Candide and Martin travel to the house of Senator Pococuranté. The Senator lives in a house surrounded by beautiful gardens, filled with great books and rare paintings, and with women and musicians to entertain him whenever he likes. Nevertheless, he is disgusted by or indifferent to everything he owns. As they leave, Martin and Candide argue over whether or not this makes the Senator an unhappy man. Martin argues that Pococuranté is unhappy with everything, while Candide argues that there must be some pleasure in criticizing everything.
Candide's experience with Pococuranté disproves yet another of his reasons for thinking that happiness is possible: apparently, wealth cannot buy happiness. Still, Candide manages to hang on to his optimism by supposing that Pococuranté's disgust and criticism might also be sources of happiness. As always, Candide's optimism requires new and less ambitious justifications.