Chapter 15 Summary
“How Candide killed the brother of his beloved Cunégonde”
The commandant will never forget the day the Bulgars raided his father’s castle and he saw his parents killed and his sister raped. When the Bulgars finally left the castle, Cunégonde was gone. The commandant was in a cart with other butchered bodies from the castle, including his parents’, and taken away to be buried in a Jesuit chapel. One of the Jesuits threw some holy water on the bodies; it was salty and it made the commandant’s eyes twitch. The Jesuit noticed the movement and rescued the boy. Within three weeks, the commandant was healed and had no trace of injury.
He was always a handsome boy and grew even more handsome over time; Reverend Father Croust began to feel a “tender friendship” for him and gave him the robes of a novice. Soon after, he was sent to Rome. The Jesuit fathers of Paraguay do not like to hire Spanish Jesuits, so a German Jesuit was in demand. He and two others soon started their journey to Paraguay, and upon his arrival the young baron was appointed a subdeaconship and a lieutenancy. Now he is a colonel and a priest and he and the others are preparing to battle the Spanish troops. They are glad to have Candide here to assist them.
Then, the commandant asks about Cunégonde, and they both weep again to think that she is so close to them. The young baron hugs Candide and says perhaps they will ride victoriously together into Buenos Aires and reclaim Cunégonde. When Candide says that it his dearest wish and he will marry her immediately, the commandant suddenly calls him an “insolent rascal” for daring to think he is worthy to marry a baroness. Candide trembles when he hears this, but he tells the commandant that his desire to marry Cunégonde has nothing to do with her lineage or his. He has ripped her from the evil clutches of a Jew and an inquisitor and she is therefore quite indebted to him. More importantly, Cunégonde wants to marry him. Pangloss always taught that all men are equal, and Candide is intent on marrying her.
The Jesuit Baron of Thunder-ten-Tronckh roars at this insolence and hits Candide across the face with the flat of his sword. Candide immediately draws his sword and stabs the commandant deep in his stomach. As he pulls the bloody blade out, though, he begins to weep and repent of killing his former friend, master, and brother of his future wife.