Chapter 13

How Candide was obliged to part from the lovely Cunégonde and from the old woman

Having heard the old woman’s story, the lovely Cunégonde showed her all the courtesies owing to one of her rank and quality. She accepted the proposition, moreover, and engaged all the passengers, one after the other, to relate their adventures. In the end, Candide and Cunégonde had to concede that the old woman was right. “It is a great pity; said Candide, “that our wise Pangloss was hanged, contrary to the custom of an auto-da-fé; he would have delivered a remarkable lecture on the physical and moral evil that holds sway over land and sea, and I might by now feel strong enough respectfully to venture a few objections.”

As each story was told, the ship continued on its way. Presently they reached port at Buenos Aires. Cunégonde, 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 grandee had the pride befitting a person who bore so many names. He spoke to everyone with the most aristocratic disdain, pointed his nose so loftily, projected his voice so raspingly, adopted so superior a tone and affected so haughty a gait that all who met him were sorely tempted to thrash him. He adored women to the point of mania. Cunégonde seemed to him the most beautiful he had ever seen. The first thing he did was to inquire whether she were not perhaps Captain Candide’s wife? The manner with which he asked this question disturbed Candide, who dared not say yes, for she was not in fact his wife, and who neither dared to call her his sister, for she was not that either; and although this white lie was once very fashionable among the Ancients, and could still have its uses for the Moderns,[1] his heart was too pure to betray the truth. “Mademoiselle Cunégonde,” he said, “has promised to do me the honour of marrying me, and we humbly beg Your Excellency to conduct the ceremony.”

Don Fernando d’ Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza twirled his moustache, smiled sardonically, and ordered Captain Candide to go and review his company. Candide obeyed, and the Governor stayed behind in the company of Cunégonde. He declared his passion to her, and assured her that tomorrow he would marry her, with the Church’s blessing or anyone else’s, however it pleased her charming person. Cunégonde asked him for a quarter of an hour to collect herself, to consult the old woman, and come to a decision.

The old woman said to Cunégonde: “Mademoiselle, you have seventy-two quarterings, and not a farthing to your name; it is in your power alone to become the wife of the most powerful nobleman in the Americas, who moreover has a very fine moustache; is this the moment for you to pride yourself on your unswerving fidelity? You have been raped by Bulgars; a Jew[2] and an Inquisitor have both enjoyed your favours. confer their own privileges. I have to say that, were I in your place, I should have no scruples about marrying His Excellency the Governor – and making Captain Candide’s fortune in the process.” While the old woman was speaking, with all the prudence of age and experience, a small vessel was seen to enter the harbour; on board were an alcalde and some alguazils,[3] and here is what had happened.

The old woman had guessed shrewdly that it was the loose-sleeved Franciscan who had stolen Cunégonde’s money and jewels in the town of Badajoz, when she and Candide were on the run. This friar tried to sell some of the stones to a jeweller, who recognized them as the property of the Grand Inquisitor. Before he was hanged, the Franciscan confessed that he had stolen them. He gave a description of the individuals involved and the route they had taken. It was already known that Cunégonde and Candide had fled. They were followed to Cadiz, where no time was lost in sending a vessel after them. This vessel was now in the port of Buenos Aires. Rumour spread that an alcalde was coming ashore, and that he was pursuing the murderers of the Grand Inquisitor. The canny old woman immediately saw what had to be done. “You cannot flee,” she said to Cunégonde, “and you have nothing to fear; it was not you who killed His Eminence; and, besides, the Governor who loves you will not allow you to come to harm. So stay put.” Then she ran straight to Candide: “Flee this instant,” she said, “or within the hour you will be burned alive.” There was not a moment to lose; but how could he part from Cunégonde, and where was he to find refuge?

Chapter 14

How Candide and Cacambo were received by the Jesuits of Paraguay

Candide had brought with him from Cadiz a valet, of a type commonly found along the coasts of Spain and in the colonies. He was a quarter Spanish,[1] the son of a half-breed from the Tucuman,[2] who had been successively choir-boy, sexton, sailor, monk, commercial agent, soldier and lackey. His name was Cacambo, and he loved his master dearly, because his master was the best of men. He instantly saddled the two Andalusian horses. “Hurry up, Master, let’s do as the old woman says; let’s get going, and with no looking back.” Candide burst into tears. “Oh, my dear Cunégonde! Must I abandon you just when His Excellency the Governor was about to marry us! What will become of you, so far from home?” – “She will become whatever she can,” said Cacambo. “Women are never at a loss; God sees to that; let’s go.” – “Where are you taking me? Where are we going? What shall we do without Cunégonde?” repeated Candide. – “By Saint James of Compostella!” said Cacambo. “You were going to fight against the Jesuits; so let’s go and fight for them instead: I know the roads well enough, I’ll take you to their kingdom.[3] They’ll be delighted to have a captain who knows the Bulgar drill; you’ll make your fortune; when a man cannot get what he wants in one world, he finds it in another. And isn’t one of life’s great pleasures to see new places and do new things?”

