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AND OTHER ROMANCES
UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME
ZADIG AND OTHER ROMANCES
Translated by H. I. Woolf and Wilfrid Jackson,
with an Introduction and Notes by H. I. Woolf
and Illustrations by Henry Keen.
THE BODLEY HEAD
C AN D I D E
AND OTHEa romances BY
TRANSLATED by RICHARD ALDINGTON
WITH AN INTRODUCTION & NOTES
ILLUSTRATED by NORMAN TEALBY
THE ABBEY LIBRARY
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PHILOSOPHICAL ORIGINS OF CANDIDE
IN November 1755 a great earthquake occurred in
Portugal and Spain. The town of Lisbon suffered
heavily and about fifteen thousand people perished.
Many of the Protestant clergy in northern Europe
asserted that the earthquake happened because the
people of Lisbon were Roman Catholics. The clergy
of Lisbon, on the other hand, felt that the shock was
the result of divine anger at the presence of certain
Protestants in the town ; heretics were therefore forcibly
baptised, and an auto-da-fi was held, with a view to
preventing any more earthquakes. A different train of
thought was set up by this calamity in the mind of M. de
Voltaire, who was then living in Switzerland at his house
called '* Les D^lices."
The first trace of the Lisbon earthquake in Voltaire's
works occurs in his correspondence. In a letter to
M. Bertrand, dated the 28th November, Voltaire says :
** We have the sad confirmation of the disaster at
Lisbon and twenty other towns. It is a serious matter.
If Pope had been at Lisbon would he have dared to say
that All is well ? " ^
Two days later in a letter to the same person he says :
^ " All that is, is right." Essay on Man.
" You have heard of the horrible event at Lisbon.
. . . The town swallowed up in an earthquake, a hundred
thousand souls buried in the ruins, Seville damaged,
Cadiz submerged . . . here is a terrible argument
against Optimism. In the midst of such terrible events
it is shameful to think of one's own affairs."
Several letters in late November and early December
contain similar remarks, almost invariably with a remark
to the effect that the doctrines of " All is for the best "
and '* Optimism " are disproved. As Voltaire saw the
situation, a very pretty quarrel in philosophy and theology
was involved. Of course, in such important subjects
an earthquake is the merest argumentum ad hominem^ easily
brushed aside as irrelevant, especially when the philoso-
pher or the theologian is not personally affected. But
Voltaire was never above accepting an argumentum ad
hominem of this respectable force and in most of his
ethical and quasi-philosophical skirmishes he liked to
make theories in which the appearances seemed to be
saved. He had certainly expressed very strong opposi-
tion to the theory of Optimism before the Lisbon earth-
quake,^ but that calamity seemed to him a striking
refutation of the theory and he determined to exploit it.
The immediate result was the poem, Le Desastre de Lisbon^
published with a preface and elaborate notes in 1756.
At this point we must glance at the Theory of Optimism
or ** All is for the best." Leibnitz in Germany, Shaftes-
bury and Pope in England, had given currency to
optimistic views. According to Leibnitz, God is the
perfect monad ; He created a world to show His per-
fection ; He chose this out of an infinite number of
worlds ; He was guided by the ** principium melioris "
and therefore this world is the best of all possible worlds.
Shaftesbury believed in " one God whose most character-
istic attribute is universal benevolence, in the moral
^ See Memnon^ for insunce.
government of the universe, and in a future state of man
making up for the imperfections and repairing the
inequalities of the present life." Shaftesbury's views
were made widely popular by Pope's Essay on Man,
from which the following well-known lines are taken :
" Cease then, nor order Imperfection name :
Our f roper bliss depends on what toe blame.
Know thy own point : This kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heax/n bestow on thee.
Submit. In this, or any other sphere.
Secure to he as blest as thou canst bear :
Safe in the hand of one disposing Pow'r,
Or in the natal or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee ;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see ;
All Discord, Harmony, not understood ;
All partial Evil, universal Good :
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason^ s spite.
One truth is clear, whatever is, is right." ^
Upon this passage Bishop Warburton provides the
following gloss :
"... Nature being neither a blind chain of Causes
and Effects, nor yet the fortuitous result of wandering
atoms, but the wonderful Art and Direction of the all-
wise, all-good, and free Being ; whatever is, is right,
with regard to the Disposition of God, and its ultimate
The philosopher, the politician, the poet and the
bishop all make large assumptions and, in spite of some
artful qualifications which will not have escaped the
reader's eye, involve themselves in the perplexities of
the problem, of moral and physical evil.^ Their deity is
anthropomorphic, their universe is anthropocentric. If
1 Essay on Man, Epistle I, lines 281-94.
^ See Mandeville's FahU of the Bees for an early refutation of Shaftes-
their deity is all-powerful and all-good and perfectly
free, how do they explain the presence of moral and
physical evil ? Some might be satisfied with the explana-
tion that it was really not evil at all, and that everything
in the long run is made for good. '* Whatever is, is
right." Others might reject this explanation and feel
that so many difficulties arise that the wisest course is to
abandon these grandiose theories altogether. An uni-
versal calamity like the Lisbon earthquake is a knock-
down blow to the assertion that '* whatever is, is right."
At least, that was the view of M. de Voltaire and so he
penned his poem on the Desastre de Lisbon, The
publication of the poem provoked the famous Lettre d
M. de Voltaire of J. J. Rousseau, and the counter-attack
upon Rousseau, Leibnitz and Shaftesbury was Candide,
The whole debate seems unnecessarily confused by
the fact that Voltaire does not distinguish between a
supernatural and a scientific explanation of the universe ;
nor does he distinguish between " good and evil " as
absolutes and as relatives. He was trying to think
scientifically with a mind which, for all its alertness and
clarity, was still encumbered with theology. If a super-
natural view is adopted, then this is a matter of faith,
and discussion is a waste of time, as Rousseau pointed
out very cogently in his letter. Moreover, as Rousseau
also remarks, nobody denies that the individual may
suffer (/.<?. he admits relative evil), but who is to say
whether this '* evil ** is not necessary to the existence of
the universe, and, hence, whether particular " evils "
may not form the general " good " } Both combatants
were in a sense right, as generally happens in disputes,
Voltaire was certainly right in asserting that men here and
now do suflfer, and therefore, from their point of view,
** evil " does exist. But Rousseau nipped the Sage in a
pretty dilemma by hinting that he must either abandon
rrovidence (which Voltaire protested he did not do) or
admit that Providence must be ultimately beneficent.
THE POEM ON THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE
The Desastre de Lisbon opens, as is classically fitting,
with an invocation to all unfortunate mortals in general,
and to those misguided philosophers who assert that "All
is weir* in particular, to contemplate the ruins of Lisbon,
which are described in terms of graphic horror. Will you,
the poet asks the philosophers, say that these terrible
sufferings are the result of eternal laws which necessitate
the choice of a free and good God ? Will you say that this
ruin is the vengeance of God, the punishment of crimes ?
But what crime had been committed by infants on the
breasts of their mothers and was Lisbon so wicked as
London and Paris ? Lisbon is ruined and Paris is
dancing. At the sight of such suffering it is impossible
to restrain our lamentations. You assert that it is pride
on our part to say that we are unhappy and might be
happier, but was it pride in the Lisbon victims to say :
** O Heaven, pity us 1 O Heaven, have mercy on
human misery I "
You say that all is well and all is necessitated. What I
Would the whole universe have been any worse oft if
Lisbon had not been engulfed ? Are you sure that the
Eternal could not have placed us in these dreary climes
without lighting volcanoes under our feet } Do you
limit supreme power, forbid it to exercise clemency ?
Has not the eternal artist infinite means ready in His
hands for all His designs .'' I humbly wish this earth-
quake had happened in a desert. When man laments
such a disaster he is not proud but coi^passionate.
Would it have consoled the victims to say: "Die in
peace ; your homes are destroyed for the happiness of
the world ; other hands will build up your burned
palaces, other nations will be born within your ruined
walls ; your losses will enrich the North ; all your mis-
fortunes make for good in the general laws of things ;
God looks upon you with the same eye as He regards the
vile worms which will prey upon you in the grave 1 "
This is horrible language to address to the unfortunate
and is adding insult to misery.
No (Voltaire proceeds), do not tell me of the immutable
laws or necessity ; God controls the chain of events and
is not bound by it ; all is determined by His beneficent
choice ; He is free, just, not implacable. But then why
do we suffer ? Do we remove our woes by denying
them } This is a problem which has perturbed all races.
We are children of the Almighty, but born in misery ;
and we lift our hands to our common father. The pot
does not reproach the potter for its defects, but then the
pot has no heart and no speech. You say that the
misfortune of one is the good of another. A thousand
insects are born from my dead body. When death
comes as the last of my woes, it is indeed a consolation
to be eaten by worms !
I know I am a living portion of the great whole.
Yes, but animals condemned to life, all sentient beings,
born under the same laws, live in pain and die as I do.
The elements, animals, men, all are at war. We cannot
help admitting that there is evi/ in the world. We do
not know how or why ; and my mind will not allow me
to believe in Typhon or Arimane, gods of evil. But how
can we conceive a God, who is all kindness, who lavishes
gifts on His beloved children and at the same time
deluges them with evils .? Who can understand this ?
Evil cannot come from the all-good Being; it cannot
come from elsewhere, because God alone is master ; yet
it exists. A God came to console our afflicted race ; He
visited the earth but He made no change in it.
Either man was born guilty and God punishes him ;
or the Master of time and space, without wrath, without
pity, tranquil, indifferent, follows the eternal torment of
his first decrees ; or shapeless matter, rebellious against its
master, carried in itself defects as necessary as itself ; or
God tests us, and this mortal sojourn is only a brief
passage to an eternal world. Here we endure temporary
woes and death puts an end to our miseries. But when
we leave this horrible passage, who among us can assert
that he deserves to be happy }
Whatever view we take, we can only shudder. We
know nothing and fear everything ; Nature is mute.
We need a God to speak to the human race ; He alone
can explain His work, console the weak and enlighten the
wise. Without Him man leans upon a reed. Leibnitz
does not explain how, in the best ordered of possible
worlds, eternal disorder and a chaos of woes mingle real
pains with our vain pleasures ; nor why the innocent
endures the same inevitable law as the guilty. I cannot
understand how everything can be well. I am like a
doctor, alas, I know nothing.
I abandon Plato, I reject Epicurus ; Bayle knows
more than either and I will consult him. Balance in
hand, Bayle teaches us to doubt ; wise and great enough
to have no system, he destroys them all and combats
himself. What then can be achieved by the perfect
mind } Nothing. The book of fate is closed to our
gaze. Man, a stranger to himself, is unknown to man.
What am I .? When did I come } Tormented atoms
on a heap of mud, which death swallows up and fate plays
with; but thinking atoms, atoms whose eyes guided by
thought have measured the heavens. This world, this
theatre of pride and error, is full of wretches who talk of
happiness. All complain, all groan as they seek felicity ;
none would die, none would live his life again. Some-
times, in our days given up to pain, we wipe away our
tears with the hand of pleasure ; but pleasure flies away,
and passes like a shadow ; our griefs, our regrets, our
losses are without number. The past is only a sad
memory for us ; the present is dreadful, if there is no
future, if the night of the grave destroys the being which
thinks. Some day all wtll he well, that is our hope;
To-day allis well^ that is the illusion.
Humble in my sighs, submissive in my suffering, I
do not rise up against Providence. Of old, I sang the
seductive laws of sweet pleasures in less lugubrious
tones.i Other times, other manners. Instructed by
old age, sharing the weakness of wandering human
beings, seeking enlightenment in thick darkness, I can
only suffer and not murmur.
A calif at his last hour made this single prayer to his
God : " O sole King, sole limitless being, I bring all you
do not hold in your immensity — faults, regrets, evils,
igorance." But he might have added Hope.
THE POEM AND ROUSSEAU*S REPLY
I HAVE reproduced in prose so much of the poem
because it contains a serious if poetic statement of
views and ideas which are dealt with playfully and
satirically in Candide. Indeed, Candide can be fully
understood only when read in conjunction with this fine
poem. I accept it as a perfectly sincere expression of
Voltaire's feelings and doubts at the age of sixty. He had
seen and suffered much, he had written many books, had
loved and had buried Mme. du Chltelet ; he had known
the most interesting men of his age ; he had been in
prison and in exile, in kings* palaces, in humble lodgings ;
he had been unknown and poor and was now rich and
famous. He had long meditated on the problems and
mysteries of human life and destiny and had endeavoured
to console himself with a wise ignorance. The Lisbon
calamity shocked him, as injustices and misfortunes
^ Refers to Le Mondain.
little and great often did shock him to indignation or
satire, according to his mood. Under the stress of this
emotion, he once more reviewed his ideas and once more
entered his protest against a facile optimism and a dull
orthodoxy, in an arraignment of Providence, singularly
daring in that age of still active religious persecution. At
one moment in the poem he is ready to take the final step
in his reasoning, to attain coherence by rejecting the
theological hypothesis. But his courage was not equal
to the step ; old prejudices and sentiments encumbered
him ; he looked Despair in the face and, instead of
grappling with it, fled to warm doubt and hope. As a
modern French philosopher says, doubt is now the last
refuge of faith.
This poem, together with another called Sur la hoi
Naturelle, reached J. J. Rousseau in August 1756 when
he was living at Ermitage and before the progress of his
paranoia had reached the disastrous stage of suspecting
and quarrelling with everyone. One of Rousseau's
fundamental assertions was a confidence in the benefi-
cence of *' Nature," a conviction that men are born
" good," that by ** living in accordance with the dictates
of Nature " men are happy, that they are unhappy because
they "depart from Nature," and that they are "corrupted "
by the arts and sciences, by assembling in towns, by
forming artificial needs and barriers ; in a word, by
civilisation. The pessimism of Voltaire was therefore
the very antithesis of the optimism of Rousseau. Voltaire
argued that men are naturally miserable and only con-
soled by the artificial creations of civilisation ; Rousseau
argued that men are miserable because of civilisation
and could only be happy by rejecting it. Voltaire had
called the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality a ** book
directed against the human race." With the poem on
Lisbon beside him Rousseau attacked Voltaire's views and
defended his own in a long and profoundly-thought-out
letter. I shall give some passages from it.
*• I do not see that we can seek the source of moral
evil anywhere than in free, perfected, and therefore
corrupted man ; and, as to physical evils, if sentient
and impassible is a contradiction (as I think), then
they are inevitable in every system in which man is a
part; and then the question is not why man is not
perfectly happy but why he exists. Moreover, I think
I have showed that, except for death, which is hardly
an evil at all except through the preparations which have
been made to precede it, most of our physical evils are
our own work. Without leaving your subject of Lisbon
— ^you must admit, for example, that Nature did not
collect there twenty thousand houses of six or seven
storeys, and that if the inhabitants of that great town had
been dispersed more equally and housed more lightly,
the damage would have been much less, and perhaps nil.
Everyone would have fled at the first shock and the day
afterwards they would have been twenty leagues away,
all as happy as if nothing had happened. . . .
" You would have preferred the earthquake to have
happened in the desert rather than at Lisbon. Can we
doubt that they do happen in deserts ? But we do not
speak of them because they do no harm to the town-
gentlemen, the only men we consider. They do little
harm to the animals and savages which live widely
scattered over those distant places, and have nothing to
fear from falling roofs and burning houses. But what
would such a privilege indicate .? Does it mean that the
order of the world should be changed according to our
caprices, and that Nature should be submissive to our
laws, and that to prevent an earthquake we have only to
build a town."
This is poor stuff, the usual '* Nature " fallacy,^ and
^ To prevent misunderstanding I must make clear my attitude to
Rousseau's " Nature." A man disgusted by the present may look forward
or may look back. Rousseau was a poet and he looked back. He thought
mankind was suffering from too much civilisation ; Voltaire thought there
if Voltaire had only read such passages he might well have
dropped the letter in the fire and have thought no more
about it; but further on there are some more serious
arguments which might have deserved his attention.
The latter portion of the letter-pamphlet contains these
among other significant paragraphs :
" To return, Sir, to the system you attack, I think
it cannot be properly examined without a careful dis-
tinction between Particular Evils (the existence of which
no philosopher has ever denied) and General Evils, which
is denied by Optimism. It is not a question of knowing
whether each of us suffers or not, but whether it was a
good thing for the universe to exist and whether our woes
were inevitable in its constitution. Thus, it seems to
me that a slight alteration would make the proposition
more exact, and, instead of 'All is well,' it would be better
to say * The whole is well * or * All is well as regards the
whole.* Then it is very evident that no man could
produce direct proofs for or against it ; for these proofs
depend on a perfect knowledge of the world's constitu-
tion and of its author's aim, and this knowledge is incon-
testably above human intelligence. The true principles
of Optimism cannot be deduced from the properties of
matter, nor from the mechanism of the universe, but are
only arrived at by induction from the perfections of the
God who presides over all ; so that the existence of God
is not proved by Pope's system, but Pope's system is
proved by the existence of God ; and there can be no
doubt that the question of the origin of evil derives from
the question of Providence ; and if neither of these two
questions has been adequately dealt with, the reason is
that people have always argued falsely about Providence
and these absurdities have confused all the corollaries
WM not enough. I think Vohaire was right. But I think Rousseau had
a more profound mind, and certainly a more emotional and more poetic
temperament than Voltaire.
which might be drawn from this great and consoling
dogma. . . .
** To think correctly here, it seems to me that things
should be considered relatively in the physical order and
absolutely in the moral order. The highest idea I can
form of Providence is that every material being is dis-
posed in the best possible way in relation to the whole,
and that every intelligent and sentient being is disposed
in the best possible way relative to itself; so that, for
those who are conscious of existence, it is better to exist
than not to exist. But this rule must be applied to the
total duration of every sentient being, and not to some
particular instant of its duration, such as human life ;
and this shows how closely the question of Providence is
linked up with that of the Immortality of the soul, which
I am so happy as to believe in (without being ignorant
of the fact that reason may have its doubts), and with
that of the eternity of penalties which neither you nor I
nor any man who thinks properly of God will ever believe.
** I bring back these different questions to their com-
mon principle because it seems to me that they are all
linked up with that of the existence of God. If God
exists. He is perfect; if He is perfect. He is wise,
almighty and just ; if He is wise and almighty, all is well ;
if He is just and almighty, my soul is immortal ; if my
soul is immortal, thirty years of life are nothing to me
and are perhaps necessary to the continuance of the
universe. If the first proposition is granted me, the
others can never be shaken ; if it is denied, there is no
need to dispute the consequences."
Commentators on Rousseau have expressed great
surprise that Voltaire replied to this closely-reasoned
argument only with a brief and evasive letter. But
Voltaire could not reply adequately without committing
himself either to a proposition he had rejected or to a
proposition he dared not assert and perhaps dared not
entertain. Rousseau had picked out the weak spot in
Voltaire's pessimistic Deism. He would not write to
Rousseau and say : ** Your arguments convince me ; I
am fully persuaded of the existence of God and admit that
I must ultimately acknowledge myself an optimist."
Nor, on the other hand, would he follow his ideas with
the logic and candour of Diderot and say : ** I admit that
the hypothesis of God involves intolerable diliculties
and contradictions. I cannot declare that everything
is well, either relatively or absolutely ; I cannot shut my
eyes to all the misery and suffering of mankind ; I do not
believe in the immortality of the soul ; I do not believe
in a system of posthumous rewards and punishments ; I
do not believe in the natural goodness of man, nor do I
accept the absurd dogma of original sin. I therefore
abandon my hypothesis of God, for if everything must
have a cause, there must be a cause for God ; and
if God is an exception to this rule, the universe
might equally well be an exception. I look upon
man as a perfectable animal living in surroundings
which are neither actually hostile nor actively bene-
ficent to him, but indifferent. The problem is
twofold ; to control these surrounding forces to man*s
benefit, to organise men for the benefit of Man. The
end is not to be obtained through ignorance, by magic
or by ignoring facts. So far from its being true that man
in a state of nature (whatever that may mean) is superior
to and happier than civilised man, the reverse is true.
What we need is more, not less, civilisation. This
cannot be obtained except through intelligent co-opera-
tion, intensive study of the universe, common-sense and
public spirit. It cannot be obtained by returning to the
primitive and hating all one's friends in particular while
trying to love all mankind in general. Nor can it be
obtained by any sort of mumbo-jumbo rites, by totem-
worship, taboos, relics, singing, denouncing the intelli-
gence and burning opponents. The best results will not
be perfect, but we can make life more tolerable and more
secure through tolerance and common-sense, and by each
contributing what we can to the common stock. Let us
cultivate our own gardens."
This, in fact, fairly closely presents Voltaire's pro-
gramme, except that he could not abandon the hypothesis
of the deity ; either from some aristocratic prejudice in
favour of a monarchical universe or because he was afraid
of the storm and persecution which a frank rejection of
the supernatural would bring down upon him. It was
easier for Diderot to make this step than for the Sage of
Ferney. Voltaire was so conspicuous in the world, had
so many foes, was so obviously the first quarry for
religious persecution, had such dismal experience of
Bastilles and Most Christian or Most Philosophical
monarchs, that he had every excuse for prudence. In a
world of powerful fundamentalists, free, logical thought
was a dangerous indulgence. Therefore Voltaire shrank
from pushing his thinking to its logical conclusion. He
evaded the difficulties of the supernatural hypothesis like
the Epicureans before him, by setting the gods afar off,
remote, unknowable, indifferent :
Illud item non est ut fossis credere, sedes
Esse DeUm sanctus in mundi partibus ullis :
Tenuis enim natura Deiim, longeque remota
Sensibus a nostris, animi vix mente videtur.
Qua quoniam manuum tactum suffugit, et ictum.
Tactile non nobis quod sit, contigere debet ;
Tangere enim non quit, quod tangere non licet ipum}
Or, when the Lucretian irony did not suit his mood, he
would take refuge in a vague Pantheism ; or, still more
frequently, would declare that these problems are insoluble
and discussion of them a hindrance to the main business
of mankind ; which is to live peaceably, sociably and
1 Lucretius, lib. V, 147-53.
So M. de Voltaire did not answer M. Rousseau of
Geneva in the way I have imagined for him. He
declined the gambit and wrote that he was ill. But
all these things he revolved in his mind and in 1758 he
was inspired to return to the problem of ** All is well,"
and to treat it in a concrete, not an abstract, form, by
relating the adventures of a candid soul who had been
taught to believe that all is for the best in this best of all
I AM very far from supposing that the whole origin of
Candide is described in the preceding pages ; and I
do not accept blindly Rousseau's statement in the
Confessions that Candide was the direct answer to
his letter.^ But Candide is so often represented as a
merely amusing squib that I felt inclined to stress the
serious ideas underlying it and to show that these ideas were
the subject of debate at the time and had been ably attacked
by a great rival, Rousseau. Voltaire had not always
been a pessimist. In the days of Cirey and his poem the
Mondain he had inclined to more Epicurean views, at any
rate to the view that ** If all is not well, it is at least
tolerable." * But age, disappointed ambitions, mis-
fortunes, the death of Mme. du Chatelet (that ardent
disciple of Leibnitz) all tended to withdraw him from the
optimism of Pope and the German metaphysician. His
pessimism did not date from the earthquake of Lisbon
and the Seven Years' War ; it was of older growth, had
already been expressed, but became more pronounced
* Memnon^ for instance, attacks the idea that " All is well."
' See Bahouc.
and more loudly proclaimed in that period of general
I have presumed to mark at some length the features
of Voltaire's pessimism, which found its liveliest and most
popular expression in Candide. I shall not dwell on
sources, influences and comparisons, nor inquire whether
Voltaire had noticed the character of Candido in Dekker*s
The Honest Whore or had read the Simplicissus of Grim-
melshausen and the Cosmopolite of Fougeret de Mon-
bron. I shall not repeat the time-honoured comparison
with Johnson's Rasselas or trace minutely or even rapidly
the numerous passages in Voltaire's own work which are
reproduced or repeated with variations in Candide. It
is sufficient to mention that these sources, influences and
comparisons have frequently been investigated. I shall
but mention here that the second part of Candide^ printed
in more than one English translation as the work of
Voltaire, was not written by Voltaire but by some obscure
inntator, possibly Thorel de Campigneulles.
puperficially Candide is a burlesque novel of adventure,
arw"a very lively and amusing one. As a ** philosophic
lesson " its intention is tofndiculfethe Optimism of Pope,
Shaftesbury, Leibnitz andWolf^ En passant^ the novel
contrives to include a surprisinglylarge number of hits at
Voltaire's cherished aversions, from Fr^ron to Frederick,
from the Jesuits to the Inquisition. Pangloss, the
optimist philosopher, is a compound portrait of Leibnitz
and Wolff and possibly Rousseau. Xhfi Bulgarians are
the Prussians^tnefAbac^ are the Frenc^and their War
is the ^ven Years^TVan) The King wKo " was a great
genius is /Frederick the Great^ and the recruiting
sergeants wno" capture Candide *§o unscrupulously are
Prussians. Some have thought that the Cunegonde-
Candide affair is a comment on the passion of one of
Frederick's sisters for Baron Trenck, whose adventure
may be read at length in the English translation of his
memoirs recently published under the title of A Prussian
Casanova. The description of Cunegonde's brother,
the German Baron, fits Frederick admirably. All the
miseries and horrors endured and witnessed by Candide
and his friends — the earthquakes, wars, rapes, pirates,
religious persecution, swindling, &c. — are true, if slightly
exaggerated. The six ex-monarchs Candide met in Venice
really existed. The English Admiral '* shot to encour-
age the others " was Admiral Byng. Even the Signer
Pococurante had an original, for Voltaire was half poking
fun at himself when he sketched that eminent critic.
Whether portions of living ladies were cut off and eaten
by desperate beleaguered garrisons is an inquiry into
which I shall not enter, but doubtless Voltaire had some
authority for this lugubrious jest. Those who desire
to follow in more detail all these matters are referred to
the excellent edition of Candide published in 191 3 by
M. Andre Morize for the Soci^t^ des Textes Fran9ais
Candide^ though sharply criticised by Grimm when
first published, became immediately popular; at least
forty-three editions are known to have been issued
between 1759 and 1789. The story has been translated
into many languages and is certainly better known to
English readers than any other of Voltaire's works. It
is responsible for most of the hasty and superficial
generalisations about Voltaire. But he who knows only
Candide does not know Voltaire ; brilliant as it is the novel
represents only a fraction of his thought, only one aspect
of his multiform artistry. Its popularity is due to its
amusing adventures, its clear, rapid style, its concen-
trated wit, its vitality and alertness, and to its triumphant
disposal of facile optimism. Whether it really proves
anything of importance may admit of doubt, but none
can deny that it is one of the most brilliant and readable
satires ever written.
The immense reputation of Candide has very much
overshadowed Voltaire's other philosophic and moral
tales. Yet the arts of the raconteur and the satirist,
so conspicuous and so much admired in the more
famous work, are equally to be found in these smaller
pieces. An earlier volume of this series presented
translations of Ulngtnue^ La Princesse de Eahylone^
and Micromegas. Those included here are shorter
but not less brilliant; and the two volumes together
contain most of Voltaire's Romans, and certainly the best
The World as it is, or Babouc, represents a stage of
Voltaire's thought between the genial Epicureanism of
Le Mondain and the grave or sardonic pessimism of
Le Desastre de Lisbon and Candide. Its motto or moral
is, ** that if all is not well, all is at least tolerable " ; an
attitude which is perhaps the most permanent with
Voltaire. His pessimism was rarely so deep that he
could not laugh it away. Babouc is characteristic of
Voltaire's light but ruthless exposure of social abuses.
In a few pages of this fable he attacks wars of aggression,
mismanagement of hospitals, church ceremonies and
sermons, burial in churches, cicisbdisme, the sale of
offices of the law and army commissions, commercial
dishonesty, religious controversy and sectarianism, the
parasites of literature, the tax farmers and the pride of
statesmen. And at the same time he contrives to show
the compensating advantages of every one of these
inconveniences. This is one of the most truly philosophic
of Voltaire's prose fables. He is criticising lire, not from
the standpoint of sect or party, but from the point of view
of a disinterested yet humane and intelligent spectator.
Cosi-Sancta is a prose version of one of the Boccaccic
or La Fontaine contes which Voltaire loved to tell in verse.
There was scarcely a time in his life when he believed in
female virtue, and he took great delight, in old age as in
J^outh, in pointing out or illustrating the frailties of fair
adies. A good classical education or even a strong
dose of common-sense is often a preservative from
commonplace Puritanism. Voltaire never fell to that^
pettiness. He had an elfish joy in teasing churchmen '
without a sense of humour or the polish of high intelli-
gence. The superior prelates of the Church were quite
Voltaire's match in the elegance of eighteenth-century
culture. His game was the blundering bishop or the
zealous canon, who must always be fidgeting the world
with saintly propaganda. No better way of teasing them
could be found than the Boccaccio-like tale, such as
Cosi-Sancta. I suspect that the tale with its moral of
** a little ill for a great good " is a sly hit at the maxim
of the end justifying the means, which was advanced by
a few of the over-zealous members of the Society of Jesus.
That great order, which aimed at nothing less than a
mild but firm intellectual dictatorship, has been too much
calumniated for one to wish to dwell on this aspect of
Cosi-Sancta. If the reader does not think it a merry
conceited jest, he can always fall back on Tupper.
Memnon is a kind of preliminary sketch for Candide,
for even so early as 1747 we find Voltaire entering his
protest against the doctrine that ** All that is, is right."
But the main shaft of satire here is directed against self-
righteousness. Memnon is much more Catholic than
Voltaire would have cared to admit. It is the Protestant
or the Rationalist who likes to think that he need never
err, never do what he will afterwards regret ; never make
a fool of himself. An older and a wiser psychology, with
more insight and indulgence, recognised that we are all
sinners and was prepared to deal with mankind accord-
ingly. Thus Voltaire always remained partly faithful"
to Mediterranean indulgence and hated the unco guid.
Memnbn's project of being perfectly wise is very soon
exploded by his creator. In fact Memnon is so speedily
reduced to extreme misery that Voltaire has to change his
ground to excuse it, and wind up with an attack on
Optimism. It is perhaps one of Voltaire's most valuable
contributions to popular thought that he denied the
validity of both Original Sin and Optimism ; that is, he
did not deny evil with Shaftesbury and Rousseau, nor
attribute it to the sin of Adam and Eve with the Church.
Bababec and the Fakirs is a mere squib, introduced as a
specimen of Voltaire's perpetual attacks on the clergy.
The satire of ascetic practices is a little heavy and the
explanation of the ascetic's behaviour is not altogether
profound ; but the whole is most characteristic of the
eighteenth-century attitude towards all such practices.
The hermit and anchorites generally only became fashion-
able with Romanticism.
Scarmentado's Travels is another of the pieces which
read like an early draft of part of Candide. Indeed, the
Inquisition scenes in the latter are fairly closely copied
from the earlier piece. It must always be remembered
that these short pieces were to Voltaire nothing more
than the merest journalism. He wrote them well and
wittily, because everything he did was well done and he
seldom could avoid being witty ; but they were intended
as nothing more than amusing prose fables to familiarise
women and less-educated readers generally with Voltaire's
Rationalist ideas. He always liked to ram home the idea
that with men as they are, all countries and races have
their feuds, intolerances and absurdities. And he liked
to show that the worst of these are due to religious fanati-
cism. Any powerful group or sect with fanatical views
soon develops the spirit of persecution ; persecution is,
in fact, the physical expression of mental fanaticism, and
it is the greatest enemy of human happiness.
Jeannot and Colin^ though one of the shortest of
Voltaire's tales, is certainly one the most brilliant. The
moral about happiness not dwelling in vanity (which is
true enough) does not matter in comparison with this
amusing study of nouveaux riches and the profound satire
of vulgar ideas of education. Voltaire little dreamed that
M. and Mme. de la Jeannoti^re were to become the
arbiters of the world's fashion and that education would
be attacked by people with views not much more elevated
or far-sighted. The psychology of this story is much'
truer to life than that in some of the others, except for
the generosity of Colin at the end, which Voltaire must
have known was in the highest degree improbable.
Otherwise, all the character-types, though only appearing
for a few lines, are perfectly realised and vivid.
Finally, as a different specimen of Voltaire's art, I have
included Lord Chesterfield's EarSy which hovers between
dialogue and narrative and is midway between the Romans
and the propagandist pamphlets. It was written when
Voltaire was a very old man — over eighty — and not only
shows the old man's failing powers, but his endeavour to
make up for this by overdoing the scatological note. The
interest (in my opinion) is in the old man's obstinate
courage and pertinacity — still bringing a free mind to
bear upon the problems of the universe. The aged
person's love of life almost always takes the form of a
gradual conviction or desired conviction of personal
immortality. Most people do well not to deny them-
selves this gentle consolation. But I like to think of that
clear, amusing, brave spirit keeping up to the last the fight
against delusion and renewing for the thousandth time
its baffled inquiry into the mysteries of life and death.
Even those who dislike, and feel they have a right to
despise Voltaire, must grant him that courage and that
I should add that I have omitted one chapter from this
story because I thought it too cloacal and not important
enough to justify its nastiness.
I. PHILOSOPHICAL ORIGINS OF CANDIDE .
II. THE POEM ON THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE
III. THE POEM AND ROUSSEAU's REPLY
IV. CANDIDE ......
V. SHORTER TALES .....
CANDIDE: or OPTIMISM (1759):
Chapter I : How Candide was brought up in a nobie
castle^ and how he was expelled from the same . . 3
Chapter II: What happened to Candide among the
Chapter III: How Candide escaped from the Bulgarians
and what became of him ..... 9
Chapter IV: How Candide met his old master in
philosophy^ Doctor Pang/ossy and what happened . 1 2
Chapter V: Storm, shipwreck, earthquake, and what
happened to Dr. Pangloss, to Candide and the Ana-
baptist Jacques 16
Chapter VI: How a splendid auto-da-fi was held to
prevent earthquakes, and how Candide was flogged . 20
Chapter VII : How an old woman took care of Candide,
and how he regained that which he loved ... 22
Chapter VIII: Cunegonde*s Story . . . .25
Chapter IX: ^hat happened to Ctmegonde, to Candide,
to the Grand Inquisitor and to a Jew ... 29
Chapter X : How Candide, Cunegonde and the old woman
arrived at Cadiz in great distress, and how they
embarked • 3'
Chapter XI: The old woman* s story .... 34
Chapter XII: Continuation of the old woman* s misforttmes 38
Chapter XIII: How Candide was obliged to separate
from the fair Cunegonde and the old woman . . 42
Chapter XI V : How Candide and Cacambo were received
by the Jesuits in Paraguay 45
Chapter XV : How Candide killed his dear Cunegonde* s
Chapter XVI : What happened to the two travellers with
two girls, two monkeys, and the savages called Oreillons 5 2
Chapter XVII : Arrival of Candide and his valet in the
country of Eldorado and what they saw there . . 56
Chapter XV III: fVhat they saw in the land of Eldorado 60
Chapter XIX : What happened to them at Surinam^ and
how Candide made the acquaintance of Martin . . 66
Chapter XX : fFhat happened to Candide and Martin
at sea ........ 72
Chapter XXI : Candide and Martin approach the coast
of France and argue ...... 75
Chapter XXII : What happened to Candide and Martin
in France 77
Chapter XXIII: Candide and Martin reach the coast
of England ; and what they saw there . . • ^9
Chapter XXIV: Paquette and Friar Girofiee . .91
Chapter XXV : risit to the noble Venetian, Lord Poco-
curante ........ 96
Chapter XXVI : How Candide and Martin supped with
six strangers and who they were . . . .102
Chapter XXVII: Candide' s voyage to Constantinople . 106
Chapter XXVIII: What happened to Candide, to
Cwtegonde, to Pangloss, to Martin, etc. . . .111
Chapter XXIX: How Candide found Cunegonde and
the old woman again . . . . . • 1 14
Chapter XXX: Conclusion 116
THE WORLD AS IT IS: Babouc's Vision (1746):
Chapter I: The apparition . . . . .123
Chapter II: Jmdes and Hospitals . . . .124
Chapter III: Barbarity 127
Chapter IV : Elegance 1 29
Chapter V: Morals 130
Chapter VI: Venality 131
Chapter VII: The Declaimers 133
Chapter VIII: Commerce 135
Chapter IX: The Controversialists . . . .136
Chapter X: The Critics 138
Chapter XI: The Philosophers 139
Chapter XII: The Law-court 141
Chapter XIII: Finance 142
Chapter XIV: The Ministry 143
Chapter XV: Conjugal Relations . . . .145
Chapter XVI: Society 147
Chapter XVII: The Statue 148
COSI-SANCTA : a little ill for a great good, an
AFRICAN TALE (1746) 149
MEMNON, or human wisdom (1747) . . • '59
BABABEC AND THE FAKIRS (1750) .
THE STORY OF SCARMENTADO'S TRAVELS
JEANNOT AND COLIN (1764) ....
LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS (1775)
.^(■^ K<rA M'' ^'^
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Have they always been Liars Cheats Traitors Brigands
Weak Flighty Cowardly Envious Gluttonous Drunken
Grasping Ficious Bloody Backbiting Debauched Fana-
tical Hypocritical and Silly? . . . . ^4
Te Deums were sung in both camps • • • • 30
What can be the sufficient reason for this phenomenon ? 46
// pleased Heaven to send the Bulgarians to our noble castle . 62
The old Woman's story ...... 78
What would Dr. Pangloss say if he saw what the pure state
of nature is? . . . . . .94
The ingenious manner in which they and their sheep were
hoisted on to the top of the mountains . . . IIO
With the aid of medicine Candide's illness became serious . 126
Oh 1 What a superior man ! What a great genius ! Nothing
can please him . . . . .142
She saw me with my crucial incision . . . .158
I cannot see the end of my nose; the heavenly light has
disappeared . . . . . -174
The great aim of man is to succeed in society . . ^190
Translated from the German by Dr. Ralph with the additions found in
the doctor's pocket when he died at Minden, in the year of grace 1759.
How Candide ixfas brought up in a noble castle, and how he
was expelled from the same
IN the castle of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh in
Westphalia there lived a youth, endowed by Nature
with the most gentle character. His face was the
expression of his soul. His judgment was quite
honest and he was extremely simple-minded; and this
was the reason, I think, that he was named Candide.
Old servants in the house suspected that he was the son
of the Baron's sister and a decent honest gentleman of
the neighbourhood, whom this young lady would never
marry because he could only prove seventy-two quarter-
ings, and the rest of his genealogical tree was lost, owing
to the injuries of time.
The Baron was one of the most powerful lords in
Westphalia, for his castle possessed a door and windows.
His Great Hall was even decorated with a piece of
tapestry. The dogs in his stable-yards formed a pack
of hounds when necessary ; his grooms were his hunts-
men ; the village curate was his Grand Almoner. They
all called him ** My Lord," and laughed heartily at his
The Baroness weighed about three hundred and fifty
pounds, was therefore greatly respected, and did the
honours of the house with a dignity which rendered her
still more respectable. Her daughter Cunegonde, aged
seventeen, was rosy-cheeked, fresh, plump and tempting.
The Baron's son appeared in every respect worthy of his
father. The tutor Pangloss was the oracle of the house,
and little Candide followed his lessons with all the
candour of his age and character.
Pangloss taught metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigo-
logy. He proved admirably that there is no effect
without a cause and that, in this best of all possible
worlds. My Lord the Baron's castle was tlie best of
castles and his wife the best of all possible Baronesses.
*• 'Tis demonstrated," said he, " that things cannot
be otherwise ; for, since everything is made for an end,
everything is necessarily for the best end. Observe that
noses were made to wear spectacles ; and so we have
spectacles. Legs were visibly instituted to be breeched,
and we have breeches. Stones were formed to be
quarried and to build castles ; and My Lord has a very
noble castle ; the greatest Baron in the province should
have the best house ; and as pigs were made to be eaten,
we eat pork all the year round; consequently, those
who have asserted that all is well ^ talk nonsense ; they
ought to have said that all is for the best."
Candide listened attentively and believed innocently;
^ Tout est bien, all is well, said Rousseau in his famous attack oa
Voltaire's poem about the Lisbon earthquake. See Introduction.
for he thought Miss Cunegonde extremely beautiful,
although he was never bold enough to tell her so. He
decided that after the happiness of being born Baron of
Thunder-ten-tronckh, the second degree of happiness
was to be Miss Cunegonde ; the third, to see her every
day; and the fourth to listen to Doctor Pangloss, the
greatest philosopher of the province and therefore of the
One day when Cunegonde was walking near the castle,
in a little wood which was called The Park, she observed
Doctor Pangloss in the bushes, giving a lesson in experi-
mental physics to her mother's waiting-maid, a very
pretty and docile brunette. Miss Cunegonde had a
great inclination for science and watched breathlessly
the reiterated experiments she witnessed ; she observed
clearly the Doctor's sufficient reason, the effects and the
causes, and returned home very much excited, pensive,
filled with the desire of learning, reflecting that she
might be the sufficient reason of young Candide and
that he might be hers.
On her way back to the castle she met Candide and
blushed ; Candide also blushed. She bade him good-
morning in a hesitating voice ; Candide replied without
knowing what he was saying. Next day, when they left
the table after dinner, Cunegonde and Candide found
themselves behind a screen ; Cunegonde dropped her
handkerchief, Candide picked it up ; she innocently held
his hand; the young man innocently kissed the young
lady's hand with remarkable vivacity, tenderness and
grace ; their lips met, their eyes sparkled, their knees
trembled, their hands wandered. Baron Thunder-ten-
tronckh passed near the screen, and, observing this cause
and effect, expelled Candide from the castle by kicking
him in the backside frequently and hard. Cunegonde
swooned ; when she recovered her senses, the Barones^
slapped her in the face ; and all was in consternation in
the noblest and most agreeable of all possible castles.
What happened to Candide among the Bulgarians
C AND IDE, expelled from the earthly paradise^
wandered for a long time without knowing where
he was going, turning up his eyes to Heaven,
gazing back frequently at the noblest of castles
which held the most beautiful of young Baronesses ; he
lay down to sleep supperless between two furrows in
the open fields ; it snowed heavily in large flakes. The
next morning the shivering Candide, penniless, dying of
cold and exhaustion, dragged himself towards the neigh-
bouring town, which was called WaldberghofF-trarbk-
dikdorff. He halted sadly at the door of an inn. Two
men dressed in blue noticed him.
** Comrade," said one, " there's a well-built young
man of the right height."
They went up to Candide and very civilly invited him
" Gentlemen," said Candide with charming modesty,
** you do me a great honour, but I have no money to
pay my share."
" Ah, sir," said one of the men in blue, " persons of
your figure and merit never pay anything ; are you not
five feet five tall ? "
" Yes, gentlemen," said he, bowing, " that is my
" Ah, sir, come to table ; we will not only pay your
expenses, we will never allow a man like you to be short
of money ; men were only made to help each other."
" You are in the right," said Candide, " that is what
Doctor Pangloss was always telling me, and I see that
everything is for the best."
They begged him to accept a few crowns, he took
them and wished to give them an lOU ; they refused
to take it and all sat down to table.
*' Do you not love tenderly ..."
" Oh, yes," said he. '* I love Miss Cunegonde
** No," said one of the gentlemen. " We were asking
if you do not tenderly love the King of the Bulgarians."
" Not a bit," said he, " for I have never seen him."
" What 1 He is the most charming of kings, and
you must drink his health."
" Oh, gladly, gentlemen."
And he drank.
" That is sufficient," he was told. " You are now
the support, the aid, the defender, the hero of the Bul-
garians ; your fortune is made and your glory assured."
They immediately put irons on his legs and took him
to a regiment. He was made to turn to the right and
left, to raise the ramrod and return the ramrod, to take
aim, to fire, to double up, and he was given thirty strokes
with a stick ; the next day he drilled not quite so badly,
and received only twenty strokes; the day after, he
only had ten and was looked on as a prodigy by his
Candide was completely mystified and could not make
out how he was a hero. One fine spring day he thought
he would take a walk, going straight ahead, in the belief
that to use his legs as he pleased was a privilege of the
human species as well as of animals. He had not gone
two leagues when four other heroes, each six feet tall,
fell upon him, bound him and dragged him back to a
cell. He was asked by his judges whether he would
rather be thrashed thirty-six times by the whole regiment
or receive a dozen lead bullets at once in his brain.
Although he protested that men's wills are free and that
he wanted neither one nor the other, he had to make a
choice; by virtue of that gift of God which is called
liberty^ he determined to run the gauntlet thirty-six times
and actually did so twice. There were two thousand
men in the regiment. That made four thousand strokes
which laid bare the muscles and nerves from his neck
to his backside. As they were about to proceed to a
third turn, Candide, utterly exhausted, begged as a favour
that they would be so kind as to smash his head ; he
obtained this favour; they bound his eyes and he was
made to kneel down. At that moment the King of the
Bulgarians came by and inquired the victim's crime ;
and as this King was possessed of a vast genius, he
perceived from what he learned about Candide that he
was a young metaphysician very ignorant in worldly
matters, and therefore pardoned him with a clemency
which will be praised in all newspapers and all ages.
An honest surgeon healed Candide in three weeks with
the ointments recommended by Dioscorides.^ He had
already regained a little skin and could walk when the
King of the Bulgarians went to war with the King of
^ A Greek author of the time of Nero.
' The Bulgarians are the Prussians and the Abares the French. The
King of vast genius is Frederick the Great, whose recruiting methods are
glanced at in this chapter.
How Candide escaped from the Bulgarians and what became
NOTHING could be smarter, more splendid,
more brilliant, better drawn up than the two
armies. Trimipets, fifes, hautboys, drums,
cannons formed a harmony such as has never
been heard even in hell. The cannons first of all
laid flat about six thousand men on each side ; then the
musketry removed from the best of worlds some nine or
ten thousand blackguards who infested its surface. The
bayonet also was the sufficient reason for the death of
some thousands of men. The whole might amount to
thirty thousand souls. Candide, who trembled like a
philosopher, hid himself as well as he could during this
At last, while the two kings each commanded a
Te Deimi in his camp, Candide decided to go elsewhere
to reason about eflFects and causes. He clambered over
heaps of dead and dying men and reached a neighbouring
village, which was in ashes; it was an Abare village
which the Bulgarians had burned in accordance with
international law. Here, old men dazed with blows
watched the dying agonies of their murdered wives who
clutched their children to their bleeding breasts ; there,
disembowelled girls who had been made to satisfy the
natural appetites of heroes gasped their last sighs ; others,
half-burned, begged to be put to death. Brains were
scattered on the ground among dismembered arms and
Candida fled to another village as fast as he could;
it belonged to the Bulgarians, and Abarian heroes had
treated it in the same way. Candide, stumbling over
quivering limbs or across ruins, at last escaped from the
theatre of war, carrying a little food in his knapsack,
and never forgetting Miss Cunegonde. His provisions
were all gone when he reached Holland ; but, having
heard that everyone in that country was rich and a
Christian, he had no doubt at all but that he would be
as well treated as he had been in the Baron's castle
before he had been expelled on account of Miss Cune-
gonde's pretty eyes.
He asked an alms of several grave persons, who all
replied that if he continued in that way he would be
shut up in a house of correction to teach him how to
He then addressed himself to a man who had been
discoursing on charity in a large assembly for an horn-
on end. This orator, glancing at him askance,
" What are you doing here } Are you for the good
cause ? "
" There is no effect without a cause," said Candide
modestly. " Everything is necessarily linked up and
arranged for the best. It was necessary that I should
be expelled from the company of Miss Cunegonde, that
I ran the gauntlet, and that I beg my bread until I can
earn it; all this could not have happened differently."
" My friend," said the orator, *' do you believe that
the Pope is Anti-Christ .? "
" I had never heard so before," said Candide, ** but
whether he is or isn't, I am starving."
** You don't deserve to eat," said the other. " Hence,
rascal ; hence, you wretch ; and never come near me
The orator's wife thrust her head out of the window
and seeing a man who did not believe that the Pope
CANDIDE ^ II
was Anti-Christ, she poured on his head a^fuli 9^. ^/""^e
O Heavens ! To what excess religious zeal is carried
by ladies !
A man who had not been baptised, an honest Ana-
baptist named Jacques, saw the cruel and ignominious
treatment of one of his brothers, a featherless two-legged
creature with a soul ; he took him home, cleaned him
up, gave him bread and beer, presented him with two
florins, and even offered to teach him to work at the
manufacture of Persian stuffs which are made in Holland.
Candide threw himself at the man's feet, exclaiming :
" Doctor Pangloss was right in telling me that all is
for the best in this world, for I am vastly more touched
by your extreme generosity than by the harshness of the
gentleman in the black cloak and his good lady."
The next day when he walked out he met a beggar
covered with sores, dull-eyed, with the end of his nose
fallen away, his mouth awry, his teeth black, who talked
huskily, was tormented with a violent cough and spat
out a tooth at every cough.
Hov) Candide met kis old master in philosophy^ Doctor
Pangloss, and what happened
CANDIDE, moved even more by compassion
than by horror, gave this horrible beggar the
two crowns he had received from the honest
Anabaptist, Jacques. The phantom gazed fix-
edly at him, shed tears and threw its arms round his
neck. Candide recoiled in terror.
" Alas I " said the wretch to the other wretch, " don't
you recognise your dear Pangloss ? **
" What do I hear } You, my dear master I You, in
this horrible state 1 What misfortune has happened to
you ? Why are you no longer in the noblest of castles }
What has become of Miss Cunegonde, the pearl of
young ladies, the masterpiece of Nature } "
** I am exhausted," said Pangloss. Candide imme-
diately took him to the Anabaptist's stable, where he
gave him a little bread to eat ; and when Pangloss had
" Well 1 " said he, " Cunegonde } "
" I^ead," replied the other.
At this word Candide swooned ; his friend restored
him to his senses with a little bad vinegar which hap-
pened to be in the stable. Candide opened his eyes.
" Ounegonde dead ! Ah ! best of worlds, where are
you? But what illness did she die of ? Was it because
she saw me kicked out of her father's noble castle ? "
'* No," said Pangloss. " She was disembowelled by
Bulgarian soldiers, after having been raped to the limit
of possibility; they broke the Baron's head when he
tried to defend her ; the Baroness was cut to pieces ;
my poor pupil was treated exactly like his sister; and
as to the castle, there is not one stone standing on
another, not a barn, not a sheep, not a duck, not a tree ;
but we were well avenged, for the Abares did exactly
the same to a neighbouring barony which belonged to a
At this, Candide swooned again ; but, having re-
covered and having said all that he ought to say, he
inquired the cause and effect, the sufficient reason which
had reduced Pangloss to so piteous a state.
*' Alas I " said Pangloss, '* 'tis love ; love, the consoler
of the human race, the preserver of the universe, the
soul of all tender creatures, gentle love."
** Alas 1 " said Candide, " I am acquainted with this
love, this sovereign of hearts, this soul of our soul ; it
has never brought me anything but one kiss and twenty
kicks in the backside. How could this beautiful cause
produce in you so abominable an effect ? "
Pangloss replied as follows :
" My dear Candide 1 You remember Paquette, the
maid-servant of our august Baroness; in her arms I
enjoyed the delights of Paradise which have produced
the tortures of Hell by which you see I am devoured ;
she was infected and perhaps is dead. Paquette received
this present from a most learned monk, who had it from
the source; for he received it from an old countess,
who had it from a cavalry captain, who owed it to a
marchioness, who derived it from a page, who had
received it from a Jesuit, who, when a novice, had it in
a direct line from one of the companions of Christopher
Columbus. For my part, I shall not give it to anyone,
for I am dying."
'* O Pangloss ! " exclaimed Candide, ** this is a strange
genealogy I Wasn't the devil at the root of it ? "
*' Not at all," replied that great man. " It was
something indispensable in this best of worlds, a neces-
sary ingredient ; for, if Columbus in an island of America
had not caught this disease, which poisons the source of
generation, and often indeed prevents generation, we
should not have chocolate and cochineal ; it must also
be noticed that hitherto in our continent this disease is
peculiar to us, like theological disputes. The Turks,
the Indians, the Persians, the Chinese, the- Siamese and
the Japanese are not yet familiar with it ; but there is a
sufficient reason why they in their turn should become
familiar with it in a few centuries. Meanwhile, it has
made marvellous progress among us, and especially in
those large armies composed of honest, well-bred stipen-
diaries who decide the destiny of States; it may be
asserted that when thirty thousand men fight a pitched
battle against an equal number of troops, there are about
twenty thousand with the pox on either side."
** Admirable I " said Candide. ** But you must get
** How can I ? " said Pangloss. " I haven't a sou,
my friend, and in the whole extent of this globe, you
cannot be bled or receive an enema without paying or
without someone paying for you."
This last speech determined Candide; he went and
threw himselr at the feet of his charitable Anabaptist,
Jacques, and drew so touching a picture of the state to
which his friend was reduced that the good easy man
did not hesitate to succour Pangloss ; he had him cured
at his own expense. In this cure Pangloss only lost one
eye and one ear. He could write well and knew arith-
metic perfectly. The Anabaptist made him his book-
keeper. At the end of two months he was compelled
Z_ ^^'i&g, <Deb(mcQ Jmaiiad cH^nml an^
to go to Lisbon on business and took his two philosophers
on the boat with him. Pangloss explained to him how
everything was for the best. Jacques was not of this
" Men," said he, ** must have corrupted nature a
little, for they were not born wolves, and they have
become wolves. God did not give them twenty-four-
pounder cannons or bayonets, and they have made
bayonets and cannons to destroy each other. I might
bring bankruptcies into the account and Justice which
seizes the goods of bankrupts in order to deprive the
creditors of them."
" It was all indispensable," replied the one-eyed doctor,
" and private misfortunes make the public good, so that
the more private misfortunes there are, the more every-
thing is well."
While he was reasoning, the air grew dark, the winds
blew from the four quarters of the globe and the ship
was attacked by the most horrible tempest in sight of
the port of Lisbon.
Storniy shipwreck^ earthquake^ and what happened to Dr,
Pang/osSy to Candide and the Anabaptist Jacques
HALF the enfeebled passengers, suffering from
that inconceivable anguish which the rolling
of a ship causes in the nerves and in all the
humours of bodies shaken in contrary direc-
tions, did not retain strength enough even to trouble
about the danger. The other half screamed and prayed ;
the sails were torn, the masts broken, the vessel was leaking.
Those worked who could, no one co-operated, no one
commanded. The Anabaptist tried to help the crew a
little ; he was on the main-deck ; a furious sailor struck
him violently and stretched him on the deck; but the
blow he delivered gave him so violent a shock that he
fell head-first out of the ship. He remained hanging
and clinging to part of the broken mast. The good
Jacques ran to his aid, helped him to climb back, and
from the effort he made was flung into the sea in full
view of the sailor, who allowed him to drown without
condescending even to look at him. Candide came up,
saw his benefactor reappear for a moment and then be
engulfed for ever. He tried to throw himself after him
into the sea; he was prevented by the philosopher
Pangloss, who proved to him that the Lisbon roads
had been expressly created for the Anabaptist to be
drowned in them. While he was proving this a prioriy
the vessel sank, and everyone perished except Pangloss,
Candide and the brutal sailor who had drowned the
virtuous Anabaptist ; the blackguard swam successfully
to the shore ana Pangloss and Candide were carried there
on a plank.
When they had recovered a little, they walked toward
Lisbon ; they had a little money by the help of which
they hoped to be saved from hunger after having escaped
Weeping the death of their benefactor, they had
scarcely set foot in the town when they felt the earth
tremble under their feet ; the sea rose in foaming masses
in the port and smashed the ships which rode at anchor.
Whirlwinds of flame and ashes covered the streets and
squares ; the houses collapsed, the roofs were thrown
upon the foundations, and the foundations were scattered ;
thirty thousand inhabitants of every age and both sexes
were crushed under the ruins. Whistling and swearing,
the sailor said :
'* There'll be something to pick up here."
** What can be the sufficient reason for this pheno-
menon .? " said Pangloss.
*' It is the last day 1 " cried Candide.
The sailor immediately ran among the debris, dared
death to find money, found it, seized it, got drunk, and
having slept off his wine, purchased the favours of the
first woman of good-will he met on the ruins of the
houses and among the dead and dying. Pangloss,
however, pulled him by the sleeve.
'* My friend," said he, " this is not well, you are dis-
regarding universal reason, you choose the wrong time."
" Blood and 'ounds I " he retorted, "I am a sailor
and I was born in Batavia ; four times have I stamped
on the crucifix during four voyages to Japan ; * you
have found the right man for your universal reason I "
* After a conspiracy of Christians in Japan, all foreigners were expelled.
The Dutch, who had revealed the plot to the Emperor of Japan, alone
were permitted to remain, on condition that they gave up all signs of
Christianity and stamped on the crucifix.
Candidc had been hurt by some falling stones; he
lay in the street covered with debris. He said to
'* Alas ! Get me a little wine and oil ; I am dying."
" This earthquake is not a new thing," replied Pan-
gloss. " The town of Lima felt the same shocks in
America last year ; similar causes produce similar effects ;
there must certainly be a train of sulphur underground
from Lima to Lisbon."
" Nothing is more probable," replied Candide ; ** but,
for God's sake, a little oil and wine."
** What do you mean, probable ? " replied the philo-
sopher ; " I maintain that it is proved."
Candide lost consciousness, and Pangloss brought him
a little water from a neighbouring fountain.
Next day they found a little food as they wandered
among the ruins and regained a little strength. After-
wards they worked like others to help the inhabitants
who had escaped death. Some citizens they had assisted
gave them as good a dinner as could be expected in such
a disaster ; true, it was a dreary meal ; the hosts watered
their bread with their tears, but Pangloss consoled them
by assuring them that things could not be otherwise.
" For," said he, *' all this is for the best ; for, if there
is a volcano at Lisbon, it cannot be anywhere else ; for
it is impossible that things should not be where they
are ; for all is well."
A little, dark man, a familiar of the Inquisition, who
sat beside him, politely took up the conversation, and
** Apparently you do not believe in original sin ; for,
if everything is for the best, there was neither fall nor
** I most humbly beg your excellency's pardon," replied
Pangloss still more politely, " for the fall of man and
the curse necessarily entered into the best of all possible
'• Then you do not believe in free-will ? " said the
" Your excellency will pardon me," said Pangloss ;
'* free-will can exist with absolute necessity ; for it was
necessary that we should be free ; for in short, limited
will . . ."
Pangloss was in the middle of his phrase when the
familiar nodded to his armed attendant who was pouring
out port or Oporto wine for him.
How a splendid auto-da-fe was held to prevent earthquakes^
and how Candide was flogged
AFTER the earthquake which destroyed three-
quarters of Lisbon, the wise men of that country
could discover no more efficacious way of pre-
venting a total ruin than by giving the people
a splendid auto-da-fe. It was decided by the university
of Coimbre that the sight of several persons being slowly
burned in great ceremony is an infallible secret for
Consequently they had arrested a Biscayan convicted
of having married his fellow-godmother, and two Portu-
guese who, when eating a chicken, had thrown away the
bacon ; after dinner they came and bound Dr. Pangloss
and his disciple Candide, one because he had spoken
and the other because he had listened with an air of
approbation ; they were both carried separately to ex-
tremely cool apartments, where there was never any
discomfort from the sun ; a week afterwards each was
dressed in a sanbenito and their heads were ornamented
with paper mitres ; Candide's mitre and sanbenito were
painted with flames upside down and with devils who
had neither tails nor claws ; but Pangloss's devils had
claws and tails, and his flames were upright.
Dressed in this manner they marched in procession
and listened to a most pathetic sermon, followed by
lovely plain-song music. Candide was flogged in time
to the music, while the singing went on ; the Biscayan
and the two men who had not wanted to eat bacon were
burned, and Pangloss was hanged, although this is not
the custom. The very same day, the earth shook again
with a terrible clamour.
Candide, terrified, dumbfounded, bewildered, covered
with blood, quivering from head to foot, said to himself :
** If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are
the others .? Let it pass that I was flogged, for I was
flogged by the Bulgarians, but, O my dear Pangloss 1
The greatest of philosophers I Must I see you hanged
without knowing why ! O my dear Anabaptist ! The
best of men 1 Was it necessary that you should be
drowned in port I O Miss Cunegonde 1 The pearl of
women ! Was it necessary that your belly should be
slit ! •*
He was returning, scarcely able to support himself,
preached at, flogged, absolved and blessed, when an old
woman accosted him and said :
** Courage, my son, follow me."
How an old woman took care of Candide and how he regained
that which he loved
CANDIDE did not take courage, but he followed
the old woman to a hovel ; she gave him a pot
of ointment to rub on, and left him food and
drink ; she pointed out a fairly clean bed ; near
the bed there was a suit of clothes.
*' Eat, drink, sleep," said she, *' and may our Lady
of Atocha, my Lord Saint Anthony of Padua and my
Lord Saint James of Compostella take care of you ; I
shall come back to-morrow."
Candide, still amazed by all he had seen, by all he
had suffered, and still more by the old woman's charity,
tried to kiss her hand.
** 'Tis not my hand you should kiss," said the old
woman, " I shall come back to-morrow. Rub on the
ointment, eat and sleep."
In spite of all his misfortune, Candide ate and went
to sleep. Next day the old woman brought him break-
fast, examined his back and smeared him with another
ointment ; later she brought him dinner, and returned
in the evening with supper. The next day she went
through the same ceremony.
" Who are you } " Candide kept asking her. " Who
has inspired you with so much kindness ? How can I
thank you ? "
The good woman never made any reply ; she returned
in the evening without any supper.
" Come with me," said she, " and do not speak a
She took him by the arm and walked into the country
with him for about a quarter of a mile ; they came to an
isolated house, surrounded with gardens and canals.
The old woman knocked at a little door. It was opened ;
she led Candide up a back stairway into a gilded apart-
ment, left him on a brocaded sofa, shut the door and
went away. Candide thought he was dreaming, and felt
that his whole life was a bad dream and the present
moment an agreeable dream.
The old woman soon reappeared ; she was supporting
with some difficulty a trembling woman of majestic
stature, glittering with precious stones and covered with
** Remove the veil," said the old woman to Candide.
The young man advanced and lifted the veil with a
timid hand. What a moment 1 What a surprise ! He
thought he saw Miss Cunegonde, in fact he was looking
at her, it was she herself. His strength failed him, he
could not utter a word and fell at her feet. Cunegonde
fell on the sofa. The old woman dosed them with
distilled waters ; they recovered their senses and began
to speak : at first they uttered only broken words, ques-
tions and answers at cross purposes, sighs, tears, exclama-
tions. The old woman advised them to make less noise
and left them alone.
** What ! Is it you } " said Candide. " You are alive,
and I find you here in Portugal ! Then you were not
raped ? Your belly was not slit, as the philosopher
Pangloss assured me ? "
** Yes, indeed," said the fair Cunegonde ; " but those
two accidents are not always fatal."
*' But your father and mother were killed ? "
** 'Tis only too true," said Cunegonde, weeping.
** And your brother ? "
*' My brother was killed too."
*' And why are you in Portugal ? And how did you
know I was here ? And by what strange adventure
have you brought me to this house ? "
" I will tell you everything," replied the lady, "but
first of all you must tell me everything that has happened
to you since the innocent kiss you gave me and the kicks
Candide obeyed with profound respect ; and, although
he was bewildered, although his voice was weak and
trembling, although his back was still a little painful, he
related in the most natural manner all he had endured
since the moment of their separation. Cunegonde raised
her eyes to Heaven ; she shed tears at the death of the
good Anabaptist and Pangloss, after which she spoke
as follows to Candide, who did not miss a word and
devoured her with his eyes.
" "^^ WAS fast asleep in bed when it pleased Heaven
I to send the Bulgarians to our noble castle of
■ Thunder-ten-tronckh ; they murdered my father
JL and brother and cut my mother to pieces. A
large Bulgarian six feet tall, seeing that I had swooned
at the spectacle, began to rape me ; this brought me to,
I recovered my senses, I screamed, I struggled, I bit, I
scratched, I tried to tear out the big Bulgarian's eyes,
not knowing that what was happening in my father's
castle was a matter of custom ; the brute stabbed me
with a knife in the left side where I still have the scar."
" Alas ! I hope I shall see it," said the naif Candide.
" You shall see it," said Cunegonde, ** but let me
'* Go on," said Candide.
She took up the thread of her story as follows :
" A Bulgarian captain came in, saw me covered with
blood, and the soldier did not disturb himself. The
captain was angry at the brute's lack of respect to him,
and killed him on my body. Afterwards, he had me
bandaged and took me to his billet as a prisoner of war.
I washed the few shirts he had and did the cooking ; I
must admit he thought me very pretty ; and I will not
deny that he was very well built and that his skin was
white and soft ; otherwise he had little wit and little
philosophy ; it was plain that he had not been brought
up by Dr. Pangloss. At the end of three months he
lost all his money and got tired of me ; he sold me to a
Jew named Don Issachar, who traded in Holland and
Portugal and had a passion for women. This Jew
devoted himself to my person but he could not triumph
over it ; I resisted him better than the Bulgarian soldier ;
a lady of honour may be raped once, but it strengthens
her virtue. In order to subdue me, the Jew brought
me to this country house. Up till then I believed that
there was nothing on earth so splendid as the castle of
Thunder-ten-tronckh ; I was undeceived.
" One day the Grand Inquisitor noticed me at Mass ;
he ogled me continually and sent a message that he
wished to speak to me on secret affairs. I was taken to
his palace ; I informed him of my birth ; he pointed
out how much it was beneath my rank to belong to an
Israelite. A proposition was made on his behalf to Don
Issachar to give me up to His Lordship. Don Issachar,
who is the court banker and a man of influence, would
not agree. The Inquisitor threatened him with an auto-
da-fe. At last the Jew was frightened and made a bargain
whereby the house and I belong to both in common.
The Jew has Mondays, Wednesdays and the Sabbath
day, and the Inquisitor has the other days of the week.
This arrangement has lasted for six months. It has not
been without quarrels ; for it has often been debated
whether the night between Saturday and Sunday belonged
to the old law or the new. For my part, I have hitherto
resisted them both ; and I think that is the reason why
they still love me.
" At last My Lord the Inquisitor was pleased to
arrange an auto-da-fe to remove the scourge of earth-
quakes and to intimidate Don Issachar. He honoured
me with an invitation. I had an excellent seat ; and
refreshments were served to the ladies between the Mass
and the execution. I was indeed horror-stricken when
I saw the burning of the two Jews and the honest
Biscayan who had married his fellow-godmother ; but
what was my surprise, my terror, my anguish, when I
saw in a sanbenito and under a mitre a face which
resembled Pangloss's ! I rubbed my eyes, I looked
carefully, I saw him hanged ; and I fainted. I had
scarcely recovered my senses when I saw you stripped
naked ; that was the height of horror, of consternation,
of grief and despair. I will frankly tell you that your
skin is even whiter and of a more perfect tint than that
of my Bulgarian captain. This spectacle redoubled all
the feelings which crushed and devoured me. I ex-
claimed, I tried to say ; * Stop, barbarians ! ' but my
voice failed and my cries would have been useless.
When you had been well flogged, I said to myself:
* How does it happen that the charming Candide and
the wise Pangloss are in Lisbon, the one to receive a
hundred lashes, and the other to be hanged, by order of
My Lord the Inquisitor, whose darling I am ? Pangloss
deceived me cruelly when he said that all is for the best
in the world.*
" I was agitated, distracted, sometimes beside myself
and sometimes ready to die of faintness, and my head
was filled with the massacre of my father, of my mother,
of my brother, the insolence of my horrid Bulgarian
soldier, the gash he gave me, my slavery, my life as a
kitchen-wench, my Bulgarian captain, my horrid Don
Issachar, my abominable Inquisitor, the hanging of Dr.
Pangloss, that long plain-song miserere during which you
were flogged, and above all the kiss I gave you behind
the screen that day when I saw you for the last time. I
praised God for bringing you back to me through so
many trials, I ordered my old woman to take care of
you and to bring you here as soon as she could. She
has carried out my commission very well ; I have enjoyed
the inexpressible pleasure of seeing you again, of listening
to you, and of speaking to you. You must be very
hungry ; I have a good appetite ; let us begin by having
Both sat down to supper; and after supper they
returned to the handsome sofa we have already men-
tioned ; they were still there when Signor Don Issachar,
one of the masters of the house, arrived. It was the
day of the Sabbath. He came to enjoy his rights and
to express his tender love.
What happened to Cunegonde^ to Candide^ to the Grand
Inquisitor and to a Jew
THIS Issachar was the most choleric Hebrew
who had been seen in Israel since the Babylonian
" What ! " said he. " Bitch of a Galilean,
isn't it enough to have the Inquisitor ? Must this
scoundrel share with me too ? "
So saying, he drew a long dagger which he always
carried and, thinking that his adversary was unarmed,
threw himself upon Candide ; but our good Westphalian
had received an excellent sword from the old woman
along with his suit of clothes. He drew his sword,
and although he had a most gentle character, laid the
Israelite stone-dead on the floor at the feet of the fair
" Holy Virgin 1 " she exclaimed, " what will become
of us } A man killed in my house 1 If the police come
we are lost."
*' If Pangloss had not been hanged," said Candide,
" he would have given us good advice in this extremity,
for he was a great philosopher. In default of him, let
us consult the old woman."
She was extremely prudent and was beginning to give
her advice when another little door opened. It was an
hour after midnight, and Sunday was beginning.
This day belonged to My Lord the Inquisitor. He
came in and saw the flogged Candide sword in hand, a
corpse lying on the ground, Cunegonde in terror, and
the old woman giving advice.
At this moment, here is what happened in Candide's
soul and the manner of his reasoning :
" If this holy man calls for help, he will infallibly
have me burned ; he might do as much to Cunegonde ;
he had me pitilessly lashed ; he is my rival ; I am in the
mood to kill, there is no room for hesitation."
His reasoning was clear and swift; and, without giving
the Inquisitor time to recover from his surprise, he
pierced him through and through and cast him beside
*' Here's another," said Cunegonde, " there is no
chance of mercy; we are excommunicated, our last
hour has come. How does it happen that you, who
were born so mild, should kill a Jew and a prelate in
two minutes ? "
" My dear young lady," replied Candide, " when a
man is in love, jealous, and has been flogged by the
Inquisition, he is beside himself."
The old woman then spoke up and said :
" In the stable are three Andalusian horses, with their
saddles and bridles ; let the brave Candide prepare them ;
madam has moidores and diamonds; let us mount
quickly, although I can only sit on one buttock, and go
to Cadiz; the weather is beautifully fine, and it is most
pleasant to travel in the coolness of the night."
Candide immediately saddled the three horses. Cune-
gonde, the old woman and he rode thirty miles without
While they were riding away, the Holy Hermandad
arrived at the house ; My Lord was buried in a splendid
church and Issachar was thrown into a sewer.
Candide, Cunegonde and the old woman had already
reached the little town of Avacena in the midst of the
mountains of the Sierra Morena ; and they talked in
their inn as follows.
How Candide, Cunegonde and the old woman arrived at
Cadiz in great distress^ and how they embarked
•' 'W 'W' THO can have stolen my pistoles and my
% M / diamonds ? ** said Cunegonde, weeping.
^U ^ " How shall we live ? What shall we do ?
▼ ▼ Where shall we find Inquisitors and Jews
to give me others ? "
" Alas ! " said the old woman, ** I strongly suspect a
reverend Franciscan father who slept in the same inn at
Badajoz with us ; Heaven forbid that I should judge
rashly ! But he twice came into our room and left long
before we did."
" Alas ! " said Candide, " the good Pangloss often
proved to me that this world's goods are common to all
men and that everyone has an equal right to them.
According to these principles the monk should have left
us enough to continue our journey. Have you nothing
left then, my fair Cunegonde } "
" Not a maravedi," said she.
** What are we to do .? " said Candide.
" Sell one of the horses," said the old woman. " I
will ride postillion behind Miss Cunegonde, although I
can only sit on one buttock, and we will get to Cadiz."
In the same hotel there was a Benedictine friar. He
bought the horse very cheap. Candide, Cunegonde and
the old woman passed through Lucena, Chillas, Lebrixa,
and at last reached Cadiz. A fleet was there being
equipped and troops were being raised to bring to reason
the reverend Jesuit fathers of Paraguay, who were accused
of causing the revolt of one of their tribes against the
kings of Spain and Portugal near the town of Sacramento.
Candide, having served with the Bulgarians, went through
the Bulgarian drill before the general of the little army
with so much grace, celerity, skill, pride and agility, that
he was given the command of an infantry company.
He was now a captain ; he embarked with Miss Cune-
gonde, the old woman, two servants, and the two Anda-
lusian horses which had belonged to the Grand Inquisitor
During the voyage they had many discussions about
the philosophy of poor Pangloss.
** We are going to a new world," said Candide, ** and
no doubt it is there that everything is for the best ; for
it must be admitted that one might lament a little over
the physical and moral happenings in our own world.**
** I love you with all my heart," said Cunegonde,
** but my soul is still shocked by what I have seen and
** All will be well," replied Candide ; ** the sea in
this new world already is better than the seas of our
Europe ; it is calmer and the winds are more constant.
It is certainly the new world which is the best of all
" God grant it ! " said Cunegonde, '* but I have been
so horribly unhappy in mine that my heart is nearly
closed to hope.'*
" You complain," said the old woman to them.
