If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new.
View quote | Quotes about Adventure

Every man is the creature of the age in which he lives; very few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.
View quote | Quotes about Age and Aging

Do well and you will have no need for ancestors.
View quote | Quotes about Ancestry

It is not known precisely where angels dwell -- whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode.
View quote | Quotes about Angels

Animals have these advantages over man: They have no theologians to instruct them, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.
View quote | Quotes about Animals

By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property.
View quote | Quotes about Appreciation

A long dispute means that both parties are wrong
View quote | Quotes about Argument

Men argue, nature acts.
View quote | Quotes about Argument

Weakness on both sides is, the motto of all quarrels.
View quote | Quotes about Argument

In this country it's a good thing to kill an admiral now and then to encourage the others.
View quote | Quotes about Army and Navy

All the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.
View quote | Quotes about Books - Reading

It is far better to be silent than merely to increase the quantity of bad books.
View quote | Quotes about Books - Reading

All kinds are good except the kind that bores you.
View quote | Quotes about Bores and Boredom

Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
View quote | Quotes about Certainty

The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.
View quote | Quotes about Character

The Pope is an idol whose hands are tied and whose feet are kissed.
View quote | Quotes about Churches

Common sense is not so common.
View quote | Quotes about Common Sense

Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
View quote | Quotes about Conformity

He who dies before many witnesses always does so with courage.
View quote | Quotes about Courage

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
View quote | Quotes about Courtesy

One of the chief misfortunes of honest people is that they are cowardly.
View quote | Quotes about Coward and Cowardice

The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker.
View quote | Quotes about Creation

To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.
View quote | Quotes about Death and Dying

You must have the devil in you to succeed in the arts.
View quote | Quotes about Devil

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

Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing.
View quote | Quotes about Doctors

Men who are occupied in the restoration of health to other men, by the joint exertion of skill and humanity, are above all the great of the earth. They even partake of divinity, since to preserve and renew is almost as noble as to create.
View quote | Quotes about Doctors

I know of nothing more laughable than a doctor who does not die of old age.
View quote | Quotes about Doctors

In my life, I have prayed but one prayer: oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.
View quote | Quotes about Enemies

All people are equal, it is not birth, it is virtue alone that makes the difference.
View quote | Quotes about Equality

As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
View quote | Quotes about Evil

Exaggeration is the inseparable companion of greatness.
View quote | Quotes about Exaggeration

The best is the enemy of the good.
View quote | Quotes about Excellence

What a heavy burden is a name that has become famous too soon.
View quote | Quotes about Fame

It is fancy rather than taste which produces so many new fashions.
View quote | Quotes about Fashion

Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.
View quote | Quotes about Fate

We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies it is the first law of nature.
View quote | Quotes about Faults

The great consolation in life is to say what one thinks.
View quote | Quotes about Frankness

It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere.
View quote | Quotes about Freedom

Liberty, then, about which so many volumes have been written is, when accurately defined, only the power of acting.
View quote | Quotes about Freedom

The true character of liberty is independence, maintained by force.
View quote | Quotes about Freedom

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
View quote | Quotes about Freedom of Speech

May God defend me from my friends; I can defend myself from my enemies.
View quote | Quotes about Friends and Friendship

God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.
View quote | Quotes about God

God is always on the side of the heaviest battalions.
View quote | Quotes about God

God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.
View quote | Quotes about God

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.
View quote | Quotes about God

Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers.
View quote | Quotes about Government

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
View quote | Quotes about Government

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.
View quote | Quotes about Government

Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.
View quote | Quotes about Greed

History is nothing but a pack of tricks that we play upon the dead.
View quote | Quotes about History and Historians

History is just the portrayal of crimes and misfortunes.
View quote | Quotes about History and Historians

Shun idleness is the rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals.
View quote | Quotes about Idleness

I believe that there never was a creator of a philosophical system who did not confess at the end of his life that he had wasted his time. It must be admitted that the inventors of the mechanical arts have been much more useful to men that the inventors of syllogisms. He who imagined a ship towers considerably above him who imagined innate ideas.
View quote | Quotes about Imagination

I was never ruined but twice; once when I lost a lawsuit and once when I won one.
View quote | Quotes about Law and Lawyers

I should like to lie at your feet and die in your arms.
View quote | Quotes about Lies and Lying

We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.
View quote | Quotes about Life and Living

My life is a battle.
View quote | Quotes about Life and Living

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.
View quote | Quotes about Love

We cannot always oblige; but we can always speak obligingly.
View quote | Quotes about Manners

Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.
View quote | Quotes about Marriage

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
View quote | Quotes about Medicine

