|Candide, ou l'Optimisme (1759)
by , translated by Tobias Smollett
|Candide, ou l'Optimisme (1759) is a picaresque novel by the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. Voltaire never openly admitted to having written the controversial Candide; the work is signed with a pseudonym: "Monsieur le docteur Ralph", literally "Mister Doctor Ralph."
Sardonic in outlook, it follows the naïve protagonist Candide from his first exposure to the precept that "all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds," and on through a series of adventures that dramatically disprove that precept even as the protagonist clings to it.
The novel satirizes naïve interpretations of the philosophy of Gottfried Leibniz and is a showcase of the horrors of the 18th century world. In Candide, Leibniz is represented by the philosopher Pangloss, the tutor of the title character. Despite a series of misfortunes and misadventures, Pangloss continually asserts that "Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes possibles" ("All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.").
This edition was translated in the late 18th century.
Table of contents
- Chapter 1. How Candide Was Brought Up in a Magnificent Castle and How He Was Driven Thence
- Chapter 2. What Befell Candide among the Bulgarians
- Chapter 3. How Candide Escaped from the Bulgarians and What Befell Him Afterward
- Chapter 4. How Candide Found His Old Master Pangloss Again and What Happened to Him
- Chapter 5. A Tempest, a Shipwreck, an Earthquake, and What Else Befell Dr. Pangloss, Candide, and James, the Anabaptist
- Chapter 6. How the Portuguese Made a Superb Auto-De-Fe to Prevent Any Future Earthquakes, and How Candide Underwent Public Flagellation
- Chapter 7. How the Old Woman Took Care Of Candide, and How He Found the Object of His Love
- Chapter 8. Cunegund's Story
- Chapter 9. What Happened to Cunegund, Candide, the Grand Inquisitor, and the Jew
- Chapter 10. In What Distress Candide, Cunegund, and the Old Woman Arrive at Cadiz, and Of Their Embarkation
- Chapter 11. The History of the Old Woman
- Chapter 12. The Adventures of the Old Woman Continued
- Chapter 13. How Candide Was Obliged to Leave the Fair Cunegund and the Old Woman
- Chapter 14. The Reception Candide and Cacambo Met with among the Jesuits in Paraguay
- Chapter 15. How Candide Killed the Brother of His Dear Cunegund
- Chapter 16. What Happened to Our Two Travelers with Two Girls, Two Monkeys, and the Savages, Called Oreillons
- Chapter 17. Candide and His Valet Arrive in the Country of El Dorado-What They Saw There
- Chapter 18. What They Saw in the Country of El Dorado
- Chapter 19. What Happened to Them at Surinam, and How Candide Became Acquainted with Martin
- Chapter 20. What Befell Candide and Martin on Their Passage
- Chapter 21. Candide and Martin, While Thus Reasoning with Each Other, Draw Near to the Coast of France
- Chapter 22. What Happened to Candide and Martin in France
- Chapter 23. Candide and Martin Touch upon the English Coast-What They See There
- Chapter 24. Of Pacquette and Friar Giroflee
- Chapter 25. Candide and Martin Pay a Visit to Seignor Pococurante, a Noble Venetian
- Chapter 26. Candide and Martin Sup with Six Sharpers-Who They Were
- Chapter 27. Candide's Voyage to Constantinople
- Chapter 28. What Befell Candide, Cunegund, Pangloss, Martin, etc.
- Chapter 29. In What Manner Candide Found Miss Cunegund and the Old Woman Again
- Chapter 30. Conclusion
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.