Chapter 21

 Candide and Martin approach the coast of France, philosophizing all the way

At last the French coast came into view. ‘Have you ever been to France, Monsieur Martin?’ said Candide. – ‘Yes,’ said Martin, ‘I have travelled through several of its provinces. In some of which half the population are lunatics, whereas in others they are too cunning by half; in some parts they are quite good-natured and rather simple-minded, while in others they cultivate their wits. But wherever you go, the principal occupation is making love, the second is spreading scandal, and the third is talking nonsense.’[1] – ‘But have you been to Paris, Monsieur Martin?’[2] – ‘Yes, I’ve been to Paris; it combines all of the above categories; it is a chaos, a throng in which everyone pursues pleasure and almost no one finds it, or at least so it seemed to me. I stayed there only briefly; on my arrival I was robbed of all I had by pickpockets at the Saint-Germain fair;[3] I was then taken for a thief myself, and spent eight days in prison; after which I took a job as a printer’s proofreader to earn enough to return to Holland on foot. I came to know all sorts of rabble – the hacks and scribblers, the political intriguers, and the holy rabble who trade in religious convulsions.[4] I am told ther eare some civilized people in that city; I should like to think so.’

‘For my part, I have no interest in seeing France,’ said Candide. ‘You will appreciate that when a man has spent a month in Eldorado, he no longer needs to see anything in this world except Mademoiselle Cunegonde; I am going to wait for her in Venice; we shall be travelling to Italy by way of France: why don’t you accompany me?’ – ‘With pleasure,’ said Martin. ‘They say that Venice is strictly for the Venetian nobility, but that foreigners are nevertheless well received when they have plenty of money; I have none, and you have lots; I will follow where you lead.’ – ‘Incidentally,’ said Candide, ‘do you think the earth was originally a sea, as we are told in that fat volume belonging to the captain?,[5] – ‘I believe nothing of the kind,’ said Martin, ‘no more than I believe all the other ravings that are put about these days.’ – ‘But to what end was this world created, then?’ said Candide. – ‘To make us mad,’ replied Martin. – ‘And are you not amazed,’ Candide went on, ‘by the emotions displayed by those two Oreillon girls for their apes, which I told you about?’ – ‘Not in the least,’ said Martin. ‘I see nothing strange in their passion; I have seen so many extraordinary things that nothing seems extraordinary to me any more.’ – ‘Do you think,’ said Candide, ‘that men have always massacred one another, as they do today? That they have always been liars, cheats, traitors, ingrates and brigands, as well as weaklings, shirkers, cowards, backbiters, gluttons, drunkards, misers and social climbers, in addition to being bloodthirsty, slanderous, fanatical, debauched, hypocritical and downright stupid?’ – ‘But don’t you think,’ replied Martin, ‘that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they come across them?’ – ‘Without a doubt,’ said Candide. – ‘Well, then,’ said Martin, ‘if hawks have always had the same nature, why do you expect men to have changed theirs?’[6] – ‘Oh,’ said Candide, ‘but there is a crucial difference, because free will . . . ‘ And philosophizing thus, they arrived in Bordeaux.

Chapter 22

 What happened to Candide and Martin in France

Candide stopped off in Bordeaux only for as long as it took to sell a few Eldoradean pebbles, and equip himself with a fast post-chaise – with two seats, for he could no longer be without his philosopher Martin; he was only grieved to be parting from his sheep, which he left to the Academy of Science in Bordeaux; they offered as the subject of that year’s essay prize the question: ‘Why is the wool of this sheep red?’ The prize was awarded to a scholar from the North, who proved by means of A plus B minus C divided by Z[1] that the sheep must of necessity be red, and must perforce die in due course of sheep-pox.

Meanwhile, all the travellers Candide encountered in taverns along the way said to him: ‘We’re off to Paris.’ Such general eagerness finally decided him to see this capital for himself; it would not involve too much of a detour off the road to Venice.

He entered by the Faubourg Saint-Marceau,[2] and thought he was in the meanest village in Westphalia.