Four thousand volumes of metaphysics will not teach us what the soul is.
View quote | Quotes about Metaphysics

When he to whom a person speaks does not understand, and he who speaks does not understand himself, that is metaphysics.
View quote | Quotes about Metaphysics

When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
View quote | Quotes about Money

If there were only one religion in England there would be danger of despotism, if there were two, they would cut each other's throats, but there are thirty, and they live in peace and happiness.
View quote | Quotes about Multiculturalism

How I like the boldness of the English, how I like the people who say what they think!
View quote | Quotes about Nationalities and Nationalism

The superfluous is very necessary.
View quote | Quotes about Necessity

In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.
View quote | Quotes about News

The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors.
View quote | Quotes about Opinions

Originality is nothing but judicious plagiarism.
View quote | Quotes about Originality

Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.
View quote | Quotes about Passion

Perfection is attained by slow degrees; she requires the hand of time.
View quote | Quotes about Patience

The public is a ferocious beast. One must either chain it up or flee from it.
View quote | Quotes about People

The pursuit of what is true and the practice of what is good are the two most important objects of philosophy.
View quote | Quotes about Philosophers and Philosophy

When he who hears does not know what he who speaks means, and when he who speaks does not know what he himself means, that is philosophy.
View quote | Quotes about Philosophers and Philosophy

Pleasure is the object, duty and the goal of all rational creatures.
View quote | Quotes about Pleasure

Work is often the father of pleasure.
View quote | Quotes about Pleasure

It is as impossible to translate poetry as it is to translate music.
View quote | Quotes about Poetry and Poets

Verses which do not teach men new and moving truths do not deserve to be read.
View quote | Quotes about Poetry and Poets

This poem will never reach its destination. [On Rousseau's Ode To Posterity]
View quote | Quotes about Poetry and Poets

The discover of what is true, and the practice of that which is good, are the two most important objects of philosophy.
View quote | Quotes about Practice

My prayer to God is a very short one: O Lord, make my enemies look ridiculous! God has granted it.
View quote | Quotes about Prayer

Prejudices are what fools use for reason.
View quote | Quotes about Prejudice

The infinitely little have a pride infinitely great.
View quote | Quotes about Pride

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
View quote | Quotes about Problems

The punishment of criminals should serve a purpose. When a man is hanged he is useless.
View quote | Quotes about Punishment

Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers.
View quote | Quotes about Questions

He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.
View quote | Quotes about Questions

Many are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all; and others, to persecute those who do reason.
View quote | Quotes about Reason

The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.
View quote | Quotes about Reason

Every abuse ought to be reformed, unless the reform is more dangerous than the abuse itself.
View quote | Quotes about Reform

We owe respect to the living. To the dead we owe only truth.
View quote | Quotes about Respectability

Rest is a good thing, but boredom is its brother.
View quote | Quotes about Rest

I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying your annuities. It is the only pleasure I have left.
View quote | Quotes about Retirement

Independence in the end is the fruit of injustice.
View quote | Quotes about Revolutions and Revolutionaries

Self-love is the instrument of our preservation.
View quote | Quotes about Self-love

It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self-love.
View quote | Quotes about Self-love

I know of no great man except those who have rendered great services to the human race.
View quote | Quotes about Service

Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.
View quote | Quotes about Song and Singing

A witty saying proves nothing.
View quote | Quotes about Speech

He who doesn't have the spirit of his time, has all its misery.
View quote | Quotes about Spirit and Spirituality

Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy; the mad daughter of a wise mother.
View quote | Quotes about Superstition

Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.
View quote | Quotes about Superstition

The husband who decides to surprise his wife is often very much surprised himself.
View quote | Quotes about Surprises

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.
View quote | Quotes about Taxes and Taxation

Tears are the silent language of grief.
View quote | Quotes about Tears

Let us work without theorizing, 'Tis the only way to make life endurable.
View quote | Quotes about Theory

They use thought only to justify their injustices, and speech only to disguise their thoughts.
View quote | Quotes about Thoughts and Thinking

It is only through timidity that states are lost.
View quote | Quotes about Timidity

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.
View quote | Quotes about Translation

To announce truths is an infallible receipt for being persecuted.
View quote | Quotes about Truth

Truth is a fruit which should not be plucked until it is ripe.
View quote | Quotes about Truth

Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable.
View quote | Quotes about Vice

It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge.
View quote | Quotes about Virginity

He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.
View quote | Quotes about Wisdom

Work banishes those three great evils: boredom, vice and poverty.
View quote | Quotes about Work

You can never correct your work well until you have forgotten it.
View quote | Quotes about Writers and Writing

Voltaire

No biography at present.

119 quotations