Home  »  Familiar Quotations  »  Fran&edilois Marie Arouet de Voltaire 1694-1778 John Bartlett

John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Fran&edilois Marie Arouet de Voltaire 1694-1778 John Bartlett

    If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him. 1
          Epître à l’Auteur du Livre des Trois Imposteurs. cxi.
    The king [Frederic] has sent me some of his dirty linen to wash; I will wash yours another time. 2
          Reply to General Manstein.
    Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts. 3
          Dialogue xiv. Le Chapon et la Poularde (l763).
    History is little else than a picture of human crimes and misfortunes. 4
          L’Ingénu. Chap. x. (1767.)
    The first who was king was a fortunate soldier:
Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors. 5
          Merope. Act i. Sc. 3.
    In the best of possible worlds the château of monseigneur the baron was the most beautiful of châteaux, and madame the best of possible baronesses.
          Candide. Chap. i.
    In this country [England] it is well to kill from time to time an admiral to encourage the others.
          Candide. Chap. xxiii.
    The superfluous, a very necessary thing.
          Le Mondain. Line 21.
    Crush the infamous thing.
          Letter to d’Alembert, June 23, 1760.
    There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.
          Letter to Cardinal de Bernis, April 23, 1761.
    The proper mean. 6
          Letter to Count d’Argental, Nov. 28, 1765.
    It is said that God is always on the side of the heaviest battalions. 7
          Letter to M. le Riche, Feb. 6, 1770.
    Love truth, but pardon error.
          Discours sur l’Homme. Discours 3.
Note 1.
See Tillotson, Quotation 1. [back]
Note 2.
Voltaire writes to his niece Dennis, July 24, 1752, “Voilà le roi qui m’envoie son linge à blanchir.” [back]
Note 3.
See Young, Quotation 64. [back]
Note 4.
See Gibbon, Quotation 1. [back]
Note 5.
See Scott, Quotation 72.

Borrowed from Lefranc de Pompignan’s “Didon.” [back]
Note 6.
See Cowper, Quotation 112. [back]
Note 7.
See Gibbon, Quotation 6.

Bussy Rabutin: Lettres, iv. 91. Sévigne: Lettre à sa Fille, p. 202. Tacitus: Historia, iv. 17. Terence: Phormio, i. 4. 26. [back]