and What Happened to Him
The next day, as Candide was walking out, he met a beggar all covered with scabs, his eyes sunk in his head, the end of his nose eaten off, his mouth drawn on one side, his teeth as black as a cloak, snuffling and coughing most violently, and every time he attempted to spit, out dropped a tooth.
Candide, divided between compassion and horror, but giving way to the former, bestowed on this shocking figure the two florins which the honest Anabaptist, Jacques, had just before given to him. The specter looked at him very earnestly, shed tears and threw his arms about his neck. Candide started back aghast.
"Alas!" said the one wretch to the other, "don't you know dear Pangloss?"
"What do I hear? Is it you, my dear master! you I behold in this piteous plight? What dreadful misfortune has befallen you? What has made you leave the most magnificent and delightful of all castles? What has become of Miss Cunegund, the mirror of young ladies, and Nature's masterpiece?"
"Oh, Lord!" cried Pangloss, "I am so weak I cannot stand," upon which Candide instantly led him to the Anabaptist's stable, and procured him something to eat.
As soon as Pangloss had a little refreshed himself, Candide began to repeat his inquiries concerning Miss Cunegund.
"She is dead," replied the other.
"Dead!" cried Candide, and immediately fainted away; his friend restored him by the help of a little bad vinegar, which he found by chance in the stable.
Candide opened his eyes, and again repeated: "Dead! is Miss Cunegund dead? Ah, where is the best of worlds now? But of what illness did she die? Was it of grief on seeing her father kick me out of his magnificent castle?"
"No," replied Pangloss, "her body was ripped open by the Bulgar soldiers, after they had subjected her to as much cruelty as a damsel could survive; they knocked the Baron, her father, on the head for attempting to defend her; My Lady, her mother, was cut in pieces; my poor pupil was served just in the same manner as his sister; and as for the castle, they have not left one stone upon another; they have destroyed all the ducks, and sheep, the barns, and the trees; but we have had our revenge, for the Abares have done the very same thing in a neighboring barony, which belonged to a Bulgarian lord." [JS1]
At hearing this, Candide fainted away a second time, but, not withstanding, having come to himself again, he said all that it became him to say; he inquired into the cause and effect, as well as into the sufficing reason that had reduced Pangloss to so miserable a condition.
"Alas," replied the preceptor, "it was love; love, the comfort of the human species; love, the preserver of the universe; the soul of all sensible beings; love! tender love!"
"Alas," cried Candide, "I have had some knowledge of love myself, this sovereign of hearts, this soul of souls; yet it never cost me more than a kiss and twenty kicks on the backside. But how could this beautiful cause produce in you so hideous an effect?"
Pangloss made answer in these terms:
"O my dear Candide, you must remember Pacquette, that pretty wench, who waited on our noble Baroness; in her arms I tasted the pleasures of Paradise, which produced these Hell-ish torments with which you now see me devoured. She was infected with an ailment, and perhaps has since died of it; she received this present of a learned Franciscan, who derived it from the fountainhead; he was indebted for it to an old countess, who had it of a captain of horse, who had it of a marchioness, who had it of a page, the page had it of a Jesuit, who, during his novitiate, had it in a direct line from one of the fellow adventurers of Christopher Columbus; for my part I shall give it to nobody: I am a dying man."
"O sage Pangloss," cried Candide, "what a strange genealogy is this! Is not the devil the root of it?"
"Not at all," replied the great man, "it was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds [JS2]; for if Columbus had not caught in an island in America this disease, which contaminates the source of generation, and frequently impedes propagation itself, and is evidently opposed to the great end of nature, we should have had neither chocolate nor cochineal [JS3]. It is also to be observed, that, even to the present time, in this continent of ours, this malady, like our religious controversies, is peculiar to ourselves. The Turks, the Indians, the Persians, the Chinese, the Siamese, and the Japanese are entirely unacquainted with it; but there is a sufficing reason for them to know it in a few centuries. In the meantime, it is making prodigious havoc among us, especially in those armies composed of well disciplined hirelings, who determine the fate of nations; for we may safely affirm, that, when an army of thirty thousand men engages another equal in size, there are about twenty thousand infected with syphilis on each side."
"Lord help me, how can I?" said Pangloss. "My dear friend, I have not a penny in the world; and you know one cannot be bled or have an enema without money."
