Most popular Voltaire Quotes
It is not enough to conquer; one must know how to seduce.
Paradise is where I am.
Love those who love you.
The embarrassment of riches.
Love truth, but pardon error.
Common sense is not so common.
A witty saying proves nothing.
Paradise on earth is where I am.
The best is the enemy of the good.
Prejudice is opinion without judgement.
Tears are the silent language of grief.
A Man is free the moment he wishes to be.
Virtue debases itself in justifying itself.
Prejudices are the reasoning of the stupid.
Liberty of thought is the life of the soul.
One who seeks truth should be of no country.
A long dispute means both parties are wrong.
Governments need both shepherds and butchers.
The multitude of books is making us ignorant.
All styles are good except the tiresome kind.
Judge a man by his questions, not his answers.
Almost all human life depends on probabilities.
Nature has always had more power than education.
Self-love is the instrument of our preservation.
Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.
We cannot always oblige, we can speak obligingly.
Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.
Marriage is the only adventure open to the timid.
The secret of being a bore... is to tell everything.
God is always on the side of the heaviest battalions.
There is only one moral, as there is only one geometry.
Work keeps us from three evils: boredom, vice and need.
Whoever condemns the theatre is an enemy to his country.
Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
If there were no priests, people would be more religious.
Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors.
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies.
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
Work keeps us from three great evils—boredom, vice and need.
God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
You must have the Devil in you to succeed in any of the arts.
What a heavy burden is a name that has too soon become famous.
When it is a matter of money, all men are of the same religion.
There are truths which are not for all people, nor for all times.
Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels.
Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.
When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
The true character of liberty is independence, maintained by force.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition. But certainty is an absurd one.
Work keeps away those three great evils: boredom, vice, and poverty.
Labor preserves us from three great evils — boredom, vice, and want.
It is with books as with men: a very small number play a great part.
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.
Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.
Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.
He must be very ignorant, for he answers every question he is asked.
Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.
Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.
Pleasure is the object, the duty, and the goal of all rational creatures.
It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.
Let us work without disputing; it is the only way to render life tolerable.
The history of the world's great leaders is often the story of human folly.
Fanaticism is to superstition what delirium is to fever, and fury to anger.
To succeed in chaining the multitude you must seem to wear the same fetters.
The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.
Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.
They who have not the spirit of their age, of their age have all the misery.
In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.
Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
If God has created us in His image, we have more than returned the compliment.
There was far more imagination in the head of Archimedes than in that of Homer.
Error flies from mouth to mouth, from pen to pen, and to destroy it takes ages.
As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
What is madness? To have erroneous perceptions, and to reason correctly from them?
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
The tolerance of all religions is a law of nature, stamped on the hearts of all men.
All the citizens of a state cannot be equally powerful, but they may be equally free.
What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.
Let us read and let us dance—two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.
One merit of poetry few people will deny; it says more, and in fewer words, than prose.
Let us leave every man at liberty to seek into himself and to lose himself in his ideas.
The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors.
I know of no great souls except those who have rendered great services to the human race.
Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
Those who think are excessively few; and those few do not set themselves to disturb the world.
A prince who writes against flattery is as singular as a pope who writes against infallibility.
Adultery is an evil only inasmuch as it is a theft; but we do not steal that which is given to us.
In laughter there is always a kind of joyousness that is incompatible with contempt or indignation.
Work is often the father of pleasure; I pity the man overwhelmed with the weight of his own leisure.
The instinct of man is to pursue everything that flies from him, and to fly from all that pursue him.
A multitude of laws in a country is like a great number of physicians, a sign of weakness and malady.
The man who, in a fit of melancholy, kills himself today, would have wished to live had he waited a week.
Man is the only animal that laughs, drinks when he is not thirsty, and makes love at all seasons of the year.
People are in general so tricky, so envious, and cruel, that when we find one who is only weak, we are happy.
Many historians take pleasure in putting into the mouths of kings what they have neither said nor ought to have said.
Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks more ancient.
The discovery of what is true, and the practice of that which is good, are the two most important objects of philosophy.
Every man is the creature of the age in which he lives; very few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the times.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them.
In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.
What medicine can procure digestion? Exercise. What will recruit strength? Sleep. What will alleviate incurable evils? Patience.
Inspiration: a peculiar effect of divine flatulence emitted by the Holy Spirit which hisses into the ears of a few chosen of God.
When he who hears does not know what he who speaks means, and when he who speaks does not know what he himself means, that is philosophy.
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.
All the persecutors declare against each other mortal war, while the philosopher, oppressed by them all, contents himself with pitying them.
The post is the grand connecting link of all transactions. Those who are absent, by its means become present; it is the consolation of life.
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.
I am a little deaf, a little blind, a little impotent, and on top of this are two or three abominable infirmities, but nothing destroys my hope.
Animals have these advantages over man: they have no theologians to instruct them, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.
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 mouth, a yellow belly and a brown back.
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.
The passions are the winds that fill the sails of the vessel. They sink it at times; but without them it would be impossible to make way. Many things that are dangerous here below, are still necessary
A flowery discourse is more replete with agreeable than with strong thoughts, with images more sparkling than sublime, and terms more curious than forcible. This metaphor is correctly taken from flowers, which are showy without strength or stability. This metaphor is correctly taken from flowers, which are showy without strength or stability.
Have I told you about the tension of opposites? he says. The tension of opposites? Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn't. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted. A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.Sounds like a wrestling match, I say. A wrestling match. He laughs. Yes, you could describe life that way. So which side wins, I ask? Which side wins? He smiles at me, the crinkled eyes, the crooked teeth. Love wins. Love always wins.
Love truth but pardon error.
The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
What is madness? To have erroneous perceptions and to reason correctly from them.
It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part; the rest are lost in the multitude.