Chapter 21 – Candide and Martin, While Thus Reasoning with Each Other, DrawNear to the Coast of France

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At length they descried the coast of France, when Candide said to
Martin, “Pray Monsieur Martin, were you ever in France?”

“Yes, sir,” said Martin, “I have been in several provinces of that
kingdom. In some, one half of the people are fools and madmen; in
some, they are too artful; in others, again, they are, in general,
either very good-natured or very brutal; while in others, they
affect to be witty, and in all, their ruling passion is love, the next
is slander, and the last is to talk nonsense.”

“But, pray, Monsieur Martin, were you ever in Paris?”

“Yes, sir, I have been in that city, and it is a place that contains
the several species just described; it is a chaos, a confused
multitude, where everyone seeks for pleasure without being able to
find it; at least, as far as I have observed during my short stay in
that city. At my arrival I was robbed of all I had in the world by
pickpockets and sharpers, at the fair of Saint-Germain. I was taken up
myself for a robber, and confined in prison a whole week; after
which I hired myself as corrector to a press in order to get a
little money towards defraying my expenses back to Holland on foot.
I knew the whole tribe of scribblers, malcontents, and fanatics. It is
said the people of that city are very polite; I believe they may be.”

“For my part, I have no curiosity to see France,” said Candide. “You
may easily conceive, my friend, that after spending a month in El
Dorado, I can desire to behold nothing upon earth but Miss Cunegund. I
am going to wait for her at Venice. I intend to pass through France,
on my way to Italy. Will you not bear me company?”

“With all my heart,” said Martin. “They say Venice is agreeable to
none but noble Venetians, but that, nevertheless, strangers are well
received there when they have plenty of money; now I have none, but
you have, therefore I will attend you wherever you please.”

“Now we are upon this subject,” said Candide, “do you think that the
earth was originally sea, as we read in that great book which
belongs to the captain of the ship?”

“I believe nothing of it,” replied Martin, “any more than I do of
the many other chimeras which have been related to us for some time

“But then, to what end,” said Candide, “was the world formed?”

“To make us mad,” said Martin.

“Are you not surprised,” continued Candide, “at the love which the
two girls in the country of the Oreillons had for those two monkeys?
-You know I have told you the story.”

“Surprised?” replied Martin, “not in the least. I see nothing
strange in this passion. I have seen so many extraordinary things that
there is nothing extraordinary to me now.”

“Do you think,” said Candide, “that mankind always massacred one
another as they do now? Were they always guilty of lies, fraud,
treachery, ingratitude, inconstancy, envy, ambition, and cruelty? Were
they always thieves, fools, cowards, gluttons, drunkards, misers,
calumniators, debauchees, fanatics, and hypocrites?”

“Do you believe,” said Martin, “that hawks have always been
accustomed to eat pigeons when they came in their way?”

“Doubtless,” said Candide.

“Well then,” replied Martin, “if hawks have always had the same
nature, why should you pretend that mankind change theirs?”

“Oh,” said Candide, “there is a great deal of difference; for free
will-” and reasoning thus they arrived at Bordeaux.


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