Scarcely had Candide reached his inn than he came down with a minor ailment brought on by his exertions. Since he had an enormous diamond on his finger, and since a prodigiously heavy strong-box had been noticed among his luggage, he soon had by his side two doctors whom he had not sent for, a number of intimate friends who never left the room, and two philanthropic ladies to warm his broth for him. Martin said: ‘I remember being ill myself when I first came to Paris; I was very poor, so I had neither intimate friends, nor philanthropic ladies, nor doctors. And I got better.’

However, by dint of many enemas and much bloodletting, Candide’s illness worsened. A parish curate called, and asked him mildly for a note of confession,[3] payable to the bearer in the next world; Candide would have none of this. The philanthropic ladies assured him that it was all the fashion; Candide replied that he was not fashionable. Martin was all for throwing the curate out of the window; the clergyman swore that Candide would be buried without rites; Martin swore that the clergyman would be buried above ground if he continued to bother them. The dispute grew heated; Martin took the clergyman by the shoulders and ejected him without ceremony; which caused a great scandal, and was reported to the authorities.

Candide recovered. And during his convalescence he had some very refined company to supper. There was gambling for high stakes. Candide was quite amazed that he never drew any aces; Martin was not amazed.

Among those who did the honours of the city for Candide was a little abbé from Périgord,[4] one of those assiduous types, alert, endlessly obliging, impudent, fawning, adaptable, who are always on the lookout for strangers passing through, for whom they rehearse all the scandals of the town, and procure its pleasures at a range of prices. This particular specimen began by taking Candide and Martin to the theatre. A new tragedy was being performed. Candide found himself seated among a group of wits. This did not prevent him from weeping at some scenes that were played to perfection. One of the argumentative bores sitting near him remarked during an interval: ‘You have little cause to weep, I’d say – the actress is atrocious; the actor playing opposite her is worse; the play is even worse than the actors; the author doesn’t know a word of Arabic and yet the scene is set in Arabia.[5] What’s more, he is someone who has no belief in innate ideas;[6] tomorrow I’ll show you twenty pamphlets written against him.[7] – ‘Monsieur,’ said Candide to the abbé, ‘how many plays have been written in French?’ – ‘Five or six thousand,’ came the reply. – ‘That is a lot,’ said Candide, ‘and how many of them are any good?’ – ‘Fifteen or sixteen,’ replied the other. – ‘That is a lot,’ said Martin.

Candide was rather taken with an actress who was playing Queen Elizabeth in a fairly dull tragedy[8] that sometimes gets performed. ‘That actress pleases me a great deal,’ he said to Martin. ‘She reminds me a little of Mademoiselle Cunegonde;

I would like very much to pay my respects to her.’ The abbé from Périgord offered to effect an introduction. Candide, who had been brought up in Germany, inquired as to the etiquette, and asked how queens of England were treated in France.[9] ‘That depends,’ said the abbé. ‘In the provinces you take them to a tavern. In Paris we honour them when they are beautiful, and we throw them in the public sewer when they die.’ – ‘Queens in the sewer!’ said Candide. – ‘Indeed so,’ said Martin, ‘the abbé is quite right. I was in Paris when Mademoiselle Monime exited, as they say, from this life to the next; she was refused what people here call “the honours of Christian burial,” that is to say, the honour of rotting with all the beggars of the parish in a filthy cemetery; she was buried alone and isolated from the rest of her troupe at the corner of the rue de Bourgogne,[10] which would have pained her in the extreme, for she was a woman of noble mind.’ – ‘That was hardly a noble way for them to behave,’ said Candide. – ‘What do you expect?’ said Martin. ‘That is how these people are. Take any contradiction or inconsistency you can imagine, and you will find examples of it in the government, the courts, the churches and the theatres of this ridiculous nation.’ – ‘Is it true that Parisians are always laughing?’ asked Candide. – ‘Yes,’ said the abbé, ‘but with rage in their hearts; for they complain of everything amid roars of laughter; and they laugh even while doing the most abominable things.’

‘So who was that fat pig,’ said Candide, ‘who was so critical of the play I enjoyed crying at so much, and of the actors I liked so much?’ – ‘He is a devil incarnate,’ replied the abbé, ‘someone who earns his living by vilifying every new book and play that appears; he detests anyone who succeeds, as a eunuch detests lovers: he is one of those vipers of literature who feed off dirt and venom; in short, he is a hack.’ – ‘And what is a hack?’ said Candide. – ‘A scribbler of pamphlets,’ replied the abbé, ‘a Freron.’[11]

Such was Candide’s conversation with Martin and the abbé from Périgord, as they stood on the staircase watching the audience file out after the play. ‘Although I cannot wait to see Mademoiselle Cunégonde again,’ said Candide, ‘I should also like to have supper with Mademoiselle Clairon;[12] for she did seem altogether admirable.’