** Alas 1 you have not endured such misfortunes as
Cunegonde almost laughed and thought it most
amusing of the old woman to assert that she was more
** Alas 1 my dear," said she, ** unless you have been
raped by two Bulgarians, stabbed twice in the belly,
have had two castles destroyed, two fathers and mothers
murdered before your eyes, and have seen two of your
lovers flogged in an auto-da-fe^ I do not see how you can
surpass me ; moreover, I was born a Baroness with
seventy-two quarterings and I have been a kitchen-
'* You do not know my birth," said the old woman,
" and if I showed you my backside you would not talk
as you do and you would suspend your judgment."
This speech aroused intense curiosity in the minds of
Cunegonde and Candide. And the old woman spoke as
The old woman*s story
Y eyes were not always bloodshot and red-
rimmed ; my nose did not always touch
my chin and I was not always a servant.
I am the daughter of Pope Urban X and
the Princess of Palestrina.^ Until I was fourteen I was
brought up in a palace to which all the castles of your
German Barons would not have served as stables ; and
one of my dresses cost more than all the magnificence
of Westphalia. I increased in beauty, in grace, in talents,
among pleasures, respect and hopes ; already I inspired
love, my breasts were forming ; and what breasts !
White, firm, carved like those of the Venus de* Medici.
And what eyes 1 What eyelids ! What black eyebrows I
What fire shone from my two eyeballs, and dimmed the
glitter of the stars, as the local poets pointed out to me.
The women who dressed and undressed me fell into
ecstasy when they beheld me in front and behind ; and
all the men would have liked to be in their place.
" I was betrothed to a ruling prince of Massa-Carrara.
What a prince I As beautiful as I was, formed of
gentleness and charms, brilliantly witty and burning with
love ; I loved him with a first love, idolatrously and
extravagantly. The marriage ceremonies were arranged
with unheard-of pomp and magnificence ; there were
continual fStes, revels and comic operas ; all Italy wrote
sonnets for me, and not a good one among them.
* A posthumously printed note of Voltaire's on this passage runs as
follows : " Notice die author's extreme discretion ; up till now there has
never been any Pope called Urban X ; he shrank from giving a bastard to
a known Pope. What circumspection ! What conscientious delicacy 1 "
** I touched the moment of my happiness when an
old marchioness who had been my prince's mistress
invited him to take chocolate with her; less than two
hours afterwards he died in horrible convulsions ; but
that is only a trifle. My mother was in despair, though
less distressed than I, and wished to absent herself for a
time from a place so disastrous. She had a most beautiful
estate near Gaeta ; we embarked on a galley, gilded like
the altar of St. Peter's at Rome. A Salle pirate swooped
down and boarded* us; our soldiers defended us like
soldiers of the Pope ; they threw down their arms, fell
on their knees and asked the pirates for absolution in
" They were immediately stripped as naked as monkeys
and my mother, our ladies of honour and myself as well.
The diligence with which these gentlemen strip people
is truly admirable ; but I was still more surprised by
their inserting a finger in a place belonging to all of us
where we women usually only allow the end of a syringe.
This appeared to me a very strange ceremony ; but that
is how we judge everything when we leave our own
country. I soon learned that it was to find out if we
had hidden any diamonds there ; 'tis a custom established
from time immemorial among the civilised nations who
roam the seas. I have learned that the religious Knights
of Malta never fail in it when they capture Turks and
Turkish women ; this is an international law which has
never been broken.
** I will not tell you how hard it is for a young princess
to be taken with her mother as a slave to Morocco ; you
will also guess all we had to endure in the pirates' ship.
My mother was still very beautiful ; our ladies of honour,
even our waiting-maids possessed more charms than
could be found in all Africa ; and I was ravishing, I was
beauty, grace itself, and I wrs a virgin ; I did not remain
so long ; the flower which had been reserved for the
handsome prince of Massa-Carrara was ravished from
me by a pirate captain ; he was an abominable negro
who thought he was doing me a great honour. The
Princess of Palestrina and I must indeed have been
strong to bear up against all we endured before our
arrival in Morocco ! But let that pass ; these things
are so common that they are not worth mentioning.
** Morocco was swimming in blood when we arrived.
The fifty sons of the Emperor Muley Ismael had each a
faction ; and this produced fifty civil wars, of blacks
against blacks, browns against browns, mulattoes against
mulattoes. There was continual carnage throughout the
whole extent of the empire.
" Scarcely had we landed when the blacks of a party
hostile to that of my pirate arrived with the purpose of
depriving him of his booty. After the diamonds and
the gold, we were the most valuable possessions. I
witnessed a fight such as is never seen in your European
climates. The blood of the northern peoples is not
sufficiently ardent; their madness for women does not
reach the point which is common in Africa. The
Europeans seem to have milk in their veins ; but vitriol
and fire flow in the veins of the inhabitants of Mount
Atlas and the neighbouring countries. They fought with
the fury of the lions, tigers and serpents of the country
to determine who should have us. A Moor grasped
my mother by the right arm, my captain's lieutenant
held her by the left arm ; a Moorish soldier held one
leg and one of our pirates seized the other. In a moment
nearly all our women were seized in the same way by
four soldiers. My captain kept me hidden behind him ;
he had a scimitar in his hand and killed everybody who
opposed his fury. I saw my mother and all our Italian
women torn in pieces, gashed, massacred by the monsters
who disputed them. The prisoners, my companions,
those who had captured them, soldiers, sailors, blacks,
browns, whites, mulattoes and finally my captain were
all killed and I remained expiring on a heap of corpses.
As everyone knows, such scenes go on in an area of
more than three hundred square leagues and yet no one
ever fails to recite the five daily prayers ordered by
*• With great difficulty I extricated myself from the
bloody heaps of corpses and dragged myself to the foot
of a large orange-tree on the bank of a stream ; there
I fell down with terror, weariness, horror, despair and
hunger. Soon afterwards, my exhausted senses fell into
a sleep which was more like a swoon than repose. I
was in this state of weakness and insensibility between
life and death when I felt myself oppressed by something
which moved on my body. I opened my eyes and saw
a white man of good appearance who was sighing and
muttering between his teeth : O che sciagura d'essere
senza coglioni I
Continuation of the old woman's misfortunes
AMAZED and delighted to hear my native
language, and not less surprised at the words
spoken by this man, I replied that there were
greater misfortunes than that of which he
complained. In a few words I informed him of the
horrors I had undergone and then swooned again. He
carried me to a neighbouring house, had me put to bed,
gave me food, waited on me, consoled me, flattered me,
told me he had never seen anyone so beautiful as I, and
that he had never so much regretted that which no one
could give back to him.
" ' I was born at Naples,* he said, * and every year
they make two or three thousand children there into
capons ; some die of it, others acquire voices more
beautiful than women's, and others become the governors
of States. This operation was performed upon me with
very great success and I was a musician in the chapel of
the Princess of Palestrina.'
** * Of my mother,' I exclaimed.
** * Of your mother ! * cried he, weeping. * What !
Are you that young princess I brought up to the age of
six and who even then gave promise of bemg as beautiful
as you are } '
** ' I am 1 my mother is four hundred yards from
here, cut into quarters under a heap of corpses. . . .*
" I related all that had happened to me ; he also told
me his adventures and informed me how he had been
sent to the King of Morocco by a Christian power to
make a treaty with that monarch whereby he was supplied
with powder, cannons and ships to help to exterminate
the commerce of other Christians.
" * My mission is accomplished,* said this honest
eunuch, ' I am about to embark at Ceuta and I will
take you back to Italy Ma che sciagura d' ess ere senza
coglioni ! '
** I thanked him with tears of gratitude ; and instead
of taking me back to Italy he conducted me to Algiers
and sold me to the Dey. I had scarcely been sold when
the plague which had gone through Africa, Asia and
Europe broke out furiously in Algiers. You have seen
earthquakes ; but have you ever seen the plague ? "
" Never," replied the Baroness.
" If you had," replied the old woman, '* you would
admit that it is much worse than an earthquake. It is
very common in Africa; I caught it. Imagine the
situation of a Pope's daughter aged fifteen, who in three
months had undergone poverty and slavery, had been
raped nearly every day, had seen her mother cut into
four pieces, had undergone hunger and war, and was
now dying of the plague in Algiers. However, I did
not die ; but my eunuch and the Dey and almost all the
seraglio of Algiers perished.
** When the first ravages of this frightful plague were
over, the Dey's slaves were sold. A merchant bought
me and carried me to Tunis ; he sold me to another
merchant who re-sold me at Tripoli ; from Tripoli I
was re-sold to Alexandria, from Alexandria re-sold to
Smyrna, from Smyrna to Constantinople. I was finally
bought by an Aga of the Janizaries, who was soon
ordered to defend Azov against the Russians who were
" The Aga, who was a man of great gallantry, took
his whole seraglio with him, and lodged us in a little
fort on the islands of Palus-Maeotis, guarded by two
black eunuchs and twenty soldiers. He killed a pro-
digious number of Russians, but they returned the com-
pliment as well. Azov was given up to fire and blood,
neither sex nor age was pardoned ; only our little fort
remained ; and the enemy tried to reduce it by starving
us. The twenty Janizaries had sworn never to surrender
us. The extremities of hunger to which they were
reduced forced them to eat our two eunuchs for fear of
breaking their oath. Some days later they resolved to
eat the women.
** We had with us a most pious and compassionate
Imam who delivered a fine sermon to them by which
he persuaded them not to kill us altogether.
** * Cut,' said he, * only one buttock from each of these
ladies and you will make very good cheer ; if you have
to return, there will still be as much left in a few days ;
Heaven will be pleased at so charitable an action and
you will be saved.*
** He was very eloquent and persuaded them. This
horrible operation was performed upon us ; the Imam
anointed us with the same balm that is used for children
who have just been circumcised ; we were all at the
point of death.
*' Scarcely had the Janizaries finished the meal we
had supplied when the Russians arrived in flat-bottomed
boats ; not a Janizary escaped. The Russians paid no
attention to the state we were in. There are French
doctors everywhere ; one of them who was very skilful,
took care of us ; he healed us, and I shall remember all
my life that, when my wounds were cured, he made
propositions to me. For the rest, he told us all to cheer
up ; he told us that the same thing had happened in
several sieges and that it was a law of war.
" As soon as my companions could walk they were
sent to Moscow. I fell to the lot of a Boyar who made
me his gardener and gave me twenty lashes a day. But
at the end of two years this lord was broken on the
wheel* with thirty other Boyars owing to some court
disturbance, and I profited by this adventure ; I fled ;
I crossed all Russia ; for a long time I was servant in
an inn at Riga, then at Rostock, at Wismar, at Leipzig,
at Cassel, at Utrecht, at Leyden, at the Hague, at Rotter-
dam ; I have grown old in misery and in shame, with
only half a backside, always remembering that I was the
daughter of a Pope ; a hundred times I wanted to kill
myself, but I still loved life. This ridiculous weakness
is perhaps the most disastrous of our inclinations ; for
is there anything sillier than to desire to bear continually
a burden one always wishes to throw on the ground ;
to look upon oneself with horror and yet to cling to
oneself; in short, to caress the serpent which devours
us until he has eaten our heart ?
'* In the countries it has been my fate to traverse and
in the inns where I have served I have seen a prodigious
number of people who hated their lives ; but I have
only seen twelve who voluntarily put an end to their
misery : three negroes, four Englishmen, four Genevans
and a German professor named Robeck. I ended up as
servant to the Jew, Don Issachar ; he placed me in your
service, my fair young lady ; I attached myself to your
fate and have been more occupied with your adventures
than with my own. I should never even have spoken
of my misfortunes, if you had not piqued me a little
and if it had not been the custom on board ship to tell
stories to pass the time. In short. Miss, I have had
experience, I know the world ; provide yourself with an
entertainment, make each passenger tell you his story ;
and if there is one who has not often cursed his life, who
has not often said to himself that he was the most unfor-
tunate of men, throw me head-first into the sea."
How Candide was obliged to separate from the fair Cune-
gonde and the old woman
HE fair Cunegonde, having heard the old
woman's story, treated her with all the polite-
ness due to a person of her rank and merit.
She accepted the proposition and persuaded
all the passengers one after the other to tell her their
adventures. She and Candide admitted that the old
woman was right.
*' It was most unfortunate," said Candide, ** that
the wise Pangloss was hanged contrary to custom at an
auto-da-fe ; he would have said admirable things about
the physical and moral evils which cover the earth and
the sea, and I should feel myself strong enough to urge
a few objections with all due respect."
While each of the passengers was telling his story
the ship proceeded on its way. They arrived at Buenos
Ayres. Cunegonde, Captain Candide and the old
woman went to call on the governor, Don Fernando
d'Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y
Souza. This gentleman had the pride befittmg a man
who owned so many names. He talked to men with a
most noble disdain, turning his nose up so far, raising
his voice so pitilessly, assuming so imposing a tone,
affecting so lofty a carriage, that all who addressed him
were tempted to give him a thrashing. He had a furious
passion for women. Cunegonde seemed to him the
most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The first
thing he did was to ask if she were the Captain's wife.
The air with which he asked this question alarmed
Candide; he did not dare say that she was his wife,
because as a matter of fact she was not ; he dared not
say she was his sister, because she was not that either ;
and although this official lie was formerly extremely
fashionable among the ancients, and might be useful
to the moderns, his soul was too pure to depart from
** Miss Cunegonde," said he, ** is about to do me the
honour of marrying me, and we beg your excellency to
be present at the wedding."
Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y
Lampourdos y Souza twisted his moustache, smiled
bitterly and ordered Captain Candide to go and inspect
his company. Candide obeyed ; the governor remamed
with Miss Cunegonde. He declared his passion, vowed
that the next day he would marry her publicly, or other-
wise, as it might please her charms. Cunegonde asked
for a quarter of an hour to collect herself, to consult
the old woman and to make up her mind.
The old woman said to Cunegonde :
** You have seventy-two quarterings and you haven't
a shilling; it is in your power to be the wife of the
greatest Lord in South America, who has an exceedingly
fine moustache; is it for you to pride yourself on a
rigid fidelity ? You have been raped by Bulgarians ; a
Jew and an Inquisitor have enjoyed your good graces;
misfortunes confer certain rights. If I were in your
place, I confess I should not have the least scruple in
marrying the governor and making Captain Candide's
While the old woman was speaking with all that
prudence which comes from age and experience, they
saw a small ship come into the harbour ; an Alcayde
and some Alguazils were on board, and this is what
The old woman had guessed correctly thdt it was a
long-sleeved monk who stole Cunegonde's money and
jewels at Badajoz, when she was flying in all haste with
Candide. The monk tried to sell some of the gems to
a jeweller. The merchant recognised them as the
property of the Grand Inquisitor. Before the monk
was hanged he confessed that he had stolen them ; he
described the persons and the direction they were taking.
The flight of Cunegonde and Candide was already
known. They were followed to Cadiz; without any
waste of time a vessel was sent in pursuit of them. The
vessel was already in the harbour at Buenos Ayres.
The rumour spread that an Alcayde was about to land
and that he was in pursuit of the murderers of His
Lordship the Grand Inquisitor. The prudent old
woman saw in a moment what was to be done.
" You cannot escape," she said to Cunegonde, ** and
you have nothing to fear; you did not kill His Lord-
ship; moreover, the governor is in love with you and
will not allow you to be maltreated ; stay here.**
She ran to Candide at once.
" Fly," said she, " or in an hour's time you will be
There was not a moment to lose ; but how could he
leave Cunegonde and where could he take refuge ?
Hoiv Candide and Cacambo were received by the Jesuits
CANDIDE had brought from Cadiz a valet of a
sort which is very common on the coasts of
Spain and in the colonies. He was one-quarter
Spanish, the child of a half-breed in Tucuman ;
he had been a choir-boy, a sacristan, a sailor, a monk, a
postman, a soldier and a lackey. His name was Cacambo
and he loved his master because his master was a very
good man. He saddled the two Andalusian horses with
" Come, master, we must follow the old woman's
advice ; let us be off and ride without looking behind
Candide shed tears.
" O my dear Cunegonde ! Must I abandon you
just when the governor was about to marry us I Cune-
gonde, brought here from such a distant land, what
will become of you ? "
*' She will become what she can," said Cacambo.
** Women never trouble about themselves ; God will
see to her ; let us be off."
** Where are you taking me } Where are we going ?
What shall we do without Cunegonde } " said Candide.
'* By St. James of Compostella," said Cacambo, *' you
were going to fight the Jesuits ; let us go and fight for
them ; I know the roads, I will take you to their king-
dom, they will be charmed to have a Captain who can
drill in the Bulgarian fashion ; you will make a pro-
digious fortune ; when a man fails in one world, he
succeeds in another. *Tis a very great pleasure to see
and do new things."
** Then you have been in Paraguay ? " said Candide.
I* ** Yes, indeed," said Cacambo. ** I was servitor in
' the College of the Assumption, and I know the govern-
ment of Los Padres as well as I know the streets of
Cadiz. Their government is a most admirable thing.
The kingdom is already more than three hundred
leagues in diameter and is divided into thirty provinces.
Los Padres have everything and the people have nothing ;
'tis the masterpiece of reason and justice. For my part,
I know nothing so divine as Los Padres who here make
war on the Kings of Spain and Portugal and in Europe
act as their confessors ; who here kill Spaniards and at
Madrid send them to Heaven ; all this delights me ;
come on ; you will be the happiest of men. What a
pleasure it will be to Los Padres when they know there
IS coming to them a captain who can drill in the Bulgarian
manner 1 "
As soon as they reached the first barrier, Cacambo
told the picket that a captain wished to speak to the
Commandant. This information was carried to the
main guard. A Paraguayan officer ran to the feet of
the Commandant to tell him the news. Candide and
Cacambo were disarmed and their two Andalusian
horses were taken from them. The two strangers were
brought in between two ranks of soldiers ; the Com-
mandant was at the end, with a three-cornered hat on
his head, his gown tucked up, a sword at his side and a
spontoon in his hand. He made a sign and immediately
the two new-comers were surrounded by twenty-four
soldiers. A sergeant told them that they must wait,
that the Commandant could not speak tg them, that
the reverend provincial father did not allow any Spaniard
to open his mouth in his presence or to remain more
than three hours in the country.
COhot can be tli< sufficient reo^son for thi> phenomenon?
" And where is the reverend provincial father ? " said
"He is pn parade after having said Mass, and you
will have to wait three hours before you will be allowed
to kiss his spurs."
" Bi^t," said Cacambo, " the captain, who is dying of
hunger just as I am, is not a Spaniard but a German ;
can we not break our fast while we are waiting for his
reverence ? "
The sergeant went at once to inform the Commandant
" Blessed be God ! " said that lord. " Since he is a
German I can speak to him ; bring him to my arbour."
Candide was immediately taken to a leafy summer-
house decorated with a very pretty colonnade of green
marble and gold, and lattices enclosing parrots, hum-
ming-birds, colibris, guinea-hens and many other rare
birds. An excellent breakfast stood ready in gold
dishes; and while the Paraguayans were eating maize
from wooden bowls, out of doors and in the heat of
the sun, the reverend father Commandant entered the
He was a very handsome young man, with a full
face, a fairly white skin, red cheeks, arched eyebrows,
keen eyes, red ears, vermilion lips, a haughty air, but
a haughtiness which was neither that of a Spaniard
nor of a Jesuit. Candide and Cacambo were given
back the arms which had been taken from them and
their two Andalusian horses ; Cacambo fed them with
oats near the arbour, and kept his eye on them for fear
of a surprise.
Candide first kissed the hem of the Commandant's
gown and then they sat down to table.
** So you are a German ? " said the Jesuit in that
** Yes, reverend father," said Candide.
As they spoke these words they gazed at each other
with extreme surprise and an emotion they could not
'* And what part of Germany do you come from ? "
said the Jesuit.
" From the filthy province of Westphalia," said
Candide ; "I was born in the castle of Thunder-ten-
" Heavens ! Is it possible ! " cried the Commandant.
*' What a miracle ! " cried Candide.
" Can it be you ? " said the Commandant.
** *Tis impossible ! " said Candide.
They both fell over backwards, embraced and shed
rivers of tears.
" What ! Can it be you, reverend father .? You,
the fair Cunegonde's brother 1 You, who were killed
by the Bulgarians ! You, the son of My Lord the
Baron 1 You, a Jesuit in Paraguay I The world is
indeed a strange place ! O Pangloss 1 Pangloss I How
happy you would have been if you had not been hanged 1 "
The Commandant sent away the negro slaves and
the Paraguayans who were serving wine in goblets of
rock-crystal. A thousand times did he thank God and
St. Ignatius \ he clasped Candide in his arms ; their
faces were wet with tears.
** You would be still more surprised, more touched,
more beside yourself," said Candide, ** if I were to tell
you that Miss Cunegonde, your sister, whom you
thought disembowelled, is in the best of health."
*• Where .? "
" In your neighbourhood, with the governor of
Buenos Ayres ; and I came to make war on you."
Every word they spoke in this long conversation piled
marvel on marvel. Their whole souls flew from their
tongues, listened in their ears and sparkled in their eyes.
As they were Germans, they sat at table for a long time,
waiting for the reverend provincial father; and the
Commandant spoke as follows to his dear Candide.
How Candide killed his dear Cunegonde' s brother
I SHALL remember all my life the horrible day
when I saw my father and mother killed and my
sister raped. When the Bulgarians had gone,
my adorable sister could not be found, and my
mother, my father and I, two maid-servants and three
little murdered boys were placed in a cart to be buried
in a Jesuit chapel two leagues from the castle of my
fathers. A Jesuit sprinkled us with holy water ; it was
horribly salt; a few drops fell in my eyes; the father
noticed that my eyelid trembled, he put his hand on my
heart and felt that it was still beating ; I was attended
to and at the end of three weeks was as well as if nothing
had happened. You know, my dear Candide, that I
was a very pretty youth, and I became still prettier;
and so the Reverend Father Croust, the Superior of the
house, was inspired with a most tender friendship for
me ; he gave me the dress of a novice and some time
afterwards I was sent to Rome. The Father General
wished to recruit some young German Jesuits. The
sovereigns of Paraguay take as few Spanish Jesuits as
they can ; they prefer foreigners, whom they think they
can control better. The Reverend Father General
thought me apt to labour in his vineyard. I set oflF
with a Pole and a Tyrolese. When I arrived I was
honoured with a subdeaconship and a lieutenancy; I
am now colonel and priest. We shall give the King
of Spain's troops a warm reception ; I guarantee they
will be excommunicated and beaten. Providence has
sent you here to help us. But is it really true that my
dear sister Cunegonde is in the neighbourhood with
the governor of Buenos Ay res ? **
Candide assured him on oath that nothing could be
truer. Their tears began to flow once more.
The Baron seemed never to grow tired of embracing
Candide ; he called him his brother, his saviour.
"Ah 1 My dear Candide," said he, " perhaps we
shall enter the town together as conquerors and regain
my sister Cunegonde."
'* I desire it above all things," said Candide, '* for
I meant to marry her and I still hope to do so."
'* You, insolent wretch ! " replied the Baron. " Would
you have the impudence to marry my sister who has
seventy-two quarterings ! I consider you extremely
impudent to dare to speak to me of such a foolhardy
intention 1 "
Candide, petrified at this speech, replied :
*' Reverend Father, all the quarterings in the world
are of no importance ; I rescued your sister from the
arms of a Jew and an Inquisitor ; she is under con-
siderable obligation to me and wishes to marry me.
Dr. Pangloss always said that men are equal and I
shall certainly marry her."
** We shall see about that, scoundrel 1 " said the
Jesuit Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh., at the same time
hitting him violently in the face with the flat of his
sword. Candide promptly drew his own and stuck it
up to the hilt in the Jesuit Baron's belly, but, as he
drew it forth smoking, he began to weep.
" Alas 1 My God," said he, "I have killed my old
master, my friend, my brother-in-law ; I am the mildest
man in the world and I have already killed three men,
two of them priests."
Cacambo, who was acting as sentry at the door of
the arbour, ran in.
'* There is nothing left for us but to sell our lives
dearly," said his master. " Somebody will certainly
come into the arbour and we must die weapon in
Cacambo, who had seen this sort of thing before,
did not lose his head; he took off the Baron's Jesuit
gown, put it on Candide, gave him the dead man's
square bonnet, and made him mount a horse. All
this was done in the twinkling of an eye.
" Let us gallop, master ; everyone will take you for a
Jesuit carrying orders and we shall have passed the
frontiers before they can pursue us."
As he spoke these words he started off at full speed
and shouted in Spanish :
" Way, way for the Reverend Father Colonel. . . .**
fVhat happened to the two travellers with two girls, two
monkeys, and the savages called Oreillons
GANDIDE and his valet were past the barriers
before anybody in the camp knew of the death
of the German Jesuit. The vigilant Cacambo
had taken care to fill his saddle-bag with bread,
chocolate, ham, fruit, and several bottles of wine. On
their Andalusian horses they plunged into an unknown
country where they found no road.
At last a beautiful plain traversed by streams met
their eyes. Our two travellers put their horses to
grass. Cacambo suggested to his master that they
should eat and set the example.
** How can you expect me to eat ham," said Candide,
" when I have killed the son of My Lord the Baron
and find myself condemned never to see the fair Cune-
gonde again in my life ? What is the use of prolonging
my miserable days since I must drag them out far from
her in remorse and despair } And what will the Journal
de Trevoux ^ say } "
Speaking thus, he began to eat. The sun was set-
ting. The two wanderers heard faint cries which seemed
to be uttered by women. They could not tell whether
these were cries of pain or of joy ; but they rose hastily
with that alarm and uneasiness caused by everything in
an unknown country.
These cries came from two completely naked girls
who were running gently along the edge of the plain,
while two monkeys pursued them and bit their buttocks.
Candide was moved to pity; he had learned to shoot
^ A jotirnal published by the Jesuits.
among the Bulgarians and could have brought down a
nut from a tree without touching the leaves. He raised
his double-barrelled Spanish gun, fired, and killed the
" God be praised, my dear Cacambo, I have delivered
these two poor creatures from a great danger; if I
committed a sin by killing an Inquisitor and a Jesuit,
I have atoned for it by saving the lives of these two
girls. Perhaps they are young ladies of quality and this
adventure may be of great advantage to us in this
He was going on, but his tongue clove to the roof
of his mouth when he saw the two girls tenderly kissing
the two monkeys, shedding tears on their bodies and
filling the air with the most piteous cries.
** I did not expect so much human kindliness," he
said at last to Cacambo, who replied :
** You have performed a wonderful masterpiece ; you
have killed the two lovers of these young ladies."
** Their lovers I Can it be possible .? You are jesting
at me, Cacambo ; how can I believe you ? "
** My dear master," replied Cacambo, " you are
always surprised by everything ; why should you think
it so strange that in some countries there should be
monkeys who obtain ladies' favours .? They are quarter
men, as I am a quarter Spaniard."
" Alas ! " replied Candide, *' I remember to have
heard Dr. Pangloss say that similar accidents occurred
in the past and that these mixtures produce Aigypans,
fauns and satyrs ; that several eminent persons of
antiquity have seen them ; but I thought they were
*' You ought now to be convinced that it is true,"
said Cacambo, " and you see how people behave when
they have not received a proper education ; the only
thing I fear is that these ladies may get us into difficulty."
These wise reflections persuaded Candide to leave the
plain and to plunge into the woods. He ate supper
there with Cacambo and, after having cursed the In-
quisitor of Portugal, the governor of Buenos Ayres and
the Baron, they went to sleep on the moss. When
they woke up they found they could not move ; the
reason was that during the night the Oreillons, the
inhabitants of the country, to whom they had been
denounced by the two ladies, had bound them with
ropes made of bark. They were surrounded by fifty
naked Oreillons, armed with arrows, clubs and stone
hatchets. Some were boiling a large cauldron, others
were preparing spits and they were all shouting :
** Here's a Jesuit, here's a Jesuit ! We shall be
revenged and have a good dinner ; let us eat the Jesuit,
let us eat the Jesuit 1"
** I told you so, my dear master," said Cacambo
sadly. ** I knew those two girls would play us a dirty
Candide perceived the cauldron and the spits and
" We are certainly going to be roasted or boiled.
Ah 1 What would Dr. Pangloss say if he saw what the
pure state of nature is .'' All is well, granted ; but I
confess it is very cruel to have lost Miss Cunegonde
and to be spitted by the Oreillons."
Cacambo never lost his head.
** Do not despair," he said to the wretched Candide.
" I understand a little of their dialect and I will speak
** Do not fail," said Candide, " to point out to them
the dreadful inhumanity of cooking men and how very
unchristian it is."
** Gentlemen," said Cacambo, ** you mean to eat a
Jesuit to-day } *Tis a good deed ; nothing could be
more just than to treat one's enemies in this fashion.
Indeed the law of nature teaches us to kill our neigh-
bour and this is how people behave all over the world.
If we do not exert the right of eating our neighbour,
it is because we have other means of making good
cheer ; but you have not the same resources as we,
and it is certainly better to eat our enemies than to
abandon the fruits of victory to ravens and crows. But,
gentlemen, you would not wish to eat your friends.
You believe you are about to place a Jesuit on the spit,
and 'tis your defender, the enemy of your enemies,
you are about to roast. I was born in your country;
the gentleman you see here is my master and, far from
being a Jesuit, he has just killed a Jesuit and is wearing
his clothes ; which is the cause of your mistake. To
verify what I say, take his gown, carry it to the first
barrier of the kingdom of Los Padres and inquire whether
my master has not killed a Jesuit officer. It will not
take you long and you will have plenty of time to eat
us if you find I have lied. But if I have told the truth,
you are too well acquainted with the principles of public
law, good morals and discipline not to pardon us."
The Oreillons thought this a very reasonable speech ;
they deputed two of their notables to go with all dili-
gence and find out the truth. The two deputies acquitted
themselves of their task like intelligent men and soon
returned with the good news.
The Oreillons unbound their two prisoners, over-
whelmed them with civilities, offered them girls, gave
them refreshment, and accompanied them to the frontiers
of their dominions, shouting joyfully :
" He is not a Jesuit, he is not a Jesuit ! "
Candide could not cease from wondering at the
cause of his deliverance.
" What a nation," said he. " What men ! What
manners 1 If I had not been so lucky as to stick my
sword through the body of Miss Cunegonde's brother
I should infallibly have been eaten. But, after all,
there is something good in the pure state of nature,
since these people, instead of eating me, offered me a
thousand civilities as soon as they knew I was not a
Arrival of Candide and his valet in the country of Eldorado
and what they saw there
WHEN they reached the frontiers of the
Oreillons, Cacambo said to Candide :
** You see this hemisphere is no better
than the other; take my advice, let us go
back to Europe by the shortest road."
** How can we go back," said Candide, " and where
can we go ? If I go to my own country, the Bulgarians
and the Abares are murdering everybody; if I return
to Portugal I shall be burned ; if we stay here, we run
the risk of being spitted at any moment. But how can
I make up my mind to leave that part af the world where
Miss Cunegonde is living } "
" Let us go to Cayenne," said Cacambo, ** we shall
find Frenchmen there, for they go all over the world ;
they might help us. Perhaps God will have pity on us."
It was not easy to go to Cayenne. They knew
roughly the direction to take, but mountains, rivers,
precipices, brigands and savages were everywhere terrible
obstacles. Their horses died of fatigue ; their pro-
visions were exhausted ; for a whole month they lived
on wild fruits and at last found themselves near a little
river fringed with cocoanut-trees which supported their
lives and their hopes.
Cacambo, who always gave advice as prudent as the
old woman's, said to Candide :
" We can go no farther, we have walked far enough ;
I can see an empty canoe in the bank, let us fill it with
cocoanuts, get into the little boat and drift with the
current; a river always leads to some inhabited place.
If we do not find anything pleasant, we shall at least
find something new."
** Come on then," said Candide, ** and let us trust
They drifted for some leagues between banks which
were sometimes flowery, sometimes bare, sometimes flat,
sometimes steep. The river continually became wider ;
finally it disappeared under an arch of frightful rocks
which towered up to the very sky. The two travellers
were bold enough to trust themselves to the current
under this arch. The stream, narrowed between walls,
carried them with horrible rapidity and noise. After
twenty-four hours they saw daylight again ; but their
canoe was wrecked on reefs ; they had to crawl from
rock to rock for a whole league, and at last they dis-
covered an immense horizon, bordered by inaccessible
mountains. The country was cultivated for pleasure as
well as for necessity ; everywhere the useful was agree-
able. The roads were covered or rather ornamented
with carriages of brilliant material and shape, carrying
men and women of singular beauty, who were rapidly
drawn along by large red sheep whose swiftness sur-
passed that of the finest horses of Andalusia, Tetuan and
** This country," said Candide, ** is better than West-
He landed with Cacambo near the first village he
came to. Several children of the village, dressed in
torn gold brocade, were playing quoits outside the
village. Our two men from the other world amused
themselves by looking on ; their quoits were large round
f)ieces, yellow, red and green, which shone with peculiar
ustre. The travellers were curious enough to pick
up some of them ; they were of gold, emeralds and
rubies, the least of which would have been the greatest
ornament in the Mogul's throne.
" No doubt," said Cacambo, " these children are
the sons of the King of this country playing at quoits."
At that moment the village schoolmaster appeared
to call them into school.
** This," said Candide, ** is the tutor of the Royal
The little beggars immediately left their game, aban-
doning their quoits and everything with which they
had been playing. Candide picked them up, ran to
the tutor, and presented them to him humbly, giving
him to understand by signs that their Royal Highnesses
had forgotten their gold and their precious stones.
The village schoolmaster smiled, threw them on the
ground, gazed for a moment at Candide's face with
much surprise and continued on his way.
The travellers did not fail to pick up the gold, the
rubies and the emeralds.
** Where are we .'' " cried Candide. " The children
of the King must be well brought up, since they are
taught to despise gold and precious stones."
Cacambo was as much surprised as Candide. At
last they reached the first house in the village, which
was built like a European palace. There were crowds
of people round the door and still more inside ; very
pleasant music could be heard and there was a delicious
smell of cooking. Cacambo went up to the door and
heard them speaking Peruvian ; it was his maternal
tongue, for everyone knows that Cacambo was born in
a village of Tucuman where nothing else is spoken.
" I will act as your interpreter," he said to Candide ;
** this is an inn, let us enter."
Immediately two boys and two girls of the inn, dressed
in cloth of gold, whose hair was bound up with ribbons,
invited them to sit down to the table d'hote. They
served four soups each garnished with two parrots, a
boiled condor which weighed two hundred pounds, two
roast monkeys of excellent flavour, three hundred colibris
in one dish and six hundred humming-birds in another,
exquisite ragouts and delicious pastries, all in dishes of a
sort of rock-crystal. The boys and girls brought several
sorts of drinks made of sugar-cane.
Most of the guests were merchants and coachmen,
all extremely polite, who asked Cacambo a few questions
with the most delicate discretion and answered his in a
When the meal was over, Cacambo, like Candide,
thought he could pay the reckoning by throwing on
the table two of the large pieces of gold he had picked
up ; the host and hostess laughed until they had to
hold their sides. At last they recovered themselves.
" Gentlemen," said the host, ** we perceive you are
strangers ; we are not accustomed to seeing them. For-
,give us if we began to laugh when you offered us in
payment the stones from our highways. No doubt you
have none of the money of this country, but you do not
need any to dine here. All the hotels established for
the utility of commerce are paid for by the government.
You have been ill entertained here because this is a poor
village ; but everywhere else you will be received as you
deserve to be."
Cacambo explained to Candide all that the host had
said, and Candide listened in the same admiration and
disorder with which his friend Cacambo interpreted.
" What can this country be," they said to each other,
** which is unknown to the rest of the world and where
all nature is so different from ours ? Probably it is the
country where everything is for the best; for there
must be one country of that sort. And, in spite of what
Dr. Pangloss said, I often noticed that everything went
very ill in Westphalia."
What they saw in the land of Eldorado
CACAMBO informed the host of his curiosity,
and the host said :
" I am a very ignorant man and am all the
better for it ; but we have here an old man who
has retired from the court and who is the most learned
and most communicative man in the kingdom."
And he at once took Cacambo to the old man.
Candide now played only the second part and accom-
panied his valet.
They entered a very simple house, for the door was
only of silver and the panelling of the apartments in
gold, but so tastefully carved that the richest decorations
did not surpass it. The antechamber indeed was only
encrusted with rubies and emeralds ; but the order with
which everything was arranged atoned for this extreme
The old man received the two strangers on a sofa
padded with colibri feathers, and presented them with
drinks in diamond cups ; after which he satisfied their
curiosity in these words :
" I am a hundred and seventy-two years old and I
heard from my late father, the King^s equerry, the
astonishing revolutions of Peru of which he had been
an eye-witness. The kingdom where we now are is
the ancient country of the Incas, who most imprudently
left it to conquer part of the world and were at last
destroyed by the Spaniards.
