Candide Chapter 25
"Visit to the Noble Venetian, Lord Pococurante"
Candide and Martin go to the lavish and ornate palace of Lord Pococurante. He is polite but not friendly. Two young girls serve Candide and Martin chocolate drinks. Pococurante enjoys the sexual favors of the two girls because he finds Venetian women tiresome, but the young girls are starting to bore him as well. In fact, many things bore Lord Pococurante. He finds no pleasure in his art collection, which includes two Raphaels he bought in order to impress people. He thinks music and the opera are tiresome, and he delivers scathing reviews of Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid. He finds little merit in the works of Horace. He only reads for pleasure. Martin agrees with Pococurante. Candide is shocked.
"Candide, who had been taught never to judge everything for himself, was greatly surprised by what he heard[.]" Chapter 25, pg. 122
Pococurante is equally disgusted with the theatre and the sciences. He qualifies his praise of the English and their love for liberty, saying they are too politically passionate. He condemns Milton's Paradise Lost. Candide fears that Pococurante will talk nastily about the German poets. Martin wryly tells Candide this would not be a bad idea.
Though Candide is unnerved by this attack on the classics, he is secretly impressed with Pococurante's cynicism. He thinks Pococurante is a happy man. Martin thinks Pococurante's bored hedonism is a far cry from happiness. Candide thinks happiness can be gained from fault-finding. Martin says this is contradictory.
"'[I]s there not pleasure in criticizing, in finding faults where other men think they see beauty?' 'That is to say,' answered Martin, 'that there is pleasure in not being pleased.'" Chapter 25, pg. 125