The abbé was not the man to effect an introduction to Mademoiselle Clairon, who moved only in good company. ‘She is engaged for this evening,’ he said, ‘but allow me the honour of taking you to the house of a lady of quality, where you will get to know Paris as well as if you had been living here for years.’

Candide, who was curious by nature, allowed himself to be taken to the lady’s house, at the far end of the Faubourg Saint-Honoré;[13] there they were busy playing faro,[14] and a dozen gloomy punters were each holding a small hand of cards, the much-creased register of their misfortunes. A profound silence reigned; the punters looked pale and the banker looked anxious, while the lady of the house, seated beside this implacable figure, kept a lynx-eyed watch on all the doubled bets and on any stakes raised by a player turning up the corners of his cards out of rum. She would make him turn them back again, severely but politely, and never lost her patience for fear of losing her clients. This lady called herself the Marquise de Parolignac.[15] Her daughter, aged fifteen, was one of the punters, and would tip the wink to her mother whenever any of these unfortunates attempted to repair the cruelties of fortune by cheating. The abbé from Périgord now entered, together with Candide and Martin; no one got up, or greeted them, or looked their way, being wholly intent on their cards. ‘Her Excellency the Baroness of Thunder-ten-tronckh was more civil than this,’ said Candide.

However, the abbé whispered something to the Marquise, who half rose, honouring Candide with a gracious smile and Martin with a very distant nod. She ordered a chair and a hand of cards to be dealt to Candide, who lost fifty thousand francs in two games; after which they sat down gaily to supper; everyone was surprised at how calmly Candide had taken his losses; the lackeys whispered to each other in their lackey language that this must be ‘one of your English milords’.

The supper was like most suppers in Paris: silence at first, then a confused babble in which no one can make themselves heard, followed by an exchange of largely insipid witticisms, false news, pointless argument, a little politics and a quantity of slander; there was even some talk of the latest books. ‘Has anyone read,’ asked the abbé from Périgord, ‘that gallimaufry written by Gauchat, the Doctor of Divinity?”[16] – ‘Yes,’ replied one of the company, ‘but I couldn’t finish it. We are plagued these days with the productions of impertinent scribblers, though nothing approaches the impertinence of Gauchat, Doctor of Divinity. I am so weary of this inundation of vile reading matter that I’ve taken refuge in gambling.’ – ‘And what do you think of the Melanges of Archdeacon T[rublet]?”[17] asked the abbé. – ‘Oh,’ said Madame de Parolignac, ‘such a tedious bore! How he tells you with compound interest what everyone already knows, and how he trudges through what is hardly worth skating over! How mindlessly he borrows the minds of others! How he spoils what he plunders! How he disgusts me! But he shall disgust me no more – one or two pages of our archdeacon are quite enough, thank you.’

One of the guests at table was a man of taste and learning, who confirmed what the Marquise was saying. The conversation turned to tragedies, and the Marquise asked how it was that some tragedies occasionally performed on stage were quite unreadable on the page. The man of taste explained very clearly how a play can be of some interest but of almost no merit. He showed in few words how it was not enough to contrive one or two of those situations that are to be found in any novel and which always captivate the audience; that one needs to be original without being far-fetched, frequently sublime but always natural; to know the human heart but also how to give it a voice; to be a poet without one’s characters seeming to speak like poets; and to have perfect command of the language, using it with purity and harmony, and without ever sacrificing sense to rhyme.[18] ‘Whoever fails to follow all these rules,’ he added, ‘may produce one or two tragedies that are applauded on the stage, but he will never be counted a good writer. There are very few good tragedies; some are merely idylls in dialogue form, however well written and well rhymed;[19] others are political tracts that send us to sleep, or pomposities that merely repel us;[20] and others still are the ravings of enthusiasts, barbarously written, with broken dialogue and lengthy apostrophes to the gods (because the author does not know how to speak to men), full of false maxims and turgid commonplaces.’[21]