** The princes of their family who remained in their
native country had more wisdom ; with the consent of
the nation, they ordered that no inhabitants should ever
leave our little kingdom, and this it is that has preserved
our innocence and our felicity. The Spaniards had some
vague knowledge of this country, which they called
Eldorado, and about a hundred years ago an English-
man named Raleigh came very near to it ; but, since we
are surrounded by inaccessible rocks and precipices, we
have hitherto been exempt from the rapacity of the
nations of Europe, who have an inconceivable lust for
the pebbles and mud of our land and would kill us to
the last man to get possession of them."
The conversation was long; it touched upon the
form of the government, manners, women, public
spectacles and the arts. Finally Candide, who was
always interested in metaphysics, asked through Cacambo
whether the country had a religion. The old man
blushed a little.
" How can you doubt it .? " said he. " Do you think
we are ingrates ? "
Cacambo humbly asked what was the religion of
Eldorado. The old man blushed again.
" Can there be two religions ? " said he. " We have,
I think, the religion of everyone else ; we adore God
from evening until morning."
'* Bo you adore only one god ? " said Cacambo, who
continued to act as the interpreter of Candide's doubts.
** Manifestly," said the old man, " there are not two
or three or four. I must confess that the people of
your world ask very extraordinary questions."
Candide continued to press the old man with ques-
tions ; he wished to know how they prayed to God in
" We do not pray," said the good and respectable
sage, ** we have nothing to ask from him ; he has given
us everything necessary and we continually give him
Candide was curious to see the priests ; and asked
where they were. The good old man smiled.
" My friends," said he, ** we are all priests ; the
King and all the heads of families solemnly sing praises
every morning, accompanied by five or six thousand
** What ! Have you no monks to teach, to dispute,
to govern, to intrigue and to burn people who do not
agree with them } "
** For that, we should have to become fools," said
the old man ; ** here we are all of the same opinion and
do not understand what you mean with your monks."
At all this Candide was in an ecstasy and said to
** This is very different from Westphalia and the
castle of His LxDrdship the Baron ; if our friend Pangloss
had seen Eldorado, he would not have said that the
castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh was the best of all that
exists on the earth ; certainly a man should travel."
After this long conversation the good old man ordered
a carriage to be harnessed with six sheep, and gave the
two travellers twelve of his servants to take them to
** You will excuse me," he said, " if my age deprives
me of the honour of accompanying you. The King
will receive you in a manner which will not displease
you and doubtless you will pardon the customs of the
country if any of them disconcert you."
Candide and Cacambo entered the carriage ; the six
sheep galloped off and in less than four hours they
reached the King's palace, which was situated at one
end of the capital. The portal was two hundred and
twenty feet high and a hundred feet wide ; it is im-
possible to describe its material. Anyone can see the
It pltosfe 3?tfli>en to soii tl)f Bulgonan^ to our noblt costlep
prodigious superiority it must have over the pebbles
and sand we call gold and gems.
Twenty beautiful maidens of the guard received
Candide and Cacambo as they alighted from the carriage,
conducted them to the baths and dressed them in robes
woven from the down of colibris ; after which the
principal male and female officers of the Crown led
them to his Majesty's apartment through two files of a
thousand musicians each, according to the usual custom.
As they approached the throne-room, Cacambo asked
one of the chief officers how they should behave in his
Majesty's presence ; whether they should fall on their
knees or flat on their faces, whether they should put
their hands on their heads or on their backsides ; whether
they should lick the dust of the throne-room ; in a word,
what was the ceremony ?
** The custom," said the chief officer, " is to embrace
the King and to kiss him on either cheek."
Candide and Cacambo threw their arms round his
Majesty's neck ; he received them with all imaginable
favour and politely asked them to supper.
Meanwhile they were carried to see the town, the
public buildings rising to the very skies, the market-
places ornamented with thousands of columns, the
fountains of rose-water and of liquors distilled from
sugar-cane, which played continually in the public
squares paved with precious stones which emitted a
perfume like that of cloves and cinnamon.
Candide asked to see the law-courts ; he was told
there were none, and that nobody ever went to law.
He asked if there were prisons and was told there were
none. He was still more surprised and pleased by the
palace of sciences, where he saw a gallery two thousand
reet long, filled with instruments of mathematics and
After they had explored all the afternoon about a
thousandth part of the town, they were taken back to
the King. Candide sat down to table with his Majesty,
his valet Cacambo and several ladies. Never was better
cheer, and never was anyone wittier at supper than his
Majesty. Cacambo explained the King's witty remarks
to Candide, and even when translated they still appeared
witty. Among all the things which amazed Candide,
this did not amaze him the least.
They enjoyed this hospitality for a month. Candide
repeatedly said to Cacambo ;
** Once again, my friend, it is quite true that the
castle where I was born cannot be compared with this
I country ; but then Miss Cunegonde is not here and you
[ probably have a mistress in Europe. If we remain here,
j we shall only be like everyone else ; but if we return
j to our own world with only twelve sheep laden with
[I Eldorado pebbles, we shall be richer than all the kings
1 put together ; we shall have no more Inquisitors to
fear and we can easily regain Miss Cunegonde.*'
Cacambo agreed with this ; it is so pleasant to be on
the move, to show off before friends, to make a parade
of the things seen on one's travels, that these two happy
men resolved to be so no longer and to ask his Majesty's
permission to depart.
" You are doing a very silly thing," said the King.
** I know my country is small ; but when we are com-
fortable anywhere we should stay there ; I certainly
have not the right to detain foreigners, that is a tyranny
which does not exist either in our manners or our laws ;
all men are free, leave when you please, but the way out
is very difficult. It is impossible to ascend the rapid
river by which you miraculously came here and which
flows under arches of rock. The mountains which sur-
round the whole of my kingdom are ten thousand feet
high and as perpendicular as rocks ; they are more
than ten leagues broad, and you can only get down
from them by way of precipices. However, since you
must go, I will give orders to the directors of machinery
to make a machine which will carry you comfortably.
When you have been taken to the other side of the
mountains, nobody can proceed any farther with you ;
for my subjects have sworn never to pass this boundary
and they are too wise to break their oath. Ask anything
else of me you wish."
" We ask nothing of your Majesty," said Cacambo,
** except a few sheep laden with provisions, pebbles and
the mud of this country."
The King laughed.
" I cannot understand," said he, '* the taste you people
of Europe have for our yellow mud ; but take as much
as you wish, and much good may it do you."
He immediately ordered his engineers to make a
machine to hoist these two extraordinary men out of
Three thousand learned scientists worked at it; it
was ready in a fortnight and only cost about twenty
million pounds sterling in the money of that country.
Candide and Cacambo were placed on the machine ;
there were two large red sheep saddled and bridled for
them to ride on when they had passed the mountains,
twenty sumpter sheep laden with provisions, thirty
carrying presents of the most curious productions of
the country and fifty laden with gold, precious stones
and diamonds. The King embraced the two vagabonds
Their departure was a splendid sight, and so was
the ingenious manner in which they and their sheep
were hoisted on to the top of the mountains.
The scientists took leave of them after having landed
them safely, and Candide's only desire and object was
to go and present Miss Cunegonde with his sheep.
** We have sufficient to pay the governor of Buenos
Ayres," said he, " if Miss Cunegonde can be bought.
Let us go to Cayenne, and take ship, and then we will
see what kingdom we will buy."
JVhat happened to them at Surinam and how Candide
made the acquaintance of Martin
OUR two travellers' first day was quite pleasant.
They were encouraged by the idea of possess-
ing more treasures than all Asia, Europe and
Africa could collect. Candide in transport
carved the name of Cunegonde on the trees.
On the second day two of the sheep stuck in a marsh
and were swallowed up with their loads ; two other
sheep died of fatigue a few days later ; then seven or
eight died of hunger in a desert ; several days afterwards
others fell off precipices. Finally, after they had travelled
for a hundred days, they had only two sheep left. Candide
said to Cacambo :
i' '* My friend, you see how perishable are the riches of
this world ; nothing is steadfast but virtue and the
happiness of seeing Miss Cunegonde again."
** I admit it," said Cacambo, ** but we still have
two sheep with more treasures than ever the King of
Spain will have, and in the distance I see a town I sus-
pect is Surinam, which belongs to the Dutch. We
are at the end of our troubles and the beginning of our
As they drew near the town they met a negro lying
on the ground wearing only half his clothes, that is to
say, a pair of blue cotton drawers ; this poor man had
no left leg and no right hand.
" Good Heavens 1 " said Candide to him in Dutch,
** what are you doing there, my friend, in this horrible
state } "
" I am waiting for my master, the famous merchant
** Was it Mr. Vanderdendur," said Candide, ** who
treated you in this way ? "
" Yes, sir," said the negro, "it is the custom. We
are given a pair of cotton drawers twice a year as cloth-
ing. When we work in the sugar-mills and the grind-
stone catches our fingers, they cut off the hand ; when
we try to run away, they cut off a leg. Both these things
happened to me. This is the price paid for the sugar
you eat in Europe. But when my mother sold me for
ten patagons on the coast of Guinea, she said to me :
' My dear child, give thanks to our fetishes, always
worship them, and they will make you happy ; you have
the honour to be a slave of our lords the white men
and thereby you have made the fortune of your father
and mother.' Alas ! I do not know whether I made
their fortune, but they certainly did not make mine.
Dogs, monkeys and parrots are a thousand times less
miserable than we are ; the Dutch fetishes who con-
verted me tell me that we are all of us, whites and blacks,
the children of Adam. I am not a genealogist, but if
these preachers tell the truth, we are all second cousins.
Now, you will admit that no one could treat his relatives
in a more horrible way."
" O Pangloss ! " cried Candide. " This is an abomi-
nation you had not guessed; this is too much, in the
end I shall have to renounce optimism."
** What is optimism ? " said Cacambo.
** Alas ! " said Candide, "it is the mania of main-
taining that everything is well when we are wretched."
And he shed tears as he looked at his negro ; and he
entered Surinam weeping.
The first thing they inquired was whether there was
any ship in the port which could be sent to Buenos
Ayres. The person they addressed happened to be a
Spanish captain, who offered to strike an honest bargain
with them. He arranged to meet them at an inn.
Candide and the faithful Cacambo went and waited for
him with their two sheep.
Candide, who blurted everything out, told the Spaniard
all his adventures and confessed that he wanted to elope
with Miss Cunegonde.
" I shall certainly not take you to Buenos Ayres,"
said the captain. ** I should be hanged, and you would
too. The fair Cunegonde is his Lordship's favourite
Candide was thunderstruck; he sobbed for a long
time ; then he took Cacambo aside.
** My dear friend," said he, '* this is what you must
do. We each have in our pockets five or six million
pounds worth of diamonds ; you are more skilful than
I am ; go to Buenos Ayres and get Miss Cunegonde.
If the governor makes any difficulties, give him a
million ; if he is still obstinate, give him two ; you have
not killed an Inquisitor so they will not suspect you.
I will fit out another ship, I will go and wait for you
at Venice ; it is a free country where there is nothing
to fear from Bulgarians, Abares, Jews or Inquisitors."
Cacambo applauded this wise resolution ; he was in
despair at leaving a good master who had become his
intimate friend ; but the pleasure of being useful to
him overcame the grief of leaving him. They em-
braced with tears. Candide urged him not to forget
the good old woman. Cacambo set off that very same
day ; he was a very good man, this Cacambo.
Candide remained some time longer at Surinam wait-
ing for another captain to take him to Italy with the
two sheep he had left. He engaged servants and bought
everything necessary for a long voyage. At last Mr.
Vanderdendur, the owner of a large ship, came to see him.
** How much do you want," he asked this man, ** to
take me straight to Venice with my servants, my baggage
and these two sheep ? "
The captain asked for ten thousand piastres. Candide
did not hesitate.
" Oho 1 " said the prudent Vanderdendur to him-
self, ** this foreigner gives ten thousand piastres imme-
diately ! He must be very rich."
He returned a moment afterwards and said he could
not sail for less than twenty thousand.
" Very well, you shall have them," said Candide.
" Whew ! " said the merchant to himself, ** this man
gives twenty thousand piastres as easily as ten thousand."
He came back again, and said he could not take him
to Venice for less than thirty thousand piastres.
** Then you shall have thirty thousand," replied
** Oho ! " said the Dutch merchant to himself again,
" thirty thousand piastres is nothing to this man ; obvi-
ously the two sheep are laden with immense treasures ;
I will not insist any further ; first let me make him pay
the thirty thousand piastres, and then we will see."
Candide sold two little diamonds, the smaller of which
was worth more than all the money the captain asked.
He paid him in advance. The two sheep were taken
on board. Candide followed in a little boat to join
the ship, which rode at anchor ; the captain watched his
time, set his sails and weighed anchor; the wind was
favourable. Candide, bewildered and stupefied, soon
lost sight of him.
" Alas 1 " he cried, " this is a trick worthy of the old
He returned to shore in grief; for he had lost enough
to make the fortune of twenty kings.
He went to the Dutch judge ; and, as he was rather
disturbed, he knocked loudly at the door ; he went in,
related what had happened and talked a little louder
than he ought to have done. The judge began by
fining him ten thousand piastres for the noise he had
made; he then listened patiently to him, promised to
look into his affair as soon as the merchant returned,
and charged him another ten thousand piastres for the
expenses of the audience.
This behaviour reduced Candide to despair; he had
indeed endured misfortunes a thousand times more pain-
ful ; but the calmness of the judge and of the captain
who had robbed him stirred up his bile and plunged
him into a black melancholy. The malevolence of men
revealed itself to his mind in all its ugliness ; he enter-
tained only gloomy ideas. At last a French ship was
about to leave for Bordeaux and, since he no longer had
any sheep laden with diamonds to put on board, he hired
a cabin at a reasonable price and announced throughout
the town that he would give the passage, food and two
thousand piastres to an honest man who would make
the journey with him, on condition that this man was
the most unfortunate and the most disgusted with his
condition in the whole province.
Such a crowd of applicants arrived that a fleet would
not have contained them. Candide, wishing to choose
among the most likely, picked out twenty persons who
seemed reasonably sociable and who all claimed to
deserve his preference. He collected them in a tavern
and gave them supper, on condition that each took an
oath to relate truthfully the story of his life, promising
that he would choose the man who seemed to him the
most deserving of pity and to have the most cause for
being discontented with his condition, and that he would
give the others a little money.
The sitting lasted until four o'clock in the morning.
As Candide listened to their adventures he remembered
what the old woman had said on the voyage to Buenos
Ayres and how she had wagered that there was nobody
on the boat who had not experienced very great mis-
fortunes. At each story which was told him, he thought
** This Pangloss," said he, " would have some diffi-
culty in supporting his system. I wish he were here.
Certainly, if everything is well, it is only in Eldorado
and not in the rest of the world."
He finally determined in favour of a poor man of
letters who had worked ten years for the booksellers
at Amsterdam. He judged that there was no occupa-
tion in the world which could more disgust a man.
This man of letters, who was also a good man, had
been robbed by his wife, beaten >by his son, and aban-
doned by his daughter, who had eloped with a Portuguese.
He had just been deprived of a small post on which he
depended and the preachers of Surinam were persecuting
him because they thought he was a Socinian.
It must be admitted that the others were at least as
unfortunate as he was ; but Candide hoped that this
learned man would help to pass the time during the
voyage. All his other rivals considered that Candide
was doing them a great injustice ; but he soothed them
down by giving each of them a hundred piastres.
What happened to Candide and Martin at sea
SO the old man, who was called Martin, embarked
with Candide for Bordeaux. Both had seen and
suffered much ; and if the ship had been sailing
from Surinam to Japan by way of the Cape of
Gk)od Hope they would have been able to discuss moral
and physical evil during the whole voyage.
However, Candide had one great advantage over
Martin, because he still hoped to see Miss Cunegonde
again, and Martin had nothing to hope for ; moreover,
he possessed gold and diamonds ; and, although he
had lost a hundred large red sheep laden with the greatest
treasures on earth, although he was still enraged at being
robbed by the Dutch captain, yet when he thought of
what he still had left in his pockets and when he talked
of Cunegonde, especially at the end of a meal, he still
inclined towards the system of Pangloss.
*' But what do you think of all this, Martin } " said
he to the man of letters. ** What is your view of moral
and physical evil } "
** Sir," replied Martin, " my priests accused me of
being a Socinian ; but the truth is I am a Manichaean."
" You are poking fun at me," said Candide, '* there
are no Manichaeans left in the world."
" I am one," said Martin. " I don't know what to
do about it, but I am unable to think in any other
** You must be possessed by the devil," said Candide.
** He takes so great a share in the affairs of this world,"
said Martin, ** that he might well be in me, as he is
everywhere else ; but I confess that when I consider this
globe, or rather this globule, I think that God has
abandoned it to some evil creature — always excepting
Eldorado. I have never seen a town which did not
desire the ruin of the next town, never a family which
did not wish to exterminate some other family. Every-
where the weak loathe the powerful before whom they
cower and the powerful treat them like flocks of sheep
whose wool and flesh are to be sold. A million drilled
assassins go from one end of Europe to the other mur-
dering and robbing with discipline in order to earn their
bread, because there is no honester occupation ; and in
the towns which seem to enjoy peace and where the
arts flourish men are devoured by more envy, troubles
and worries than the afflictions of a besieged town.
Secret griefs are even more cruel than public miseries.
In a word, I have seen so much and endured so much
that I have become a Manichaean."
" Yet there is some good," replied Candide.
** There may be," said Martin, *' but I do not know
In the midst of this dispute they heard the sound of
cannon. The noise increased every m.oment. Every-
one took his telescope. About three miles away they
saw two ships engaged in battle ; and the wind brought
them so near the French ship that they had the pleasure
of seeing the fight at their ease. At last one of the
two ships fired a broadside so accurately and so low
down that the other ship began to sink. Candide and
Martin distinctly saw a hundred men on the main deck
of the sinking ship ; they raised their hands to Heaven
and uttered frightful shrieks ; in a moment all were
" Well 1 " said Martin, " that is how men treat each
"It is certainly true," said Candide, " that there is
something diabolical in this affair."
As he was speaking, he saw something of a brilliant
red swimming near the ship. They launched a boat to
I see what it could be ; it was one of his sheep. Candide
i. felt more joy at recovering this sheep than grief at
losing a hundred all laden with large diamonds from
The French captain soon perceived that the captain
of the remaining ship was a Spaniard and that the sunken
ship was a Dutch pirate ; the captain was the very same
who had robbed Candide. The immense wealth this
scoundrel had stolen was swallowed up with him in the
sea and only a sheep was saved.
" You see," said Candide to Martin, " that crime is
sometimes punished ; this scoundrel of a Dutch captain
has met the fate he deserved."
** Yes," said Martin, " but was it necessary that the
other passengers on his ship should perish too .^ God
punished the thief, and the devil punished the others."
Meanwhile the French and Spanish ships continued
on their way and Candide continued his conversation
with Martin. They argued for a fortnight, and at the
end of the fortnight they had got no further than at
the beginning. But after all, they talked, they ex-
changed ideas, they consoled each other. Candide
stroked his sheep.
" Since I have found you again," said he, ** I may
very likely find Cunegonde."
Candide and Martin approach the coast of France and
AT last they sighted the coast of France.
" Have you ever been to France, Mr.
Martin ? " said Candide.
** Yes," said Martin, ** I have traversed
several provinces. In some half the inhabitants are
crazy, in others they are too artful, in some they are
usually quite gentle and stupid, and in others they
think they are clever ; in all of them the chief occupation
is making love, the second scandal-mongering and the
third talking nonsense."
" But, Mr. Martin, have you seen Paris } "
** Yes, I have seen Paris ; it is a mixture of all these
species ; it is a chaos, a throng where everybody hunts
for pleasure and hardly anybody finds it, at least so
far as I could see. I did not stay there long; when
I arrived there I was robbed of everything I had by
pickpockets at Saint-Germain's fair ; they thought I was
a thief and I spent a week in prison ; after which I
became a printer's reader to earn enough to return to
Holland on foot. I met the scribbling rabble, the
intriguing rabble and the fanatical rabble. We hear
that there are very polite people in the town ; I am glad
to think so."
" For my part, I have not the least curiosity to see
France," said Candide. ** You can easily guess that
when a man has spent a month in Eldorado he cares
to see nothing else in the world but Miss Cunegonde.
I shall go and wait for her at Venice ; we will go to
Italy by way of France ; will you come with me ? "
** Willingly," said Martin. ** They say that Venice
is only for the Venetian nobles, but that foreigners are
nevertheless well received when they have plenty of
money; I have none, you have plenty, I will follow
** Apropos," said Candide, " do you think the earth
was originally a sea, as we are assured by that large
book 1 belonging to the captain ? "
" I don't believe it in the least," said Martin, ** any
more than all the other whimsies we have been pestered
with recently 1 "
" But to what end was this world formed ? " said
** To infuriate us," replied Martin.
" Are you not very much surprised," continued
Candide, '* by the love those two girls of the country
of the Oreillons had for those two monkeys, whose
adventure I told you .? "
** Not in the least," said Martin. " I see nothing
strange in their passion ; I have seen so many extra-
ordinary things that nothing seems extraordinary to me."
'* Do you think," said Candide, " that men have
always massacred each other, as they do to-day ? Have
they always been liars, cheats, traitors, brigands, weak,
flighty, cowardly, envious, gluttonous, drunken, grasping
and vicious, bloody, backbiting, debauched, fanatical,
hypocritical and silly ? "
" Do you think," said Martin, " that sparrow-hawks
have always eaten the pigeons they came across ? "
" Yes, of course," said Candide.
** Well," said Martin, ** if sparrow-hawks have always
possessed the same nature, why should you expect men
to change theirs ? "
" Oh ! " said Candide, " there is a great difference ;
free-will. . . ."
Arguing thus, they arrived at Bordeaux.
1 The Bible.
What happened to Candide and Martin in France
CANDIDE remained in Bordeaux only long
enough to sell a few Eldorado pebbles and to
provide himself with a two-seated post-chaise,
for he could no longer get on without his philo-
sopher Martin ; but he was very much grieved at having
to part with his sheep, which he left with the Academy
of Sciences at Bordeaux, The Academy offered as the
subject for a prize that year the cause of the redness of
the sheep's fleece; and the prize was awarded to a
learned man in the North, who proved by A plus B
minus C divided by Z that the sheep must be red and
die of the sheep-pox.
However, all the travellers Candide met in taverns
on the way said to him : ** We are going to Paris."
This general eagerness at length made him wish to see
that capital ; it was not far out of the road to Venice.
He entered by the Faubourg Saint-Marceau and
thought he was in the ugliest village of Westphalia.
Candide had scarcely reached his inn when he was
attacked by a slight illness caused by fatigue. As he
wore an enormous diamond on his finger, and a pro-
digiously heavy strong-box had been observed in his
train, he immediately had with him two doctors he had
not asked for, several intimate friends who would not
leave him, and two devotees who kept making him
broth. Said Martin :
" I remember that I was ill too when I first came to
Paris ; I was very poor ; so I had no friends, no devotees,
no doctors, and I got well."
However, with the aid of medicine and blood-letting,
Candide's illness became serious. An inhabitant of
the district came and gently asked him for a note pay-
able to bearer in the next world; Candide would have
nothing to do with it. The devotees assured him that
it was a new fashion ; ^ Candide replied that he was
not a fashionable man. Martin wanted to throw the
inhabitant out the window; the clerk swore that
Candide should not be buried; Martin swore that
he would bury the clerk if he continued to annoy
them. The quarrel became heated; Martin took him
by the shoulders and turned him out roughly; this
caused a great scandal, and they made an official report
Candide got better ; and during his convalescence he
had very good company to supper with him. They
gambled for high stakes. Candide was vastly surprised
that he never drew an ace ; and Martin was not surprised
Among those who did the honours of the town was a
little abb6 from P^rigord, one of those assiduous people
who are always alert, always obliging, impudent, fawn-
ing, accommodating, always on the look-out for the
arrival of foreigners, ready to tell them all the scandals
of the town and to procure them pleasures at any price.
^ A ticket of confession
^^^ Voo^^ f^^-^
:^/-r,vf^ 4.e^v\*«^ f ^-^^^ '
This abb6 took Candide and Martin to the theatre. A
new tragedy was being played. Candide was seated
near several wits. This did not prevent his weeping at
perfectly played scenes. One of the argumentative
bores near him said during an interval ;
" You have no business to weep, this is a very bad
actress, the actor playing with her is still worse, the
play is still worse than the actors ; the author does not
know a word of Arabic and yet the scene is in Arabia ;
moreover, he is a man who does not believe in innate
ideas ; to-morrow I will bring you twenty articles written
" Sir," said Candide to the abb^, ** how many plays
have you in France ? "
** Five or six thousand," he replied.
'* That's a lot," said Candide, '* and how many good
ones are there ? "
** Fifteen or sixteen," replied the other.
•• That's a lot," said Martin.
Candide was greatly pleased with an actress who took
the part of Queen Elizabeth in a rather dull tragedy
which is sometimes played.
" This actress," said he to Martin, " pleases me very
much ; she looks rather like Miss Cunegonde ; I
should be very glad to pay her my respects."
The abb6 offered to introduce him to her. Can-
dide, brought up in Germany, asked what was the
etiquette, and how queens of England were treated in
** There is a distinction," said the abb^ ; *' in the
provinces we take them to a tavern ; in Paris we respect
them when they are beautiful and throw them in the
public sewer when they are dead."
" Queens in the public sewer ! " said Candide.
** Yes, indeed," said Martin, " the abb^ is right ; I
was in Paris when Miss Monime ^ departed, as they
H 1 Adrienne Lecouvreur.
say, this life; she was refused what people liere call
the honours of burial— thzt is to say, the honour of rotting
with all the beggars of the district in a horrible cemetery ;
she was buried by herself at the corner of the Rue de
Burgoyne ; which must have given her extreme pain,
for her mind was very lofty."
" That was very impolite," said Candide.
** What do you expect ? " said Martin. ** These
people are like that. Imagine all possible contradictions
and incompatibilities ; you will see them in the govern-
ment, in the law-courts, in the churches and the entertain-
ments of this absurd nation."
** Is it true that people are always laughing in Paris } **
** Yes," said the abbd, " but it is with rage in their
hearts, for they complain of everything with roars of
laughter and they even commit with laughter the most
" Who is that fat pig," said Candide, ** who said so
much ill of the play I cried at so much and of the actors
who gave me so much pleasure } "
*' He is a living evil," replied the abb^, " who earns
his living by abusing all plays and all books ; he hates
anyone who succeeds, as eunuchs hate those who enjoy ;
he is one of the serpents of literature who feed on filth
and venom ; he is a scribbler."
'* What do you mean by a scribbler .? " said Candide.
" A scribbler of periodical sheets," said the abbd.
" A Freron."
Candide, Martin and the abbe from P^rigord talked
in this manner on the stairway as they watched every-
body gomg out after the play.
" Although I am most anxious to see Miss Cunegonde
again," said Candide, ** I should like to sup with Miss
Clairon, for I thought her admirable."
The abb^ was not the sort of man to know Miss
Clairon, for she saw only good company.
" She is engaged this evening," he said, " but I shall
have the honour to take you to the house of a lady of
quality, and there you will learn as much of Paris as if
you had been here for four years."
Candide, who was naturally curious, allowed himself
to be taken to the lady's house at the far end of the
Faubourg Saint-Honor^ ; they were playing faro ; twelve
gloomy punters each held a small hand of cards, the
foolish register of their misfortunes. The silence was
profound, the punters were pale, the banker was uneasy,
and the lady of the house, seated beside this pitiless
banker, watched with lynx's eyes every double stake,
every seven-and-the-go, with which each player marked
his cards ; she had them un-marked with severe but
polite attention, for fear of losing her customers ; the
lady called herself Marquise de Parolignac. Her fifteen-
year-old daughter was among the punters and winked
to her to let her know the tricks of the poor people
who attempted to repair the cruelties of fate. The
abb^ from P^rigord, Candide and Martin entered;
nobody rose, nobody greeted them, nobody looked at
them ; everyone was profoundly occupied with the
" Her Ladyship, the Baroness of Thunder-ten-tronckh
was more civil," said Candide.
However, the abb^ whispered in the ear of the Marquise,
who half rose, honoured Candide with a gracious smile
and Martin with a most noble nod. Candide was given
a seat and a hand of cards, and lost fifty thousand francs
in two hands; after which they supped very merrily
and everyone was surprised that Candide was not more
disturbed by his loss. The lackeys said to each other,
in the language of lackeys :
" He must be an English Milord."
The supper was like most suppers in Paris ; first
there was a silence and then a noise of indistinguishable
words, then jokes, most of which were insipid, false news,
false arguments, some politics and a great deal of scandal ;
there was even some talk of new books.
" Have you seen," said the abb^ from P^rigord, " the
novel by Gauchat, the doctor of theology ? "
** Yes," replied one of the guests, " but I could not
finish it. We have a crowd of silly writings, but all of
them together do not approach the silliness of Gauchat,
doctor of theology. I am so weary of this immensity
of detestable books which inundates us that I have taken
** And what do you say about the Melanges by Arch-
deacon T. .? " said the abb^.
" Ah ! " said Madame de Parolignac, " the tiresome
creature 1 How carefully he tells you what everybody
knows 1 How heavily he discusses what is not worth
the trouble of being lightly mentioned 1 How witlessly
he appropriates other people's wit ! How he spoils
what he steals ! How he disgusts me 1 But he will
not disgust me any more ; it is enough to have read a
few pages by the Archdeacon."
There was a man of learning and taste at table who
confirmed what the marchioness had said. They then
talked of tragedies ; the lady asked why there were
tragedies which were sometimes played and yet were
unreadable. The man of taste explained very clearly
how a play might have some interest and hardly any
merit ; in a few words he proved that it was not sufficient
to bring in one or two of the situations which are found
in all novels and which always attract the spectators ;
but that a writer of tragedies must be original without
being bizarre, often sublime and always natural, must
know the human heart and be able to give it speech,
must be a great poet but not let any character in his
play appear to be a poet, must know his language per-
fectly, speak it with purity, with continual harmony
and never allow the sense to be spoilt for the sake of
" Anyone," he added, ** who does not observe all
these rules may produce one or two tragedies applauded
in the theatre, but he will never be ranked among good
writers ; there are very few good tragedies ; some are
idylls in well-written and well-rhymed dialogue ; some
are political arguments which send one to sleep, or
repulsive amplifications ; others are the dreams of an
enthusiast, in a barbarous style, with broken dialogue,
long apostrophes to the gods (because he does not
know how to speak to men), false maxims and turgid
Candide listened attentively to these remarks and
conceived a great idea of the speaker ; and, as the
marchioness had been careful to place him beside her,
he leaned over to her ear and took the liberty of asking
her who was the man who talked so well.
** He is a man of letters," said the lady, " who does
not play cards and is sometimes brought here to supper
by the abb^ ; he has a perfect knowledge of tragedies
and books and he has written a tragedy which was hissed
and a book of which only one copy has ever been seen
outside his bookseller's shop and that was one he gave
** The great man ! " said Candide. ** He is another
Then, turning to him, Candide said :
** Sir, no doubt you think that all is for the best in
the physical world and in the moral, and that nothing
could be otherwise than as it is ."^ "
** Sir," replied the man of letters, " I do not think
anything of the sort. I think everything goes awry
with us, that nobody knows his rank or his office, nor
what he is doing, nor what he ought to do, and that
except at supper, which is quite gay and where there
appears to be a certain amount of sociability, all the rest
of their time is passed in senseless quarrels : Jansenists
with Molinists, lawyers with churchmen, men of letters
with men of letters, courtiers with courtiers, financiers
with the people, wives with husbands, relatives with
relatives — 'tis an eternal war.'*
Candide replied :
" I have seen worse things ; but a wise man, who has
since had the misfortune to be hanged, taught me that
it is all for the best; these are only the shadows in a
** Your wise man who was hanged was poking fun at
the world," said Martin ; " and your shadows are
" The stains are made by men," said Candide, ** and
they cannot avoid them."
" Then it is not their fault," said Martin.
Most of the gamblers, who had not the slightest
understanding of this kind of talk, were drinking ;
Martin argued with the man of letters and Candide told
the hostess some of his adventures.
After supper the marchioness took Candide into a
side room and made him sit down on a sofa.
" Well I " said she, ** so you are still madly in love
with Miss Cunegonde of Thunder-ten-tronckh ? **
** Yes, madam," replied Candide.
The marchioness replied with a tender smile :
** You answer like a young man from Westphalia.
A Frenchman would have said: ' It is true that I was
in love with Miss Cunegonde, but when I see you,
madam, I fear lest I should cease to love her.* "
"Alas! madam," said Candide, "I will answer as
** Your passion for her," said the marchioness, *' began
by picking up her handkerchief; I want you to pick up
" With all my heart," said Candide ; and he picked
" But I want you to put it on again," said the lady ;
and Candide put it on again.
** You see," said the lady, ** you are a foreigner ; I
sometimes make my lovers in Paris languish for a fort-
night, but I give myself to you the very first night,
because one must do the honours of one's country to a
young man from Westphalia."
The fair lady, having perceived two enormous diamonds
on the young foreigner's hands, praised them so sincerely
that they passed from Candide's fingers to the fingers of
As Candide went home with his abb^ from P^rigord,
he felt some remorse at having been unfaithful to Miss
Cunegonde. The abbd sympathised with his distress;
he had only had a small share in the fifty thousand francs
Candide had lost at cards and in the value of the two
half-given, half-extorted diamonds. His plan was to
profit as much as he could from the advantages which
his acquaintance with Candide might procure for him.
He talked a lot about Cunegonde, and Candide told him
that he should ask that fair one's forgiveness for his
infidelity when he saw her at Venice.
The abbe from Pdrigord redoubled his politeness
and civilities and took a tender interest in all Candide
said, in all he did, and in all he wished to do.
** Then, sir," said he, " you are to meet her at
Venice ? "
** Yes, sir," said Candide, ** without fail I must go
and meet Miss Cunegonde there."
Then, carried away by the pleasure of talking about
the person he loved, he related, as he was accustomed
to do, some of his adventures with that illustrious
** I suppose," said the abb^, " that Miss Cunegonde has
a great deal of wit and that she writes charming letters."
" I have never received any from her," said Candide,
** for you must know that when I was expelled from the
castle because of my love for her, I could not write to
her; soon afterwards I heard she was dead, then I
found her again and then I lost her, and now I have
sent an express messenger to her two thousand five
hundred leagues from here and am expecting her reply."
The abbd listened attentively and seemed rather
meditative. He soon took leave of the two foreigners,
after having embraced them tenderly. The next morn-
ing when Candide woke up he received a letter composed
as follows :
" Sir, my dearest lover, I have been ill for a week in
this town ; I have just heard that you are here. I
should fly to your arms if I could stir. I heard that
you had passed through Bordeaux ; I left the faithful
Cacambo and the old woman there and they will soon
follow me. The governor of Buenos Ayres took every-
thing, but I still have your heart. Come, your presence
will restore me to life or will make me die of pleasure."
This charming, this unhoped-for letter, transported
Candide with inexpressible joy ; and the illness of his
dear Cunegonde overwhelmed him with grief. Torn
between these two sentiments, he took his gold and his
diamonds and drove with Martin to the hotel where
Miss Cunegonde was staying. He entered trembling
with emotion, his heart beat, his voice was broken ; he
wanted to open the bed-curtains and to have a light
" Do nothing of the sort," said the waiting-maid.
" Light would be the death of her."
And she quickly drew the curtains.
" My dear Cunegonde," said Candide, weeping,
" how do you feel ? If you cannot see me, at least speak
" She cannot speak," said the maid-servant.
The lady then extended a plump hand, which Candide
watered with his tears and then filled with diamonds,
leaving a bag full of gold in the arm-chair.
In the midst of these transports a police-officer arrived,
followed by the abbe from Pdrigord and a squad of
** So these are the two suspicious foreigners ? " he
He had them arrested immediately and ordered his
bravoes to hale them off to prison.
** This is not the way they treat travellers in Eldo-
rado," said Candide.
** I am more of a Manichaean than ever," said Martin.
" But, sir, where are you taking us ? " said Candide.
** To the deepest dungeon," said the police-officer.
Martin, having recovered his coolness, decided that
the lady who pretended to be Cunegonde was a cheat,
that the abbe from P^rigord was a cheat who had abused
Candide's innocence with all possible speed, and that
the police-officer was another cheat of whom they could
easily be rid.
Rather than expose himself to judicial proceedings,
Candide, enlightened by this advice and impatient to
see the real Cunegonde again, offered the police-officer
three little diamonds worth about three thousand pounds
" Ah ! sir," said the man with the ivory stick, ** if
you had committed all imaginable crimes you would be
the most honest man in the world. Three diamonds !
Each worth three thousand pounds each 1 Sir 1 I
would be killed for your sake, instead of taking you to
prison. All strangers are arrested here, but trust to
me. I have a brother at Dieppe in Normandy, I will
take you there ; and if you have any diamonds to give
him he will take as much care of you as myself."
