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    Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire Quotes

    French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist
    13 Favorites on Read Print

    Quotes by Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire

    • ...the safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.
    • A witty saying proves nothing.
    • All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.
    • Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.
    • Anything too stupid to be said is sung.
    • Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
    • Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
    • Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.
    • God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
    • God is always on the side of the big battalions.
    • History is a pack of lies we play on the dead.
    • I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
    • If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
    • Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.
    • Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter.
    • It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
    • It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
    • Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
    • Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.
    • Love truth, and pardon error.
    • Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.
    • Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.
    • Prejudice is opinion without judgement.
    • Regimen is superior to medicine.
    • The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
    • The multitude of books is making us ignorant.
    • The secret of being boring is to say everything.
    • There is a wide difference between speaking to deceive, and being silent to be impenetrable.
    • Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
    • To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
    • Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
    • You despise books; you whose lives are absorbed in the vanities of ambition, the pursuit of pleasure or indolence; but remember that all the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.
    • God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.
    • I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
      (Attributed); originated in "The Friends of Voltaire", 1906, by S. G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
    • Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.
      Candide, 1759
    • There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts.
      Dialogue, XIV, "Le Chapon et la Poularde" (1766)
    • The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
      Discours en vers sur l'homme, 1737
    • This agglomeration which was called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.
      Essai sur l'histoire generale et sur les moeurs et l'espirit des nations, 1756, Chapter 70
    • Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.
      Essay on Tolerance
    • The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him.
      Letter (1769)
    • When we hear news we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.
      letter to Le Comte d'Argental, August 28, 1760
    • Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.
      letter to M. le Riche, February 6, 1770
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