Literary Birthday – 21 November – Voltaire

Voltaire was born 21 November 1694, and died 30 May 1778.

Voltaire Quotes

  1. Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
  2. Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
  3. The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.
  4. It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
  5. The secret of being boring is to say everything.
  6. Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.
  7. I read only to please myself, and enjoy only what suits my taste.
  8. Doubt is not a pleasant position, but certainty is an absurd one.
  9. God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
  10. Tears are the silent language of grief.
  11. Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
  12. Common sense is not so common.
  13. When we hear news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.

Voltaire was a French writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, freedom of expression, free trade, and separation of church and state. He wrote in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, including Candide, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2 000 books and pamphlets. Voltaire’s works and ideas influenced important thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions.

Source for Image


Nicolas de Largillière, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Source for Quotes

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 21st November 2012