Voltaire Select one character from Candide and respond to the prompt below in three 5-7 sentence paragraphs. How does Voltaire use the character whom you

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Select one character from Candide and respond to the prompt below in three 5-7 sentence paragraphs. 

How does Voltaire use the character whom you selected to present a satirical view of society during that time?

(3) Voltaire, Candide.

a. Text. Translation in the pubic domain.


Candide; or Optimism

translated from the German of DoctorRalph

with the additions which were found in the Doctor=s pocket

when he died at Minden[footnoteRef:1] in the Year of our Lord 1759 [1: Candide appeared anonymously through two editions. ADr [email protected], the imaginary author, evidently died at a battle occuring during the campaign of Westphalia, in the course of which Cunégonde was raped and the castle of Candide=s protector, the Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, was sacked and destroyed. The [email protected] refer to a long passage in chapter 22 added to the second edition and omitted here. ]

[An anonymous translation, edited and adapted by A.C. Kibel]

Chapter 1 – How Candide Was Brought Up in a Magnificent Castle and How He Was Driven Out of It

In the country of Westphalia, in the castle of the most noble Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, lived a youth whom Nature had endowed with a most sweet disposition. His face was the true index of his mind. He had a solid judgment joined to the most unaffected simplicity; and hence, I presume, he had his name of Candide. The old servants of the house suspected him to have been the son of the Baron’s sister, by a

very good sort of a gentleman of the neighborhood, whom that young lady refused to marry, because he could produce no more than seventy-one quarterings[footnoteRef:2] in his arms; the rest of the genealogical tree belonging to the family having been lost through the injuries of time. [2: A measure of the length of one=s geneological treeBan uninterupted line of aristocratic ancestors, in this case, stretching back more than two thousand years. ]

The Baron was one of the most powerful lords in Westphalia, for his castle had not only a gate, but even windows, and his great hall was hung with tapestry. He used to hunt with his mastiffs and spaniels instead of greyhounds; his groom served him for huntsman; and the parson of the parish officiated as his grand almoner. He was called AMy [email protected] by all his people, who laughed at all his jokes.

My Lady Baroness, who weighed three hundred and fifty pounds, consequently was a person of no small consideration; and then she did the honors of the house with a dignity that commanded universal respect. Her daughter was about seventeen years of age, fresh-colored, comely, plump, and desirable. The Baron’s son, her brother, seemed to be a youth in every respect worthy of the father he sprung from. Pangloss, the tutor, was the oracle of the family, and little Candide listened to his instructions with all the simplicity natural to his age and disposition.

Master Pangloss taught metaphysico-theologico-cosmolooneyology. He could prove to admiration that there is no effect without a cause; and, that in this best of all possible worlds, the Baron’s castle was the most magnificent of all castles, and My Lady the best of all possible baronesses.

AIt is demonstrable,@ said he, Athat things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles. The legs are visibly designed for trousers, accordingly we wear trousers. It is the nature of stones made to be hewn and made into castles, therefore

My Lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Pigs were intended to be eaten, therefore we eat pork all the year round: and they, who assert that everything is right, do not express themselves correctly; they should say that everything is [email protected]

Candide listened attentively and believed implicitly, for he thought Miss Cunégonde excessively handsome, though he never had the courage to tell her so. He concluded that next to the happiness of being Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, the next was that of being Miss Cunégonde, the next that of seeing her every day, and the last that of hearing the doctrine of Master Pangloss, the greatest philosopher of the whole province, and consequently of the whole world.

One day when Cunégonde went to take a walk in a little neighboring wood which was called a park, she saw, through the bushes, the sage Doctor Pangloss giving a lecture in experimental philosophy to her mother’s chambermaid, a pretty brunette, and very obedient. As Cunégonde had a great disposition for the sciences, she observed with the utmost attention the experiments which were repeated before her eyes; she perfectly well understood the doctor=s sufficient reason and the force of causes and effects. She retired greatly flurried, quite pensive and filled with the desire of knowledge, imagining that she might be a sufficient reason for young Candide, and he for her.

