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Candide, ou l'Optimisme  (1759) 
by Voltaire, translated by Tobias Smollett

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.

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Grateful acknowledgment is made to E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.,
New York, for permission to reprint Dr. Smollett's translation in the
special revision by James Thornton, as published in Everyman's Library.

Manufactured in the U. S. A.


CHAPTER I. How Candide Was Brought Up in a Magnificent Castle, and How He Was Driven Thence 7
CHAPTER II. What Befell Candide Among the Bulgarians 10
CHAPTER III. How Candide Escaped from the Bulgarians, and What Befell Him Afterwards 13
CHAPTER IV. How Candide Found His Old Master in Philosophy, Dr. Pangloss, Again, and What Happened to Them 16
CHAPTER V. A Tempest, a Shipwreck, an Earthquake; and What Else Befell Dr. Pangloss, Candide, and James, the Anabaptist 20
CHAPTER VI. How the Portuguese Made a Superb Auto-De-Fé to Prevent Any Future Earthquakes, and How Candide Underwent Public Flagellation 23
CHAPTER VII. How the Old Woman Took Care Of Candide, and How He Found the Object of His Love 25
CHAPTER VIII. The History of Cunegund 28
CHAPTER IX. What Happened to Cunegund, Candide, the Grand Inquisitor, and the Jew 31
CHAPTER X. In What Distress Candide, Cunegund, and the Old Woman Arrive at Cadiz, and Of Their Embarkation 34
CHAPTER XI. The History of the Old Woman 37
CHAPTER XII. The Adventures of the Old Woman Continued 40
CHAPTER XIII. How Candide Was Obliged to Leave the Fair Cunegund and the Old Woman 44
CHAPTER XIV. The Reception Candide and Cacambo Met with Among the Jesuits in Paraguay 47
CHAPTER XV. How Candide Killed the Brother of His Dear Cunegund 51
CHAPTER XVI. What Happened to Our Two Travellers with Two Girls, Two Monkeys, and the Savages, Called Oreillons 54
CHAPTER XVII. Candide and His Servant Arrive in the Country of El Dorado. What They Saw There 59
CHAPTER XVIII. What They Saw in the Country of El Dorado 63
CHAPTER XIX. What Happened to Them at Surinam, and How Candide Became Acquainted with Martin 69
CHAPTER XX. What Befell Candide and Martin on Their Voyage 74
CHAPTER XXI. Candide and Martin, While Thus Reasoning with Each Other, Draw Near to the Coast of France 77
CHAPTER XXII. What Happened to Candide and Martin in France 79
CHAPTER XXIII. Candide and Martin Touch Upon the English Coast; What They Saw There 90
CHAPTER XXIV. Of Pacquette and Friar Giroflée 92
CHAPTER XXV. Candide and Martin Pay a Visit to Signor Pococurante, a Noble Venetian 97
CHAPTER XXVI. Candide and Martin Sup with Six Strangers; and Who They Were 103
CHAPTER XXVII. Candide’s Voyage to Constantinople 107
CHAPTER XXVIII. What Befell Candide, Cunegund, Pangloss, Martin, &c. 111
CHAPTER XXIX. In What Manner Candide Found Cunegund and the Old Woman Again 114
CHAPTER XXX. Conclusion 116

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.