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Quotes by Voltaire

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Voltaire. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Voltaire

François-Marie Arouet (French: [fʁɑ̃swa maʁi aʁwɛ]; 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire (also US: ; French: [vɔltɛːʁ]), was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity—especially the Roman Catholic Church—as well as his advocacy of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state.

Voltaire was a versatile and prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, histories, and scientific expositions. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was one of the first authors to become renowned and commercially successful internationally. He was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties, and he was at constant risk from the strict censorship laws of the Catholic French monarchy. His polemics witheringly satirized intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.

Quote: Men argue. Nature acts. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of sunset
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

Men argue. Nature acts.


Quote: Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of man wearing black jacket standing on street
Photo Credit: Abigail Keenan

Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.


Quote: Writing is the painting of the voice. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of white lead pencil on surface
Photo Credit: Yoann Siloine

Writing is the painting of the voice.


Quote: I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of silhouette of mountain during sunset
Photo Credit: Sonil Trivedi

I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.


Quote: The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of sunset over hill
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.


Quote: The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of black cat sitting on rock during day
Photo Credit: Agape Trn

The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.


Quote: Love truth, but pardon error. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of cumulus clouds
Photo Credit: Daoudi Aissa

Love truth, but pardon error.


Quote: Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy: the mad daughter of a wise mother. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of clear hour glass
Photo Credit: Alexandar Todov

Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy: the mad daughter of a wise mother.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.


Quote: History should be written as philosophy. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of woman and man holding hands
Photo Credit: Roman Kraft

History should be written as philosophy.


Quote: The superfluous, a very necessary thing. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of dog looking upward
Photo Credit: Rob Wingate

The superfluous, a very necessary thing.


Quote: By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of green plant in tilt shift lens
Photo Credit: Marek Piwnicki

By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property.


Quote: Paradise was made for tender hearts; hell, for loveless hearts. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of forest near mountain alps
Photo Credit: Milada Vigerova

Paradise was made for tender hearts; hell, for loveless hearts.


Quote: Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of desk with laptop
Photo Credit: Nikita Kachanovsky

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.


Quote: He who is not just is severe, he who is not wise is sad. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of silhouette of three people up on mountain cliff
Photo Credit: Karl Magnuson

He who is not just is severe, he who is not wise is sad.


The best is the enemy of the good.


Quote: Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of white pillar candle on black surface
Photo Credit: Lilya Alis

Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.


Quote: To hold a pen is to be at war. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of white spiral notebook on black wooden table
Photo Credit: Kelly Sikkema

To hold a pen is to be at war.


Quote: Titles are of no value to posterity; the name of a man who has achieved great deeds imposes more respect than any or all epithets. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Titles are of no value to posterity; the name of a man who has achieved great deeds imposes more respect than any or all epithets.


Quote: It must be slow, for I have been drinking it for sixty-five years and I am not yet dead. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

It must be slow, for I have been drinking it for sixty-five years and I am not yet dead.


Quote: Labor rids us of three great evils poverty, vice, and boredom. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Labor rids us of three great evils poverty, vice, and boredom.


Quote: Dress changes the manners. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Dress changes the manners.


Quote: The post is the grand connecting link of all transactions, of all negotiations. Those who are absent, by its means become present; it is the consolation of life. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The post is the grand connecting link of all transactions, of all negotiations. Those who are absent, by its means become present; it is the consolation of life.


Quote: 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. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

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.


Quote: One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything's fine today, that is our illusion. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything's fine today, that is our illusion.


Quote: There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them.


Quote: The opportunity for doing mischief is found a hundred times a day, and of doing good once in a year. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The opportunity for doing mischief is found a hundred times a day, and of doing good once in a year.


Quote: All people are equal, it is not birth, it is virtue alone that makes the difference. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

All people are equal, it is not birth, it is virtue alone that makes the difference.


Quote: All the citizens of a state cannot be equally powerful, but they may be equally free. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

All the citizens of a state cannot be equally powerful, but they may be equally free.


Quote: Will is wish, and liberty is power. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Will is wish, and liberty is power.


Quote: All kinds are good except the kind that bores you. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

All kinds are good except the kind that bores you.


Quote: The punishment of criminals should serve a purpose. When a man is hanged he is useless. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The punishment of criminals should serve a purpose. When a man is hanged he is useless.


Quote: Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her. But once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her. But once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.


Quote: Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.


Quote: All is for the best in the best of all possible ways. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

All is for the best in the best of all possible ways.


