the Fair Cunegund and the Old Woman
The fair Cunegund, being thus made acquainted with the history of the old woman's life and adventures, paid her all the respect and civility due to a person of her rank and merit. She very readily acceded to her proposal of engaging the passengers to relate their adventures in their turns, and was at length, as well as Candide, compelled to acknowledge that the old woman was in the right.
"It is a thousand pities," said Candide, "that the sage Pangloss should have been hanged contrary to the custom of an auto-da-fe, for he would have given us a most admirable lecture on the moral and physical evil which overspreads the earth and sea; and I think I should have courage enough to presume to offer (with all due respect) some few objections."
While everyone was reciting his adventures, the ship continued on her way, and at length arrived at Buenos Ayres, where Cunegund, Captain Candide, and the old woman, landed and went to wait upon the governor, Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza[JS1]. This nobleman carried himself with a haughtiness suitable to a person who bore so many names. He spoke with the most noble disdain to everyone, carried his nose so high, strained his voice to such a pitch, assumed so imperious an air, and stalked with so much loftiness and pride, that everyone who had the honor of conversing with him was violently tempted to bastinade His Excellency. He was immoderately fond of women, and Miss Cunegund appeared in his eyes a paragon of beauty. The first thing he did was to ask her if she was not the captain's wife. The air with which he made this demand alarmed Candide, who did not dare to say he was married to her, because indeed he was not; neither did he venture to say she was his sister, because she was not; and though a lie of this nature proved of great service to one of the ancients, and might possibly be useful to some of the moderns, yet the purity of his heart would not permit him to violate the truth. [JS2]
"Miss Cunegund," replied he, "is to do me the honor to marry me, and we humbly beseech Your Excellency to condescend to grace the ceremony with your presence."
Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza, twirling his mustachio, and putting on a sarcastic smile, ordered Captain Candide to go and review his company. The gentle Candide obeyed, and the Governor was left with Miss Cunegund. He made her a strong declaration of love, protesting that he was ready to give her his hand in the face of the Church, or otherwise, as should appear most agreeable to a young lady of her prodigious beauty. Cunegund desired leave to retire a quarter of an hour to consult the old woman, and determine how she should proceed.
The old woman gave her the following counsel:
"Miss, you have seventy-two quarterings in your arms, it is true, but you have not a penny to bless yourself with. It is your own fault if you do not become the wife of one of the greatest noblemen in South America, with an exceeding fine mustachio. What business have you to pride yourself upon an unshaken constancy? You have been outraged by a Bulgar soldier; a Jew and an Inquisitor have both tasted of your favors. People take advantage of misfortunes. I must confess, were I in your place, I should, without the least scruple, give my hand to the Governor, and thereby make the fortune of the brave Captain Candide." [JS3]
While the old woman was thus haranguing, with all the prudence that old age and experience furnish, a small bark entered the harbor, in which was an alcayde and his alguazils. Matters had fallen out as follows.
The old woman rightly guessed that the Franciscan with the long sleeves, was the person who had taken Miss Cunegund's money and jewels, while they and Candide were at Badajoz, in their flight from Lisbon. This same friar attempted to sell some of the diamonds to a jeweler, who presently knew them to have belonged to the Grand Inquisitor, and stopped them. The Franciscan, before he was hanged, acknowledged that he had stolen them and described the persons, and the road they had taken. The flight of Cunegund and Candide was already the talk of the town. They sent in pursuit of them to Cadiz; and the vessel which had been sent to make the greater dispatch, had now reached the port of Buenos Ayres. A report was spread that an alcayde was going to land, and that he was in pursuit of the murderers of My Lord, the Inquisitor. The sage old woman immediately saw what was to be done.
"You cannot run away," said she to Cunegund, "but you have nothing to fear; it was not you who killed My Lord Inquisitor: besides, as the Governor is in love with you, he will not suffer you to be ill-treated; therefore stand your ground."
Then hurrying away to Candide, she said, "Be gone hence this instant, or you will be burned alive."
Candide found there was no time to be lost; but how could he part from Cunegund, and whither must he fly for shelter?
Met with among the Jesuits in Paraguay
Candide had brought with him from Cadiz such a footman as one often meets with on the coasts of Spain and in the colonies. He was the fourth part of a Spaniard, of a mongrel breed, and born in Tucuman. He had successively gone through the profession of a singing boy, sexton, sailor, monk, peddler, soldier, and lackey. His name was Cacambo[JS4]; he had a great affection for his master, because his master was a very good man. He immediately saddled the two Andalusian horses.
"Come, my good master, let us follow the old woman's advice, and make all the haste we can from this place without staying to look behind us."
