Voltaire
Quotations


If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new.

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.

To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.

The consolation of deaf people is to read, and sometimes to scribble.

Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient.

Men who are occupied in the restoration of health to other men, by the joint exertion of skill and humanity, are above all the great of the earth. They even partake of divinity, since to preserve and renew is almost as noble as to create.

I have only ever made one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

The best is the enemy of the good.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.

Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers.

Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.

History should be written as philosophy.

If there were only one religion in England there would be danger of despotism, if there were two, they would cut each other's throats, but there are thirty, and they live in peace and happiness.

It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self-love.

In this country it's a good thing to kill an admiral now and then to encourage the others.

In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.

Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.

One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.

I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying your annuities. It is the only pleasure I have left.

We must cultivate our own garden. . . . When man was put in the garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work, which proves that man was not born to rest.

Shakespeare, who was considered the English Corneille, flourished at about the time of Lope de Vega. He had a strong and fertile genius, full of naturalness and sublimity, without the slightest spark of good taste or the least knowledge of the rules. . . . After two hundred years most of the outlandish and monstrous ideas of this author have acquired the right to be considered sublime, and almost all modern authors have copied him. . . . It does not occur to people that they should not copy him, and the lack of success of their copies simply makes people think that he is inimitable.

The husband who decides to surprise his wife is often very much surprised himself.

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.

Let us work without theorizing, 'tis the only way to make life endurable.

They use thought only to justify their injustices, and speech only to disguise their thoughts.

Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.

Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable.

The composition of a tragedy requires testicles.



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