We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Voltaire

Candide Chapter 22 Summary

  • Candide and Martin travel toward Venice. Candide wants to make a detour to Paris since he has heard it praised (except by Martin, who hates everything).
  • Candide feels a little sick from his journey. Because everyone can see that he’s rich, attendees quickly surround him to treat his illness.
  • Because their medicine involves making Candide vomit and bleed, he becomes gradually sicker before ultimately recovering.
  • Candide gambles and is astounded when he loses. Martin is not at all surprised.
  • Candide goes to the theater and meets an Abbé (the French word for abbot). He asks him how many "theatrical pieces" exist in France.
  • The Abbé tells him there are about five or six thousand ("Wow!" says Candide) and that about fifteen are good ("Wow!" says Martin).
  • Meanwhile, one of the actresses, a Mademoiselle Clairon, reminds Candide of Cunégonde.
  • The Cunégonde look-alike impresses him, and the Abbé offers to introduce him to her.
  • When that doesn’t work (Clairon was either busy or uninterested), the Abbé arranges for Candide and Martin to meet another woman called the Marchioness of Parolignac. (Note: at least one edition calls her the Marchioness of Doublestakesworth.)
  • Candide gambles and is not concerned with his substantial loss of money.
  • Over dinner, a scholar discusses literature and, in particular, tragedies. He tells us what makes great literature so great. This is interesting, and we suggest you flag this page in your book.
  • Candide, after some inquiry, finds out that the scholar is brilliant and wrote a book that didn’t sell so well. Candide declares him a wonderful man, a "second Pangloss."
  • Candide asks the scholar his opinion on the goodness of the universe. The scholar responds that he finds that things exist in a perpetual state of annoyance and disagreement with one another.
  • Martin and Candide exchange more philosophical banter about whether absolute necessity is compatible with free will.
  • The Marchioness of Parolignac seduces Candide, despite his stated dedication to Cunégonde. Sex follows.
  • After the sex, the Marchioness praises Candide’s rings (which were part of the mass of treasure he brought from El Dorado); Candide allows her to keep them.
  • The Abbé, who is a conniving fraud, pries Candide for information about Cunégonde. He forges a letter from Cunégonde to Candide, informing Candide that she is in France.
  • When Candide receives the letter, he immediately leaves for her supposed hotel. Once in Cunégonde’s room, an officer arrives and threatens to arrest them.
  • Quickly, Martin and Candide realize they’ve been set up.
  • Candide bribes the officer with some diamonds. Since bribes seem to be working, he gets the officer’s brother to arrange a ship to England.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...