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Voltaire Quotes (373 Quotes)


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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, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one's very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?
    (Voltaire, "Candide")

  • Why should you think it so strange that in some countries there are monkeys which insinuates themselves into the good graces of the ladies; they are a fourth part human, as I am a fourth part Spaniard.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")

  • I hold firmly to my original views. After all I am a philosopher.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")


  • 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, "Candide")

  • I read only to please myself, and enjoy only what suits my taste.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")

  • In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")


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