Upon their arrival at Venice Candide went in search of Cacambo at every inn and coffee-house, and among all the ladies of pleasure, but could hear nothing of him. He sent every day to inquire what ships were in, still no news of Cacambo.
"It is strange," said he to Martin, "very strange that I should have time to sail from Surinam to Bordeaux; to travel thence to Paris, to Dieppe, to Portsmouth; to sail along the coast of Portugal and Spain, and up the Mediterranean to spend some months at Venice; and that my lovely Cunegund should not have arrived. Instead of her, I only met with a Parisian impostor, and a rascally abbe of Perigord. Cunegund is actually dead, and I have nothing to do but follow her. Alas! how much better would it have been for me to have remained in the paradise of El Dorado than to have returned to this cursed Europe! You are in the right, my dear Martin; you are certainly in the right; all is misery and deceit."
Martin said to him, "Upon my word, I think you are very simple to imagine that a rascally valet, with five or six millions in his pocket, would go in search of your mistress to the further of the world, and bring her to Venice to meet you. If he finds her he will take her for himself; if he does not, he will take another. Let me advise you to forget your valet Cacambo, and your mistress Cunegund."
Martin's speech was not the most consolatory to the dejected Candide. His melancholy increased, and Martin never ceased trying to prove to him that there is very little virtue or happiness in this world; except, perhaps, in El Dorado, where hardly anybody can gain admittance.
While they were disputing on this important subject, and still expecting Miss Cunegund, Candide perceived a young Theatin [JS2]1friar in the Piazza San Marco, with a girl under his arm. The Theatin looked fresh-colored, plump, and vigorous; his eyes sparkled; his air and gait were bold and lofty. The girl was pretty, and was singing a song; and every now and then gave her Theatin an amorous ogle and wantonly pinched his ruddy cheeks.
"You will at least allow," said Candide to Martin, "that these two are happy. Hitherto I have met with none but unfortunate people in the whole habitable globe, except in El Dorado; but as to this couple, I would venture to lay a wager they are happy." [JS3]
"Done!" said Martin, "they are not what you imagine."
"Well, we have only to ask them to dine with us," said Candide, "and you will see whether I am mistaken or not."
Thereupon he accosted them, and with great politeness invited them to his inn to eat some macaroni, with Lombard partridges and caviar, and to drink a bottle of Montepulciano, Lacryma Christi, Cyprus, and Samos wine. The girl blushed; the Theatin accepted the invitation and she followed him, eyeing Candide every now and then with a mixture of surprise and confusion, while the tears stole down her cheeks. No sooner did she enter his apartment than she cried out, "How, Monsieur Candide, have you quite forgot your Pacquette? do you not know her again?"
Candide had not regarded her with any degree of attention before, being wholly occupied with the thoughts of his dear Cunegund.
"Ah! is it you, child? was it you that reduced Dr. Pangloss to that fine condition I saw him in?"
"Alas! sir," answered Pacquette, "it was I, indeed. I find you are acquainted with everything; and I have been informed of all the misfortunes that happened to the whole family of My Lady Baroness and the fair Cunegund. But I can safely swear to you that my lot was no less deplorable; I was innocence itself when you saw me last. A Franciscan, who was my confessor, easily seduced me; the consequences proved terrible. I was obliged to leave the castle some time after the Baron kicked you out by the backside from there; and if a famous surgeon had not taken compassion on me, I had been a dead woman. Gratitude obliged me to live with him some time as his mistress; his wife, who was a very devil for jealousy, beat me unmercifully every day. Oh! she was a perfect fury. The doctor himself was the most ugly of all mortals, and I the most wretched creature existing, to be continually beaten for a man whom I did not love. You are sensible, sir, how dangerous it was for an ill-natured woman to be married to a physician. Incensed at the behavior of his wife, he one day gave her so affectionate a remedy for a slight cold she had caught that she died in less than two hours in most dreadful convulsions. Her relations prosecuted the husband, who was obliged to fly, and I was sent to prison. My innocence would not have saved me, if I had not been tolerably handsome. The judge gave me my liberty on condition he should succeed the doctor. However, I was soon supplanted by a rival, turned off without a farthing, and obliged to continue the abominable trade which you men think so pleasing, but which to us unhappy creatures is the most dreadful of all sufferings. At length I came to follow the business at Venice. Ah! sir, did you but know what it is to be obliged to receive every visitor; old tradesmen, counselors, monks, watermen, and abbes; to be exposed to all their insolence and abuse; to be often necessitated to borrow a petticoat, only that it may be taken up by some disagreeable wretch; to be robbed by one gallant of what we get from another; to be subject to the extortions of civil magistrates; and to have forever before one's eyes the prospect of old age, a hospital, or a dunghill, you would conclude that I am one of the most unhappy wretches breathing."
Thus did Pacquette unbosom herself to honest Candide in his closet, in the presence of Martin, who took occasion to say to him, "You see I have half won the wager already."
Friar Giroflee was all this time in the parlor refreshing himself with a glass or two of wine till dinner was ready.
"But," said Candide to Pacquette, "you looked so gay and contented, when I met you, you sang and caressed the Theatin with so much fondness, that I absolutely thought you as happy as you say you are now miserable."
Candide was convinced and acknowledged that Martin was in the right. They sat down to table with Pacquette and the Theatin; the entertainment was agreeable, and towards the end they began to converse together with some freedom.
"Father," said Candide to the friar, "you seem to me to enjoy a state of happiness that even kings might envy; joy and health are painted in your countenance. You have a pretty wench to divert you; and you seem to be perfectly well contented with your condition as a Theatin."