Quote: A woman can keep one secret -- the secret of her age. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

A woman can keep one secret -- the secret of her age.


Quote: Society therefore is as ancient as the world. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Society therefore is as ancient as the world.


Quote: We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization.


Quote: The heart has its own reasons that reason can't understand. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The heart has its own reasons that reason can't understand.


Quote: Great men have all been formed either before academies or independent of them. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Great men have all been formed either before academies or independent of them.


Quote: One should always aim at being interesting, rather than exact. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

One should always aim at being interesting, rather than exact.


Quote: If mankind were born tomorrow it would divide into groups; each would scramble to invent their one and only god, and set about butchering each-other. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

If mankind were born tomorrow it would divide into groups; each would scramble to invent their one and only god, and set about butchering each-other.


Quote: When one man speaks to another man who doesn't understand him, and when a man who's speaking no longer understands, it's metaphysics. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

When one man speaks to another man who doesn't understand him, and when a man who's speaking no longer understands, it's metaphysics.


Quote: People will continue to commit atrocities as long as they believe in absurdities. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

People will continue to commit atrocities as long as they believe in absurdities.


Quote: Those who can be made to believe absurdities can be made to commit atrocities. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Those who can be made to believe absurdities can be made to commit atrocities.


Quote: If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.


Quote: What would constitute useful history? That which should teach us our duties and our rights, without appearing to teach them. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

What would constitute useful history? That which should teach us our duties and our rights, without appearing to teach them.


Quote: How I like the boldness of the English, how I like the people who say what they think! by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

How I like the boldness of the English, how I like the people who say what they think!


Quote: But nothing is more estimable than a physician who, having studied nature from his youth, knows the properties of the human body, the diseases which assail it, the remedies which will benefit it, exercises his art with caution, and pays equal attention to the rich and the poor. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of Voltaire quote; white text on black background

But nothing is more estimable than a physician who, having studied nature from his youth, knows the properties of the human body, the diseases which assail it, the remedies which will benefit it, exercises his art with caution, and pays equal attention to the rich and the poor.


Quote: Better is the Enemy of Good. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Better is the Enemy of Good.


Quote: In the beginning God created man in His own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

In the beginning God created man in His own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since.


Quote: FANATICISM is, to superstition, what delirium is to fever, and fury to anger : he who has ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for realities, and imaginations for prophecies, is an enthusiast ; and he, who sticks not at supporting his folly by murder, is a fanatic. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of Voltaire quote; white text on black background

FANATICISM is, to superstition, what delirium is to fever, and fury to anger : he who has ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for realities, and imaginations for prophecies, is an enthusiast ; and he, who sticks not at supporting his folly by murder, is a fanatic.


Quote: Fanaticism, to which men are so much inclined, has always served not only to render them more brutalized but more wicked. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Fanaticism, to which men are so much inclined, has always served not only to render them more brutalized but more wicked.


Quote: They soothed him with words of flattery, and they gave him hope--the two traps into which people the world over will always fall. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

They soothed him with words of flattery, and they gave him hope--the two traps into which people the world over will always fall.


Quote: Wisdom must yield to superstition's rules,
Who arms with bigot zeal the hand of fools. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Wisdom must yield to superstition's rules,
Who arms with bigot zeal the hand of fools.


Quote: We are all guilty of the good we did not do. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

We are all guilty of the good we did not do.


Quote: I shall relate quite simply how things happened and without adding anything of my own, which is no small feat for an historian. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

I shall relate quite simply how things happened and without adding anything of my own, which is no small feat for an historian.


Quote: If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.


Quote: The most amazing and effective inventions are not those which do most honour to the human genius. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The most amazing and effective inventions are not those which do most honour to the human genius.


Quote: It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence.


Quote: Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing, and love those who love you. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing, and love those who love you.


Quote: Whatever you do, trample down abuses, and love those who love you. Different translation: Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing superstition, and love those who love you. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Whatever you do, trample down abuses, and love those who love you. Different translation: Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing superstition, and love those who love you.


Quote: Independence in the end is the fruit of injustice. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Independence in the end is the fruit of injustice.


Quote: We are going to a new world... and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

We are going to a new world... and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world.


Quote: If you want good laws, burn those you have and make new ones. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

If you want good laws, burn those you have and make new ones.


Quote: Mortals are equal; their mask differs. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Mortals are equal; their mask differs.