" And why are all strangers arrested ? " said Candide,
The abb^ from Pdrigord then spoke and said :
*' It is because a scoundrel from Atrebatum ^ listened
^ Artois. Damiens, who attempted the life of Louis XV on the 5th
January 1757, was born at Arras.
to imbecilities ; this alone made him commit a parricide,
not like that of May i6io,^ but like that of December
1594,2 and like several others committed in other years
and in other months by other scoundrels who had
listened to imbecilities."
The police-officer then explained what it was all
*' Ah I the monsters ! " cried Candide. " What !
Can such horrors be in a nation which dances and sings 1
Can I not leave at once this country where monkeys
torment tigers ? I have seen bears in my own country ;
Eldorado is the only place where I have seen men. In
God's name, sir, take me to Venice, where I am to wait
for Miss Cunegonde."
** I can only take you to Lower Normandy," said the
Immediately he took off their irons, said there had
been a mistake, sent his men away, took Candide and
Martin to Dieppe, and left them with his brother.
There was a small Dutch vessel in the port. With the
help of three other diamonds the Norman became the
most obliging of men and embarked Candide and his
servant in the ship which was about to sail for Ports-
mouth in England. It was not the road to Venice;
but Candide felt as if he had escaped from Hell, and he
had every intention of taking the road to Venice at the
* Henri IV was assassinated on the 14th May i6io.
* On the 27th December 1594, Jean Chatel made an attempt on the
life of Henri IV.
' Captain of Italian archers or sbirri.
Candide and Martin reach the coast of England ; and
what they saw there
yA H 1 Pangloss, Pangloss ! Ah ! Martin,
/% Martin I Ah 1 my dear Cunegonde ! What
/ ^ sort of a world is this ? ** said Candide on the
jL jL^Dutch ship.
** Something very mad and very abominable," replied
** You know England ; are the people there as mad
as they are in France } **
'* "Tis another sort of madness," said Martin. ** You
know these two nations are at war for a few acres of
snow in Canada, and that they are spending more on
this fine war than all Canada is worth. It is beyond
my poor capacity to tell you whether there are more
madmen in one country than in the other; all I know
is that in general the people we are going to visit arc
Talking thus, they arrived at Portsmouth. There
were multitudes of people on the shore, looking atten-
tively at a rather fat man who was kneeling down with
his eyes bandaged on the deck of one of the ships in the
fleet; four soldiers placed opposite this man each shot
three bullets into his brain in the calmest manner imagin-
able ; and the whole assembly returned home with great
"What is all this.?" said Candide. "And what
Demon exercises his power everywhere } "
He asked who was the fat man who had just been
killed so ceremoniously.
" An admiral," ^ was the reply.
^ Admiral Bjoig, shot on the 14th March, 1757, after his defeat near
Minorca. Vohaire did all he could to save Byng^s life.
" And why kill the admiral ? "
" Because," he was told, " he did not kill enough
people. He fought a battle with a French admiral and
it was held that the English admiral was not close enough
** But," said Candide, " the French admiral was just
as far from the English admiral as he was from the
French admiral ! "
" That is indisputable," was the answer, '* but in this
country it is a good thing to kill an admiral from time
to time to encourage the others."
Candide was so bewildered and so shocked by what
he saw and heard that he would not even set foot on
shore, but bargained with the Dutch captain (even if
he had to pay him as much as the Surinam robber) to
take him at once to Venice.
The captain was ready in two days. They sailed
down the coast of France ; and passed in sight of Lisbon,
at which Candide shuddered. They entered the Straits
and the Mediterranean and at last reached Venice.
" Praised be God ! " said Candide, embracing Martin,
** here I shall see the fair Cunegonde again. I trust
Cacambo as I would myself. All is well, all goes well,
all goes as well as it possibly could."
Paquette and Friar Giroflee
AS soon as he reached Venice, he inquired for
Cacambo in all the taverns, in all the cafes,
and of all the ladies of pleasure ; and did not
find him. Every day he sent out messengers
to all ships and boats ; but there was no news of Cacambo.
" What ! " said he to Martin, " I have had time to
sail from Surinam to Bordeaux, to go from Bordeaux
to Paris, from Paris to Dieppe, from Dieppe to Ports-
mouth, to sail along the coasts of Portugal and Spain,
to cross the Mediterranean, to spend several months at
Venice, and the fair Cunegonde has not yet arrived 1
Instead of her I have met only a jade and an abbd from
Pdrigord ! Cunegonde is certainly dead and the only
thing left for me is to die too. Ah ! it would have been
better to stay in the Paradise of Eldorado instead of
returning to this accursed Europe. How right you are,
my dear Martin ! Everything is illusion and calamity ! "
He fell into a black melancholy and took no part
in the opera a la mode or in the other carnival amuse-
ments; not a lady caused him the least temptation.
Martin said :
" You are indeed simple-minded to suppose that a
half-breed valet with five or six millions in his pocket
will go and look for your mistress at the other end of
the world and bring her to you at Venice. If he finds
her, he will take her for himself; if he does not find her,
he will take another. I advise you to forget your valet
Cacambo and your mistress Cunegonde."
Martin was not consoling. Candide*s melancholy
increased, and Martin persisted in proving to him that
there was little virtue and small happiness in the world
except perhaps in Eldorado, where nobody could go.
While arguing about this important subject and
waiting for Cunegonde, Candide noticed a young Thea-
tine monk in the Piazza San Marco with a girl on his
arm. The Theatine looked fresh, plump and vigorous ;
his eyes were bright, his air assured, his countenance
firm, and his step lofty. The girl was very pretty and
was singing ; she gazed amorously at her Theatine and
every now and then pinched his fat cheeks.
** At least you will admit," said Candide to Martin,
** that those people are happy. Hitherto I have only
found unfortunates in the whole habitable earth, except
in Eldorado ; but I wager that this girl and the Theatine
are very happy creatures."
** I wager they are not," said Martin.
" We have only to ask them to dinner," said Candide,
** and you will see whether I am wrong."
He immediately accosted them, paid his respects to
them, and invited them to come to his hotel to eat maca-
roni, Lombardy partridges, and caviare, and to drink
Montepulciano, Lacryma Christi, Cyprus and Samos
wine. The young lady blushed, the Theatine accepted
the invitation, and the girl followed, looking at Candide
with surprise and confusion in her eyes, which were
filled with a few tears. Scarcely had they entered
Candide's room when she said :
** What ! Mr. Candide does not recognise Paquette 1 "
At these words Candide, who had not looked at her
very closely because he was occupied entirely by Cune-
gonde, said to her :
" Alas 1 my poor child, so it was you who put Dr.
Pangloss into the fine state I saw him in .? "
" Alas 1 sir, it was indeed," said Paquette. " I see
you have heard all about it. I have heard of the terrible
misfortunes which happened to Her Ladyship the
Baroness's whole family and to the fair Cunegonde.
I swear to you that my fate has been just as sad. I was
very innocent when you knew me. A Franciscan friar
who was my confessor easily seduced me. The results
were dreadful ; I was obliged to leave the castle shortly
after His Lordship the Baron expelled you by kicking
you hard and frequently in the backside. If a famous
doctor had not taken pity on me I should have died.
For some time I was the doctor's mistress from gratitude
to him. His wife, who was madly jealous, beat me
every day relentlessly ; she was a fury. The doctor
was the ugliest of men, and I was the most unhappy
of all living creatures at being continually beaten on
account of a man I did not love. You know, sir, how
dangerous it is for a shrewish woman to be the wife of
a doctor. One day, exasperated by his wife's behaviour,
he gave her some medicine for a little cold, and it was
so efficacious that she died two hours afterwards in
horrible convulsions. The lady's relatives brought a
criminal prosecution against the husband ; he fled and
I was put in prison. My innocence would not have
saved me if I had not been rather pretty. The judge
set me free on condition that he took the doctor's place.
I was soon supplanted by a rival, expelled without a
penny, and obliged to continue the abominable occupa-
tion which to you men seems so amusing and which to
us is nothing but an abyss of misery. I came to Venice
to practise this profession. Ah ! sir, if you could
imagine what it is to be forced to caress impartially an
old tradesman, a lawyer, a monk, a gondolier, an abbd ;
to be exposed to every insult and outrage ; to be reduced
often to borrow a petticoat in order to go and find some
disgusting man who will lift it ; to be robbed by one of
what one has earned with another, to be despoiled by
the police, and to contemplate for the future nothing
but a dreadful old age, a hospital and a dunghill, you
would conclude that I am one of the most unfortunate
creatures in the world."
Paquette opened her heart in this way to Candide in a
side room, in the presence of Martin, who said to Candide :
** You see, I have already won half my wager."
Friar Girofl^e had remained in the dining-room,
drinking a glass while he waited for dinner.
'* But," said Candide to Paquette, *' when I met you,
you looked so gay, so happy; you were singing, you
were caressing the Theatine so naturally ; you seemed to
me to be as happy as you say you are unfortunate."
** Ah ! sir," replied Paquette, ** that is one more
misery of our profession. Yesterday I was robbed and
beaten by an officer, and to-day I must seem to be in a
good humour to please a monk."
Candide wanted to hear no more ; he admitted that
Martin was right. They sat down to table with Paquette
and the Theatine. The meal was quite amusing and
towards the end they were talking with some confidence.
" Father," said Candide to the monk, ** you seem to
me to enjoy a fate which everybody should envy; the
flower of health shines on your cheek, your face is radiant
with happiness ; you have a very pretty girl for your
recreation and you appear to be very well pleased with
your state of life as a Theatine."
" Faith, sir," said Friar Giroflde, ** I wish all the
Theatines were at the bottom of the sea. A hundred
times I have been tempted to set fire to the monastery
and to go and be a Turk. My parents forced me at
the age of fifteen to put on this detestable robe, in order
that more money might be left to my cursed elder brother,
whom God confound ! Jealousy, discord, fury, inhabit
the monastery. It is true, I have preached a few bad
sermons which bring me in a little money, half of which
is stolen from me b)' the prior ; the remainder I spend
on girls; but when I go back to the monastery in the
evening I feel ready to smash my head against the
JJOhtA wouli Dr.Pan^loss sai^ if hf ^^w lubot /J^\
I tbe pure stote ^nature is 7 /jF ^
dormitory walls, and all my colleagues are in the same
Martin turned to Candide and said with his usual
" Well, have I not won the whole wager ? "
Candide gave two thousand piastres to Paquette and
a thousand to Friar Giroflee.
" I warrant," said he, " that they will be happy with
" I don't believe it in the very least," said Martin.
*' Perhaps you will make them still more unhappy with
** That may be," said Candide, ** but I am consoled
by one thing ; I see that we often meet people we thought
we should never meet again ; it may very well be that
as I met my red sheep and Paquette, I may also meet
" I hope," said Martin, ** that she will one day make
you happy ; but I doubt it very much."
** You are very hard," said Candide.
** That's because I have lived," said Martin.
** But look at these gondoliers," said Candide, ** they
sing all day long."
" You do not see them at home, with their wives and
their brats of children," said Martin. " The Doge has
his troubles, the gondoliers have theirs. True, looking
at it all round, a gondolier's lot is preferable to a Doge's ;
but I think the dijfference so slight that it is not worth
** They talk," said Candide, ** about Senator Poco-
curante who lives in that handsome palace on the Brenta
and who is hospitable to foreigners. He is supposed to
be a man who has never known a grief."
" I should like to meet so rare a specimen," said
Candide immediately sent a request to Lord Poco-
curante for permission to wait upon him next day.
Visit to the noble Venetian^ Lord Pococurante
CANDIDE and Martin took a gondola and
rowed to the noble Pococurante's palace. The
gardens were extensive and ornamented with
fine marble statues ; the architecture of the
palace was handsome. The master of this establish-
ment, a very wealthy man of about sixty, received the
two visitors very politely but with very little cordiality,
which disconcerted Candide but did not displease Martin.
Two pretty and neatly dressed girls served them with
very frothy chocolate. Candide could not refrain from
praising their beauty, their grace and their skill.
" They are quite good creatures," said Senator Poco-
curante, ** and I sometimes make them sleep in my bed,
for I am very tired of the ladies of the town, with their
coquetries, their jealousies, their quarrels, their humours,
their meanness, their pride, their folly, and the sonnets
one must write or have written for them ; but, after all,
I am getting very tired of these two girls."
After this collation, Candide was walking in a long
gallery and was surprised by the beauty of the pictures.
He asked what master had painted the two first.
" They are by Raphael," said the Senator. '* Some
years ago I bought them at a very high price out of mere
vanity; I am told they are the finest in Italy, but they
give me no pleasure ; the colour has gone very dark,
the faces are not sufficiently rounded and do not stand
out enough ; the draperies have not the least resemblance
to material ; in short, whatever they may say, I do not
consider them a true imitation of nature. I shall only
like a picture when it makes me think it is nature itself;
and there are none of that kind. I have a great many
pictures, but I never look at them now."
While they waited for dinner, Pococurante gave them
a concert. Candide thought the music delicious.
" This noise," said Pococurante, " is amusing for
half an hour ; but if it lasts any longer, it wearies every-
body although nobody dares to say so. Music nowadays
is merely the art of executing difficulties, and in the end
"that which is only difficult ceases to please. Perhaps T
should like the opera more if they had not made it a
monster which revolts me. Those who please may go
to see bad tragedies set to music, where the scenes are
only composed to bring in clumsily two or three ridiculous
songs which show off an actress's voice ; those who will
or can may swoon with pleasure when they see an
eunuch humming the part of Caesar and Cato as he
awkwardly treads the boards ; for my part, I long ago
abandoned such trivialities, which nowadays are the
glory of Italy and for which monarchs pay so dearly."
Candide demurred a little, but discreetly. Martin
entirely agreed with the Senator.
They sat down to table and after an excellent dinner
went into the library. Candide saw a magnificently
bound Homer and complimented the Illustrissimo on
his good taste.
•' That is the book," said he, " which so much de-
lighted the great Pangloss, the greatest philosopher of
" It does not delight me," said Pococurante coldly;
" formerly I was made to believe that I took pleasure
in reading it; but this continual repetition or battles
which are all alike, these gods who are perpetually active
and achieve nothing decisive, this Helen who is the
cause of the war and yet scarcely an actor in the piece,
this Troy which is always besieged and never taken—
all bore me extremely. I have sometimes asked learned
men if they were as bored as I am by reading it ; all
who were sincere confessed that the book fell from their
hands, but that it must be in every library, as a monu-
ment of antiquity, and like those rusty coins which
cannot be put into circulation."
** Your Excellency has a different opinion of Virgil ? **
*' I admit," said Pococurante, ** that the second,
fourth and sixth books of his JEneid are excellent, but
as for his pious i^neas and the strong Cloanthes and the
faithful Achates and the little Ascanius and the imbecile
king Latinus and the middle-class Amata and the insipid
Lavinia, I think there could be nothing more frigid and
disagreeable. I prefer Tasso and the fantastic tales of
** May I venture to ask you, sir," said Candide, " if
you do not take great pleasure in reading Horace ? "
" He has two maxims," said Pococurante, '* which
might be useful to a man of the world, and which, being
compressed in energetic verses, are more easily impressed
upon the memory ; but I care very little for his Journey
to Brundisium, and his description of a Bad Dinner, and
the street brawlers* quarrel between — what is his name ?
— Rupilius, whose words, he says, were full of pus, and
another person whose words were all vinegar. I was
extremely disgusted with his gross verses against old
women and witches ; and I cannot see there is any merit
in his telling his friend Maecenas that, if he is placed by
him among the lyric poets, he will strike the stars with
his lofty brow. Fools admire everything in a celebrated
author. I only read to please myself, and I only like
what suits me."
Candide, who had been taught never to judge any-
thing for himself, was greatly surprised by what he
heard ; and Martin thought Pococurante's way of
thinking quite reasonable.
** Oh 1 There is a Cicero," said Candide. ** I
suppose you are never tired of reading that great
** I never read him," replied the Venetian. " What
do I care that he pleaded for Rabirius or Cluentius. I
have enough cases to judge myself; I could better have
endured his philosophical works ; l>ut when I saw that
he doubted everything, I concluded I knew as much as
he and did not need anybody else in order to be ignorant."
** Ah 1 There are eighty volumes of the Proceedings
of an Academy of Sciences," exclaimed Martin, '* there
might be something good in them."
'* There would be," said Pococurante, " if a single
one of the authors of all that rubbish had invented even
the art of making pins ; but in all those books there is
nothing but vain systems and not a single useful thing."
" What a lot of plays I see there," said Candide.
** Italian, Spanish, and French 1 "
" Yes," said the Senator, " there are three thousand
and not three dozen good ones. As for those collections
of sermons, which all together are not worth a page of
Seneca, and all those large volumes of theology, you
may well suppose that they are never opened by me or
Martin noticed some shelves filled with English books.
" I should think," he said, " that a republican would
enjoy most of those works written with so much freedom."
'* Yes," replied Pococurante, "it is good to write
as we think ; it is the privilege of man. In all Italy, we
only write what we do not think; those who inhabit
the country of the Caesars and the Antonines dare not
have an idea without the permission of a Dominican
monk. I should applaud the liberty which inspires
Englishmen of genius if passion and party spirit did not
corrupt everything estimable in that precious liberty."
Candide, in noticing a Milton, asked him if he did
not consider that author to be a very great man.
*' Who ? " said Pococurante. ** That barbarian who
wrote a long commentary on the first chapter of Genesis
in ten books of harsh verses ? That gross imitator of
the Greeks, who disfigures the Creation, and who, while
Moses represents the Eternal Being as producing the
world by speech, makes the Messiah take a large com-
pass from the heavenly cupboard in order to trace out
his work ? Should I esteem the man who spoiled
Tasso's hell and devil ; who disguises Lucifer sometimes
as a toad, sometimes as a pygmy ; who makes him repeat
the same things a hundred times ; makes him argue
about theology ; and imitates seriously Ariosto's comical
invention of fire-arms by making the devils fire a cannon
in Heaven ? Neither I nor anyone else in Italy could
enjoy such wretched extravagances. The marriage of
Sin and Death and the snakes which sin brings forth
nauseate any man of delicate taste, and his long descrip-
tion of a hospital would only please a grave-digger.
This obscure, bizarre and disgusting poem was despised
at its birth ; I treat it to-day as it was treated by its con-
temporaries in its own country. But then I say what
I think, and care very little whether others think as I
Candide was distressed by these remarks ; he respected
Homer and rather liked Milton.
** Alas ! " he whispered to Martin, ** I am afraid this
man would have a sovereign contempt for our German
" There wouldn't be much harm in that," said Martin.
** Oh 1 What a superior man ! " said Candide under
his breath. " What a great genius this Pococurante is I
Nothing can please him."
After they had thus reviewed all his books they went
down into the garden. Candide praised all its beauties.
" I have never met anything more tasteless," said
their owner. " We have nothing but gewgaws ; but
to-morrow I shall begin to plant one on a more noble
When the two visitors had taken farewell of his
Excellency, Candide said to Martin :
" Now you will admit that he is the happiest of men,
for he is superior to everything he possesses."
" Do you not see," said Martin, " that he is disgusted
with everything he possesses ? Plato said long ago that
the best stomachs are not those which refuse all food."
" But," said Candide, ** is there not pleasure in criti-
cising, in finding faults where other men think they see
beauty ? "
" That is to say," answered Martin, " that there is
pleasure in not being pleased."
'• Oh I Well," said Candide, " then there is no one
happy except me — when I see Miss Cunegonde again."
** It is always good to hope," said Martin.
However, the days and weeks went by ; Cacambo did
not return and Candide was so much plunged in grief
that he did not even notice that Paquette and Friar
Girofl^e had not once come to thank him.
How Candide and Martin supped with six strangers and
who they were
ONE evening when Candide and Martin were
going to sit down to table with the strangers
who lodged in the same hotel, a man with a
face the colour of soot came up to him from
behind and, taking him by the arm, said :
" Get ready to come with us, and do not fail."
He turned round and saw Cacambo. Only the sight
of Cunegonde could have surprised and pleased him
more. He was almost wild with joy. He embraced
his dear friend.
" Cunegonde is here, of course } Where is she }
Take me to her, let me die of joy with her."
" Cunegonde is not here," said Cacambo. ** She is
** Heavens ! In Constantinople 1 But were she in
China I would fly to her ; let us start at once."
" We will start after supper," replied Cacambo. " I
cannot tell you any more ; I am a slave, and my master
is waiting for me ; I must go and serve him at table 1
Do not say anything ; eat your supper, and be in readi-
Candide, torn between joy and grief, charmed to see
his faithful agent again, amazed to see him a slave,
filled with the idea of seeing his mistress again, with
turmoil in his heart, agitation in his mind, sat down to
table with Martin (who met every strange occurrence
with the same calmness), and with six strangers, who
had come to spend the Carnival at Venice.
Cacambo, who acted as butler to one of the strangers,
bent down to his master's head towards the end of the
meal and said :
** Sire, your Majesty can leave when you wish, the
ship is ready."
After saying this, Cacambo withdrew. The guests
looked at each other with surprise without saying a
word, when another servant came up to his master and
" Sire, your Majesty's post-chaise is at Padua, and
the boat is ready."
The master made a sign and the servant departed.
Once more all the guests looked at each other, and the
general surprise was increased twofold. A third servant
went up to the third stranger and said :
** Sire, believe me, your Majesty cannot remain here
any longer ; I will prepare everything."
And he immediately disappeared.
Candide and Martin had no doubt that this was a
Carnival masquerade. A fourth servant said to the
fourth master :
** Your Majesty can leave when you wish.**
And he went out like the others.
The fifth servant spoke similarly to the fifth master.
But the sixth servant spoke diflFerently to the sixth
stranger, who was next to Candide, and said :
** Faith, sire, they will not give your Majesty any
more credit nor me either, and we may very likely be
jailed to-night, both of us ; I am going to look to my
own affairs, good-bye."
When the servants had all gone, the six strangers,
Candide and Martin remained in profound silence.
At last it was broken by Candide.
" Gentlemen," said he, ** this is a curious jest. How
is it you are all kings ? I confess that neither Martin
nor I are kings."
Cacambo's master then gravely spoke and said in
** I am not jesting, my name is Achmet III. For
several years I was Sultan ; I dethroned my brother ;
my nephew dethroned me; they cut off the heads of
my viziers ; I am ending my days in the old seraglio ;
my nephew, Sultan Mahmoud, sometimes allows me
to travel for my health, and I have come to spend the
Carnival at Venice,"
A young man who sat next to Achmet spoke after
him and said :
** My name is Ivan ; I was Emperor of all the Russias ;
I was dethroned in my cradle ; my father and mother
were imprisoned and I was brought up in prison ; I
sometimes have permission to travel, accompanied by
those who guard me, and I have come to spend the
Carnival at Venice."
The third said :
" I am Charles Edward, King of England ; my father
gave up his rights to the throne to me and I fought a
war to assert them ; the hearts of eight hundred of my
adherents were torn out and dashed in their faces. I
have been in prison ; I am going to Rome to visit the
King my father, who, like me, is dethroned, and my
grandfather, and I have come to spend the Carnival at
The fourth then spoke and said :
" I am the King of Poland ; the chance of war de-
prived me of my hereditary states ; my father endured
the same reverse of fortune ; I am resigned to Providence
like the Sultan Achmet, the Emperor Ivan and King
Charles Edward, to whom God grant long life; and I
have come to spend the Carnival at Venice."
The fifth said :
" I also am the King of Poland ; I have lost my
kingdom twice; but Providence has given me another
state in which I have been able to do more good than
all the kings of the Sarmatians together have been ever
able to do on the banks of the Vistula ; I also am resigned
to Providence and I have come to spend the Carnival at
It was now for the sixth monarch to speak.
" Gentlemen," said he, " I am not so eminent as you ;
but I have been a king like anyone else. I am Theodore ;
I was elected King of Corsica ; I have been called Your
Majesty and now I am barely called Sir. I have coined
money and do not own a farthing ; I have had two
Secretaries of State and now have scarcely a valet ; I
have occupied a throne and for a long time lay on straw
in a London prison. I am much afraid I shall be treated
in the same way here, although I have come, like your
Majesties, to spend the Carnival at Venice."
The five other kings listened to this speech with a
noble compassion. Each of them gave King Theodore
twenty sequins to buy clothes and shirts ; Candide
presented him with a diamond worth two thousand
" Who is this man," said the five kings, " who is
able to give a hundred times as much as any of us, and
who gives it .^ "
As they were leaving the table, there came to the same
hotel four serene highnesses who had also lost their states
in the chance of war, and who had come to spend the rest
of the Carnival at Venice ; but Candide did not even
notice these new-comers, he could think of nothing but
of going to Constantinople to find his dear Cunegonde.
Candide's voyage to Constantinople
THE faithful Cacambo had already spoken to the
Turkish captain who was to take Sultan Achmet
back to Constantinople and had obtained per-
mission for Candide and Martin to come on
board. They both entered this ship after having pros-
trated themselves before his miserable Highness. On
the way, Candide said to Martin :
"So we have just supped with six dethroned kings 1
And among those six kings there was one to \7h0m I
gave charity. Perhaps there are many other princes
still more unfortunate. Now, I have only lost a hundred
sheep and I am hastening to Cunegonde's arms. My
dear Martin, once more, Pangloss was right, all is well."
" I hope so," said Martin.
" But," said Candide, " this is a very singular experi-
ence we have just had at Venice. Nobody has ever seen
or heard of six dethroned kings supping together in a
" 'Tis no more extraordinary," said Martin, " than
most of the things which have happened to us. It is
very common for kings to be dethroned ; and as to
the honour we have had of supping with them, 'tis a
trifle not deserving our attention."
Scarcely had Candide entered the ship when he threw
his arms round the neck of his old valet and his friend
" Well 1 " said he, ** what is Cunegonde doing ? Is
she still a marvel of beauty ? Does she still love me ?
How is she ? Of course you have bought her a palace
in Constantinople ? "
" My dear master," replied Cacambo, ** Cunegonde
is washing dishes on the banks of Propontis for a prince
who possesses very few dishes ; she is a slave in the house
of a former sovereign named Ragotsky, who receives in
his refuge three crowns a day from the Grand Turk;
but what is even more sad is that she has lost her beauty
and has become horribly ugly."
** Ah 1 beautiful or ugly," said Candide, ** I am a
man of honour and my duty is to love her always. But
how can she be reduced to so abject a condition with the
five or six millions you carried off.'' "
" Ah 1 " said Cacambo, "did I not have to give two
millions to Senor Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueora y
Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza, Governor of Buenos
Ayres, for permission to bring away Miss Cunegonde ?
And did not a pirate bravely strip us of all the rest ?
And did not this pirate take us to Cape Matapan, to
Milo, to Nicaria, to Samos, to Petra, to the Dardanelles,
to Marmora, to Scutari ? Cunegonde and the old
woman are servants to the prince I mentioned, and I
am slave to the dethroned Sultan."
** What a chain of terrible calamities I ** said Candide.
*' But after all, I still have a few diamonds ; I shall easily
deliver Cunegonde. What a pity she has become so
Then, turning to Martin, he said :
** Who do you think is the most to be pitied, the
Sultan Achmet, the Emperor Ivan, King Charles Edward,
or me ? "
'* I do not know at all," said Martin. " I should have
to be in your hearts to know."
" Ah 1 " said Candide, " if Pangloss were here he
would know and would tell us."
** I do not know," said Martin, ** what scales your
Pangloss would use to weigh the misfortunes of men
and to estimate their sufferings. All -I presume is that
there are millions of men on the earth a hundred times
more to be pitied than King Charles Edward, the
Emperor Ivan and the Sultan Achmet."
'* That may very well be," said Candide.
In a few days they reached the Black Sea channel.
Candide began by paying a high ransom for Cacambo
and, without wasting time, he went on board a galley
with his companions bound for the shores of Propontis,
in order to find Cunegonde however ugly she might
Among the galley-slaves were two convicts who
rowed very badly and from time to time the Levantine
captain applied several strokes of a bull's pizzle to their
naked shoulders. From a natural feeling of pity Candide
watched them more attentively than the other ealley-
slaves and went up to them. Some features of their
disfigured faces appeared to him to have some resem-
blance to Pangloss and the wretched Jesuit, the Baron,
Miss Cunegonde's brother. This idea disturbed and
saddened him. He looked at them still more carefully.
" Truly," said he to Cacambo, ** if I had not seen
Dr. Pangloss hanged, and if I had not been so unfortunate
as to kill the Baron, I should think they were rowing in
At the words Baron and Pangloss, the two convicts
gave a loud cry, stopped on their seats and dropped their
oars. The Levantme captain ran up to them and the
lashes with the bull's pizzle were redoubled.
" Stop I Stop, sir ! " cried Candide. '* I will give
you as much money as you want."
" What 1 Is it Candide ? " said one of the convicts.
*' What 1 Is it Candide ? " said the other.
" Is it a dream ? " said Candide. " Am I awake ?
Am I in this galley .'' Is that my Lord the Baron
whom I killed ? Is that Dr. Pangloss whom I saw
'* It is, it is," they replied.
** What ! Is that the great philosopher ? " said Martin.
'* Ah 1 sir," said Candide to the Levantine captain,
** how much money do you want for My Lord Thunder-
ten-tronckh, one of the first Barons of the empire, and
for Dr. Pangloss, the most profound metaphysician of
Germany ? "
'* Dog of a Christian," replied the Levantine captain,
" since these two dogs of Christian convicts are Barons
and metaphysicians, which no doubt is a high rank in
their country, you shall pay me fifty thousand sequins."
*' You shall have them, sir. Row back to Con-
stantinople like lightning and you shall be paid at once.
But, no, take me to Miss Cunegonde."
The captain, at Candide's first offer, had already
turned the bow towards the town, and rowed there more
swiftly than a bird cleaves the air.
Candide embraced the Baron and Pangloss a hundred
'* How was it I did not kill you, my dear Baron ?
And, my dear Pangloss, how do you happen to be alive
after having been hanged ? And why are you both in a
Turkish galley .? "
" Is it really true that my dear sister is in this country ? "
said the Baron.
" Yes," replied Cacambo.
" So once more I see my dear Candide 1 " cried Pangloss.
Candide introduced Martin and Cacambo.
They all embraced and all talked at the same time.
The galley flew; already they were in the harbour.
They sent for a Jew, and Candide sold him for fifty
thousand sequins a diamond worth a hundred thousand,
for which he swore by Abraham he could not give any
more. The ransom of the Baron and Pangloss was
immediately paid. Pangloss threw himself at the feet
of his liberator and bathed them with tears ; the other
thanked him with a nod and promised to repay the
money at the first opportunity.
" But is it possible that my sister is in Turkey ? **
" Nothing is so possible," replied Cacambo, " since
she washes up the dishes of a prince of Transylvania."
They immediately sent for two Jews ; Candide sold
some more diamonds ; and they all set out in another
galley to rescue Cunegonde.
Cht fn9enfou^ monmr (n lOhfch ihty on) their ^hetp
' u)ere kMsteti on to the top of the mountaihsr ^ m
fFhat happened to Candide^ to Cunegondey to Pangioss^
to Martin, etc.
** ''W~^ARDON once more," said Candide to the
MJ Baron, " pardon me, reverend father, for having
I thrust my sword through your body."
JL " Let us say no more about it," said the
Baron. ** I admit I was a little too sharp ; but since you
wish to know how it was you saw me in a galley, I must
tell you that after my wound was healed by the brother
apothecary of the college, I was attacked and carried off
by a Spanish raiding party ; I was imprisoned in Buenos
Ayres at the time when my sister had just left. I asked
to return to the Vicar-General in Rome. I was ordered
to Constantinople to act as almoner to the Ambassador*
of France. A week after I had taken up my office I met
towards evening a very handsome young page of the
Sultan. It was very hot; the young man wished to
bathe ; I took the opportunity to bathe also. I did not
know that it was a most serious crime for a Christian to
be found naked with a young Mahometan. A cadi
sentenced me to a hundred strokes on the soles of my feet
and condemned me to the galley. I do not think a more
horrible injustice has ever been committed. But I
should very much like to know why my sister is in the
kitchen of a Transylvanian sovereign living in exile
among the Turks."
'* But, my dear Pangloss," said Candide, " how does it
happen that I see you once more ? "
'• It is true," said Pangloss, " that you saw me hanged ;
and in the natural course of events I should have been
burned. But you remember, it poured with rain when
they were going to roast me ; the storm was so violent
that they despaired of lighting the fire ; I was hanged
because they could do nothing better ; a surgeon bought
my body, carried me home and dissected me. He first
made a crucial incision in me from the navel to the collar-
bone. Nobody could have been worse hanged than I
was. The executioner of the holy Inquisition, who was
a subdeacon, was marvellously skilful in burning people,
but he was not accustomed to hang them ; the rope was
wet and did not slide easily and it was knotted ; in short,
I still breathed. The crucial incision caused me to
utter so loud a scream that the surgeon fell over backwards
and, thinking he was dissecting the devil, fled away in
terror and fell down the staircase in his flight. His wife
ran in at the noise from another room ; she saw me
stretched out on the table with my crucial incision ; she
was still more frightened than her husband, fled, and fell
on top of him. When they had recovered themselves
a little, I heard the surgeon's wife say to the surgeon :
*' * My dear, what were you thinking of, to dissect
a heretic ? Don't you know the devil always possesses
them ? I will go and get a priest at once to exorcise him.*
" At this I shuddered and collected the little strength
I had left to shout :
** ' Have pity on me 1 *
" At last the Portuguese barber grew bolder ; he sewed
up my skin ; his wife even took care of me, and at the
end of a fortnight I was able to walk again. The barber
found me a situation and made me lackey to a Knight of
Malta who was going to Venice ; but, as my master had
no money to pay me wages, I entered the service of a
Venetian merchant and followed him to Constantinople.
** One day I took it into my head to enter a mosque ;
there was nobody there except an old Imam and a very
pretty young devotee who was reciting her prayers ; her
breasts were entirely uncovered ; between them she wore
a bunch of tulips, roses, anemones, ranunculus, hyacinths
and auriculas ; she dropped her bunch of flowers ; I
picked it up and returned it to her with a most respectful
alacrity. I was so long putting them back that the Imam
grew angry and, seeing I was a Christian, called for help.
I was taken to the cadi, who sentenced me to receive a
hundred strokes on the soles of my feet and sent me to the
galleys. I was chained on the same seat and in the same
galley as My Lord the Baron. In this galley there were
four young men from Marseilles, five Neapolitan priests
and two monks from Corfu, who assured us that similar
accidents occurred every day. His Lordship the Baron
claimed that he had suffered a greater injustice than I ;
and I claimed that it was much more permissible to
replace a bunch of flowers between a woman's breasts
than to be naked with one of the Sultan's pages. We
argued continually, and every day received twenty strokes
of the bull's pizzle, when the chain of events of this
universe led you to our galley and you ransomed us."
** Well 1 my dear Pangloss," said Candide, " when
you were hanged, dissected, stunned with blows and
made to row in the galleys, did you always think that
everything was for the best in this world ? "
** I am still of my first opinion," replied Pangloss,
*' for after all I am a philosopher ; and it would be
unbecoming for me to recant, since Leibnitz could not
be in the wrong and pre-established harmony is the
finest thing imaginable like the plenum and subtle matter.**
How Candide found Cunegonde and the old woman again
WHILE Candide, the Baron, Pangloss, Mar-
tin and Cacambo were relating their adven-
tures, reasoning upon contingent or non-
contingent events of the universe, arguing
about effects and causes, moral and physical evil, free-will
and necessity, and the consolations to be found in the
Turkish galleys, they came to the house of the Tran-
sylvanian prince on the shores of Propontis.
The first objects which met their sight were Cune-
gonde and the old woman hanging out towels to dry on
At this sight the Baron grew pale. Candide, that
tender lover, seeing his fair Cunegonde sunburned,
blear-eyed, flat-breasted, with wrinkles round her eyes
and red, chapped arms, recoiled three paces in horror,
and then advanced from mere politeness.
She embraced Candide and her brother. They
embraced the old woman ; Candide bought them both.
In the neighbourhood was a little farm; the old
woman suggested that Candide should buy it, until some
better fate befell the group. Cunegonde did not know
that she had become uglv, for nobody had told her so ;
she reminded Candide of his promises in so peremptory
a tone that the good Candide dared not refuse her.
He therefore informed the Baron that he was about
to marry his sister.
** Never," said the Baron, " will I endure such base-
ness on her part and such insolence on yours ; nobody
shall ever reproach me with this infamy ; my sister's
children could never enter the chapters of Germany. No,
my sister shall never marry anyone but a Baron of the
Cunegonde threw herself at his feet and bathed them
in tears ; but he was inflexible.
" Madman," said Candide, " I rescued you from the
galleys, I paid your ransom and your sister's ; she was
washing dishes here, she is ugly, I am so kind as to make
her my wife, and you pretend to oppose me 1 I should
kill you again if I listened to my anger."
