Explore the most impactful and insightful quotes and sayings by Voltaire, and enrich your perspective with the wisdom. Share these inspiring Voltaire quotes pictures with your friends on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or your personal blogs, completely free. Here are the top 823 Voltaire quotes for you to read and share.

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God is always on the side of the heaviest battalions. -- Voltaire
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Prejudices are what rule the vulgar crowd. -- Voltaire
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Ask a toad what is beauty ... ; he will answer that it is a female with two great round eyes coming out of her little head, a large flat mouth, a yellow belly and a brown back. -- Voltaire
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this is how men treat one another. -- Voltaire
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The Jewish nation dares to display an irreconcilable hatred toward all nations, and revolts against all masters; always superstitious, always greedy for the well-being enjoyed by others, always barbarous - cringing in misfortune and insolent in prosperity. -- Voltaire
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Four thousand volumes of metaphysics will not teach us what the soul is. -- Voltaire
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If there were no God, it would have been necessary to invent him. -- Voltaire
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I read these words which are the sum of all moral philosophy, and which cut short all the disputes of the casuists: When in doubt if an action is good or bad, refrain. -- Voltaire
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Since the whole affair had become one of religion, the vanquished were of course exterminated. -- Voltaire
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A woman can keep one secret the secret of her age. -- Voltaire
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My friend, you see how perishable are the riches of this world; there is nothing solid but virtue, -- Voltaire
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Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers. -- Voltaire
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Speaking of Newton but also commenting more broadly on education and the Enlightenment: I have seen a professor of mathematics only because he was great in his vocation, buried like a king who had done well by his subjects. -- Voltaire
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Custom, law bent my first years to the religion of the happy Muslims. I see it too clearly: the care taken of our childhood forms our feelings, our habits, our belief. By the Ganges I would have been a slave of the false gods, a Christian in Paris, a Muslim here. -- Voltaire
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He who is involved in ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for reality, and his own imagination for prophesy, is a fanatical novice of great hope and promise, and will soon advance to the higher stage and kill men for the love of God. -- Voltaire
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And to every man has been assigned a good and an evil angel; one assisting him and the other annoying him, from his cradle to his coffin. -- Voltaire
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A small number of choice books are sufficient. -- Voltaire
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How many plays have been written in France?' Candide asked the abbe.
'Five or six thousand.'
'That's a lot,' said Candide. 'How many of them are good?'
'Fifteen or sixteen,' replied the abbe.
'That's a lot,' said Martin. -- Voltaire
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That is why all romantics are anti-Voltairean, even Michelet, whose political fervor ought to have made him stand aligned with Voltaire; and that is why, on the other hand, all the minds which accept the world and recognize its irony and indifference are Voltairean. -- Voltaire
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To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth. -- Voltaire
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To the living we owe our respect, but to the dead we own only the truth. -- Voltaire
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If they're from the village, you take them to the inn. If they're from the city, you treat them with respect when they are beautiful and throw them on the highway when they are dead. -- Voltaire
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When men do not have healthy notions of the Divinity, false ideas supplant them, just as in bad times one uses counterfeit money when there is no good money. -- Voltaire
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All styles are good except the tiresome kind. -- Voltaire
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She blushed and so did he. She greeted him in a faltering voice, and he spoke to her without knowing what he was saying. -- Voltaire
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Villains are undone by what is worst in them, heroes by what is best. -- Voltaire
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Don't think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money. -- Voltaire
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Change everything except your loves. -- Voltaire
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Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world. -- Voltaire
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I am so satiated with the great number of detestable books with which we are inundated that I am reduced to punting at faro. -- Voltaire
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Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him. -- Voltaire
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I also know that we should cultivate our gardens. -- Voltaire
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Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law. -- Voltaire
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Imagine all contradictions, all possible incompatibilities
you will find them in the government, in the law-courts, in the churches, in the public shows of this droll nation. -- Voltaire
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The passions are the winds which fill the sails of the vessel; they sink it at times, but without them it would be impossible to make way. -- Voltaire
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Only cut off a buttock of each of those ladies,' said he,'and you'll fare extremely well; if you must go to it again, there will be the same entertainment a few days hence; heaven will accept of so charitable an action, and send you relief. -- Voltaire
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Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed. -- Voltaire
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It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one. -- Voltaire
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Men appear to prefer ruining one another's fortunes, and cutting each other's throats about a few paltry villages, to extending the grand means of human happiness. -- Voltaire
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The son of God is the same as the son of man; the son of man is the same as the son of God. God, the father, is the same as Christ, the son; Christ, the son, is the same as God, the father. This language may appear confused to unbelievers, but Christians will readily understand it. -- Voltaire
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I found the book, Qur'an,] in spite of "the contradictions, the absurdities, the anachronisms", "rhapsody, without connection, without order, and without art. -- Voltaire
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I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying your annuities. It is the only pleasure I have left. -- Voltaire
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Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies. -- Voltaire
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I know many books which have bored their readers, but I know of none which has done real evil. -- Voltaire
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You can never correct your work well until you have forgotten it. -- Voltaire
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If you have two religions in your land, the two will cut each other's throats; but if you have thirty religions, they will dwell in peace -- Voltaire
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The secret of being tiresome is in telling everything. -- Voltaire
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Alas ... I too have known love, that ruler of hearts, that soul of our soul: it's never brought me anything except one kiss and twenty kicks in the rump. How could such a beautiful cause produce such an abominable effect on you? -- Voltaire
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What! have you no monks who teach, who dispute, who govern, who cabal, and who burn people that are not of their opinion? -- Voltaire
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This is no time to make new enemies. -- Voltaire
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Every one goes astray, but the least imprudent are they who repent the soonest. -- Voltaire
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I've had some experience of this love, this love that rules our hearts, which is the soul of our souls; all it got me was a kiss and twenty kicks in the ass. How could so beautiful a cause have produced in you such an abominable effect? -- Voltaire
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But do not you see," answered Martin, "that he likewise dislikes everything he possesses? It was an observation of Plato, long since, that those are not the best stomachs that reject, without distinction, all sorts of food. -- Voltaire
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Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination. -- Voltaire
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The wicked can have only accomplices, the voluptuous have companions in debauchery, self-seekers have associates, the politic assemble the factions, the typical idler has connections, princes have courtiers. Only the virtuous have friends. -- Voltaire
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Beautiful maiden," answered Candide, "when a man is in love, is jealous, and has been flogged by the Inquisition, he becomes lost to all reflection. -- Voltaire
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There's scarce a point whereon mankind agree - So well as in their boast of killing me; I boast of nothing, but when I've a mind - I think I can be even with mankind -- Voltaire
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There is only one morality, as there is only one geometry. -- Voltaire
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I have no more than twenty acres of ground," he replied, "the whole of which I cultivate myself with the help of my children; and our labor keeps off from us the three great evils - boredom, vice, and want. -- Voltaire
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Our country is that spot to which our heart is bound. -- Voltaire
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Use, do not abuse ... neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy. -- Voltaire
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You are very hard of belief," said Candide. "I have lived," said Martin. -- Voltaire
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A true god surely cannot have been born of a girl, nor died on the gibbet, nor be eaten in a piece of dough ... [or inspired] books, filled with contradictions, madness, and horror. -- Voltaire
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I have been in several provinces. In some one-half of the people are fools, in others they are too cunning; in some they are weak and simple, in others they affect to be witty; in all, the principal occupation is love, the next is slander, and the third is talking nonsense. -- Voltaire