Candide listened attentively to this speech, and formed a highly favourable opinion of the speaker. Since the Marquise had taken good care to place Candide at her side, he took the liberty of leaning over and asking in a whisper who this excellent talker might be. ‘He is a man of learning,’ said the lady, ‘who does not play cards, but whom the abbé sometimes brings to my house to dine. He is a great judge of plays and books, has written a tragedy which was hissed off the stage, and a book of which only one copy has ever been seen outside the publisher’s shop – the copy that he presented to me.’ – ‘A great man!’ said Candide. ‘He sounds like another Pangloss.’

So he turned to this gentleman and said: ‘Sir, doubtless you are of the view that everything is for the best in the physical and moral worlds, and that nothing could be other than it is?’ – ‘I, sir?’ replied the man of learning. ‘I think nothing of the kind: 1 find everything in our world amiss; no one knows his rank or his responsibility, or what he’s doing, or what he should be doing; and that, except for supper parties like this, which are gay and increase fellowship, our time here is wasted on senseless quarrels: Jansenists against Molinists, judiciary against churchmen,[22] men of letters against men of letters, courtiers against courtiers, financiers against the people, wives against husbands, relatives against relatives; it is a perpetual battlefield.’

‘I have seen worse,’ Candide replied. ‘But a wise man, who has since had the misfortune to be hanged, taught me that there is in these things a perfect propriety; like the shadows in a beautiful painting.’ – ‘Your hanged man was making a mockery of us,’ interjected Martin, ‘and your shadows are in truth dreadful stains.[23] – ‘It is men who make these stains,’ said Candide, ‘and they cannot do otherwise.’ – ‘So it is not their fault, then,’ said Martin. Most of the card players, who did not understand a word of all this, were busy drinking, while Martin disputed with the man of learning, and Candide recounted some of his adventures to the lady of the house.

After supper the Marquise took Candide to her private dressing-room and sat him down on a divan. ‘Well,’ she said to him, ‘so are you are still hopelessly in love with Mademoiselle Cunégonde of Thunder-ten-tronckh?’ – ‘Yes, Madame,’ came the reply. The Marquise smiled tenderly and said: ‘You answer like a young man from Westphalia; a Frenchman would have replied: “It is true that I was in love with Mademoiselle Cunegonde, but when 1 see you, Madame, I fear I can love her no longer.’” – ‘Alas! Madame,’ said Candide, ‘I shall answer as you please.’ – ‘Your passion for her,’ continued the Marquise, ‘began when you picked up her handkerchief. 1 want you to pick up my garter.’ – ‘With all my heart,’ said Candide, and he picked it up. ‘Now 1want you to slip it back on for me,’ said the lady; so Candide slipped it back on for her. ‘You see,’ said the lady, ‘you are a visitor; sometimes 1make my Parisian lovers languish for an entire fortnight, but here 1 am giving myself to you on the very first night, for one must do the honours of one’s country to a young man from Westphalia.’ The fair lady, having noticed two enormous diamonds on her young foreigner’s hand, praised them so sincerely that from Candide’s fingers they slipped imperceptibly on to those of the Marquise.[24] Returning home with his abbé from Périgord, Candide felt some remorse at having been unfaithful to Mademoiselle Cunegonde; the abbé commiserated with him, for he had only a small stake in the fifty thousand francs which Candide had lost at cards, or in the proceeds of the two brilliants half-given and half-extorted. His intention was to profit as fully as possible from the advantages which his acquaintance with Candide might yet procure. He asked a great deal about Cunegonde, and Candide confided that he would certainly beg that lovely creature’s forgiveness for his infidelity when he saw her in Venice.

The abbé from Périgord became ever more unctuous and assiduous, and showed an affecting interest in everything that Candide said, or did, or planned to do.[25] And so, monsieur, you have an assignation in Venice?’ – ‘Yes, Monsieur l’abbé,’ said Candide. ‘I must absolutely go and find Mademoiselle Cunegonde.’ Then, carried away by the pleasure of talking about his beloved, he related – as he so often did – part of his adventures with that illustrious lady from Westphalia.