Quote: A multitude of laws in a country is like a great number of physicians, a sign of weakness and malady. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

A multitude of laws in a country is like a great number of physicians, a sign of weakness and malady.


Quote: Fanaticism is a monster that pretends to be the child of religion. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Fanaticism is a monster that pretends to be the child of religion.


Quote: When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is Metaphysics. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is Metaphysics.


Quote: I hold firmly to my original views. After all I am a philosopher. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

I hold firmly to my original views. After all I am a philosopher.


Quote: The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.




Quote: A yawn may not be polite, but at least it is an honest opinion. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

A yawn may not be polite, but at least it is an honest opinion.


Quote: I have seen so many extraordinary things that nothing seems extraordinary to me. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

I have seen so many extraordinary things that nothing seems extraordinary to me.


Quote: The Pope is an idol whose hands are tied and whose feet are kissed. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The Pope is an idol whose hands are tied and whose feet are kissed.


Quote: The multiplicity of facts and writings is become so great that every thing must soon be reduced to extracts and dictionaries. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The multiplicity of facts and writings is become so great that every thing must soon be reduced to extracts and dictionaries.


Quote: Luxury has been railed at for two thousand years, in verse and in prose, and it has always been loved. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Luxury has been railed at for two thousand years, in verse and in prose, and it has always been loved.


Quote: The discovery of what is true and the practice of that which is good are the two most important aims of philosophy. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The discovery of what is true and the practice of that which is good are the two most important aims of philosophy.


Quote: In cities where peace and the arts flourish, men are more consumed by jealousy, worry, and anxiety than they are in cities under the blight of a besieging army. Private sorrows are more bitter than public suffering. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

In cities where peace and the arts flourish, men are more consumed by jealousy, worry, and anxiety than they are in cities under the blight of a besieging army. Private sorrows are more bitter than public suffering.


Quote: The pursuit of pleasure must be the goal of every rational person. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The pursuit of pleasure must be the goal of every rational person.


Quote: Everywhere the weak execrate the powerful, before whom they cringe; and the powerful beat them like sheep whose wool and flesh they sell. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Everywhere the weak execrate the powerful, before whom they cringe; and the powerful beat them like sheep whose wool and flesh they sell.


Quote: Every one should be his own physician. We ought to assist, and not to force nature. Eat with moderation...Nothing is good for the body but what we can digest. What medicine can procure digestion? Exercise. What will recruit strength? Sleep. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Every one should be his own physician. We ought to assist, and not to force nature. Eat with moderation...Nothing is good for the body but what we can digest. What medicine can procure digestion? Exercise. What will recruit strength? Sleep.


Quote: It is not enough to be exceptionally mad, licentious and fanatical in order to win a great reputation; it is still necessary to arrive on the scene at the right time. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

It is not enough to be exceptionally mad, licentious and fanatical in order to win a great reputation; it is still necessary to arrive on the scene at the right time.


Quote: The passions are the winds which fill the sails of the vessel; they sink it at times, but without them it would be impossible to make way. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The passions are the winds which fill the sails of the vessel; they sink it at times, but without them it would be impossible to make way.


Quote: Religion began when the first scoundrel met the first fool. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Religion began when the first scoundrel met the first fool.


Quote: The policy of man consists, at first, in endeavoring to arrive at a state equal to that of animals, whom nature has furnished with food, clothing, and shelter. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The policy of man consists, at first, in endeavoring to arrive at a state equal to that of animals, whom nature has furnished with food, clothing, and shelter.


Quote: Every evil begets some good. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Every evil begets some good.


Quote: Sect and error are synonymous. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Sect and error are synonymous.


Quote: We are at the end of all our troubles, and at the beginning of happiness. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

We are at the end of all our troubles, and at the beginning of happiness.


Quote: Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden.


Quote: The best way to be boring is to include everything. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The best way to be boring is to include everything.


Quote: Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying? by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying?




Quote: To make a vow for life is to make oneself a slave. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

To make a vow for life is to make oneself a slave.


Quote: Your destiny is that of a man, your vows those of a god. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Your destiny is that of a man, your vows those of a god.


Quote: Perfect is the enemy of good. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Perfect is the enemy of good.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Perfect is the enemy of good. ".


Quote: Antiquity is full of the praises of another antiquity still more remote. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Antiquity is full of the praises of another antiquity still more remote.


