'Candide' Quotes

Voltaire offers his satirical view of society and nobility in Candide. The novel was published in 1759, and it is often considered the author's most important work--representative of The Enlightenment. Here are a few quotes from Candide.
  • "Observe that noses were made to wear spectacles; and so we have spectacles. Legs were visibly instituted to be breeched, and we have breeches. Stones were formed to be quarried and to build castles; and My Lord has a very noble castle; the greatest Baron in the province should have the best house; and as pigs were made to be eaten, we eat pork all year round; consequently, those who have asserted all is well talk nonsense; they ought to have said that all is for the best."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 1

  • "Nothing could be smarter, more splendid, more brilliant, better drawn up than two armies. Trumpets, fifes, hautboys, drums, cannons, formed a harmony such as never been heard in hell."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 3

  • "if Columbus in an island of America had not caught the disease, which poisons the source of generation, and often indeed prevents generation, we should not have chocolate and cochineal"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 4

  • "Men... must have corrupted nature a little, for they were not born wolves, and they have become wolves. God did not give them twenty-four-pounder cannons or bayonets, and they have made bayonets and cannons to destroy each other."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 4

  • "...and private misfortunes make the public good, so that the more private misfortunes there are, the more everything is well."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 4

  • "It was decided by the university of Coimbre that the sight of several persons being slowly burned in great ceremony is an infallible secret for preventing earthquakes."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 6

  • "If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others?"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 6

  • "A lady of honor may be raped once, but it strengthens her virtue."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 7

  • "Pangloss deceived me cruelly when he said that all is for the best in the world."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 7

  • "when a man is in love, jealous, and has been flogged by the Inquisition, he is beside himself."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 9

  • "We are going to a new world... and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 10

  • "Alas! My dear... unless you have been raped by two Bulgarians, stabbed twice in the belly, have had two castles destroyed, two fathers and mothers murdered before your eyes, and have seen two of your lovers flogged in an auto-da-fe, I do not see how you can surpass me; moreover, I was born a Baroness with seventy-two quarterings and I have been a kitchen wench."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 10

  • "Imagine the situation of a Pope's daughter aged fifteen, who in three months had undergone poverty and slavery, had been raped nearly every day, had seen her mother cut into four pieces, had undergone hunger and war, and was now dying of the plague in Algiers."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 12

  • "to look upon oneself with horror and yet to cling to oneself; in short to caress the serpent which desires us until he has eaten our heart?"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 12

  • "Los Padres have everything and the people have nothing; 'tis the masterpiece of reason and justice. For my part, I know nothing so divine as Los Padres who make war on Kings of Spain and Portugal and in Europe act as their confessors; who here kill Spaniards and at Madrid send them to Heaven."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 14

  • "why should you think it so strange that in some countries there should be monkeys who obtain ladies favours? They are quarter men, as I am a quarter Spaniard."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 16

  • "If we do not exert the right of eating our neighbor, it is because we have other means of making good cheer"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 16

  • "What! Have you no monks to teach, to dispute, to govern, to intrigue and to burn people who do not agree with them?"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 18

  • "certainly a man should travel."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 18

  • "Dogs, monkeys, and parrots are a thousand times less miserable than we are."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 19

  • "The malevolence of men revealed itself to his mind in all of its ugliness"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 19

  • "I confess that when I consider this globe, or rather this globule, I think that God has abandoned it to some evil creature"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 20

  • "Do you think... that men have always massacred each other, as they do today? Have they always been liars, cheats, traitors, brigands, weak, flighty, cowardly, envious, gluttonous, drunken, grasping, and vicious, bloody, backbiting, debauched, fanatical, hypocritical, and silly?"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 21

  • "It would have been better to stay in the Paradise of Eldorado instead of returning to this accursed Europe. How right you are, my dear Martin! Everything is illusion and calamity!"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 24

  • "Candide, who had been taught never to judge everything for himself, was greatly surprised by what he heard."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 25

Voltaire offers his satirical view of society and nobility in Candide. The novel was published in 1759, and it is often considered the author's most important work--representative of The Enlightenment. Here are a few quotes from Candide.

  • "All I presume is that there are millions of men on earth a hundred times more to be pitied than King Charles Edward, the Emperor Ivan, and the Sultan Achmet."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 27

  • "when you were hanged, dissected, stunned with blows and made to row in the galleys, did you always think that everything was for the best in this world?"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 28

  • "Candide, that tender lover, seeing his fair Cunégonde sunburned, blear-eyed, flat-breasted, with wrinkles around her eyes and red, chapped arms, recoiled three paces in horror, and then advanced from mere politeness."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 29

  • "I should like to know which is worse, to be raped a hundred times by Negro pirates, to have a buttock cut off, to run the gauntlet among the Bulgarians, to be whipped and flogged in an auto-da-fé, to be dissected, to row in a galley, in short, to endure all the miseries through which we have passed, or to remain here doing nothing?"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 30

  • "When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he worry about the comfort or discomfort of the rats in the ship?"
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 30

  • "Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 30

  • "Let us work without theorizing... 'tis the only way to make life endurable."
    - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 30