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Chapter 23 Summary

“Candide and Martin head for the coast of England. What they see there”

Candide and Martin are on a Dutch ship on their way to England, and Candide bemoans the evils of this world and longs for his beloved Cunégonde. He asks Martin if he knows whether the people of England are as mad as they are in France. Martin tells him the English people suffer from a different kind of madness.

England is a country which fights a war over “a few acres of snow near Canada,” and they are spending more money on this war than what all of Canada is worth. Though he cannot explain their behavior, Martin warns Candide that he is certain to discover what the rest of the world already knows: the English are “splenetic” (easily angered).

They speak of these things until they arrive in Portsmouth, where a large crowd of people have gathered. They are looking attentively at a portly man who is kneeling blindfolded on the deck of one of the ships of the fleet. Four soldiers stand in a line in front of the man and calmly shoot four bullets into the man’s head. The crowd seems content and begins to disperse.

Candide is once again appalled at the cruelties of men in this world. He asks about the man who was shot and is told he...

(The entire section is 460 words.)