Voltaire is the nom de plume of Francois-Marie Arouet, a well-known writer, philosopher, and historian from the Enlightenment period. Born on November 21, 1694 and died on May 30, 1778, Voltaire had an excellent wit and was known for advocating separating church from state as well as freedom of expression and freedom of religion in addition to his various attacks on the Catholic Church. As a versatile writer, he has written in many different literary forms like scientific and historical works, essays, novels, poems, plays, etc. Add to these, he ever wrote over 20,000 letters and 2,000 pamphlets and books. No wonder there are so many Voltaire quotes have survived the test of time.

30 Voltaire Quotes You Must Know

As a versatile man, you can find Voltaire quotes about a wide range of subjects, including general advice on life, love, work, wisdom, religion and so on. It is hard to show all the wisdom and ideas about Voltaire in these 30 quotes. Here, I just list some of my favorite. You can tell me your favorite ones. Let's share with each other.

About Life

A single part of physics occupies the lives of many men, and often leaves them dying in uncertainty.

                                                                            Voltaire, Elements de Philosphie de Newton, 1738

Tags: #Life #Physics #Dying #Uncertainty

We all look for happiness, but without knowing where to find it: like drunkards who look for their house, knowing dimly that they have one.

                                                                                                          —Voltaire, Notebooks, 1735 – 1750

Tags: #Life #Happiness #Drunkards

When we hear news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.

                                                          —Voltaire, letter to Charles—Augustin Ferriol, August 28, 1760

Tags: #Life #News #Confirmation

Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.

                                                —Voltaire, letter to Louise Dorothea of Meiningen, January 30, 1762

Tags: #Life #Men #Mad #Cure

Let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and is a living lesson.

                                                                              —Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique, 1785 – 1789

Tags: #Life #Criminals #Useful #Lesson

Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.

                                                                              —Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique, 1785 – 1789

Tags: #Life #Read #Dance #Amusement

Wishes and woulders be small householders.

                                                                                                                                  —Voltaire, Zaire, 1732

Tags: #Life #Wish #Would #Household

Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one read profitably, one would see the deplorable follies to which the common people offer themselves as prey every day.

                                                                                        —Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

Tags: #Life #Read #Books #Follies

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.

                                                                                        —Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

Tags: #Life #Health #Doctors #Divinity

The flowery style is not unsuitable to public speeches or addresses, which amount only to compliment. The lighter beauties are in their place when there is nothing more solid to say; but the flowery style out to be banished from pleading, a sermon, or a didactic work.

                                                                                        —Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

Tags: #Life #Style #Didactic #Beauty

About Love

I have had some knowledge of love myself, this sovereign of hearts, this soul of souls; yet it never cost me more than a kiss and twenty kicks on the backside. But how could this beautiful cause produce in you so hideous an effect?

                                                                                                                            —Voltaire, Candide, 1759

Tags: #Love #Hearts #Knowledge #Kiss #Beautiful #Hideous

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

                                                                                                                   —Voltaire, Le Fanatisme, 1736

Tags: #Love #Country #Heart

We cannot wish for that we know not.

                                                                                                                                  —Voltaire, Zaire, 1732

Tags: #Love #Wish #Know

It is one of the superstitions of mankind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.

                                                                        —Voltaire, The Leningrad Notebooks, ca. 1735 to 1750

Tags: #Love #virginity #virtue

Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.


Tags: #Love #Canvas #Nature

It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self-love.


Tags: #Love #Blind #Self-love

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.


Tags: #Love #Self-love #Preservation #Mankind

Love has features which pierce all hearts, he wears a bandage which conceals the faults of those beloved. He has wings, he comes quickly and flies away the same.


Tags: #Love #Heart #Wings

I should like to lie at your feet and die in your arms.


Tags: #Love #Lie #Feet #Arms

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


Tags: #Love #Do #Those

(For some of these quotes, I cannot recall the source, you can tell me if you know them. Thanks. )

About Wisdom

There are therefore spheres in which the moderns are far superior to the ancients, and others, very few in number, in which we are their inferiors.

                                                                                        —Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

Tags: #Wisdom #Ancients #Modern #Inferiors

Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent persons, and superstition is the vice of fools.

                                                                                        —Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

Tags: #Wisdom #Atheism #Superstition #Vice

Real authors are those who have succeeded in one of the real arts, in epic poetry, in tragedy or comedy, in history or philosophy, who have taught men or charmed them. The others of whom we have spoken are, among men of letters, what wasps are among birds.

                                                                                        —Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

Tags: #Wisdom #Authors #Poetry #Letters #Philosophy

Virtuous men alone possess friends.

                                                                                        —Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

Tags: #Wisdom #Virtue #Friends

Liberty then is only and can be only the power to do what one will. That is what philosophy teaches us. But if one considers liberty in the theological sense, it is a matter so sublime that profane eyes dare not raise themselves in it.

                                                                                        —Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

Tags: #Wisdom #Liberty #Philosophy #Theology

Common sense is not so common.

                                                                                        —Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

Tags: #Wisdom #Common Sense

The first step, my son, which one makes in the world, is the one on which depends the rest of our days.

                                                                                                                         —Voltaire, L’Indiscret, 1725

Tags: #Wisdom #Step #Days

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

                                                                     —Voltaire, Dialogue, XIV, Le Chapon et la Poularde, 1766

Tags: #Wisdom #Words #Thoughts #Disguise

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

                                                                      —Voltaire, Dialogue xiv, Le Chapon et la Poularde, 1763

Tags: #Wisdom #Thoughts #Injustice #Conceal

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

                                                             —Voltaire, letter to Frederick William, Prince of Prussia, 1770

Tags: #Wisdom #Pleasant #Doubt #Certainty


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