Candide burst into a flood of tears, "O my dear Cunegund, must I then be compelled to quit you just as the Governor was going to honor us with his presence at our wedding! Cunegund, so long lost and found again, what will now become of you?"
"Lord!" said Cacambo, 'she must do as well as she can; women are never at a loss. God takes care of them, and so let us make the best of our way."
"But whither wilt thou carry me? where can we go? what can we do without Cunegund?" cried the disconsolate Candide.
"By St. James of Compostella," said Cacambo, "you were going to fight against the Jesuits of Paraguay; now let us go and fight for them; I know the road perfectly well; I'll conduct you to their kingdom; they will be delighted with a captain that understands the Bulgar drill; you will certainly make a prodigious fortune. If we cannot succeed in this world we may in another. It is a great pleasure to see new objects and perform new exploits."
"Then you have been in Paraguay?" asked Candide.
"Ay, marry, I have," replied Cacambo. "I was a scout in the College of the Assumption, and am as well acquainted with the new government of the Los Padres [JS5]as I am with the streets of Cadiz. Oh, it is an admirable government, that is most certain! The kingdom is at present upwards of three hundred leagues in diameter, and divided into thirty provinces; the fathers there are masters of everything, and the people have no money at all; this you must allow is the masterpiece of justice and reason. For my part, I see nothing so divine as the good fathers, who wage war in this part of the world against the troops of Spain and Portugal, at the same time that they hear the confessions of those very princes in Europe; who kill Spaniards in America and send them to Heaven at Madrid. This pleases me exceedingly, but let us push forward; you are going to see the happiest and most fortunate of all mortals. How charmed will those fathers be to hear that a captain who understands the Bulgar military drill is coming to them."
As soon as they reached the first barrier, Cacambo called to the advance guard, and told them that a captain wanted to speak to My Lord, the General. Notice was given to the main guard, and immediately a Paraguayan officer ran to throw himself at the feet of the Commandant to impart this news to him. Candide and Cacambo were immediately disarmed, and their two Andalusian horses were seized. The two strangers were conducted between two files of musketeers, the Commandant was at the further end with a three-cornered cap on his head, his gown tucked up, a sword by his side, and a half-pike in his hand; he made a sign, and instantly four and twenty soldiers drew up round the newcomers. A sergeant told them that they must wait; the Commandant could not speak to them; and that the Reverend Father Provincial did not suffer any Spaniard to open his mouth but in his presence, or to stay above three hours in the province.
"And where is the Reverend Father Provincial?" said Cacambo.
"He has just come from Mass and is at the parade," replied the sergeant, "and in about three hours' time you may possibly have the honor to kiss his spurs."
"But," said Cacambo, "the Captain, who, as well as myself, is perishing of hunger, is no Spaniard, but a German; therefore, pray, might we not be permitted to break our fast till we can be introduced to His Reverence?"
The sergeant immediately went and acquainted the Commandant with what he heard.
Immediately they conducted Candide to a beautiful pavilion adorned with a colonnade of green marble, spotted with yellow, and with an intertexture of vines, which served as a kind of cage for parrots, humming birds, guinea hens, and all other curious kinds of birds. An excellent breakfast was provided in vessels of gold; and while the Paraguayans were eating coarse Indian corn out of wooden dishes in the open air, and exposed to the burning heat of the sun, the Reverend Father Commandant retired to his cool arbor.
He was a very handsome young man, round-faced, fair, and fresh-colored, his eyebrows were finely arched, he had a piercing eye, the tips of his ears were red, his lips vermilion, and he had a bold and commanding air; but such a boldness as neither resembled that of a Spaniard nor of a Jesuit. He ordered Candide and Cacambo to have their arms restored to them, together with their two Andalusian horses. Cacambo gave the poor beasts some oats to eat close by the arbor, keeping a strict eye upon them all the while for fear of surprise.
Candide having kissed the hem of the Commandant's robe, they sat down to table.
"It seems you are a German," said the Jesuit to him in that language.
"Yes, Reverend Father," answered Candide.
As they pronounced these words they looked at each other with great amazement and with an emotion that neither could conceal.
"From what part of Germany do you come?" said the Jesuit.
"From the dirty province of Westphalia," answered Candide.
"I was born in the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh."
"Oh heavens! is it possible?" said the Commandant.
"What a miracle!" cried Candide.
"Can it be you?" said the Commandant.
On this they both drew a few steps backwards, then running into each other's arms, embraced, and wept profusely.
"Is it you then, Reverend Father? You are the brother of the fair Miss Cunegund? You that was slain by the Bulgars! You the Baron's son! You a Jesuit in Paraguay! I must confess this is a strange world we live in. O Pangloss! what joy would this have given you if you had not been hanged."