"Faith, sir," said Friar Giroflee[JS5], "I wish with all my soul the Theatins were every one of them at the bottom of the sea. I have been tempted a thousand times to set fire to the monastery and go and turn Turk. My parents obliged me, at the age of fifteen, to put on this detestable habit only to increase the fortune of an elder brother of mine, whom God confound! jealousy, discord, and fury, reside in our monastery. It is true I have preached often paltry sermons, by which I have got a little money, part of which the prior robs me of, and the remainder helps to pay my girls; but, not withstanding, at night, when I go hence to my monastery, I am ready to dash my brains against the walls of the dormitory; and this is the case with all the rest of our fraternity."
Martin, turning towards Candide, with his usual indifference, said, "Well, what think you now? have I won the wager entirely?"
Candide gave two thousand piastres to Pacquette, and a thousand to Friar Giroflee, saying, "I will answer that this will make them happy."
"I am not of your opinion," said Martin, "perhaps this money will only make them wretched."
"Be that as it may," said Candide, "one thing comforts me; I see that one often meets with those whom one never expected to see again; so that, perhaps, as I have found my red sheep and Pacquette, I may be lucky enough to find Miss Cunegund also."
"I wish," said Martin, "she one day may make you happy; but I doubt it much."
"You lack faith," said Candide.
"It is because," said Martin, "I have seen the world."
"Observe those gondoliers," said Candide, "are they not perpetually singing?"
"You do not see them," answered Martin, "at home with their wives and brats. The doge has his chagrin, gondoliers theirs. Nevertheless, in the main, I look upon the gondolier's life as preferable to that of the doge; but the difference is so trifling that it is not worth the trouble of examining into."
"I have heard great talk," said Candide, "of the Senator Pococurante, who lives in that fine house at the Brenta, where, they say, he entertains foreigners in the most polite manner."
"They pretend this man is a perfect stranger to uneasiness. I should be glad to see so extraordinary a being," said Martin.
Candide thereupon sent a messenger to Seignor Pococurante, desiring permission to wait on him the next day.
Candide and his friend Martin went in a gondola on the Brenta, and arrived at the palace of the noble Pococurante. The gardens were laid out in elegant taste, and adorned with fine marble statues; his palace was built after the most approved rules of architecture. The master of the house, who was a man of affairs, and very rich, received our two travelers with great politeness, but without much ceremony, which somewhat disconcerted Candide, but was not at all displeasing to Martin.
As soon as they were seated, two very pretty girls, neatly dressed, brought in chocolate, which was extremely well prepared. Candide could not help praising their beauty and graceful carriage.
"The creatures are all right," said the senator; "I amuse myself with them sometimes, for I am heartily tired of the women of the town, their coquetry, their jealousy, their quarrels, their humors, their meannesses, their pride, and their folly; I am weary of making sonnets, or of paying for sonnets to be made on them; but after all, these two girls begin to grow very indifferent to me."
After having refreshed himself, Candide walked into a large gallery, where he was struck with the sight of a fine collection of paintings.
"Pray," said Candide, "by what master are the two first of these?"
"They are by Raphael," answered the senator. "I gave a great deal of money for them seven years ago, purely out of curiosity, as they were said to be the finest pieces in Italy; but I cannot say they please me: the coloring is dark and heavy; the figures do not swell nor come out enough; and the drapery is bad. In short, notwithstanding the encomiums lavished upon them, they are not, in my opinion, a true representation of nature. I approve of no paintings save those wherein I think I behold nature itself; and there are few, if any, of that kind to be met with. I have what is called a fine collection, but I take no manner of delight in it."
While dinner was being prepared Pococurante ordered a concert. Candide praised the music to the skies.
"This noise," said the noble Venetian, "may amuse one for a little time, but if it were to last above half an hour, it would grow tiresome to everybody, though perhaps no one would care to own it. Music has become the art of executing what is difficult; now, whatever is difficult cannot be long pleasing.
"I believe I might take more pleasure in an opera, if they had not made such a monster of that species of dramatic entertainment as perfectly shocks me; and I am amazed how people can bear to see wretched tragedies set to music; where the scenes are contrived for no other purpose than to lug in, as it were by the ears, three or four ridiculous songs, to give a favorite actress an opportunity of exhibiting her pipe. Let who will die away in raptures at the trills of a eunuch quavering the majestic part of Caesar or Cato, and strutting in a foolish manner upon the stage, but for my part I have long ago renounced these paltry entertainments, which constitute the glory of modern Italy, and are so dearly purchased by crowned heads."
Candide opposed these sentiments; but he did it in a discreet manner; as for Martin, he was entirely of the old senator's opinion.
Dinner being served they sat down to table, and, after a hearty repast, returned to the library. Candide, observing Homer richly bound, commended the noble Venetian's taste.
"This," said he, "is a book that was once the delight of the great Pangloss, the best philosopher in Germany."
"Homer is no favorite of mine," answered Pococurante, coolly, "I was made to believe once that I took a pleasure in reading him; but his continual repetitions of battles have all such a resemblance with each other; his gods that are forever in haste and bustle, without ever doing anything; his Helen, who is the cause of the war, and yet hardly acts in the whole performance; his Troy, that holds out so long, without being taken: in short, all these things together make the poem very insipid to me. I have asked some learned men, whether they are not in reality as much tired as myself with reading this poet: those who spoke ingenuously, assured me that he had made them fall asleep, and yet that they could not well avoid giving him a place in their libraries; but that it was merely as they would do an antique, or those rusty medals which are kept only for curiosity, and are of no manner of use in commerce."
"But your excellency does not surely form the same opinion of Virgil?" said Candide.
"Why, I grant," replied Pococurante, "that the second, third, fourth, and sixth books of his Aeneid, are excellent; but as for his pious Aeneas, his strong Cloanthus, his friendly Achates, his boy Ascanius, his silly king Latinus, his ill-bred Amata, his insipid Lavinia, and some other characters much in the same strain, I think there cannot in nature be anything more flat and disagreeable. I must confess I prefer Tasso far beyond him; nay, even that sleepy taleteller Ariosto."