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It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. -- Voltaire
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Men who have seen life and death ... as an unbroken continuum, the swinging pendulum, have been able to move as freely into death as they walked through life. Socrates went to the grave almost perplexed by his companions' tears. -- Voltaire
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If the bookseller happens to desire a privilege for his merchandise, whether he is selling Rabelais or the Fathers of the Church, the magistrate grants the privilege without answering for the contents of the book. - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire -- Voltaire
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Fanaticism, to which men are so much inclined, has always served not only to render them more brutalized but more wicked. -- Voltaire
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The supposed right of intolerance is absurd and barbaric. It is the right of the tiger; nay, it is far worse, for tigers do but tear in order to have food, while we rend each other for paragraphs. -- Voltaire
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Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing, and love those who love you. -- Voltaire
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Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life. -- Voltaire
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The law of nature teaches us to kill our neighbour, and -- Voltaire
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God prefers bad verses recited with a pure heart to the finest verses chanted by the wicked. -- Voltaire
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Anything too stupid to be said is sung. -- Voltaire
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Let us meet four times a year in a grand temple with music, and thank God for all his gifts. There is one sun. There is one God. Let us have one religion. Then all mankind will be brethren. -- Voltaire
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Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die. -- Voltaire
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No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking. -- Voltaire
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I know this love, that sovereign of hearts, that soul of our souls; yet it never cost me more than a kiss and twenty kicks on the backside. How could this beautiful cause produce in you an effect so abominable. -- Voltaire
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It is said that the present is pregnant with the future. -- Voltaire
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What can be feared when one is doing one's duty? I know the rage of my enemies. I know all their slanders; but when one only tries to do good to men and when one does not offend heaven, one can fear nothing, neither during life nor after death. -- Voltaire
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We only half live when we only half think. -- Voltaire
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For seventeen hundred years the Christian sect has done nothing but harm. -- Voltaire
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Irregularity is inherent in our very nature; expecting people to be perfectly wise is as crazy as putting wings on dogs or horns on eagles -- Voltaire
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Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day. -- Voltaire
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You must have the Devil in you to succeed in any of the arts -- Voltaire
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It was an observation of Plato, long since, that those are not the best stomachs that reject, without distinction, all sorts of aliments." "True," said Candide, "but still there must certainly be a pleasure in criticising everything, and in perceiving faults where others think they see beauties. -- Voltaire
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Such is the feebleness of humanity, such is its perversity, that doubtless it is better for it to be subject to all possible superstitions, as long as they are not murderous, than to live without religion. -- Voltaire
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England has forty-two religions and only two sauces. -- Voltaire
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The opinion of all lawyers, the unanimous cry of the nation, and the good of the state, are in themselves a law. -- Voltaire
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There can be no effect without a cause," modestly answered Candide; "the whole is necessarily concatenated and arranged for the best. -- Voltaire
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A lady of honor may be raped once, but it strengthens her virtue. -- Voltaire
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Religion began when the first scoundrel met the first fool. -- Voltaire
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The tyranny of the many would be when one body takes over the rights of others, and then exercises its power to change the laws in its favor. -- Voltaire
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The sovereign is called a tyrant who knows no laws but his caprice. -- Voltaire
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Adultery is an evil only inasmuch as it is a theft; but we do not steal that which is given to us. -- Voltaire
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The harmony of a concert, to which you listen with delight, must have on certain classes of minute animals the effect of terrible thunder; perhaps it kills them. -- Voltaire
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There is a pleasure in not being pleased. -- Voltaire
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Candide listened attentively and believed innocently; for he thought Miss Cunegonde extremely beautiful, though he never had the courage to tell her so. -- Voltaire
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Said Candide to Cacambo:
My friend, you see how perishable are the riches of this world; there is nothing solid but virtue, and the happiness of seeing Cunegonde once more. -- Voltaire
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I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition. -- Voltaire
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No, nothing has the power to part me from you; our love is based upon virtue, and will last as long as our lives. -- Voltaire
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What's optimism? said Cacambo.
Alas, said Candide, it is a mania for saying things are well when one is in hell. -- Voltaire
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To enjoy life we must touch much of it lightly. -- Voltaire
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The institution of religion exists only to keep mankind in order, and to make men merit the goodness of God by their virtue. Everything in a religion which does not tend towards this goal must be considered foreign or dangerous. -- Voltaire
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History in general is a collection of crimes, follies, and misfortunes among which we have now and then met with a few virtues, and some happy times. -- Voltaire
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The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it. -- Voltaire
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The monster, fanaticism, still exists, and whoever seeks after truth will run the risk of being persecuted. -- Voltaire
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Often the prudent, far from making their destinies, succumb to them. -Francois -- Voltaire
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I am infinitely more touched by your extreme generosity than with the inhumanity of that gentleman -- Voltaire
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I've decided to be happy because it's good for my health. -- Voltaire
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A physician is an unfortunate gentleman who is every day required to perform a miracle; namely to reconcile health with intemperance. -- Voltaire
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There can be no happiness without good health -- Voltaire
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The way to become boring is to say everything. -- Voltaire
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The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe. -- Voltaire
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To find why this sheep's wool was red; and the prize was awarded to a learned man of the North, who demonstrated by A plus B minus C divided by Z, that the sheep must be red, and die of the rot. -- Voltaire
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The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors. -- Voltaire
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There is the history of opinions which is hardly anything but a collection of human errors. -- Voltaire
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All the arts are brothers; each one is a light to the others. -- Voltaire
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We know that all the arts are brothers, that each of them illuminates another, and that a universal light results. -- Voltaire
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It is ourselves alone that make our days lucky or unlucky. Away, then, with a vain prejudice, the invention of the priesthood, which has been transmitted by our ancestors to an ignorant people. -- Voltaire
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It would be easier to subjugate the entire universe through force than the minds of a single village. -- Voltaire
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God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh. -- Voltaire
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His face was the true index of his mind. -- Voltaire
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Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient. -- Voltaire
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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
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The Pride of every Jew finds cause to believe that the cause of their down fall is not their detestable politics, or ignorance of social graces, but the raft of God. They believe it took a miracle to undo them. -- Voltaire
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All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women. -- Voltaire
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The supper was like most Parisian suppers: silence at first, then a burst of unintelligible chatter, then witticisms that were mostly vapid, false rumors, bad reasonings, a little politics and a great deal of slander; they even spoke about new books. -- Voltaire
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Among the illusions which have invested our civilization is an absolute belief that the solutions to our problems must be a more determined application of rationally organized expertise ... The reality is that our problems are largely the product of that application. -- Voltaire
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The Baron was one of Westphalia's most potent aristocrats, since his mansion boasted both a door and windows. -- Voltaire
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Doctors put drugs of which they know little into bodies of which they know less for diseases of which they know nothing at all. -- Voltaire
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May God defend me from my friends: I can defend myself from my enemies. -- Voltaire
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We are at the end of all our troubles, and at the beginning of happiness -- Voltaire
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If you are attacked as regards your style, never reply; it is for your work alone to make answer. -- Voltaire
