Take a visual journey through Voltaire's Candide



Chapter XXVII:
Candide's Voyage to Constantinople

Illustration by Rockwell Kent from: Voltaire. Candide. New York: Random House, 1928. NYPL, Rare Book Division. By Permission of the Plattsburgh State Art Museum, The Rockwell Kent Gallery & Collection.

Propontis: the ancient name of the Sea of Marmara, an inland sea separating the European and Asian parts of Turkey and connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea.

"Well," said Candide to Cacambo, "what news of Cunegonde? Is she still a prodigy of beauty? Does she love me still? How is she? Thou hast doubtless bought her a palace at Constantinople?"

"My dear master," answered Cacambo, "Cunegonde washes dishes on the banks of the Propontis, in the service of a prince, who has very few dishes to wash; she is a slave in the family of an ancient sovereign named Ragotsky, to whom the Grand Turk allows three crowns a day in his exile. But what is worse still is that she has lost her beauty and has become horribly ugly."

"Well, handsome or ugly," replied Candide, "I am a man of honor, and it is my duty to love her still."