Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

French Satirist, Essayist, Dramatist, Philosopher and Historian

"Wherever my travels may lead, paradise is where I am."

"Which is more dangerous: fanaticism or atheism? Fanaticism is certainly a thousand times more deadly; for atheism inspires no bloody passion whereas fanaticism does; atheism is opposed to crime and fanaticism causes crimes to be committed."

"While loving glory so much how can you persist in a plan which will cause you to lose it?"

"Who knows more, more is silent"

"Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors."

"Who does not love freedom and truth can become a powerful man, but great – never."

"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."

"Wisdom must yield to superstition's rules,"

"Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life."

"Work is often the father of pleasure."

"Work is the only way to make life bearable"

"Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need."

"Would you believe that while the flames were consuming these innocent victims, the inquisitors and the other savages were chanting prayers? These pitiless monsters were invoking the God of mercy...While committing the most atrocious crime."

"You can never correct your work well until you have forgotten it"

"You fear the books as some towns feared the violins. Keep reading, and let dance; these two amusements will never do harm to the world."

"You (Pindar) who possessed the talent of speaking much without saying anything."

"You despise books; you whose lives are absorbed in the vanities of ambition, the pursuit of pleasure or indolence; but remember that all the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books."

"You must have the devil in you to succeed in any of the arts."

"You see many stars at night in the sky but find them not when the sun rises; can you say that there are no stars in the heaven of day? So, O man! because you behold not God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God."

"Your Majesty may think me an impatient sick man, and that the Turks are even sicker."

"Your destiny is that of a man, and your vows those of a god."

"You will notice that in all disputes between Christians since the birth of the Church, Rome has always favored the doctrine which most completely subjugated the human mind and annihilated reason."