‘I imagine,’ said the abbé, ‘that Mademoiselle Cunégonde has plenty of wit, and that she she must write charming letters?’ – ‘I have never received a letter from her,’ said Candide. ‘You must understand that having been kicked out of the castle on account of my for love for her, I could hardly write to her; that soon afterwards I learned that she was dead, then found her again, and then lost her; and that now I have sent a messenger to her, two thousand five hundred leagues from here, and am awaiting her reply.’

The abbé listened closely, and seemed as if lost in thought. He shortly took his leave of the two foreigners, after embracing them warmly. The next day, on waking, Candide received the following letter:

Monsieur, my dearest love, I have been lying ill in this town for the past week. I discover that you are here too. I would fly to your arms were I able to move. I learned of your passage at Bordeaux; I have left the faithful Cacambo and the old woman there, and they will soon follow on after me. The Governor of Buenos Aires took everything, but I still have your heart. Come to me, your presence will restore me to life, or make me die of pleasure.

This charming letter, this unhoped-for letter, filled Candide with an inexpressible joy, while the illness of his dear Cunégonde overwhelmed him with grief. Torn between these two emotions, he takes his gold and his diamonds, and has himself and Martin conveyed to the house where Mademoiselle Cunégonde is staying. He enters her room, trembling with emotion, his heart beating violently, his voice choked with sobs; he is about to draw back the bed curtains and send for a lamp. ‘You will do no such thing,’ says the maid, ‘or the light will kill her,’ and she quickly closes the curtains again. ‘My dearest Cunegonde,’ says Candide in tears, ‘how are you feeling? If you cannot see me, at least speak to me.’ – ‘She cannot speak,’ says the maid. The fair invalid now extends a plump hand from the bedclothes, which Candide waters with his tears for a long time, and then fills with diamonds, leaving a purse full of gold on the armchair.

In the midst of this turmoil an officer of the watch arrives, followed by the abbé from Périgord and a squad of men. ‘So are these the two suspicious foreigners?’ he asks, and has them arrested on the spot, ordering his flunkeys to haul them off to prison. ‘They don’t treat visitors like this in Eldorado,’ says Candide. ‘I am more of a Manichean than ever,’ says Martin. ‘But, Monsieur, where are you taking us?’ says Candide. ‘To the deepest, darkest cell,’ says the officer.

Martin, having by now recovered his sang-froid, deduced that the lady claiming to be Cunégonde was a common fraud, that the abbé from Périgord was a fraud who had taken advantage of Candide’s innocence at the first opportunity, and that the officer was another fraud, whom it would be easy to shake off.

Rather than expose himself to the process of law, and enlightened by Martin’s advice, and impatient as ever to see the real Cunégonde again, Candide offered the officer three little diamonds worth three thousand pistoles each. ‘Ah, Monsieur!’ said the man with the ivory-tipped baton, ‘even had you committed every imaginable crime, you are still the most honest man alive. Three diamonds! Each worth three thousand pistoles! Sir, I would lay down my life for you sooner than throw you in a dungeon. There are orders to arrest all foreigners hereabouts, but leave it to me. I have a brother in Dieppe, in Normandy; I will take you there; and if you have any diamonds for him, he will look after you as if he were looking after me.’

‘And why are there orders to arrest all foreigners?’ says Candide. The abbé from Périgord now spoke up: ‘It’s because an imbecile from Arras listened to some foolish talk, which was enough to make him go and commit parricide – not like what happened in May 1610, but like what happened in December 1594, and like several other crimes committed in other months and other years by other wretches who have listened to similar imbecilities. ‘

The officer then explained what the abbé was talking about.[26] ‘Oh! What monsters!’ exclaimed Candide. ‘What! And are such horrors possible, in a nation that loves dancing and singing! I am leaving this minute! What is the quickest way out of this country, where monkeys provoke tigers?[27] In my own country I encountered bears; only in Eldorado have I met proper men. For God’s sake, officer, take me to Venice, where I am to wait for Mademoiselle Cunegonde.’ – ‘I can only take you as far as Lower Normandy,’ said the constable. At which he ordered Candide’s leg-irons to be removed, said he must have made a mistake, sent his men away, took Candide and Martin to Dieppe, and left them in the hands of his brother. There was a small Dutch vessel riding at anchor. The Norman, who with the help of three more diamonds had become the most obliging of men, put Candide and his servants aboard the vessel, which was about to sail for Portsmouth, England. It was not the way to Venice, but Candide felt like a man delivered from hell, and intended to resume his journey to Venice at the first opportunity.