“So you have already been to Paraguay?” said Candide. – “But of course!” said Cacambo. “I used to work in the kitchens at the college in Asunción,[4] and I know the ways of Los Padres[5] like I know the streets of Cadiz. It’s a wonderful thing, their method of governing. To begin with, the kingdom is more than three hundred leagues[6] across, and they have divided it into thirty provinces. Los Padres own everything, and the people own the rest; it is a masterpiece of justice and reason.[7] For my money, nothing could be more god-like than Los Padres, who make war in this part of the world against the kings of Spain and Portugal, while being confessors to those same kings back in Europe; who kill Spaniards over here, and in Madrid send them to heaven: I find it all vastly amusing. But let’s keep moving; you are about to become the happiest of men. How pleased Los Padres will be, when they discover there’s a captain coming to join them who knows the Bulgar drill!”

When they reached the first border post, Cacambo told the lookout guard that a captain wished to speak with His Reverence the commanding officer. Word was sent to headquarters. A Paraguayan officer ran and knelt before the commanding officer with the news. Candide and Cacambo were first disarmed, then their two Andalusian horses were removed. The strangers were now brought forward between two files of soldiers; the commanding officer stood at the far end, wearing the three-cornered biretta, his cassock hitched up, a sword at his side, a spontoon[8] in his hand. He makes a sign; and twenty-four soldiers instantly surround the two newcomers. A sergeant explains to them that they must wait, that the commanding officer cannot speak to them, that the Reverend Father Provincial does not permit Spaniards to open their mouths unless he is present, or to remain in the country for more than three[9] hours. “And where is the Reverend Father Provincial?” asked Cacambo. – “He is taking parade after saying Mass,” replied the sergeant, “and you will not have the privilege of kissing his spurs[10] for another three hours.” – “Nonetheless,” replied Cacambo, “the Captain, who like myself is dying of hunger, is not a Spaniard, but a German; so may we not have something to eat while waiting for His Reverence?”

The sergeant promptly went off to report this exchange to the commanding officer. “The Lord be praised!” said the reverend gentleman. “If he is German I can speak to him; have him brought to my arbour.”[11] Immediately Candide was led into a leafy summer house, decorated with a very pretty colonnade of green marble and gold, and with a trellis-work enclosing parakeets, colibris, humming-birds, guinea fowls and all manner of rare birds. An excellent lunch had been laid out in gold vessels;[12] and while the Paraguayans were eating maize out of wooden bowls in the open fields, under a blazing sun, His Reverence the commanding officer entered the arbour.

He was a very fine-looking young man, round faced, quite fair, with a florid complexion, arched eyebrows, piercing eyes, red ears, crimson lips and a proud bearing – of a pride that was neither quite Spanish nor quite Jesuit. Candide and Cacambo had their weapons returned to them, along with their two Andalusian horses; Cacambo gave the latter their oats near the arbour, keeping his eye on them in case of surprise.

Candide first kissed the hem of the commanding officer’s cassock, then they sat down to lunch. “So you are German?” said the Jesuit to him in that language. – “Yes, Reverend Father,” said Candide. As they exchanged these words they both looked at each other in extreme surprise, and with an emotion which neither could conceal. “And from what part of Germany?” asked the Jesuit. – “From the wretched province of Westphalia; said Candide. “I was born in the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh.” – “Merciful heavens! Can it be possible?” cried out the commanding officer. – “What miracle is this!” exclaimed Candide. – “Can it really be you?” said the commanding officer. – “Can this really be happening?” said Candide. They both drew backwards in amazement, they embraced, they wept rivers of tears. “What! Can it really be you, Reverend Father? You, the brother of the lovely Cunégonde? You, who were killed by the Bulgars! You, the Baron’s son! You, a Jesuit in Paraguay! This world is indeed a strange place. Oh Pangloss! Pangloss! How happy you would be at this moment, had you not been hanged!”