On her way back she happened to meet the young man; she blushed, he blushed also; she wished him a good morning in a faltering tone, he returned the salute, without knowing what he said. The next day, as they were rising from dinner, Cunégonde and Candide slipped behind the screen. The miss dropped her handkerchief, the young man picked it up. She innocently took hold of his hand, and he as innocently kissed hers with a warmth, a sensibility, a grace-all very particular; their lips met; their eyes sparkled; their knees trembled; their hands strayed. The Baron chanced to come by; he beheld the cause and effect, and, without hesitation, saluted Candide with some notable kicks on his backside and drove him out of doors. The lovely Cunégonde fainted away, and, as soon as she came to herself, the Baroness boxed her ears. Thus a general consternation was spread over this most magnificent and most agreeable of all possible castles.

Chapter 2 – What Befell Candide among the Bulgarians

Candide, thus driven out of this terrestrial paradise, rambled a long time without knowing where he went; sometimes he raised his eyes, all bedewed with tears, towards heaven, and sometimes he cast a melancholy look towards the magnificent castle, where dwelt the fairest of young baronesses. He laid himself down to sleep in a furrow, heartbroken, and supperless. The snow fell in great flakes, and, in the morning when he awoke, he was almost frozen to death; however, he made shift to crawl to the next town, which was called Wald-berghoff-trarbkdikdorff, without a penny in his pocket, and half dead with hunger and fatigue. He took up his stand at the door of an inn. He had not been long there before two men dressed in blue[footnoteRef:3] fixed their eyes steadfastly upon him. [3: Candide is about to be recruited into the Prussian army and do his bit in the Seven Years War (1756-63) between the Prussians and the French, a conflict which had the usual effects of warfare upon the countysides of central Europe. The recruiting officers of Frederick the Great wore blue uniforms and were feared in villages everywhere they showed up. As for the remark about Candide=s size: Frederick reputedly tried to have units of his armyBcompanies and regimentsBcomposed of soldiers of roughly the same size in order to produce an impression of uniformity when they were on parade. ]

ALook,@ said one of them to the other, Athere=s a well-made young man of the right [email protected] Upon which they came up to Candide and with the greatest civility and politeness invited him to dine with them.

AGentlemen,@ replied Candide, with a most engaging modesty, you do me much honor, but upon my word I have no [email protected]

AMoney, [email protected] said one of the blues to him, Ayoung persons of your appearance and merit never pay anything; why, are not you five feet five inches [email protected]

AYes, gentlemen, that is indeed my size,@ replied he, with a low bow.

ACome then, sir, sit down along with us; we will not only pay your reckoning, but will never suffer such a clever young fellow as you to want money. Men were born to assist one [email protected]

AYou are perfectly right, gentlemen,@ said Candide, Athis is precisely the doctrine of Master

Pangloss; and I am convinced that everything is for the [email protected]

His generous companions next entreated him to accept of two crowns[footnoteRef:4], which he readily complied with, at the same time offering them his note for the payment, which they refused, and sat down to table. AHave you not a great affection forCA [4: Presumably the fee paid to new recruits in compensation for enlisting. ]

@O yes! I have a great affection for the lovely Cuné[email protected]

AMaybe so,@ replied one of the blues, Abut that is not the question! We were going to ask you whether you have a great affection for the King of the [email protected]

AFor the King of the [email protected] said Candide. AOh, Lord! not at all, why I never saw him in my [email protected]

AIs it possible? Oh, he is a most charming king! Come, we must drink his [email protected] AWith all my heart, gentlemen,@ said Candide, and off he tossed his glass.

[email protected] cried the blues; Ayou are now the support, the defender, the hero of the Bulgarians; your fortune is made; you are in the high road to [email protected]

So saying, they handcuffed him, and carried him away to the regiment. There he was made to wheel about to the right, to the left, to draw his rammer, to return his rammer, to present, to fire, to march, and they gave him thirty blows with a cane; the next day he performed his exercise a little better, and they gave him but twenty; the day following he came off with ten, and was looked upon as a young fellow of surprising genius by all his comrades.

Candide was struck with amazement, and could not for the soul of him conceive how he came to be a hero. One fine spring morning, he took it into his head to take a walk, and he marched straight forward, conceiving it to be a privilege of the human species, as well as of the brute creation, to make use of their legs how and when they pleased. He had not gone above two leagues when he was overtaken by four other heroes, six feet high, who bound him neck and heels, and carried him to a dungeon. A courtmartial sat upon him, and he was asked which he liked better, to run the gauntlet six and thirty times through the whole regiment, or to have his brains blown out with a dozen musket-balls? In vain did he remonstrate to them that the human will is free, and that he chose neither; they obliged him to make a choice, and he determined, in virtue of that divine gift called free will, to run the gauntlet six and thirty times.

