The Candide novel starts with:

The old servants of the house suspected [Candide] to have been the son of the Baron's sister, by a very good sort of a gentleman of the neighborhood, whom that young lady refused to marry, because he could produce no more than threescore and eleven quarterings in his arms.

So, the numbers of quarterings of Candide is 71 from his father and an unknown number of quarterings from his mother, which is a total minimum of 72 quarterings.

Cunégonde, in the chapter 10 says:

Add to this, though born a baroness, and bearing seventy-two quarterings, I have been reduced to the station of a cook-wench.

So, the numbers of quarterings of Cunégonde is 72. Therefore, Candide is as noble as Cunégonde, maybe more because we can except to the sister of the baron to prove more than 1 quarterings.

However, in the chapter 15, the brother of Cunégonde refuses Candide to marry her because he is not noble enough:

"You! you have the impudence to marry my sister, who bears seventy-two quarterings! Really, I think you have an insufferable degree of assurance to dare so much as to mention such an audacious design to me."

Did I miss something? Is Candide really more noble than Cunégonde?

  • 3
    Read the first paragraph again! The old servants only "suspected" Candide to be the baron's sister's son, and even if they were right, Candide would not have been legitimate as the baron's sister "refused to marry". – Gareth Rees Jan 24 at 10:47
  • @GarethRees I thought about that. But if he is not the son of the sister of the Baron, who is he? Why does he live in the castle? – Pierre Jan 24 at 10:54
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    @Pierre nevertheless, pedigree isn’t just about who your parents are, but about your legal right to be recognised as their offspring and be eligible for all that proceeds from that. You don’t pay top dollar for a pedigree hound without the paperwork. – Spagirl Jan 24 at 11:36
  • If he's the son of the Baron's sister, why shouldn't he live in the castle? – Peter Shor Jan 24 at 13:16
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    His nobility is not recognized because his parents were not married when he was born. It doesn't matter whether his father has 71 quarterings or not if he was born out of wedlock. – Peter Shor Jan 24 at 18:31

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