The Commandant dismissed the Negro slaves, and the Paraguayans who presented them with liquor in crystal goblets. He returned thanks to God and St. Ignatius a thousand times; he clasped Candide in his arms, and both their faces were bathed in tears.
"You will be more surprised, more affected, more transported," said Candide, "when I tell you that Miss Cunegund, your sister, whose belly was supposed to have been ripped open, is in perfect health."
"In your neighborhood, with the Governor of Buenos Ayres; and I myself was going to fight against you."
Every word they uttered during this long conversation was productive of some new matter of astonishment. Their souls fluttered on their tongues, listened in their ears, and sparkled in their eyes. Like true Germans, they continued a long while at table, waiting for the Reverend Father; and the Commandant spoke to his dear Candide as follows.
Never while I live shall I lose the remembrance of that horrible day on which I saw my father and mother barbarously butchered before my eyes, and my sister ravished. When the Bulgarians retired we searched in vain for my dear sister. She was nowhere to be found; but the bodies of my father, mother, and myself, with two servant maids and three little boys, all of whom had been murdered by the remorseless enemy, were thrown into a cart to be buried in a chapel belonging to the Jesuits, within two leagues of our family seat. A Jesuit sprinkled us with some holy water, which was confounded salty, and a few drops of it went into my eyes; the father perceived that my eyelids stirred a little; he put his hand upon my breast and felt my heartbeat; upon which he gave me proper assistance, and at the end of three weeks I was perfectly recovered. You know, my dear Candide, I was very handsome; I became still more so, and the Reverend Father Croust[JS7], superior of that house, took a great fancy to me; he gave me the habit of the order, and some years afterwards I was sent to Rome. Our General stood in need of new recruits of young German Jesuits. The sovereigns of Paraguay admit of as few Spanish Jesuits as possible; they prefer those of other nations, as being more obedient to command. The Reverend Father General looked upon me as a proper person to work in that vineyard. I set out in company with a Polander and a Tyrolese. Upon my arrival I was honored with a subdeaconship and a lieutenancy. Now I am colonel and priest. We shall give a warm reception to the King of Spain's troops; I can assure you they will be well excommunicated and beaten. Providence has sent you hither to assist us. But is it true that my dear sister Cunegund is in the neighborhood with the Governor of Buenos Ayres?"
Candide swore that nothing could be more true; and the tears began again to trickle down their cheeks. The Baron knew no end of embracing Candide; he called him his brother, his deliverer.
"Perhaps," said he, "my dear Candide, we shall be fortunate enough to enter the town, sword in hand, and recover my sister Cunegund."
"Ah! that would crown my wishes," replied Candide; "for I intended to marry her; and I hope I shall still be able to effect it."
"Insolent fellow!" [JS8]cried the Baron. "You! you have the impudence to marry my sister, who bears seventy-two quarterings! Really, I think you have an insufferable degree of assurance to dare so much as to mention such an audacious design to me."
Candide, thunderstruck at the oddness of this speech, answered:
"Reverend Father, all the quarterings in the world are of no signification. I have delivered your sister from a Jew and an Inquisitor; she is under many obligations to me, and she is resolved to give me her hand. My master, Pangloss, always told me that mankind are by nature equal. Therefore, you may depend upon it that I will marry your sister."
"We shall see to that, villain!" said the Jesuit, Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, and struck him across the face with the flat side of his sword. Candide in an instant drew his rapier and plunged it up to the hilt in the Jesuit's body; but in pulling it out reeking hot, he burst into tears.
"Good God!" cried he, "I have killed my old master, my friend, my brother-in-law. I am the best man in the world, and yet I have already killed three men, and of these three, two were priests."
"Nothing remains," said his master, "but to sell our lives as dearly as possible; they will undoubtedly look into the arbor; we must die sword in hand."
Cacambo, who had seen many of this kind of adventures, was not discouraged. He stripped the Baron of his Jesuit's habit and put it upon Candide, then gave him the dead man's three-cornered cap and made him mount on horseback. All this was done as quick as thought.
"Gallop, master," cried Cacambo; "everybody will take you for a Jesuit going to give orders; and we shall have passed the frontiers before they will be able to overtake us."
He flew as he spoke these words, crying out aloud in Spanish, "Make way; make way for the Reverend Father Colonel."
Two Monkeys, and the Savages, Called Biglugs
Candide and his valet had already passed the frontiers before it was known that the German Jesuit was dead. The wary Cacambo had taken care to fill his wallet with bread, chocolate, some ham, some fruit, and a few bottles of wine. They penetrated with their Andalusian horses into a strange country, where they could discover no beaten path. At length a beautiful meadow, intersected with purling rills, opened to their view. Cacambo proposed to his master to take some nourishment, and he set him an example.