He had gone through his discipline twice, and the regiment being composed of 2,000 men, they composed for him exactly 4,000 strokes, which laid bare all his muscles and nerves from the nape of his neck to his stern. As they were preparing to make him set out the third time our young hero, unable to support it any longer, begged as a favor that they would be so obliging as to shoot him through the head; his request being granted, a bandage was tied over his eyes, and he was made to kneel down.

At that very instant, His Bulgarian Majesty happening to pass by made a stop, and inquired into the delinquent’s crime, and being a prince of great penetration, he found, from what he heard of Candide, that he was a young metaphysician, entirely ignorant of the physical world; and therefore, out of his great clemency, he condescended to pardon him, for which his name will be celebrated in every newspaper in every age. A skillful surgeon made a cure of the flagellated Candide in three weeks by means of emollient unguents prescribed by Dioscorides[footnoteRef:5]. His sores were now scabbed over and he was able to march, when the King of the Bulgarians gave battle to the King of the Abares[footnoteRef:6]. [5: A treatise on medical remedies dating from the first centuryBnot exactly the most up-todate in Voltaire=s day. A hit in the spirit of the Enlightenment upon veneration for antiquated texts. ] [6: The Abares, as opponents of the Prussians, represent the French. ]

Chapter 3 – How Candide Escaped from the Bulgarians and What Befell Him Afterward

Never was anything so gallant, so well accoutered, so brilliant, and so finely disposed as the two armies. The trumpets, fifes, oboes, drums, and cannon made such harmony as never was heard in Hell itself. The entertainment began by a discharge of cannon, which, in the twinkling of an eye, laid flat about 6,000 men on each side. The musket bullets swept away, out of the best of all possible worlds, nine or ten thousand scoundrels that were cluttering its surface. The bayonet was next the sufficient reason of the deaths of several thousands. The sum of casualites might amount to thirty thousand souls. Candide trembled like a philosopher, and concealed himself as well as he could during this heroic butchery.

At length, while the two kings were causing Te Deums[footnoteRef:7] to be sung in their camps, Candide took a resolution to go and reason somewhere else upon causes and effects. After passing over heaps of dead or dying men, the first place he came to was a neighboring village, in the Abarian territories, which had been burned to the ground by the Bulgarians, agreeably to the laws of war. Here lay a number of old men covered with wounds, who beheld their wives dying with their throats cut and hugging their children to their breasts, all stained with blood. There several young virgins, whose bodies had been ripped open after they had satisfied the natural necessities of the Bulgarian heroes, breathed their last; while others, half-burned in the flames, begged to be dispatched out of the world. The ground about them was covered with the brains, arms, and legs of the dead. [7: A prayer of thanksgiving for victory, here sung by both sides. ]

Candide made all the haste he could to another village, which belonged to the Bulgarians, and there he found the heroic Abares had enacted the same tragedy. Thence continuing to walk over twitching limbs or through ruined buildings, at length he got beyond the theater of war, with a little food in his backpack and Cunégonde’s image in his heart. When he arrived in Holland his food ran out, but having heard that the inhabitants of that country were all rich and Christians, he was sure that he would be treated by them as he had been at the Baron’s castle before he had been driven thence through the power of Cunégonde’s bright eyes.

He asked charity of several grave-looking people, who one and all answered him that if he continued to follow this trade they would have him sent to the house of correction, where he should be taught to get his bread. He next addressed himself to a person who had just come from haranguing a numerous assembly for a whole hour on the subject of charity. The orator, squinting at him under his broad-brimmed hat, asked him sternly, what brought him thither and whether he was for the good old cause?

ASir,@ said Candide, in a submissive manner, AI conceive there can be no effect without a cause; everything is necessarily concatenated and arranged for the best. It was necessary that I should be banished from the presence of Cunégonde; that I should afterwards run the gauntlet; and it is necessary I should beg my bread, till I am able to get it. All this could not have been [email protected]

ATell me, friend,@ said the orator, Ado you hold the Pope to be [email protected]

ATruly, I never thought about it,@ said Candide, Abut whether he is or not, I am in want of something to [email protected]

AYou deserve neither food nor drink,@ replied the orator, Apervert, monster! hence! avoid my sight, never come near me again while you [email protected]

The orator’s wife happened to put her head out of the window at that instant, and seeing a man who doubted whether the Pope was Antichrist, she discharged upon his head a full pisspot of golden liquid.

