Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"I am not at all joking. My name is Achmet III. I was Grand Sultan many years. I dethroned my brother; my nephew dethroned me, my viziers were beheaded, and I am condemned to end my days in the old Seraglio. My nephew, the great Sultan Mahmoud, permits me to travel sometimes for my health, and I am come to spend the Carnival at Venice."
A young man who sat next to Achmet, spoke then as follows: "My name is Ivan. I was once Emperor of all the Russias, but was dethroned in my cradle. My parents were confined in prison and I was educated there; yet I am sometimes allowed to travel in company with persons who act as guards; and I am come to spend the Carnival at Venice."… (26.23-25)
Of the six kings Candide meets in Venice, all have been dethroned, suggesting the transience of status and power.
"But," said Candide, "it was a very strange adventure we met with at Venice. It has never before been seen or heard that six dethroned kings have supped together at a public inn." "It is not more extraordinary," said Martin, "than most of the things that have happened to us. It is a very common thing for kings to be dethroned; and as for the honor we have had of supping in their company, it is a trifle not worth our attention." (27.4)
Martin insists that changes in social status and power are altogether common in his and Candide’s experience. Once again, Martin is the pillar of truth.
"I will not suffer," said the Baron, "such meanness on her part, and such insolence on yours; I will never be reproached with this scandalous thing; my sister's children would never be able to enter the church in Germany. No; my sister shall only marry a Baron of the empire." (29.4)
The Baron is still unwilling to allow Candide and Cunégonde to marry for reasons of status – even after Candide has saved him from slavery.