"How can you desire me to feast upon ham, when I have killed the Baron's son and am doomed never more to see the beautiful Cunegund? What will it avail me to prolong a wretched life that must be spent far from her in remorse and despair? And then what will the journal of Trevoux [JS10]say?" was Candide's reply.
While he was making these reflections he still continued eating. The sun was now on the point of setting when the ears of our two wanderers were assailed with cries which seemed to be uttered by a female voice. They could not tell whether these were cries of grief or of joy; however, they instantly started up, full of that inquietude and apprehension which a strange place naturally inspires. The cries proceeded from two young women who were tripping disrobed along the mead, while two monkeys followed close at their heels biting at their limbs. [JS11]Candide was touched with compassion; he had learned to shoot while he was among the Bulgars, and he could hit a filbert in a hedge without touching a leaf. Accordingly he took up his double-barreled Spanish gun, pulled the trigger, and laid the two monkeys lifeless on the ground.
"God be praised, my dear Cacambo, I have rescued two poor girls from a most perilous situation; if I have committed a sin in killing an Inquisitor and a Jesuit, I have made ample amends by saving the lives of these two distressed damsels. Who knows but they may be young ladies of a good family, and that the assistance I have been so happy to give them may procure us great advantage in this country?"
He was about to continue when he felt himself struck speechless at seeing the two girls embracing the dead bodies of the monkeys in the tenderest manner, bathing their wounds with their tears, and rending the air with the most doleful lamentations.
"Really," said he to Cacambo, "I should not have expected to see such a prodigious share of good nature."
"Master," replied the knowing valet, "you have made a precious piece of work of it; do you know that you have killed the lovers of these two ladies?"
"Their lovers! Cacambo, you are jesting! It cannot be! I can never believe it."
"Dear sir," replied Cacambo, "you are surprised at everything. Why should you think it so strange that there should be a country where monkeys insinuate themselves into the good graces of the ladies? They are the fourth part of a man as I am the fourth part of a Spaniard."
"Alas!" replied Candide, "I remember to have heard my master Pangloss say that such accidents as these frequently came to pass in former times, and that these commixtures are productive of centaurs, fauns, and satyrs; and that many of the ancients had seen such monsters; but I looked upon the whole as fabulous."
"Now you are convinced," said Cacambo, "that it is very true, and you see what use is made of those creatures by persons who have not had a proper education; all I am afraid of is that these same ladies may play us some ugly trick."
These judicious reflections operated so far on Candide as to make him quit the meadow and strike into a thicket. There he and Cacambo supped, and after heartily cursing the Grand Inquisitor, the Governor of Buenos Ayres, and the Baron, they fell asleep on the ground. When they awoke they were surprised to find that they could not move; the reason was that the Biglugs who inhabit that country, and to whom the ladies had given information of these two strangers, had bound them with cords made of the bark of trees. They saw themselves surrounded by fifty naked Biglugs armed with bows and arrows, clubs, and hatchets of flint[JS12]; some were making a fire under a large cauldron; and others were preparing spits, crying out one and all, "A Jesuit! a Jesuit! we shall be revenged; we shall have excellent cheer; let us eat this Jesuit; let us eat him up."
"I told you, master," cried Cacambo, mournfully, "that these two wenches would play us some scurvy trick."
Candide, seeing the cauldron and the spits, cried out, "I suppose they are going either to boil or roast us. Ah! what would Pangloss say if he were to see how pure nature is formed? Everything is right; it may be so; but I must confess it is something hard to be bereft of dear Miss Cunegund, and to be spitted like a rabbit by these barbarous Biglugs."
Cacambo, who never lost his presence of mind in distress, said to the disconsolate Candide, "Do not despair; I understand a little of the jargon of these people; I will speak to them."
"Ay, pray do," said Candide, "and be sure you make them sensible of the horrid barbarity of boiling and roasting human creatures, and how little of Christianity there is in such practices."
"Gentlemen," said Cacambo, "you think perhaps you are going to feast upon a Jesuit; if so, it is mighty well; nothing can be more agreeable to justice than thus to treat your enemies. Indeed the law of nature teaches us to kill our neighbor[JS13], and accordingly we find this practiced all over the world; and if we do not indulge ourselves in eating human flesh, it is because we have much better fare; but for your parts, who have not such resources as we, it is certainly much better judged to feast upon your enemies than to throw their bodies to the fowls of the air; and thus lose all the fruits of your victory.
