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James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
 
Voltaire
 
  Ainsi que son esprit, tout peuple a son langage—Every nation has its own language as well as its own temperament.  1
  All the makers of dictionaries, all the compilers of opinions already printed, we may term plagiarists, but honest plagiarists, who arrogate not the merit of invention.  2
  Books are made from books.  3
  Character is what Nature has engraven on us; can we then efface it?  4
  Dieu fit du repentir la vertu des mortels—God has made repentance the virtue of mortals.  5
  Ecrasez l’infâme—Crush to pieces the abomination, i.e., superstition.  6
  Et voilà justement comme on écrit l’histoire—And that is exactly how history is written.  7
  Faith is nothing more than obedience.  8
  Fanaticism is to superstition what delirium is to fever and rage to anger.  9
  Fortune! There is no fortune; all is trial, or punishment, or recompense, or foresight.  10
  Friendship is the marriage of the soul.  11
  Happiness is but a dream, and sorrow a reality.  12
  He is a hard man who is only just, and he a sad man who is only wise.  13
  He who is only just is stern; he who is only wise lives in gloom.  14
  He who seeks the truth should be of no country.  15
  I very much fear that our little terraqueous globe is the lunatic asylum of the universe.  16
  If a God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent one.  17
  Il faut sortir de la vie ainsi que d’un banquet, / Remerciant son hôte, et faisant sou paquet—One must quit life as one does a banquet, thanking the host and packing up one’s belongings.  18
  Il y a souvent de l’illusion, de la mode, du caprice dans le jugement des hommes—In the judgments of people there is often little more than self-deception, fashion, and whim.  19
  Ils se ne servent de la pensée que pour autoriser leurs injustices, et emploient les paroles que pour déguiser leurs pensées—Men use thought only to justify their unjust acts, and employ speech only to disguise their thoughts.  20
 