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The flowery style is not unsuitable to public speeches or addresses, which amount only to compliment. The lighter beauties are in their place when there is nothing more solid to say; but the flowery style ought to be banished from a pleading, a sermon, or a didactic work. -- Voltaire
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Meslier was the most singular phenomenon ever seen among all the meteors fatal to the Christian religion. -- Voltaire
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Fools admire everything in an author of reputation. -- Voltaire
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All is a miracle. The stupendous order of nature, the revolution of a hundred millions of worlds around a million of stars, the activity of light, the life of all animals, all are grand and perpetual miracles. -- Voltaire
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Language is a very difficult thing to put into words. -- Voltaire
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It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce. -- Voltaire
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Where some states have an army, the Prussian Army has a state. -- Voltaire
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We must cultivate our own garden. When man was put in the garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work, which proves that man was not born to rest. -- Voltaire
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The mouth obeys poorly when the heart murmurs. -- Voltaire
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In short, the alphabet was the origin of all man's knowledge, and of all his errors. -- Voltaire
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In France every man is either an anvil or a hammer; he is a beater or must be beaten. -- Voltaire
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Discord is the great ill of mankind; and tolerance is the only remedy for it. -- Voltaire
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It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. -- Voltaire
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He vainly said that human will is free, -- Voltaire
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Miss, you are seventy-two percent noble and don't have a cent. Whether or not you marry the greatest lord in South America - who has an extraordinarily handsome mustache - is entirely up to you. -- Voltaire
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Prejudices are what fools use for reason. -- Voltaire
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An admiral should be put to death now and then to encourage the others. -- Voltaire
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Antiquity is full of the praises of another antiquity still more remote. -- Voltaire
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It's not inequality which is the real misfortune, it's dependence -- Voltaire
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Give me the patience for the small things of life, courage for the great trials of life. Help me to do my best each day and then go to sleep knowing God is awake. -- Voltaire
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But in this country it is necessary, now and then, to put one admiral to death in order to inspire the others to fight. -- Voltaire
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Whosoever does not know how to recognize the faults of great men is incapable of estimating their perfections. -- Voltaire
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If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others? -- Voltaire
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Upon such slender threads as these do the fates of mortals hang -- Voltaire
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Man is not born wicked; he becomes so, as he becomes sick. -- Voltaire
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You will notice that in all disputes between Christians since the birth of the Church, Rome has always favored the doctrine which most completely subjugated the human mind and annihilated reason. -- Voltaire
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Virtue debases itself in justifying itself. -- Voltaire
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I never approved either the errors of his book, or the trivial truths he so vigorously laid down. I have, however, stoutly taken his side when absurd men have condemned him for these same truths. -- Voltaire
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The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him -- Voltaire
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Everything is not as good as in El-Dorado; but everything is not so bad. -- Voltaire
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Isn't there a pleasure in criticising everything and discovering faults where other men detect beauties? -- Voltaire
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If you want to kill Christianity you must abolish Sunday. -- Voltaire
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God created woman to tame man. -- Voltaire
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We are going to a new world ... and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world. -- Voltaire
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Wine is the divine juice of September. -- Voltaire
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Needless to say since Christ's expiation not one single Christian has been known to sin, or die. -- Voltaire
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Liberty of thought is the life of the soul. -- Voltaire
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Do transports of rage make a religion any truer? A man shot in a battle does not lose his temper, but argue with a theologian and he becomes implacable. -- Voltaire
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He was natural and sublime, but had not so much as a single spark of good taste, or knew one rule of the drama. -- Voltaire
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Men are in general so tricky, so envious, and so cruel that when we find one who is only weak, we are too happy. -- Voltaire
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There is a wide difference between speaking to deceive, and being silent to be impenetrable. -- Voltaire
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Let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and is a living lesson. -- Voltaire
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Man can have only a certain number of teeth, hair and ideas; there comes a time when he necessarily loses his teeth, hair and ideas. -- Voltaire
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I should like to lie at your feet and die in your arms. -- Voltaire
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Froth at the top, dregs at bottom, but the middle excellent. -- Voltaire
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Fear follows crime and is its punishment. -- Voltaire
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War is the greatest of all crimes; and yet there is no aggressor who does not color his crime with the pretext of justice. -- Voltaire
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We must cultivate our garden. -- Voltaire
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The interest I have to believe a thing is no proof that such a thing exists. -- Voltaire
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One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything's fine today, that is our illusion -- Voltaire
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Everywhere the weak execrate the powerful, before whom they cringe; and the powerful beat them like sheep whose wool and flesh they sell. -- Voltaire
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Exaggeration, the inseparable companion of greatness. -- Voltaire
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It is with books as with the fires of our grates, everybody borrows a light from his neighbor to kindle his own, which in turn is communicated to others, and each partakes of all. -- Voltaire
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Truth is a fruit that can only be picked when it is very ripe. -- Voltaire
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He is the man who knows everything and never dies. -- Voltaire
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But for what purpose was the earth formed?" asked Candide. "To drive us mad," replied Martin. -- Voltaire
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The famous physician Dumoulin said when dying, 'I leave two great physicians behind me, simple food and pure water.' -- Voltaire
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Good God!" cried he, "I have killed my old master, my friend, my brother-in-law; I am the best man in the world, and yet I have already killed three men; and of these three two were priests. -- Voltaire
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The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor. -- Voltaire
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Minds differ still more than faces. -- Voltaire
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Consequently they who assert that all is well have said a foolish thing, they should have said all is for the best. -- Voltaire
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The Deluge: A punishment inflicted on the human race by an all-knowing God, who, through not having foreseen the wickedness of men, repented of having made them, and drowned them once for all to make them better - an act which, as we all know, was accompanied by the greatest success. -- Voltaire
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Illusion is the first of all pleasures. -- Voltaire
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The moment of meeting, and that of parting are the two greatest epochs of life as sayeth the great book of Zend. -- Voltaire
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Freedom is to depend only on the law and not on men's whims. -- Voltaire
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Martin in particular concluded that man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom. -- Voltaire
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The sentiment of justice is so natural, and so universally acquired by all mankind, that it seems to be independent of all law, all party, all religion. -- Voltaire
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The most genuine and efficacious charity is that which greases the paws of the priests; such charity covers a multitude of sins. -- Voltaire
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What can we say with certainty? -- Voltaire
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Wherever there is a settled society, religion is necessary; the laws cover manifest crimes, and religion covers secret crimes. -- Voltaire
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It would be very singular that all nature, all the planets, should obey eternal laws, and that there should be a little animal five feet high, who, in contempt of these laws, could act as he pleased, solely according to his caprice. -- Voltaire
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Nothing is more annoying than to be obscurely hanged. -- Voltaire
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He wanted to know how they prayed to God in El Dorado. "We do not pray to him at all," said the reverend sage. "We have nothing to ask of him. He has given us all we want, and we give him thanks continually. -- Voltaire
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Do you think ... that men have always massacred each other, as they do today? Have they always been liars, cheats, traitors, brigands, weak, flighty, cowardly, envious, gluttonous, drunken, grasping, and vicious, bloody, backbiting, debauched, fanatical, hypocritical, and silly? -- Voltaire
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God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. -- Voltaire