** You may kill me again," said the Baron, ** but you
shall never marry my sister while I am alive."
AT the bottom of his heart Candide had not the
least wish to marry Cunegonde. But the
Baron's extreme impertinence determined him
to complete the marriage, and Cunegonde urged
it so warmly that he could not retract. He consulted
Pangloss, Martin and the faithful Cacambo. Pangloss
wrote an excellent memorandum by which he proved that
the Baron had no rights over his sister and that by all the
laws of the empire she could make a left-handed marriage
with Candide. Martin advised that the Baron should
be thrown into the sea ; Cacambo decided that he should
be returned to the Levantine captain and sent back to the
galleys, after which he would be returned by the first ship
to the Vicar-General at Rome. This was thought to be
very good advice ; the old woman approved it ; they said
nothing to the sister ; the plan was carried out with the
aid of a little money and they had the pleasure of duping
a Jesuit and punishing the pride of a German Baron.
It would be natural to suppose that when, after so
many disasters, Candide was married to his mistress, and
living with the philosopher Pangloss, the philosopher
Martin, the prudent Cacambo and the old woman, having
brought back so many diamonds from the country of the
ancient Incas, would lead the most pleasant life imagin-
able. But he was so cheated by the Jews that he had
nothing left but his little farm ; his wife, growing uglier
every day, became shrewish and unendurable; the old
woman was ailing and even more bad-tempered than
Cunegonde. Cacambo, who worked in the garden and
then went to Constantinople to sell vegetables, was over-
worked and cursed his rate. Pangloss was in despair
because he did not shine in some German university.
As for Martin, he was firmly convinced that people
are equally uncomfortable everywhere ; he accepted
things patiently. Candide, Martin and Pangloss some-
times argued about metaphysics and morals. From the
windows of the farm they often watched the ships going
by, filled with effendis, pashas and cadis, who were being
exiled to Lemnos, to Mitylene and Erzerum. They saw
other cadis, other pashas and other effendis coming back
to take the place of the exiles and to be exiled in their
turn. They saw the neatly impaled heads which were
taken to the Sublime Porte. These sights redoubled
their discussions ; and when they were not arguing, the
boredom was so excessive that one day the old woman
dared to say to them :
** I should like to know which is worse, to be raped
a hundred times by negro pirates, to have a buttock cut
off, to run the gauntlet among the Bulgarians, to be
whipped and flogged in an auto-da-fe^ to be dissected, to
row in a galley, in short, to endure all the miseries through
which we have passed, or to remain here doing nothing } "
" 'Tis a great question," said Candide.
These remarks led to new reflections, and Martin
especially concluded that man was born to live in the
convulsions of distress or in the lethargy of boredom.
Candide did not agree, but he asserted nothing. Pangloss
confessed that he had always suffered horribly; but,
having once maintained that everything was for the best,
he had continued to maintain it without believing it.
One thing confirmed Martin in his detestable principles,
made Candide hesitate more than ever, and embarrassed
Pangloss. And it was this. One day there came to
their farm Paquette and Friar Giroflee, who were in the
most extreme misery ; they had soon wasted their three
thousand piastres, had left each other, made it up,
quarrelled again, been put in prison, escaped, and finally
Friar Giroflee had turned Turk. Paquette continued
her occupation everywhere and now earned nothing by it.
** I foresaw," said Martin to Candide, " that your
gifts would soon be wasted and would only make them
the more miserable. You and Cacambo were once
bloated with millions of piastres and you are no happier
than Friar Giroflee and Paquette."
** Ah 1 ha ! " said Pangloss to Paquette, ** so Heaven
brings you back to us, my dear child ? Do you know
that you cost me the end of my nose, an eye and an ear !
What a plight you are in 1 Ah I What a world this is 1 "
This new occurrence caused them to philosophise
more than ever.
In the neighbourhood there lived a very famous
Dervish, who was supposed to be the best philosopher
in Turkey ; they went to consult him ; Pangloss was the
spokesman and said :
** Master, we have come to beg you to tell us why so
strange an animal as man was ever created."
*' What has it to do with you } " said the Dervish.
** Is it your business ? "
" But, reverend father," said Candide, ** there is a
horrible amount of evil in the world."
*' What does it matter," said the Dervish, ** whether
there is evil or good ? When his highness sends a ship
to Egypt, does he worry about the comfort or discomfort
of the rats in the ship .? "
*' Then what should we do .f" " said Pangloss.
** Hold your tongue," said the Dervish.
" I flattered myself," said Pangloss, " that I should
discuss with you effects and causes, this best of all
possible worlds, the origin of evil, the nature of the soul
and pre-established harmony."
At these words the Dervish slammed the door in their
During this conversation the news went round that
at Constantinople two viziers and the mufti had been
strangled and several of their friends impaled. This
catastrophe made a prodigious noise everywhere for
several hours. As Pangloss, Candide and Martin were
returning to their little farm, they came upon an old man
who was taking the air under a bower of orange-trees at
his door. Pangloss, who was as curious as he was
argumentative, asked him what was the name of the
mufti who had just been strangled.
" I do not know," replied the old man. ** I have
never known the name of any mufti or of any vizier. I
am entirely ignorant of the occurrence you mention ;
I presume that in general those who meddle with public
affairs sometimes perish miserably and that they deserve
it ; but I never inquire what is going on in Constantinople ;
I content myself with sending there for sale the produce
of the garden I cultivate."
Having spoken thus, he took the strangers into his
house. His two daughters and his two sons presented
them with several kinds of sherbet which they made
themselves, caymac flavoured with candied citron peel,
oranges, lemons, limes, pine-apples, dates, pistachios and
Mocha coffee which had not been mixed with the bad
coffee of Batavia and the Isles. After which this good
Mussulman's two daughters perfumed the beards of
Candide, Pangloss and Martin.
" You must have a vast and magnificent estate ? "
said Candide to the Turk.
** I have only twenty acres," replied the Turk. *' I
cultivate them with my children ; and work keeps at bay
three great evils : boredom, vice and need."
As Candide returned to his farm he reflected deeply on
the Turk's remarks. He said to Pangloss and Martin :
** That good old man seems to me to have chosen an
existence preferable by far to that of the six kings with
whom we had the honour to sup."
" Exalted rank," said Pangloss, ** is very dangerous,
according to the testimony of all philosophers ; for
Eglon, King of the Moabites, was murdered by Ehud ;
Absalom was hanged by the hair and pierced by three
darts ; King Nadab, son of Jeroboam, was killed by
Baasha ; King Elah by Zimri ; Ahaziah by Jehu ;
Athaliah by Jehoiada ; the Kings Jehoiakim, Jeconiah
and Zedekiah were made slaves. You know in what
manner died Croesus, Astyages, Darius, Denys of
Syracuse, Pyrrhus, Perseus, Hannibal, Jugurtha, Ario-
vistus, Caesar, Pompey, Nero, Otho, Vitellius, Domitian,
Richard II of England, Edward II, Henry VI, Richard
III, Mary Stuart, Charles I, the three Henrys of France,
the Emperor Henry IV. You know . . ."
** I also know," said Candide, ** that we should
cultivate our gardens."
" You are right," said Pangloss, ** for, when man
was placed in the Garden of Eden, he was placed there
ut operaretur eum^ to dress it and to keep it ; which proves
that man was not born for idleness."
** Let us work without arguing," said Martin ; " 'tis
the only way to make life endurable."
The whole small fraternity entered into this praise-
worthy plan, and each started to make use of his talents.
The little farm yielded well. Cunegonde was indeed very
ugly, but she became an excellent pastry-cook ; Paquette
embroidered ; the old woman took care of the linen.
Even Friar Giroflde performed some service ; he was a
very good carpenter and even became a man of honour ;
and Pangloss sometimes said to Candide :
*' All events are linked up in this best of all possible
worlds ; for, if you had not been expelled from the noble
castle by hard kicks in your backside for love of Miss
Cunegonde, if you had not been clapped into the Inquisi-
tion, if you had not wandered about America on foot, if
you had not stuck your sword in the Baron, if you had
not lost all your sheep from the land of Eldorado, you
would not be eating candied citrons and pistachios here."
** 'Tis well said," replied Candide, ** but we must
cultivate our gardens."
THE WORLD AS IT IS
THE WORLD AS IT IS
AMONG the jinn who preside over the empires
of the world, Ituriel holds one of the highest
posts and has the department of Asia. One
morning he descended to the house of the
Scythian Babouc, on the banks of the Oxus, and said
to him :
** Babouc, the folly and excesses of the Persians have
aroused our anger. Yesterday there was an assembly
of the jinn of Asia to discuss whether we should punish
Persepolis or whether we should destroy it. Gk) to that
town and examine everything ; on your return you will
render me an exact account and I will decide on your
report whether the town shall be chastised or extermin-
*' But, my lord,** said Babouc humbly, " I have never
been to Persia and do not know anyone there.'*
** So much the better," said the angel, " you will
not be biased. Heaven has given you understanding,
and I will add to it the gift of inS|piring confidence.
Go, look, listen, observe and fear nothing; you will
be welcomed everywhere."
Armies and Hospitals
BABOUC mounted his camel and set out with
his servant. At the end of several days he met
the Persian army near the plains of Sennar,
going to fight the Indian army. He spoke first
of all to a straggler, and asked him what was the cause
of the war.
"By all the gods," said the soldier, ** I don't know ;
it is not my affair ; my business is to kill and to be killed
for a living ; it does not matter whom I serve. I might
very likely desert to the Indian camp to-morrow ; for I
am told they give their soldiers nearly half a drachma
of copper a day more than we get in this cursed Persian
army. If you want to know why we are fighting, ask
Babouc gave the soldier a trifle and entered the camp.
He soon struck up an acquaintance with the captain and
asked him what was the cause of the war.
" How do you expect me to know } " said the captain,
" and what does the cause matter to me } I live two
hundred leagues from Persepolis ; I heard that war was
declared, I abandoned my family and, according to our
custom, I have come to obtain fortune or death, since I
have nothing else to do."
** But," said Babouc, *' are not your brother officers
a little better informed than you } "
** No," said the officer, " only our chief satraps know
exactly why we are killing each other."
The amazed Babouc introduced himself to the generals,
and became familiar with them. One of them finally
said to him :
THE WORLD AS IT IS 125
** The cause of this war which has ruined Asia for
twenty years was originally a quarrel between a eunuch
of a wife of the great King of Persia and a clerk of an
office of the great King of India. It was a question of
a right which was worth about the thirtieth part of a
piece of gold. The Prime Minister of India and our
own worthily supported the rights of their masters.
The quarrel waxed hot. On either side a million soldiers
were brought into the field. Every year four hundred
thousand men are needed as recruits for the army.
Murders, fires, ruins, devastations are multiplied, the
whole world suffers, and the animosity continues. Our
Prime Minister and the Indian Prime Minister often
protest that they are only acting for the good of the
human race; and at each protestation there are always
several towns destroyed and several provinces ravaged."
The next day there was a rumour that peace would
soon be concluded, and so the Persian general and the
Indian general hastened to give battle, which was bloody.
Babouc saw all the mistakes and all the abominations ;
he witnessed the manoeuvres of the chief satraps, who
did all they could to get their own general beaten. He
saw officers killed by their own troops ; he saw soldiers
who dispatched their dying comrades in order to rob
them of a few bloody, torn, muddy rags. He entered
the hospitals where the wounded were being taken, and
where most of them died, owing to the inhuman negli-
gence of the very people who were well paid by the
King of Persia to take care of them.
** Are these men," cried Babouc, ** or ferocious beasts ?
Ah 1 I see that Persepolis will soon be destroyed."
Occupied with this thought he joined the Indians*
camp; he was received as well there as he had been
by the Persians, in accordance with the promise made
him ; but he saw there exactly the same excesses which
had filled him with horror.
*• Oho I " said he to himself. " If the angel Ituriel
126 THE WORLD AS IT IS
exterminates the Persians, the angel of India must also
destroy the Indians."
Having inquired in more detail about what had
happened in either army, he learned of actions of gener-
osityi greatness of soul, humanity, which astounded and
'* Inexplicable human beings 1 " cried he. ** How can
you unite so much baseness and grandeur, so many
virtues and crimes ? "
Meanwhile peace was declared. The leaders of the
two armies, neither of whom had gained the victory,
but on the contrary had shed the blood of so many men
for their own interests, went off to seek rewards in their
own Courts. The peace was praised in the public
prints, which announced nothing less than the return
of virtue and felicity to the earth.
" God be praised I '* said Babouc. ** Persepolis will
be the dwelling-place of purified innocence ; it will not
be destroyed as these evil jinn desired ; let me hasten at
once to this capital of Asia."
HE entered this immense town by the ancient
entrance, which was wholly barbarous and
offensive to the eyes from its disgusting
rusticity. All this part of the town bore
marks of the age in which it was built ; for, in spite of
men's obstinacy in praising the antique at the expense
of the modern, it must be admitted that the first attempts
in every sort of art are always clumsy.
Babouc mingled with a crowd of people composed
of the dirtiest and the ugliest of both sexes. This crowd
was stupidly urging its way into a large and gloomy
building. From the continual mumbling, the move-
ment he noticed, the money some people gave to others
for the right to sit down, he thought he was in a market
where rush-bottomed chairs were sold ; but very soon,
noticing that several women knelt down and glanced
sideways at the men while- they pretended to be gazing
fixedly in front of them, he perceived he was in a temple.
Sharp, raucous, savage, discordant voices made the roof
echo with ill-articulated sounds, exactly like the voices
of asses when in the plains of the Pictaves they reply to
the cowherd's horn which calls them. He put his hand
on his ears ; but he was tempted to do the same with
his eyes and nose, when he saw workmen enter the
temple with picks and shovels. They raised a large
stone and cast out to right and left the malodorous earth ;
they then deposited a dead body in this opening and
replaced the stone above it.
*' What I " cried Babouc. " These nations bury their
128 THE WORLD AS IT IS
dead in the very places where they adore the divinity 1
What 1 Their temples are paved with corpses 1 I am
no longer surprised by the pestilential maladies which
so often ravage Persepolis. The decay of the dead and
of so many living people assembled and crowded in the
same place is enough to poison the whole world. Ah 1
What a disgusting town Persepolis is. I suppose the
angels wish to destroy it in order to rebuild it better and
to people it with less filthy inhabitants who can sing
better. Providence must have its reasons ; let it work
in its own way."
MEANWHILE the sun had reached the
zenith of its course. Babouc was engaged
to dine at the other end of the town with a
lady to whom he had a letter of introduc-
tion from her husband, an officer in the army. He first
took a few turns through Persepolis; he saw other
temples better built and ornamented, filled with polite
persons and echoing with harmonious music ; he noticed
the public fountains which, although ill-placed, struck
his sight with their beauty, squares where the best kings
who had governed Persia seemed to breathe through
bronze ; other squares where he heard the people cry :
" When shall we see the master we adore .? " He
admired the magnificent bridges thrown across the river,
the superb and useful quays, the palaces built to right
and left, an immense building where thousands of old
soldiers, wounded and victorious, gave thanks every day
to the god of armies. Finally, he entered the lady's
house and found her awaiting him for dinner with a
polite assembly. The house was neat and embellished,
the meal delicious, the lady young, beautiful, witty,
engaging, the company worthy of her; and Babouc
said to himself continually :
*' The angel Ituriel jests at the world when he thinks
of destroying so charming a town."
BUT he noticed that the lady, who had begun
by asking tenderly for news of her husband, at
the end of the meal spoke still more tenderly to
a youthful mage. He noticed a magistrate who,
in his wife's presence, pressed sharply upon the widow,
and the indulgent widow had one hand round the magis-
trate's neck while she held out the other to a very hand-
some and very modest young citizen. The magistrate's
wife was the first to leave the table in order to converse
in a neighbouring room with her spiritual director who
arrived very late after having been expected for dinner ;
and the eloquent spiritual director esdiorted her in the
neighbourmg room with so much vehemence and unction
that when the lady returned her eyes were swimming,
her cheeks inflamed, her walk uncertain and her speech
Babouc then began to fear that the jinn Ituriel was
right. His talent for obtaining confidence obtained
him a knowledge of the lady's secrets that same day;
she confided to him her taste for the young mage, and
assured him that he would find the equivalent of what
he had seen in her house in all the houses of Persepolis.
Babouc concluded that such a society could not endure,
that jealousy, discord, vengeance must desolate every
house ; that tears and blood must flow every day ; that
husbands would certainly kill their wives' lovers or be
killed by them ; and that, in short, Ituriel would do
well to destroy immediately a town given up to continual
HE was plunged in these gloomy thoughts
when there came to the door a grave person-
age in a black cloak who humbly asked to
speak to the young magistrate. Without
rising, without looking at him the yoimg magistrate
proudly and negligently handed him some papers and
dismissed him. Babouc asked who this man was. The
mistress of the house whispered him :
"He is one of the best lawyers in the town ; he has
been studying law for fifty years. The gentleman who
is only twenty-five, Mid. has been legal satrap for two
days, has just ordered him to make an abstract of a law-
suit which he is to judge to-morrow and which he has
not yet looked at."
•* The young giddy-pate does well," said Babouc,
"to ask an old man's advice; but why is the old man
not the judge ? **
•• You are jesting," he was told. " Those who have
grown old in the lower and laborious posts never attain
dignities. The young man has an important position
because his father is rich and because the right of
administering justice is bought here like a dairy-firm."
" O morals 1 O unhappy town 1 " cried Babouc.
" This is the height of disorder ; obviously those who
buy the right of judging, sell their judgments ; I see
nothing but abysms of iniquity here.*
As he was expressing his grief and surprise in this
way, a young warrior who had returned that very day
from the army said to him :
132 THE WORLD AS IT IS
" Why do you think that legal posts should not be
bought ? I myself bought the right to face death at
the head of two thousand men whom I command ; this
year it has cost me forty thousand gold pieces to sleep
on the ground in red clothes for thirty nights consecutively
and then to receive two smart arrow wounds which I still
feel. If I ruin myself to serve the Persian Emperor
whom I have never seen, the legal satrap may well pay
something to have the pleasure of hearing people's
Babouc in his indignation could not prevent himself
from condcnining mentally a country where the dignities
of peace and war w-: re put up to auction ; he hastily
concluded that war and the laws must be absolutely
unknown there and that, even if Ituriel did not exter-
minate this nation, it would perish by its own detestable
His bad opinion was still more confirmed by the
arrival of a fat man who, having saluted the whole com-
pany with great familiarity, approached the young officer
and said :
** I can only lend you fifty thousand gold pieces, for
this year the customs of the Empire have only brought
me in three hundred thousand."
Babouc inquired who was the man who complained
of earning so little ; he learned that in Persepolis there
were forty plebeian kings who had the Empire of Persia
on lease and paid something for it to the monarch.
AFTER dinner he visited one of the most superb
temples of the town ; he sat down among a
crowd of women and men who had come there
to pass the time. A mage appeared in an
elevated machine and talked for a long time about vice
and virtue. This mage divided into several headings
that which did not need dividing; he methodically
proved everything that was obvious and taught what
everybody knew. He was frigidly impassioned and
departed sweating and out of breath. The whole
assembly then awoke and considered that it had taken
part in a lesson. Babouc said :
" Here is a man who has done his best to bore two
or three hundred of his fellow-citizens ; but his inten-
tions were good ; that is not a reason for destroying
After leaving this assembly, he was taken to see a
public spectacle which was given every day of the year ;
it was in a sort of basilica, at one end of which a palace
could be seen. The most beautiful women of Persepolis,
the most important satraps, all ranged in order, formed
so fair a sight that Babouc at first thought this was the
whole spectacle. Two or three persons who seemed to
be kings and queens soon appeared at the front of the
palace ; their speech was very different from that of the
people ; it was measured, harmonious and sublime.
Nobody went to sleep. Everybody listened in profound
silence which was only interrupted by expressions of
public sensibility and admiration. The duty of kings,
134 THE WORLD AS IT IS
the love of virtue, the dangers of the passions, were
expressed by strokes so keen and touching that Babouc
was moved to tears. He had no doubt that the heroes
and heroines, the kings and queens he had just heard,
were the preachers or the Empire. He even intended
to persuade Ituriel to come and listen to them, feeling
sure that such a spectacle would for ever reconcile him
with the town.
As soon as this fSte was over, he desired to see the
principal queen who had expressed so noble and so pure
a morality in this beautiful palace. He was introduced
to her Majesty; he was taken up a narrow stairway to
an ill-furnished apartment on the second floor, where he
found a badly-dressed woman, who said to him with a
noble and pathetic air :
" This occupation does not bring me enough to live ;
one of the princes you saw has left me with child ; I
must soon he in. I have no money and without money
one cannot lie in."
Babouc gave her a hundred pieces of gold, saying :
** If this were the only thing amiss in the town, Ituriel
would be wrong to be so angry."
FROM there he went and passed the evening
among the merchants of useless magnificences.
He was taken there by an intelligent man with
whom he had become acquainted ; he bought
what pleased him and it was politely sold to him for
much more than it was worth. When they got home
his friend pointed out how much he had been cheated.
Babouc wrote the merchant's name in his tablets in
order that Ituriel might pick him out on the day when
the town was punished. While he was writing someone
knocked at the door. It was the merchant himself who
had come to bring back his purse which Babouc had
accidentally left behind on the counter.
** How can it be," cried Babouc, ** that you are so
punctilious and so generous when you were not ashamed
to sell me these trinkets at four times their value } "
*' Any merchant of reputation in this town," replied
the tradesman, " would have brought back your purse;
but you were deceived when you were told that I sold
you what you bought at my shop at four times its value.
I sold it to you at ten times its value. And this is so
true that if you tried to sell it in a month's time you
could not obtain a tenth of what you had paid for it.
But nothing could be juster ; the value of these frivolous
things lies in men's caprice; that caprice feeds the
hundred workmen I employ ; it gives me a large house,
a comfortable vehicle, horses ; it excites industry, keeps
up taste, circulation and abundance. I sell the same
trifles to the neighbouring nations more expensively
than to you, and in this way I am useful to the Empire."
After a little consideration Babouc struck him ofl^ his
BABOUC, in great uncertainty as to what he
should think of Persepolis, resolved to see the
mages and the scholars ; for some study wisdom
and others religion, and he flattered himself that
they would obtain mercy for the rest of the people.
The next day he went to a college of mages. The
archimandrite confessed that he had an income of one
hundred thousand crowns owing to his having made a
vow of poverty, and that he enjoyed considerable authority
by virtue of his vow of humility ; after which he left
Babouc in the hands of a little friar who did the honours
of the place.
While this friar was pointing out to him the mag-
nificences of this house of penitence, the rumour was
spread that he had come to reform all such houses. He
immediately received memorials from every one of them ;
and all the memorials in substance said :
" Preserve us and destroy all the others."
According to their apologies, all these societies were
necessary ; according to their mutual accusations they
all deserved to be abolished. He was amazed that
every one of them desired to command the universe in
order to edify it.
There came to him a little man who was a demi-
mage, saying :
" I see that the work is about to be completed, for
Zerdust has returned to the earth ; little girls prophesy
while they are pinched in front and whipped behind.
Therefore, we ask for your protection against the great
THE WORLD AS IT IS 137
" What ! '* said Babouc. " Against the Pontiff King
who lives in Tibet ? "
" Against him."
** Then you are at war with him, and are raising armies
against him ? "
** No, but he says that man is free and we do not
believe it; we denounce him in little books which he
does not read ; he has scarcely heard us spoken of ;
he has simply had us condemned, as a master orders
the destruction of the caterpillars in his garden."
Babouc shuddered at the madness of these men who
made a profession of wisdom, at the intrigues of those
who had renounced the world, at the ambition and
arrogant covetousness of those who taught humility and
disinterestedness; he concluded that Ituriel had good
reasons for destroying the whole brood.
HAVING retired home, he sent for some new
books to dissipate his distress, and he invited
several scholars to dinner for the purpose of
recreation. Twice as many came as he had
invited, like wasps attracted by honey. These parasites
were urgent to eat and talk; they praised two sets of
persons, the dead and themselves, but never their con-
temporaries, except the master of the house. If one of
them made a witty remark, the others lowered their
eyes and bit their lips in annoyance because they had
not said it themselves. They had less dissimulation
than the mages because the objects of their ambition
were smaller. Each of them sought the post of a lackey
and the reputation of a great man ; they said insulting
things to each other under the delusion that they were
being witty. They had heard something of Babouc's
mission. One of them privately begged him to exter-
minate an author who had not sufficiently praised him
five years before ; another asked for the death of a citizen
who had never laughed at his comedies ; a third required
the extinction of the Academy because he had never
been able to get into it. When the meal was over,
each of them went away alone, because in the whole
gang there were not two men who could endure each
other or even speak except at the houses of the rich
men who invited them to their tables. Babouc felt it
would be no great hardship if these vermin perished in
the general destruction.
AS soon as he had got rid of them, he began to
read some new books. He at once recognised
the spirit of his guests. He read with indigna-
tion those journals of calumny, those archives
of bad taste, dictated by envy, baseness and hunger;
those cowardly satires where the vulture is spared and
the dove torn to pieces ; those novels devoid of imagina-
tion where are to be found the portraits of so many
women whom the author does not know.
He threw all these detestable works in the fire and
went out in the evening for a walk. He was introduced
to an old scholar who had not come to increase the
number of his parasites. This scholar always avoided
the crowd; was acquainted with men, profited by it,
and was reserved in his communications. Babouc talked
to him regretfully of what he had read and seen.
" You have been reading very jpaltry books," said
this wise man of letters, ** but in all ages and countries
and in all genres^ the bad abounds and the good is rare.
You received the dregs of pedantry in your house because
in all professions those who are least worthy to appear
always thrust themselves forward with the greatest
impudence. Truly wise men live among themselves,
in retired tranquillity ; among us there are still men and
books worthy of your attention."
While he was speaking, they were joined by another
man of letters ; their talk was so pleasant and instructive,
lifted so far above prejudices and so agreeable to virtue,
that Babouc confessed he had never heard anything
I40 THE WORLD AS IT IS
" Such men," he said to himself, " the angel IturicI
will never dare to touch or, if he does, he will indeed
Though reconciled with the men of letters, he was
still angry with the rest of the nation.
** You are a foreigner," a judicious man said to him,
** abuses crowd before your eyes and the good which is
hidden or which sometimes results from these very
abuses escapes you."
He then discovered that among the men of letters
were some who were not envious and that there were
even virtuous men among the mages. He finally realised
that these large corporations, which seemed to be pre-
paring a common ruin for themselves by their rivalries,
were after all useful institutions ; that each corporation
of mages acted as a curb to its rivals ; that if these com-
petitors differed in some of their opinions they never-
theless all taught the same morality, educated the people
and lived in submission to the laws, like tutors who
watch over the son of a house while the master watches
over them. He became acquainted with several of
them and found heavenly minds among them. He
even learned that there had been very great men among
the madmen who wanted to make war on the great
Lama. Finally, he suspected that the morals of Perse-
polis might be like its buildings, some of which had
seemed pitiful to him while others had ravished him
HE said to his man of letters :
** I thoroughly understand that these mages,
whom I thought so dangerous, are in fact
most useful, especially when a wise govern-
ment prevents them from making themselves too im-
portant ; but you will admit that your young magistrates,
who purchase the post of judge as soon as they have
learned to ride a horse, must display the most ridiculous
incompetence in the law-courts as well as the most
perverse iniquity. It would surely be better to give
these posts to mature lawyers who have spent their whole
lives in weighing pros and cons."
The man of letters replied :
** You saw our army before you came to Persepolis ;
you know our young officers fight very well, although
they buy their commissions ; perhaps you will see that
our young magistrates do not judge badly, although
they have purchased the right of giving judgment."
The next day he was taken to the chief law-court
where an important sentence was to be promulgated.
The case was familiar to everyone. All the elderly
lawyers who discussed it were uncertain in their opinions ;
they cited dozens of laws, none of which was really
applicable to the root of the question. They looked at
the case from a hundred points of view, none of which
was the true one ; and the judges came to a decision in
less time than the lawyers had spent in uncertainty.
Their judgment was nearly unanimous ; it was a good
judgment because they followed the light of reason ;
and the others had given wrong opinions because they
had only consulted their books.
BABOUC decided that there were often very
good sides to abuses. On the same day he saw
that the wealth of the financiers, which had so
much disgusted him, might produce an excellent
effect; for the Emperor needed money, and with their
aid he found in an hour more than he could have raised
in six months by ordinary means. He saw that these
large clouds, swollen with the dew of the earth, gave
it back what they had received from it in rain. More-
over, the children of these new men, often better educated
than those of older families, were sometimes far more
able ; for there is nothing to prevent a man from being
a good judge, a brave soldier or an able statesman,
when his father has been a good reckoner..
9rt<rt^ Qtn^t >MI)^ can piMtsie bmi
LITTLE by little Babouc pardoned the avidity of
the financier who is not fundamentally greedier
than other men, and who is necessary to society.
He forgave the madness of those who ruined
themselves to become judges and officers, because this
madness produces great magistrates and heroes. He
forgave the envy of men of letters, because he found
among them men who enlightened the world ; he grew
reconciled with ambitious and intriguing mages, for
among them there were more great virtues than little
vices ; but he still found much to complain of, especially
the gallantries of the ladies, and the miseries which
must result from them filled him with pain and anxiety.
Since he wished to become familiar with all conditions
of men, he went to call upon a minister ; but on the way
he continually dreaded lest some woman should be
murdered in his presence by her husband. When he
reached the statesman's house, he waited two hours in
the antechamber before he was announced and two
hours more afterwards. During this interval he made
up his mind to recommend this minister and his insolent
lackeys to the attention of the angel Ituriel. The ante-
chamber was filled with ladies of all ranks, mages of all
colours, judges, merchants, officers and pedants ; all com-
plained of the minister. The miser and the usurer
" This man certainly pillages the provinces.**
The capricious reproached him with being fantastic.
The voluptuous said :
** He thinks of nothing but pleasure." The intriguer
144 THE WORLD AS IT IS
flattered himself that he would soon be ruined by a plot.
The women hoped that there would soon be a younger
Babouc listened to their talk. He could not prevent
himself from saying :
" This man is very fortunate, he has all his enemies
in his antechamber ; his power crushes those who envy
him ; he sees those who detest him at his feet."
At last he entered ; and he saw a little old man bowed
with the weight of years and aflfairs, but still active and
full of intelligence.
He was pleased with Babouc and Babouc thought
him an estimable man. The conversation became
interesting. The minister confessed that he was a very
unhappy man ; that he was supposed to be rich and
was in fact poor ; that people thought him all-powerful
while he was always being thwarted ; that he had never
done a favour to anyone who did not prove ungrateful
and that he had scarcely had one moment of consolation
during forty years of continual labour. Babouc was
touched and thought that if this man had erred and the
angel Ituriel wished to punish him, the way to do it
was not to kill him but to leave him his post.
WHILE he was talking to the minister, the
fair lady with whom Babouc had dined sud-
denly entered the room. Her eyes and brow
showed symptoms of pain and anger. She
broke out into reproaches against the statesman ; she
shed tears; she complained bitterly that her husband
had been refused a place to which he was eligible by
birth and which was due to his services and his wounds ;
she expressed herself so strongly, her complaints were
made so gracefully, she overcame objections with so
much skill, she brought forward reasons with so much
eloquence, that she did not leave the room until she had
made her husband's fortune.
Babouc handed her from the room.
"Is it possible, madam," said he, " that you should
give yourself all this trouble for a man you do not love
and from whom you have everything to fear } "
*• A man I do not love ! " she cried. " My husband
is the best friend I have in the world and I would sacrifice
anything in the world for him except my lover ; and he
would do anything for me except leave his mistress. I
should like you to meet her ; she is a charming woman,
full of wit, of the most agreeable character; we are
supping together this evening, with my husband and
my little mage ; come and share our joy."
The lady took Babouc home with her. The husband
who arrived in the depths of despair met his wife with
transports of joy and gratitude ; he kissed his wife, his
mistress, the little mage and Babouc. Concord, gaiety,
wit and all the graces were the soul of this meal.
146 THE WORLD AS IT IS
" Those who are sometimes called unvirtuous women,**
said the fair lady with whom he was supping, ** almost
always have the merits of a virtuous man. To con-
vince you of this, come and dine with me to-morrow
with the fair Teone. She is torn to pieces by a few
old vestals but she does more good than all of them
together. She would not do a slight injustice to further
her greatest interest ; she gives her lover none but
generous advice ; she is concerned only for his fame ;
he would blush before her if he missed an occasion of
doing good, for nothing encourages virtuous actions
more than to have a mistress whose esteem one desires
as witness and judge of one's conduct."
ABOUC kept the appointment. He found a
house devoted to all the pleasures. Teone
B reigned over them ; she could* speak to everyone
in his own language. Her natural intelligence
set everyone at ease ; she pleased almost without wishing
it, she was as amiable as she was benevolent, and the
value of all her good qualities was increased by the fact
that she was beautiful.
^abouc, though he was a Scythian, and the envoy
of a jinn, perceived that if he remained in Persepolis
he would forget Ituriel for Teone. He came to love
the town whose inhabitants were polite, gentle and
benevolent, though light, slanderous and full of vanity.
He feared lest Persepolis should be condemned ; he
even dreaded the account he had to render.
HE rendered his account in the following way.
He caused the best metal founder of the town
to make a statuette composed of every metal
and of the most precious and most worthless
stones and earths. And he took it to Ituriel.
*' Will you break this pretty statuette," he said,
" because it is not all gold and diamonds ? "
Ituriel guessed his meaning ; he resolved not even to
think of correcting Persepolis and to let the world go on
as it is ; for, said he, if all is not well, all is tolerable.
Persepolis, then, was allowed to remain and Babouc was
very far from complaining like Jonah, who was angry
because Nineveh was not destroyed. But when a man
has been three days in the belly of a whale he is not so
good-tempered as when he has been to the opera, to the
theatre and has supped in good company.
A LITTLE ILL FOR A GREAT GOOD
A LITTLE ILL FOR A GREAT GOOD
An African Tale
TIS a maxim falsely established that we must not
commit a little ill if a great good will result.
Saint Augustine was entirely of this opinion,
as may easily be seen by the account of a little
adventure which happened in his diocese, during the
proconsulate of Septimus Acindynus, and related in the
Book of the City of God.
At Hippo there lived an old parish priest, a great
inventor of confraternities, confessor to all the girls
in the quarter, with the reputation of being a man inspired
by God, because he dabbled in fortune-telling, an occupa-
tion in which he had some success.
One day they brought him a girl named Cosi-Sancta,
the most beautiful in the whole province. Her father
and mother were Jansenists, who had brought her up
in the principles of the most rigid virtue ; and not one
of all her lovers had ever been able to cause her one
moment's lack of attention during her prayers. She
had been betrothed for some days to a little, dried-up,
old man named Capito, a prominent lawyer of Hippo.
He was a peevish, surly, little man, not without wit but
pursy in his conversation, sneering and rather sharp-
tongued in his jests. He was as jealous as a Venetian
and nothing in the world would have induced him to
endure the position of being friendly to his wife's lovers.
The poor young creature was doing all she could to love
him, because he was to be her husband ; she was trying
as hard as she could but without the least success.
She came to consult her parish priest to know whether
her marriage would be happy. The old fellow said to
her in prophetic tones : " Daughter, your virtue will
cause many misfortunes, but you will one day be made
a Saint through having been three times unfaithful to
This oracle astounded and cruelly embarrassed this
fair and innocent girl. She wept and asked for an
explanation, thinking that these words hid some mystic
sense ; but all the explanation she could obtain was
that the three times must not be taken to mean three
rendezvous with the same lover, but three different
Cosi-Sancta then protested violently ; she even insulted
the parish priest and vowed she should never be made
a Saint. But she was, as you will see.
Soon after, she was married. The wedding feast
was extremely gallant; she endured quite well all the
unpleasant talk she had to undergo, all the insipid
equivocations, all the ill-concealed grossness with which
the modesty of young brides is usually embarrassed.
She danced very gracefully with several extremely
handsome and well-built young men in whom her husband
detected a very graceless air.
She got into bed with little Capito with some repug-
nance. She spent most of the night in sleep and woke
up much preoccupied. Her husband was, however, less
the subject of her reflections than a young man named
Ribaldos, who had occupied her mind without her
knowing it. This young man seemed to have been
formed by the hands of Love ; he had Love's graces,
boldness and trickery ; he was rather indiscreet but
only with those who wished him well ; he was the darling
of Hippo. He had set all the women of the town at
loggerheads and was in the same position himself with
all the husbands and mothers. He usually fell in
love from heedlessness and a little from vanity ; but
he was really in love with Cosi-Sancta and loved her the
more madly because it was more difficult to conquer her.
