Voltaire Biography | Inspiration Quotations | Motivation Quotes


Voltaire Motivational Quotations:

  • “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”

  • “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

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

  • “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”

  • “Tears are the silent language of grief.”

  • “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”​
  • “Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable”
  • “Friendship is the marriage of the soul, and this marriage is liable to divorce.”

  • “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”

  • “It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.”


  • “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.”

  • “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.”

  • “The mouth obeys poorly when the heart murmurs.”

  • “Common sense is not so common.”

  • “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

  • “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”

  • “Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.”

  • “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.”

  • “To hold a pen is to be at war.”

  • “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

  • “By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property.”

  • “Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.”

  • “Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.”

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

  • “A witty saying proves nothing.”

  • “When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.”

  • “In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.”

  • “Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.”

  • “Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”

  • “Illusion is the first of all pleasures”

  • “Ice-cream is exquisite - what a pity it isn't illegal.”

  • “The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.”

  • “It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.”

  • “The Holy Roman Empire is neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire.”

  • “Injustice in the end produces independence.”

  • “The superfluous, a very necessary thing.”

  • “The ear is the avenue to the heart.”

  • “The safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.”

  • “It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”

  • “One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.”

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

  • “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.”

  • “Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.”

  • “Prejudices are what fools use for reason. Voltaire”

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

  • “Paradise was made for tender hearts; hell, for loveless hearts.”


  • “I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition.”

  • “Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.”

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

  • “The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.”

  • “I know many books which have bored their readers, but I know of none which has done real evil.”

  • “Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them.”

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

  • “We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.”

  • “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.”

  • “Everything's fine today, that is our illusion.”

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

  • “Better is the enemy of good.”

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

  • “Clever tyrants are never punished.”

  • “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.”

  • “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.”

  • “Very learned women are to be found, in the same manner as female warriors; but they are seldom or ever inventors.”

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

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

  • “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.”

  • “Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.”

  • “All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.”

  • “If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.”

  • “Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.”

  • “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.”

  • “Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.”

  • “It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.”

  • “The ancient Romans built their greatest masterpieces of architecture, their amphitheaters, for wild beasts to fight in.”

  • “In every author let us distinguish the man from his works.”

  • “What then do you call your soul? What idea have you of it? You cannot of yourselves, without revelation, admit the existence within you of anything but a power unknown to you of feeling and thinking.”

  • “To the wicked, everything serves as pretext.”

  • “I have lived eighty years of life and know nothing for it, but to be resigned and tell myself that flies are born to be eaten by spiders and man to be devoured by sorrow.”

  • “The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker.”

  • “We cannot wish for that we know not.”

  • “All styles are good except the tiresome kind.”

  • “Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable.

  • It is the flash which appears, the thunderbolt will follow.”

  • “My life is a struggle.”

  • “We are rarely proud when we are alone.”

  • “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.”

  • “What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.”

  • “The best is the enemy of the good.”

  • “Use, do not abuse... neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.”

  • “It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.”

  • “It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.”

  • “Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?”

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

  • “The public is a ferocious beast; one must either chain it or flee from it.”

  • “The sovereign is called a tyrant who knows no laws but his caprice.”

  • “Every one goes astray, but the least imprudent are they who repent the soonest.

  • Fear follows crime and is its punishment.”

  • “The infinitely little have a pride infinitely great.”

  • “He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.”

  • “Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers.”

  • “The opportunity for doing mischief is found a hundred times a day, and of doing good once in a year.”

  • “We cannot always oblige; but we can always speak obligingly.”

  • “Very often, say what you will, a knave is only a fool.”

  • “When men do not have healthy notions of the Divinity, false ideas supplant them, just as in bad times one uses counterfeit money when there is no good money.”

  • “He shines in the second rank, who is eclipsed in the first.”

  • “History should be written as philosophy.”

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

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

  • “What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous.”

  • “Wherever there is a settled society, religion is necessary; the laws cover manifest crimes, and religion covers secret crimes.”

  • “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.”

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

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

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

  • “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.”

  • “The ancients recommended us to sacrifice to the Graces, but Milton sacrificed to the Devil.”

  • “Let us work without theorizing, tis the only way to make life endurable”

  • “One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.”

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

  • “The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reason.”

  • “The secret of being a bore... is to tell everything.”

  • “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.”

  • “I am very fond of truth, but not at all of martyrdom.”

  • “He who is not just is severe, he who is not wise is sad.”

  • “Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die.”

  • “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 ought to be banished from a pleading, a sermon, or a didactic work.”

  • “We must distinguish between speaking to deceive and being silent to be reserved.”

  • “The multitude of books is making us ignorant.”

  • “The little may contrast with the great, in painting, but cannot be said to be contrary to it. Oppositions of colors contrast; but there are also colors contrary to each other, that is, which produce an ill effect because they shock the eye when brought very near it.”

  • “God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.”

  • “Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”

  • “Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels.”

  • “Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.”

  • “Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors.”

  • “All men are born with a nose and five fingers, but no one is born with a knowledge of God.

  • To believe in God is impossible not to believe in Him is absurd.”

  • “He who has not the spirit of this age, has all the misery of it.”

  • “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.”

  • “He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.”

  • “Froth at the top, dregs at bottom, but the middle excellent.”

  • “Society therefore is as ancient as the world.”

  • “Our country is that spot to which our heart is bound.”

  • “History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes.”

  • “Nature has always had more force than education.”

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

  • “He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend; provided, of course, he really is dead.”

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

  • “The husband who decides to surprise his wife is often very much surprised himself.”

  • “Religion was instituted to make us happy in this life and in the other. What must we do to be happy in the life to come? Be just.”

  • “Such is the feebleness of humanity, such is its perversity, that doubtless it is better for it to be subject to all possible superstitions, as long as they are not murderous, than to live without religion.”



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