3.5 44
by Voltaire

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Distinguished translator Burton Raffel captures the irreverent spirit of Candide and renders the novel in clear, vivacious English. Stylistically superior to all predecessors, Raffel's version now stands as the translation of choice for twenty-first-century readers.\  See more details below


Distinguished translator Burton Raffel captures the irreverent spirit of Candide and renders the novel in clear, vivacious English. Stylistically superior to all predecessors, Raffel's version now stands as the translation of choice for twenty-first-century readers.\

Editorial Reviews

For nearly 250 years, readers have been tracking the ill-fated career of the inveterate Westphalian optimist Candide. Voltaire's brisk satire on the belief systems and institutions of his day still retains its verve because the 18th-century French philosopher never allows the fervency of his ideas to impinge on his sly tale.

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B&R Samizdat Express
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Chapter Three

How Candide escaped from among the Bulgars,
and what became of him

Nothing was as beautiful, smart, dazzling, or well ordered as the two armies. The trumpets, fifes, oboes, drums, and cannons created a harmony such as never existed in Hell. First of all, the cannons struck down almost six thousand men on each side. Then the muskets removed from the best of worlds between nine and ten thousand rogues infecting its surface. The bayonet was also the sufficient reason for the death of several thousand men. The total might well have come to some thirty thousand souls. Candide, trembling like a philosopher, hid himself as best he could during this heroic butchery.

Finally, while the two kings had the Te Deum sung, each in his camp, Candide decided to go elsewhere to reason over effects and causes. Climbing over heaps of dead and dying men, he arrived at a neighboring village that lay in ashes: it was an Avar village that the Bulgars had burnt down in accordance with the principles of international law. Old men covered in wounds watched their butchered wives die clasping their infants to their bleeding breasts. Girls who had been disemboweled after having sated the natural needs of some of the heroes were breathing their last. Others, covered in burns, were begging to be put out of their misery. Brains were splattered on the ground alongside severed arms and legs.

Candide fled as fast as he could to another village. This one belonged to the Bulgars, and the Avar heroes had treated it the same way. Stepping over palpitating limbs and climbing over ruins, Candide, carrying a few provisions in his bag, finally managed to get out of the theater of war, never forgetting Mademoiselle Cunégonde. His provisions ran out when he reached Holland, but having heard that everyone in that country was rich and Christian, he did not doubt that he would be treated as well as he had been at the castle of His Lordship the Baron before he was driven from it on account of Mademoiselle Cunégonde’s beautiful eyes.

He asked for alms from several grave personages, all of whom replied that if he continued plying this trade he would be locked up in a house of correction, where he would be taught how to work for a living.
Then he approached a man who had just addressed a big crowd for a whole hour on the topic of charity.
The orator eyed him suspiciously and asked, "What are you doing here? Did you come for the Good Cause?"

"There is no effect without a cause," Candide replied modestly. "Everything is necessarily interconnected and arranged for the best. I had to be driven out of the presence of Mademoiselle Cunégonde, run the gauntlet, and beg for bread until I can earn my own. All this could not be otherwise."

"My friend," the orator said, "do you believe that the Pope is the Antichrist?"

"I have never yet heard that he is," Candide replied. "But whether he is the Antichrist or not, I need bread."

"You don’t deserve any," the orator said. "Go away, you rogue, you wretch! Don’t come near me again as long as you live!"

The orator’s wife poked her head out the window and, seeing the man who doubted that the Pope was the Antichrist, poured out on his head a chamber pot full of ...

Merciful Heaven! To what excess ladies will carry the zeal of religion!

A man who had not been baptized, a good Anabaptist by the name of Jacques, saw the cruel and disgraceful manner in which one of his brothers, a featherless, two-legged being with a soul, was being treated.* He took him to his place, washed him, gave him bread and beer, made him a gift of two florins, and even wanted to teach him to work in his factory, which manufactured Persian fabrics in Holland. Candide almost prostrated himself before him, exclaiming, "Doctor Pangloss had told me that everything is for the best in this world. I am infinitely more moved by your extreme generosity than by the severity of that man in the black cloak and his wife."

The following day, Candide was out walking when he came across a beggar covered in pustules. He had lifeless eyes, a nose that was rotting away, a mouth that was twisted, black teeth, and a rasping voice. He coughed violently, spitting out a tooth every time.

* The Anabaptists were an extreme Protestant sect that did not believe in infant baptism–in their view only adult baptism was valid. They believed in absolute social and religious equality. "A featherless, two-legged being" is a humorous reference to Plato’s definition of man.