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All men are by nature free; you have therefore an undoubted liberty to depart whenever you please, but will have many and great difficulties to encounter in passing the frontiers. -- Voltaire
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Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. -- Voltaire
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Most of my life has been one tragedy after another, most of which hasn't happened. -- Voltaire
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I suspected as much. -- Voltaire
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An Opportunity of doing Mischief, says -Zoroaster-, offers itself a hundred Times a Day; but that of doing a Friend a good Office but once a Year. -- Voltaire
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It is as impossible to translate poetry as it is to translate music. -- Voltaire
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Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men. -- Voltaire
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I only know in general that the people we are going to see are very atrabilious. -- Voltaire
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What will the preachers say? .. to teach men not to persecute men: for, while a few sanctimonious humbugs are burning a few fanatics, the earth opens and swallows up all alike. -- Voltaire
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The only way to see the value of a play is to see it acted. -- Voltaire
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It is impossible to translate poetry. Can you translate music? -- Voltaire
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What a pessimist you are!" exclaimed Candide.
"That is because I know what life is," said Martin. -- Voltaire
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The abuse of grace is affectation, as the abuse of the sublime is absurdity; all perfection is nearly a fault. -- Voltaire
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Shakespeare is a drunken savage with some imagination whose plays please only in London and Canada. -- Voltaire
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Mankind have a little corrupted nature, for they were not born wolves, and they have become wolves; God has given them neither cannon of four-and-twenty pounders, nor bayonets; and yet they have made cannon and bayonets to destroy one another. -- Voltaire
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Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly. -- Voltaire
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Tell her stories to alleviate her inquietude; for stories always amuse the ladies, and it is only by interesting them that one can succeed in the world. Mambres -- Voltaire
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Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game. -- Voltaire
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The best way to be boring is to include everything. -- Voltaire
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My dear young lady, when you are in love, and jealous, and have been flogged by the Inquisition, there's no knowing what you may do. -- Voltaire
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Ice-cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn't illegal. -- Voltaire
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We cannot always oblige; but we can always speak obligingly. -- Voltaire
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When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics. -- Voltaire
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if a philosopher wishes to be useful to human society, he must announce a God. -- Voltaire
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The nose has been formed to bear spectacles - thus we have spectacles. -- Voltaire
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It must be confessed that the inventors of the mechanical arts have been much more useful to men than the inventors of syllogisms. -- Voltaire
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Humanly speaking, let us define truth, while waiting for a better definition as a statement of facts as they are -- Voltaire
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Descartes gave sight to the blind. These saw the errors of antiquity and of the sciences. The path he struck out is since become boundless [ ... ] In fathoming this abyss no bottom has been found. We are now to examine what discoveries Sir Isaac Newton has made in it. -- Voltaire
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The fate of a nation has often depended upon the good or bad digestion of a prime minister. -- Voltaire
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The question of good and evil remains in irremediable chaos for those who seek to fathom it in reality. It is mere mental sport to the disputants, who are captives that play with their chains. -- Voltaire
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The man visited by ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for realities is an enthusiast; the man who supports his madness with murder is a fanatic. -- Voltaire
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And ask each passenger to tell his story, and if there is one of them all who has not cursed his existence many times, and said to himself over and over again that he was the most miserable of men, I give you permission to throw me head-first into the sea. -- Voltaire
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But nothing is more estimable than a physician who, having studied nature from his youth, knows the properties of the human body, the diseases which assail it, the remedies which will benefit it, exercises his art with caution, and pays equal attention to the rich and the poor. -- Voltaire
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FANATICISM is, to superstition, what delirium is to fever, and fury to anger : he who has ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for realities, and imaginations for prophecies, is an enthusiast ; and he, who sticks not at supporting his folly by murder, is a fanatic. -- Voltaire
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He who is not just is severe, he who is not wise is sad. -- Voltaire
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When he who hears does not know what he who speaks means, and when he who speaks does not know what he himself means, that is philosophy. -- Voltaire
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If there are atheists, who is to be blamed if not the mercenary tyrants of souls who, in revolting us against their swindles, compel some feeble spirits to deny the God whom these monsters dishonour? -- Voltaire
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Virtue between men is a commerce of good actions: he who has no part in this commerce must not be reckoned. -- Voltaire
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He who has heard the same thing told by 12,000 eye-witnesses has only 12,000 probabilities, which are equal to one strong probability, which is far from certain. -- Voltaire
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So it is the human condition that to wish for the greatness of one's fatherland is to wish evil to one's neighbors. The citizen of the universe would be the man who wishes his country never to be either greater or smaller, richer or poorer. -- Voltaire
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The husband who decides to surprise his wife is often very much surprised himself. -- Voltaire
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What is called happiness is an abstract idea, composed of various ideas of pleasure; for he who has but a moment of pleasure is not a happy man, in like manner that a moment of grief constitutes not a miserable one. -- Voltaire
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In this country [England] it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, to encourage the others. The reference is to Admiral John Byng, who was executed in 1757 for failing to prevent the French from taking Minorca. -- Voltaire
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It is the triumph of superior reason to live with folks who don't have any. -- Voltaire
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Opinion rules the world, but in the long run it is the philosophers who shape opinion -- Voltaire
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He who thinks himself wise, O heavens! is a great fool. -- Voltaire
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God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best. -- Voltaire
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Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road. -- Voltaire
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A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working at the expense of the rascals who work to live. -- Voltaire
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Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel. -- Voltaire
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A fool is a person who guesses and gets it wrong, a clever man is one who guesses, regardless of time period, and gets it right. -- Voltaire
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He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise. -- Voltaire
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We offer up prayers to god only because we have made him after our own image. We treat him like a pasha, or a sultan, who is capable of being exasperated and appeased. -- Voltaire
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A physician is one who pours drugs of which he knows little into a body of which he knows less. -- Voltaire
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It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster. -- Voltaire
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there is no such thing as chance. All is either a trial, or a punishment, or a reward, or a foresight. Remember the fisherman, who thought himself the most wretched of mankind. Oromazes sent thee to change his fate. Cease then, frail mortal, to dispute against what thou oughtest to adore." "But, -- Voltaire
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He shines in the second rank, who is eclipsed in the first. -- Voltaire
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We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard. -- Voltaire
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As you know, the Inquisition is an admirable and wholly Christian invention to make the pope and the monks more powerful and turn a whole kingdom into hypocrites. -- Voltaire
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Self-esteem is a balloon filled with wind, from which great tempests surge when it is pricked -- Voltaire
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All is for the best in the best of possible worlds. -- Voltaire
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In every author let us distinguish the man from his works. -- Voltaire
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He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity. -- Voltaire
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Who demonstrated to him that the Bay of Lisbon had been made on purpose for the Anabaptist to be drowned. -- Voltaire
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In cities where peace and the arts flourish, men are more consumed by jealousy, worry, and anxiety than they are in cities under the blight of a besieging army. Private sorrows are more bitter than public suffering. -- Voltaire
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When a man is in love, jealous, and just whipped by the Inquisition, he is no longer himself. -- Voltaire
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The hallmark of a free society is that I may totally disapprove of what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it until I die. -- Voltaire
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The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination. -- Voltaire
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Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time. -- Voltaire