Quote: The worthy administrators of justice are like a cat set to take care of a cheese, lest it should be gnawed by the mice. One bite of the cat does more damage to the cheese than twenty mice can do. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The worthy administrators of justice are like a cat set to take care of a cheese, lest it should be gnawed by the mice. One bite of the cat does more damage to the cheese than twenty mice can do.


Quote: But in this country it is necessary, now and then, to put one admiral to death in order to inspire the others to fight. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

But in this country it is necessary, now and then, to put one admiral to death in order to inspire the others to fight.


Quote: An admiral should be put to death now and then to encourage the others. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

An admiral should be put to death now and then to encourage the others.


Quote: He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity.


Quote: History is only the pattern of silken slippers descending the stairs to the thunder of hobnailed boots climbing upward from below. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

History is only the pattern of silken slippers descending the stairs to the thunder of hobnailed boots climbing upward from below.


Quote: A man loved by a beautiful woman will always get out of trouble. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

A man loved by a beautiful woman will always get out of trouble.


Quote: The supposed right of intolerance is absurd and barbaric. It is the right of the tiger; nay, it is far worse, for tigers do but tear in order to have food, while we rend each other for paragraphs. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The supposed right of intolerance is absurd and barbaric. It is the right of the tiger; nay, it is far worse, for tigers do but tear in order to have food, while we rend each other for paragraphs.


Quote: Let us meet four times a year in a grand temple with music, and thank God for all his gifts. There is one sun. There is one God. Let us have one religion. Then all mankind will be brethren. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Let us meet four times a year in a grand temple with music, and thank God for all his gifts. There is one sun. There is one God. Let us have one religion. Then all mankind will be brethren.


Quote: Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter.


Quote: But there must be some pleasure in condemning everything -- in perceiving faults where others think they see beauties.' 'You mean there is pleasure in having no pleasure. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

But there must be some pleasure in condemning everything -- in perceiving faults where others think they see beauties.' 'You mean there is pleasure in having no pleasure.


Quote: Reading nurtures the soul, and an enlightened friend brings it solace. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Reading nurtures the soul, and an enlightened friend brings it solace.


Quote: Exaggeration, the inseparable companion of greatness. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Exaggeration, the inseparable companion of greatness.


Quote: So it is the human condition that to wish for the greatness of one's fatherland is to wish evil to one's neighbors. The citizen of the universe would be the man who wishes his country never to be either greater or smaller, richer or poorer. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

So it is the human condition that to wish for the greatness of one's fatherland is to wish evil to one's neighbors. The citizen of the universe would be the man who wishes his country never to be either greater or smaller, richer or poorer.


Quote: Candide listened attentively and believed innocently; for he thought Miss Cunegonde extremely beautiful, though he never had the courage to tell her so. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Candide listened attentively and believed innocently; for he thought Miss Cunegonde extremely beautiful, though he never had the courage to tell her so.


Quote: War is the greatest of all crimes; and yet there is no aggressor who does not color his crime with the pretext of justice. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

War is the greatest of all crimes; and yet there is no aggressor who does not color his crime with the pretext of justice.


Quote: Why, since we are always complaining of our ills, are we constantly employed in redoubling them? by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Why, since we are always complaining of our ills, are we constantly employed in redoubling them?


Quote: All the ancient histories, as one of our wits say, are just fables that have been agreed upon. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

All the ancient histories, as one of our wits say, are just fables that have been agreed upon.


Quote: I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc. It does not behoove us, who were only savages and barbarians when these Indians and Chinese peoples were civilized and learned, to dispute their antiquity. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of Voltaire quote; white text on black background

I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc. It does not behoove us, who were only savages and barbarians when these Indians and Chinese peoples were civilized and learned, to dispute their antiquity.


Quote: Why are the Jews hated? It is the inevitable result of their laws; they either have to conquer everybody or be hated by the whole human race. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Why are the Jews hated? It is the inevitable result of their laws; they either have to conquer everybody or be hated by the whole human race.


Quote: Just for fun, why not get each passenger to tell you the story of his life, and if there is one single one of them who hasn't often cursed the day he was born and hasn't often said to himself that he was the most unfortunate man alive, then you can throw me into the sea head first. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of Voltaire quote: Just for fun, why not get each passenger to tell you the story of his life, and if there is one single one of them who hasn't often cursed the day he was born and hasn't often said to himself that he was the most unfortunate man alive, then you can throw me into the sea head first.- black text on quotes background

Just for fun, why not get each passenger to tell you the story of his life, and if there is one single one of them who hasn't often cursed the day he was born and hasn't often said to himself that he was the most unfortunate man alive, then you can throw me into the sea head first.




