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Voltaire Quotes - Famous Quotes by Voltaire


Born: 1694-11-21
Died: 1778-05-30

Voltaire Biography

'That is indisputable,' was the answer, 'but in this country it is a good thing to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.'
- Voltaire
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...the safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.
- Voltaire
***
A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working at the expense of the rascals who work to live.
- Voltaire
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A long dispute means both parties are wrong.
- Voltaire
More quotations on: [ Argument ]
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A multitude of laws in a country is like a great number of physicians, a sign of weakness and malady.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
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A witty saying proves nothing.
- Voltaire
More quotations on: [ Wit ]
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All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
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All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God.
- Voltaire
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All sects are different, because they come from men morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.
- Voltaire
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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.
- Voltaire
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Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.
- Voltaire
More quotations on: [ Music ]
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Appreciation is a wonderful thing It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
- Voltaire
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As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
As long as there are fools and rascals, there will be religions.
- Voltaire
***
Better is the enemy of good.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
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Canada: A few acres of snow.
- Voltaire
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Change everything except your loves.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Common sense is not so common.
- Voltaire
***
Dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres. (In this country England it is thought well to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others. from Candide)
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Do well and you will have no need for ancestors.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
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Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.
- Voltaire
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Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.
- Voltaire
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England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.
- Voltaire
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Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.
- Voltaire
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God created sex. Priests created marriage.
- Voltaire
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God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.
- Voltaire
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God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
- Voltaire
More quotations on: [ God ]
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God is always on the side of the big battalions.
- Voltaire
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Hamlet is a course and barbarous play. One might think the work is the product of a drunken savage's imagination.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
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He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.
- Voltaire
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History is fables agreed upon.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
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History is little else than a picture of human crimes and misfortunes.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
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I believe that there never was a creator of a philosophical system who did not confess at the end of his life that he had wasted his time. It must be admitted that the inventors of the mechanical arts have been much more useful to men that the inventors of syllogisms. He who imagined a ship towers considerably above him who imagined innate ideas.
- Voltaire
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I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
- Voltaire
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I have lost the half of myself a soul for which mine was made.
- Voltaire
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I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
- Voltaire
More quotations on: [ Prayer ] [ Enemy ]
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I know of no great men except those who have rendered great service to the human race.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.
- Voltaire
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I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.
- Voltaire
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Ideas are like beards; men do not have them until they grow up.
- Voltaire
More quotations on: [ Knowledge ] [ Wisdom ]
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If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.
- Voltaire
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If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.
- Voltaire
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If this world were what it seems it should be, it is clear that it would be impossible for one man to enslave another.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
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If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
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In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one part of the citizens to give to the other.
- Voltaire, The Portable Voltaire
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In this country England it is well to kill from time to time an admiral to encourage the others.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.
- Voltaire
***
It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge
- Voltaire
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It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
- Voltaire
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It is far better to be silent than merely to increase the quantity of bad books.
- Voltaire
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It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
- Voltaire
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It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.
- Voltaire
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It is new fancy rathert than taste which produces so many new fashions.
- Voltaire
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It is not enough to conquer one must learn to seduce.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
It is not known precisely where angels dwell-whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.
- Voltaire
***
It is said that God is always on the side of the heaviest battalions.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
- Voltaire
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Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Le sens commun n'est pas si commun (Common sense is not so common)
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.
- Voltaire
***
Love truth, and pardon error.
- Voltaire
***
Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.
- Voltaire
***
Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.
- Voltaire
***
May God defend me from my friends; I can defend myself from my enemies.
- Voltaire
***
Men are equal it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.
- Voltaire
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Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Needless to say since Christ's expiation not one single Christian has been known to sin, or die.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Of all religions, Christianity is without a doubt the one that should inspire tolerance most, although, up to now, the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Once the people begin to reason, all is lost.
- Voltaire
***
One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Only now did I become throughly acquainted with the seducer of our people. It is not the inequality which is the real misfortune, it is the dependance.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Originality is nothing by judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
People have declaimed against luxury for 2000 years, in verse and in prose, and people have always delighted in it.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Philosopher A lover of wisdom, which is to say, Truth.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Prejudice is opinion without judgement.
- Voltaire
***
Really, to stop criticism, they say, one must die.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Regimen is superior to medicine.
- Voltaire
***
Right now I think censorship is necessary the things they're doing and saying in films right now just shouldn't be allowed. There's no dignity anymore and I think that's very important.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
Since the whole affair had become one of religion, the vanquished were of course exterminated.
- Voltaire
***
Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
The art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of the citizens to give to the other.
- Voltaire
***
The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
- Voltaire
***
The first who was king was a fortunate soldier Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
The great consolation in life is to say what one thinks.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors.
- Voltaire
***
The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman nor an Empire.
- Voltaire
***
The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him.
- Voltaire
***
The multitude of books is making us ignorant.
- Voltaire
***
The progress of the rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
The public is a ferocious beast -- one must either chain it up or flee from it.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
- Voltaire
***
The superfluous is very necessary.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
The wicked can have only accomplices, the voluptuous have companions in debauchery, self-seekers have associates, the politic assemble the factions, the typical idler has connections, princes have courtiers. Only the virtuous have friends.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
There has never been a perfect government, because men have passions and if they did not have passions, there would be no need for government.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
There is a wide difference between speaking to deceive, and being silent to be impenetrable.
- Voltaire
***
There is an astonishing imagination, even in the science of mathematics... We repeat, there was far more imagination in the head of Archimedes than in that of Homer.
- Voltaire
***
Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.
- Voltaire
***
This agglomeration which was called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.
- Voltaire
***
This is no time for making new enemies. (when asked on his deathbed to renounce Satan)
- Voltaire
More quotations on: [ Death ] [ Enemy ]
***
This poem will never reach its destination.
- Voltaire
***
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
- Voltaire
***
To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.
- Voltaire
***
To hold a pen is to be at war.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
- Voltaire
***
True greatness consists in the use of a powerful understanding to enlighten oneself and others.
- Voltaire
***
Use, do not abuse neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
- Voltaire
***
Verses which do not teach men new and moving truths do not deserve to be read.
- Voltaire
***
We are rarely proud when we are alone.
- Voltaire
***
We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.
- Voltaire
***
What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.
- Voltaire
More quotations on: [ Old Age ]
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When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.
- Voltaire
***
When we have lost everything, including hope, life becomes a disgrace, and death a duty.
- Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire
***
When we hear news we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.
- Voltaire
***
Work saves us from three great evils boredom, vice and need.
- Voltaire
***
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.
- Voltaire
***
[Optimism is] the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.
- Voltaire
***

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