Chapter 23

 Candide and Martin reach the shores of England – and what they see there

‘Oh, Pangloss, Pangloss! Martin, Martin! Oh, my dearest Cunegonde! What sort of a world is this?’ sighed Candide on board the Dutch ship. – ‘A very mad and very abominable one,’ replied Martin. – ‘You have been to England,’ said Candide. ‘Are they as mad there as in France?’ – ‘It’s a different type of madness,’ said Martin. ‘As you know, the two countries are at war over a few acres of snow on the Canadian border, and they are spending rather more on their lovely war than the whole of Canada is worth.[1] But to say precisely if there are more people in one country who should be locked up than in another, is something beyond the limits of my feeble understanding. All I know is that by and large the people we are now going to see are disposed to be very gloomy.’

As they talked, they docked at Portsmouth; a multitude of people covered the shore, all gazing intently at a rather corpulent man who was on his knees, his eyes blindfolded, on the quarter-deck of one of the ships of the fleet; four soldiers were posted directly in front of him, each of whom now fired three bullets into his skull, as calmly as you like; after which the crowd dispersed looking extremely satisfied.[2] ‘What is all this?’ said Candide, ‘and what devil is at work in the world?’ He asked who was the fat man, who had just been so ceremoniously despatched. ‘He was an admiral,’ came the reply. – ‘And why kill this admiral?’ – ‘Because,’ came the reply, ‘he did not get enough people killed when he had the chance: he gave battle to a French admiral, and was said not to have engaged closely enough with the enemy.’ – ‘In which case,’ said Candide, ‘surely the French admiral was just as far from the English admiral as the English admiral was from the French admiral?’ – ‘Unquestionably so,’ came the reply, ‘but in this country it is considered useful now and again to shoot an admiral, to encourage the others.’[3]

Candide was so stunned and so shocked by what he saw, and what he heard, that he refused even to set foot on English soil, but bargained with the Dutch captain (without caring if this one fleeced him as the other had done, in Surinam ) to take him straight to Venice.

The captain was ready to leave after two days. They sailed along the coast of France; they passed within sight of Lisbon, and Candide shuddered. They entered the Straits, and the Mediterranean; finally they put in at Venice. ‘Praised be God!’ said Candide, embracing Martin. ‘ Here is where I shall see the lovely Cunégonde again. I trust Cacambo as I would myself. All is well, all goes well, all goes as well as it possibly can.’


Chapter 21
[1] The flightiness of the French character was proverbial in the eighteenth century.
[2] Voltaire was a Parisian at heart, and the great drama of his life was to have been obliged, from the 1750s onwards, to live away from the capital. Hence the rancour expressed in these pages: Candide will only find happiness in a marginal life, a life at the periphery’ (Frédérick Deloffre and Jacques van den Heuvel (eds.), Voltaire romans et contes, (Paris, 1979), p. 875). The Parisian chapter is the longest in Candide, and the most densely worked and reworked (sec Appendix I).
[3] The most famous Parisian fair, held annually between February and April, and frequented by many foreign visitors.
[4] Martin, on his visit to Paris, seen only a range of questionable human types; the doors of good society are not open to him. As usual, Voltaire has his sights on journalists, men of letters, sectarians, Jansenists. The latter are caricatured by recalling an episode (1729–32) in which Jansenist zealots fell into ‘convulsions’ or miraculous trances before the Paris tomb of one of their deacons. in the cemetery of Saint-Médard. So great were the crowds, and so violent the enthusiasm, that in 1732 the authorities closed the cemetery. Voltaire was profoundly affected by this spectacle. and it remained one of his salient examples of religious fanaticism. The ‘convulsionist rabble’ appears onstage in the manuscript version of the opening of chapter 22 (see Appendix 1). but are banished to the wings in subsequent versions of the chapter.
[5] Possibly the Bible; more likely to be a recent history of polar navigation. Histoire des navigations (History of Navigation. 1756) by Charles de Brosses (1709-77), which followed the naturalist Buffon in explaining the presence of marine fossils on mountain tops as evidence of an aboriginal flood. Voltaire tirelessly mocked this theory of origins, which bore so uncomfortable a resemblance to the biblical story of a Flood.
[6] Voltaire attacks the primitivist idea (whether the Christian doctrine of the Fall. or the classical conception of a Golden Age) that man was formerly good and, corrupted by freedom. has since degenerated into the evil state in which he now appears to exist. Voltaire always insisted that the essential character of human beings has persisted unchanged. whatever their histories or cultures.

