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Voltaire Quotes (373 Quotes)


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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, "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")

  • Martin in particular concluded that man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")


  • Our labour preserves us from three great evils -- weariness, vice, and want.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")

  • Come! you presence will either give me life or kill me with pleasure.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • 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.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • Fools admire everything in an author of reputation.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")

  • To caress the serpent that devours us, until it has eaten away our heart.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • 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, "Candide")

  • God has punished the knave, and the devil has drowned the rest.
    (Voltaire, "Candide")


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