"May I take the liberty to ask if you do not experience great pleasure from reading Horace?" said Candide.
"There are maxims in this writer," replied Pococurante, "whence a man of the world may reap some benefit; and the short measure of the verse makes them more easily to be retained in the memory. But I see nothing extraordinary in his journey to Brundusium, and his account of his had dinner; nor in his dirty, low quarrel between one Rupillius, whose words, as he expresses it, were full of poisonous filth; and another, whose language was dipped in vinegar. His indelicate verses against old women and witches have frequently given me great offense: nor can I discover the great merit of his telling his friend Maecenas, that if he will but rank him in the class of lyric poets, his lofty head shall touch the stars. Ignorant readers are apt to judge a writer by his reputation. For my part, I read only to please myself. I like nothing but what makes for my purpose."
Candide, who had been brought up with a notion of never making use of his own judgment, was astonished at what he heard; but Martin found there was a good deal of reason in the senator's remarks.
"Oh! here is a Tully," said Candide; "this great man I fancy you are never tired of reading?"
"Indeed I never read him at all," replied Pococurante. "What is it to me whether he pleads for Rabirius or Cluentius? I try causes enough myself. I had once some liking for his philosophical works; but when I found he doubted everything, I thought I knew as much as himself, and had no need of a guide to learn ignorance."
"Ha!" cried Martin, "here are fourscore volumes of the memoirs of the Academy of Sciences; perhaps there may be something curious and valuable in this collection."
"Yes," answered Pococurante, "so there might if any one of these compilers of this rubbish had only invented the art of pin-making; but all these volumes are filled with mere chimerical systems, without one single article conductive to real utility."
"I see a prodigious number of plays," said Candide, "in Italian, Spanish, and French."
"Yes," replied the Venetian, "there are I think three thousand, and not three dozen of them good for anything. As to those huge volumes of divinity, and those enormous collections of sermons, they are not all together worth one single page in Seneca; and I fancy you will readily believe that neither myself, nor anyone else, ever looks into them."
Martin, perceiving some shelves filled with English books, said to the senator, "I fancy that a republican must be highly delighted with those books, which are most of them written with a noble spirit of freedom."
"It is noble to write as we think," said Pococurante; "it is the privilege of humanity. Throughout Italy we write only what we do not think; and the present inhabitants of the country of the Caesars and Antonines dare not acquire a single idea without the permission of a Dominican father. I should be enamored of the spirit of the English nation, did it not utterly frustrate the good effects it would produce by passion and the spirit of party."
Candide, seeing a Milton, asked the senator if he did not think that author a great man.
"Who?" said Pococurante sharply; "that barbarian who writes a tedious commentary in ten books of rumbling verse, on the first chapter of Genesis? that slovenly imitator of the Greeks, who disfigures the creation, by making the Messiah take a pair of compasses from Heaven's armory to plan the world; whereas Moses represented the Diety as producing the whole universe by his fiat? Can I think you have any esteem for a writer who has spoiled Tasso's Hell and the Devil; who transforms Lucifer sometimes into a toad, and at others into a pygmy; who makes him say the same thing over again a hundred times; who metamorphoses him into a school-divine; and who, by an absurdly serious imitation of Ariosto's comic invention of firearms, represents the devils and angels cannonading each other in Heaven? Neither I nor any other Italian can possibly take pleasure in such melancholy reveries; but the marriage of Sin and Death, and snakes issuing from the womb of the former, are enough to make any person sick that is not lost to all sense of delicacy. This obscene, whimsical, and disagreeable poem met with the neglect it deserved at its first publication; and I only treat the author now as he was treated in his own country by his contemporaries."
Candide was sensibly grieved at this speech, as he had a great respect for Homer, and was fond of Milton.
"Alas!" said he softly to Martin, "I am afraid this man holds our German poets in great contempt."
"There would be no such great harm in that," said Martin.
"O what a surprising man!" said Candide, still to himself; "what a prodigious genius is this Pococurante! nothing can please him."
After finishing their survey of the library, they went down into the garden, when Candide commended the several beauties that offered themselves to his view.
"I know nothing upon earth laid out in such had taste," said Pococurante; "everything about it is childish and trifling; but I shall have another laid out tomorrow upon a nobler plan."
As soon as our two travelers had taken leave of His Excellency, Candide said to Martin, "Well, I hope you will own that this man is the happiest of all mortals, for he is above everything he possesses."
"But do not you see," answered Martin, "that he likewise dislikes everything he possesses? It was an observation of Plato, long since, that those are not the best stomachs that reject, without distinction, all sorts of aliments." [JS7]
"True," said Candide, "but still there must certainly be a pleasure in criticising everything, and in perceiving faults where others think they see beauties."
"That is," replied Martin, "there is a pleasure in having no pleasure."
"Well, well," said Candide, "I find that I shall be the only happy man at last, when I am blessed with the sight of my dear Cunegund."
"It is good to hope," said Martin.
In the meanwhile, days and weeks passed away, and no news of Cacambo. Candide was so overwhelmed with grief, that he did not reflect on the behavior of Pacquette and Friar Giroflee, who never stayed to return him thanks for the presents he had so generously made them.
Candide and Martin Sup with Six Sharpers-
Who They Were
One evening as Candide, with his attendant Martin, was going to sit down to supper with some foreigners who lodged in the same inn where they had taken up their quarters[JS8], a man with a face the color of soot came behind him, and taking him by the arm, said, "Hold yourself in readiness to go along with us; be sure you do not fail."
