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Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is ...
by Voltaire

Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.
- Voltaire

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

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

Faith consists in believing when it is
beyond the power of reason to believe.
- Voltaire

 

It is the first law of friendship
that it has to be cultivated.
The second is to be indulgent
when the first law is neglected.
- Voltaire

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

What most persons consider as virtue,
after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.
- Voltaire

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One merit of poetry few persons will deny:
it says more and in fewer words than prose.
- Voltaire

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

Never argue at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry
always gets the best of the argument.
- Voltaire

God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
- Voltaire

Common sense is not so common.
- Voltaire

The more he became truly wise,
the more he distrusted everything he knew.
- Voltaire

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

The more I read, the more I meditate;
and the more I acquire,
the more certain I am that I know nothing.
- Voltaire

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

How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child's board.
It is like an aged man reclining under the shadow of
an oak which he has planted.
- Voltaire

We must cultivate our own garden.
When man was put in the garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work,
which proves that man was not born to rest.
- Voltaire

The superfluous, a very necessary thing.
- Voltaire

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

I have only ever made one prayer to God,
a very short one: O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.
And God granted it.
- Voltaire

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

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

All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.
- Voltaire

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.
- Voltaire

He who is not just is severe, he who is not wise is sad.
- Voltaire

It is vain for the coward to flee; death follows close behind;
it is only by defying it that the brave escape.
- Voltaire

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

Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her:
but once they are in hand,
he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.
- Voltaire

The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation
pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third.
- Voltaire

The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to
get along with those who do not possess it.
- Voltaire

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

Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities
has the power to make you commit injustices.
- Voltaire

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered
by an occasional assassination.
- Voltaire

It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to
have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.
- Voltaire

We must distinguish between speaking to deceive and
being silent to be reserved.
- Voltaire

Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy
than reason and common sense.
- 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

If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.
- Voltaire

By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property.
- Voltaire

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

Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance,
but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.
- Voltaire

We cannot wish for that we know not.
- Voltaire

God is not on the side of the big battalions,
but on the side of those who shoot best.
- Voltaire

The best is the enemy of the good.
- Voltaire

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

Injustice in the end produces independence.
- Voltaire

Nature has always had more force than education.
- Voltaire

A witty saying proves nothing.
- 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

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

I hate women because they always know where things are.
- Voltaire

Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers.
- Voltaire

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

I do not agree with what you have to say,
but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
- Voltaire

Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast,
that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere:
They only live who dare.
- Voltaire

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

Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law.
- Voltaire

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

He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.
- Voltaire

Ice-cream is exquisite - what a pity it isn't illegal.
- Voltaire

Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?
- Voltaire

Satire lies about literary men while they live and
eulogy lies about them when they die.
- Voltaire

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

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

In the case of news, we should always wait for the
sacrament of confirmation.
- Voltaire

Better is the enemy of good.
- Voltaire

History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes.
- Voltaire

Froth at the top, dregs at bottom, but the middle excellent.
- Voltaire

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


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