Voltaire Quotes

- Notable Voltaire Quotes Index -

Born: November 21, 1694, Paris, France
Birth Country: France
Died: Paris, France, May 30, 1778
Occupation: Author

1.
All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God.
- Voltaire

2.
All styles are good except the tiresome kind.
- Voltaire

3.
All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.
- Voltaire

4.
An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.
- Voltaire

5.
Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
- Voltaire

6.
Better is the enemy of good.
- Voltaire

7.
Business is the salt of life.
- Voltaire

8.
Common sense is not so common.
- Voltaire

9.
Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient.
- Voltaire

10.
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.
- Voltaire

11.
Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
- Voltaire

12.
Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
- Voltaire

13.
Fear follows crime and is its punishment.
- Voltaire

14.
Friendship is the marriage of the soul, and this marriage is liable to divorce.
- Voltaire

15.
God gave us the gift of life it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.
- Voltaire

16.
God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
- Voltaire

17.
God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.
- Voltaire

18.
He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.
- Voltaire

19.
He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend provided, of course, he really is dead.
- Voltaire

20.
He who has not the spirit of this age, has all the misery of it.
- Voltaire

21.
He who is not just is severe, he who is not wise is sad.
- Voltaire

22.
History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes.
- Voltaire

23.
History should be written as philosophy.
- Voltaire

24.
How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child's board. It is like an aged man reclining under the shadow of an oak which he has planted.
- Voltaire

25.
I am very fond of truth, but not at all of martyrdom.
- Voltaire

26.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
- Voltaire

27.
I hate women because they always know where things are.
- Voltaire

28.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
- Voltaire

29.
If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.
- Voltaire

30.
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.
- Voltaire

31.
If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.
- Voltaire

32.
In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.
- Voltaire

33.
In this country it is a good thing to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.
- Voltaire

34.
Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.
- Voltaire

35.
Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?
- Voltaire

36.
It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge.
- Voltaire

37.
It is forbidden to kill therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
- Voltaire

38.
It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.
- Voltaire

39.
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.
- Voltaire

40.
It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self-love.
- Voltaire

41.
It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.
- Voltaire

42.
It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.
- Voltaire

43.
It is vain for the coward to flee death follows close behind it is only by defying it that the brave escape.
- Voltaire

44.
Let us work without theorizing, tis the only way to make life endurable.
- Voltaire

45.
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.
- Voltaire

46.
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.
- Voltaire

47.
Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.
- Voltaire

48.
Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.
- Voltaire

49.
Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.
- Voltaire

50.
Nature has always had more force than education.
- Voltaire

51.
Never argue at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry always gets the best of the argument.
- Voltaire

52.
Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense.
- Voltaire

53.
Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.
- Voltaire

54.
Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.
- Voltaire

55.
One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.
- Voltaire

56.
One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.
- Voltaire

57.
Perfection is attained by slow degrees it requires the hand of time.
- Voltaire

58.
Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die.
- Voltaire

59.
Society therefore is an ancient as the world.
- Voltaire

60.
Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.
- Voltaire

61.
Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.
- Voltaire

62.
Tears are the silent language of grief.
- Voltaire

63.
The ancient Romans built their greatest masterpieces of architecture, their amphitheaters, for wild beasts to fight in.
- Voltaire

64.
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.
- Voltaire

65.
The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
- Voltaire

66.
The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.
- Voltaire

67.
The best is the enemy of the good.
- Voltaire

68.
The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.
- Voltaire

69.
The flowery style is not unsuitable to public speeches or addresses, which amount only to compliment. The lighter beauties are in their place when there is nothing more solid to say but the flowery style ought to be banished from a pleading, a sermon, or a didactic work.
- Voltaire

70.
The ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.
- Voltaire

71.
The infinitely little have a pride infinitely great.
- Voltaire

72.
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.
- Voltaire

73.
The little may contrast with the great, in painting, but cannot be said to be contrary to it. Oppositions of colors contrast but there are also colors contrary to each other, that is, which produce an ill effect because they shock the eye when brought very near it.
- Voltaire

74.
The opportunity for doing mischief is found a hundred times a day, and of doing good once in a year.
- Voltaire

75.
The safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.
- Voltaire

76.
The superfluous, a very necessary thing.
- Voltaire

77.
The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reason.
- Voltaire

78.
The very impossibility in which I find myself to prove that God is not, discovers to me his existence.
- Voltaire

79.
There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.
- Voltaire

80.
Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable.
- Voltaire

81.
To believe in God is impossible not to believe in Him is absurd.
- Voltaire

82.
To hold a pen is to be at war.
- Voltaire

83.
To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.
- Voltaire

84.
Very learned women are to be found, in the same manner as female warriors but they are seldom or ever inventors.
- Voltaire

85.
We are all full of weakness and errors let us mutually pardon each other our follies - it is the first law of nature.
- Voltaire

86.
We are rarely proud when we are alone.
- Voltaire

87.
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.
- Voltaire

88.
What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous.
- Voltaire

89.
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.
- Voltaire

90.
What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.
- Voltaire

91.
What then do you call your soul? What idea have you of it? You cannot of yourselves, without revelation, admit the existence within you of anything but a power unknown to you of feeling and thinking.
- Voltaire

92.
When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
- Voltaire

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