Chapter X

In what Distress Candide, Cunegonde, and the old Woman Arrived at Cadiz; and of Their Embarkation

WHO WAS IT that robbed me of my money and jewels?” said Cunegonde, all bathed in tears. “How shall we live? What shall we do? Where find Inquisitors or Jews who will give me more?”

“Alas!” said the old woman, “I have a shrewd suspicion of a reverend Grey Friar, who stayed last night in the same inn with us at Badajos. God preserve me from judging rashly, but he came into our room twice, and he set out upon his journey long before us.”

“Alas!” said Candide, “dear Pangloss has often demonstrated to me that the goods of this world are common to all men, and that each has an equal right to them. But according to these principles the Grey Friar ought to have left us enough to carry us through our journey. Have you nothing at all left, my dear Cunegonde?”

“Not a farthing,” said she.

“What then must we do?” said Candide.

“Sell one of the horses,” replied the old woman. “I will ride behind Miss Cunegonde though I can hold myself only on one buttock and we shall reach Cadiz.”

In the same inn there was a Benedictine prior who bought the horse for a cheap price. Candide, Cunegonde, and the old woman, having passed through Lucena, Chillas, and Lebrixa, arrived at length at Cadiz. A fleet was there getting ready, and troops assembling to bring to reason the reverend Jesuit Fathers of Paraguay, accused of having made one of the native tribes in the neighborhood of San Sacrament revolt against the Kings of Spain and Portugal. Candide having been in the Bulgarian service, performed the military exercise before the general of this little army with so graceful an address, with so intrepid an air, and with such agility and expedition, that he was given the command of a company of foot. Now, he was a captain! He set sail with Miss Cunegonde, the old woman, two valets, and the two Andalusian horses, which had belonged to the grand Inquisitor of Portugal.

During their voyage they reasoned a good deal on the philosophy of poor Pangloss.

“We are going into another world,” said Candide; “and surely it must be there that all is for the best. For I must confess there is reason to complain a little of what passeth in our world in regard to both natural and moral philosophy.”

“I love you with all my heart,” said Cunegonde; “but my soul is still full of fright at that which I have seen and experienced.”

“All will be well,” replied Candide; “the sea of this new world is already better than our European sea; it is calmer, the winds more regular. It is certainly the New World which is the best of all possible worlds.”

“God grant it,” said Cunegonde; “but I have been so horribly unhappy there that my heart is almost closed to hope.”

“You complain,” said the old woman; “alas! you have not known such misfortunes as mine.”

Cunegonde almost broke out laughing, finding the good woman very amusing, for pretending to have been as unfortunate as she.

“Alas!” said Cunegonde, “my good mother, unless you have been ravished by two Bulgarians, have received two deep wounds in your belly, have had two castles demolished, have had two mothers cut to pieces before your eyes, and two of your lovers whipped at an auto-da-fé, I do not conceive how you could be more unfortunate than I. Add that I was born a baroness of seventy-two quarterings—and have been a cook!”

“Miss,” replied the old woman, “you do not know my birth; and were I to show you my backside, you would not talk in that manner, but would suspend your judgment.”

This speech having raised extreme curiosity in the minds of Cunegonde and Candide, the old woman spoke to them as follows.


  1. This "but" should be understood to mean, "I hear what you're saying, but I totally disagree." Cunegonde, remember, has suffered far more than Candide has and has already given up on Pangloss' philosophy. When she says, "I love you with all my heart," it's as if she's saying she can't believe Candide could still believe in that after everything that has happened.

    — Sinead, Owl Eyes Contributor
  2. "Address" in this context should be taken to mean "manner" or form, while "intrepid" means fearless or brave. Recall that back in Chapter II Candide performed his army drills so well that he was considered a hero in the Bulgarian army before he was labeled a deserter and forced to run the gauntlet. Candide's aptitude as a soldier further characterizes him as a follower rather than a freethinker.

    — Sinead, Owl Eyes Contributor
  3. In the 1750s, the Jesuits (members of the Society of Jesus, a male congregation of believers that take vows of poverty and chastity and commit their lives to charity work) undertook a historic mission to Paraguay, where they established a small church, which then started a rebellion against the Portuguese crown.

    — Sinead, Owl Eyes Contributor
  4. A prior is an officer of the Church, typically the official of an abbey or a small congregation. A Benedictine prior is a member and leader of a small group of monks in the Benedictine Order, a Roman Catholic group of monks and nuns dedicated to serving God through good deeds. This prior, unlike the Grey Friar, isn't depicted as corrupt, and likely pays a cheap price for the horse because his abbey isn't very rich.

    — Sinead, Owl Eyes Contributor
  5. Recall that in Chapter IV Pangloss expressed this same belief to the Anabaptist James when he said that private misfortunes increase the general good. It's this kind of thinking, of course, that got Pangloss in trouble with the Inquisition, so it's unwise for Candide to espouse it here.

    — Sinead, Owl Eyes Contributor
  6. Given his status as a brother in the Franciscan Order, a group of Roman Catholic monks, it's likely that the Grey Friar came to pray with the group, but it also seems possible that he snuck into their room while they were resting. Either way, the result is that they're broke and the Grey Friar is corrupt.

    — Sinead, Owl Eyes Contributor
  7. This line is very telling. If Cunegonde really only cared about Candide and being with him, it wouldn't matter that her money and jewels had been stolen and she wouldn't want to find other men like the Grand Inquisitor and Don Issachar to give them to her, so the fact that she does indeed want this suggests that she's more superficial than she lets on and expects a certain level of luxury that Candide can't provide.

    — Sinead, Owl Eyes Contributor