Candide, by Voltaire

Chapter V.

How Candide became a very great man, and yet was not contented.

The good of philosophy is its inspiring us with a love for our fellow-creatures. Paschal is almost the only philosopher who seems desirous to make us hate our neighbors. Luckily Candide had not read Paschal, and he loved the poor human race very cordially. This was soon perceived by the upright part of the people. They had always kept at a distance from the pretended legates of heaven, but made no scruple of visiting Candide and assisting him with their counsels. He made several wise regulations for the encouragement of agriculture, population, commerce, and the arts. He rewarded those who had made any useful experiments; and even encouraged such as had produced some essays on literature.

“When the people in my province are in general content,” said he with a charming candor, “possibly I shall be so myself.” Candide was a stranger to mankind; he saw himself torn to pieces in seditious libels and calumniated in a work entitled “The Friend to Mankind.” He found that while he was laboring to make people happy he had only made them ungrateful. “Ah,” cried Candide, “how hard it is to govern these beings without feathers, which vegetate on the earth! Why am I not still in Propontis, in the company of Master Pangloss, Miss Cunegund, the daughter of Pope Urban X., with only one cushion, Brother Giroflée, and the most luscious Pacquette!”

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 18:24