Like a man of wit he first tried to make himself agree-
able to the husband. He made him a thousand advances,
praised his good looks, his easy and gallant wit. He
lost money to him at play and made some unimportant
confidence to him every day. Cosi-Sancta thought him
a most charming young man. She was already more
in love with him than she realised ; she did not guess it,
but her husband guessed it for her. Although he was
as conceited as a little man can be, he had no doubt that
Ribaldos's visits were not made to him alone. He found
some pretext to quarrel with him and forbade him the
Cosi-Sancta was very sorry for this but dared not
say so ; and Ribaldos, rendered still more amorous
by these difficulties, spent his whole time waiting for
moments when he could see her. He disguised him-
self as a monk, as a woman pedlar, as a Punch and
Judy showman ; but he did not do enough to triumph
over his mistress and did too much not to be recog-
nised by the husband. If Cosi-Sancta had been in
league with her lover they would have arranged their
measures so well that the husband would never have
suspected anything; but as she was struggling against
her inclination and had nothing to reproach herself
with, she saved everything except appearances, and her
husband thought her most guilty.
The little old man, who was very irascible and thought
his honour depended upon his wife's fidelity, insulted
her cruelly and punished her because someone had
thought her beautiful. She found herself in the most
horrible situation in which a woman can be, accused
unjustly, maltreated by a husband to whom she was
faithful and torn by a violent passion she was trying to
She thought that if her lover ceased to pursue her,
her husband might cease his injustice and that she
would be fortunate enough to recover from a passion
which was no longer fed. With this idea she plucked
up courage to write the following letter to Ribaldos :
** If you have any virtuous feeling, forbear to render
me unhappy; you love me and your love exposes me
to the suspicions and violence of a master I have taken
for the remainder of my life. Would to Heaven this
were the only risk I may have to run ! Pity me and
cease your pursuit. I beg you by that very love which
renders you unhappy and me also, and which can never
make you happy."
Poor Cosi-Sancta had not foreseen that a letter so
tender, though so virtuous, would have an effect exactly
contrary to that she hoped for. It inflamed her lover's
heart more than ever and he resolved to risk his life
in order to see his mistress.
Capito, who was fool enough to want to know every-
thing, and who had good spies, was warned that Ribaldos
had disguised himself as a begging friar to ask his
wife's charity. He thought he was lost; he imagined
that a friar's gown was more dangerous than any other
to the honour of a husband. He posted servants to beat
brother Ribaldos and was but too well served. When
the young man entered the house he was received by
these gentry ; in spite of his cries that he was an honest
friar and that poor monks are not to be treated in this
way, he was beaten and died a fortnight later from a
blow on the head. All the women in the town mourned
him. Cosi-Sancta was inconsolable ; even Capito was
sorry, but for another reason, for he found he had involved
himself in a very unpleasant affair.
Ribaldos was a relative of the proconsul Acindynus.
The Roman wished to inflict an exemplary punishment
for this assassination ; and, since he had formerly
quarrelled more than once with the law-courts of Hippo,
he was not sorry to be able to hang one of their members,
and he was very glad that the lot had fallen on Capito,
who was the vainest and most intolerable pettifogger
in the whole country.
So Cosi-Sancta had seen her lover murdered and
was near to seeing her husband hanged ; and all because
she had been virtuous, for, as I have already said, if she
had granted her favours to Ribaldos, the husband would
have been much more skilfully deceived.
Thus the first half of the priest's prediction was
accomplished. Cosi-Sancta then remembered the oracle
and began to fear she might carry out the rest of it;
but, having reflected that no one can overcome his
destiny, she abandoned herself to Providence, which led
her to the goal by the most honest means imaginable.
The proconsul Acindynus was a man more debauched
than voluptuous, taking very little interest in prelimi-
naries, brutal and familiar, a mere garrison hero, greatly
dreaded in the province, with whom all the women in
Hippo had had an afl^air solely to avoid quarrelling with
He sent for Madam Cosi-Sancta, who arrived in tears ;
but they made her only the more charming.
** Your husband, madam," said he, ** is about to be
hanged and only you can save him."
" I would give my life for his," said the lady.
** That is not what I ask," replied the proconsul,
** And what must I do } " said she.
" I only want one of your nights," replied the pro-
** But they do not belong to me," said Cosi-Sancta,
** they belong to my husband. I would give my blood
to save him, but I cannot give my honour."
** But suppose your husband consents ? " said the
*' He is the master," replied the lady, " and every-
one does as he pleases with his own property. But I
know my husband, he will never consent ; he is a little
man who would rather allow himself to be hanged than
let anybody else touch me with the end of his finger."
** That's what we shall see," said the judge in a rage.
He had the criminal brought before him at once
and gave him the choice of being hanged or a cuckold.
There was no room for hesitation. The little man,
however, was reluctant. At last he did what anyone
else would have done in his place. His wife charitably
saved his life ; and this was the first of the three times.
The same day her son fell ill of a very extraordinary
illness unknown to all the doctors of Hippo. There
was only one doctor who knew how to cure this illness ;
and he lived at Aquila, several leagues from Hippo.
At that time it was forbidden for a doctor established
at one town to exercise his profession in another. Cosi-
Sancta herself was obliged to go to him at Aquila with
her brother, whom she loved tenderly. On the way
they were captured by brigands. The chief of these
gentlemen thought her very charming ; and, as they
were about to kill her brother, he went up to her and
told her that if she would be a little kind to him, her
brother should not be killed and that it would cost her
nothing. The matter was urgent. She had just saved
the life of a husband she did not love ; she was about to
lose a brother she loved very much ; moreover, the
dangerous state of her child alarmed her. There was
not a moment to lose. She commended herself to
God, did all that was required, and this was the second
of the three times.
She reached Aquila the same day and went to the
doctor's house. He was one of those fashionable
doctors who are sent for by women when they have
the vapours or when there is nothing wrong with them
at all. He was the confidential friend of some and the
lover of others, a polite, obliging man, rather out of
favour with the Medical Association, which he had often
made the subject of jokes.
Cosi-Sancta explained her child's illness and offered
him a sestertium. (Notice that a sestertium was worth
more than a thousand crowns in modern French money.)
" Madam," said the gallant doctor, " that is not the
money I require in payment. I would myself offer
you all my property, if it were to your taste to be paid
for the cures you are able to make ; only cure me of the
malady you cause me and I will restore your child to
The lady thought this proposition extravagant ; but
fate had rendered her accustomed to strange things.
The doctor was an obstinate man who would take no
other price for his services. Cosi-Sancta's husband
was not there for her to consult ; and how could she
allow the child she adored to die for lack of the trivial
help she could give him 1 She was as good a mother as
sister. She purchased the remedy at the price demanded ;
and this was the last of the three times.
She returned to Hippo with her brother, who kept
thanking her all the way for the courage with which she
had saved his life.
Thus, Cosi-Sancta through being too virtuous caused
her lover to be murdered and her husband to be con-
demned to death ; and, by being obliging, she saved
the lives of her brother, her son and her husband. Such
a woman was considered to be very useful to her family.
After her death she was made a Saint because by mortify-
ing herself she had done so much good to her relatives,
and they carved on her tombstone :
" A little ill for a great good."
^ht jEkmi m$ (Mftb my eructol intU^i^
OR HUMAN WISDOM
OR HUMAN WISDOM
ONE day Memnon conceived the senseless
project of being perfectly wise. At some time
or other this folly has passed through every-
one's head. Memnon said to himself: To
be very wise, and consequently very happy, one has only
to be without passions ; and nothing is easier, as everyone
knows. First of all, I will never fall in love with a
woman, for when I see a perfect beauty, I shall say to
myself: One day those cheeks will be wrinkled, those
lovely eyes will be red-rimmed, those round breasts will
become flat and drooping, that fair head will be bald.
Thus, I have only to see her now with the same eyes I
shall see her with then, and certainly her head will not
In the second place, I shall always be sober; how-
ever much I may be tempted by good cheer, delicious
wine and the seductions of society, I shall only have to
think of the results of excess — a heavy head, a loaded
stomach, the loss of reason, health and time — and I shall
then eat no more than I need; my health will always
be good, my ideas always clear and luminous. It is all
so easy that there is no merit in it.
After that, said Memnon, I must think a little of
my income. My desires are moderate; my money is
solidly invested with the Receiver-General of the Finances
of Nineveh ; I have enough to live independently, and
this is the greatest of all blessings. I shall never endure
the cruel necessity of paying court to anyone ; I shall
envy no one and no one shall envy me. And this too is
very easy. I have friends, he went on, I shall keep
them, since they will have nothing to contend about with
me. I shall never be out of temper with them nor
they with me ; there is no difficulty in that.
Having made his little plan of wisdom in his room,
Memnon looked out the window. He saw two women
walking under the plane-trees near his house. One was
old and seemed to be thinking about nothing ; the
other was young and pretty and seemed to be in deep
thought. She was sighing, she was weeping, and was
all the more beautiful in consequence. Our wise man
was touched, not by the lady's beauty (he was quite sure
he could not feel such a weakness), but by her affliction.
He went down and spoke to the young lady of Nineveh
with the idea of consoling her with wisdom. The fine
creature told him in the most natural and touching
manner about all the wrongs done her by an uncle she
did not possess; how by his artifices he had deprived
her of property she had never owned, and all she had to
fear from his violence.
" You seem to me a man able to give such good
advice," she said, " that if you would be kind enough
to come home with me and to examine my affairs, I am
sure you would be able to get me out of these cruel
Memnon had no hesitation in following her to examine
her affairs with wisdom and to give her good advice.
The afflicted lady took him to a perfumed room and
made him sit down with her on a large sofa, where
they both sat facing each other with their legs crossed.
As the lady talked she lowered her eyes, from which a
few tears escaped, and when she raised them they always
met the gaze of the wise Memnon. Their talk was full
of tenderness which increased every time they looked
at each other. Memnon took her affairs extremely to
heart and every moment felt a greater desire to oblige so
virtuous and so unfortunate a person. Little by little,
in the warmth of conversation, they ceased to face each
other. Their legs were no longer crossed. Memnon
advised her so closely and gave her such tender counsel
that neither of them could discuss affairs and did not
know where they were.
At this stage the uncle arrived, as you may well
suppose ; he was armed from head to foot and the
first thing he said, as was natural, was that he would
kill the wise Memnon and his niece ; and the last remark
which escaped him was that he might be forgiving for a
large sum of money. Memnon was obliged to give all
he had with him. At that time a man was lucky to get
off so cheaply; America had not yet been discovered
and afflicted ladies were then not nearly so dangerous as
they are to-day.
Memnon went home in shame and despair, and found
a note inviting him to dine with some of his intimate
friends. If I stay at home, he said, my mind will dwell
upon my unlucky adventure and I shall not be able to
eat ; I shall be ill ; it would be much better to go and
take a frugal repast with my intimate friends. In the
pleasure of their society I shall forget the folly I com-
mitted this morning. He went to the gathering and his
friends thought him a little low-spirited. They made
him drink to get rid of his sorrow. A little wine taken
moderately is a remedy for body and soul. Thus thought
the wise Memnon; and he got drunk. After dinner
somebody suggested gambling. Limited play among
friends is a respectable pastime. They gambled ; he
lost all he had in his purse and four times as much on his
word of honour. The game led to a dispute, which
grew warm ; one of his intimate friends threw a dice-
box at his head and knocked out an eye. The wise
Memnon was taken home drunk, moneyless, and short
of an eye.
He slept off his wine ; and when his head was freer
he sent his servant for money to the Receiver-General
of the Finances of Nineveh in order to pay his intimate
friends ; he was informed that his debtor had that
morning become a fraudulent bankrupt, to the distress of
a hundred families. Memnon in a rage went to court
with a bandage over his eye and a petition in his hand to
ask justice of the king against the bankrupt. In a
drawing-room he met several ladies who all wore with
an air of ease hoops twenty-four feet in circumference.
One of them who knew him slightly, looked at him
sideways and said to him :
•' Horrors I "
Another who knew him better, said to him :
" Good-evening, Mr. Memnon ; I am delighted to
see you, Mr. Memnon ; how did you come to lose an
eye, Mr. Memnon ? "
And she went on without waiting for his reply. Mem-
non hid himself in a corner and waited for the moment
when he could throw himself at the monarch's feet.
The moment came. He thrice kissed the ground and
presented his petition. His most gracious Majesty
received it very favourably and handed it to one of his
satraps to give him an account of it. The satrap took
Memnon aside and said to him haughtily and with a
bitter sneer :
" You are a one-eyed fool to address yourself to the
king rather than to me, and still more foolish to dare
to ask for justice against an honest bankrupt whom I
honour with my protection, and who is the nephew of
one of the waiting-women belonging to my mistress.
Give up this affair, my friend, if you wish to keep the
eye you still have."
Memnon, having thus renounced in the morning
women, the excesses of the table, gambling, all quarrels
and the court especially, before night had been deceived
and robbed by a fair lady, had got drunk, gambled.
quarrelled, lost an eye and had been to court where he
had been laughed at.
Petrified with astonishment and overcome with grief
he returned with death in his heart. He went to his
house and found the bailiflFs taking away his furniture
on behalf of his creditors. He remained under a plane-
tree almost in a swoon ; there he met the fair lady of the
morning who was out for a walk with her dear uncle, and
who burst out laughing when she saw Memnon with his
bandage. Night fell ; Memnon lay down on some straw
near the wall of his own house. He had an attack of
fever; he fell asleep and a celestial spirit appeared to
him in a dream.
The spirit glittered with light. He had six beautiful
wings but no feet, no head, no tail, and was like nothing
*' Who are you ? " said Memnon.
" Your good angel," replied the other.
" Then give me back my eye, my health, my property,
my wisdom," said Memnon.
He then related how he had lost them all in one
" Adventures like this never happen to us in the world
where I live," said the spirit.
** And what world do you live in ? " said the afflicted
" My country," he replied, *' is five hundred million
leagues from the sun in a small star near Sirius, which
you can see from here."
" Wonderful country ! " said Memnon. " What !
Among you there are no devils of women to deceive a
poor man, no intimate friends who win his money and
knock out his eye, no bankrupts, no satraps who laugh
at you when they refuse you justice ? "
" No," said the inhabitant of the star, " nothing of the
kind. We are never deceived by women, because we
have none ; we never fall into excesses at table, because
we do not eat ; we have no bankrupts, because we have
neither gold nor silver ; we cannot have our eyes knocked
out, because our bodies are not like yours ; and satraps
never do us an injustice, because in our little star everyone
Then said Memnon to him :
" My lord, without women and without dinner, how
do you spend your time ? "
** In watching over other globes which are confided
to our care," said the spirit, ** and I have come to console
** Alas I " replied Memnon, ** why did you not come
last night and prevent me from committing so many
follies ? " ^
" I was with Assan, your elder brother," said the
heavenly being. " He is more to be pitied than you.
His gracious Majesty the King of the Indies, at whose
court he has the honour to be, caused both his eyes to
be knocked out on account of a small indiscretion, and
at the present moment he is in prison, with chains on
his hands and feet."
" What is the use of having a good angel in our
family," said Memnon, ** when of two brothers one
has lost an eye and the other is blind, one is lying on straw
and the other is in prison ? "
" Your lot will change," replied the animal from
the star. "It is true you will never have more than
one eye ; but with that exception you will be com-
paratively happy so long as you never form the silly
plan of being perfectly wise."
** Then it is somediing impossible to attain ? " cried
Memnon, with a sigh.
" Just as impossible," cried the other, ** as to be
perfectly skilful, perfectly strong, perfectly powerful,
perfectly happy. We ourselves are very far from it.
There is one globe in which all that is to be found ;
but in the hundred thousand millions of worlds scattered
through space everything is connected by degrees.
There is less wisdom and pleasure in the second than in
the first, less in the third than in the second, and so on
down to the last, where everyone is completely mad."
** I am very much afraid," said Memnon, " that our
little terraqueous globe is precisely the mad house
of the universe of which you do me the honour to inform
" Not altogether," said the spirit, ** but near it ;
everything must be in its place."
" But then," said Memnon, " certain poets and
philosophers must be very wrong to say that everything
is for the best ? "
** They are quite right," said the philosopher from
above, ** in regard to the arrangement of the whole
" Ah ! " replied poor Memnon, " I shall only believe
that when I recover my lost eye."
BABABEC AND THE FAKIRS
BABABEC AND THE FAKIRS
WHEN I was in the town of Benares on the
banks of the Ganges, the ancient country
of the Brahmins, I made every effort to
obtain information. I understood Indian
passably well ; I listened a great deal and noticed every-
thing. I lodged with my correspondent Omri, the
worthiest man I have ever known. He was a Brahmin,
I am a Mohammedan ; we have never spoken an angry
word of the subject of Mohammed and Brahma. We
perform our ablutions in our own way, we drink the
same lemonade, we eat the same rice, like two brothers.
One day we went together to the pagoda of Gavani.
There we saw several bands of fakirs, some of whom
were Jangys or contemplative fakirs, and others were
disciples of the ancient Gymnosophists, who led an active
life. It is well known that they possess a learned language
which is that of the ancient Brahmins and, in that language,
a book which they call the Veda. It is certainly the
most ancient book of all Asia, without excepting the
Zend-Avesta. I passed a fakir who was reading this
•• Ah I Wretched infidel 1 " he cried. " You have
made me lose count of the number of vowels; and
consequently my soul will enter the body of a hare
instead of a parrot, as I had every reason to hope.**
I gave him a rupee to console him. A few paces
farther on I unluckily sneezed, and the noise awakened
a fakir who was in an ecstasy.
" Where am I ? ** said he. " What a horrible fall I
172 BABABEC AND THE FAKIRS
I can no longer see the end of my nose ; the heavenly
light has disappeared."
" If I am the cause," said I, *' of your seeing at last
farther than the end of your nose, here is a rupee to
repair the ill I have done ; take back your heavenly
Having thus discreetly extricated myself, I passed
on to the other Gymnosophists. Several of them
brought me very pretty little nails to stick in my arms
and thighs in honour of Brahma. I bought their
nails and used them to nail down my carpets. Some
danced on their hands ; some swung on a loose cord ;
others always limped. There were some who carried
chains ; others a pack-saddle ; some hid their head
under a bushel ; otherwise the pleasantest people imagin-
able. My friend Omri took me into the cell belonging
to one of the most famous ; he was called Bababec.
He was as naked as a monkey and wore round his neck
a large chain which weighed more than sixty pounds.
He was sitting on a wooden chair, well furnished with the
sharp points of nails, which stuck into his buttocks,
and you would have thought he was on a satin bed.
Numbers of women came to consult him ; he was the
oracle of families and it might be said that he enjoyed
a very great reputation. I was present at an important
conversation between him and Omri.
" Father," said Omri, " do you think that when I
have passed through the test of the seven metempsychoses
I shall attain to the dwelling of Brahma ? "
" That depends," said the fakir ; ** in what manner
do you live ^ "
** I try," said Omri, " to be a good citizen, a good
husband, a good father, a good friend ; to the rich I
lend money without interest at times and I give it to
the poor ; I labour to keep peace among my neighbours."
" Do you ever stick nails in your backside ? " asked
BABABEC AND THE FAKIRS 173
*' Never, reverend father."
** I am sorry," replied the fakir, " you will certainly
never reach the nineteenth Heaven ; 'tis a pity."
" Why," said Omri, "it is very well ; I am per-
fectly content with my lot; what does the nineteenth
or the twentieth Heaven matter to me, provided I do
my duty during my pilgrimage and am well received
at the last resting-place ? Is it not enough to be an
honest man now, and then to be happy in the country
of Brahma ? Into what Heaven do you think you will
go, Mr. Bababec, with your nails and your chains ? "
" The thirty-fifth," said Bababec.
" I think it amusing," replied Omri, ** that you
should assume you will be placed higher than me ;
it can only be the effect of excessive ambition. You
condemn those who seek for honours in this life; why
do you want such great honours in the next ? Why do
you suppose you will be better treated than I ? Learn
that I give more in alms in ten days than you spend in
ten years, for all the nails you stick into your backside.
Much Brahma cares that you spend the day naked,
with a chain round your neck; you do your country
a great service ! I have a hundred times more esteem
for a man who sows vegetables or plants trees than for
all your friends who gaze at the ends of their noses
or carry a pack-saddle from excessive nobility of soul."
Having spoken thus, Omri softened down, flattered
him, argued with him, and finally persuaded him to
get rid of his nails and his chain and to come and live
a decent life. He was cleaned, anointed with perfumed
essences, and dressed properly; he lived a fortnight
very soberly and confessed he was a hundred times
happier than he had been before. But he lost his
influence with the people ; the women no longer came
to consult him ; so he left Omri and returned to his
nails in order to retain esteem.
THE STORY OF
THE STORY OF
I WAS born in the town of Candia in 1600. My
father was the governor and I remember that a
mediocre poet named Iro,^ who was harsh in no
mediocre degree, wrote some bad verses in my
praise where he said I was directly descended from
Minos ; but my father having fallen into disgrace, he
wrote other verses to show that I descended from Pasiphae
and her lover. This Iro was a very evil creature and
the most boring rascal on the whole island.
At the age of fifteen I was sent by my father to study
in Rome. I arrived there with the hope of learning
every truth. For up till then I had been taught just
the contrary, according to the usage of this evil world
from China to the Alps. Monsignor Profondo, to
whom I was recommended, was a singular man and one
of the most terribly learned men in the whole world.
He wanted to teach me the Categories of Aristotle and
was on the point of putting me in the category of his
Mignons ; luckily, I escaped. I saw processions,
exorcisms, and peculations. It was said, but without
a word of truth, that the Signora Olimpia, a person of
great prudence, sold numerous things which should not
be sold. I was at an age when all this seemed very
amusing. A young lady of very tender morals, named
Signora Fatelo, took it into her head to fall in love with
me. She was courted by the reverend Father Poignardini
^ Refers to R07, a. poet, one of Voltaire's numerous enemies.
178 THE STORY OF
and by the reverend Father Aconite, young professed
monks of an order which has ceased to exist. She
reconciled them by giving me her favours ; but at the
same time I ran the risk of being excommunicated and
poisoned. I left highly delighted with the architecture
of St. Peter's.
I travelled in France ; it was during the reign of
Louis the Just. The first question I was asked was if
I should like for my lunch a small portion of the Marshal
d'Ancre, whose flesh had been roasted by the people
and was being distributed very cheaply to those who
This state was continually a prey to civil wars, some-
times about a place in the Cabinet, sometimes about two
pages of controversy. For more than sixty years this
fire, sometimes smothered and sometimes violently
blown, had desolated these beautiful climates. These
were the liberties of the Gallican Church.
" Alas 1 " said I. *' Yet the people of this nation
are born mild ; what can have diverted them from their
natural character ? They jest and take part in the
Massacre of St. Bartholomew. Happy the time when
they did nothing but jest ! "
I crossed over into England ; there the same quarrels
excited the same furies. Holy-minded Catholics had
resolved for the good of the Church to blow up with
powder the King, the Royal Family and the whole
Parliament in order to rid England of these heretics.
I was shown the place where the blessed Queen
Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, had burned more than
five hundred of her subjects. An Irish priest assured
me that this was a very good action ; first, because those
who were burned were English ; second, because they
never took holy water and did not believe in St. Patrick's
well. He was especially surprised that Queen Mary
had not yet been canonised ; but he hoped she soon
would be, when the Cardinal Nephew had a little leisure.
SCARMENTADO'S TRAVELS 179
I went to Holland, where I hoped to find more tran-
quillity among a more phlegmatic people. When I
arrived at the Hague they were cutting off the head of a
venerable old man. It was the bald head of Berneveldt,
the Prime Minister, the man who had done most for
the republic. Touched by pity I inquired what was his
crime and whether he had betrayed the state.
" He did far worse," said a black-garbed preacher.
" He believes that we can be saved by good works as
well as by faith. You will realise that if such opinions
were established, the republic could not endure and
that severe laws are needed to repress such scandalous
A profound politician of the country said to me with a
" Alas ! Sir, this good time will not last for ever :
the zeal of this nation is only the result of chance;
fundamentally the people's character leans towards
the abominable dogma of tolerance. One day it will
come to that ; it makes one shudder."
For my part, while waiting for the disastrous time
of moderation and indulgence, I departed rapidly from
a country where severity was not softened by any amenity
and I embarked for Spain.
The court was at Seville, the galleons had arrived
safely, everything breathed abundance and joy in the
loveliest season of the year. At the end of an avenue
of orange and lemon trees I saw an immense arena
surrounded by seats covered with precious draperies.
The king, the queen, the infante, the infanta were
there under a superb canopy. Opposite this august
family was another, more elevated throne. I said to
one of my travelling companions :
** Unless that throne is reserved for God, I do not
see who can occupy it."
These indiscreet words were heard by a grave Spaniard
and cost me dear. Meanwhile I supposed we were
i8o THE STORY OF
about to witness a passage of arms or a bull-fight, when
the Grand Inquisitor appeared upon the throne, from
which he blessed the king and the people. Then came
an army of monks walking two by two, white, black, grey,
with and without sandals ; with and without beards ;
with pointed cowls and without cowls ; then came the
executioner ; then, surrounded by Alguazils and grandees,
came forty persons covered with sacks on which were
painted devils and flames. They were Jews who would
not wholly renounce Moses, Christians who had married
their fellow-godmothers or who had not adored Our Lady
of Atocha or had been unwilling to get rid of their ready
money in favour of the friars. They sang some very
beautiful prayers devoutly, after which all the guilty
were slowly burned, which seemed to give the Royal
Family much edification.
At night, just as I was going to bed, there arrived
two familiars of the Inquisition with the holy Her-
mandad ; they embraced me tenderly and without
saying a single word took me to a very cool cell, fur-
nished with a straw bed and a fine crucifix. I remained
there for six weeks, at the end of which the reverend
father Inquisitor sent to beg that I would come and speak
to him. He folded me in his arms with paternal affection ;
he told me he was sincerely afflicted to hear that I had
been so poorly accommodated ; but that all the apart-
ments of the house were full and that another time he
hoped I should be more comfortable. Afterwards he
asked me cordially if I did not know why I was there.
I told the reverend father that apparently it was on
account of my sins.
** Well I my dear child, for what sin ? Speak to me
However much I thought I could not guess ; he
charitably put me on the right track. At last I remem-
bered my indiscreet words. I was let off with a scourging
and a fine of thirty thousand reals. I was taken to pay
SCARMENTADO'S TRAVELS i8i
my respects to the Grand Inquisitor; he was a polite
man who asked me what I thought of his little entertain-
ment. I told him it was delicious and went to urge
my companions to leave the country, beautiful as it is.
They had had time to find out all the great things the
Spaniards have done for religion. They had read the
memoirs of the famous Bishop of Chiapa, from which it
appears that ten million infidels in America had been
stabbed, burned or drowned in order to convert them.
I thought the Bishop exaggerated; but even if we
reduce these sacrifices to five million victims, it would
still be admirable.
The desire to travel still urged me on. I had intended
to finish my tour of Europe in Turkey ; so we set out.
I made up my mind not to express my opinion about
any festivals I might see.
" These Turks," I said to my companions, " arc
miscreants who have not been baptised and consequently
will be much more cruel than the reverend father Inquisi-
tors. Let us keep silent when we are among the
Mohammedans. * *
I went there. I was vastly surprised to find many more
Christian churches in Turkey than there were in Candia.
I even saw numerous groups of monks who were allowed
to pray freely to the Virgin Mary, and to curse Moham-
med, some in Greek, some in Latin, and others in
*' What excellent people are the Turks 1 " cried I.
The Greek Christians and the Latin Christians in
Constantinople were mortal enemies ; these slaves perse-
cuted each other like dogs which bite each other in the
street and have to be separated with sticks by their
masters. At that time the Grand Vizier gave his pro-
tection to the Greeks. The Greek Patriarch accused me
of having supped with the Latin Patriarch, and I was
condemned in a full diva to a hundred strokes of the
bastinado on the soles of my feet, or in lieu of that to a
i82 THE STORY OF
fine of five hundred sequins. The next day the Grand
Vizier was strangled ; the day after his successor, who
was for the party of the Latins and who was not strangled
until a month after, condemned me to the same fine
because I had supped with the Greek Patriarch. I was
under the sad necessity of attending neither the Greek
nor the Latin Church. To console myself I hired a
very beautiful Circassian girl, who was the most tender
creature in an intimate interview and the most devout
in a mosque. One night in the soft transports of her
love, she exclaimed as she embraced me :
** Allah, Illah, Allah ! " These are the sacramental
words of the Turks ; I thought they were those of love :
so I exclaimed very tenderly :
" Allah, Illah, Allah 1 "
"Ah!" said she, "praise be to God the merciful!
You are a Turk.*'
I told her that I blessed him for having given me
the strength and thought myself only too happy. In
the morning the Imam came to circumcise me ; and as
I made some objection, the Cadi of the quarter, an
honest man, proposed to impale me. I saved my prepuce
and my backside with a thousand sequins and fled to
Persia immediately, resolved never more to attend a
Greek or a Latin mass in Turkey and never to cry Allah,
Illah, Allah in a tender rendezvous.
On reaching Ispahan, I was asked if I were for the
black sheep or the white sheep. I replied that it was
a matter of indifference to me, so long as they were
tender. You must know that the Persians were still
divided by the factions of *' The white sheep " and ** The
black sheep." They thought I was making fun of
both parties, so that at the very gates of the town I
found myself involved in violent quarrel ; it cost me
another large sum of sequins to get rid of the sheep.
I pushed on as far as China with an interpreter who
assured me it was a country where people lived freely
SCARMENTADO'S TRAVELS 183
and happily. The Tartars had become masters of it,
after having wasted it with fire and blood ; and the
reverend Jesuit fathers on the one hand, like the reverend
Dominican fathers on the other, said they were winning
souls for God without anyone else knowing who they
were. There was a quarrel among them about the
method of bowing. The Jesuits wanted the Chinese
to salute their fathers and mothers in the manner of
China, and the Dominicans wanted them to salute in the
manner of Rome. It happened that the Jesuits took
me for a Dominican. His Tartar Majesty was informed
that I was one of the Pope's spies. The supreme council
told a first mandarin, who ordered a sergeant, who com-
manded four police of the country to arrest me and to
bind me with ceremony. After one hundred and forty
genuflections I was taken before his Majesty. He asked
me whether I were one of the Pope's spies and if it
were true that this prince meant to come in person to
the throne. I replied that the Pope was a priest aged
seventy; that he lived four thousand leagues from his
sacred Majesty of Tartar-China; that he possessed
about two thousand soldiers who mounted guard under
parasols ; that he never dethroned anybody and that
his Majesty could sleep in peace. This was the least
disastrous adventure of^my life. I was sent to Macao,
whence I embarked for Europe.
The ship I was in had to refit along the coasts of
Golconda. I seized the time to visit the court of the
great Aurangzeb, who was marvellously well-spoken
of in the world ; at that time he was at Delhi. I had
the consolation of seeing him on the day of the pompous
ceremony when he received the celestial present sent
him by the Cherif of Mecca. It was a broom which had
been used to sweep out the holy house, the caaba, the
beth allah. This broom is the symbol of the divine
broom which sweeps away all the filth of the soul.
Aurangzeb did not seem to need it ; he was the most
i84 THE STORY OF
pious man of all Hindustan. It is true he had cut the
throat of one of his brothers and had poisoned his father ;
twenty Rajahs and as many Omras had died in torture ;
but that was nothing, and people talked only of his piety.
He was compared to no one less than the sacred majesty
of the most serene Emperor of Morocco, Muley Ismael,
who cut off people's heads every Friday after prayers.
I said nothing ; travelling had formed my mind and
I felt that it did not fall to me to decide between two
august sovereigns. A young Frenchman with whom
I lodged failed, I must confess, in respect to the Emperors
of the Indies and of Morocco. He took it into his head
to say most indiscreetly that in Europe there were very
pious sovereigns who governed their dominions well
and even frequented churches, without killing their
fathers and brothers and without cutting off the heads
of their subjects. Our interpreter translated my young
man's impious remark into Hindoo. Warned by what
had happened in the past, I had my camels saddled at
once and the Frenchman and I left. I learned after-
wards that the officers of the great Aurangzeb came that
night to arrest us, but only found the interpreter. He was
executed in the public square and all the courtiers
admitted without flattery that his death was richly
I still had to see Africa in order to enjoy all the pleasures
of our continent. And I did see it indeed. My ship
was captured by negro pirates. Our captain complained
loudly and asked them why they violated the law of
nations in this manner. The negro captain replied :
" Your nose is long, and ours is flat ; your hair is
straight and our wool is curly; your skin is the colour
of ashes, ours the colour of ebony; consequently by
the sacred laws of nature we must always be enemies.
You buy us in the fairs on the coast of Guinea, like
beasts of labour, to make us work at occupations as
painful as they are ridiculous. You beat us with cow-
SCARMENTADO'S TRAVELS 185
hide whips to make us dig in the mountains for a kind
of yellow earth which in itself is good for nothing and is
not worth nearly so much as a good Egyptian on;on ;
so, when we meet you, and we happen to be the stronger,
we make you labour in our fields or we cut oiF your nose
There was nothing to be said in answer to so wise
a speech. I went and worked in a field belonging to an
old negress, in order to keep my ears and nose. I was
ransomed at the end of a year. I had seen all that was
beautiful, good and admirable in the world ; I resolved
henceforth to see nothing but my household gods.
I married in my own country ; I was made a cuckold ;
and I saw that this was the most agreeable condition
JEANNOT AND COLIN
JEANNOT AND COLIN
SEVERAL persons worthy of belief saw Jeannot
and Colin at school in the town of Issoire in
Auvergne, a town famous throughout the universe
for its college and its kettles. Jeannot was the
son of a very well-known mule merchant. Colin owed
his existence to an honest labourer of the district who
cultivated the earth with the help of four mules, and who
when he had paid the taille, the taillon, the aides and
gabelles, one sou in the livre, the capitation tax and the
twentieths, did not find himself wonderfully rich at the
end of the year.
Jeannot and Colin were very good-looking for
Auvergnats ; they were very fond of each other ; they
enjoyed little privities and familiarities together which
people always remember with pleasure when they meet
afterwards in the world.
The period of their studies was just ending when a
tailor brought Jeannot a velvet suit in three colours with
a most tasteful waistcoat from Lyons ; the whole accom-
panied by a letter to M. de la Jeannotifere. Colin
admired the suit and was not jealous; but Jeannot
assumed an air of superiority which distressed Colin.
From that moment Jeannot ceased to study, looked at
himself in the mirror, and despised everyone. Some
time afterwards a footman came post, bringing a letter
to M. le Marquis de la Jeannoti^re; it was an order
from monsieur, his father, to bring monsieur, his son,
to Paris. Jeannot got into the postchaise and extended
I90 JEANNOT AND COLIN
his hand to Colin with a very noble smile of protection.
Colin felt his nothingness and wept. Jeannot departed
in all the pomp of his glory.
Readers who like to be well informed must know
that M. Jeannot the elder had very rapidly acquired
immense property in business. You ask how these
great fortunes are made .'' It is because a man is lucky.
M. Jeannot was handsome ; so was his wife, who still
retained some freshness. They went to Paris about
a lawsuit which was ruining them, when Fortune, which
lifts up and casts down men as it pleases, introduced
them to the wife of a hospital organiser for the army,
a man of great talent, who could boast that he had killed
more soldiers in a year than the cannon had destroyed
in ten. Jeannot pleased madame ; Jeannot's wife pleased
monsieur. Jeannot soon had a share in the enterprise ;
he took part in other affairs. As soon as one is in the
stream, all one has to do is to go with it; an immense
fortune can be made without difficulty. The beggars
who watch you from the bank as you sail along with all
sails set are round-eyed with astonishment ; they do not
know how you can have arrived ; they envy you at
hazard and write pamphlets against you which you do
not read. This is what happened to the elder Jeannot,
who soon became M. de la Jeannoti^re and, having
purchased a marquisate at the end of six months, withdrew
his son, M. le Marquis, from school, to launch him in
the best society of Paris.
Colin, always tender-hearted, wrote his old school-
fellow a letter of compliment to congratulate him. The
little marquis made no reply ; Colin was ill with grief.
The father and mother first provided the young mar-
quis with a tutor ; this tutor was a man of fashionable airs
who knew nothing at all, and therefore could teach his
pupil nothing. Monsieur wished his son to learn
Latin ; madame did not wish it. They called in as
arbiter an author who was at that time celebrated for his
^^ great aim $fman (i?^ to ^cctd in ^^dncty
JEANNOT AND COLIN 191
agreeable writings. He was asked to dinner. The
master of the house began by saying :
" As you know Latin, sir, and are a man of the
court . . ."
** I know Latin, sir ! I don't know a word of it,"
replied the wit, ** and it has been an advantage to me ;
obviously a man speaks his language better when he has
not divided his attention between it and foreign languages.
Look at all our ladies, their wit is more agreeable than
the men's ; their letters have a hundred times more
grace; their superiority over us is only due to the fact
that they do not know Latin."
