Chapter 14 – The Reception Candide and Cacambo Met with among the Jesuits in Paraguay

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Candide had brought with him from Cadiz such a footman as one
often meets with on the coasts of Spain and in the colonies. He was
the fourth part of a Spaniard, of a mongrel breed, and born in
Tucuman. He had successively gone through the profession of a
singing boy, sexton, sailor, monk, peddler, soldier, and lackey. His
name was Cacambo; he had a great affection for his master, because his
master was a very good man. He immediately saddled the two
Andalusian horses.

“Come, my good master, let us follow the old woman’s advice, and
make all the haste we can from this place without staying to look
behind us.”

Candide burst into a flood of tears, “O my dear Cunegund, must I
then be compelled to quit you just as the Governor was going to
honor us with his presence at our wedding! Cunegund, so long lost
and found again, what will now become of you?”

“Lord!” said Cacambo, ‘she must do as well as she can; women are
never at a loss. God takes care of them, and so let us make the best
of our way.”

“But whither wilt thou carry me? where can we go? what can we do
without Cunegund?” cried the disconsolate Candide.

“By St. James of Compostella,” said Cacambo, “you were going to
fight against the Jesuits of Paraguay; now let us go and fight for
them; I know the road perfectly well; I’ll conduct you to their
kingdom; they will be delighted with a captain that understands the
Bulgarian drill; you will certainly make a prodigious fortune. If we
cannot succeed in this world we may in another. It is a great pleasure
to see new objects and perform new exploits.”

“Then you have been in Paraguay?” asked Candide.

“Ay, marry, I have,” replied Cacambo. “I was a scout in the
College of the Assumption, and am as well acquainted with the new
government of the Los Padres as I am with the streets of Cadiz. Oh, it
is an admirable government, that is most certain! The kingdom is at
present upwards of three hundred leagues in diameter, and divided into
thirty provinces; the fathers there are masters of everything, and the
people have no money at all; this you must allow is the masterpiece of
justice and reason. For my part, I see nothing so divine as the good
fathers, who wage war in this part of the world against the troops
of Spain and Portugal, at the same time that they hear the confessions
of those very princes in Europe; who kill Spaniards in America and
send them to Heaven at Madrid. This pleases me exceedingly, but let us
push forward; you are going to see the happiest and most fortunate
of all mortals. How charmed will those fathers be to hear that a
captain who understands the Bulgarian military drill is coming to

As soon as they reached the first barrier, Cacambo called to the
advance guard, and told them that a captain wanted to speak to My
Lord, the General. Notice was given to the main guard, and immediately
a Paraguayan officer ran to throw himself at the feet of the
Commandant to impart this news to him. Candide and Cacambo were
immediately disarmed, and their two Andalusian horses were seized. The
two strangers were conducted between two files of musketeers, the
Commandant was at the further end with a three-cornered cap on his
head, his gown tucked up, a sword by his side, and a half-pike in
his hand; he made a sign, and instantly four and twenty soldiers
drew up round the newcomers. A sergeant told them that they must wait,
the Commandant could not speak to them; and that the Reverend Father
Provincial did not suffer any Spaniard to open his mouth but in his
presence, or to stay above three hours in the province.

“And where is the Reverend Father Provincial?” said Cacambo.

“He has just come from Mass and is at the parade,” replied the
sergeant, “and in about three hours’ time you may possibly have the
honor to kiss his spurs.”

“But,” said Cacambo, “the Captain, who, as well as myself, is
perishing of hunger, is no Spaniard, but a German; therefore, pray,
might we not be permitted to break our fast till we can be
introduced to His Reverence?”

The sergeant immediately went and acquainted the Commandant with
what he heard.

“God be praised,” said the Reverend Commandant, “since he is a
German I will hear what he has to say; let him be brought to my

Immediately they conducted Candide to a beautiful pavilion adomed
with a colonnade of green marble, spotted with yellow, and with an
intertexture of vines, which served as a kind of cage for parrots,
humming birds, guinea hens, and all other curious kinds of birds. An
excellent breakfast was provided in vessels of gold; and while the
Paraguayans were eating coarse Indian corn out of wooden dishes in the
open air, and exposed to the burning heat of the sun, the Reverend
Father Commandant retired to his cool arbor.

He was a very handsome young man, round-faced, fair, and
fresh-colored, his eyebrows were finely arched, he had a piercing eye,
the tips of his ears were red, his lips vermilion, and he had a bold
and commanding air; but such a boldness as neither resembled that of a
Spaniard nor of a Jesuit. He ordered Candide and Cacambo to have their
arms restored to them, together with their two Andalusian horses.
Cacambo gave the poor beasts some oats to eat close by the arbor,
keeping a strict eye upon them all the while for fear of surprise.

Candide having kissed the hem of the Commandant’s robe, they sat
down to table.

“It seems you are a German,” said the Jesuit to him in that

“Yes, Reverend Father,” answered Candide.

As they pronounced these words they looked at each other with
great amazement and with an emotion that neither could conceal.

“From what part of Germany do you come?” said the Jesuit.

“From the dirty province of Westphalia,” answered Candide.
“I was born in the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh.”

“Oh heavens! is it possible?” said the Commandant.

“What a miracle!” cried Candide.

“Can it be you?” said the Commandant.

On this they both drew a few steps backwards, then running into each
other’s arms, embraced, and wept profusely.

“Is it you then, Reverend Father? You are the brother of the fair
Miss Cunegund? You that was slain by the Bulgarians! You the Baron’s
son! You a Jesuit in Paraguay! I must confess this is a strange
world we live in. O Pangloss! what joy would this have given you if
you had not been hanged.”

The Commandant dismissed the Negro slaves, and the Paraguayans who
presented them with liquor in crystal goblets. He returned thanks to
God and St. Ignatius a thousand times; he clasped Candide in his arms,
and both their faces were bathed in tears.

“You will be more surprised, more affected, more transported,”
said Candide, “when I tell you that Miss Cunegund, your sister,
whose belly was supposed to have been ripped open, is in perfect

“In your neighborhood, with the Governor of Buenos Ayres; and I
myself was going to fight against you.”

Every word they uttered during this long conversation was productive
of some new matter of astonishment. Their souls fluttered on their
tongues, listened in their ears, and sparkled in their eyes. Like true
Germans, they continued a long while at table, waiting for the
Reverend Father; and the Commandant spoke to his dear Candide as


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