The commanding officer dismissed the negro slaves[13] and Paraguayans who were serving drinks in goblets of rock crystal. He thanked God and Saint Ignatius a thousand times; he clasped Candide in his arms; their faces were bathed in tears. “You would be even more astonished, more moved, more beside yourself,” said Candide, “if I told you that Mademoiselle Cunégonde, your sister, whom you believed disembowelled, is in perfect health.” – “Where!” – “Not far from here, with the Governor of Buenos Aires; and I was coming here to wage war against you.” Every word they uttered during this long conversation piled marvel upon marvel. Their very souls spoke through their tongues, listened eagerly at their ears, sparkled in their eyes. Being Germans, they sat at table for rather a long time, while waiting for the Reverend Father Provincial; and the commanding officer spoke to his dear Candide as follows.

Chapter 15

How Candide killed the brother of his dear Cunégonde

“Never while I live shall I forget that dreadful day when I saw my mother and father killed, and my sister raped.[1] When the Bulgars had gone, my adorable sister was nowhere to be found; my mother, my father and I were loaded on to a cart, along with two servant girls and three little boys whose throats had been cut, to be buried in a Jesuit chapel two leagues from our ancestral castle. A Jesuit sprinkled some holy water over us; it was fearfully salty; a few drops got into my eyes; the priest noticed a tiny movement of my eyelids; he placed his hand on my heart and felt it beating; I was saved, and at the end of three weeks I had completely recovered. You will recall, my dear Candide, how pretty I was; well I became even more so, to the point that the Reverend Father Croust,[2] who was Superior of the community, conceived the most tender affection for me; he initiated me as a novice; shortly afterwards I was sent to Rome. Our Superior General needed to recruit some young German Jesuits. The rulers of Paraguay try to admit as few Spanish Jesuits as they can; they prefer foreigners whom they think they can control more easily. I was judged suitable by the Reverend Father General to go and labour in this particular vineyard. So we set off, a Pole, a Tyrolean and myself. On arrival I was honoured with the posts of sub-deacon and lieutenant; I am now colonel and priest.[3] We shall be giving a hot reception to the King of Spain’s forces, I can assure you; they will be thrashed and excommunicated. Providence has sent you here to assist us. But is it really true that my dear sister Cunégonde is not far away, and staying with the Governor of Buenos Aires?” Candide assured him on oath that nothing could be truer. Their tears began to flow once more.

The Baron could not tire of embracing Candide; he called him his brother, his deliverer. “Ah! my dear Candide,” he said, “perhaps we will enter Buenos Aires together as victors, and rescue my sister Cunégonde.” – “That is all I could wish for,” replied Candide, “for I was intending to marry her, and hope to do so still.” – “What an extraordinary piece of insolence!” retorted the Baron. “So you would have the effrontery to marry my sister, who has seventy-two quarterings on her coat of arms! I consider it highly presumptuous of you to dare to speak to me of so rash an intention!” Candide, whose blood turned cold at this outburst, replied: “Reverend Father, all the quarterings in the world make no difference; I have rescued your sister from the arms of a Jew and an Inquisitor; she has certain obligations towards me, and she wishes to marry me. Maitre Pangloss always told me that all men are equal;[4] you may depend on it that I shall marry her.” – “We shall see about that, you dog!” said the Jesuit Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, and with these words struck him a great blow across the face with the flat of his sword. Candide instantly drew his own sword and plunged it up to the hilt in the Jesuit Baron’s belly; as he withdrew it, all steaming, he began to weep: “Alas, dear God!” he said, “I have killed my former master, my friend, my future brother-in-law; I am the mildest man alive, yet I have now killed three men, two of them priests.”

Cacambo, who had been keeping watch at the door of the arbour, came running. “We have no choice but to sell our lives as dearly as we can,” said his master. “They are bound to come into the arbour; let us die fighting.” Cacambo, who had seen far worse in his time, kept his wits; he stripped the Baron of his Jesuit cassock, put it on Candide, put the dead man’s biretta on his head, and forced him on to a horse. It was all done in the blink of an eye. “Let’s get going, Master, at the double. Everyone will take you for a Jesuit on his way to deliver orders; we’ll have crossed the frontier before they can come after us.” He was already galloping as he said these words, and shouting out in Spanish: “Make way, make way for the Reverend Father Colonel.”

