Candide Chapter 26
"How Candide and Martin Supped With Six Strangers and Who They Were"
Martin and Candide go to dinner with some guests from their hotel. Candide is pulled aside by Cacambo. He tells Candide he is the servant to one of the guests, and that Cunégonde is in Constantinople. Candide is overwhelmed and overjoyed.
Even more terrific is the novelty of dining with the six guests who turn out to be dethroned kings. Of great note to Candide was how royalty could be cast off and suffer such absurd and humiliating circumstances. Fate was cruel to everyone, it seemed, and these men had taken particularly hard falls. A servant tells one of the kings that his credit is no longer good at the hotel. The servant then deserts him. The other deposed kings offer the king a bit of money, but Candide gives the king a diamond. Candide's generosity, despite his lowly status, surprises the rest of the kings. A group of queens who met similar fates enter the restaurant as Candide leaves the table. He thinks only of Cunégonde.