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The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing. -- Voltaire
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Nature has always had more force than education. -- Voltaire
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To learn who rules over you simply look to those you cannot criticize. -- Voltaire
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The ancients recommended us to sacrifice to the Graces, but Milton sacrificed to the Devil. -- Voltaire
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What is history? The lie that everyone agrees on ... -- Voltaire
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No opinion is worth burning your neighbor for. -- Voltaire
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Pangloss most cruelly deceived me when he said that everything in the world is for the best. -- Voltaire
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Morality is everywhere the same for all men, therefore it comes from God; sects differ, therefore they are the work of men. -- Voltaire
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All our ancient history, as one of our wits remarked, is no more than accepted fiction. -- Voltaire
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One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose. -- Voltaire
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Every one should be his own physician. We ought to assist, and not to force nature. Eat with moderation ... Nothing is good for the body but what we can digest. What medicine can procure digestion? Exercise. What will recruit strength? Sleep. -- Voltaire
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The Pope is an idol whose hands are tied and whose feet are kissed. -- Voltaire
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Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause. -- Voltaire
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Persistence with patience and prayer pays with profits, prosperity and peace of mind. -- Voltaire
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The infinitely little have a pride infinitely great. -- Voltaire
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Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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For can anything be sillier than to insist on carrying a burden one would continually much rather throw to the ground? -- Voltaire
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One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say -- Voltaire
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The further I go, the more I am confirmed in the idea that systems of metaphysics are for philosophers are what novels are for women. -- Voltaire
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Every sensible man, every honorable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror. -- Voltaire
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Theological religion is the source of all imaginable follies and disturbances. It is the parent of fanaticism and civil discord; it is the enemy of mankind. -- Voltaire
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Great men have all been formed either before academies or independent of them. -- Voltaire
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It is not the answers you give, but the questions you ask. -- Voltaire
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I know of nothing more laughable than a doctor who does not die of old age. -- Voltaire
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The atheists are for the most part imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly who, not being able to understand the Creation, the origin of evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the hypothesis the eternity of things and of inevitability. -- Voltaire
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A fondness for roving, for making a name for themselves in their onw country, and for boasting of what they had seen in their travels, was so strong in our two wanderers, that they resolved to be no longer happy; and demanded permission of the king to leave the country. -- Voltaire
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The Jews have always been waiting for a Messiah, but their Messiah is for them only, not for us, a Messiah ho will give them mastery over the Christians. -- Voltaire
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The infinitely small have a pride infinitely great. -- Voltaire
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We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies - it is the first law of nature. -- Voltaire
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It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection. -- Voltaire
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We have our arts, the ancients had theirs ... We cannot raise obelisks a hundred feet high in a single piece, but our meridians are more exact. -- Voltaire
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The right of commanding is no longer an advantage transmitted by nature; like an inheritance, it is the fruit of labors, the price of courage. -- Voltaire
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Friends should be preferred to kings. -- Voltaire
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It is vain for the coward to flee; death follows close behind; it is only by defying it that the brave escape. -- Voltaire
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Let us work without theorizing, tis the only way to make life endurable. -- Voltaire
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Very learned women are to be found, in the same manner as female warriors; but they are seldom or ever inventors. -- Voltaire
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Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden. -- Voltaire
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The little may contrast with the great, in painting, but cannot be said to be contrary to it. Oppositions of colors contrast; but there are also colors contrary to each other, that is, which produce an ill effect because they shock the eye when brought very near it. -- Voltaire
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Nothing is so common as to imitate one's enemies, and to use their weapons. -- Voltaire
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Such then is the human condition, that to wish greatness for one's country is to wish harm to one's neighbors. -- Voltaire
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I don't know where I am going, but I am on my way. -- Voltaire
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Whatever you do, trample down abuses, and love those who love you. Different translation: Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing superstition, and love those who love you. -- Voltaire
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To make a vow for life is to make oneself a slave. -- Voltaire
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The public is a ferocious beast; one must either chain it or flee from it. -- Voltaire
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I am the best-natured creature in the world, and yet I have already killed three, and of these three two were priests. -- Voltaire
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Feeble verses are those which sin not against rules, but against genius. -- Voltaire
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Inspiration: A peculiar effect of divine flatulence emitted by the Holy Spirit which hisses into the ears of a few chosen of God. -- Voltaire
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Indolence is sweet, and its consequence bitter. -- Voltaire
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Every abuse ought to be reformed, unless the reform is more dangerous than the abuse itself. -- Voltaire
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The only reward to be expected from literature is contempt if one fails and hatred if one succeeds. -- Voltaire
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The spirit of property doubles a man's strength. -- Voltaire
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It is love; love, the comfort of the human species, the preserver of the universe, the soul of all sentient beings, love, tender love. -- Voltaire
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If you wish to converse with me, define your terms. -- Voltaire
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The first clergyman was the first rascal who met the first fool. -- Voltaire
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I swear that, not being able to be yours, I will belong to no one. -- Voltaire
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If you wish to obtain a great name or to found an establishment, be completely mad; but be sure that your madness corresponds with the turn and temper of your age. -- Voltaire
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The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reason. -- Voltaire
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What is this optimism?" said Cacambo. "Alas!" said Candide, "it is the madness of maintaining that everything is right when it is wrong. -- Voltaire
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The multiplicity of facts and writings is become so great that every thing must soon be reduced to extracts and dictionaries. -- Voltaire
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My life is a struggle. -- Voltaire
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For the poetry of a text is largely produced by the fact that the wild chaos of the universe is therein, at one and the same time, expressed and controlled by a rhythm. In Candide both characteristics exist. -- Voltaire
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I read only to please myself, and enjoy only what suits my taste. -- Voltaire
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Those who can be made to believe absurdities can be made to commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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To announce truths is an infallible receipt for being persecuted. -- Voltaire
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I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write. -- Voltaire
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Antiquity is full of eulogies of another more remote antiquity. -- Voltaire
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Truth is a fruit which should not be plucked until it is ripe ... -- Voltaire
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Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them. -- Voltaire
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But whether he be, or whether he be not, I want bread. -- Voltaire
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Ours [religion] is without a doubt the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and the most bloody to ever infect the world. -- Voltaire
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If we would destroy the Christian religion, we must first of all destroy man's belief in the Bible. -- Voltaire
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It is not known precisely where angels dwell whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode. -- Voltaire
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History is the recital of facts represented as true. Fable, on the other hand, is the recital of facts represented as fiction. -- Voltaire
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A circumstance which has always appeared wonderful to me, is that such sublime discoveries should have been made by the sole assistance of a quadrant and a little arithmetic. -- Voltaire
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Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need. -- Voltaire
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We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation. -- Voltaire
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But there must be some pleasure in condemning everything
in perceiving faults where others think they see beauties.'