Upon this, turning about to see from whom these words came, he beheld Cacambo. Nothing but the sight of Miss Cunegund could have given him greater joy and surprise. He was almost beside himself, and embraced this dear friend.
"Cunegund!" said he, "Cunegund is come with you doubtless! Where, where is she? Carry me to her this instant, that I may die with joy in her presence."
"Cunegund is not here," answered Cacambo; "she is in Constantinople."
"Good heavens! in Constantinople! but no matter if she were in China, I would fly thither. Quick, quick, dear Cacambo, let us be gone."
"Soft and fair," said Cacambo, "stay till you have supped. I cannot at present stay to say anything more to you; I am a slave, and my master waits for me; I must go and attend him at table: but mum! say not a word, only get your supper, and hold yourself in readiness."
Candide, divided between joy and grief, charmed to have thus met with his faithful agent again, and surprised to hear he was a slave, his heart palpitating, his senses confused, but full of the hopes of recovering his dear Cunegund, sat down to table with Martin, who beheld all these scenes with great unconcern, and with six strangers, who had come to spend the Carnival at Venice.
Cacambo waited at table upon one of those strangers. When supper was nearly over, he drew near to his master, and whispered in his ear:
"Sire, Your Majesty may go when you please; the ship is ready"; and so saying he left the room.
The guests, surprised at what they had heard, looked at each other without speaking a word; when another servant drawing near to his master, in like manner said, "Sire, Your Majesty's post-chaise is at Padua, and the bark is ready." The master made him a sign, and he instantly withdrew.
The company all stared at each other again, and the general astonishment was increased. A third servant then approached another of the strangers, and said, "Sire, if Your Majesty will be advised by me, you will not make any longer stay in this place; I will go and get everything ready"; and instantly disappeared.
Candide and Martin then took it for granted that this was some of the diversions of the Carnival, and that these were characters in masquerade. Then a fourth domestic said to the fourth stranger, "Your Majesty may set off when you please"; saying which, he went away like the rest. A fifth valet said the same to a fifth master. But the sixth domestic spoke in a different style to the person on whom he waited, and who sat near to Candide.
"Troth, sir," said he, "they will trust Your Majesty no longer, nor myself neither; and we may both of us chance to be sent to jail this very night; and therefore I shall take care of myself, and so adieu."
The servants being all gone, the six strangers, with Candide and Martin, remained in a profound silence. At length Candide broke it by saying:
"Gentlemen, this is a very singular joke upon my word; how came you all to be kings? For my part I own frankly, that neither my friend Martin here, nor myself, have any claim to royalty."
Cacambo's master then began, with great gravity, to deliver himself thus in Italian:
"I am not joking in the least, my name is Achmet III. I was Grand Sultan for many years; I dethroned my brother, my nephew dethroned me, my viziers lost their heads, and I am condemned to end my days in the old seraglio. My nephew, the Grand Sultan Mahomet, gives me permission to travel sometimes for my health, and I am come to spend the Carnival at Venice."
A young man who sat by Achmet, spoke next, and said:
"My name is Ivan. I was once Emperor of all the Russians, but was dethroned in my cradle. My parents were confined, and I was brought up in a prison, yet I am sometimes allowed to travel, though always with persons to keep a guard over me, and I come to spend the Carnival at Venice."
The third said:
"I am Charles Edward, King of England; my father has renounced his right to the throne in my favor. I have fought in defense of my rights, and near a thousand of my friends have had their hearts taken out of their bodies alive and thrown in their faces. I have myself been confined in a prison. I am going to Rome to visit the King, my father, who was dethroned as well as myself; and my grandfather and I have come to spend the Carnival at Venice."
The fourth spoke thus:
"I am the King of Poland; the fortune of war has stripped me of my hereditary dominions. My father experienced the same vicissitudes of fate. I resign myself to the will of Providence, in the same manner as Sultan Achmet, the Emperor Ivan, and King Charles Edward, whom God long preserve; and I have come to spend the Carnival at Venice."
The fifth said:
"I am King of Poland also. I have twice lost my kingdom; but Providence has given me other dominions, where I have done more good than all the Sarmatian kings put together were ever able to do on the banks of the Vistula; I resign myself likewise to Providence; and have come to spend the Carnival at Venice."
It now came to the sixth monarch's turn to speak. "Gentlemen," said he, "I am not so great a prince as the rest of you, it is true, but I am, however, a crowned head. I am Theodore, elected King of Corsica. I have had the title of Majesty, and am now hardly treated with common civility. I have coined money, and am not now worth a single ducat. I have had two secretaries, and am now without a valet. I was once seated on a throne, and since that have lain upon a truss of straw, in a common jail in London, and I very much fear I shall meet with the same fate here in Venice, where I came, like Your Majesties, to divert myself at the Carnival."
The other five Kings listened to this speech with great attention; it excited their compassion; each of them made the unhappy Theodore a present of twenty sequins, and Candide gave him a diamond, worth just a hundred times that sum.
"Who can this private person be," said the five Kings to one another, "who is able to give, and has actually given, a hundred times as much as any of us?"
Just as they rose from table, in came four Serene Highnesses, who had also been stripped of their territories by the fortune of war, and had come to spend the remainder of the Carnival at Venice. Candide took no manner of notice of them; for his thoughts were wholly employed on his voyage to Constantinople, where he intended to go in search of his lovely Miss Cunegund.
The trusty Cacambo had already engaged the captain of the Turkish ship that was to carry Sultan Achmet back to Constantinople to take Candide and Martin on board. Accordingly they both embarked, after paying their obeisance to his miserable Highness. As they were going on board, Candide said to Martin:
"You see we supped in company with six dethroned Kings, and to one of them I gave charity. Perhaps there may be a great many other princes still more unfortunate. For my part I have lost only a hundred sheep, and am now going to fly to the arms of my charming Miss Cunegund. My dear Martin, I must insist on it, that Pangloss was in the right. All is for the best [JS9]."
