Voltaire Quotes


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

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

I never approved either the errors of his book or the trivial truths he so vigorously laid down. I have however stoutly taken his side when absurd men have condemned him for these same truths.

By appreciation we make excellence in others our own property.

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

It is the flash which appears the thunderbolt will follow.

A circumstance which has always appeared wonderful to me is that such sublime discoveries should have been made by the sole assistance of a quadrant and a little arithmetic.

Heaven made virtue; man the appearance.

The more often a stupidity is repeated the more it gets the appearance of wisdom.

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

Where some states possess an army the Prussian Army possesses a state.

I should like to lie at your feet and die in your arms.

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

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.

Answer me you who believe that animals are only machines. Has nature arranged for this animal to have all the machinery of feelings only in order for it not to have any at all?

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.

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.

To announce truths is an infallible receipt for being persecuted.

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

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.

Use do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.

Thought depends absolutely on the stomach but in spite of that those who have the best stomachs are not the best thinkers.

The ancient Romans built their greatest masterpieces of architecture their amphitheaters for wild beasts to fight in.

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

Society therefore is an ancient as the world.

Slavery is also as ancient as war and war as human nature.

It is ourselves alone that make our days lucky or unlucky. Away then with a vain prejudice the invention of the priesthood which has been transmitted by our ancestors to an ignorant people.

Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors.

Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors.

Do well and you will have no need for ancestors.

The Jews are of all peoples the grosses the most ferocious the most fanatical and the most absurd.

Once your faith persuades you to believe what your intelligence declares absurd beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life.

In France every man is either an anvil or a hammer; he is a beater or must be beaten.

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

Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?

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

The abuse of grace is affectation as the abuse of the sublime is absurdity; all perfection is nearly a fault.

Anything too stupid to be said is sung.

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.

Let us help one another to bear our burdens.

Nothing is more annoying than to be obscurely hanged.

It is not the answers you give but the questions you ask.

He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is absurd.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

To believe in God is impossible not to believe in Him is absurd.

Christianity is the most ridiculous the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.

Excellently observed" answered Candide; "but let us cultivate our garden.

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.

In every author let us distinguish the man from his works.

Men use thought only as authority for their injustice and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.

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

Liberty then about which so many volumes have been written is when accurately defined only the power of acting.

History contains little beyond a list of people who have accommodate themselves with other people's property.

Hope should no more be a virtue than fear; we fear and we hope according to what is promised or threatened us.

There is no such thing as an accident. What we call by that name is the effect of some cause which we do not see.

Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification knowing without thinking merging finitude in infinity.

The ear is the avenue to the heart.

It is the characteristic of the most stringent censorships that they give credibility to the opinions they attack.

If you are attacked as regards your style never reply; it is for your work alone to make answer.

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.

Know that the secret of the arts is to correct nature.

You must have the devil in you to succeed in the arts.

We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue at our peril risk and hazard.

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

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

If there's life on other planets then the earth is the Universe's insane asylum.

Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people.

A false science makes atheists a true science prostrates men before the Deity

If there are atheists who is to be blamed if not the mercenary tyrants of souls who in revolting us against their swindles compel some feeble spirits to deny the God whom these monsters dishonour?

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

Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.

If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities.

Men will commit atrocities as long as they believe absurdities.

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

Every one goes astray but the least imprudent are they who repent the soonest.

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

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

I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges astronomy astrology metempsychosis etc..

We are astonished at thought but sensation is equally wonderful.

There is an astonishing imagination even in the science of mathematics.

Time is man's most precious asset. All men neglect it; all regret the loss of it; nothing can be done without it.

The man who says to me "Believe as I do or God will damn you " will presently say "Believe as I do or I shall assassinate you.

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.

An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.

Since the whole affair had become one of religion the vanquished were of course exterminated.

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

It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.

I die adoring God loving my friends not hating my enemies and detesting superstition.

Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.

We adore we invoke we seek to appease only that which we fear.

I know of nothing more laughable than a doctor who does not die of old age.

What most persons consider as virtue after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.

Pleasure has its time; so too has wisdom. Make love in thy youth and in old age attend to thy salvation.

All the persecutors declare against each other mortal war while the philosopher oppressed by them all contents himself with pitying them.

