Voltaire Quotes (373 Quotes)


    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?

    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.

    I hold firmly to my original views. After all I am a philosopher.

    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.

    I read only to please myself, and enjoy only what suits my taste.


    In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense.

    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.

    It is love; love, the comfort of the human species, the preserver of the universe, the soul of all sentient beings, love, tender love.

    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?

    It must also be noted that until the present time this malady, like religious controversy, has been wholly confined to the continent of Europe.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Martin in particular concluded that man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom.

    But in this country it is necessary, now and then, to put one admiral to death in order to inspire the others to fight.

    Our labour preserves us from three great evils -- weariness, vice, and want.

    Come! you presence will either give me life or kill me with pleasure.

    She blushed and so did he. She greeted him in a faltering voice, and he spoke to her without knowing what he was saying.

    Even in those cities which seem to enjoy the blessings of peace, and where the arts florish, the inhabitants are devoured by envy, cares and anxieties, which are greater plagues than any expirienced in a town when it is under siege.

    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.


    To caress the serpent that devours us, until it has eaten away our heart.

    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.

    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?

    God has punished the knave, and the devil has drowned the rest.

    When a man is in love, jealous, and just whipped by the Inquisition, he is no longer himself.

    I am the best-natured creature in the world, and yet I have already killed three, and of these three two were priests.

    When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?

    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.

    Work is often the father of pleasure.

    Our country is that spot to which our heart is bound.

    History is but the record of crimes and misfortunes. L'histoire n'est que le tableau des crimes et des malheurs.

    History is fables agreed upon.

    'You are right,' said Pangloss, 'for when man was placed in the Garden of Eden, he was placed there ut operaretur eum, to dress it and keep it which proves that man was not born for idleness.'

    If there had been a censorship of the press in Rome we should have had today neither Horace nor Juvenal, nor the philosophical writings of Cicero

    It is amusing that a virtue is made of the vice of chastity and it's a pretty odd sort of chastity at that, which leads men straight into the sin of Onan, and girls to the waning of their color

    All is for the best in the best of possible worlds.

    The United States has subcontracted Brazil for security and Canada for economic development. But they're all reporting to Washington. The final decisions are made there,

    All styles are good except the tiresome kind.

    It is only through timidity that states are lost.

    Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient.

    Virtue is everywhere the same, because it comes from God, while everything else is of men.

    When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.

    All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.

    What is madness To have erroneous perceptions and to reason correctly from them

    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.

    Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.

    He who thinks himself wise, O heavens is a great fool.


    Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.


    More Voltaire Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - God - Boredom - Vice & Virtue - Life - Work & Career - Mind - Nature - Time - Love - History - Soul - World - Truth - Law & Regulation - War & Peace - Crime - Pleasure - Wisdom & Knowledge - View All Voltaire Quotations

    More Voltaire Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Candide

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