Voltaire

Quotations

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.

Sept Discours en Vers sur l'Homme (1738)

Man is free at the instant he wants to be.

Brutus, act II, scene I (1730).

The best is the enemy of the good.

"La Bégueule" (Contes, 1772)

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

'Liberty of the Press' in Philosophical Dictionary (1764)

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

Attributed to Voltaire but unsourced.

A witty saying proves nothing.

Le dîner du comte de Boulainvilliers (1767)

Now, now my good man, this is no time to be making enemies.

on his deathbed in response to a priest asking him that he renounce Satan

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

Épître à l'Auteur du Livre des Trois Imposteurs (1770)

Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.

Dialogue xiv. Le Chapon et la Poularde (l763).

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

L'Ingénu, ch.10 (1767)

The superfluous, a very necessary thing.

Le Mondain. Line 21.

Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing, and love those who love you.

Letter to Jean le Rond d'Alembert (1762-11-28)

There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.

Letter to Cardinal de Bernis, April 23, 1761.

It is said that God is always on the side of the heaviest battalions.

Letter to M. le Riche, Feb. 6, 1770.

Love truth, but pardon error.

Discours sur l'Homme. Discours 3.