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Voltaire
French writer and philosopher
(1694-1778)



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Dans ce meilleur des mondes possibles ... tout est au mieux.
In this best of all possible worlds, all is for the best.
Most often quoted as: All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.
-- Candide (1759)

Dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres.
In this country it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, to encourage the others.
-- Referring to the execution of the British admiral Byng for failing to engage the French in Minorca (1757), in: Candide (1759)

Il faut cultiver notre jardin.
We must cultivate our garden.
-- Candide (1759)

La superstition met le monde entier en flammes; la philosophie les éteint.
Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.
-- "Superstition", Dictionnaire philosophique (1764)

En effet, l'histoire n'est que le tableau des crimes et des malheurs.
In fact, history is nothing but a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.
-- L'Ingénu (1767)

Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer.
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
-- Epitres no 96

Quoi que vous fassiez, écrasez l'infâme, et aimez qui vous aime.
Whatever you do, stamp out abuses [superstition], and love those who love you.
-- Letter to M. d'Alembert, 28 November 1762

On doit des égards aux vivants; on ne doit aux morts que la vérité.
We owe respect to the living; to the dead we owe only truth.
-- "Première lettre sur Oedipe", in Oeuvres (1785)

I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death you right to say it.
-- Attributed


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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