I envy animals for two things - their ignorance of evil to come and their ignorance of what is said about them.

Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die.

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

Errors flies from mouth to mouth from pen to pen and to destroy it takes ages.

It requires ages to destroy a popular opinion.

Most of my life has been one tragedy after another most of which hasn't happened.

One feels like crawling on all fours after reading your work.

The only way to see the value of a play is to see it acted.

I have lived eighty years of life and know nothing for it but to be resigned and tell myself that flies are born to be eaten by spiders and man to be devoured by sorrow

A good action is preferable to an argument.

The sentiment of justice is so natural and so universally acquired by all mankind that it seems to be independent of all law all party all religion.

To achieve a goal a dream a wish you must plan it out for success!

It is the poverty connected with our species which subordinates one man to another. It is not inequality which is the real misfortune it is dependence.

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.

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

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

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.

If you want to kill Christianity you must abolish Sunday.

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.

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.

Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.

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

In this country we find it pays to shoot an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.

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

Fools admire everything in an author of reputation.

Men argue. Nature acts.

I swear that not being able to be yours I will belong to no one.

Paradise is where I am

We are rarely proud when we are alone.

Virtuous men alone possess friends.

Almost all life depends on probabilities.

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

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

I also know that we should cultivate our gardens.

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.

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.

Those who are absent by its means become present; it [mail] is the consolation of life.

If you want to know who controls you look at who you are not allowed to criticize.

Optimism " said Cacambo "What is that?" "Alas!" replied Candide "It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.

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

Doubt is not a very agreeable status but certainty is a ridiculous one.

History is fables agreed upon.

History is the lie commonly agreed upon.

One should always aim at being interesting rather than exact.

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

I do not agree with what you have to say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

Men fed upon carnage and drinking strong drinks have all an impoisoned and acrid blood which drives them mad in a hundred different ways.

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

The opinion of all lawyers the unanimous cry of the nation and the good of the state are in themselves a law.

Of all religions Christianity is without a doubt the one that should inspire tolerance most

Of all religions the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.

True power and true politeness are above vanity.

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

All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.

All the arts are brothers; each one is a light to the others.

We all look for happiness but without knowing where to find it: like drunkards who look for their house knowing dimly that they have one

Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.

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

All the known world excepting only savage nations is governed by books.

Theological religion is the source of all imaginable follies and disturbances. It is the parent of fanaticism and civil discord; it is the enemy of mankind.

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

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.

It is not more surprising to be born twice than once everything in nature is resurrection

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.

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

Madness is to think of too many things in succession too fast or of one thing too exclusively.

You're a bitter man " said Candide. That's because I've lived " said Martin.

Indolence is sweet and its consequences bitter.

The tyranny of the many would be when one body takes over the rights of others and then exercises its power to change the laws in its favor.

my soul is the mirror of the universe and my body is its frame

Be bold proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.

Stand upright speak thy thoughts declare The truth thou hast that all may share; Be bold proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.

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

Let each of us boldly and honestly say: How little it is that I really know!

There's scarce a point whereon mankind agree - So well as in their boast of killing me; I boast of nothing but when I've a mind - I think I can be even with mankind

When his highness sends a ship to Egypt does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?

One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say

It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.

The best way to be boring is to include everything.

The biggest reward for a thing well done is to have done it.

Another century and there will not be a Bible on earth!

Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.

Beware of the words "internal security " for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor.

Fame is a heavy burden.

What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous.

For can anything be sillier than to insist on carrying a burden one would continually much rather throw to the ground?

We know that all the arts are brothers that each of them illuminates another and that a universal light results.

We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies - it is the first law of nature.

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

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.

The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.

No opinion is worth burning your neighbor for.

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.

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

They are mad men (Jews) but you should not burn them for that.

What! Have you no monks to teach to dispute to govern to intrigue and to burn people who do not agree with them?

Our country is that spot to which our heart is bound.

Weakness on both sides is as we know the motto of all quarrels.

Love has features which pierce all hearts he wears a bandage which conceals the faults of those beloved. He has wings he comes quickly and flies away the same.

Lo maravilloso de la guerra es que cada jefe de asesinos hace bendecir sus banderas e invocar solemnemente a Dios antes de lanzarse a exterminar a su prójimo.