"I wish it may be," said Martin.
"But this was an odd adventure we met with at Venice. I do not think there ever was an instance before of six dethroned monarchs supping together at a public inn."
"This is not more extraordinary," said Martin, "than most of what has happened to us. It is a very common thing for kings to be dethroned; and as for our having the honor to sup with six of them, it is a mere accident, not deserving our attention."
As soon as Candide set his foot on board the vessel, he flew to his old friend and valet Cacambo and, throwing his arms about his neck, embraced him with transports of joy.
"Well," said he, "what news of Miss Cunegund? [JS10]Does she still continue the paragon of beauty? Does she love me still? How does she do? You have, doubtless, purchased a superb palace for her at Constantinople."
"My dear master," replied Cacambo, "Miss Cunegund washes dishes on the banks of the Propontis, in the house of a prince who has very few to wash. She is at present a slave in the family of an ancient sovereign named Ragotsky, whom the Grand Turk allows three crowns a day to maintain him in his exile; but the most melancholy circumstance of all is, that she is turned horribly ugly."
"Ugly or handsome," said Candide, "I am a man of honor and, as such, am obliged to love her still. But how could she possibly have been reduced to so abject a condition, when I sent five or six millions to her by you?"
"Lord bless me," said Cacambo, "was not I obliged to give two millions to Seignor Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza, the Governor of Buenos Ayres, for liberty to take Miss Cunegund away with me? And then did not a brave fellow of a pirate gallantly strip us of all the rest? And then did not this same pirate carry us with him to Cape Matapan, to Milo, to Nicaria, to Samos, to Petra, to the Dardanelles, to Marmora, to Scutari? Miss Cunegund and the old woman are now servants to the prince I have told you of; and I myself am slave to the dethroned Sultan."
"What a chain of shocking accidents!" exclaimed Candide. "But after all, I have still some diamonds left, with which I can easily procure Miss Cunegund's liberty. It is a pity though she is grown so ugly."
Then turning to Martin, "What think you, friend," said he, "whose condition is most to be pitied, the Emperor Achmet's, the Emperor Ivan's, King Charles Edward's, or mine?"
"Faith, I cannot resolve your question," said Martin, "unless I had been in the breasts of you all."
"Ah!" cried Candide, "was Pangloss here now, he would have known, and satisfied me at once."
"I know not," said Martin, "in what balance your Pangloss could have weighed the misfortunes of mankind, and have set a just estimation on their sufferings. All that I pretend to know of the matter is that there are millions of men on the earth, whose conditions are a hundred times more pitiable than those of King Charles Edward, the Emperor Ivan, or Sultan Achmet."
"Why, that may be," answered Candide.
In a few days they reached the Bosphorus; and the first thing Candide did was to pay a high ransom for Cacambo; then, without losing time, he and his companions went on board a galley, in order to search for his Cunegund on the banks of the Propontis, notwithstanding she was grown so ugly.
There were two slaves among the crew of the galley, who rowed very ill, and to whose bare backs the master of the vessel frequently applied a lash.[JS11] Candide, from natural sympathy, looked at these two slaves more attentively than at any of the rest, and drew near them with an eye of pity. Their features, though greatly disfigured, appeared to him to bear a strong resemblance with those of Pangloss and the unhappy Baron Jesuit, Miss Cunegund's brother. This idea affected him with grief and compassion: he examined them more attentively than before.
"In troth," said he, turning to Martin, "if I had not seen my master Pangloss fairly hanged, and had not myself been unlucky enough to run the Baron through the body, I should absolutely think those two rowers were the men."
No sooner had Candide uttered the names of the Baron and Pangloss, than the two slaves gave a great cry, ceased rowing, and let fall their oars out of their hands. The master of the vessel, seeing this, ran up to them, and redoubled the discipline of the lash.
"Hold, hold," cried Candide, "I will give you what money you shall ask for these two persons."
"Good heavens! it is Candide," said one of the men.
"Candide!" cried the other.
"Do I dream," said Candide, "or am I awake? Am I actually on board this galley? Is this My Lord the Baron, whom I killed? and that my master Pangloss, whom I saw hanged before my face?"
"It is I! it is I!" cried they both together.
"What! is this your great philosopher?" said Martin.
"My dear sir," said Candide to the master of the galley, "how much do you ask for the ransom of the Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, who is one of the first barons of the empire, and of Monsieur Pangloss, the most profound metaphysician in Germany?"
"Why, then, Christian cur," replied the Turkish captain, "since these two dogs of Christian slaves are barons and metaphysicians, who no doubt are of high rank in their own country, thou shalt give me fifty thousand sequins."
"You shall have them, sir; carry me back as quick as thought to Constantinople, and you shall receive the money immediately-No! carry me first to Miss Cunegund."
The captain, upon Candide's first proposal, had already tacked about, and he made the crew ply their oars so effectually, that the vessel flew through the water, quicker than a bird cleaves the air.
Candide bestowed a thousand embraces on the Baron and Pangloss. "And so then, my dear Baron, I did not kill you? and you, my dear Pangloss, are come to life again after your hanging? But how came you slaves on board a Turkish galley?"
"And is it true that my dear sister is in this country?" said the Baron.
"Yes," said Cacambo.
"And do I once again behold my dear Candide?" said Pangloss.
Candide presented Martin and Cacambo to them; they embraced each other, and all spoke together. The galley flew like lightning, and soon they were got back to port. Candide instantly sent for a Jew, to whom he sold for fifty thousand sequins a diamond richly worth one hundred thousand, though the fellow swore to him all the time by Father Abraham that he gave him the most he could possibly afford. He no sooner got the money into his hands, than he paid it down for the ransom of the Baron and Pangloss. The latter flung himself at the feet of his deliverer, and bathed him with his tears; the former thanked him with a gracious nod, and promised to return him the money the first opportunity.