Good heavens, to what excess does religious zeal transport womankind!

A man who had never been christened, an honest Anabaptist named Jacques, was witness to the cruel and ignominious treatment showed to one of his brethren, to a rational featherless biped[footnoteRef:8]. Moved with pity he carried him to his house, caused him to be cleaned, gave him meat and drink, and made him a present of two florins, at the same time proposing to instruct him in his own trade of weaving Persian silks, which are fabricated in Holland. [8: Plato=s definition of a human being. ]

Candide, faced with so much goodness, threw himself at his feet, crying, ANow I am convinced that my Master Pangloss told me truth when he said that everything was for the best in this world; for I am infinitely more affected with your extraordinary generosity than with the inhumanity of that gentleman in the black cloak and his [email protected]

Chapter 4 – How Candide Found His Old Master Pangloss Again and What Happened to Him

The next day, as Candide was walking out, he met a beggar all covered with scabs, his eyes sunk in his head, the end of his nose eaten off, his mouth drawn on one side, his teeth as black as a cloak, snuffling and coughing most violently, and every time he attempted to spit out dropped a tooth.

Candide, divided between compassion and horror, but giving way to the former, bestowed on this shocking figure the two florins which the honest Anabaptist Jacques, had just before given to him. The specter looked at him very earnestly, shed tears and threw his arms about his neck. Candide started back aghast.

[email protected] said the one wretch to the other, Adon’t you know dear [email protected]

AWhat do I hear? Is it you, my dear master! you I behold in this piteous plight? What dreadful misfortune has befallen you? What has made you leave the most magnificent and delightful of all castles?

What has become of Miss Cunégonde, the mirror of young ladies, and Nature’s [email protected]

AI am [email protected] said Pangloss, upon which Candide instantly led him to the Anabaptist’s stable, and procured him something to eat. As soon as Pangloss tasted a morsel, Candide began to repeat his inquiries concerning Cunégonde.

ADead,@ replied the other.

[email protected] cried Candide, and immediately fainted; his friend restored him by the help of a little bad vinegar, which he found by chance in the stable.

Candide opened his eyes, and again repeated: ADead! is Cunégonde dead? Ah, where is the best of worlds now? But of what illness did she die? Was it of grief on seeing her father kick me out of his magnificent [email protected]

ANo,@ replied Pangloss, Aher body was ripped open by the Bulgarian soldiers, after they had raped her as many times as a girl could survive; they knocked out the brains of the Baron, her father, for attempting to defend her; My Lady, her mother, was cut in pieces; my poor pupil was served just in the same manner as his sister[footnoteRef:9]; and as for the castle, they have not left one stone upon another; they have destroyed all the ducks, and sheep, the barns, and the trees; but we have had our satisfaction, for the Abares have done the very same thing in a neighboring barony, which belonged to a Bulgarian [email protected] [9: Voltaire apparently accepted the baseless calumny about Bulgarians common in his day, that they practiced [email protected] word deriving ultimately from the word Bulgar. ]

At hearing this, Candide fainted away a second time, but, not withstanding, having come to himself again, he said all that it became him to say; he inquired into the cause and effect, as well as into the sufficient reason that had reduced Pangloss to so miserable a condition.

AAlas,@ replied the tutor, Ait was love; love, the comfort of the human species; love, the preserver of the universe; the soul of all sensible beings; love! tender [email protected]

AAlas,@ cried Candide, AI have had some knowledge of love myself, this sovereign of hearts, this soul of souls. It never caused any more effect on me than one kiss and twenty kicks on the backside. How could this beautiful cause produce in you so hideous an [email protected] Pangloss made answer in these terms:

AO my dear Candide, you must remember Daisy, that pretty wench, who waited on our noble Baroness; in her arms I tasted the pleasures of Paradise, which produced these Hellish torments with which you see me devoured. She was infected with an ailment, and perhaps has since died of it; she received this present of a learned Franciscan, who troubled to derive its source and learned that he was indebted for it to an old countess, who had it of a captain of horse, who had it of a marquise, who had it of a page, the page had it of a Jesuit, who, during his novitiate, had it in a direct line from one of the fellow adventurers of

Christopher Columbus; for my part I shall give it to nobody, I am a dying [email protected]

AO sage Pangloss,@ cried Candide, Awhat a strange genealogy is this! Is not the devil the root of [email protected]