Chapter 16

What became of our two travellers when they encountered two girls, two apes and the savages named the Oreillons

Candide and his valet were across the border post before anyone in the camp had discovered the dead German Jesuit. The vigilant Cacambo had taken care to fill his saddle-pack with bread, chocolate, ham, fruit and a few bottles of wine. They forged ahead on their Andalusian horses, deep into unknown country, where they could find no sign of a track. At last a beautiful grassland, traversed by streams, opened up before them. Our two travellers allowed their horses to graze. Cacambo urged his master to eat something, and he set him the example. “How can you expect me to eat ham,” said Candide, “when I have killed the son of his Excellency the Baron, and when I see myself fated never to set eyes again on the beautiful Cunégonde? What is the point of prolonging my miserable days, if I must drag them out far away from her, in remorse and despair? And what will the Journal de Trevoux[1] say?”

So saying, he ate nonetheless. The sun went down. The two lost travellers heard faint cries, which sounded as if uttered by women. They could not tell if these were cries of pain or of pleasure; but they got to their feet rapidly, with that anxiety and alarm which is so easily aroused in a strange country. The shrieks were coming from two quite naked girls, who were tripping lightly along the edge of the meadow, pursued by a pair of apes snapping at their bottoms. Candide was moved to sympathy; he had learned to shoot with the Bulgars, and could bring down a hazelnut in a thicket without disturbing a leaf. So he now raises his double-barrelled Spanish rifle, fires and kills both apes. “God be praised, my dear Cacambo! I have delivered these two poor creatures from grave peril; if it was a sin to kill an Inquisitor and a Jesuit, I have made ample amends by saving the lives of two girls. Perhaps they are young ladies of noble birth, and this episode may secure us some advantage in these parts.”

He was about to continue, but words failed him when he saw the two girls throw their arms lovingly around the two apes and collapse in tears over their corpses, filling the air with the most pitiful lamentations. “I was not expecting quite so much tenderness of heart,” he said at last to Cacambo, who replied: “You’ve excelled yourself this time, Master; you have just despatched the two lovers of these young ladies.” – “Their lovers! Is it possible? You are making fun of me, Cacambo; how could anyone believe such a thing?” – “My dear Master,” retorted Cacambo, “you are always astonished by everything; why do you find it so strange that in some countries it is apes who enjoy the favours of young ladies? After all, they are one-quarter human, just as I am one-quarter Spanish.” [2] – “Alas!” replied Candide, “now I remember Maitre Pangloss saying that in earlier times such things used to happen, and that these couplings had produced aigypans,[3] fauns and satyrs, and that several important personages of antiquity had set eyes upon them. But I took these stories to be fables.” [4] – “Well, perhaps now you will take them to be true,” said Cacambo. “It merely goes to show how people carry on when they haven’t received a proper education. My only worry is that these same young ladies may land us in trouble.”

These solid reflections persuaded Candide that they must leave the prairie and plunge into the wood. There he made supper with Cacambo, and, both of them having cursed the Inquisitor of Portugal, the Governor of Buenos Aires and the Baron, they fell asleep on some moss. When they awoke they found they were unable to move their limbs; the explanation for which was that the Oreillon tribe,[5] who inhabit that country, and to whom the two women had denounced them, had tied [6] them down during the night with ropes made of bark. They were now surrounded by fifty or so stark-naked Oreillons, armed with arrows, clubs and flint axes: some were bringing a large cauldron to the boil; others were preparing spits, and all of them were chanting: “It’s a Jesuit! It’s a Jesuit! We will be avenged! And we’ll eat our fill! Let’s eat Jesuit! Let’s eat Jesuit!”[7] “I told you so, my dear master,” exclaimed Cacambo sadly. “I said that those two girls would play us a trick or two.” Candide, noticing the cauldron and the spits, cried out: “We are going to be either roasted or boiled, for sure. Ah, what would Maitre Pangloss say now, if he could see how men live in a state of nature?[8] All is for the best, no doubt, but I must say it is a cruel thing to have lost Mademoiselle Cunégonde and be roasted on a spit by Oreillons.” Cacambo was never one to lose his head. “Don’t despair,” he said to the dejected Candide. “I am familiar with the gibberish these people speak. I will address them.” – “Be sure to impress upon them,” said Candide, “how frightful and inhuman it is to cook people alive, and how very unchristian. “

