Voltaire quotes

Born
November 21, 1694, Paris, Kingdom of France.

Died
May 30, 1778.

Occupation
Writer, philosopher, playwright.

Fran├žois-Marie Arouet “Voltaire” was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church.

The ear is the avenue to the heart.
– Voltaire

It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.
– Voltaire

A witty saying proves nothing.
– Voltaire

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
– Voltaire

Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.
– Voltaire

The ancients recommended us to sacrifice to the Graces, but Milton sacrificed to the Devil.
– Voltaire

We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.
– Voltaire

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
– Voltaire

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
– Voltaire

We cannot always oblige; but we can always speak obligingly.
– Voltaire

The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.
– Voltaire

To hold a pen is to be at war.
– Voltaire

When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
– Voltaire

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.
– Voltaire

To believe in God is impossible not to believe in Him is absurd.
– Voltaire

The multitude of books is making us ignorant.
– Voltaire

Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.
– Voltaire

The safest course is to do nothing against one’s conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.
– Voltaire

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
– Voltaire

Prejudices are what fools use for reason.
– Voltaire

Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.
– Voltaire

History should be written as philosophy.
– Voltaire

He who has not the spirit of this age, has all the misery of it.
– Voltaire

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

It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.
– Voltaire

Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.
– Voltaire

Our country is that spot to which our heart is bound.
– Voltaire

Clever tyrants are never punished.
– Voltaire

In every author let us distinguish the man from his works.
– Voltaire

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.
– Voltaire

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.
– Voltaire

Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.
– Voltaire

Very often, say what you will, a knave is only a fool.
– Voltaire

The public is a ferocious beast; one must either chain it or flee from it.
– Voltaire

He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend; provided, of course, he really is dead.
– Voltaire

The Holy Roman Empire is neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire.
– Voltaire

We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies – it is the first law of nature.
– Voltaire

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.
– Voltaire

Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.
– Voltaire

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
– Voltaire

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.
– Voltaire

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.
– Voltaire

Common sense is not so common.
– Voltaire

Better is the enemy of good.
– Voltaire

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.
– Voltaire

The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.
– Voltaire

It is the flash which appears, the thunderbolt will follow.
– Voltaire

The infinitely little have a pride infinitely great.
– Voltaire

We cannot wish for that we know not.
– Voltaire

To the wicked, everything serves as pretext.
– Voltaire

Friendship is the marriage of the soul, and this marriage is liable to divorce.
– Voltaire

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.
– Voltaire

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
– Voltaire

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.
– Voltaire

The best is the enemy of the good.
– Voltaire

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
– Voltaire

Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.
– Voltaire

The sovereign is called a tyrant who knows no laws but his caprice.
– Voltaire