Download Candide Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Chapter 9 Summary

“What became of Cunégonde, Candide, the Grand Inquisitor, and a Jew”

Don Issacar is irate when he sees that Cunégonde is not alone when he arrives. He begins yelling at her, telling her that she is a harlot. Sharing her with an inquisitor is demeaning enough, and now he must also share her with “this rogue.” As he speaks, Issacar draws the long sword he always carries with him and throws himself at Candide, believing the younger man is unarmed. The old woman, however, had given Candide a fine sword along with his new clothes. Though he has a sweet disposition, Candide draws his sword and, in an instant, Issacar is lying on the tiles at Cunégonde’s feet.

The lady is distraught, worried that a man has been murdered in her house; she is sure that if the authorities come, they will all “be finished.” Candide is sorry that Pangloss is not here to give them good advice in this extreme circumstance, for he was always a grand philosopher. Since Pangloss is not here, Candide says they must consult the old woman.

The old woman is very wise and had just begun to give the young couple her opinion when another little door opens. It is an hour past midnight, an hour into Sunday, the inquisitor’s day to visit. His Imminence enters the room and this is what he sees: Candide, whom he had ordered to be flogged, with a sword in his hand; a dead man stretched out on the floor; a terrified Cunégonde; and an old woman giving advice.

Candide thinks many things at once, including the fact that if the Grand Inquisitor is allowed to call for help, he will certainly order that both Candide and Cunégonde be burned. This man is...

(The entire section is 596 words.)