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Candide 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Candide' well deserves the title of social satire. The first five chapters allude to the quixoticness of the elite during Voltaire's time. Candides position as a philosopher is amusing in several instances...consider the scene where Candide hides from the's a philosopher pondering reality as he steps over cadavers and carcasses, then to make things worse, he ignores the secular beliefs of the people, eventually insulting sanctity itself... 'Candide' deserves to be read over and over again. Ultimatly it's relevance towards our society, even our political structure maintains a sharp, knife-like truth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Strange little story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read for anyone interested in history and philosophy
Anonymous 9 months ago
Name: Xia Chiver Gender: agen<_>der/nonbi<_>nary, dmab Age: seventeen, bday is August 11 Parents: godly parent is goddess Hekate/Hecate, father is dead Living family: adopted sister but no living blood family Personality: friendly but can be sarcastic sometimes. Fears: death and dying Fatal flaw: overprotective and sometimes frantic in battle Looks: -height: about 5'6" -build: average frame with mostly lean muscles, not bulky -skin: olive-colored n unusual pale freckles all over their body -scars: one main thin jagged scar beginning at their collarbone and ending down their chest, and smaller ones dotted across their arms, stomach, and chest -hair: cropped short and wavy, originally black but is now dyed blue and turquoise -eyes: dark brown -normal wear: casual is usually light wash jeans with a plain three quarter sleeve shirt and sometimes a vest, plus flats usually. Battle/exercise wear is usually dark jeans tucked into combat boots with a simple t-shirt and sweater jacket Likes: reading, singing, wit<_>chcraft, etc Dislikes: closeminded people, people who are mean to their friends Weapons: they tend to be able to use any general weapon well, but usually relies on instinct and hand-to-hand combat in battles Additional info: Xia was born a male but is nonb<_>inary/agen<_>der, so use they/them pronouns, not she/her or he/him because that's misgen<_>dering. If you misge<_>nder Xia, I will give you one more chance to correct yourself then I just won't respond anymore. If its an accident, however, you're good
Anonymous 11 months ago
Name: Loise.<P> Gender: female.<P> age: 14<P> height: 5'04".<P>Weight: a delicate subject.<P> Looks: Glasses, gray-green eyes, and long light brown hair always pulled into a ponytail. Usually wears some kind of funny tee shirt with jeans and hi-top boots.<P> Godly parent: Athena.<P> Personality: Very shy, quiet but caring.<P> Realationship: not really looking for one, but if someone likes her and she likes him, shell consider it.<P> Theme song: cool kids by echosmith.<P> other rpgs: Werewolf rpg at fangs, leaffclan at little village, skyclan at sky.<P> RPer: Seqyn &starf
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is at 'nero' result 7
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mehhhhhh. <p> -Name- <br> Silviana Witscher-Renard, informerly known as Silva. <p> -Age- <br> 9+10. Is not 21. *facepalm* <p> -Se<_>x//Gender- <br> Born interse<_>x//Identifies as female. <p> -Family- <br> Mother; Fortuna, Greek Goddess of Fortune. [ Never coulda guessed. ] <br> Father; Unknown. <br> Siblings; Unknown. <br> Other; Unknown. <p> -Race- <br> Finnish. <p> -Appearance- <br> Silva's an average kid. Though her birth details otherwise, she isn't very androgenous. She generally keeps her natural hair color, a dull golden-brown, but it's in an undercut, rarely without one of those feather clip-thingies. Her one visible eye is a bright green, whereas the other is hidden under a medical eyepatch, which she attempts to hide under the long half of her hair. <br> Apparel-wise, she sticks with dark colours: black, grey, indigo, forest green, etc. No pastel - Ever. Besides that, she just wears whatever. I won't specify unless it's important, for whatever reason. One thing that always stays, though, is a pair of fingerless gloves. They hide her hands, and serve some sort of sentimental purpose. <br> The rest of her is quite unnotable. Average height, average weight, stuck between toned and tubby, blah. <p> -Persona- <br> Silva's an interesting character, to say the least. She's pretty isolated in the sense that she sees the world differently than what society shows the masses. Like the main character of that book Mockingbird, she takes things in her head to another level that most people bypass. For instance, she's prone to taking up random snarky conversations with potential ax mu<_>rderers, but does not call anyone 'friend.' <br> In the early stages of her life, she was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, which is the main fuel of her unbecoming smart-as<_>sery. But it also induces violent