Chapter 22
[1] Voltaire's target is the Academies which had sprung up in the French provinces, with their enthusiasm for sterile debate (he had in fact been an associate member of the Academy of Bordeaux since 1746). The ‘scholar from the North’ is probably the philosopher and mathematician Pierre-Louis Moreall de Maupertuis (1698-1759). director of the Academy of Berlin. whose Essai de Cosmologie (Essay on Cosmology, 1756) had claimed to represent the laws of creation by a mathematical formula, and whom Voltaire accused of trying to prove the existence of God by algebra.
[2] During the eighteenth century this was the main southern approach to Paris, an impoverished district ‘whose disgusting rusticity offends the eye', as Voltaire remarks elsewhere. Rousseau described in similar terms his first visit to Paris via this Faubourg (Confessions, 1782, Book 1, chapter 159).
[3] This refers to the notorious billets de confession, introduced in 1750, according to which the dying were required to present proof of confession, signed by a priest who had formally accepted the 1713 papal bull Unigenitus (condemning Jansenism as a heresy). Those without a billet could not receive absolution, or be admitted to the last sacraments, or be buried in consecrated ground – all of which Voltaire found abhorrent: ‘I will neither return to Berlin to endure the cruel caprices of a King, nor to Paris to expose myself to its billets de confession’ (letter to the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha, 25 March 1755)·
[4] An abbé was a young man of good breeding who, without being a clergyman, wore a clerical habit in return for a modicum of theological study, in the hope of acquiring an education and a benefice; the Périgord gentry in particular were mocked for their social ambition and impecuniousness.
[5] The play alluded to – and snubbed – is Voltaire's own tragedy, L’Orphelin de la Chine (The Orphan from China, 1755).
[6] In the manuscript, this reference to the Cartesian doctrine of innate ideas was preceded by the sentence: ‘He is someone who esteems Locke.’ Voltaire, the author of the play under question, did indeed esteem John Locke (1632-17°4), who held that ideas are produced by sense-experiences rather than existing prior to all sense-experience (cf. Voltaire's Philosophical Letters, chapter 13).
[7] Here begins the long passage interpolated by Voltaire in 176I. See Note on the Text.
[8] Le Comte d'Essex (1678), by Thomas Corneille (1625-1709).
[9] Candide's whole-hearted view of the stage leads him to confuse stage queens with historical queens.
[10] Adrienne Lecouvreur (1692-1730), a famous actress and close friend of Voltaire, died suddenly in 1730 and was buried by stealth at night in unconsecratedcrated ground, having been refused Christian burial. Actors were automatically excommunicate in France, and were denied last rites unless they had previously repented. Voltaire campaigned at length against this rule, and when the polemic over the excommunication of actors was renewed in 1760, he interpolated this passage into the Parisian chapter.
[11] Elie-Catherine Fréron (1718-76) was a celebrated journalist, a and gifted opponent of the philosophes, a personal enemy of Voltaire and an indefatigable critic of the latter's tragedies. He had reviewed Candide for the Année litteraire on its anonymous first appearance, in 1759, dismissing the possibility that it could have been written by Voltaire.
[12] An actress who had recently played with great success in Voltaire’s tragedy Tancrède (1760). She appears in Candide only from 1761 onwards.
[13] A wealthy district of the city.
[14] A game resembling baccarat, with players competing against the bank. Voltaire did not play cards, but in the mid-1740s he had often accompanied his mistress, Mme du Châtelet, to aristocratic gambling places.
[15] In the game of faro, a paroli is the term for a raised stake; the termination -gnac indicates a Périgord origin (like Balzac's the hostess would seem to be a compatriot as well as an accomplice of the little abbé.
[16] The abbé Gauchat had participated in the campaigns against the philosophes, denounced Helvétius as an ‘impious beast’ and repeatedly ‘refuted’ Voltaire in the course of his Lettres critiques, au Refutation d'ecrits modemes contre la religion (A Refutation of Modem Works Written against Religion) in twelve volumes, 1753-63.
[17] Archdeacon Trublet (1677-1770) was another enemy of the philosophes; and had in addition accused Voltaire"s epic poem La Henriade (The Henriad, 1728) of being boring.
[18] The paragraph as a whole is a defence of Voltaire's ideas on theatre, in response to criticisms of Tancrède.
[19] Such as those of Jean Racine (1639-99).
[20] Such as those of Pierre Corneille (1606-84).
[21] Such as those of Prosper Jolyot, Sieur de Crébillon (1674-1762).
[22] The Jansenists were a party of strict religious reform, who believed in predestination and moral austerity. The Molinists were Jesuits, so named after Luis Molina, a sixteenth-century Jesuit whose views on freedom of the will had been adopted by the order. The controversy referred to here, between Jesuits and Jansenists. concerned the relative importance accorded to free will in the scheme of human salvation. Jansenism was in direct, bitter conflict with the more relaxed theology of the Jesuits, and was always in a minority. By turns accommodated persecuted. Jansenism was finally condemned by the papal bull Unigenitus, though it continued to maintain its hold thereafter. The parlements, or judiciary, comprised of the anti-papal minor aristocracy, were Jansenist in outlook and took sides in religious controversy throughout the century, often against the Church and in favour of weakening the ties between French Catholicism and Rome.
[23] In his Essays in Theodicy, Leibniz justified the existence of ‘apparent defects’ in the fabric of this world, on the grounds that these ‘stains’ enhance the beauty of the whole and procure a greater good.
[24] The episode of Candide's visit to the Marquise de Parolignac, added in 1761, is a parodic version of Saint-Preux's visit to the brothel in Rousseau's Nouvelle Heloise.
[25] The passage which Voltaire interpolated in 1761 ends here. Pre-1761, the transition was effected as follows. After the speech by the ‘argumentative bore’ (above, p. 61), ending ‘tomorrow I'll show you twenty pamphlets written against him', the text continues:

