Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 743
“What happened to Candide, Cunégonde, Pangloss, Martin, et cetera”
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Again Candide apologizes to the Jesuit baron for driving his sword through his belly; the baron forgives him, saying perhaps he, too, had been rash. He arrived in the galley ship after an interesting series of events.
After he had been stabbed, one of his Jesuit brothers, an apothecary, healed his wound. He was then attacked by a Spanish contingency and abducted by them before being imprisoned in Buenos Aires after Cunégonde had left the city. The young baron asked to be returned to the Father General in Rome where he served as the almoner to the French Ambassador in Constantinople.
He had only been in this position for a week when he met a very handsome young page from the sultan’s palace one evening. It was quite hot and the young page wanted to bathe; the former Jesuit officer also decided to bathe. He did not know that it was a capital offense for a Christian to be caught naked with a young Muslim. His punishment was a hundred strokes with a stick on the soles of his feet and then he was sentenced to work in the galleys. The baron feels this was an unparalleled injustice and wonders why his sister is working in the kitchen of a Transylvanian nobleman who is living among the Turks.
Candide asks Pangloss how he managed to survive his hanging. After he was hanged, Pangloss should have been burned, according to tradition; however, there was a downpour just as they were preparing to cook him. It was such a strong storm that they were afraid to light the fire, so they settled on mere hanging. His body was purchased by a surgeon who took him home and dissected him. His first incision was from his navel to his clavicle.
The hanging was very poorly done, as the Executor of the High Offices of the Holy Inquisition was an expert at burning people but not accustomed to hanging. The rope was wet and did not slide properly, so Pangloss was still breathing. The incision made him howl so loudly that the surgeon fell over. He assumed he was dissecting the Devil and ran away in mortal terror. The surgeon’s wife heard the commotion and came running. She was even more terrified and ran away until she tripped over her husband who had fallen down the stairs.
After they had recovered a bit, the wife scolded her husband for trying to dissect a heretic, as everyone knows the Devil resides in them. When she went to get a priest to exorcise him, Pangloss gathered his strength and shouted for someone to take pity on him. Finally a barber gathered his courage and sewed Pangloss up; the barber's wife took care of the wounded philosopher. Pangloss soon got a position as lackey to a Knight of Malta who was going to Venice; however, the man could not pay him and Pangloss became valet to a Venetian merchant and traveled with him to Constantinople.
One day, he entered a mosque where there was only an old imam and a pretty young worshipper saying her prayers. Her bosom was exposed, and between her breasts was a beautiful bouquet of flowers. She dropped the bouquet, and Pangloss picked it up and respectfully put it back. It took him so long to do this that the imam grew angry, saw that he was a Christian, and called for help.
Pangloss was given a hundred blows to the soles of his feet and sent to the galleys. He was chained next to the baron, and the other prisoners told them both that such things happen here every day. The baron claimed his injustice was worse than Pangloss’s, but the philosopher averred that replacing a bouquet between a woman’s breasts was a lesser offense than being completely naked with a page. They argued ceaselessly over this matter every day and regularly received twenty lashes with the whip until Candide was guided here by the universe to save them.
Candide asks Pangloss if, after all of the horrible things which have happened to him, he still believes that everything is for the best in the world. Pangloss claims he is a philosopher, and he still holds to that opinion because it would be improper of him to recant. “Preestablished harmony is the most beautiful thing in the world,” he says.