Quotes and Quotations

Memorable Quotes and quotations from Voltaire

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


Voltaire -
- This poem will never reach its destination.

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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 -
- The multitude of books is making us ignorant.

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Prejudice is opinion without judgement.

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

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

Voltaire -
- Regimen is superior to medicine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 -
- Anything too stupid to be said is sung.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Love truth, and pardon error.

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 -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- God created sex. Priests created marriage.

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- The superfluous is very necessary.

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Common sense is not so common.

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Canada: A few acres of snow.

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

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

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

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

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