Candide Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph) We used the translation found on Project Gutenberg.
In a castle of Westphalia, belonging to the Baron of Thunder-ten-Tronckh, lived a youth, whom nature had endowed with the most gentle manners. His countenance was a true picture of his soul. He combined a true judgment with simplicity of spirit, which was the reason, I apprehend, of his being called Candide. The old servants of the family suspected him to have been the son of the Baron's sister, by a good, honest gentleman of the neighborhood, whom that young lady would never marry because he had been able to prove only seventy-one quarterings, the rest of his genealogical tree having been lost through the injuries of time. (1.1)
Candide’s mother preferred to raise Candide fatherless than marry a man of lower social status.
"Oh, sir," said one of the blues to him, "people of your appearance and of your merit never pay anything: are you not five feet five inches high?"
"Yes, sir, that is my height," answered he, making a low bow.
"Come, sir, seat yourself; not only will we pay your reckoning, but we will never suffer such a man as you to want money; men are only born to assist one another." (2.5-8)
The military recruiters use Candide’s status to flatter and manipulate him.
"Alas!" said Cunégonde, "my good mother, unless you have been ravished by two Bulgarians, have received two deep wounds in your belly, have had two castles demolished, have had two mothers cut to pieces before your eyes, and two of your lovers whipped at an auto-da-fé, I do not conceive how you could be more unfortunate than I. Add that I was born a Baroness of seventy-two quarterings—and have been a cook!" (10.14)
Cunégonde feels her plight is worsened in the context of her lofty ancestral status.