Martin’s speech was not the most consolatory to the dejected Candide. His melancholy increased, and Martin never ceased trying to prove to him that there is very little virtue or happiness in this world; except, perhaps, in El Dorado, where hardly anybody can gain admittance.
While they were disputing on this important subject, and still expecting Cunégonde, Candide perceived a young Theatine friar friar in the Piazza San Marco, with a girl on his arm. The Theatine friar looked fresh-colored, plump, and vigorous; his eyes sparkled; his air and gait were bold and lofty. The girl was pretty, and was singing a song; and every now and then gave her Theatine friar an amorous glance and wantonly pinched his ruddy cheeks.
AYou will at least allow,@ said Candide to Martin, Athat these two are happy. Hitherto I have met with none but unfortunate people in the whole habitable globe, except in El Dorado; but as to this couple, I would venture to bet that they are [email protected]
AWell, we have only to ask them to dine with us,@ said Candide, Aand you will see whether I am mistaken or [email protected]
Thereupon he accosted them and with great politeness invited them to his inn to eat macaroni with
Lombard partridges and caviar and to drink a bottle of Montepulciano, Lacryma Christi, Cyprus, and
Samos wine. The girl blushed; the Theatine friar accepted the invitation and she followed him, eyeing Candide every now and then with a mixture of surprise and confusion, while the tears stole down her cheeks. No sooner did she enter his apartment than she cried out, AHow, Monsieur Candide, have you quite forgot your Daisy? do you not know her [email protected]
Candide had not regarded her with any degree of attention before, being wholly occupied with the thoughts of his dear Cunégonde.
AAh! is it you, child? was it you that reduced Dr. Pangloss to that fine condition I saw him [email protected]
AAlas! sir,@ answered Daisy, Ait was I, indeed. I find you are acquainted with everything; and I have been informed of all the misfortunes that happened to the whole family of My Lady Baroness and the fair Cunégonde. But I can safely swear to you that my lot was no less deplorable; I was innocence itself when you saw me last. A Franciscan, who was my confessor, easily seduced me; the consequences proved terrible. I was obliged to leave the castle some time after the Baron kicked you out by the backside from there; and if a famous surgeon had not taken compassion on me, I had been a dead woman. Gratitude obliged me to live with him some time as his mistress; his wife, who was a very devil for jealousy, beat me unmercifully every day. Oh! she was a perfect fury. The doctor himself was the most ugly of all mortals and I the most wretched creature existing, to be continually beaten for a man whom I did not love. You are sensible, sir, how dangerous it was for an ill-natured woman to be married to a physician. Incensed at the behavior of his wife, he one day gave her so affectionate a remedy for a slight cold she had caught that she died in less than two hours in most dreadful convulsions. Her relations prosecuted the husband, who was obliged to fly, and I was sent to prison. My innocence would not have saved me, if I had not been tolerably handsome. The judge gave me my liberty on condition he should succeed the doctor. However, I was soon supplanted by a rival, turned off without a farthing, and obliged to continue the abominable trade which you men think so pleasing, but which to us unhappy creatures is the most dreadful of all sufferings. At length I came to follow the business at Venice. Ah! sir, did you but know what it is to be obliged to receive every visitor; old tradesmen, counselors, monks, watermen, and abbés; to be exposed to all their insolence and abuse; to be often necessitated to borrow a petticoat, only that it may be taken up by some disagreeable wretch; to be robbed by one customer of what we get from another; to be subject to the extortions of civil magistrates; and to have forever before one’s eyes the prospect of old age, a hospital, or a dunghill, you would conclude that I am one of the most unhappy wretches [email protected]
Thus did Daisy unbosom herself to honest Candide in his room, in the presence of Martin, who took occasion to say to him, AYou see I have half won the wager [email protected] Friar Gillyflower was all this time in the parlor refreshing himself with a glass or two of wine before dinner..
ABut,@ said Candide to Daisy, Ayou looked so gay and contented, when I met you, you sang and caressed the friar with so much fondness, that I absolutely thought you as happy as you say you are now [email protected]
AAh! dear sir,@ said Daisy, Athis is one of the miseries of the trade; yesterday I was stripped and beaten by an officer; yet today I must appear good humored and gay to please a [email protected] Candide was convinced and acknowledged that Martin was in the right. They sat down to table with Daisy and the Theatine friar; the entertainment was agreeable, and towards the end they began to converse together with some freedom.
AFather,@ said Candide to the friar, Ayou seem to me to enjoy a state of happiness that even kings might envy; joy and health are painted in your countenance. You have a pretty wench to divert you; and you seem to be perfectly well contented with your condition as a Theatine [email protected]
AFaith, sir,@ said Friar Gillyflower, AI wish with all my soul the Theatines were every one of them at the bottom of the sea. I have been tempted a thousand times to set fire to the monastery and go and turn Turk. My parents obliged me, at the age of fifteen, to put on this detestable habit only to increase the fortune of an elder brother of mine, whom God confound! Jealousy, discord, and fury reside in our monastery. It is true I often preach sermons, by which I get some money, part of which the prior robs me of, and the remainder helps to pay my girls; but, not withstanding, at night, when I go hence to my monastery, I am ready to dash my brains against the walls of the dormitory; and this is the case with all the rest of our [email protected]
Martin, turning towards Candide, with his usual indifference, said, AWell, what think you now?
have I won the bet [email protected]
Candide gave two thousand piastres to Daisy, and a thousand to Friar Gillyflower, saying, AI will answer that this will make them [email protected]
AI am not of your opinion,@ said Martin, Aperhaps this money will only make them [email protected]
ABe that as it may,@ said Candide, Aone thing comforts me; I see that one often meets with those whom one never expected to see again; so that, perhaps, as I have found my red sheep and Daisy, I may be lucky enough to find Cunégonde [email protected]
AI wish,@ said Martin, Ashe one day may make you happy; but I doubt it [email protected] AYou lack faith,@ said Candide.
AIt is because,@ said Martin, AI have seen the [email protected]
AObserve the gondoliers,@ said Candide, Aare they not perpetually [email protected]
AYou do not see them,@ answered Martin, Aat home with their wives and brats. The Doge has his sorrows, the gondoliers have theirs. In the main, I look upon the gondolier’s life as preferable to that of the
Doge; but the difference is so trifling that it is not worth the trouble of examining [email protected]
AI have heard great talk,@ said Candide, Aof the Senator Pococurante, who lives in that fine house at the Brenta, where, they say, he entertains foreigners in the most polite [email protected]
AThey pretend this man is a perfect stranger to sorrow. I should be glad to see so extraordinary a being,@ said Martin. Candide thereupon sent a messenger to Seignor Pococurante, desiring permission to wait on him the next day.
Chapter 25 – Candide and Martin Pay a Visit to Seignor Pococurante, a Noble Venetian
Candide and his friend Martin took a gondola on the Brenta and arrived at the palace of the noble Pococurante. The gardens were laid out in elegant taste and adorned with fine marble statues; his palace was built after the most approved rules of architecture. The master of the house, who was a man of affairs and very rich, received our two travelers with great politeness but without much ceremony, which somewhat disconcerted Candide but was not at all displeasing to Martin. As soon as they were seated, two very pretty girls, neatly dressed, brought in drinking chocolate, which was extremely well prepared.
Candide could not help praising their beauty and graceful carriage.