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When he to whom one speaks does not understand,
by Voltaire

When he to whom one speaks does not understand,
and he who speaks himself does not understand,
that is metaphysics.
- 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

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

 

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

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

Common sense is not so common.
- Voltaire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fear follows crime, and is its punishment.
- Voltaire

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

To hold a pen is to be at war.
- 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

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

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

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

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

A witty saying proves nothing.
- Voltaire

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

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

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

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

Better is the enemy of good.
- Voltaire

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

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

The husband who decides to surprise his wife is often
very much surprised himself.
- Voltaire

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

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.
- Voltaire

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

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

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

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.
- Voltaire

Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage.
I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient.
- Voltaire

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

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

The secret of being a bore...
is to tell everything.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
- Voltaire

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

It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.
- Voltaire

As long as people believe in absurdities they will
continue to commit atrocities.
- Voltaire

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

All murderers are punished unless they kill in large
numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
- 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

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

Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers.
- Voltaire

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

Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors.
- Voltaire

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


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