doctor of Divinity?"
"Yes," answered one of the company, "but I had not patience to go through it. The town is pestered with a swarm of impertinent productions, but this of Dr. Gauchat's outdoes them all. In short, I was so cursedly tired of reading this vile stuff that I even resolved to come here, and make a party at basset."
"But what say you to the archdeacon T-'s miscellaneous collection," said the abbe.
"Oh my God!" cried the Marchioness of Parolignac, "never mention the tedious creature! Only think what pains he is at to tell one things that all the world knows; and how he labors an argument that is hardly worth the slightest consideration! how absurdly he makes use of other people's wit! how miserably he mangles what he has pilfered from them! The man makes me quite sick! A few pages of the good archdeacon are enough in conscience to satisfy anyone."
There was at the table a person of learning and taste, who supported what the Marchioness had advanced. They next began to talk of tragedies. The lady desired to know how it came about that there were several tragedies, which still continued to be played, though they would not bear reading? The man of taste explained very clearly how a piece may be in some manner interesting without having a grain of merit. He showed, in a few words, that it is not sufficient to throw together a few incidents that are to be met with in every romance, and that to dazzle the spectator the thoughts should be new, without being farfetched; frequently sublime, but always natural; the author should have a thorough knowledge of the human heart and make it speak properly; he should be a complete poet, without showing an affectation of it in any of the characters of his piece; he should be a perfect master of his language, speak it with all its purity, and with the utmost harmony, and yet so as not to make the sense a slave to the rhyme.
"Whoever," added he, "neglects any one of these rules, though he may write two or three tragedies with tolerable success, will never be reckoned in the number of good authors. There are very few good tragedies; some are idylls, in very well-written and harmonious dialogue; and others a chain of political reasonings that set one asleep, or else pompous and high-flown amplification, that disgust rather than please. Others again are the ravings of a madman, in an uncouth style, unmeaning flights, or long apostrophes to the deities, for want of knowing how to address mankind; in a word a collection of false maxims and dull commonplace."
Candide listened to this discourse with great attention, and conceived a high opinion of the person who delivered it; and as the Marchioness had taken care to place him near her side, he took the liberty to whisper her softly in the ear and ask who this person was that spoke so well.
"He is a man of letters," replied Her Ladyship, "who never plays, and whom the abbe brings with him to my house sometimes to spend an evening. He is a great judge of writing, especially in tragedy; he has composed one himself, which was damned, and has written a book that was never seen out of his bookseller's shop, excepting only one copy, which he sent me with a dedication, to which he had prefixed my name."
"Oh the great man," cried Candide, "he is a second Pangloss."
Then turning towards him, "Sir," said he, "you are doubtless of opinion that everything is for the best in the physical and moral world, and that nothing could be otherwise than it is?[JS18]"
"I, sir!" replied the man of letters, "I think no such thing, I assure you; I find that all in this world is set the wrong end uppermost. No one knows what is his rank, his office, nor what he does, nor what he should do. With the exception of our evenings, which we generally pass tolerably merrily, the rest of our time is spent in idle disputes and quarrels, Jansenists against Molinists, the Parliament against the Church, and one armed body of men against another; courtier against courtier, husband against wife, and relations against relations. In short, this world is nothing but one continued scene of civil war."
"Yes," said Candide, "and I have seen worse than all that; and yet a learned man, who had the misfortune to be hanged, taught me that everything was marvelously well, and that these evils you are speaking of were only so many shades in a beautiful picture."
"Your hempen sage," said Martin, "laughed at you; these shades, as you call them, are most horrible blemishes."
"The men make these blemishes," rejoined Candide, "and they cannot do otherwise."
"Then it is not their fault," added Martin.
The greatest part of the gamesters, who did not understand a syllable of this discourse, amused themselves with drinking, while Martin reasoned with the learned gentleman and Candide entertained the lady of the house with a part of his adventures.
"Well," said she, "are you still so violently fond of Miss Cunegund of Thunder-ten-tronckh?"
"Yes, madam," replied Candide.
The Marchioness said to him with a tender smile, "You answer me like a young man born in Westphalia; a Frenchman would have said, 'It is true, madam, I had a great passion for Miss Cunegund; but since I have seen you, I fear I can no longer love her as I did.'"
"Alas! madam," replied Candide, "I will make you what answer you please."
"You fell in love with her, I find, in stooping to pick up her handkerchief which she had dropped; you shall pick up my garter."
"With all my heart, madam," said Candide, and he picked it up.
"But you must tie it on again," said the lady.
Candide tied it on again.
"Look ye, young man," said the Marchioness, "you are a stranger; I make some of my lovers here in Paris languish for me a whole fortnight; but I surrender to you at first sight, because I am willing to do the honors of my country to a young Westphalian."
The fair one having cast her eye on two very large diamonds that were upon the young stranger's finger, praised them in so earnest a manner that they were in an instant transferred from his finger to hers.