"But surely, gentlemen, you would not choose to eat your friends. You imagine you are going to roast a Jesuit, whereas my master is your friend, your defender, and you are going to spit the very man who has been destroying your enemies; as to myself, I am your countryman; this gentleman is my master, and so far from being a Jesuit, give me leave to tell you he has very lately killed one of that order, whose spoils he now wears, and which have probably occasioned your mistake. To convince you of the truth of what I say, take the habit he has on and carry it to the first barrier of the Jesuits' kingdom, and inquire whether my master did not kill one of their officers. There will be little or no time lost by this, and you may still reserve our bodies in your power to feast on if you should find what we have told you to be false. But, on the contrary, if you find it to be true, I am persuaded you are too well acquainted with the principles of the laws of society, humanity, and justice[JS14], not to use us courteously, and suffer us to depart unhurt."
This speech appeared very reasonable to the Biglugs they deputed two of their people with all expedition to inquire into the truth of this affair, who acquitted themselves of their commission like men of sense, and soon returned with good tidings for our distressed adventurers. Upon this they were loosed, and those who were so lately going to roast and boil them now showed them all sorts of civilities[JS15], offered them girls, gave them refreshments, and reconducted them to the confines of their country, crying before them all the way, in token of joy, "He is no Jesuit! he is no Jesuit!"
Candide could not help admiring the cause of his deliverance. "What men! what manners!" cried he. "If I had not fortunately run my sword up to the hilt in the body of Miss Cunegund's brother, I should have certainly been eaten alive. But, after all, pure nature is an excellent thing; since these people, instead of eating me, showed me a thousand civilities as soon as they knew was not a Jesuit."
What They Saw There
When to the frontiers of the Biglugs, said Cacambo to Candide, "You see, this hemisphere is not better than the other; now take my advice and let us return to Europe by the shortest way possible."
"But how can we get back?" said Candide; "and whither shall we go? To my own country? The Bulgars and the Abares are laying that waste with fire and sword. Or shall we go to Portugal? There I shall be burned; and if we abide here we are every moment in danger of being spitted. But how can I bring myself to quit that part of the world where my dear Miss Cunegund has her residence?"
"Let us return towards Cayenne," said Cacambo. "There we shall meet with some Frenchmen, for you know those gentry ramble all over the world. Perhaps they will assist us, and God will look with pity on our distress."
It was not so easy to get to Cayenne. They knew pretty nearly whereabouts it lay; but the mountains, rivers, precipices, robbers, savages, were dreadful obstacles in the way. Their horses died with fatigue and their provisions were at an end. They subsisted a whole month on wild fruit, till at length they came to a little river bordered with cocoa trees; the sight of which at once revived their drooping spirits and furnished nourishment for their enfeebled bodies.
Cacambo, who was always giving as good advice as the old woman herself, said to Candide, "You see there is no holding out any longer; we have traveled enough on foot. I spy an empty canoe near the river side; let us fill it with cocoanuts, get into it, and go down with the stream; a river always leads to some inhabited place. If we do not meet with agreeable things, we shall at least meet with something new."
"Agreed," replied Candide; "let us recommend ourselves to Providence."
They rowed a few leagues down the river, the banks of which were in some places covered with flowers; in others barren; in some parts smooth and level, and in others steep and rugged. The stream widened as they went further on, till at length it passed under one of the frightful rocks, whose summits seemed to reach the clouds. Here our two travelers had the courage to commit themselves to the stream, which, contracting in this part, hurried them along with a dreadful noise and rapidity.
At the end of four and twenty hours they saw daylight again; but their canoe was dashed to pieces against the rocks. They were obliged to creep along, from rock to rock, for the space of a league, till at length a spacious plain presented itself to their sight. This place was bounded by a chain of inaccessible mountains. [JS16]The country appeared cultivated equally for pleasure and to produce the necessaries of life. The useful and agreeable were here equally blended. The roads were covered, or rather adorned, with carriages formed of glittering materials, in which were men and women of a surprising beauty, drawn with great rapidity by red sheep of a very large size; which far surpassed the finest coursers of Andalusian Tetuan, or Mecquinez.
He and Cacambo landed near the first village they saw, at the entrance of which they perceived some children covered with tattered garments of the richest brocade, playing at quoits. Our two inhabitants of the other hemisphere amused themselves greatly with what they saw. The quoits were large, round pieces, yellow, red, and green, which cast a most glorious luster. Our travelers picked some of them up, and they proved to be gold, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds; the least of which would have been the greatest ornament to the superb throne of the Great Mogul.
"Without doubt," said Cacambo, "those children must be the King's sons that are playing at quoits."
As he was uttering these words the schoolmaster of the village appeared, who came to call the children to school.
"There," said Candide, "is the preceptor of the royal family."
The little ragamuffins immediately quitted their diversion, leaving the quoits on the ground with all their other playthings. Candide gathered them up, ran to the schoolmaster, and, with a most respectful bow, presented them to him, giving him to understand by signs that their Royal Highnesses had forgot their gold and precious stones. The schoolmaster, with a smile, flung them upon the ground, then examining Candide from head to foot with an air of admiration, he turned his back and went on his way.