'Sir,’ said the abbé, ‘do you see that young creature over there with the beguiling look and the delicate figure? She would only cost you ten thousand francs a month, and for fifty thousand écus of diamonds you could ...’ – ‘... I could spare her only a day or two,’ replied Candide, ‘because I have a pressing appointment in Venice.’ The next night after supper the sly Périgordian became ever more unctuous and assiduous ...
[26] The abbé is talking in a guarded way about regicides. Robert François Damiens (born in Arras, 1715-57), attempted to stab Louis XV to death in the courtyard of Versailles in January 1757; FrançRavaillac assassinated Henri IV in May 1610, after an earlier attempt on his life had been made in December 1594. Voltaire emphasizes the element of religious fanaticism common to all three attacks, and in the case of Henri IV the conviction that it was right to kill a king who had been excommunicated by the Pope.
[27] The ‘monkeys’ are priests who incite assassins like Damiens and Ravaillac.

Chapter 23
[1] The colonial struggle in North America was at its height during the Seven Years’ War. The conflict concerned an ill-defined frontier region between the French and British colonies, but which controlled access to Canada (and which was to be secured for England in 1763); Voltaire is concerned more with what he sees as the prodigal waste of a long-drawn-out war over ‘a few acres of snow’ than with the consequences, which cost France her American provinces. Voltaire's much-quoted ‘few acres of snow’ were in fact a vast and fertile region; he shared the general indifference towards colonies characteristic of France in the eighteenth century.
[2] Admiral John Byng commanded the British naval forces when they were defeated by the French off the coast of Minorca in 1756. He was court-martialled for insufficiently engaging with the enemy, and on 14 March 1757 was executed by firing squad on his own quarter-deck, in Portsmouth harbour, to satisfy public opinion and City traders. Voltaire had met Byng during his residence in England, was incensed by this injustice and tried to intercede on his behalf.
[3] ‘Pour encourager les autres', the second most famous and most quoted phrase from Candide, which has taken on a life of its own.