Cacambo, who had seen many of these kinds of adventures, was not discouraged. He stripped the baron of his Jesuit’s habit and put it upon Candide.
Here, the narrator relates Cacambo’s quick thinking in tight situations. In this case, as soon as Candide murders the baron-turned-Jesuit-priest, Cacambo quickly disguises Candide and helps him escape—again. His plan works and Candide gets away, dressed as a Jesuit, which soon gets him into more trouble as the Oreillons they later meet despise Jesuits. Many times, Cacambo’s wit and wisdom save the day.
The wary Cacambo had taken care to fill his satchel with bread, chocolate, some ham, some fruit, and a few bottles of wine.
The narrator explains how not only did Candide’s servant Cacambo create a means for Candide to escape after murdering the baron and priest, he also had the foresight to bring along food and drink for them to share once they were out of harm’s way. While Candide seems to always function in the present moment, Cacambo thinks ahead. His practicality and wisdom contrasts with Candide’s impulsivity and reactiveness. Their relationship represents a classic case of the servant outwitting the master.
Do not despair. I understand a little of the jargon of these people; I will speak to them.
Here, Cacambo offers to speak to the Oreillons and, in doing so, saves his and Candide’s lives. Cacambo and Candide face being cooked and eaten by the Oreillons, just after Candide killed the monkey lovers of the two naked women in the woods. The angry women gave Candide and Cacambo up to the Oreillons who captured the pair as they slept. After Cacambo explains the situation, the Oreillons not only let him and Candide go, they treat them well.
If we do not meet with agreeable things, we shall at least meet with something new.
Cacambo and Candide begin their harrowing expedition to El Dorado. They find an empty canoe by the side of a river and, here, Cacambo encourages Candide his master to embark on a journey to the unknown. This moment and these words mark the beginning of a switch in their relationship: Cacambo transitions into the master while Candide plays the secondary role.
“All we ask of your majesty” said Cacambo “is only a few sheep laden with provisions, pebbles and the clay of your country.”
Cacambo’s request of El Dorado’s king for bounty reflects his brilliance in diplomacy. He characterizes the gold as clay and the precious jewels as pebbles, the kingdom’s common natural resources. The king, who favors Candide and Cacambo, willingly grants the request because the gold and jewels have little value to him due to their abundance. Cacambo and Candide intend to return to Europe as rich men, but of course, fate would have other plans for them.
He was in despair at the thought of parting with so good a master, who treated him more like an intimate friend than a servant; but the pleasure of being able to do him a service soon got the better of his sorrow.
The narrator explains Cacambo’s reluctance to head to Buenos Aryes to fetch Cunégonde in exchange for treasure, while Candide stays behind. Through the relationship between Candide and Cacambo, readers explore the theme of exploitation of servants. Candide and Cacambo have switched roles several times throughout the story, and they view each other as equals. The narrator cues the reader that Cacambo’s self-interest wins out, the lure of treasure overcoming any hesitation to leave his friend.
I cannot at present say anything more to you. I am a slave, and my master waits for me: I must go and wait on him at table. But mum! Say not a word; only get your supper and be ready.
Here, Cacambo, a character readers believed to be dead, reappears and speaks to Candide and Martin who dine with some strangers in Venice. Cacambo tells Candide that Cunégonde lives in Constantinople. In a deus ex machina plot turn, despite being a slave, he then arranges a ship to go there.
Cacambo, who worked in the garden, and carried the produce of it to sell at Constantinople, was worn down by this labor and cursed his fate.
The narrator reveals how Cacambo ends up discontented with what turns out to be a normal, prosperous lifestyle. This detail appears in an epilogue that characterizes the cohort’s boredom with a life lacking adventure. Readers might especially sympathize with the clever Cacambo deprived of the stage for his stratagems. All of the novel’s major characters end up cultivating their garden as the story ends on a happy, uplifting note.
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