About the Author
Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) (1694—1778) was one of the key thinkers of the European Enlightenment. Of his many works, Candideremains the most popular.
Read an Excerpt
How Candide escaped from among the Bulgars,
and what became of him
Nothing was as beautiful, smart, dazzling, or well ordered as the two armies. The trumpets, fifes, oboes, drums, and cannons created a harmony such as never existed in Hell. First of all, the cannons struck down almost six thousand men on each side. Then the muskets removed from the best of worlds between nine and ten thousand rogues infecting its surface. The bayonet was also the sufficient reason for the death of several thousand men. The total might well have come to some thirty thousand souls. Candide, trembling like a philosopher, hid himself as best he could during this heroic butchery.
Finally, while the two kings had the Te Deum sung, each in his camp, Candide decided to go elsewhere to reason over effects and causes. Climbing over heaps of dead and dying men, he arrived at a neighboring village that lay in ashes: it was an Avar village that the Bulgars had burnt down in accordance with the principles of international law. Old men covered in wounds watched their butchered wives die clasping their infants to their bleeding breasts. Girls who had been disemboweled after having sated the natural needs of some of the heroes were breathing their last. Others, covered in burns, were begging to be put out of their misery. Brains were splattered on the ground alongside severed arms and legs.
Candide fled as fast as he could to another village. This one belonged to the Bulgars, and the Avar heroes had treated it the same way. Stepping over palpitating limbs and climbing over ruins, Candide, carrying a few provisions in his bag, finally managed to get out of the theater of war, never forgetting Mademoiselle Cunégonde. His provisions ran out when he reached Holland, but having heard that everyone in that country was rich and Christian, he did not doubt that he would be treated as well as he had been at the castle of His Lordship the Baron before he was driven from it on account of Mademoiselle Cunégonde’s beautiful eyes.
He asked for alms from several grave personages, all of whom replied that if he continued plying this trade he would be locked up in a house of correction, where he would be taught how to work for a living.
Then he approached a man who had just addressed a big crowd for a whole hour on the topic of charity.
The orator eyed him suspiciously and asked, "What are you doing here? Did you come for the Good Cause?"
"There is no effect without a cause," Candide replied modestly. "Everything is necessarily interconnected and arranged for the best. I had to be driven out of the presence of Mademoiselle Cunégonde, run the gauntlet, and beg for bread until I can earn my own. All this could not be otherwise."
"My friend," the orator said, "do you believe that the Pope is the Antichrist?"
"I have never yet heard that he is," Candide replied. "But whether he is the Antichrist or not, I need bread."
"You don’t deserve any," the orator said. "Go away, you rogue, you wretch! Don’t come near me again as long as you live!"
The orator’s wife poked her head out the window and, seeing the man who doubted that the Pope was the Antichrist, poured out on his head a chamber pot full of ...
Merciful Heaven! To what excess ladies will carry the zeal of religion!
A man who had not been baptized, a good Anabaptist by the name of Jacques, saw the cruel and disgraceful manner in which one of his brothers, a featherless, two-legged being with a soul, was being treated.* He took him to his place, washed him, gave him bread and beer, made him a gift of two florins, and even wanted to teach him to work in his factory, which manufactured Persian fabrics in Holland. Candide almost prostrated himself before him, exclaiming, "Doctor Pangloss had told me that everything is for the best in this world. I am infinitely more moved by your extreme generosity than by the severity of that man in the black cloak and his wife."
The following day, Candide was out walking when he came across a beggar covered in pustules. He had lifeless eyes, a nose that was rotting away, a mouth that was twisted, black teeth, and a rasping voice. He coughed violently, spitting out a tooth every time.
* The Anabaptists were an extreme Protestant sect that did not believe in infant baptismin their view only adult baptism was valid. They believed in absolute social and religious equality. "A featherless, two-legged being" is a humorous reference to Plato’s definition of man.
Table of Contents
|I||How Candide was brought up in a beautiful castle, and how he was driven from it||17|
|II||What happened to Candide among the Bulgars||19|
|III||How Candide escaped from the Bulgars, and what happened to him||22|
|IV||How Candide met his former philosophy teacher, Dr. Pangloss, and what ensued||25|
|V||Storm, shipwreck and earthquake, and what happened to Dr. Pangloss, Candide and James the Anabaptist||28|
|VI||How a fine auto-da-fe was performed to prevent earthquakes, and how Candide was flogged||31|
|VII||How an old woman took care of Candide, and how he found the object of his love||32|
|IX||What happened to Cunegonde, Candide, the Grand Inquisitor and the Jew||37|
|X||How Candide, Cunegonde and the old woman arrived at Cadiz in great distress, and how they set sail from there||40|
|XI||The old woman's story||42|
|XII||Further misfortunes of the old woman||46|
|XIII||How Candide was forced to leave the fair Cunegonde and the old woman||49|
|XIV||How Candide and Cacambo were received by the Jesuits of Paraguay||52|
|XV||How Candide killed the brother of his beloved Cunegonde||55|
|XVI||What happened to the two travelers with two girls, two monkeys, and the savages know as the Oreillons||57|
|XVII||How Candide and his valet came to the land of Eldorado||62|
|XVIII||What they saw in the land of Eldorado||66|
|XIX||What happened to them at Surinam, and how Candide became acquainted with Martin||72|
|XX||What happened to Candide and Martin at sea||77|
|XXI||How Candide and Martin reasoned with each other as they approached the coast of France||79|
|XXII||What happened to Candide and Martin in France||81|
|XXIII||How Candide and Martin reached the coast of England, and what they saw there||92|
|XXIV||Paquette and Brother Giroflee||93|
|XXV||A visit to Signor Pococurante, Venetian nobleman||99|
|XXVI||How Candide and Martin had supper with six foreigners, and who they were||104|
|XXVII||Candide's voyage to Constantinople||107|
|XXVIII||What happened to Candide, Cunegonde, Pangloss, Martin, etc.||111|
|XXIX||How Candide found Cunegonde and the old woman again||115|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
While as we all know Voltaire is the mastermind of enlightenment philosophy, his most famous word Candide (French for Optimism) will show you this very well. The book (unlike other translations of Candide) also includes a nice collection of other Voltaire stories which I found amusing. However, for an Oxford translation, I noticed that there were quite a few words mis-translated and there were many typos and grammar typos throughout the pages. Oxford (having the classical reputation that they do) ought to have revised this more. If your looking for the best translation of Voltaire's Candide, it can be found in the University of Chicago translation in the collection, "The Great Books of the Western World."