Voltaire Quotes (373 Quotes)



    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.

    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.

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

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


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

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

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

    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.

    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?

    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.

    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?

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

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

    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.

    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.

    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?

    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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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.

    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.

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

    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.


    More Voltaire Quotations (Based on Topics)


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

    More Voltaire Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Candide

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