Book Notes Chapter 27 Notes from Candide

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Candide Chapter 27

"Candide's Voyage to Constantinople"

Cacambo secures passage to Constantinople for Candide and Martin on the Sultan Achmet's boat. Candide and Martin must kneel before "his miserable highness" (132) as they board, even though he has been dethroned. En route, Candide reflects on the remarkable dinner he and Martin had with the six dethroned kings. Considering someone like himself can be charitable to a king, Candide concludes that things are, for him at least, going well. Besides, he was on his way to see Cunégonde. Candide is inclined to agree, once again, with Pangloss. All is well, after all. Martin is, as always, impassive; he sees nothing extraordinary in the kings' stories, considering what he and Candide have already been through.

Candide learns that Cunégonde and the old woman are servants for a poor dethroned prince, and that both the Governor of Buenos Aires and a pirate took all of Cacambo's gold and jewels from Eldorado. Even worse, Cunégonde was now ugly. Candide proclaims he will love her anyway. He feels loyal to her. But he does think it a shame that she has lost her looks. Considerably deflated by the prospect of an anticlimactic reunion, Candide's mood turns sour. He asks Martin who is to be pitied more, one of the dethroned kings or himself. Martin replies that it is impossible for him to know. Candide thinks that Pangloss would know if he were still alive.

"'I do not know,' said Martin, 'what scales your Pangloss would use to weigh the misfortunes of men and to estimate their sufferings. All I presume is that there are millions of men on earth a hundred times more to be pitied than King Charles Edward, the Emperor Ivan, and the Sultan Achmet.'" Chapter 27, pg. 134

Topic Tracking: Optimism 16

Candide buys Cacambo's freedom from the sultan. They arrive at the Black Sea and Candide, Martin, and Cacambo catch a ride on a galley ship to the shores of Propontis, a sea in Turkey, to find Cunégonde even though she is ugly.

Two of the galley rowers get beaten often. Candide recognizes them as Pangloss and the Baron's son. Like most of the miraculous reunions that occur in Candide, this one is ecstatic and exaggerated.

The Baron's son shows no hard feelings toward Candide for stabbing him, while Candide addresses Pangloss as the most profound metaphysician in Germany, slightly revising Pangloss's earlier title as "the greatest philosopher in the province, and therefore the whole world" (Chapter 1, pg. 5).

Noticing the reverence with which Candide addresses Pangloss and the Baron's son, the Levantine captain inflates the price of their freedom to fifty thousand sequins. They soon reach Constantinople. Candide sells two of his diamonds, and the group of five set out to fetch Cunégonde.

Topic Tracking: Flawed Logic 12
Topic Tracking: Hypocrisy 14
Topic Tracking: Pride 7

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