Quote: Everything is not as good as in El-Dorado; but everything is not so bad. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Everything is not as good as in El-Dorado; but everything is not so bad.


Quote: Alas...I too have known love, that ruler of hearts, that soul of our soul: it's never brought me anything except one kiss and twenty kicks in the rump. How could such a beautiful cause produce such an abominable effect on you? by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Alas...I too have known love, that ruler of hearts, that soul of our soul: it's never brought me anything except one kiss and twenty kicks in the rump. How could such a beautiful cause produce such an abominable effect on you?


Quote: The interest I have to believe a thing is no proof that such a thing exists. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The interest I have to believe a thing is no proof that such a thing exists.


Quote: The question of good and evil remains in irremediable chaos for those who seek to fathom it in reality. It is mere mental sport to the disputants, who are captives that play with their chains. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The question of good and evil remains in irremediable chaos for those who seek to fathom it in reality. It is mere mental sport to the disputants, who are captives that play with their chains.


Quote: There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts.


Quote: So it was that, for every decent and generous thing she did, dishonour was the price. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

So it was that, for every decent and generous thing she did, dishonour was the price.


Quote: The rude beginnings of every art acquire a greater celebrity than the art in perfection; he who first played the fiddle was looked upon as a demigod. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The rude beginnings of every art acquire a greater celebrity than the art in perfection; he who first played the fiddle was looked upon as a demigod.


Quote: Democracy is just a filler for textbooks! Do you actually believe that public opinion influences the government? by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Democracy is just a filler for textbooks! Do you actually believe that public opinion influences the government?


Quote: To succeed in chaining the multitude, you must seem to wear the same fetters. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

To succeed in chaining the multitude, you must seem to wear the same fetters.


Quote: This is no time to make new enemies. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

This is no time to make new enemies.




Quote: The right of commanding is no longer an advantage transmitted by nature; like an inheritance, it is the fruit of labors, the price of courage. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The right of commanding is no longer an advantage transmitted by nature; like an inheritance, it is the fruit of labors, the price of courage.


Quote: An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.


Quote: Who are you, Nature?
I live in you;
for fifty years I have been seeking you,
and I have not found you yet. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Who are you, Nature?
I live in you;
for fifty years I have been seeking you,
and I have not found you yet.


Quote: Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.


Quote: The perfect is the enemy of the good. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The perfect is the enemy of the good.


Quote: I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clockmaker. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clockmaker.


Quote: The women are never at a loss, God provides for them, let us run. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The women are never at a loss, God provides for them, let us run.


Quote: Virtue between men is a commerce of good actions: he who has no part in this commerce must not be reckoned. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Virtue between men is a commerce of good actions: he who has no part in this commerce must not be reckoned.


Quote: A good action is preferable to an argument. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

A good action is preferable to an argument.


Quote: The institution of religion exists only to keep mankind in order, and to make men merit the goodness of God by their virtue. Everything in a religion which does not tend towards this goal must be considered foreign or dangerous. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The institution of religion exists only to keep mankind in order, and to make men merit the goodness of God by their virtue. Everything in a religion which does not tend towards this goal must be considered foreign or dangerous.


Quote: The man visited by ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for realities is an enthusiast; the man who supports his madness with murder is a fanatic. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The man visited by ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for realities is an enthusiast; the man who supports his madness with murder is a fanatic.


Quote: The man who, in a fit of melancholy, kills himself today, would have wished to live had he waited a week. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The man who, in a fit of melancholy, kills himself today, would have wished to live had he waited a week.


Quote: History in general is a collection of crimes, follies, and misfortunes among which we have now and then met with a few virtues, and some happy times. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

History in general is a collection of crimes, follies, and misfortunes among which we have now and then met with a few virtues, and some happy times.


Quote: Whenever an important event, a revolution, or a calamity turns to the profit of the church, such is always signalised as the Finger of God. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Whenever an important event, a revolution, or a calamity turns to the profit of the church, such is always signalised as the Finger of God.


Quote: How inexpressible is the meanness of being a hypocrite! how horrible is it to be a mischievous and malignant hypocrite. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

How inexpressible is the meanness of being a hypocrite! how horrible is it to be a mischievous and malignant hypocrite.


