Quotes and Quotations

Memorable Quotes and quotations from Voltaire

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


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

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

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

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 -
- God created sex. Priests created marriage.

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Prejudice is opinion without judgement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- The superfluous is very necessary.

Voltaire -
- A witty saying proves nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Regimen is superior to medicine.

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

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- Canada: A few acres of snow.

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

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

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

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

Voltaire -
- This poem will never reach its destination.

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

Voltaire -
- Love truth, and pardon error.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 -
- Common sense is not so common.

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