fits, that end very, very badly. She does not remember these outbursts. <br> Besides that, she's cool, I guess. A backup shoulder to cry on. Someone who always has advice to dispense. She's not good with emotions, though. <p> -Weaponry- <br> Note that Silva is no longer an active fighter. However, she's quite good with hand-to-hand combat, and there is a semi-automatic pi<_>stol in her possession, along with a pair of Ranger's knives. [ Not expecting anyone to get that reference. ] <p> -History- <br> Barf. Don't ask. <p> -Likes//Dislikes- <br> Stuff. <p> -Relationship Status- <br> Hah. Ha ha. Very funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lucian "Ben" Thanders, a slightly rotund boy of fourteen, distances himself from his father. His cheery and mild disposition and lack of menace makes him an unlikely son of Hades. He likes to bribe bank tellers in his spare time. He picked up that unforunate but useful habit at age twelve, four years after e ran away from home. He has nice, long brown hir, because he uses lots of conditioner. But that's a trade secret.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full name Halcyon "Hallie" Audrey Sibley Age 15 Gender Female Hometown Vancouver, BC, Canada Godly parent Undetermined Mortal parent Robson Sibley Size 1.6 metres, slim build Appearance Brown, slightly blonde hair, blue-brown eyes, slightly pale skin with some freckles, looks slightly amused, smiles with her eyes Clothing Usually wears denim shorts and tank tops (or dorky t-shirts) with birkenstocks in the summer and jeans or leggings with short boots and ski sweaters in the winter. Sports/hobbies On the school ski racing team, cross-country and track teams, and swim team. Also plays ultimate and soccer for fun. On a rock climbing team. Personality Fiercely competitive with friends, serious about school and athletics, craves challenge. A realist who follows world news. Miscellany Can't stand drama, alternates between procrastination and intense work, never gets sick, gets good grades, hates missed opportunities. Used to play hockey, but violin got in the way. Theme song Shostakovich 5th symphony finale, conducted by Bernstein. Or anything by Ellie Goulding.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alastrine De'Lamata<p>&female<p>130 years[looks 16]<p>Wolf Anthro<p>Daughter of Lupa, goddess of wolves<p>Pure white hair that is always in a long braid down her back and reaches her waist; piercing, icy blue eyes; slightly pale skin; extra skinny[like, skin tight] white jeans and a white cami; has a white wolf tail and white wolf ears; sometimes wears a white cloak with a hood over her head; has sharp fangs; 5'5 tall; very slender and pretty.<p>Claws, teeth, hands, feet, dagger, bow and arrows<p>Can turn into a wolf<p>Likes wolves, sunshine, full moons, friends<p>Dislikes darkness, salad, spiders<p>&#10023 &#8491&ell&#229&#167&#359&pi&iota&#565&epsilon &#10023<p>Theme Song is Strong by Kelly Clarkson<p>Anything else, ask or find out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[ I will make a longer one eventually. -,- ] <br> Oona is a young girl who was born deaf. Her features are sharp and defined, her soul appears to live in her cobalt eyes. She can occasionally speak using just her expressions, but usually uses paper to communicate. Her default state is shy, gentle; she rarely shows anger. The girl wears a plain hooded tunic and a pair of headphones, which oftentimes blare Skrillex. Although she can obviously not hear it, she finds the vibrations soothing. More about her G.P./M.P. later, as well as a few other things. I'm just lazy/lack knowledge about a lesser known godly parent that would suit her. Dx
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Syren Sinsky <p> Gender: &female <p> Age: 15 <p> Birthday: March 1, 2000 <p> Birthplace: Asheville, North Carolina <p> Godly Parent: Athena <p> Mortal Parent: Mark Sinsky {Deceased} <p> Appearance: <br> - Hair - It is a sandy blonde, styled in a choppy bun, reaching down to her chin. <br> - Eyes - Her eyes are a stormy gray, always seeming to swirl and shift, never readable. <br> - Skin - She has semi-tanned skin with scars nearly everywhere. <br> - Build - She is tall, standing at 5'9", and has a lithe frame. <p> Weapon: She has a long single-edged hunting knife with is a mix of celestial bronze and silver. <p> Powers: Unless supersmarts and leadership count, no. <p> Status: Happily in a relationship with Beckham. &hearts <p> History: Long and volatile. She only tells people she trusts. <p> Fears: Spiders, Insanity, and Blindness <p> RPer: H&#65430
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the longest 77 page book I have had to slog through. Read it as part of a reading challenge; it was challenging alright. If you have often wondered what makes one book &quot;literature,&quot; and others just books, you will be wondering why this is literature. Yes, I KNOW it was supposed to be satire.
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