'You mean there is pleasure in having no pleasure. -- Voltaire
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Thought depends absolutely on the stomach, but in spite of that, those who have the best stomachs are not the best thinkers. -- Voltaire
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History is only the pattern of silken slippers descending the stairs to the thunder of hobnailed boots climbing upward from below. -- Voltaire
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In the matter of taxation, every privilege is an injustice. -- Voltaire
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Our work keeps us free of three great evils: boredom, vice and poverty." As -- Voltaire
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Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors. -- Voltaire
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If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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A torch lighted in the forests of America set all Europe in conflagration. -- Voltaire
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He was unhappy only when he thought: and that is true of the majority of mankind. -- Voltaire
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A historian has many duties ... the first is not to slander; the second is not to bore -- Voltaire
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Our labour preserves us from three great evils
weariness, vice, and want. -- Voltaire
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The only way to make men speak well of us is to do it. -- Voltaire
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Opinion is called the queen of the world; it is so, for when reason opposes it, it is condemned to death. It must rise twenty times from its ashes to gradually drive away the usurper. -- Voltaire
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Do well and you will have no need for ancestors. -- Voltaire
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We adore each other, and yet are afraid to love; we are consumed with a passion which we both condemn. Zadig -- Voltaire
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Twenty-volume folios will never make a revolution. It's the little pocket pamphlets that are to be feared. -- Voltaire
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We are all guilty of the good we did not do -- Voltaire
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So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men. -- Voltaire
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The mirror is a worthless invention. The only way to truly see yourself is in the reflection of someone else's eyes. -- Voltaire
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A man loved by a beautiful woman will always get out of trouble. -- Voltaire
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Providence has given us hope and sleep as a compensation for the many cares of life. -- Voltaire
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Contemplation of the stupidity which deems happiness possible almost made Voltaire happy. -- Voltaire
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Can you really believe that a drop of urine is an infinity of monads, and that each of these has ideas, however obscure, of the universe as a whole? -- Voltaire
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The Jews are of all peoples the grosses, the most ferocious, the most fanatical, and the most absurd. -- Voltaire
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It is the flash which appears, the thunderbolt will follow. -- Voltaire
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It is only through timidity that states are lost. -- Voltaire
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All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God. -- Voltaire
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The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker. -- Voltaire
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What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. -- Voltaire
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My soul is the mirror of the universe, and my body is its frame -- Voltaire
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But how conceive a God supremely good/ Who heaps his favours on the sons he loves,/ Yet scatters evil with as large a hand?
[Written after an earthquake in Lisbon killed over 15,000 people] -- Voltaire
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Injustice in the end produces independence. -- Voltaire
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The more he became truly wise, the more he distrusted everything he knew. -- Voltaire
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Never having been able to succeed in the world, he took his revenge by speaking ill of it. -- Voltaire
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Why, since we are always complaining of our ills, are we constantly employed in redoubling them? -- Voltaire
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A yawn may not be polite, but at least it is an honest opinion. -- Voltaire
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History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes. -- Voltaire
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The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. -- Voltaire
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What can be more absurd than choosing to carry a burden that one really wants to throw to the ground? To detest, and yet to strive to preserve our existence? To caress the serpent that devours us and hug him close to our bosoms tillhe has gnawed into our hearts? -- Voltaire
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The worthy administrators of justice are like a cat set to take care of a cheese, lest it should be gnawed by the mice. One bite of the cat does more damage to the cheese than twenty mice can do. -- Voltaire
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Happiness is not the portion of man. -- Voltaire
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All comes out even at the end of the day, and all comes out still more even when all the days are over. -- Voltaire
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Ideas are like beards; men do not have them until they grow up. -- Voltaire
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There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts. -- Voltaire
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It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. -- Voltaire
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Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too. -- Voltaire
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The biggest reward for a thing well done is to have done it. -- Voltaire
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Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others? -- Voltaire
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Fanaticism is a monster that pretends to be the child of religion -- Voltaire
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To caress the serpent that devours us, until it has eaten away our heart. -- Voltaire
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This self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles the provision for the perpetuity of mankind: it is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, and we must conceal it. -- Voltaire
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Just for the sake of amusement, ask each passenger to tell you his story, and if you find a single one who hasn't often cursed his life, who hasn't told himself he's the most miserable man in the world, you can throw me overboard head first. -- Voltaire
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Where some states possess an army, the Prussian Army possesses a state. -- Voltaire
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It is said that God is always on the side of the big battalions. -- Voltaire
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We are intelligent beings: intelligent beings cannot have been formed by a crude, blind, insensible being: there is certainly some difference between the ideas of Newton and the dung of a mule. Newton's intelligence, therefore, came from another intelligence -- Voltaire
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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
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Let us confess it: evil strides the world. -- Voltaire
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The superfluous is very necessary. -- Voltaire
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Constant happiness is the philosopher's stone of the soul. -- Voltaire
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We are rarely proud when we are alone. -- Voltaire
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The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it. -- Voltaire
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Did you hear that
did you have any choice about whether to hear it -- Voltaire
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Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero. -- Voltaire
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Martin concluded that man was born to live in either the convulsions of distress or the lethargy of boredom. -- Voltaire
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Beware of the words "internal security," for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor. -- Voltaire
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Society therefore is an ancient as the world. -- Voltaire
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This poem will never reach its destination. On Rousseau's Ode To Posterity -- Voltaire
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To pray to God is to flatter oneself that with words one can alter nature. -- Voltaire
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The Flames? Already? -- Voltaire
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The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood. -- Voltaire
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It has taken seas of blood to drown the idol of despotism, but the English do not think they bought their laws too dearly. -- Voltaire
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The secret of being a bore is to tell everything. -- Voltaire
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Love has various lodgings; the same word does not always signify the same thing. -- Voltaire
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It is fancy rather than taste which produces so many new fashions. -- Voltaire
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There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them. -- Voltaire
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This thought has met with the fate of many other useful projects, of being applauded and neglected. -- Voltaire
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Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do. -- Voltaire