"But is it possible," said he, "that my sister should be in Turkey?"
"Nothing is more possible," answered Cacambo, "for she scours the dishes in the house of a Transylvanian prince."
Candide sent directly for two Jews, and sold more diamonds to them; and then he set out with his companions in another galley, to deliver Miss Cunegund from slavery.
Pardon," said Candide to the Baron; "once more let me entreat your pardon, Reverend Father, for running you through the body."
"Say no more about it," replied the Baron. "I was a little too hasty I must own; but as you seem to be desirous to know by what accident I came to be a slave on board the galley where you saw me, I will inform you. After I had been cured of the wound you gave me, by the College apothecary, I was attacked and carried off by a party of Spanish troops, who clapped me in prison in Buenos Ayres, at the very time my sister was setting out from there. I asked leave to return to Rome, to the general of my Order, who appointed me chaplain to the French Ambassador at Constantinople. I had not been a week in my new office, when I happened to meet one evening a young Icoglan, extremely handsome and well-made. The weather was very hot; the young man had an inclination to bathe. I took the opportunity to bathe likewise. I did not know it was a crime for a Christian to be found naked in company with a young Turk. [JS12] A cadi ordered me to receive a hundred blows on the soles of my feet, and sent me to the galleys. I do not believe that there was ever an act of more flagrant injustice. But I would fain know how my sister came to be a scullion to a Transylvanian prince, who has taken refuge among the Turks?"
"But how happens it that I behold you again, my dear Pangloss?" said Candide.
"It is true," answered Pangloss, "you saw me hanged, though I ought properly to have been burned; but you may remember, that it rained extremely hard when they were going to roast me. The storm was so violent that they found it impossible to light the fire; so they hanged me because they could do no better [JS13]. A surgeon purchased my body, carried it home, and prepared to dissect me. He began by making a crucial incision from my navel to the clavicle. It is impossible for anyone to have been more lamely hanged than I had been. The executioner was a sub-deacon, and knew how to burn people very well, but as for hanging, he was a novice at it, being quite out of practice; the cord being wet, and not slipping properly, the noose did not join. In short, I still continued to breathe; the crucial incision made me scream to such a degree, that my surgeon fell flat upon his back; and imagining it was the Devil he was dissecting, ran away, and in his fright tumbled down stairs. His wife hearing the noise, flew from the next room, and seeing me stretched upon the table with my crucial incision, was still more terrified than her husband, and fell upon him. When they had a little recovered themselves, I heard her say to her husband, 'My dear, how could you think of dissecting a heretic? Don't you know that the Devil is always in them? I'll run directly to a priest to come and drive the evil spirit out.' I trembled from head to foot at hearing her talk in this manner, and exerted what little strength I had left to cry out, 'Have mercy on me!' At length the Portuguese barber took courage, sewed up my wound, and his wife nursed me; and I was upon my legs in a fortnight's time. The barber got me a place to be lackey to a Knight of Malta, who was going to Venice; but finding my master had no money to pay me my wages, I entered into the service of a Venetian merchant and went with him to Constantinople.
"One day I happened to enter a mosque, where I saw no one but an old man and a very pretty young female devotee, [JS14]who was telling her beads; her neck was quite bare, and in her bosom she had a beautiful nosegay of tulips, roses, anemones, ranunculuses, hyacinths, and auriculas; she let fall her nosegay. I ran immediately to take it up, and presented it to her with a most respectful bow. I was so long in delivering it that the man began to be angry; and, perceiving I was a Christian, he cried out for help; they carried me before the cadi, who ordered me to receive one hundred bastinadoes, and sent me to the galleys. I was chained in the very galley and to the very same bench with the Baron. On board this galley there were four young men belonging to Marseilles, five Neapolitan priests, and two monks of Corfu, who told us that the like adventures happened every day. The Baron pretended that he had been worse used than myself; and I insisted that there was far less harm in taking up a nosegay, and putting it into a woman's bosom, than to be found stark naked with a young Icoglan. We were continually whipped, and received twenty lashes a day with a heavy thong, when the concatenation of sublunary events brought you on board our galley to ransom us from slavery."
"Well, my dear Pangloss," said Candide to him, "when You were hanged, dissected, whipped, and tugging at the oar, did you continue to think that everything in this world happens for the best?"
"I have always abided by my first opinion," answered Pangloss; "for, after all, I am a philosopher, and it would not become me to retract my sentiments; especially as Leibnitz could not be in the wrong: and that preestablished harmony is the finest thing in the world, as well as a plenum and the materia subtilis."[JS15]
and the Old Woman Again
While Candide, the Baron, Pangloss, Martin, and Cacambo, were relating their several adventures, and reasoning on the contingent or noncontingent events of this world; on causes and effects; on moral and physical evil; on free will and necessity; and on the consolation that may be felt by a person when a slave and chained to an oar in a Turkish galley, they arrived at the house of the Transylvanian prince on the shores of the Propontis[JS16]. The first objects they beheld there, were Miss Cunegund and the old woman, who were hanging some tablecloths on a line to dry.
The Baron turned pale at the sight. Even the tender Candide, that affectionate lover, upon seeing his fair Cunegund all sunburned, with bleary eyes, a withered neck, wrinkled face and arms, all covered with a red scurf, started back with horror; but, not withstanding, recovering himself, he advanced towards her out of good manners. [JS17]She embraced Candide and her brother; they embraced the old woman, and Candide ransomed them both.