This last speech had its effect on Candide; he flew to the charitable Anabaptist, Jacques; he flung himself at his feet, and gave him so striking a picture of the miserable condition of his friend that the good man without any further hesitation agreed to take Dr. Pangloss into his house, and to pay for his cure. The cure was effected with only the loss of one eye and an ear. And because he wrote a good hand, and understood accounts tolerably well, the Anabaptist made him his bookkeeper [JS5]. At the expiration of two months, being obliged by some mercantile affairs to go to Lisbon, he took the two philosophers with him in the same ship; Pangloss, during the course of the voyage, explained to him how everything was so constituted that it could not be better. Jacques did not quite agree with him on this point. [JS6]
"Men," said he "must, in some things, have deviated from their original innocence; for they were not born wolves, and yet they worry one another like those beasts of prey. God never gave them twenty-four pounders nor bayonets, and yet they have made cannon and bayonets to destroy one another. To this account I might add not only bankruptcies, but the law which seizes on the effects of bankrupts, only to cheat the creditors."
"All this was indispensably necessary," replied the one-eyed doctor, "for private misfortunes are public benefits; so that the more private misfortunes there are, the greater is the general good."
While he was arguing in this manner, the sky was overcast, the winds blew from the four quarters of the compass, and the ship was assailed by a most terrible tempest, within sight of the port of Lisbon.
and What Else Befell Dr. Pangloss, Candide,
and Jacques, the Anabaptist
One half of the passengers, weakened and half-dead with the inconceivable anxiety and sickness which the rolling of a vessel at sea occasions through the whole human frame, were lost to all sense of the danger that surrounded them. The others made loud outcries, or betook themselves to their prayers; the sails were blown into shreds, and the masts were brought by the board. The vessel was a total wreck. Everyone was busily employed, but nobody could be either heard or obeyed. The Anabaptist, being upon deck, lent a helping hand as well as the rest, when a brutish sailor gave him a blow and laid him speechless; but, not withstanding, with the violence of the blow the tar himself tumbled headforemost overboard, and fell upon a piece of the broken mast, which he immediately grasped.
Honest Jacques, forgetting the injury he had so lately received from him, flew to his assistance, and, with great difficulty, hauled him in again, but, not withstanding, in the attempt, was, by a sudden jerk of the ship, thrown overboard himself, in sight of the very fellow whom he had risked his life to save and who took not the least notice of him in this distress. Candide, who beheld all that passed and saw his benefactor one moment rising above water, and the next swallowed up by the merciless waves, was preparing to jump after him, but was prevented by the philosopher Pangloss, who demonstrated to him that the roadstead of Lisbon had been made on purpose for the Anabaptist to be drowned there. While he was proving his argument a priori [JS8], the ship foundered, and the whole crew perished, except Pangloss, Candide, and the sailor who had been the means of drowning the good Anabaptist [JS9]. The villain swam ashore; but Pangloss and Candide reached the land upon a plank.
As soon as they had recovered from their surprise and fatigue they walked towards Lisbon; with what little money they had left they thought to save themselves from starving after having escaped drowning.
Scarcely had they ceased to lament the loss of their benefactor and set foot in the city, when they perceived that the earth trembled [JS10]under their feet, and the sea, swelling and foaming in the harbor, was dashing in pieces the vessels that were riding at anchor. Large sheets of flames and cinders covered the streets and public places; the houses tottered, and were tumbled topsy-turvy even to their foundations, which were themselves destroyed, and thirty thousand inhabitants of both sexes, young and old, were buried beneath the ruins.
"What can be the sufficing reason of this phenomenon?" said Pangloss.
"It is certainly the day of judgment," said Candide.
The sailor, defying death in the pursuit of plunder, rushed into the midst of the ruin, where he found some money, with which he got drunk, and, after he had slept himself sober, he purchased the favors of the first good-natured wench that came in his way, amidst the ruins of demolished houses and the groans of half-buried and expiring persons.
Pangloss pulled him by the sleeve. "Friend," said he, "this is not right, you trespass against the universal reason, and have mistaken your time."
"Death and zounds!" answered the other, "I am a sailor and was born at Batavia, and have trampled four times upon the crucifix in as many voyages to Japan; get the hell out of here with your universal reason!"
In the meantime, Candide, who had been wounded by some pieces of stone that fell from the houses, lay stretched in the street, almost covered with rubbish.
"For God's sake," said he to Pangloss, "get me a little wine and oil! I am dying."
"This concussion of the earth is no new thing [JS12]," said Pangloss, "the city of Lima in South America experienced the same last year; the same cause, the same effects; there is certainly a train of sulphur all the way underground from Lima to Lisbon."
"Nothing is more probable," said Candide; "but for the love of God a little oil and wine."