Quote: I am a little deaf, a little blind, a little important and on top of this are two or three abominable infirmities, but nothing destroys my hope. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

I am a little deaf, a little blind, a little important and on top of this are two or three abominable infirmities, but nothing destroys my hope.


Quote: I am the best-natured creature in the world, and yet I have already killed three, and of these three two were priests. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

I am the best-natured creature in the world, and yet I have already killed three, and of these three two were priests.


Quote: Earth is an insane asylum, to which the other planets deport their lunatics. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Earth is an insane asylum, to which the other planets deport their lunatics.


Quote: God has punished the knave, and the devil has drowned the rest. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

God has punished the knave, and the devil has drowned the rest.


Quote: Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.


Quote: Meslier was the most singular phenomenon ever seen among all the meteors fatal to the Christian religion. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Meslier was the most singular phenomenon ever seen among all the meteors fatal to the Christian religion.


Quote: The malevolence of men revealed itself to his mind in all of its ugliness. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The malevolence of men revealed itself to his mind in all of its ugliness.




Quote: The adjective is the enemy of the noun. Variant: The adjective is the enemy of the substantive. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The adjective is the enemy of the noun. Variant: The adjective is the enemy of the substantive.


Quote: He who is involved in ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for reality, and his own imagination for prophesy, is a fanatical novice of great hope and promise, and will soon advance to the higher stage and kill men for the love of God. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

He who is involved in ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for reality, and his own imagination for prophesy, is a fanatical novice of great hope and promise, and will soon advance to the higher stage and kill men for the love of God.




Quote: Music is the pathway to the heart. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Music is the pathway to the heart.


Quote: Pleasantry is never good on serious points, because it always regards subjects in that point of view in which it is not the purpose to consider them. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Pleasantry is never good on serious points, because it always regards subjects in that point of view in which it is not the purpose to consider them.


Quote: All pleasantry should be short; and it might even be as well were the serious short also. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

All pleasantry should be short; and it might even be as well were the serious short also.


Quote: To pray to God is to flatter oneself that with words one can alter nature. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

To pray to God is to flatter oneself that with words one can alter nature.


Quote: It is the triumph of superior reason to live with folks who don't have any. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

It is the triumph of superior reason to live with folks who don't have any.


Quote: Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

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


Quote: Morality is everywhere the same for all men, therefore it comes from God; sects differ, therefore they are the work of men. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Morality is everywhere the same for all men, therefore it comes from God; sects differ, therefore they are the work of men.


Quote: For seventeen hundred years the Christian sect has done nothing but harm. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

For seventeen hundred years the Christian sect has done nothing but harm.




Quote: Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed.


Quote: It is with books as with men: a very small number play a great part. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

It is with books as with men: a very small number play a great part.


Quote: A small number of choice books are sufficient. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

A small number of choice books are sufficient.


Quote: I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one's very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?


Quote: Let us work without theorizing, tis the only way to make life endurable. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

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


Quote: Christians have been the most intolerant of all men. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.


Quote: Man can have only a certain number of teeth, hair and ideas; there comes a time when he necessarily loses his teeth, hair and ideas. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Man can have only a certain number of teeth, hair and ideas; there comes a time when he necessarily loses his teeth, hair and ideas.


Quote: Every man can educate himself. It's shameful to put one's mind into the hands of those whom you wouldn't entrust with your money. Dare to think for yourself. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Every man can educate himself. It's shameful to put one's mind into the hands of those whom you wouldn't entrust with your money. Dare to think for yourself.


Quote: Ask a toad what is beauty....; he will answer that it is a female with two great round eyes coming out of her little head, a large flat head, a yellow belly and a brown back. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Ask a toad what is beauty....; he will answer that it is a female with two great round eyes coming out of her little head, a large flat head, a yellow belly and a brown back.


Quote: To a toad what is beauty? A female with two lovely pop-eyes, a wide mouth, yellow belly, and green spotted back. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

To a toad what is beauty? A female with two lovely pop-eyes, a wide mouth, yellow belly, and green spotted back.


Quote: True power and true politeness are above vanity. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

True power and true politeness are above vanity.


Quote: England has forty-two religions and only two sauces. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.


Quote: What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

What is toleration? It is the prerogative of humanity. We are all steeped in weaknesses and errors: Let us forgive one another's follies, it is the first law of nature.