“Well, gentlemen,” said Cacambo, “so you are thinking of eating Jesuit today? A splendid idea; nothing more proper than to treat your enemies in this fashion. In fact, natural law teaches us to kill our neighbour, which is how men behave the world over. If we Europeans choose not to exercise our right to eat our enemies, it is only because we have other means of eating well; but you lack such amenities, and it is certainly better to eat your enemies than to leave the fruits of one’s victory to the ravens and crows.[9] On the other hand, gentlemen, you would not wish to eat your friends, would you? You think you are turning a Jesuit on the spit, but it is your ally, the enemy of your enemies,[10] whom you are about to roast. As for me, I was born in this very country; and the gentleman you see here is my master; and, far from being a Jesuit, he has just killed one, whose clothes he is wearing as the spoils of war: which is of course the origin of this whole misunderstanding. To check the truth of what I am saying, take his cassock and bring it to the nearest border post of the kingdom of Los Padres; inquire whether my master has not killed a Jesuit officer. It won’t take long; if you find that I have lied, you can eat us anyway. However, if I have told you the truth, you are far too well acquainted with the principles, procedures and articles of international justice not to spare our lives.”

The Oreillons found this speech entirely reasonable; they dispatched two of their chiefs post-haste to find out the truth; the two delegates carried out their commission like men of sense, and returned shortly bearing the good news. The Oreillons untied their two prisoners, treated them with every civility, offered them girls, gave them refreshments, and escorted them back to the borders of their territory, gaily chanting: “He’s no Jesuit! He’s no Jesuit!”

Candide could not stop wondering at the manner of their deliverance. “What a people!” he kept saying. “What men! What customs! If I had not had the good luck to run my sword right through Cunégonde’s brother, I would have been eaten alive without fail. After all, it seems that the state of nature is a good thing, since these people, instead of eating me, showed me a thousand civilities just as soon as they knew I was not a Jesuit.”


Chapter 13
[1] A biblical allusion inserted in 1761: Abraham and Isaac, being less scrupulous than Candide, mendaciously passed their wives off as sisters (Genesis 12:11-20, 26); this was a favourite example in the Voltairean and deist polemic against the morality of the Bible; it was the subject of a celebrated article in Bayle’s Dictionary (“Sara”), and is discussed in Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary (p. 18)
[2] The old woman speaks more candidly of Cunegonde’s ordeals than Cunegonde herself. in the version of her story offered to Candide in chapter 8.
[3] A magistrate and accompanying policemen.

Chapter 14
[1] a quarter Spanish: i.e. a quadroon: his father is a half-caste, his mother an Indian.
[2] In the eighteenth century a province; today an Argentinian city, at the foot of the Andes.
[3] A deliberately incorrect usage, suggestive of the autocracy of the Jesuits; it was rumoured in 1755-6 that the Indians had crowned a Jesuit as their king. “With regard to the supposed kingdom of the Jesuits in Paraguay, I tell you, with all of Europe as my witness, that nothing is more certain ... I know very well, gentlemen, that they do not have the title of king, and therefore you may say it is a wretched fable to talk of the kingdom of Paraguay. But even though the Dey of Algiers is not a king, he is nonetheless master of that country” (pseudonymous letter from Voltaire to the Journal encyclopédique, 15 July 1762, in response to a review of Candide that had appeared on 15 March 1759).
[4] The capital of the Jesuit-administered territory in Paraguay. The college, or Colegio de la Asunción, was the centre of Jesuit administration in South America.
[5] A less than affectionate Spanish term for the Jesuit fathers, by whom Voltaire had himself been educated.
[6] One league equals three miles.
[7] In this chapter Voltaire is openly sceptical of the supposed communalism introduced by the Jesuits in Paraguay, who had organized their Indian parishes into autonomous villages. But he preferred the conduct of the Jesuit missions to the “horrors” which had accompanied the conquests of and Peru. (Cf. Essay on the Manners and Spirit of the Nations, chapter 154.)
[8] A short pike; a weapon carried by infantry officers and used for signalling orders to the regiment. (It was in fact contrary to Canon law for a priest to carry weapons or engage in war.)
[9] The text reads “three hours” , but “hours” is either an exaggeration or a corruption of “days”: according to Voltaire’s letter to the Journal encyclopédique of 15 July 1762, “They do not permit any Spaniard to remain for more than three days in their territories.” The Jesuits are also accused in this letter cf. the Essay on the Manners and Spirit of the Nations, chapter 154) of not allowing Spanish visitors to speak to the natives, for fear of their influencing the indigenous population adversely.
[10] A parodic variation on a custom ridiculed elsewhere by Voltaire, according to which it was a sign of respect towards the Pope to kiss his mule.
[11] Not a rustic hut, bur a lavishly appointed residence. The jest notwithstanding, the austerity of the lives led by Jesuits was universally acknowledged, not least by Voltaire.
[12] In the communal system introduced by the Jesuits, gold was banished as a currency and therefore lost its customary in the tendentious universe of the tale, it is transformed into a material reserved for the exclusive use of Jesuits.
[13] The Jesuits were authorized to have negro slaves, along with everyone else.

