Voltaire Quotations


A great many laws in a country, like many physicians, is a sign of malady.

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

A long dispute means both parties are wrong.

Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.

Define your terms, you will permit me again to say, or we shall never understand one another.

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

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.

God is a comic playing to an audience that's afraid to laugh.

History supplies little beyond a list of those who have accommodated themselves with the property of others.

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

If you are desirous to prevent the overrunning of a state by any sect, show it toleration.

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

In metaphysics and in morals, the ancients have said everything. We always encounter or repeat them.

In my life, I have prayed but one prayer: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.

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

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

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

Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.

Men use thought only to justify their wrong doings, and speech only to conceal their thoughts.

One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.

The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

The instinct of a man is to pursue everything that flies from him, and to fly from all that pursue him.

The pleasure of governing must certainly be exquisite, if we may judge from the vast numbers who are eager to be concerned with it.

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

There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them.

There is but one morality, as there is but one geometry.

The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.

The way to be a bore is to say everything.

To succeed in chaining the multitude, you must first seem to wear the same fetters.

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

Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors.

Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.