Candide Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph) We used the translation found on Project Gutenberg.
"I own, my friend, once more that the castle where I was born is nothing in comparison with this; but, after all, Miss Cunégonde is not here, and you have, without doubt, some mistress in Europe. If we abide here we shall only be upon a footing with the rest, whereas, if we return to our old world, only with twelve sheep laden with the pebbles of El Dorado, we shall be richer than all the kings in Europe. We shall have no more Inquisitors to fear, and we may easily recover Miss Cunégonde."
This speech was agreeable to Cacambo; mankind are so fond of roving, of making a figure in their own country, and of boasting of what they have seen in their travels, that the two happy ones resolved to be no longer so, but to ask his Majesty's leave to quit the country. (18.21-22)
Candide and Cacambo wish to leave El Dorado in order to better enjoy the status afforded by their wealth. Because there is no such thing as "wealth" in El Dorado, they fail to recognize that they already have happiness there.
"You are foolish," said the King. "I am sensible that my kingdom is but a small place, but when a person is comfortably settled in any part he should abide there. I have not the right to detain strangers. It is a tyranny that neither our manners nor our laws permit. All men are free. Go when you wish, but the going will be very difficult…"
"We desire nothing of your Majesty," says Candide, "but a few sheep laden with provisions, pebbles, and the earth of this country." The King laughed.
"I cannot conceive," said he, "what pleasure you Europeans find in our yellow clay, but take as much as you like, and great good may it do you." (18.23- 26)
The King of El Dorado finds the acquisition of wealth and riches strange, foolish, and useless. He is also, arguably, the happiest character in the book.
Our travelers spent the first day very agreeably. They were delighted with possessing more treasure than all Asia, Europe, and Africa could scrape together. Candide, in his raptures, cut Cunegonde's name on the trees. The second day two of their sheep plunged into a morass, where they and their burdens were lost; two more died of fatigue a few days after; seven or eight perished with hunger in a desert; and others subsequently fell down precipices. At length, after traveling a hundred days, only two sheep remained. Said Candide to Cacambo:
"My friend, you see how perishable are the riches of this world; there is nothing solid but virtue, and the happiness of seeing Cunégonde once more." (19.1-2)
As quickly as they acquired wealth, Candide and Cacambo lose their riches.