Study Guide

Candide Chapter 19

By Voltaire

Chapter 19

  • After one hundred days of travel, Candide and Cacambo have lost the majority of their sheep (one hundred, to be exact) and riches. Nevertheless, the two remaining sheep carry more jewels than they could ever need.
  • The men encounter a destitute slave in the road, who reveals that his master’s name is Vanderdendur (keep that in mind for two minutes or so). His horrid state makes Candide renounce Optimism.
  • Candide sends Cacambo with immense riches to Buenos Aires to reclaim Cunégonde. He plans to travel to Venice where he will await their arrival.
  • Candide encounters a man (Vanderdendur, incidentally) who agrees to take him directly to Venice. Vanderdendur twice increases his asking price for the trip when he realizes the extent of Candide’s wealth.
  • Candide pays the fare in advance, and as he is about to board the ship, Vanderdendur sets sail, taking off with Candide’s riches.
  • Candide complains to a judge, who charges him a fee, but meets his story with indifference.
  • Candide pays for a reasonably priced passage to Bordeaux and stages a competition to find the most miserable and downtrodden companion possible for his journey.
  • Candide selects a candidate named Martin who is an old scholar (he cannot imagine a worse occupation) and they set sail.