Candide, ou l'optimisme et autres contes

Candide, ou l'optimisme et autres contes

by Voltaire

Paperback(French-language Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9782266199889
Publisher: Distribooks, Inc.
Publication date: 01/28/1998
Series: Pocket Classiques Series
Edition description: French-language Edition
Pages: 303
Product dimensions: 4.30(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Voltaire was the pen name of François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778). He was a French enlightenment writer, philosopher, and historian who loved to attack religion and the institutions of his day with wit and humor.

Read an Excerpt

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.

Table of Contents


Introduction   Johnson Kent Wright     xiii
Translator's Note     xxvii
How Candide was raised in a noble mansion, and how he was driven away     1
What happened to Candide among the Bulgars     4
How Candide saved himself from the Bulgars, and what became of him     7
How Candide met his old philosophy teacher, Doctor Pangloss, and what had happened to him     10
Tempest, shipwreck, earthquake, and what happened to Doctor Pangloss, Candide, and Jacques the Anabaptist     14
How they had a beautiful auto-da-fe in order to put an end to the earthquake, and how Candide was flogged     18
How an old woman took care of Candide and how he got back his beloved     20
Cunegonde's story     22
What happened to Cunegonde, to Candide, to the Grand Inquisitor, and to a Jew     26
In what difficulty Candide, Cunegonde, and the old woman reached Cadiz, and how they boarded a ship     28
The old woman's story     31
More about the old woman's misfortunes     35
How Candide was forced to leave lovely Cunegonde and the old woman     40
How Candide and Cacambo were greeted by the Jesuits of Paraguay     43
How Candide killed his dear Cunegonde's brother     47
What happened to the two travelers with two girls, two monkeys,and the savages known as Oreillons     50
Arrival of Candide and his valet in the land of Eldorado, and what they saw there     55
What they saw in Eldorado     60
How they got to to Surinam, and how Candide came to know Martin     67
What happened at sea to Candide and Martin     74
Candide and Martin approach the French coast and argue     78
What happened to Candide and Martin in France     80
Candide and Martin reach the British coast, and what they see there     94
Paquette and Friar Giroflee     96
Visit to Lord Pococurante, a nobleman of Venice     102
A dinner that Candide and Martin shared with six foreigners, and who they were     109
Candide's journey to Constantinople     114
What happened to Candide, Cunegonde, Pangloss, Martin, etc.     119
How Candide found Cunegonde and the old woman     123
Conclusion     124
Suggested Reading     131

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