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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
CHAPTER 25 - Visit to the noble Venetian, Lord Pococurante
Pococurante, a Venetian nobleman lives in his magnificent palace on the Brenta. He is very rich and is about sixty years of age. He receives Candide and Martin with polite indifference. He likes only naturalistic paintings. He finds modern French music difficult and tiring. He considers Opera to be a mixture of bad tragedy, stupid songs, and effeminate heroes. Candide asks his views on the splendidly bound books in his library. Pococurante does not have a good opinion about the renowned works like Homerís Odyssey; Virgilís Aeneid and Horaceís Satires and Odes or even Miltonís Paradise Lost. According to him, the academy of science produces only theories and no inventions. He considers plays and sermons worthless and the writings of Italian writers restricted. They write only what the Dominican monks permit them to write. The English are comparatively liberal but they are corrupted by party politics. He thinks it is foolish to admire everything in a writer. He says that it is the personís own opinion that really matters. Candide admires this attitude.
Pococurante is a very wealthy man. He has never known sorrow but he is bored. Voltaire is trying to tell us that the rich do not suffer from scarcity. So they do not do any work. They do not know the satisfaction and fulfillment one gets from work. They are bored of their day to day luxuries, which become a mere routine things for them.
In this chapter, Voltaire refers to great people like Raphael, Homer, Virgil, Horace, Cicero, and Milton. Raphael Sanzio was an Italian painter (1583-1520). His masterpieces were commissioned for the Vatican.
Homer (9 th century BC) was the author of Iliad and Odyssey. These are epics relating to the exploits of God and men in the Trojan War. Virgil (70-19 BC). His most famous work is Aeneid. In it he wrote about the foundation of Rome by Aeneas of Troy, and the Roman unification under Agustus Caesar.
Horace (65 to 8 BC) was a Roman poet who extolled the virtues of moderation and simplicity through his Odes, Epistles, and Satires.
Cicero was a Roman orator and a politician (106-43 BC).
Milton was an English poet (1608-74 AD). His epics Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained show conflict between good and evil.
Pococuranteís views on art are similar to Voltaireís. Both admire realism, simplicity, and usefulness. Voltaire is trying to emphasize that oneís own opinion is more important than other peopleís opinion.
Most of us disagree with Pococuranteís views on the Greek and Latin classics and Miltonís Paradise Lost, which is a grand epic.
Pococurante is critical of Italians who dare not speak against the Jacobians. The Jacobians belong to the Dominican order of the Catholic Church. He is annoyed with the English who write only in favor of the Whig party or the Tory party in spite of being democratic themselves.
CHAPTER 26 - How Candide and Martin supped with six strangers and who they were
One evening Candide and Martin meet Cacambo at supper. Candide is overjoyed and embraces him. He inquires about Cunégonde. Cacambo informs him that she is in Constantinople and they must leave after supper. There are strangers at the table. Each stranger is addressed as "Your Majesty." It appears that the sixth one is in debt. His servant warns him that they both may be arrested for debt.
Candide is surprised as he inquires how all of them could be kings. It turns out that all of them have been kings at a certain period of time but have lost their thrones for various reasons. Candide says that he does not wish to be king. He does not even notice the arrival of four more Highnesses who are referred to as "Most Serene Highnesses." He only wants to meet Cunégonde.
In this chapter Voltaire has used satire on kings. He is depicting the pathetic condition these great people can fall into. They have lost their power and kingdom. One of them is likely to be arrested for debt along with his servant. Voltaire indulges in mockery when the kings are addressed as ĎYour Majesty.í He indulges in further mockery when four more Highnesses are addressed as "Most Serene Highnesses."
It can be noted that the six kings depicted earlier in this chapter were actually historical kings. The scene of so many dethroned kings at the same table in comic and brilliantly depicted. At the same time it is extremely satirical. The kings have submitted to Godís Providence, but Voltaire suggests that God is not bothered about their fate.
Like in many other chapters, here too, chance or co-incident plays an important role. Candide and Martin suddenly meet Cacambo. This is unexpected. The all-pervading and pre- dominant thought in Candideís mind is the thought of Cunégonde. His quest is to meet her and achieve her.