Voltaire - Quotes

There are 145 quotes by Voltaire at 95quotes.com. Find your favorite quotations and top quotes by Voltaire from this hand-picked collection about love, life, god, nature, heart, thinking, death. Feel free to share these quotes and sayings on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr & Twitter or any of your favorite social networking sites.

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

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

Illusion is the first of all pleasures. ---->>>

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

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

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

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

Common sense is not so common.

Common sense is not so common.

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

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

Tears are the silent language of grief.

Tears are the silent language of grief.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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. ---->>>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.

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

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

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

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. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.

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

To hold a pen is to be at war.

To hold a pen is to be at war.

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

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

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

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

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. ---->>>

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

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

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

Use, do not abuse... neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy. ---->>>

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

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

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. ---->>>

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

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.

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.

Everything's fine today, that is our illusion. ---->>>

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

To the wicked, everything serves as pretext. ---->>>

The Holy Roman Empire is neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire. ---->>>

Better is the enemy of good.

Better is the enemy of good.

It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.

It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.

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

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

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

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. ---->>>

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

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. ---->>>

Prejudices are what fools use for reason. ---->>>

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

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

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

The superfluous, a very necessary thing.

The superfluous, a very necessary thing.

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

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

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

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

Injustice in the end produces independence.

Injustice in the end produces independence.

It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue. ---->>>

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered. ---->>>

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

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

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

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

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. ---->>>

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

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

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

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

A witty saying proves nothing. ---->>>

We are rarely proud when we are alone.

We are rarely proud when we are alone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The infinitely little have a pride infinitely great. ---->>>

Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers. ---->>>

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

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

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

Very often, say what you will, a knave is only a fool. ---->>>

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

He shines in the second rank, who is eclipsed in the first. ---->>>

It is the flash which appears, the thunderbolt will follow. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

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

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

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

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

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

The ear is the avenue to the heart. ---->>>

The first step, my son, which one makes in the world, is the one on which depends the rest of our days. ---->>>

The mouth obeys poorly when the heart murmurs. ---->>>

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

Clever tyrants are never punished. ---->>>

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

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

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

Nature has always had more force than education. ---->>>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My life is a struggle. ---->>>

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

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

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

The best is the enemy of the good.

The best is the enemy of the good.

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

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

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

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

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

The multitude of books is making us ignorant. ---->>>

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

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

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

History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes. ---->>>

We cannot always oblige; but we can always speak obligingly. ---->>>

Froth at the top, dregs at bottom, but the middle excellent. ---->>>

We cannot wish for that we know not. ---->>>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All styles are good except the tiresome kind. ---->>>

History should be written as philosophy. ---->>>

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

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

The ancients recommended us to sacrifice to the Graces, but Milton sacrificed to the Devil. ---->>>

Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors. ---->>>

Society therefore is an ancient as the world. ---->>>

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

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. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

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

Fear follows crime and is its punishment. ---->>>

Biography

Name: Voltaire
Nationality: French
Born: November 21, 1694
Birthplace:
Die: May 30, 1778
Occupation: Writer
Website:

François-Marie Arouet (French: [fʁɑ̃.swa ma.ʁi aʁ.wɛ]; 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire (; French: [vɔl.tɛːʁ]), was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state (wikipedia)