ANot at all,@ replied the great man, Ait was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds; for if Columbus, on an island in America, had not caught this disease, which contaminates the source of generation, frequently impedes propagation itself, and is evidently opposed to the great end of nature, we should have had neither chocolate nor cochineal dyes. We may observe that, even to the present time, in this continent of ours, this malady, like our religious controversies, is peculiar to ourselves, and that the Turks, the Indians, the Persians, the Chinese, the Siamese, and the Japanese are entirely unacquainted with it; but there is a sufficient reason for them to know it in a few centuries. In the meantime, it is making prodigious havoc among us, especially in those armies composed of well disciplined hirelings who determine the fate of nations; for we may safely affirm, that, when an army of thirty thousand men engages another equal in size, there are about twenty thousand infected with syphilis on each [email protected]

AVery surprising, indeed,@ said Candide, Abut you must get [email protected]

ALord help me, how can [email protected] said Pangloss. AMy dear friend, I have not a penny in the world; and you cannot be bled or get an enema without [email protected]

This last speech had its effect on Candide; he flew to the charitable Anabaptist, Jacques; he flung himself at his feet, and gave him so striking a picture of the miserable condition of his friend that the good man without any further hesitation agreed to take Dr. Pangloss into his house, and to pay for his cure. The cure was effected with only the loss of one eye and an ear. As Pangloss wrote a good hand and understood accounts tolerably well, the Anabaptist made him his bookkeeper. At the expiration of two months, being obliged by some mercantile affairs to go to Lisbon he took the two philosophers with him in the same ship; Pangloss, during the course of the voyage, explained to him how everything was so constituted that it could not be better. Jacques did not quite agree with him on this point.

AIn some things,@ he said, Amen must have deviated from their original innocence; for they were not born wolves and yet they worry one another like beasts of prey. God never gave them twenty-four pounders nor bayonets and yet they have made both to destroy one another. To this account I might add not only bankruptcies but also the law, which seizes on the effects of bankrupts to cheat the [email protected]

AAll this was indispensably necessary,@ replied the one-eyed doctor, Afor private misfortunes make for public benefits; so that the more private misfortunes there are, the greater is the general [email protected]

While he was arguing in this manner, the sky was overcast, the winds blew from the four quarters of the compass, and the ship was assailed by a most terrible tempest, within sight of the port of Lisbon.

Chapter 5 – A Tempest, a Shipwreck, an Earthquake, and What Else Befell Dr. Pangloss, Candide, and Jacques, the Anabaptist

One half of the passengers, weakened and half-dead with the inconceivable anxiety and sickness which the rolling of a vessel at sea occasions through the whole human frame, were lost to all sense of the danger that surrounded them. The others made loud outcries or betook themselves to their prayers; the sails were blown into shreds and the masts were brought by the board. The vessel was a total wreck. Everyone was busily employed, but nobody could be either heard or obeyed. The Anabaptist, being upon deck, lent a helping hand as well as the rest, when a frantic sailor knocked him down speechless; but, not withstanding, with the violence of the blow the tar himself tumbled headfirst overboard and fell upon a piece of the broken mast, which he immediately grasped.

Honest Jacques, forgetting the injury he had so lately received from him, flew to his assistance, and, with great difficulty, hauled him in again, but, not withstanding, in the attempt, was, by a sudden jerk of the ship, thrown overboard himself, in sight of the very fellow whom he had risked his life to save and who took not the least notice of him in this distress. Candide, who beheld all that passed and saw his benefactor one moment rising above water and the next swallowed up by the merciless waves, was preparing to jump after him, but was prevented by the philosopher Pangloss, who demonstrated to him that the roadstead of Lisbon had been made on purpose for the Anabaptist to be drowned there. While he was proving his argument a priori[footnoteRef:10], the ship foundered, and the whole crew perished, except Pangloss, Candide, and the sailor who had been the means of drowning the good Anabaptist. The villain swam ashore; but Pangloss and Candide reached the land upon a plank. [10: An a priori truth is a truth that is not established on the basis of experience but is logically prior to experience, because it is the kind of truth that must be assumed (like rules of logic) if we are to be coherent in speaking about anything at all. Truths arising from experience are termed a posteriori truths. ]

As soon as they had recovered from their surprise and fatigue they walked towards Lisbon; with what little money they had left they thought to save themselves from starving after having escaped drowning.


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