As Candide was going home with the abbe he felt some qualms of conscience for having been guilty of infidelity to Miss Cunegund. The abbe took part with him in his uneasiness; he had but an inconsiderable share in the thousand pieces Candide had lost at play, and the two diamonds which had been in a manner extorted from him; [JS20]and therefore very prudently designed to make the most he could of his new acquaintance, which chance had thrown in his way. He talked much of Miss Cunegund, and Candide assured him that he would heartily ask pardon of that fair one for his infidelity to her, when he saw her at Venice.
The abbe redoubled his civilities and seemed to interest himself warmly in everything that Candide said, did, or seemed inclined to do.
"And so, sir, you have an engagement at Venice?"
"Yes, Monsieur l'Abbe," answered Candide, "I must absolutely wait upon Miss Cunegund," and then the pleasure he took in talking about the object he loved, led him insensibly to relate, according to custom, part of his adventures with that illustrious Westphalian beauty.
"I fancy," said the abbe, "Miss Cunegund has a great deal of wit, and that her letters must be very entertaining."
"I never received any from her," said Candide; "for you are to consider that, being expelled from the castle upon her account, I could not write to her, especially as soon after my departure I heard she was dead; but thank God I found afterwards she was living. I left her again after this, and now I have sent a messenger to her near two thousand leagues from here, and wait here for his return with an answer from her."
The artful abbe let not a word of all this escape him, though he seemed to be musing upon something else. He soon took his leave of the two adventurers, after having embraced them with the greatest cordiality.
The next morning, almost as soon as his eyes were open, Candide received the following billet:
"My Dearest Lover- I have been ill in this city these eight days. I have heard of your arrival, and should fly to your arms were I able to stir. I was informed of your being on the way hither at Bordeaux, where I left the faithful Cacambo, and the old woman, who will soon follow me. The Governor of Buenos Ayres has taken everything from me but your heart, which I still retain. Come to me immediately on the receipt of this. Your presence will either give me new life, or kill me with the pleasure."
At the receipt of this charming, this unexpected letter, Candide felt the utmost transports of joy; though, on the other hand, the indisposition of his beloved Miss Cunegund overwhelmed him with grief. Distracted between these two passions he took his gold and his diamonds, and procured a person to conduct him and Martin to the house where Miss Cunegund lodged. Upon entering the room he felt his limbs tremble, his heart flutter, his tongue falter; he attempted to undraw the curtain, and called for a light to the bedside.
"Lord sir," cried a maidservant, who was waiting in the room, "take care what you do, Miss cannot bear the least light," and so saying she pulled the curtain close again.
"Cunegund! my dear cried Candide, bathed in tears, "how do you do? If you cannot bear the light, speak to me at least."
"Alas! she cannot speak," said the maid.
The sick lady then put a plump hand out of the bed and Candide first bathed it with tears, then filled it with diamonds, leaving a purse of gold upon the easy chair.
In the midst of his transports came an officer into the room, followed by the abbe, and a file of musketeers.
"There," said he, "are the two suspected foreigners." At the same time he ordered them to be seized and carried to prison.
"Travelers are not treated in this manner in the country of El Dorado," said Candide.
"I am more of a Manichaean now than ever," said Martin.
"But pray, good sir, where are you going to carry us?" said Candide.
"To a dungeon, my dear sir," replied the officer.
When Martin had a little recovered himself, so as to form a cool judgment of what had passed, he plainly perceived that the person who had acted the part of Miss Cunegund was a cheat; that the abbe of Perigord was a sharper who had imposed upon the honest simplicity of Candide, and that the officer was a knave, whom they might easily get rid of.
Candide following the advice of his friend Martin, and burning with impatience to see the real Miss Cunegund, rather than be obliged to appear at a court of justice, proposed to the officer to make him a present of three small diamonds, each of them worth three thousand pistoles.
"Ah, sir," said the understrapper of justice[JS21], "had you commited ever so much villainy, this would render you the honestest man living, in my eyes. Three diamonds worth three thousand pistoles! Why, my dear sir, so far from carrying you to jail, I would lose my life to serve you. There are orders for stopping all strangers; but leave it to me, I have a brother at Dieppe, in Normandy. I myself will conduct you thither, and if you have a diamond left to give him he will take as much care of you as I myself should."
"But why," said Candide, "do they stop all strangers?"
The abbe of Perigord made answer that it was because a poor devil of the country of Atrebata heard somebody tell foolish stories, and this induced him to commit a parricide; not such a one as that in the month of May, 1610, but such as that in the month of December in the year 1594, and such as many that have been perpetrated in other months and years, by other poor devils who had heard foolish stories.
The officer then explained to them what the abbe meant.
"Horrid monsters," exclaimed Candide, "is it possible that such scenes should pass among a people who are perpetually singing and dancing? Is there no flying this abominable country immediately, this execrable kingdom where monkeys provoke tigers? I have seen bears in my country, but men I have beheld nowhere but in El Dorado. In the name of God, sir," said he to the officer, "do me the kindness to conduct me to Venice, where I am to wait for Miss Cunegund."