Our travelers took care, however, to gather up the gold, the rubies, and the emeralds.
"Where are we?" cried Candide. "The King's children in this country must have an excellent education, since they are taught to show such a contempt for gold and precious stones."
Cacambo was as much surprised as his master. They then drew near the first house in the village, which was built after the manner of a European palace. There was a crowd of people about the door, and a still greater number in the house. The sound of the most delightful instruments of music was heard, and the most agreeable smell came from the kitchen. Cacambo went up to the door and heard those within talking in the Peruvian language, which was his mother tongue; for everyone knows that Cacambo was born in a village of Tucuman, where no other language is spoken.
"I will be your interpreter here," said he to Candide. "Let us go in; this is an eating house."
Immediately two waiters and two servant-girls, dressed in cloth of gold, and their hair braided with ribbons of tissue, accosted the strangers and invited them to sit down to the ordinary. Their dinner consisted of four dishes of different soups, each garnished with two young paroquets, a large dish of bouille that weighed two hundred weight, two roasted monkeys of a delicious flavor, three hundred hummingbirds in one dish, and six hundred flybirds in another; some excellent ragouts, delicate tarts, and the whole served up in dishes of rock-crystal. Several sorts of liquors, extracted from the sugarcane, were handed about by the servants who attended.
Most of the company were chapmen and wagoners, all extremely polite; they asked Cacambo a few questions with the utmost discretion and circumspection; and replied to his in a most obliging and satisfactory manner.
As soon as dinner was over, both Candide and Cacambo thought they should pay very handsomely for their entertainment by laying down two of those large gold pieces which they had picked off the ground; but the landlord and landlady burst into a fit of laughing and held their sides for some time.
When the fit was over, the landlord said, "Gentlemen, I plainly perceive you are strangers, and such we are not accustomed to charge; pardon us, therefore, for laughing when you offered us the common pebbles of our highways for payment of your reckoning. To be sure, you have none of the coin of this kingdom; but there is no necessity of having any money at all to dine in this house. All the inns, which are established for the convenience of those who carry on the trade of this nation, are maintained by the government. [JS18]You have found but very indifferent entertainment here, because this is only a poor village; but in almost every other of these public houses you will meet with a reception worthy of persons of your merit."
Cacambo explained the whole of this speech of the landlord to Candide, who listened to it with the same astonishment with which his friend communicated it.
"What sort of a country is this," said the one to the other, "that is unknown to all the world; and in which Nature has everywhere so different an appearance to what she has in ours? Possibly this is that part of the globe where everywhere is right, for there must certainly be some such place. And, for all that Master Pangloss could say, I often perceived that things went very ill in Westphalia."
Cacambo vented all his curiosity upon his landlord by a thousand different questions; the honest man answered him thus, "I am very ignorant, sir, but I am contented with my ignorance; however, we have in this neighborhood an old man retired from court, who is the most learned and communicative person in the whole kingdom."
He then conducted Cacambo to the old man; Candide acted now only a second character, and attended his valet. They entered a very plain house, for the door was nothing but silver, and the ceiling was only of beaten gold, but wrought in such elegant taste as to vie with the richest. The antechamber, indeed, was only incrusted with rubies and emeralds; but the order in which everything was disposed made amends for this great simplicity.
The old man received the strangers on his sofa, which was stuffed with hummingbirds' feathers; and ordered his servants to present them with liquors in golden goblets, after which he satisfied their curiosity in the following terms.
"I am now one hundred and seventy-two years old, and I learned of my late father, who was equerry to the King, the amazing revolutions of Peru, to which he had been an eyewitness. This kingdom is the ancient patrimony of the Incas, who very imprudently quitted it to conquer another part of the world, and were at length conquered and destroyed themselves by the Spaniards.
"Those princes of their family who remained in their native country acted more wisely. They ordained, with the consent of their whole nation, that none of the inhabitants of our little kingdom should ever quit it; and to this wise ordinance we owe the preservation of our innocence and happiness[JS19]. The Spaniards had some confused notion of this country, to which they gave the name of El Dorado; and Sir Walter Raleigh, an Englishman, actually came very near it about three hundred years ago; but the inaccessible rocks and precipices with which our country is surrounded on all sides, has hitherto secured us from the rapacious fury of the people of Europe, who have an unaccountable fondness for the pebbles and dirt of our land, for the sake of which they would murder us all to the very last man."
The conversation lasted some time and turned chiefly on the form of government, their manners, their women, their public diversions, and the arts. At length, Candide, who had always had a taste for metaphysics, asked whether the people of that country had any religion.