"Probable!" replied the philosopher, "I maintain that the thing is demonstrable."
Candide fainted away, and Pangloss fetched him some water from a neighboring spring. The next day, in searching among the ruins, they found some eatables with which they repaired their exhausted strength. After this they assisted the inhabitants in relieving the distressed and wounded. [JS13]Some, whom they had humanely assisted, gave them as good a dinner as could be expected under such terrible circumstances. The repast, indeed, was mournful, and the company moistened their bread with their tears; but Pangloss endeavored to comfort them under this affliction by affirming that things could not be otherwise than they were.
"For," said he, "all this is for the very best end, for if there is a volcano at Lisbon, it could be in no other spot; and it is impossible but things should be as they are, for everything is for the best."
By the side of the preceptor sat a little man dressed in black [JS14], who was one of the familiars of the Inquisition. This person, taking him up with great complaisance, said, "Possibly, my good sir, you do not believe in original sin; for, if everything is best, there could have been no such thing as the fall or punishment of man."
Your Excellency will pardon me," answered Pangloss, still more politely; "for the fall of man and the curse consequent thereupon necessarily entered into the system of the best of worlds."
"That is as much as to say, sir," rejoined the familiar, "you do not believe in free will."
"Your Excellency will be so good as to excuse me," said Pangloss, "free will is consistent with absolute necessity; for it was necessary we should be free [JS15], for in that the will-"
Pangloss was in the midst of his proposition, when the familiar beckoned to his attendant to help him to a glass of port wine.
to Prevent Any Future Earthquakes,
and How Candide Underwent Public Flagellation
After the earthquake, which had destroyed three-fourths of the city of Lisbon, the sages of that country could think of no means more effectual to preserve the kingdom from utter ruin than to entertain the people with an auto-da-fe [JS16], it having been decided by the University of Coimbra, that the burning of a few people alive by a slow fire, and with great ceremony, is an infallible preventive of earthquakes.
In consequence thereof they had seized on a Biscayan for marrying his godmother, and on two Portuguese for taking out the bacon of a larded pullet they were eating; after dinner they came and secured Dr. Pangloss, and his pupil Candide, the one for speaking his mind, and the other for seeming to approve what he had said. They were conducted to separate apartments, extremely cool, where they were never incommoded with the sun. Eight days afterwards they were each dressed in a sanbenito [JS17], and their heads were adorned with paper mitres. The mitre and sanbenito worn by Candide were painted with flames reversed and with devils that had neither tails nor claws; but Dr. Pangloss's devils had both tails and claws, and his flames were upright. In these habits they marched in procession, and heard a very pathetic sermon, which was followed by an anthem, accompanied by bagpipes. Candide was flogged to some tune, while the anthem was being sung; the Biscayan and the two men who would not eat bacon were burned, and Pangloss was hanged, which is not a common custom at these solemnities. The same day there was another earthquake, which made most dreadful havoc. [JS18]
Candide, amazed, terrified, confounded, astonished, all bloody, and trembling from head to foot, said to himself, "If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others? [JS19] If I had only been whipped, I could have put up with it, as I did among the Bulgars; but, not withstanding, oh my dear Pangloss! my beloved master! thou greatest of philosophers! that ever I should live to see thee hanged, without knowing for what! O my dear Anabaptist, thou best of men, that it should be thy fate to be drowned in the very harbor! O Miss Cunegund, you mirror of young ladies! that it should be your fate to have your body ripped open!"
He was making the best of his way from the place where he had been preached to, whipped, absolved and blessed, when he was accosted by an old woman, who said to him, "Take courage, child, and follow me." [JS20]
and How He Found the Object of His Love
Candide followed the old woman, though without taking courage, to a decayed house, where she gave him a jar of ointment to rub on his sores, showed him a very neat bed, with a suit of clothes hanging by it; and set victuals and drink before him.
"There," said she, "eat, drink, and sleep, and may Our Lady of Atocha, and the great St. Anthony of Padua, and the illustrious St. James of Compostella, take you under their protection. I shall be back tomorrow."
Candide, struck with amazement at what he had seen, at what he had suffered, and still more with the charity of the old woman, would have shown his acknowledgment by kissing her hand.
"It is not my hand you ought to kiss," said the old woman. "I shall be back tomorrow. Anoint your back, eat, and take your rest."
Candide, notwithstanding so many disasters, ate and slept. The next morning, the old woman brought him his breakfast; examined his back, and rubbed it herself with another ointment. She returned at the proper time, and brought him his dinner; and at night, she visited him again with his supper. The next day she observed the same ceremonies.
