Quotes and Quotations

Memorable Quotes and quotations from Voltaire

Voltaire French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 - 1778)


Voltaire -
- Anything too stupid to be said is sung.

Voltaire -
- The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman nor an Empire.

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Once the people begin to reason, all is lost.

Voltaire -
- Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.

Voltaire -
- Canada: A few acres of snow.

Voltaire -
- There is a wide difference between speaking to deceive, and being silent to be impenetrable.

Voltaire -
- The art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of the citizens to give to the other.

Voltaire -
- To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.

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

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

Voltaire -
- It is far better to be silent than merely to increase the quantity of bad books.

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

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

Voltaire -
- Common sense is not so common.

Voltaire -
- 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.

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

Voltaire -
- Prejudice is opinion without judgement.

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

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

Voltaire - Candide
- All is for the best in the best of all possible ways.

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

Voltaire -
- Do well and you will have no need for ancestors.

Voltaire -
- You despise books; you whose lives are absorbed in the vanities of ambition, the pursuit of pleasure or indolence; but remember that all the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.

Voltaire - Essay on Tolerance
- Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.

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

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

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

Voltaire - Candide
- [Optimism is] the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.

Voltaire -
- I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.

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

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

Voltaire - Candide, 1759
- Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.

Voltaire -
- God is always on the side of the big battalions.

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

Voltaire -
- I believe that there never was a creator of a philosophical system who did not confess at the end of his life that he had wasted his time. It must be admitted that the inventors of the mechanical arts have been much more useful to men that the inventors of syllogisms. He who imagined a ship towers considerably above him who imagined innate ideas.

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

Voltaire -
- Anything too stupid to be said is sung.

Voltaire -
- Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.

Voltaire - (Attributed); originated in "The Friends of Voltaire", 1906, by S. G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
- I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Voltaire -
- The secret of being boring is to say everything.

Voltaire -
- 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 -
- Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.

Voltaire -
- May God defend me from my friends; I can defend myself from my enemies.

Voltaire -
- Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.

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

Voltaire -
- Regimen is superior to medicine.

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

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

Voltaire -
- England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.

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

Voltaire -
- This poem will never reach its destination.

Voltaire - Letter to Frederick, 1767
- As long as there are fools and rascals, there will be religions.

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

Voltaire -
- Love truth, and pardon error.

Voltaire -
- The superfluous is very necessary.

Voltaire -
- Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.

Voltaire - The Portable Voltaire
- In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one part of the citizens to give to the other.

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- God created sex. Priests created marriage.

Voltaire -
- I have lost the half of myself ? a soul for which mine was made.

Voltaire - on his deathbed in response to a priest asking that he renounce Satan
- Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies.

Voltaire - Letter (1769)
- The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him.

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

Voltaire -
- Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.

Voltaire - when asked on his deathbed to forswear Satan.
- This is no time to make new enemies.

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

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

Voltaire -
- "Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.

Voltaire -
- Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.