"My trade is to say what I think."
“It is to him who masters our minds by the force of truth, and not to those who enslave them by violence, that we owe our reverence. "
Laughing lions must come, said Nietzsche, well, Voltaire came, and “annihilated with laughter.”
“You know how to amuse and instruct at the same time” Frederick the Great on Voltaire
Louis XVI, seeing in his Temple prison the works of Voltaire and Rosseau, said, “Those two men have destroyed France” meaning his royal dynasty.
“So you see that in a manner we begin to die the very moment we are born: our existence is no more than a point, our duration an instant, and our globe an atom. Scarce do we begin to learn a little when death intervenes before we can profit by experience.”
Zadig: “As wise as it is possible for men to be…he knew as much of metaphysics as hath ever been known in any age, that is, little or nothing at all.”
“That is the order of things; one nail drives out another; so goes the world.”
“The rose’s thorns are all for me; for thee the rose.”
“I renounce a study which overwhelms the mind without illuminating it.”
“The human mind is so small, and sinks under the weight of minutiae.”
“History could not come into its own until theology gave way.”
“When you have shown, in verse or otherwise, why so many men cut their throats in the best of all possible worlds, I shall exceedingly be obliged to you.” Voltaire on Christians who say this is the best of possible worlds.
“Metaphysics is the most beautiful nonsense in the world.”
“To see one’s tastes annihilated, to have still enough life to wish to enjoy them and too little strength to do so, to become useless and intolerable to oneself, to die by degrees, that is what I have suffered.”
“It is only charlatans who are certain.”
“Ecrasez l’ Infame" – Crush the infamous thing (Voltaire’s motto on superstition)
“This is not a time for jesting; wit does not harmonize with massacres.” Voltaire on the tragedy of the Lisbon Earthquake
“Dulce est desipere in loco” (It is sweet to be foolish on occasion)
"Woe to the philosophers who cannot laugh away their wrinkles."
"Rire et faire rire" – To laugh and make laugh. (Voltaire’s motto before crush the infamy)