Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

French Satirist, Essayist, Dramatist, Philosopher and Historian

"The United States is speaking out of both sides of its mouth,"

"The very impossibility in which I find myself to prove that God is not, discovers to me his existence."

"The wicked can have only accomplices, the voluptuous have companions in debauchery, self-seekers have associates, the politic assemble the factions, the typical idler has connections, princes have courtiers. Only the virtuous have friends."

"The women are never at a loss, God provides for them, let us run."

"The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream That this watch exists and has no watchmaker."

"Theology is to religion what poisons are to food."

"There are no sects in geometry."

"The world that I came to a place of boring to the point of unbearable, and there is no way to live without working whatever the motive or the desired result."

"There are men who can think no deeper than a fact."

"There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts."

"There are truths that are not for all men, nor for all times."

"There has never been a perfect government, because men have passions and if they did not have passions, there would be no need for government."

"There is an astonishing imagination, even in the science of mathematics... We repeat, there was far more imagination in the head of Archimedes than in that of Homer."

"There is evidence, he said that things cannot be otherwise, because everything is done for a purpose, everything is necessarily for the best end. Observe that noses were made ??to wear spectacles so we goggles ."

"There is no morality in superstition, it exists not in ceremonies, and has nothing to do with dogmas… Morality is the same among all men who make use of their reason. Morality proceeds from God, like light; our superstitions are only darkness."

"They use thought only to justify their injustices, and speech only to disguise their thoughts."

"There's scarce a point whereon mankind agree - So well as in their boast of killing me; I boast of nothing, but when I've a mind - I think I can be even with mankind"

"They (the British) are like their own beer; froth on top, dregs at bottom, the middle excellent."

"Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too."

"They who say all men are equal speak an undoubted truth, if they mean that all have an equal right to liberty, to their property, and to their protection of the laws. - But they are mistaken if they think men are equal in their station and employments, since they are not so by their talents."

"This interim government would have fallen without the United States."

"This agglomeration which was called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."

"This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our most pernicious inclinations, is there anything more foolish for wanting to continuously bring a burden that we would always throw down? To have a horror of their lives and hold on to their existence? In short, to caress the serpent that devours us, until we have eaten my heart?"

"This poem will never reach its destination. [On Rousseau's Ode To Posterity]"

"This self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles the provision for the perpetuity of mankind: it is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, and we must conceal it."

"Those who have affirmed self-love to be the basis of all our sentiments and actions are much in the right. There is no occasion to demonstrate that men have a face; as little need is there of proving to them that they are actuated by self-love."

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

"Thought depends largely on the stomach. In spite of this, those with the best stomachs are not always the best thinkers."

"Thus, almost everything is imitation. The idea of The Persian Letters was taken from The Turkish Spy. Boiardo imitated Pulci, Ariosto imitated Boiardo. The most original minds borrowed from one another. Michael Cervantes makes his Don Quixote a fool; but pray is Orlando any other? It would puzzle one to decide whether knight errantry has been made more ridiculous by the grotesque painting of Cervantes, than by the luxuriant imagination of Ariosto. Metastasio has taken the greatest part of his operas from our French tragedies. Several English writers have copied us without saying one word of the matter. It is with books as with the fire in our hearths; we go to a neighbor to get the embers and light it when we return home, pass it on to others, and it belongs to everyone"

"To a toad, what is beauty? A female with two pop-eyes, a wide mouth, yellow belly and spotted back."

"To achieve a goal, a dream, a wish, you must plan it out for success!"

"Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable."

"To be suspicious is to invite treachery."

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

"To enjoy life, we must touch much of it lightly."

"To announce truths is an infallible receipt for being persecuted."

"To be at peace in crime! ah, who can thus flatter himself."

"To look upon oneself with horror and yet to cling to oneself; in short to caress the serpent which desires us until he has eaten our heart?"

"To find why this sheep's wool was red; and the prize was awarded to a learned man of the North, who demonstrated by A plus B minus C divided by Z, that the sheep must be red, and die of the rot."

"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

"To pray to God is to flatter oneself that with words one can alter nature."

"To really enjoy pleasures, you must know how to leave them."

"To rely upon conviction, devotion, and other excellent spiritual qualities - that is not to be taken seriously in politics."

"To succeed in chaining the multitude, you must seem to wear the same fetters."

"To the wicked, everything serves as pretext."

"To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."

"To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth."

"To worship God and to leave every other man free to worship Him in his own way; to love one's neighbor, enlightening them if one can and pitying those who remain in error; to dimiss as immaterial all questions that would have given us no trouble if no importance had been attached to them- this is my religion, it is worth all your systems and symbols."

"To write is to wage war."

"To them it seemed that the gifts of an enemy were to be dreaded."