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Back to Chapter 15: How Candide Killed the Brother of His Dear Cunegund
French version: Ce Qui Advint Aux Deux Voyageurs Avec Deux Filles, Deux Singes et les Sauvages Nommés Oreillons
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 Andalusia
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 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. Candide was touched with compassion; he had learned to
shoot while he was among the Bulgarians, and he could hit a filbert in
a hedge without touching a leaf. Accordingly he took up his
double-barrelled 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
"Their lovers! Cacambo, you are jesting! It cannot be! I can never
"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
"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 Oreillons 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 Oreillons armed with bows and
arrows, clubs, and hatchets of flint; 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
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, 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, not to use us courteously, and suffer us to depart unhurt."
This speech appeared very reasonable to the Oreillons; 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, 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."
On to Chapter 17: Candide and His Valet Arrive in the Country of El Dorado--What They Saw There