 
  Je suis assez semblable aux girouettes, qui ne se fixent que quand elles sont rouillées—I am like enough to the weathercocks, which don’t veer only when they become rusty.  21
  L’amour-propre est un ballon gonflé de vent, dont il sort des tempêtes quand on lui fait une piqûre—Self-love is a balloon blown up with wind, from which tempests of passion issue as soon as it is pricked into.  22
  L’histoire n’est que le tableau des crimes et des malheurs—History is but a picture of crimes and misfortunes.  23
  L’injustice à la fin produit l’indépendance—Independence in the end is the fruit of injustice.  24
  L’oreille est le chemin du cœur—The ear is the road to the heart.  25
  La carrière des lettres est plus épineuse que celle de la fortune. Si vous avez le malheur d’être médiocre, voilà des remords pour la vie; si vous réussissiez, voilà des ennemis; vous marchez sur le bord d’un abîme entre le mépris et la haine—A literary career is a more thorny path than that which leads to fortune. If you have the misfortune not to rise above mediocrity, you feel mortified for life; and if you are successful, a host of enemies spring up against you. Thus you find yourself on the brink of an abyss between contempt and hatred.  26
  La crainte suit le crime, et c’est son châtiment—Fear haunts crime, and this is its punishment.  27
  La liberté, convive aimable, / Met les deux coudes sur la table—Liberty, an amiable guest, puts both her elbows upon the table, i.e., is free and at her ease.  28
  La parole a été donnée à l’homme pour déguiser sa pensée—Speech has been given to man to conceal his thought.  29
  La perfection marche lentement, il lui faut la main du temps—Perfection is attained by slow degrees; she requires the hand of time.  30
  La recherche du vrai, et la pratique du bien, sont les deux objets les plus importants de la philosophie—The pursuit of what is true and the practice of what is good are the two most important objects of philosophy.  31
  La terre est couverte de gens qui ne méritent pas qu’on leur parle—The earth swarms with people who are not worth talking to.  32
  La vertu est partout la même; c’est qu’elle vient de Dieu, et le reste est des hommes—Virtue is everywhere the same; the reason is it proceeds from God, and the rest is from men.  33
  Le parjure est une vertu, / Lorsque le serment fut un crime—Perjury is a virtue when the oath was a crime.  34
  Le repos est une bonne chose, mais l’ennui est son frère—Repose is a good thing, but ennui is his brother.  35
  Le secret d’ennuyer est celui de tout dire—The secret of boring people is saying all that can be said on a subject.  36
  Le superflu, chose très-nécessaire—The superfluous, a thing highly necessary.  37
  Les mortels sont égaux; ce n’est point la naissance, / C’est la seule vertu qui fait la différence—All men are equal; it is not birth, it is virtue alone that makes the difference.  38
  Les passions sont les vents qui enflent les voiles du vaisseau; elles le submergent quelquefois, mais sans elles il ne pourrait voguer—The passions are the winds that fill the sails of the ship; they sometimes sink it, but without them it could not make any way.  39
  Ma vie est un combat—My life is a battle.  40
  Men are in general so tricky, so envious, and so cruel, that when we find one who is only weak, we are too happy.  41
  Non la philosophie, mais le philosophisme causera des maux à la France—Not the philosophy, but the philosophy of the philosophe will bring evils on France.    In 1735.  42
  On dit que Dieu est toujours pour les gros bataillons—They say God is always with the heaviest battalions.  43
  On ne perd les états que par timidité—It is only through timidity that states are lost.  44
  One of the chief misfortunes of honest people is that they are cowardly.  45
  Poetry is the music of the soul; and, above all, of great and feeling souls.  46
  Poetry says more and in fewer words than prose.  47
  Quand celui à qui l’on parle ne comprend pas et celui qui parle ne se comprend pas, c’est de la métaphysique—When he to whom a man speaks does not understand, and he who speaks does not understand himself, that is metaphysics.  48
  Quand on a tout perdu, quand on n’a plus d’espoir, / La vie est une opprobre, et la mort un devoir—When one has lost everything and has no more any hope, it is a disgrace to live and a duty to die.  49
  Que j’aime la hardiesse anglaise! que j’aime les gens qui disent ce qu’ils pensent—How I like the boldness of the English; how I like the people who say what they think!  50
  Qui n’a pas l’esprit de son âge / De son âge a tout le malheur—He who has not the spirit of his time has all the misery of it.  51
  Qui sert bien son pays n’a pas besoin d’aieux—He who serves his country well has no need of ancestors.  52
  Quiconque a beaucoup de témoins de sa mort, meurt toujours avec courage—He who dies before many witnesses always does so with courage.  53
  Self-love is a balloon inflated with wind, from which storms burst forth when one makes a puncture in it.  54
  Self-love is the instrument of our preservation.  55
  Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer—If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.  56
  Tel brille au second rang, qui s’éclipse au premier—Some who are eclipsed in the first rank may shine in the second.  57
  The discovery of what is true, and the practice of that which is good, are the two most important objects of philosophy.  58
  The infinitely little have a pride infinitely great.  59
  The more we have read, the more we have learned, the more we have meditated, the better conditioned we are to affirm that we know nothing.  60
  The multiplicity of facts and writings is become so great, that everything must soon be reduced to extracts.  61
  The opportunity to do mischief is found a hundred times a day, and that of doing good once a year.  62
  The punishment of criminals should be of use; when a man is hanged he is good for nothing.  63
  The secret of making one’s self tiresome is not to know when to stop.  64
  The secret of tiring is to say everything that can be said on the subject.  65
  There are no real pleasures without real needs.  66
  This is faith; it is nothing more than obedience.  67
  Tous les genres sont bons hors le genre ennuyeux—All kinds are good except the kind that bores you.  68
  Tout est contradiction chez nous: la France, à parler sérieusement, est le royaume de l’esprit et de la sottise, de l’industrie et de la paresse, de la philosophie et du fanatisme, de la gaieté et du pédantisme, des loix et des abus, de bon goût et de l’impertinence—With us all is inconsistency. France, seriously speaking, is the country of wit and folly, of industry and idleness, of philosophy and fanaticism, of gaiety and pedantry, laws and their abuses, good taste and impertinence.  69
  Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes possibles—All is for the best in the best possible of worlds.    In mockery of Leibnitz’s optimism.  70
  Tu dors, Brutus, et Rome est dans les fers!—Sleepest thou, Brutus, and Rome in bonds!  71
  Un des plus grands malheurs des honnêtes gens c’est qu’ils sont de lâches—One of the greatest misfortunes of worthy people is that they are cowards.  72
  Very learned women are to be met with, just as female warriors; but they are seldom or never inventors.  73
  What a heavy burden is a name that has become too soon famous!  74
  When neither he to whom we speak nor he who speaks to us understands, that is metaphysics.  75
  Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors.  76
  Without philosophy we should be little above the lower animals.  77
 
 
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