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The prudent man does himself good; the virtuous one does it to other men. -- Voltaire
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had no need of a guide to learn ignorance -- Voltaire
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It must also be noted that until the present time this malady, like religious controversy, has been wholly confined to the continent of Europe. -- Voltaire
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I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clockmaker. -- Voltaire
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It is difficult to free people from the chains they revere. -- Voltaire
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You write your name in the snow Yet say nothing. -- Voltaire
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Friendship is the marriage of the soul, and this marriage is liable to divorce. -- Voltaire
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True greatness consists in the use of a powerful understanding to enlighten oneself and others. -- Voltaire
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Very often, say what you will, a knave is only a fool. -- Voltaire
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Many are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all; and others, to persecute those who do reason. -- Voltaire
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I have lived eighty years of life and know nothing for it, but to be resigned and tell myself that flies are born to be eaten by spiders and man to be devoured by sorrow. -- Voltaire
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Originality is nothing by judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another. -- Voltaire
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A good imitation is the most perfect originality -- Voltaire
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We all look for happiness, but without knowing where to find it: like drunkards who look for their house, knowing dimly that they have one -- Voltaire
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It was decided by the university of Coimbre that the sight of several persons being slowly burned in great ceremony is an infallible secret for preventing earthquakes. -- Voltaire
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Being unable to make people more reasonable, I preferred to be happy away from them -- Voltaire
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God should worshiped, not avenged. It is absurd for insects like ourselves to think we can avenge God. -- Voltaire
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It is best one should quote what one doesn't understand at all in the language one knows the least -- Voltaire
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Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable. -- Voltaire
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Every man can educate himself. It's shameful to put one's mind into the hands of those whom you wouldn't entrust with your money. Dare to think for yourself. -- Voltaire
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I envy animals for two things - their ignorance of evil to come, and their ignorance of what is said about them. -- Voltaire
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Changing a habit is hard work. But it's harder to find work that would be more fulfilling -- Voltaire
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The Holy Roman Empire is neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire. -- Voltaire
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An infallible method of making fanatics is to persuade before you instruct. -- Voltaire
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Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes. -- Voltaire
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Tears are the silent language of grief -- Voltaire
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Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. -- Voltaire
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Do you believe," said Martin, "that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they have found them?" "Yes, without doubt," said Candide. "Well, then," said Martin, "if hawks have always had the same character why should you imagine that men may have changed theirs? -- Voltaire
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What! Have you no monks to teach, to dispute, to govern, to intrigue and to burn people who do not agree with them? -- Voltaire
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Fear could never make virtue. -- Voltaire
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History is a collection of agreed upon lies. -- Voltaire
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One great use of words is to hide our thoughts. -- Voltaire
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In this country we find it pays to shoot an admiral from time to time to encourage the others. -- Voltaire
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It requires ages to destroy a popular opinion. -- Voltaire
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The ear is the avenue to the heart. -- Voltaire
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Philosopher: A lover of wisdom, which is to say, Truth. -- Voltaire
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Liberty, then, about which so many volumes have been written is, when accurately defined, only the power of acting. -- Voltaire
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Man is free the moment he wants to be. -- Voltaire
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History contains little beyond a list of people who have accommodate themselves with other people's property. -- Voltaire
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Men fed upon carnage, and drinking strong drinks, have all an impoisoned and acrid blood which drives them mad in a hundred different ways. -- Voltaire
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a river always leads to some inhabited spot. If we do not find pleasant things we shall at least find new things." "With -- Voltaire
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Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying? -- Voltaire
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Independence in the end is the fruit of injustice. -- Voltaire
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Better is the enemy of good. -- Voltaire
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Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes. -- Voltaire
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What then do you call your soul? What idea have you of it? You cannot of yourselves, without revelation, admit the existence within you of anything but a power unknown to you of feeling and thinking. -- Voltaire
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Once your faith persuades you to believe what your intelligence declares absurd, beware, lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life. -- Voltaire
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The more you know, the less sure you are. -- Voltaire
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Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world. -- Voltaire
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The punishment of criminals should be of use; when a man is hanged he is good for nothing. -- Voltaire
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To achieve a goal, a dream, a wish, you must plan it out for success! -- Voltaire
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Work is often the father of pleasure. -- Voltaire
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Superstition sets the whole world in flames, but philosophy douses them. -- Voltaire
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Errors flies from mouth to mouth, from pen to pen, and to destroy it takes ages. -- Voltaire
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In all the disputes which have excited Christians against each other, Rome has invariably decided in favor of that opinion which tended most towards the suppression of the human intellect and the annihilation of the reasoning powers. -- Voltaire
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If God did not exist, He would have to be invented. But all nature cries aloud that he does exist: that there is a supreme intelligence, an immense power, an admirable order, and everything teaches us our own dependence on it. -- Voltaire
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All the persecutors declare against each other mortal war, while the philosopher, oppressed by them all, contents himself with pitying them. -- Voltaire
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The right to free speech is more important than the content of the speech. -- Voltaire
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I am a little deaf, a little blind, a little important and on top of this are two or three abominable infirmities, but nothing destroys my hope. -- Voltaire
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When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not? -- Voltaire
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When truth is evident, it is impossible for parties and factions to rise. There never has been a dispute as to whether there is daylight at noon. -- Voltaire
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I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc.. -- Voltaire
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The first step, my son, which one makes in the world, is the one on which depends the rest of our days. -- Voltaire
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He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend; provided, of course, he really is dead. -- Voltaire
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Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one. -- Voltaire
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In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation. -- Voltaire
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In the beginning God created man in His own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since. -- Voltaire
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It is far better to be silent than merely to increase the quantity of bad books. -- Voltaire
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Self love is the instrument of our preservation. -- Voltaire
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Man is free at the instant he wants to be. -- Voltaire
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One feels like crawling on all fours after reading your work. -- Voltaire
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Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. (The perfect is the enemy of the good.) -- Voltaire
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We are obliged to place ourselves on the level of our age before we can rise above it. -- Voltaire
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Who are you, Nature?