A long dispute means both parties are wrong.

Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers.

Only your friends steal your books.

A small number of choice books are sufficient.

The multitude of books is making us ignorant.

The way to be a bore is to say everything.

A historian has many duties... the first is not to slander; the second is not to bore

Everything can be borne except contempt.

All men are born with a nose and ten fingers but no one was born with a knowledge of God.

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.

All men are born with a nose and five fingers but no one is born with a knowledge of God.

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

Repose is a good thing but boredom is its brother

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

Shun idleness. It is rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals.

The effervescence of this fresh wine reveals the true brilliance of the French people.

The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.

It is vain for the coward to flee; death follows close behind; it is only by defying it that the brave escape.

Where there is friendship there is our natural soil.

Music is the pathway to the heart.

A good imitation is the most perfect originality

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

Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.

Every sensible man every honorable man must hold the Christian sect in horror.

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

Man is free the moment he wants to be.

All styles are good except the tiresome kind.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

I loved him as we always love for the first time; with idolatry and wild passion.

Dare to think for yourself.

What is not in nature can never be true.

The best is the enemy of the good.

Work is often the father of pleasure.

It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.

God created woman to tame man.

A lady of honor may be raped once but it strengthens her virtue.

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.

Now now my good man this is no time for making enemies.

The prudent man does himself good; the virtuous one does it to other men.

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

God is always on the side of the heaviest battalions.

It is said that God is always on the side of the big battalions.

No nothing has the power to part me from you; our love is based upon virtue and will last as long as our lives.

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

The superstitious man is to the rogue what the slave is to the tyrant.

Froth at the top dregs at bottom but the middle excellent.

Better is the enemy of good.

Perfect is the enemy of good.

I know many books which have bored their readers but I know of none which has done real evil.

The public is a ferocious beast; one must either chain it or flee from it.

The monster fanaticism still exists and whoever seeks after truth will run the risk of being persecuted.

There is a pleasure in not being pleased.

The secret of being a bore... is to tell everything.

Being unable to make people more reasonable I preferred to be happy away from them

We must distinguish between speaking to deceive and being silent to be reserved.

When men do not have healthy notions of the Divinity false ideas supplant them just as in bad times one uses counterfeit money when there is no good money.

Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.

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

The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him

The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third.

Faith consists in believing not what seems true but what seems false to our understanding.

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

Faith consists in believing what reason cannot.

The more he became truly wise the more he distrusted everything he knew.

To a toad what is beauty? A female with pop eyes a wide mouth yellow belly and a spotted back

Man is not born wicked; he becomes so as he becomes sick.

The way to become boring is to say everything.

Translations increase the faults of a work and spoil its beauties.

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.

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

Religion may be purified. This great work was begun two hundred years ago: but men can only bear light to come in upon them by degrees.

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

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

The darkness is at its deepest. Just before the sunrise.

Religion began when the first scoundrel met the first fool.

Once the people begin to reason all is lost

Tears are the silent language of grief.

Language is a very difficult thing to put into words.

What can you say to a man who tells you he prefers obeying God rather than men and that as a result he's certain he'll go to heaven if he cuts your throat?

Men appear to prefer ruining one another's fortunes and cutting each other's throats about a few paltry villages to extending the grand means of human happiness.

Providence has given us hope and sleep as a compensation for the many cares of life.

To caress the serpent that devours us until it has eaten away our heart.

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

Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.

Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.

The sovereign is called a tyrant who knows no laws but his caprice.

Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.

If there had been a censorship of the press in Rome we should have had today neither Horace nor Juvenal nor the philosophical writings of Cicero.

God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.

A good cook is a certain slow poisoner if you are not temperate.

Doubt is uncomfortable certainty is ridiculous.

What can we say with certainty?

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.

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.

Change everything except your loves.

Changing a habit is hard work. But it's harder to find work that would be more fulfilling

If we do not exert the right of eating our neighbor it is because we have other means of making good cheer

The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.

All succeeds with people who are sweet and cheerful.

Chess is a game which reflects most honor on human wit.

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

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

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

Inspiration: A peculiar effect of divine flatulence emitted by the Holy Spirit which hisses into the ears of a few chosen of God.

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

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

If we would destroy the Christian religion we must first of all destroy man's belief in the Bible.

Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.

Not all citizens can be equally strong; but they can all be equally free.

In general the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.

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.

We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.

The harmony of a concert to which you listen with delight must have on certain classes of minute animals the effect of terrible thunder; perhaps it kills them.

The first clergyman was the first rascal who met the first fool.

A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working at the expense of the rascals who work to live.

A fool is a person who guesses and gets it wrong a clever man is one who guesses regardless of time period and gets it right.

Clever tyrants are never punished.

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

No one is ignorant that our character and turn of mind are intimately connected with the water-closet.

Love is a cloth which imagination embroiders.

There is the history of opinions which is hardly anything but a collection of human errors.

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.

Shakespeare is a drunken savage with some imagination whose plays please only in London and Canada.

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

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.

The Bible. That is what fools have written what imbeciles commend what rogues teach and young children are made to learn by heart.

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

Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.

Common sense is not so common.

Common sense is both more rare and more desirable in leaders than mere intelligence.

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.

Exaggeration the inseparable companion of greatness.

What a pessimist you are!" exclaimed Candide. "That is because I know what life is " said Martin.

But for what purpose was the earth formed?" asked Candide. "To drive us mad " replied Martin.

It is love; love the comfort of the human species the preserver of the universe the soul of all sentient beings love tender love.

All men are by nature free; you have therefore an undoubted liberty to depart whenever you please but will have many and great difficulties to encounter in passing the frontiers.

When we cannot use the compass of mathematics or the torch of experience...it is certain we cannot take a single step forward.

The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.

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

The composition of a tragedy requires testicles.

The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity.

This self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles the provision for the perpetuity of mankind: it is necessary it is dear to us it gives us pleasure and we must conceal it.

Men employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.

But how conceive a God supremely good/ Who heaps his favours on the sons he loves / Yet scatters evil with as large a hand?[Written after an earthquake in Lisbon killed over 15 000 people]

We cannot wish for that we know not.

Let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country and is a living lesson.

Let us confess it: evil strides the world.

Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.

It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.

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...

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly - that is the first law of nature.

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity.

The greatest consolation in life is to say what one thinks.

History consists of a series of accumulated imaginative inventions.

True greatness consists in the use of a powerful understanding to enlighten oneself and others.

Our priests are not what a silly populace supposes; all their learning consists in our credulity.

Constant happiness is the philosopher's stone of the soul.

The only reward to be expected from literature is contempt if one fails and hatred if one succeeds.

The right to free speech is more important than the content of the speech.

Having lived with kings I have become a king in my own home.

You have no control over the hand that life deals you but how you play that hand is entirely up to you.

Secret griefs are more cruel than public calamities.

If you wish to converse with me define your terms.

You can never correct your work well until you have forgotten it.

What is madness? To have erroneous perceptions and to reason correctly from them.

If you wish to obtain a great name or to found an establishment be completely mad; but be sure that your madness corresponds with the turn and temper of your age.

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

Fear could never make virtue.

It is not improbable that in hot countries monkeys may have enslaved girls.

He who seeks truth should be of no country.

The safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.

Wherever there is a settled society religion is necessary; the laws cover manifest crimes and religion covers secret crimes.

The most genuine and efficacious charity is that which greases the paws of the priests; such charity covers a multitude of sins.

Ice-cream is exquisite - what a pity it isn't illegal.

God created sex. Priests created marriage.

God created women only to tame men.

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

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

Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.

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 cars in order to win the game.

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.

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

Fear follows crime and is its punishment.

History is the study of the world's crime

History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes.

Indeed history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

History is but the record of crimes and misfortunes. L'histoire n'est que le tableau des crimes et des malheurs

The punishment of criminals should be of use; when a man is hanged he is good for nothing.

Prejudices are what rule the vulgar crowd.

Go get yourself crucified and then rise on the third day.

Men are in general so tricky so envious and so cruel that when we find one who is only weak we are too happy.

Whatever you do crush the infamy.

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

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.

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.

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.

Let us cultivate our garden.

We must cultivate our own garden.

Learn to cultivate your own garden.

It is up to us to cultivate our garden.

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

It is the first law of friendship that it has to be cultivated. The second is to be indulgent when the first law is neglected.