Quote: Nothing could be smarter, more splendid, more brilliant, better drawn up than two armies. Trumpets, fifes, hautboys, drums, cannons, formed a harmony such as never been heard in hell. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Nothing could be smarter, more splendid, more brilliant, better drawn up than two armies. Trumpets, fifes, hautboys, drums, cannons, formed a harmony such as never been heard in hell.


Quote: Opinion is called the queen of the world; it is so, for when reason opposes it, it is condemned to death. It must rise twenty times from its ashes to gradually drive away the usurper. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Opinion is called the queen of the world; it is so, for when reason opposes it, it is condemned to death. It must rise twenty times from its ashes to gradually drive away the usurper.


Quote: History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.


Quote: A witty saying proves nothing, but saying something pointless gets people's attention. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

A witty saying proves nothing, but saying something pointless gets people's attention.


Quote: Being a bird ain't all about flying and shitting from high places. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Being a bird ain't all about flying and shitting from high places.


Quote: What is called happiness is an abstract idea, composed of various ideas of pleasure; for he who has but a moment of pleasure is not a happy man, in like manner that a moment of grief constitutes not a miserable one. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

What is called happiness is an abstract idea, composed of various ideas of pleasure; for he who has but a moment of pleasure is not a happy man, in like manner that a moment of grief constitutes not a miserable one.


Quote: It was decided by the university of Coimbre that the sight of several persons being slowly burned in great ceremony is an infallible secret for preventing earthquakes. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

It was decided by the university of Coimbre that the sight of several persons being slowly burned in great ceremony is an infallible secret for preventing earthquakes.


Quote: An infallible method of making fanatics is to persuade before you instruct. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

An infallible method of making fanatics is to persuade before you instruct.


Quote: In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense.


Quote: One of the chief misfortunes of honest people is that they are cowardly. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

One of the chief misfortunes of honest people is that they are cowardly.


Quote: Let all the laws be clear, uniform and precise for interpreting laws is almost always to corrupt them. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Let all the laws be clear, uniform and precise for interpreting laws is almost always to corrupt them.


Quote: Martin in particular concluded that man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Martin in particular concluded that man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom.


Quote: I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.


Quote: And ask each passenger to tell his story, and if there is one of them all who has not cursed his existence many times, and said to himself over and over again that he was the most miserable of men, I give you permission to throw me head-first into the sea. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

And ask each passenger to tell his story, and if there is one of them all who has not cursed his existence many times, and said to himself over and over again that he was the most miserable of men, I give you permission to throw me head-first into the sea.


Quote: As you know, the Inquisition is an admirable and wholly Christian invention to make the pope and the monks more powerful and turn a whole kingdom into hypocrites. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

As you know, the Inquisition is an admirable and wholly Christian invention to make the pope and the monks more powerful and turn a whole kingdom into hypocrites.


Quote: He is lifeless that is faultless. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

He is lifeless that is faultless.


Quote: A minister of state is excusable for the harm he does when the helm of government has forced his hand in a storm; but in the calm he is guilty of all the good he does not do. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

A minister of state is excusable for the harm he does when the helm of government has forced his hand in a storm; but in the calm he is guilty of all the good he does not do.


Quote: Dogs, monkeys, and parrots are a thousand times less miserable than we are. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Dogs, monkeys, and parrots are a thousand times less miserable than we are.


Quote: We are intelligent beings: intelligent beings cannot have been formed by a crude, blind, insensible being: there is certainly some difference between the ideas of Newton and the dung of a mule. Newton's intelligence, therefore, came from another intelligence. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

We are intelligent beings: intelligent beings cannot have been formed by a crude, blind, insensible being: there is certainly some difference between the ideas of Newton and the dung of a mule. Newton's intelligence, therefore, came from another intelligence.


Quote: 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. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

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.


Quote: Fear follows crime and is its punishment. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

Fear follows crime and is its punishment.


Quote: The atheists are for the most part imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly who, not being able to understand the Creation, the origin of evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the hypothesis the eternity of things and of inevitability. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

The atheists are for the most part imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly who, not being able to understand the Creation, the origin of evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the hypothesis the eternity of things and of inevitability.


Quote: He wanted to know how they prayed to God in El Dorado. We do not pray to him at all, said the reverend sage. We have nothing to ask of him. He has given us all we want, and we give him thanks continually. by author Voltaire overlaid on photo of photo of author Voltaire with quote

He wanted to know how they prayed to God in El Dorado. We do not pray to him at all, said the reverend sage. We have nothing to ask of him. He has given us all we want, and we give him thanks continually.




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