** Well ! was I not right ? " said madame. ** I want
my son to be a man of wit, I want him to succeed in
society ; and you see that if he knew Latin he would
be lost. I ask you, are comedies and operas played in
Latin ? Are lawsuits tried in Latin ? Do we make love
in Latin ? "
Monsieur, dazzled by these reasons, passed judgment,
and it was decided that the young marquis should not
waste his time in knowing Cicero, Horace and Virgil.
What then should he learn ? For he must learn some-
thing ; could he not be taught a little geography ?
" What will be the use of that ? " replied the tutor.
** When M. le Marquis journeys to his estate, will not
the postillions know the road ? They will certainly not
lose him. There is no necessity for a quadrant in order
to travel, and we go very comfortably from Paris to
Auvergne without knowing the latitude we are in."
** You are right," replied the father, ** but I have
heard people speak of a noble science which is called, I
*' How contemptible 1 " replied the tutor. *' In this
world do we conduct our lives by the stars ? And must
M. le Marquis weary himself to death in calculating an
eclipse when he can find it at the given time in an
almanac, which in addition tells him the movable feasts,
19a JEANNOT AND COLIN
the quarter of the moon and the age of all the princesses
in Europe ? "
Madame entirely agreed with the tutor. The little
marquis was delighted ; the father was uncertain.
" Then what must my son be taught ? " he said.
** To be amiable," replied the friend they were con-
sulting, " and if he knows the way to please, he will know
everything ; it is an art he can learn from madame, his
mother, without either of them taking the least trouble."
At these words madame embraced the gracious
ignoramus and said :
** It is plain, sir, that you are the most learned person
in the world ; my son will owe his whole education to
you ; yet I think it would not be a bad thing if he knew
a little history."
" Alas ! madame, what is the good of that ? " he
replied. ** The history of the day alone is useful and
agreeable. All ancient history, as one of our wits said,
is simply a tissue of accepted fables ; and as for modern
history, 'tis a chaos no one can disentangle. What does
it matter to monsieur your son that Charlemagne insti-
tuted the twelve peers of France and that his successor
stammered ? "
" Nothing could be better said," cried the tutor,
*' the minds of children are stifled under masses of
useless knowledge ; but in my opinion the most absurd
of all sciences and that most likely to strangle every
kind of genius, is geometry. The subject of that
ridiculous science is surfaces, lines and points which do
not exist in nature. They imagine a hundred thousand
curves passing between a circle and a straight line touch-
ing it, although in reality a straw could not pass.
Positively, geometry is nothing but a foolish jest."
Monsieur and madame did not altogether understand
what the tutor meant; but they were entirely of his
" A lord like M. le Marquis," he continued, " should
JEANNOT AND COLIN 193
not waste his brains in these vain studies. Should he
one day need a sublime geometer to draw the plan of
his estate, he can have the acreage worked out by paying
for it. If he wishes to discover the antiquity of his title,
which goes back to the most distant times, he will send
for a Benedictine. And so with every art. A young
lord happily born is neither a painter, nor a musician,
nor an architect, nor a sculptor; but he causes all
these arts to flourish by his munificent encouragement of
them. It is certainly better to protect them than to prac-
tise them ; it is enough that M. le Marquis should
possess taste ; it is for artists to work for him ; and that
IS why people are so right when they say that persons of
quality (I mean those who are very rich) know everything
without having learnt anything, because in the long run
they can indeed judge everything they order and pay for.'*
The amiable ignoramus then spoke and said :
** You have very well observed, madame, that the
great aim of man is to succeed in society. Honestly
now, is that success obtained through the sciences ?
Did anyone ever think of discussing geometry in good
society ? Is a man of quality ever asked what star rises
to-day with the sun ? Does anyone at supper ever ask
whether Clodicn the Hairy passed the Rhine ? "
** Of course not," cried the Marquise de la Jeannotifere,
whose charms had sometimes initiated her into good
society, " and monsieur my son must not quench his
genius in the study of all this nonsense ; but what shall
we teach him then ? for it is good that a young lord
should shine on the proper occasion, as my husband says.
I remember I heard an abb6 say that the most agreeable
of all sciences was a thing whose name I have forgotten,
but which begins with an H."
'* With an H, madame, was it not Horticulture ? "
** No, it was not Horticulture he spoke of; it began,
I tell you, with an H and ended with a ry."
** Ah ! I understand, madame, 'tis Heraldry ; that
194 JEANNOT AND COLIN
indeed is a very profound science, but it is no longer
fashionable since people have given up having their
arms painted on their carriage doors; it was the most
useful thing imaginable in a really civilised state. But
this study would be infinite ; to-day every barber has his
coat of arms; and you know that everything which
becomes common is little welcomed."
Finally, after having weighed the strength and weak-
ness of all sciences, they decided that M. le Marquis
should learn to dance. Nature, which accomplishes
everything, had bestowed upon him a talent which soon
developed with prodigious success, and that was singing
comic songs agreeably. The graces of youth, added to
this superior gift, caused him to be looked upon as a
young man of the greatest promise. He was beloved
by the women ; and having his head filled with songs,
he wrote songs for his mistresses. He pillaged '* Bacchus
and Love " for one song, " Night and Day " for another,
** Charms and Alarms," for a third ; but, since his verses
were always some feet longer or shorter than they ought
to have been, he had them corrected at the rate of twenty
guineas a song ; and he was placed in the Literary Year
Book alongside Lafare, Chaulieu, Hamilton, Sarrasin,
Madame la Marquise then believed herself to be the
mother of a wit and gave suppers to the wits of Paris.
The young man's head was soon turned ; he acquired the
art of talking without knowing what he meant and
perfected himself in the habit of being good for nothing.
When his father saw he was so eloquent, he regretted
keenly that he had not been taught Latin, for then an
important judicial post could have been bought for him.
The mother, whose sentiments were more noble, under-
took to solicit a regiment for her son ; and meanwhile
he made love. Love is sometimes more expensive than
a regiment. He spent a great deal, while his parents
exhausted their resources by living like great lords.
JEANNOT AND COLIN 195
A young widow of quality, their neighbour, who
possessed only a middling fortune, was good enough to
make up her mind to render secure the great possessions
of M. and Mme. Jeannoti^re by appropriating them to
herself and by marrying the young marquis. She drew
him to her house, allowed him to fall in love with her, let
him see that she was not indifferent to him, led him on
by degrees, enchanted him, subjugated him without
difficulty. Sometimes she praised him, sometimes ad-
vised him ; she became the best friend of his father and
mother. An old woman in the neighbourhood proposed
the marriage ; the parents, dazzled by the splendour of
this alliance, accepted the proposal with joy. They gave
their only son to their intimate friend. The young
marquis was about to marry a woman whom he adored
and by whom he was beloved ; the friends of the house
congratulated him; the marriage articles were being
drawn up, and they were at work upon the wedding
clothes and the epithalamium.
One morning he was at the knees of the charming
wife he was to receive from love, esteem ahd friend-
ship ; in a tender and animated conversation they were
enjoying the first fruits of their happiness ; they were
making arrangements to le^ a delicious life when a
footman belonging to madame his mother arrived in
** Here is news 1 " he said. *' The bailiffs are taking
the furniture from monsieur and madame's house;
everything is seized by the creditors ; arrest is talked
of and I am going to do the best I can to be paid my
" Let me go and see," said the marquis, ** what this is,
what this adventure may be."
" Yes," said the widow, ** go and punish the scoun-
drels, go quickly."
He rushed off and went to the house ; his father was
already in prison ; all the servants had fled in different
196 JEANNOT AND COLIN
directions, carrying off whatever they could. His mother
was alone, without help, without consolation, drowned
in her tears ; she had nothing left but the memory of
her fortune, of her beauty, of her errors and of her mad
After the son had wept with his mother for a long
time, he said at last :
" Let us not despair ; the young widow loves me
madly ; she is more generous than rich ; I will answer
for her ; I will fly to her and bring her back to you."
He returned to his mistress and found her in private
conversation with a most amiable young officer,
'* What 1 Is it you, M. de la Jeannotiere ? What
are you doing here .'' Is a mother to be abandoned in
this way ? Go to the poor woman and tell her I still
wish her well ; I need a waiting-woman and will give
her the preference."
** Young man," said the officer, ** you seem well
set-up ; if you like to enter my company, I will give you
a good engagement."
The marquis was stupefied, his heart was full of rage,
and he went to look for his old tutor to pour out his griefs
on his heart and to ask for advice. The advice was to
become a children's tutor like himself.
'* Alas 1 I know nothing, you taught me nothing,
and you are the first cause of my misfortune."
He sobbed as he said this.
*' Write novels," said a wit who was there. ** It is
an excellent resource in Paris."
The young man, in more despair than ever, ran to
his mother's confessor, a greatly esteemed Theatine,
who took charge of the consciences of only the most
important women. As soon as he saw him, he rushed
*' Heavens 1 Monsieur le Marquis, where is your
carriage ? How is the respectable Madame la Marquise,
your mother .? "
JEANNOT AND COLIN 197
The poor wretch related his family disaster. As he
explained it, the Theatine became graver, more indifferent,
** My son, this is how God willed you should be ;
riches serve only to corrupt the heart; and so God
has done your mother the grace to reduce her to
beggary ? "
•* Yes, sir."
** So much the better, she is certain of her salvation.*'
" But, father, meanwhile is there no way of obtaining
some help in this world ? "
" Farewell, my son ; a lady of the court is waiting
The marquis was ready to swoon ; he was treated in
nearly the same fashion by all his friends and learned
more about the world in half a day than in all his preced-
ing life. As he was plunged in the depth of despair
he saw an old-fashioned chaise, a sort of covered cart,
with leather curtains, followed by four enormous laden
waggons. In the chaise was a young man coarsely
dressed; his face was round and fresh and breathed
gentleness and gaiety. His little dark wife, who was
rustically agreeable, was jolted beside him. The carriage
did not run as easily as a coxcomb's chariot ; the traveller
had plenty of time to observe the motionless marquis,
lost in his grief.
" Heavens ! ** he cried, *' I think that is Jeannot."
At this name the marquis raised his eyes and the chaise
" It is Jeannot himself, it is Jeannot ! "
The plump little man took one leap and rushed to
embrace his old school-fellow. Jeannot recognised
Colin ; and his face was covered with shame and tears.
" You abandoned me," said Colin, " but though you
are a great lord, I shall always love you."
Touched and confused, Jeannot told him with sobs a
part of his story.
198 JEANNOT AND COLIN
" Come to the inn where I am lodging and tell mc
the rest," said Colin ; " kiss my little wife and let us
go and dine together."
All three went off on foot followed by the baggage.
" What is all this collection ? Does it belong to you .'' '*
** Yes, it belongs to me and my wife. We have just
come up from the country ; I am at the head of a good
manufactory of iron and copper. I have married the
daughter of a rich trader in utensils necessary to great and
small alike ; we work very hard ; God has blessed us ;
we have not changed our condition, we are happy, we
will help our friend Jeannot. Do not be a marquis any
longer ; all the grandeurs are not worth a true friend.
You will come back to the country with me. I will
teach you the trade, it is not very difficult ; I will give
you a share, and we will live merrily in the corner of the
earth where we were born."
Jeannot in bewilderment felt torn between grief and
joy, tenderness and shame ; he said to himself : All my
gay friends have betrayed me and Colin, whom I despised,
alone comes to my aid. What a lesson !
Colin's goodness of soul developed in Jeannot's heart
the germ of good character which had not yet been stifled
by the world. He felt he could not abandon his father
and his mother.
" We will take care of your mother," said Colin,
** and as to the good man your father who is in prison,
I understand something of business. His creditors,
when they see he has nothing, will take what they can
get ; I will look after everything."
Colin laboured so successfully that he released the
father from prison. Jeannot returned to his province
with his parents, who took up their old trade again. He
married Colin's sister and, as she was of the same humour
as her brother, she made him very happy. And Jeannot
the father, and Jeannot the mother, and Jeannot the son
saw that happiness does not dwell in vanity.
LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
AH ! Fate governs irremissibly everything in
this world. I judge, as is natural, from my
Lord Chesterfield, who was very fond of me,
had promised to be of help to me. A good living in his
nomination fell vacant. I hastened up from the depths
of the country to London ; I presented myself before
his lordship ; I reminded him of his promises ; he shook
me warmly by the hand and said that indeed I did look
ill. I replied that my greatest illness was poverty. He
said he desired to cure me, and immediately gave me a
letter for Mr. Sidrac, near the Guildhall.
I had no doubt that Mr. Sidrac was the person to
hasten the nomination to my living. I hastened to
his house. Mr. Sidrac, who was his lordship's surgeon,
at once began to examine me and assured me that if I
had the stone, he would cut me very successfully.
You must know that his lordship had heard I was
suffering great pain in the bladder, and with his usual
generosity had intended I should be cut at his expense.
He had gone deaf, like his brother, and I had not been
informed of it.
While I was wasting time in defending my bladder
against Mr. Sidrac, who desired to cut me at all costs,
one of the fifty-two competitors who wanted the same
living reached his lordship, asked for my vicarage, and
I was in love with Miss Fidler, whom I was to marry
202 LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
as soon as I became a vicar ; my rival had my post and
The earl, hearing of my disaster and his mistake,
promised to set everything right ; but he died two days
Mr. Sidrac pointed out to me, as clearly as daylight,
that my good patron could not live a minute longer
owing to the constitution of his organs, and proved to
me that his deafness only came from the extreme dryness
of the cord and drum of his ear. He even offered to
harden my two ears with spirits of wine, and to make
me deafer than any peer of the realm.
I realised that Mr. Sidrac was a very learned man.
He inspired me with a taste for the science of Nature.
Moreover, I saw that he was a charitable man who would
cut me for nothing if necessary, and who would aid me in
every accident which might happen to me towards the
neck of my bladder.
So I began to study Nature under his direction, to
console myself for the loss of my vicarage and my
AFTER many observations of Nature, made with
my five senses, telescopes and microscopes, I
said to Mr. Sidrac one day :
** They make fun of us ; there is no such thing
as Nature, everything is art; it is by an admirable art
that all the planets dance regularly around the sun,
while the sun turns round upon himself. Obviously
some one as learned as the Royal Society of London
must have arranged things in such a way that the square
of the revolutions of each planet is always proportionate
to the cube root of their distance from their centre ;
and a man must be a sorcerer to guess it.
** The ebb and flow of our Thames seem to me the
constant result of an art not less profound and not less
difficult to understand.
" Animals, vegetables, minerals, all seem to me
arranged with weight, measure, number and movement ;
everything is a spring, a lever, a pulley, a hydraulic
machine, a chemical laboratory, from the blade of grass
to the oak, from the flea to man, from a grain of sand to
*' Certainly there is nothing but art, and Nature is a
" You are right,** replied Mr. Sidrac, " but you are
not the first in the field ; that has already been said by
a dreamer on the other side of the Channel,^ but nobody
has paid any attention to him."
** What astonishes me and pleases me most of all is
that, by means of this incomprehensible art, two machines
always produce a third ; and I am very sorry not to have
204 LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
made one with Miss Fidler ; but I see it was arranged
from all eternity that Miss Fidler should make use of
another machine than mine.**
** What you say,*' replied Mr. Sidrac, ** has been
said before and said better; which is a probability
that you think correctly. Yes, it is most amusing that
two beings should produce a third ; but it is not true of
all beings ; two roses do not produce a third rose by
kissing each other ; two stones or two metals do not
produce a third ; and yet a metal and a stone are things
which all human industry could not make. The great,
the beautiful, continuous miracle is that a boy and a
girl should make a child together, that a cock nightin-
gale should make a little nightingale with his hen night-
ingale, and not with a lark. We ought to spend half
our lives in imitating them, and the other half in blessing
him who invented this method. In generation there are
a thousand vastly curious secrets. Newton says that
Nature is everywhere like herself ; Natura est ubique sibi
consona. This is false in love ; fish, reptiles and birds
do not make love as we do ; there is an infinite variety.
The making of acting and sapient beings delights me.
Vegetables have their value also. I am always amazed
that a grain of wheat cast on to the ground should produce
" Ah ! *' said I, like the fool I then was, " that is
because the wheat must die to be born again, as they say
in the schools." ^
Mr. Sidrac laughed very circumspectly and replied :
" That was true in the time of the schools, but the
meanest labourer to-day knows that the thing is absurd."
** Ah ! Mr. Sidrac, I beg your pardon ; but I have
been a theologian and a man cannot shake off his old
1 St. Paul and St. John.
SOME time after these conversations between poor
parson Goodman and the excellent anatomist
Sidrac, the surgeon met him in St. James's Park,
pensive, preoccupied, with a more embarrassed
look than • a mathematician who has just made a bad
mistake in calculation.
*• What is the matter with you ? " said Sidrac. ** Have
you a pain in your bladder or your colon ? "
** No," said Goodman, *' but in the gall-bladder.
I have just seen a carriage go by containing the Bishop
of Gloucester,^ who is an insolent and whiffling pedant ;
I was on foot and it irritated me. I remembered that
if I wanted to have a bishopric in this kingdom, *tis
ten thousand to one I should not obtain it, since there
are ten thousand parsons in England. Since the death
of Lord Chesterfield (who was deaf) I have had no
patron. Let us suppose that the ten thousand Anglican
parsons each have two patrons ; in that event it is twenty
thousand to one I shall not be a bishop. That is annoying
when one thinks of it.
" I remembered that long ago it was suggested that
I should go to India as a cabin-boy; I was assured I
should make a great fortune, but I did not feel I was
the kind of person to become an admiral. And, after
having considered all professions, I have remained a
parson without being good for anything."
** Cease to be a priest," said Sidrac, " and make
yourself a philosopher. It is an occupation which
neither exacts nor gives wealth. What is your income ? "
** I have only thirty guineas a year, and after the
death of my old aunt, I shall have fifty."
2o6 LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
** My dear Goodman, that is enough to live in free-
dom and to think. Thirty guineas are six hundred
and thirty shillings ; that makes nearly two shillings
a day. Philips ^ only wanted one. With that amount
of certain income a man can say everything he thinks
about the East India Company, Parliament, the Colonies,
the King, being in general, man and God ; all of which
is a great amusement. Come and dine with me, which
will save you money; we will talk, and your thinking
faculty will have the pleasure of communicating with
mine by means of speech ; a marvellous thing which men
do not sufficiently admire."
1 John Philips, author of 7he SpUndid Shilling.
Conversation between Dr. Goodman and Sidrac the Anatomist
concerning the Soul and Other Matters
y^OODMAN : But, my dear Sidrac, why do you
I Y always speak of my thinking faculty ? Why not
^^ just say my soul ? It would be done more
quickly and I should understand you just as well.
Sidrac : But I should not understand myself. I
feel, I know that God has given me the^faculty of think-
ing and speaking ; but I neither feel nor know whether
he had given me an entity which is called a soul.
Goodman : Really, when I think about it, I perceive
I know nothing more about it and that I have long
been rash enough to think I did know. I have noticed
that the Eastern nations call the soul by a name which
means life. Following their example, the Romans
first meant the life of the animal by the word anima.
Among the Greeks they spoke of the respiration of the
soul. This respiration is a breath. The Latins trans-
lated the word breath by spiritus ; whence comes the
word equivalent to ** spirit " among nearly all modern
nations. Since nobody has ever seen this breath, this
spirit, it has been made an entity which no one can see
or touch. It has been said to reside in our body without
occupying any place there, to move our organs without
touching them. What has not been said .? It seems to
me that all our talk is founded on ambiguities. I see the
wise Locke felt that these ambiguities in all languages
had plunged human reason into a chaos. He has no
chapter on the soul in the only book of reasonable meta-
physics ever written. And if he chances to use the word
2o8 LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
in certain passages, with him it only means our intelli-
gence. Indeed everyone feels he has an intelligence,
that he receives ideas, that he associates and dissociates
them ; but nobody feels he has within him another entity
which gives him movement, sensations and thoughts.
It is ridiculous to use words we do not understand and
to admit entities of which we cannot have the slightest
Sidrac : We are agreed then about a matter which
has been the subject of dispute for so many centuries.
Goodman : And I am surprised that we are in agree-
Sidrac : It is not surprising, we are honestly searching
for the truth. If we were on the benches of the schools,
we should argue like the characters of Rabelais. If we
lived in the ages of terrible darkness which so long
enveloped England, one of us would perhaps have the
other burned. We live in an age of reason ; we easily
find what seems to us to be the truth and we dare to
Goodman : Yes, but I am afraid this truth is a very paltry
affair. In mathematics we have achieved prodigies which
would astonish Apollonius and Archimedes, and would
make them our pupils ; but what have we discovered
in metaphysics ? Our own ignorance.
Sidrac : And is that nothing ? You admit that the
great Being has given you the faculty of feeling and
thinking, as he has given your feet the faculty of walking,
your hands the power of doing a thousand things, your
entrails the power of digesting, your heart the power of
urging your blood into your arteries. We hold every-
thing from him ; we could not give ourselves anything,
and we shall always be ignorant of the manner in which
the Master of the universe makes use of to guide us.
For my part, I give him thanks for having taught me
that I know nothing of first principles. Men have
always inquired how the soul acts upon the body. They
LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS 209
ought first of all to have found out whether we have one.
Either God has given us this present or he has communi-
cated something which is its equivalent to us. However
he went about it, we are under his hand. He is our
master, that is all I know.
Goodman : But tell me at least what you suspect. You
have dissected brains, you have seen embryos and foetuses ;
have you discovered any sign of the soul in them ?
Sidrac : Not the least, and I have never been able to
understand how an immortal, immaterial entity spent
nine months uselessly hidden in an evil-smelling mem-
brane between urine and excrement. It is difficult for
me to conceive that this pretended simple soul existed
before the formation of its body. For, if it were not a
human soul, what use could it have been during the ages ?
And then how can we imagine a simple entity, a meta-
physical entity, which waits during eternity the moment
to animate matter for a few minutes ? What becomes of
this unknown entity, if the foetus it should animate dies
in the belly of its mother ? It seemed still more ridiculous
to me that God should create a soul at the moment a man
lies with a woman. It seems blasphemous that God
should await the consummation of an adultery, of an
incest, to reward these turpitudes by creating souls in
their favour. It is still worse when I am told that
God draws immortal souls from nothingness to make
them suffer incredible tortures for eternity. What!
Burn simple entities, entities which have nothing burn-
able \ How should we go about burning the sound of
a voice, a wind which has passed ? Even then, this sound
and this wind were material during the brief moment
of their passage ; but a pure spirit, a thought, a doubt ?
I am all at sea. Whichever way I turn, to find nothing
but obscurity, contradiction, impossibility, ridiculous-
ness, dreams, extravagance, fables, absurdity, stupidity,
But I am quite easy when I say ; God is the Master.
aio LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
He who causes the innumerable stars to gravitate towards
each other, he who made the light, is certainly powerful
enough to give us feelings and ideas without our needing
a small, foreign, invisible atom called soul. God has
certainly given feeling, memory and industry to all
animals. He has given them life and it is as noble to
give life as to give a soul. It is generally agreed that
animals live ; it is proved that they have feeling, since they
have organs of feeling. And if they have all that without
having a soul, why must we wish to have one at all
Goodman : Perhaps from vanity. I am convinced
that if a peacock could speak, he would boast of having
a soul and he would say his soul is in his tail. I am
very much inclined to suspect with you that God made
us to eat, to drink, to walk, to sleep, to feel, to think,
to be full of passions, pride and misery, without telling
us one word of his secret. We do not know any more
about this topic than the peacock I speak of; and he
who said that we are born, live and die without knowing
how, expressed a great truth.
He who calls us the puppets of Providence seems to
me to have well defined us ; since after all, for us to exist,
there needs must be an infinity of movements. We did
not make the movement ; we did not establish its laws.
There is someone who, having made the light, makes it
move from the sun to our eyes and reach us in seven
minutes. It is only through movement that my five
senses are stirred ; it is only through my five senses that I
have ideas ; therefore it is the Author of movement who
gives me ideas. And when he tells me how he gives them
to me, I shall render him very humble thanks. Already
I give him great thanks for having allowed me to con-
template for a few years the magnificent spectacle of this
world, as Epictetus says. It is true he might make me
happier and let me have a good living and my mistress.
Miss Fidler ; but after all, even as I am, with my income
LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS 211
of six hundred and thirty shillings, I am still greatly
indebted to him.
Sidrac : You say that God might have given you a
good living and that he could make you happier than
you are. There are some people who would not allow
you to make such an assertion. Do you not remember
that you yourself complained of Fate ? A man who
wished to be a parson must not contradict himself. Do
you not see that, if you had had the parsonage and the
woman you asked for, it would have been you who made
Miss Fidler's child and not your rival ? The child she
would have had might have been a cabin-boy, have become
an admiral, have won a naval battle at the mouth of the
Ganges, and completed the dethronement of the Great
Mogul. That alone would have changed the constitu-
tion of the universe. A world entirely different to ours
would have been needed in order that your competitor
should not have the living, should not marry Miss
Fidler, and that you should not have been reduced to
six hundred and thirty shillings while expecting the
death of your aunt. Everything is linked up : and
God will not break the eternal chain for the sake of
my friend Goodman.
Goodman : I did not expect this line of reasoning when
I spoke of Fate; but after all, if this is so, God is as
much a slave as I am ?
Sidrac : He is the slave of his will, of his wisdom, of
the laws he made himself, of his necessary nature. He
cannot infringe them, because he cannot be weak, in-
constant, and flighty as we are, and the necessarily Eternal
Being cannot be a weathercock.
Goodman : Mr. Sidrac, that leads straight to irreligion ;
for if God can change nothing in the aflFairs or this
world, what is the use of singing his praises and addressing
prayers to him ?
Sidrac : And who told you to pray God and praise
him ? Much he cares for your praise and petitions !
212. LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
We praise a man because we think him vain ; we pray
him when we think him weak and hope to make him
change his opinion. Let us do our duty to God, adore
him, act justly ; that is true praise and true prayer.
Goodman : Mr. Sidrac, we have covered a lot of ground ;
for, without counting Miss Fidler, we have inquired
whether we have a soul, whether there is a God, whether
he can change, whether we are destined to two lives,
whether . . . these are profound studies and perhaps I
should never have thought of them if I had been a parson.
I must go deeper into these necessary and sublime matters,
since I have nothing else to do.
Sidrac : Well, Dr. Grou is coming to dine with me
to-morrow ; he is a very well-informed doctor ; he went
round the world with Banks and Solander. He must
certainly understand God and the soul, the true and the
false, the just and the unjust, far better than those who
have never left Covent Garden. Moreover, Dr. Grou
saw almost the whole of Europe in his youth ; he wit-
nessed five or six revolutions in Russia ; he frequented
the pasha Comte de Bonneval, who, as you know, became
a complete Mohammedan at Constantinople. He was
intimate with the Papist priest MacCarthy, the Irishman,
who had his prepuce cut off in honour of Mohammed, and
with our Scotch Presbyterian, Ramsay, who did the same,
and afterwards served in Russia and was killed in a battle
against the Swedes in Finland. He has conversed with
the reverend Father Malagrida, who has since been
burned at Lisbon, because the Holy Virgin revealed to
him everything she did when she was in the womb of
her mother. Saint Anne. You can see that a man like
Dr. Grou, who has seen so much, must be the greatest
metaphysician in the world. To-morrow then, at my
house for dinner.
Goodman : And the day after to-morrow, also, my
dear Sidrac, for more than one dinner is needed to grow
NEXT day the three thinkers dined together ;
and as they became a little gayer towards the
end of the meal, according to the custom of
philosophers at dinner, they amused them-
selves by talking of all the miseries, all the follies, all the
horrors which afflict the animal race from Australia to the
Arctic Pole, and from Lima to Macao. This diversity of
abominations is nevertheless very amusing. It is a
pleasure unknown to stay-at-home burgesses and parish
curates, who know nothing beyond their own church spire
and who think that all the rest of the universe is like
Exchange Alley in London, or like the Rue de la
Huchette at Paris.
*' I have noticed," said Dr. Grou, " that in spite of the
infinite variety of this globe, all the men I have seen,
whether blacks with woolly hair, blacks with straight
hair, the browns, the reds, the swarthy who are called
whites, all have alike two legs, two eyes, and a head on
their shoulders, despite St. Augustine, who asserts in his
thirty-seventh sermon that he had seen acephalous men,
that is headless men, monoculous men with only one eye
and monopeds who have only one leg. As to anthro-
pophagi, I admit there are swarms of them and that
everyone was once like them.
" I have often been asked if the inhabitants of the
immense country called New Zealand, who are to-day
the most barbarous of all barbarians, were baptised.
I always reply that I do not know, but that it might be
so ; that the Jews, who were more barbarous than they,
had two baptisms instead of one, the baptism of justice
and the baptism of domicile."
214 LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
*• I know them well," said Mr. Goodman, ** and I
have had long disputes with those who think we invented
baptism. No, gentlemen, we have invented nothing;
we have only introduced contractions. But pray tell
me. Dr. Grou, among the eighty or hundred religions
you saw in your travels, which seemed the most pleasant,
that of the New Zealanders or that of the Hottentots ? "
Dr. Grou : That of tjie Island of Otaiti, without any
doubt. I have travelled through the two hemispheres;
I never saw anything like Otaiti and its religious queen.
It is in Otaiti that Nature dwells. Elsewhere I saw
nothing but masks ; I saw only scoundrels deceiving
fools, charlatans cheating others of their money to obtain
authority, and cheating authority to have money with
impunity ; who sell you spiders' webs in order to eat your
partridges ; who sell you riches and pleasures when there
is none, so that you will turn the spit while they exist.
By Heaven ! It is not like that in the Island of Aiti,
or of Otaiti. The island is much more civilised than
New Zealand and the country of the Kafirs, and I dare
to say than our own England, because Nature has granted
it a more fertile soil ; she has given it the bread-fruit
tree, a present as useful as it is wonderful, which she has
only bestowed upon a few islands of the Southern Sea.
Moreover, Otaiti possesses numerous edible birds,
vegetables and fruits. In such a country it is not neces-
sary to eat one's neighbour ; but there is a more natural,
gentler, more universal necessity which the religion of
Otaiti commands shall be satisfied in public. It is
certainly the most respectable of all religious ceremonies;
I have been an eye-witness of it, as well as the whole
crew of our ship. These are not missionaries* fables,
such as are to be found sometimes in the Edifying and
Curious Letters of the Reverend Jesuit Fathers. Dr. John
Hawkesworth is now completing the publication of our
discoveries in the southern hemisphere. I have con-
stantly accompanied that worthy young man. Banks,
LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS 215
who has devoted his time and money to the observation
of Nature, in the regions of the Antarctic Pole, while
Dawkins and Wood returned from the ruins of Palmyra
and Baalbek where they had excavated the most ancient
monuments of the arts, and Hamilton taught the amazed
Neapolitans the natural history of their Mount Vesuvius.
With Banks, Solander, Cook and a hundred others, I have
seen what I am about to tell you.
The Princess Obeira, Queen of the Island of Otaiti . . .
At that moment the coffee was brought, and as soon
as it was taken. Dr. Grou went on with his story as
* ^ ■ ^HE Princess Obeira," I say, " after having
I heaped us with presents with a politeness
I worthy of a queen of England, was curious
JL. to be present one morning at our Anglican
service. We celebrated it as pompously as we could.
In the afternoon she invited us to hers ; it was on the
14th May 1769. We found her surrounded by about
one thousand persons of both sexes arranged in a semi-
circle and respectfully silent. A very pretty girl, simply
dressed in light clothes, was lying on a platform which
served as an altar. Queen Obeira ordered a fine young
man of about twenty to make the sacrifice. He repeated
a sort of prayer and got on to the altar. The two sacrificers
were half naked. The Queen, with a majestic air, showed
the young victim the most convenient method of con-
summating the sacrifice. All the Otaitians were so
attentive and so respectful that not one of our sailors
dared to . trouble the ceremony by an indecent laugh.
That is what I have seen, I tell you ; that is what our
whole crew saw ; it is for you to make deductions."
" This sacred festival does not surprise me," said
Dr. Goodman. " I am convinced that this is the first
festival men have ever celebrated, and I do not see why
we should not pray God when we are about to make a
being in his image, as we pray to him before the meals
which sustain our bodies. To labour to bring to life a
reasonable creature is the most noble and holy action.
Thus thought the early Indians, who revered the Lingam,
the symbol of generation ; the ancient Egyptians who
carried the phallus in procession ; the Greeks who erected
temples to Priapus. If one may quote the miserable little
LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS 217
Jewish nation, the clumsy imitator of all its neighbours,
it is said in its books that this nation adored Priapus
and that the queen-mother of the Jewish King Asa was
the high priestess.
" However this may be, it is very probable that no
race ever established or could establish a cult from
libertinism. Debauchery sometimes slips in through
the lapse of time ; but the institution itself is always
innocent and pure. Our earliest love-feasts, where
boys and girls kissed each other innocently on the
mouth, did not generate into rendezvous and infidel-
ities until much later ; and would to God I might sacrifice
with Miss Fidler under Queen Obeira in all honour!
It would assuredly be the finest day and the best action
of my life."
Mr. Sidrac, who had hitherto kept silence because
Goodman and Grou had been talking, at last abandoned
his reserve and said :
** What I have just heard ravishes me with admiration.
Queen Obeira seems to me the greatest queen in the
southern hemisphere ; I dare not say of both hemispheres;
but among so much fame and happiness, there is one
thing which makes me tremble and which Mr. Goodman
mentioned without your replying. Is it true, Dr. Grou,
that Captain Wallace, who anchored oflF that fortunate
Island before you, brought to it the two most terrible
scourges of the whole earth, the two poxes .? "
*• Alas 1 " replied Dr. Grou, " the French accuse us
and we accuse the French. Mr. Bougainville says that
the accursed English gave the pox to Queen Obeira;
and Mr. -Cook asserts that the Queen obtained it from Mr.
Bougainville himself. However this may be, the pox
is like the fine arts, nobody knows who invented them,
but eventually they ran through Europe, Asia, Africa
** I have been a surgeon for a long time," said Sidrac,
" and I confess I owe the greater part of my fortune
2i8 LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
to this pox ; yet I do not detest it any the less. Mrs.
Sidrac communicated it to me on the first night of her
wedding ; and, as she is an excessively delicate woman in
all matters touching her honour, she published in all the
London newspapers the statement that she was indeed
attacked by an infamous disease but that she had con-
tracted it in her mother's womb and that it was an old
*' What was * Nature * thinking of when she poured
this poison in the very source of life ? It has been said,
and I repeat it, that this is the most enormous and detest-
able of all contradictions. What ! Man, they say,
was made in God's image. Finxit in effigiem moderantum
cuncta deorum, and it is in the spermatic vessels of this
image that pain, infection and death are placed I What
becomes of Lord Rochester's fine verse :
* Love, in a land of infidels.
Would lead to God: "
" Alas 1 " said the excellent Goodman, ** perhaps I
have to thank Providence that I did not marry my dear
Miss Fidler ; for who knows what might have happened ?
We are never sure of anything in this world. In any
case, Mr. Sidrac, you have promised me your help in
everything concerning my bladder."
" I am entirely at your service," replied Sidrac, ** but
you must get rid of these gloomy thoughts."
Goodman, speaking in this way, seemed to foresee his
AS Mr. Sidrac spoke these wise words a servant
came in to inform Mr. Goodman that the late
Lord Chesterfield's steward was at the door in
his carriage and wished to speak to him about a
very urgent affair. Goodman ran down to receive the
information and the steward invited him into the carriage
and said :
** No doubt you know, sir, what happened to Mr.
Sidrac on their wedding-night ? "
" Yes, sir, he told me the story of that little adventure
** Well, the same thing occurred to the fair Miss
Fidler and her parson husband. The morning after
they fought ; the day after that they separated and the
parson has been deprived of his living. I am in love
with Miss Fidler, I know that she loves you, but she does
not hate me. I can rise superior to the little accident
which was the cause of her divorce ; I am in love and
fearless. Give up Miss Fidler to me and I will see that
you get the living, which is worth over a hundred and
fifty guineas a year. You have only ten minutes to make
up your mind."
** This is a delicate proposition, sir ; I must consult
my philosophers Sidrac and Grou ; I shall return to you
He ran back to his two advisers.
" I see," he said, ** that the aflFairs of this world are not
decided by digestion alone, and that love, ambition and
money play a large part."
He told them how he was situated, and begged them
to decide at once. They both decided that with an
220 LORD CHESTERFIELD'S EARS
income of a hundred and fifty guineas he could have all
the girls in his parish and Miss Fidler as well.
Groodman felt the wisdc m of this decision ; he had
the parsonage, he had Miss Fidler in secret, which was
much more agreeable than having her as a wife. Mr.
Sidrac was prodigal of good offices when they were
needed ; he became one of the most terrible priests in
England and was more convinced than ever that fatality
governs everything in this world.
MAR 1 4 ms
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