I live in you;
for fifty years I have been seeking you,
and I have not found you yet. -- Voltaire
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The superfluous is the most necessary. -- Voltaire
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It is not a mistress I have lost but half of myself, a soul for which my soul seems to have been made. -- Voltaire
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We cannot wish for that we know not. -- Voltaire
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Writing is the painting of the voice. -- Voltaire
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Our priests are not what a silly populace supposes; all their learning consists in our credulity. -- Voltaire
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I hold firmly to my original views. After all I am a philosopher. -- Voltaire
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He was not the greatest of men but he was the greatest of kings. -- Voltaire
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Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people. -- Voltaire
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Secret griefs are more cruel than public calamities. -- Voltaire
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Once the people begin to reason, all is lost. -- Voltaire
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You are very harsh.'
'I have seen the world. -- Voltaire
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Los Padres have everything and the people have nothing; 'tis the masterpiece of reason and justice. For my part, I know nothing so divine as Los Padres who make war on Kings of Spain and Portugal and in Europe act as their confessors; who here kill Spaniards and at Madrid send them to Heaven. -- Voltaire
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If we do not meet with agreeable things, we shall at least meet with something new. -- Voltaire
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An opportunity fordoing an injury happens a hundred times a day, hut for doing good not once a year, says Zoroaster. -- Voltaire
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What's Optimism?' asked Cacambo. 'I'm afraid to say,' said Candide, 'that it's a mania for insisting that all is well when things are going badly. -- Voltaire
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It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. -- Voltaire
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People have declaimed against luxury for two thousand years, in verse and prose, and people have always delighted in it. -- Voltaire
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Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable. -- Voltaire
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Why are the Jews hated? It is the inevitable result of their laws; they either have to conquer everybody or be hated by the whole human race ... -- Voltaire
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How inexpressible is the meanness of being a hypocrite! how horrible is it to be a mischievous and malignant hypocrite. -- Voltaire
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A Frenchman who arrives in London, will find philosophy, like everything else, very much changed there. He had left the world a plenum, and he now finds it a vacuum. -- Voltaire
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The best is the enemy of good. -- Voltaire
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The burning of a little straw may hide the stars, but the stars outlast the smoke. -- Voltaire
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History consists of a series of accumulated imaginative inventions. -- Voltaire
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Prejudice is opinion without judgement. -- Voltaire
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The Bible. That is what fools have written, what imbeciles commend, what rogues teach and young children are made to learn by heart. -- Voltaire
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Chess is a game which reflects most honor on human wit. -- Voltaire
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Faith consists in believing what reason cannot. -- Voltaire
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Slavery is also as ancient as war, and war as human nature. -- Voltaire
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To a toad, what is beauty? A female with pop eyes, a wide mouth, yellow belly, and a spotted back, -- Voltaire
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As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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Shun idleness. It is rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals. -- Voltaire
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If there's life on other planets, then the earth is the Universe's insane asylum. -- Voltaire
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History should be written as philosophy. -- Voltaire
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All pleasantry should be short; and it might even be as well were the serious short also. -- Voltaire
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Pleasantry is never good on serious points, because it always regards subjects in that point of view in which it is not the purpose to consider them. -- Voltaire
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It is not enough to be exceptionally mad, licentious and fanatical in order to win a great reputation; it is still necessary to arrive on the scene at the right time. -- Voltaire
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To really enjoy pleasures, you must know how to leave them. -- Voltaire
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I know of no great men except those who have rendered great service to the human race. -- Voltaire
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Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all. -- Voltaire
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What is madness? To have erroneous perceptions, and to reason correctly from them? -- Voltaire
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Men argue. Nature acts. -- Voltaire
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Men, generally going with the stream, seldom judge for themselves, and purity of taste is almost as rare as talent. -- Voltaire
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Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity. -- Voltaire
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Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need. -- Voltaire
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Love truth, and pardon error. -- Voltaire
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A false science makes atheists, a true science prostrates men before the Deity. -- Voltaire
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Neither the Choice of his Friends, nor that of his Dishes, was the Result of Pride or Ostentation. He took Delight in appearing to be, what he actually was, and not in seeming to be what he was not; and by that Means, got a greater real Character than he actually aim'd at. -- Voltaire
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Wisdom must yield to superstition's rules,
Who arms with bigot zeal the hand of fools. -- Voltaire
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Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. -- Voltaire
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He is lifeless that is faultless. -- Voltaire
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The true character of liberty is independence, maintained by force. -- Voltaire
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Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous. -- Voltaire
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To paraphrase Voltaire: if they can make you believe in their absurdities, they can make you commit their atrocities. -- Voltaire
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The rude beginnings of every art acquire a greater celebrity than the art in perfection; he who first played the fiddle was looked upon as a demigod. -- Voltaire
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Paradise was made for tender hearts; hell, for loveless hearts. -- Voltaire
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It is up to us to cultivate our garden. -- Voltaire
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Now is not the time for making new enemies. -- Voltaire
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What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy. -- Voltaire
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If God has made us in his image, we have returned him the favor. -- Voltaire
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He who dies before many witnesses always does so with courage. -- Voltaire
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The instinct of a man is to pursue everything that flies from him, and to fly from all that pursue him. -- Voltaire
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The more estimable the offender, the greater the torment. -- Voltaire
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You guys, stop misattributing white nationalist quotes to me. Like, super seriously, it's not cool, dudes. -- Voltaire
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How I like the boldness of the English, how I like the people who say what they think! -- Voltaire
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Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.
[In a letter to Frederick the Great] -- Voltaire
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You sweet delusions of my mind
(From the poem 'From Love to Friendship') -- Voltaire
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Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels. -- Voltaire
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Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls. -- Voltaire
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Fairest lady," said Candide, "when a man is in love, jealous, and whipped by the Inquisition, he no longer knows what he's doing. -- Voltaire
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The safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death. -- Voltaire
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Candide, terrified, amazed, desperate, all bloody, all palpitating, said to himself: If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others? Well, -- Voltaire
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Self love is like that instrument by which we propagate the species: it is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, and it must be hidden. -- Voltaire
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Doubt is not a very agreeable status, but certainty is a ridiculous one. -- Voltaire
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Common sense is both more rare and more desirable in leaders than mere intelligence. -- Voltaire
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I have wanted to kill myself a million times,
but somehow I am still in love with life. -- Voltaire
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Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste. -- Voltaire
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What can you say to a man who tells you he prefers obeying God rather than men, and that as a result he's certain he'll go to heaven if he cuts your throat? -- Voltaire