"Who are you?" said Candide to her. "Who has inspired you with so much goodness? What return can I make you for this charitable assistance?"
"Come along with me," said she, "but do not speak a word."
She took him by the arm, and walked with him about a quarter of a mile into the country, till they came to a lonely house surrounded with moats and gardens. The old conductress knocked at a little door, which was immediately opened, and she showed him up a pair of back stairs, into a small, but richly furnished apartment. There she made him sit down on a brocaded sofa, shut the door upon him, and left him. Candide thought himself in a trance; he looked upon his whole life, hitherto, as a frightful dream, and the present moment as a very agreeable one.
The old woman soon returned, supporting, with great difficulty, a young lady, who appeared scarce able to stand. She was of a majestic mien and stature, her dress was rich, and glittering with diamonds, and her face was covered with a veil.
"Take off that veil," said the old woman to Candide.
The young man approached, and, with a trembling hand, took off her veil. What a happy moment! What surprise! He thought he beheld Miss Cunegund; he did behold her -it was she herself. [JS22]His strength failed him, he could not utter a word, he fell at her feet. Cunegund fainted upon the sofa. The old woman bedewed them with spirits; they recovered-they began to speak. At first they could express themselves only in broken accents; their questions and answers were alternately interrupted with sighs, tears, and exclamations. The old woman desired them to make less noise, and after this prudent admonition left them together.
"Good heavens!" cried Candide, "is it you? Is it Miss Cunegund I behold, and alive? Do I find you again in Portugal? then you have not been ravished? they did not rip open your body, as the philosopher Pangloss informed me?"
"But were your father and mother killed?"
"Alas!" answered she, "it is but too true!" and she wept.
"And your brother?"
"And my brother also."
"And how came you into Portugal? And how did you know of my being here? And by what strange adventure did you contrive to have me brought into this house? And how-"
"I will tell you all," replied the lady, "but first you must acquaint me with all that has befallen you since the innocent kiss you gave me, and the rude kicking you received in consequence of it."
Candide, with the greatest submission, prepared to obey the commands of his fair mistress; and though he was still filled with amazement, though his voice was low and tremulous, though his back pained him, yet he gave her a most ingenuous account of everything that had befallen him, since the moment of their separation. Cunegund, with her eyes uplifted to heaven, shed tears when he related the death of the good Anabaptist, Jacques, and of Pangloss; after which she thus related her adventures to Candide, who lost not one syllable she uttered, and seemed to devour her with his eyes all the time she was speaking.
[JS1] Pangloss cannot die! Why?
[JS2] How does Pangloss justify the idea that syphilis is all for the best?
[JS3] A dye-stuff consisting of the dried bodies of the insect Coccus cacti, which is found on several species of cactus in Mexico and elsewhere. It is used for making carmine, and as a brilliant scarlet dye (OED)
[JS4] What is Voltaire’s point about natural evils such as disease? Are they for the best or for the worst? What moral attitude should we take towards venereal disease?
[JS5] Why is bookkeeping the perfect job for an optimistic determinist?
[JS6] What is Jacques the Anabaptist’s explanation for the origin of evil?
[JS7] What natural events occur when Candide and Pangloss arrive in Lisbon?
[JS8] Drawing a conclusion prior to experience (ie deductively, not inductively)
[JS9] What are we to make of the moral implications of Jacques the Anabaptist’s sad fate?
[JS10] The Lisbon Earthquake! November 1, 1755
[JS11] What does the brutish sailor do after the earthquake strikes? (Is his character amenable to reform through ‘re-programming’?)
[JS12] What is Pangloss’ scientific explanation for the earthquake?
[JS13] What else are people capable of in Voltaire’s moral universe?
[JS14] Why would the inquisitor object to Pangloss’ explanation?
[JS15] Does Pangloss explanation of the existence of free will make any sense?
[JS16] An Act of Faith, the execution of a sentence of the Inquisition; esp. the public burning of a heretic (OED)
[JS18] Did the Inquisitor’s executions cause the new earthquakes?
[JS19] Has Candide learned anything yet?
[JS20] Is the old woman’s kindness a mere plot device to keep the story going? Or does she fit into Voltaire’s vision of human nature?
[JS21] Does human goodness exist for Voltaire? Is it more powerful than human evil?
[JS22] What are we to make of the miraculous reunion of Candide and Cunegonde?
[JS23] It seems very hard to kill Pangloss and Cunegonde. What is Voltaire’s point?