There was a small farm in the neighborhood which the old woman proposed to Candide to make shift with till the company should meet with a more favorable destiny. Cunegund, not knowing that she was grown ugly, as no one had informed her of it, reminded Candide of his promise in so peremptory a manner, that the simple lad did not dare to refuse her; he then acquainted the Baron that he was going to marry his sister.
"I will never suffer," said the Baron[JS18], "my sister to be guilty of an action so derogatory to her birth and family; nor will I bear this insolence on your part. No, I never will be reproached that my nephews are not qualified for the first ecclesiastical dignities in Germany; nor shall a sister of mine ever be the wife of any person below the rank of Baron of the Empire."
Cunegund flung herself at her brother's feet, and bedewed them with her tears; but he still continued inflexible.
"Thou foolish fellow, said Candide, "have I not delivered thee from the galleys, paid thy ransom, and thy sister's, too, who was a scullion, and is very ugly, and yet condescend to marry her? and shalt thou pretend to oppose the match! If I were to listen only to the dictates of my anger, I should kill thee again."
"Thou mayest kill me again," said the Baron; "but thou shalt not marry my sister while I am living."
Candide had, in truth, no great inclination to marry Miss Cunegund; but the extreme impertinence of the Baron determined him to conclude the match; and Cunegund pressed him so warmly, that he could not recant. He consulted Pangloss, Martin, and the faithful Cacambo. Pangloss composed a fine memorial, by which he proved that the Baron had no right over his sister; and that she might, according to all the laws of the Empire, marry Candide with the left hand. Martin concluded to throw the Baron into the sea; Cacambo decided that he must be delivered to the Turkish captain and sent to the galleys; after which he should be conveyed by the first ship to the Father General at Rome. This advice was found to be good [JS19]; the old woman approved of it, and not a syllable was said to his sister; the business was executed for a little money; and they had the pleasure of tricking a Jesuit, and punishing the pride of a German baron.
It was altogether natural to imagine, that after undergoing so many disasters, Candide, married to his mistress and living with the philosopher Pangloss, the philosopher Martin, the prudent Cacambo, and the old woman, having besides brought home so many diamonds from the country of the ancient Incas, would lead the most agreeable life in the world. But he had been so robbed by the Jews, that he had nothing left but his little farm; his wife, every day growing more and more ugly, became headstrong and insupportable; the old woman was infirm, and more ill-natured yet than Cunegund. Cacambo, who worked in the garden, and carried the produce of it to sell in Constantinople, was above his labor, and cursed his fate. Pangloss despaired of making a figure in any of the German universities. And as to Martin, he was firmly persuaded that a person is equally ill-situated everywhere. He took things with patience. [JS20]
Candide, Martin, and Pangloss disputed sometimes about metaphysics and morality. Boats were often seen passing under the windows of the farm laden with effendis, bashaws, and cadis, that were going into banishment to Lemnos, Mytilene and Erzerum. And other cadis, bashaws, and effendis were seen coming back to succeed the place of the exiles, and were driven out in their turns. They saw several heads curiously stuck upon poles, and carried as presents to the Sublime Porte. Such sights gave occasion to frequent dissertations [JS21]; and when no disputes were in progress, the irksomeness was so excessive that the old woman ventured one day to tell them:
"I would be glad to know which is worst, to be ravished a hundred times by Negro pirates, to have one buttock cut off, to run the gauntlet among the Bulgarians, to be whipped and hanged at an auto-da-fe, to be dissected, to be chained to an oar in a galley; and, in short, to experience all the miseries through which every one of us hath passed, or to remain here doing nothing?"
"This," said Candide, "is a grand question."
This discourse gave birth to new reflections, and Martin especially concluded that man was born to live in the convulsions of disquiet, or in the lethargy of idleness. Though Candide did not absolutely agree to this, yet he did not determine anything on that head. Pangloss avowed that he had undergone dreadful sufferings; but having once maintained that everything went on as well as possible, he still maintained it, and at the same time believed nothing of it.
There was one thing which more than ever confirmed Martin in his detestable principles, made Candide hesitate, and embarrassed Pangloss, which was the arrival of Pacquette and Brother Giroflee one day at their farm. This couple had been in the utmost distress; they had very speedily made away with their three thousand piastres; they had parted, been reconciled; quarreled again, been thrown into prison; had made their escape, and at last Brother Giroflee had turned Turk. Pacquette still continued to follow her trade; but she got little or nothing by it.
"I foresaw very well," said Martin to Candide "that your presents would soon be squandered, and only make them more miserable. You and Cacambo have spent millions of piastres, and yet you are not more happy than Brother Giroflee and Pacquette."
"Ah!" said Pangloss to Pacquette, "it is Heaven that has brought you here among us, my poor child! Do you know that you have cost me the tip of my nose, one eye, and one ear? What a handsome shape is here! and what is this world!"
This new adventure engaged them more deeply than ever in philosophical disputations.
In the neighborhood lived a famous dervish who passed for the best philosopher in Turkey; they went to consult him: Pangloss, who was their spokesman, addressed him thus:
"Master, we come to entreat you to tell us why so strange an animal as man has been formed?"
"Why do you trouble your head about it?" said the dervish; "is it any business of yours?"
"But, Reverend Father," said Candide, "there is a horrible deal of evil on the earth."
"What signifies it," said the dervish, "whether there is evil or good? When His Highness sends a ship to Egypt does he trouble his head whether the rats in the vessel are at their ease or not?" [JS22]
"What must then be done?" said Pangloss.
"Be silent," answered the dervish.
"I flattered myself," replied Pangloss, "to have reasoned a little with you on the causes and effects, on the best of possible worlds, the origin of evil, the nature of the soul, and a pre-established harmony."
At these words the dervish shut the door in their faces.