The old man reddened a little at this question.
"Can you doubt it?" said he; "do you take us for wretches lost to all sense of gratitude?"
Cacambo asked in a respectful manner what was the established religion of El Dorado[JS20]. The old man blushed again and said, "Can there be two religions, then? Ours, I apprehend, is the religion of the whole world; we worship God from morning till night."
"Do you worship but one God?" said Cacambo, who still acted as the interpreter of Candide's doubts.
"Certainly," said the old man; "there are not two, nor three, nor four Gods. I must confess the people of your world ask very extraordinary questions."
However, Candide could not refrain from making many more inquiries of the old man; he wanted to know in what manner they prayed to God in El Dorado.
"We do not pray to Him at all," said the reverend sage; "we have nothing to ask of Him, He has given us all we want, and we give Him thanks incessantly."
Candide had a curiosity to see some of their priests, and desired Cacambo to ask the old man where they were. At which he smiling said, "My friends, we are all of us priests; the King and all the heads of families sing solemn hymns of thanksgiving every morning, accompanied by five or six thousand musicians."
"What!" said Cacambo, "have you no monks among you to dispute, to govern, to intrigue, and to burn people who are not of the same opinion with themselves?"
"Do you take us for fools?" said the old man. "Here we are all of one opinion, and know not what you mean by your monks."
During the whole of this discourse Candide was in raptures, and he said to himself, "What a prodigious difference is there between this place and Westphalia; and this house and the Baron's castle. Ah, Master Pangloss! had you ever seen El Dorado, you would no longer have maintained that the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh was the finest of all possible edifices; there is nothing like seeing the world, that's certain."
This long conversation being ended, the old man ordered six sheep to be harnessed and put to the coach, and sent twelve of his servants to escort the travelers to court.
"Excuse me," said he, "for not waiting on you in person, my age deprives me of that honor. The King will receive you in such a manner that you will have no reason to complain; and doubtless you will make a proper allowance for the customs of the country if they should not happen altogether to please you."
Candide and Cacambo got into the coach, the six sheep flew, and, in less than a quarter of an hour, they arrived at the King's palace, which was situated at the further end of the capital. At the entrance was a portal two hundred and twenty feet high and one hundred wide; but it is impossible for words to express the materials of which it was built. The reader, however, will readily conceive that they must have a prodigious superiority over the pebbles and sand, which we call gold and precious stones.
Twenty beautiful young virgins in waiting received Candide and Cacambo on their alighting from the coach, conducted them to the bath and clad them in robes woven of the down of hummingbirds; after which they were introduced by the great officers of the crown of both sexes to the King's apartment, between two files of musicians, each file consisting of a thousand, agreeable to the custom of the country.
When they drew near to the presence-chamber, Cacambo asked one of the officers in what manner they were to pay their obeisance to His Majesty; whether it was the custom to fall upon their knees, or to prostrate themselves upon the ground; whether they were to put their hands upon their heads, or behind their backs; whether they were to lick the dust off the floor; in short, what was the ceremony usual on such occasions.
"The custom," said the great officer, "is to embrace the King and kiss him on each cheek."
Candide and Cacambo accordingly threw their arms round His Majesty's neck, who received them in the most gracious manner imaginable, and very politely asked them to sup with him.
While supper was preparing, orders were given to show them the city, where they saw public structures that reared their lofty heads to the clouds; the marketplaces decorated with a thousand columns; fountains of spring water, besides others of rose water, and of liquors drawn from the sugarcane, incessantly flowing in the great squares, which were paved with a kind of precious stones that emitted an odor like that of cloves and cinnamon.
Candide asked to see the High Court of Justice, the Parliament; but was answered that they had none in that country, being utter strangers to lawsuits. He then inquired if they had any prisons; they replied none. But what gave him at once the greatest surprise and pleasure was the Palace of Sciences, where he saw a gallery two thousand feet long, filled with the various apparatus in mathematics and natural philosophy. [JS21]
After having spent the whole afternoon in seeing only about the thousandth part of the city, they were brought back to the King's palace. Candide sat down at the table with His Majesty, his valet Cacambo, and several ladies of the court. Never was entertainment more elegant, nor could any one possibly show more wit than His Majesty displayed while they were at supper. Cacambo explained all the King's bons mots to Candide, and, although they were translated, they still appeared to be bons mots. Of all the things that surprised Candide, this was not the least.
They spent a whole month in this hospitable place, during which time Candide was continually saying to Cacambo, "I own, my friend, once more, that the castle where I was born is a mere nothing in comparison to the place where we now are; but still Miss Cunegund is not here[JS22], and you yourself have doubtless some fair one in Europe for whom you sigh. If we remain here we shall only be as others are; whereas if we return to our own world with only a dozen of El Dorado sheep, loaded with the pebbles of this country, we shall be richer than all the kings in Europe; we shall no longer need to stand in awe of the Inquisitors; and we may easily recover Miss Cunegund."
