The husband who decides to surprise his wife is often very much surprised himself.
It is said that God is always on the side of the big battalions.
The Baron was one of Westphalia's most potent aristocrats, since his mansion boasted both a door and windows.
Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.
Everything is not as good as in El-Dorado; but everything is not so bad.
Perhaps there is nothing greater on earth than the sacrifice of youth and beauty, often of high birth, made by the gentle sex in order to work in hospitals for the relief of human misery, the sight of which is so revolting to our delicacy. Peoples separated from the Roman religion have imitated but imperfectly so generous a charity.
One should always cite what one does not understand at all in the language one understands the least.
Why should you think it so strange that in some countries there are monkeys which insinuates themselves into the good graces of the ladies; they are a fourth part human, as I am a fourth part Spaniard.
He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.
It is new fancy rathert than taste which produces so many new fashions.
And ask each passenger to tell his story, and if there is one of them all who has not cursed his existence many times, and said to himself over and over again that he was the most miserable of men, I give you permission to throw me head-first into the sea.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
Descartes gave sight to the blind. These saw the errors of antiquity and of the sciences. The path he struck out is since become boundless [....] In fathoming this abyss no bottom has been found. We are now to examine what discoveries Sir Isaac Newton has made in it.
Zadig saw how extremely dangerous it sometimes is to appear too knowing, and therefore resolved, that on the next occasion of the like nature he would not tell what he had seen.
The Holy Roman Empire is neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire.
Humanly speaking, let us define truth, while waiting for a better definition as a statement of facts as they are.
Miss, you are seventy-two percent noble and don't have a cent. Whether or not you marry the greatest lord in South America - who has an extraordinarily handsome mustache - is entirely up to you.
Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.
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.
I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition.
Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.
One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.
Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies.
Friendship is the marriage of the soul, and this marriage is liable to divorce.
It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.
By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property.
I have decided to be happy, because it's good for my health.
May God defend me from my friends: I can defend myself from my enemies.
It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence.
The interest I have to believe a thing is no proof that such a thing exists.
All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God.
It is man's faith to live either on agonies of fear and turmoil or in the prostration of boredom.
Even in those cities which seem to enjoy the blessings of peace, and where the arts florish, the inhabitants are devoured by envy, cares and anxieties, which are greater plagues than any expirienced in a town when it is under siege.
Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient.
I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.
Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying?
It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.
The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning.
An almost infallible means of saving yourself from the desire of self-destruction is always to have something to do.
Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.
A true god surely cannot have been born of a girl, nor died on the gibbet, nor be eaten in a piece of dough... [or inspired] books, filled with contradictions, madness, and horror.