During this conversation, news was spread abroad that two viziers of the bench and the mufti had just been strangled at Constantinople, and several of their friends impaled. This catastrophe made a great noise for some hours. Pangloss, Candide, and Martin, as they were returning to the little farm, met with a good-looking old man, who was taking the air at his door, under an alcove formed of the boughs of orange trees. Pangloss, who was as inquisitive as he was disputative, asked him what was the name of the mufti who was lately strangled.
"I cannot tell," answered the good old man; "I never knew the name of any mufti, or vizier breathing. I am entirely ignorant of the event you speak of; I presume that in general such as are concerned in public affairs sometimes come to a miserable end; and that they deserve it: but I never inquire what is doing at Constantinople; I am contented with sending thither the produce of my garden, which I cultivate with my own hands."
After saying these words, he invited the strangers to come into his house. His two daughters and two sons presented them with divers sorts of sherbert of their own making; besides caymac, heightened with the peels of candied citrons, oranges, lemons, pineapples, pistachio nuts, and Mocha coffee unadulterated with the bad coffee of Batavia or the American islands. [JS23]After which the two daughters of this good Mussulman perfumed the beards of Candide, Pangloss, and Martin.
"You must certainly have a vast estate," said Candide to the Turk.
"I have no more than twenty acres of ground," he replied, "the whole of which I cultivate myself with the help of my children; and our labor keeps off from us three great evils-idleness, vice, and want." [JS24]
Candide, as he was returning home, made profound reflections on the Turk's discourse.
"This good old man," said he to Pangloss and Martin, "appears to me to have chosen for himself a lot much preferable to that of the six Kings with whom we had the honor to sup."
"Human grandeur," said Pangloss, "is very dangerous, if we believe the testimonies of almost all philosophers; for we find Eglon, King of Moab, was assassinated by Aod; Absalom was hanged by the hair of his head, and run through with three darts; King Nadab, son of Jeroboam, was slain by Baaza; King Ela by Zimri; Okosias by Jehu; Athaliah by Jehoiada; the Kings Jehooiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah, were led into captivity: I need not tell you what was the fate of Croesus, Astyages, Darius, Dionysius of Syracuse, Pyrrhus, Perseus, Hannibal, Jugurtha, Ariovistus, Caesar, Pompey, Nero, Otho, Vitellius, Domitian, Richard II of England, Edward II, Henry VI, Richard Ill, Mary Stuart, Charles I, the three Henrys of France, and the Emperor Henry IV."
"Neither need you tell me," said Candide, "that we must take care of our garden."
"You are in the right," said Pangloss; "for when man was put into the garden of Eden, it was with an intent to dress it; and this proves that man was not born to be idle."
"Work then without disputing," said Martin; "it is the only way to render life supportable."
The little society, one and all, entered into this laudable design and set themselves to exert their different talents. The little piece of ground yielded them a plentiful crop. Cunegund indeed was very ugly, but she became an excellent hand at pastrywork: Pacquette embroidered; the old woman had the care of the linen. There was none, down to Brother Giroflee, but did some service; he was a very good carpenter, and became an honest man. Pangloss used now and then to say to Candide:
"There is a concatenation of all events in the best of possible worlds; for, in short, had you not been kicked out of a fine castle for the love of Miss Cunegund; had you not been put into the Inquisition; had you not traveled over America on foot; had you not run the Baron through the body; and had you not lost all your sheep, which you brought from the good country of El Dorado, you would not have been here to eat preserved citrons and pistachio nuts." [JS25]
[JS1] Why does Candide fall into deep melancholy when he arrives in Venice?
[JS2] A priest of the Order of Clerks Regular founded in 1524 in Italy by Saint Cajetan and Gian Pietro Caraffa to reform Catholic morality and combat Lutheranism (Websters)
[JS3] What wager does Candide propose to Martin?
[JS4] How was Candide fooled into believing that Paquette was happy?
[JS5] Why does Father Giroflee appear happy?
[JS6] Why is Signior Pococurante famous throughout Venice?
[JS7] What ‘happiness’ has Pococurante achieved?
[JS8] Dinner with the Seven Exiled Kings of Europe
[JS9] What will prevent Candide from achieving perfect happiness? How will this occurrence complete his education?
[JS10] What has happened to Cunegonde since Candide saw her last?
[JS11] How is Candide reunited with Professor Pangloss and Cunegonde’s brother? (I thought they both were dead!)
[JS12] How did the Baron wind up enslaved and tortured in the Pasha’s galley?
[JS13] How did Pangloss survive hanging?
[JS14] How did Pangloss wind up in hot water again?
[JS15] How does Pangloss hint that he has modified his belief in optimistic determinism? (The ‘materia subtilis’ to which Pangloss refers was a DISCREDITED belief that there was a “subtle material” out of which all biological matter was composed. By Voltiare’s time, different cell types had been established.)
[JS16] Where do Candide and his friends decide to make their home? (Recognize this place?)
[JS17] Why does Voltaire turn Cunegonde ugly? How does this artistic choice relate to his vision of the potential of achieving perfect happiness?
[JS18] Why won’t the Baron relent?
[JS19] Why does the family decide to get rid of Cunegonde’s brother?
[JS20] What is life like on Candide’s little farm? Is that so bad?
[JS21] What is the topic of the philosophical disputes that take place at Candide’s farm house?
[JS22] What is the dervish’s point about the human ability to grasp the origin of evil?
[JS23] What is the mufti’s philosophy of life? How does the existence of ice cream fit into Voltaire’s philosophy?
[JS24] Why is work good?
[JS25] Are the events of life determined or contingent? (Even if Pangloss’ idea is ridiculous, does Voltaire believe that any connection between the events of our life can prove the existence of Fate?)
[JS26] Has Candide learned anything from his experience?