Candide Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph) We used the translation found on Project Gutenberg.
"I had not always bleared eyes and red eyelids; neither did my nose always touch my chin; nor was I always a servant. I am the daughter of Pope Urban X, and of the Princess of Palestrina. Until the age of fourteen I was brought up in a palace, to which all the castles of your German Barons would scarcely have served for stables; and one of my robes was worth more than all the magnificence of Westphalia. As I grew up I improved in beauty, wit, and every graceful accomplishment, in the midst of pleasures, hopes, and respectful homage. Already I inspired love. My throat was formed, and such a throat! white, firm, and shaped like that of the Venus of Medici; and what eyes! what eyelids! What black eyebrows! such flames darted from my dark pupils that they eclipsed the scintillation of the stars—as I was told by the poets in our part of the world. My waiting women, when dressing and undressing me, used to fall into an ecstasy, whether they viewed me before or behind; how glad would the gentlemen have been to perform that office for them!" (11.1)
The Old Woman grew up with even more wealth and status than Cunégonde; however, this was unable to prevent her from meeting disaster. As such, there is no correlation between wealth and happiness, but possibly even an association of high social status with suffering in Candide.
"I need not tell you how great a hardship it was for a young princess and her mother to be made slaves and carried to Morocco. You may easily imagine all we had to suffer on board the pirate vessel. My mother was still very handsome; our maids of honor, and even our waiting women, had more charms than are to be found in all Africa. As for myself, I was ravishing, was exquisite, grace itself, and I was a virgin! I did not remain so long; this flower, which had been reserved for the handsome Prince of Massa Carara, was plucked by the corsair captain." (11.4)
The Old Woman feels she suffered a particularly miserable plight because of her status as a princess.
The beautiful Cunégonde having heard the old woman's history paid her all the civilities due to a person of her rank and merit. She likewise accepted her proposal, and engaged all the passengers, one after the other, to relate their adventures; and then both she and Candide allowed that the old woman was in the right. (13.1)
Despite the absurdity of doing so, Cunégonde begins to treat the Old Woman as royalty.