Take a visual journey through Voltaire's Candide

 

 

Chapter XXV:
The Visit to Lord Pococurante, a Noble Venetian

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.


Candide, observing a volume of Milton, asked Lord Pococurante whether he did not look upon this author as a great man.

"Who?" said Pococurante, "that barbarian, who writes a long commentary in ten books of harsh verse on the first chapter of Genesis; that coarse imitator of the Greeks, who disfigures the Creation, and who, while Moses represents the Eternal producing the world by a word, makes the Messiah take a great pair of compasses from the armory of heaven to circumscribe His work?.... Neither I nor any man in Italy could take pleasure in those melancholy extravagances; and the marriage of Sin and Death, and the snakes brought forth by Sin, are enough to turn the stomach of any one with the least taste...."

Candide was grieved at this speech, for he had a respect for Homer and was fond of Milton.

"Alas!" said he softly to Martin, "I am afraid that this man holds our German poets in very great contempt."

"There would not be much harm in that," said Martin.
 

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