Men will always be mad and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.

I hate women because they always know where things are.

Adultery is an evil only inasmuch as it is a theft; but we do not steal that which is given to us.

Friendship is the marriage of the soul and this marriage is liable to divorce.

We're neither pure nor wise nor good; we do the best we know.

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

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

Doctors put drugs of which they know little into bodies of which they know less for diseases of which they know nothing at all.

All is but illusion and disaster.

Discord is the great ill of mankind; and tolerance is the only remedy for it.

Wine is the divine juice of September.

Those who think are excessively few; and those few do not set themselves to disturb the world.

You will notice that in all disputes between Christians since the birth of the Church Rome has always favored the doctrine which most completely subjugated the human mind and annihilated reason.

I read these words which are the sum of all moral philosophy and which cut short all the disputes of the casuists: When in doubt if an action is good or bad refrain.

A physician is one who pours drugs of which he knows little into a body of which he knows less.

Historians are gossips who tease the dead

History is a pack of lies we play on the dead.

The longer we dwell on our misfortunes the greater is their power to harm us

If you have two religions in your land the two will cut each other's throats; but if you have thirty religions they will dwell in peace

When truth is evident it is impossible for parties and factions to rise. There never has been a dispute as to whether there is daylight at noon.

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

The spirit of property doubles a man's strength.

I don't know where I am going but I am on my way.

The world embarrasses me and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker.

My life's dream has been a perpetual nightmare.

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.

Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying?

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

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

The fate of a nation has often depended upon the good or bad digestion of a prime minister.

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

It has taken seas of blood to drown the idol of despotism but the English do not think they bought their laws too dearly.

Now now my good man this is no time to be making enemies." (Voltaire on his deathbed in response to a priest asking him that he renounce Satan.)

Virtue debases itself in justifying itself.

May God defend me from my friends: I can defend myself from my enemies.

Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.

The hallmark of a free society is that I may totally disapprove of what you say but I'll defend your right to say it until I die.

There are men who can think no deeper than a fact.

Mortals are equal; their mask differs.

If God did not exist he would have to be invented.

We are all guilty of the good we did not do

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

He who dies before many witnesses always does so with courage.

All sects are different because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same because it comes from God.

Minds differ still more than faces.

Life is thickly sown with thorns and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes the greater is their power to harm us.

This poem will never reach its destination. On Rousseau's Ode To Posterity

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.

Many are destined to reason wrongly; others not to reason at all; and others to persecute those who do reason.

Often the prudent far from making their destinies succumb to them. -Francois

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

Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them.

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

Verses which do not teach men new and moving truths do not deserve to be read.

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

Monsieur l'abbé I detest what you write but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.

Our labour preserves us from three great evils -- weariness vice and want.

We have our arts the ancients had theirs... We cannot raise obelisks a hundred feet high in a single piece but our meridians are more exact.

Everything's fine today that is our illusion.

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

We offer up prayers to god only because we have made him after our own image. We treat him like a pasha or a sultan who is capable of being exasperated and appeased.

Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. (The perfect is the enemy of the good.)

A torch lighted in the forests of America set all Europe in conflagration.

The more estimable the offender the greater the torment.

Whosoever does not know how to recognize the faults of great men is incapable of estimating their perfections.

Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero.

He shines in the second rank who is eclipsed in the first.

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.

When man was put into the garden of eden he was put there with the idea that he should work the land; and this proves that man was not born to be idle.

The road to the heart is the ear

We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.

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

If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent Him.

The Holy Roman Empire is neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire.

This agglomeration which was called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.

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

Dont think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.

Injustice in the end produces independence.

The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.

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

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

Love truth but pardon error.

Love truth and pardon error.

The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.

The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors.

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.

All men have equal rights to liberty to their property and to the protection of the laws

Nothing is so common as to imitate one's enemies and to use their weapons.

I have never made but one prayer to God a very short one: 'O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.

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

This is no time to make new enemies.

Now is not the time for making new enemies.

This is no time to be making new enemies.

England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.

To enjoy life we must touch much of it lightly.

Four thousand volumes of metaphysics will not teach us what the soul is.

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

Nature has always had more force than education.

The true character of liberty is independence maintained by force.

Prejudices are what fools use for reason