Quotes and Quotations

Memorable Quotes and quotations from Voltaire

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


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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Common sense is not so common.

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

Voltaire -
- The superfluous is very necessary.

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

Voltaire -
- God created sex. Priests created marriage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

Voltaire -
- Canada: A few acres of snow.

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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 -
- Prejudice is opinion without judgement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- This poem will never reach its destination.

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

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

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

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 Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman nor an Empire.

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Love truth, and pardon error.

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Regimen is superior to medicine.

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

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

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