"Really, sir," replied the officer, "I cannot possibly wait on you farther than Lower Normandy."
So saying, he ordered Candide's irons to be struck off, acknowledged himself mistaken, and sent his followers about their business, after which he conducted Candide and Martin to Dieppe, and left them to the care of his brother.
There happened just then to be a small Dutch ship in the harbor. The Norman, whom the other three diamonds had converted into the most obliging, serviceable being that ever breathed, took care to see Candide and his attendants safe on board this vessel, that was just ready to sail for Portsmouth in England. This was not the nearest way to Venice, indeed, but Candide thought himself escaped out of Hell, and did not, in the least, doubt but he should quickly find an opportunity of resuming his voyage to Venice.
Ah Pangloss! Pangloss! ah Martin! ah my dear Miss Cunegund! What sort of a world is this?" Thus exclaimed Candide as soon as he got on board the Dutch ship.
"Why something very foolish, and very abominable," said Martin.
"You are acquainted with England," said Candide; "are they as great fools in that country as in France?"
"Yes, but in a different manner," answered Martin. "You know that these two nations are at war about a few acres of barren land in the neighborhood of Canada, and that they have expended much greater sums in the contest than all Canada is worth. [JS22]To say exactly whether there are a greater number fit to be inhabitants of a madhouse in the one country than the other, exceeds the limits of my imperfect capacity; I know in general that the people we are going to visit are of a very dark and gloomy disposition."
As they were chatting thus together they arrived at Portsmouth[JS23]. The shore on each side the harbor was lined with a multitude of people, whose eyes were steadfastly fixed on a lusty man who was kneeling down on the deck of one of the men-of-war, with something tied before his eyes. Opposite to this personage stood four soldiers, each of whom shot three bullets into his skull, with all the composure imaginable; and when it was done, the whole company went away perfectly well satisfied.
"What the devil is all this for?" said Candide, "and what demon, or foe of mankind, lords it thus tyrannically over the world?"
He then asked who was that lusty man who had been sent out of the world with so much ceremony. When he received for answer, that it was an admiral.
"And pray why do you put your admiral to death?"
"Because he did not put a sufficient number of his fellow creatures to death. You must know, he had an engagement with a French admiral, and it has been proved against him that he was not near enough to his antagonist."
"But," replied Candide, "the French admiral must have been as far from him."
"There is no doubt of that; but in this country it is found requisite, now and then, to put an admiral to death, in order to encourage the others to fight."
Candide was so shocked at what he saw and heard, that he would not set foot on shore, but made a bargain with the Dutch skipper (were he even to rob him like the captain of Surinam) to carry him directly to Venice.
The skipper was ready in two days. They sailed along the coast of France, and passed within sight of Lisbon, at which Candide trembled. From thence they proceeded to the Straits, entered the Mediterranean, and at length arrived at Venice.
"God be praised," said Candide, embracing Martin, "this is the place where I am to behold my beloved Cunegund once again. I can confide in Cacambo, like another self. All is well, all is very well, all is well as possible."[JS24]
[JS1] Describe the conditions on sugar plantation in the French West Indies. These plantations were the most profitable in all the French Empire. (How do you think they financed their wars?)
[JS2] What has Candide finally learned? (Is this a bad moment for him?)
[JS3] What is Candide’s plan?
[JS4] Who is responsible for this crime?
[JS5] How does Candide meet Martin the Manichean?
[JS6] What is the topic of their conversations while enroute to France?
[JS7] One of a sect founded by Lælius and Faustus Socinus, two Italian theologians of the 16th century, who denied the divinity of Christ. (OED)
[JS8] An adherent of a religious system widely accepted from the third to the fifth century….The special feature of the system which the name chiefly suggests to modern readers is the dualistic theology, according to which Satan was represented as co-eternal with God. (OED)
[JS9] What is Martin the Manichean's argument for the existence of Satan?
[JS10] Does what happens during the sea battle confirm Martin’s philosophy? What is Voltaire’s point?
[JS11] What are the primary characteristics of the French, according to Martin?
[JS12] What is the purpose is served by the design of the universe, according to Martin?
[JS13] To what extent would Voltaire agree with Martin? Would he agree that people have Free Will as Candide argues?
[JS14] A critic.
[JS15] The Actress.
[JS16] A card game.
[JS17] Candide is cheated at cards.
[JS18] The aristocrats debate optimistic determinism:
[JS19] The Marchioness seduces and robs Candide.
[JS20] What is the abbe’s new plan to rob Candide?
[JS21] Does the bribe work?
[JS22] The French and Indian War
[JS23] What do Candide and Martin witness in Portsmouth?
[JS24] How has Candide emended Pangloss’ philosophy? What has he learned?