This speech was perfectly agreeable to Cacambo. A fondness for roving, for making a figure in their own country, and for boasting of what they had seen in their travels, was so powerful in our two wanderers that they resolved to be no longer happy[JS23]; and demanded permission of the King to quit the country.
"You are about to do a rash and silly action," said the King. "I am sensible my kingdom is an inconsiderable spot; but when people are tolerably at their ease in any place, I should think it would be to their interest to remain there. Most assuredly, I have no right to detain you, or any strangers, against your wills; this is an act of tyranny to which our manners and our laws are equally repugnant. All men are by nature free; you have therefore an undoubted liberty to depart whenever you please, but you will have many and great difficulties to encounter in passing the frontiers. It is impossible to ascend that rapid river which runs under high and vaulted rocks, and by which you were conveyed hither by a kind of miracle. The mountains by which my kingdom are hemmed in on all sides, are ten thousand feet high, and perfectly perpendicular; they are above ten leagues across, and the descent from them is one continued precipice.
"However, since you are determined to leave us, I will immediately give orders to the superintendent of my carriages to cause one to be made that will convey you very safely. When they have conducted you to the back of the mountains, nobody can attend you farther; for my subjects have made a vow never to quit the kingdom, and they are too prudent to break it. Ask me whatever else you please."
"All we shall ask of Your Majesty," said Cacambo, "is only a few sheep laden with provisions, pebbles, and the clay of your country."
The King smiled at the request and said, "I cannot imagine what pleasure you Europeans find in our yellow clay; but take away as much of it as you will, and much good may it do you."
He immediately gave orders to his engineers to make a machine to hoist these two extraordinary men out of the kingdom.[JS24] Three thousand good machinists went to work and finished it in about fifteen days, and it did not cost more than twenty millions sterling of that country's money. Candide and Cacambo were placed on this machine, and they took with them two large red sheep, bridled and saddled, to ride upon, when they got on the other side of the mountains; twenty others to serve as sumpters for carrying provisions; thirty laden with presents of whatever was most curious in the country, and fifty with gold, diamonds, and other precious stones. The King, at parting with our two adventurers, embraced them with the greatest cordiality.
It was a curious sight to behold the manner of their setting off, and the ingenious method by which they and their sheep were hoisted to the top of the mountains. The machinists and engineers took leave of them as soon as they had conveyed them to a place of safety, and Candide was wholly occupied with the thoughts of presenting his sheep to Miss Cunegund.
"Now," cried he, "thanks to Heaven, we have more than sufficient to pay the Governor of Buenos Ayres for Miss Cunegund, if she is redeemable. Let us make the best of our way to Cayenne, where we will take shipping and then we may at leisure think of what kingdom we shall purchase with our riches."
[JS1] How different are the aristocrats in the New World?
[JS2] Why doesn’t Candide just lie to Don Fernando?
[JS3] Do you agree with the old woman’s advice to Cunegonde? What about the ideal of love? Voltaire’s point?
[JS4] Why does Cacambo risk his life again and again to save Candide?
[JS5] How do the Jesuits govern Cadiz? How is the New World different from the Old World?
[JS6] Who does the Reverend Commandant turn out to be? How does he live? How do his peasants live?
[JS7] How did Cunegonde’s brother survive the Bulgar hordes and become the leader of a Jesuit mission in South America?
[JS8] Why does Candide kill his old friend?
[JS9] How does Cacambo save Candide after that unfortunate affair with Cunegond’s brother?
[JS10] A Jesuit journal consistently hostile to Voltaire.
[JS11] What happens when Candide saves the girls by shooting the monkey men that had been chasing them?
[JS12]What did the Biglugs plan to do to Candide and Cacambo?
[JS13] Can the most basic law of nature be called ‘evil’?
[JS14] Why do the Biglugs decide to free Candide and Cacambo?
[JS15] What is Voltaire’s vision of “man in the state of nature”?
[JS16] How did Candide and Cacambo find their way into El Dorado?
[JS17] What are the characteristics of a true Utopia for Voltaire?
[JS18] How is the economy managed in El Dorado?
[JS19] What si the one law of El Dorado?
[JS20] How do they practice religion in El Dorado? Do they have priests?
[JS21] What is the primary function of the government of El Dorado?
[JS22] Why does Candide reject utopia? Why does Cacambo want to leave?
[JS23] Why else would utopia get boring?
[JS24] How do Candide and Cacambo leave El Dorado? What do they take with them?