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Voltaire quotes (169)

A witty saying proves nothing.
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All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God.
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All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
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All styles are good except the tiresome kind.
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All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.
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An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.
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Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
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Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.
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Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.
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Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
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As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
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Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law.
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Better is the enemy of good.
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Business is the salt of life.
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By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property.
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Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.
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Clever tyrants are never punished.
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Common sense is not so common.
Voltaire   Category: Intelligence

Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient.
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Do well and you will have no need for ancestors.
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Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
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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.
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Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
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Every one goes astray, but the least imprudent are they who repent the soonest.
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Everything's fine today, that is our illusion.
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Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
Voltaire   Category: Faith

Fear follows crime and is its punishment.
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Friendship is the marriage of the soul, and this marriage is liable to divorce.
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Froth at the top, dregs at bottom, but the middle excellent.
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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   Category: Birthday

God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
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God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.
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Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers.
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He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.
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He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.
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He shines in the second rank, who is eclipsed in the first.
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He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend; provided, of course, he really is dead.
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He who has not the spirit of this age, has all the misery of it.
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He who is not just is severe, he who is not wise is sad.
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History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes.
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History should be written as philosophy.
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How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child's board. It is like an aged man reclining under the shadow of an oak which he has planted.
Voltaire   Category: Parenting

I am very fond of truth, but not at all of martyrdom.
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I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
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I hate women because they always know where things are.
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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.
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I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.
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I have only ever made one prayer to God, a very short one: O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.
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I know many books which have bored their readers, but I know of none which has done real evil.
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I should like to lie at your feet and die in your arms.
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Ice-cream is exquisite - what a pity it isn't illegal.
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If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.
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If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.
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If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.
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Illusion is the first of all pleasures.
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In every author let us distinguish the man from his works.
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In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.
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In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.
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In this country it is a good thing to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.
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Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.
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Injustice in the end produces independence.
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Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?
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It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge.
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It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.
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It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
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It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
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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   Category: War

It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere.
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It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.
Voltaire   Category: Patriotism

It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.
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