Chapter 15
[1] The Baron omits to mention what Pangloss has already told us: that he received “exactly the same treatment” as his sister.
[2] Rector of the Jesuit college in Colmar, and an enemy of the philosophes (i.e. the group of free-thinkers – writers, scientists and philosophers – associated with the Encyclopédie; (1751-72), the great collective French Enlightenment project of a multi-volume illustrated encyclopedia which summarized the current state of human knowledge across the arts and sciences), Croust treated Voltaire with hostility when the latter tried to settle at Colmar in 1754, after his return from Prussia. Croust is here homosexualized, and referred to elsewhere by Voltaire as “the most brutal member of the Society” .
[3] An invidious conjunction, for Voltaire; the Jesuit order was founded on principles of military discipline, with military titles.
[4] Another reference to Pangloss’s Rousseauist socialism.

Chapter 16
[1] A critical but scrupulously informative periodical published by the Jesuits at Trevoux under the title Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire des Sciences et des Beaux-Arts (Memoranda Relating to the History of the Sciences and the Arts). It ran from 1701 to 1767, and carried out a sustained offensive against the philosophes and the Encyclopédie. Voltaire counter-attacked from 1759 onwards cf. “An Account of the Illness of the Jesuit Berthier” , in Micromegas and Other Short Fictions, edited by Haydn Mason (London, 2002)).
[2] Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, with its emphasis on the proximity of the higher apes to man, may have been a satirical starting point for this chapter, though the idea that apes were close to humans – or were perhaps human – was a commonplace.
[3] A form of Pan, with the feet of a buck and a hirsute body.
[4] A widely known work entitled La Mythologie et les fables (Mythology and Fables, 1740), by the Abbé Antoine Banier, had argued that mythological beings such as satyrs and fauns were in reality large monkeys, refracted through the imaginations of the ancients. Voltaire’s view – advanced by several eighteenth-century naturalists and philosophers – was that such creatures were hybrids produced by the coupling of humans with other species, a notion which called into question the radical metaphysical distinction between man (beneficiary of salvation) and the rest of creation.
[5] Or Orejones; according to Garcilaso de la Vega’s Historia General del Perú (History of the Incas of Peru, 1704), this was the name of an Indian tribe of the upper Amazon, with large ears (oreilles) on account of the heavy pendants that they wore.
[6] Doubtless inspired by familiarity with Lilliputian tactics – Voltaire had read Jonathan Swift’s (1667-1745) Gulliver’s Travels (1726) with great gusto while he was living in England in the 1720s.
[7] Within weeks of the publication of Candide, the expression “Mangeons du Jesuite!” had acquired proverbial status with a public increasingly hostile to the Jesuits; the order was to be expelled from France in 1764.
[8] The Rousseauist doctrine that men in a natural state are free of evil is under attack throughout Candide. Voltaire was unpersuaded of the supposed advantages of primitive life over civil society: “Good houses, good clothing, a good standard of living, with good laws and freedom are better than want, anarchy and slavery. Those who are unhappy with London just have to go off to the Orkneys; there they will live as everyone used to in London in Caesar’s time; they'll eat oat bread, and cut each others’ throats for sun-dried fish and a hut. Those who recommend it should set the example” (“The ABC: Seventh Conversation: That modern Europe is better than Ancient Europe” , in Voltaire’s Political Writings, edited by David Williams (Cambridge, 1994), p. 131).
[9] The defence of primitive by comparison with “civilized” customs goes back to Michel de Montaigne’s (1533-92) essay “Des Cannibales” (“Of Cannibals”) in Essais (Essays, 1580-88), Book 1, essay 31. Cacambo’s eloquence here draws on Voltaire’s article “Anthropophages” in the Philosophical Dictionary, to the effect that eating your enemy is not as bad as killing him in the first place. (Cf. also the discussion of cannibalism in the Essay on the Manners and Spirit of the Nations, chapter 146).
[10] A piece of sophistry on Cacambo’s part; nothing so far suggests that the Oreillons are inimical to the Jesuits (who in Paraguay claimed to defend the indigenous peoples against the ravages of colonialism) – they are merely out to avenge Candide’s murder of the two apes.