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French historian, dramatist, writer and poet
(1694 - 1778)
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Tears are the silent language of grief.
      - A Philosophical Dictionary--Tears [Tears]

A company of tyrants is inaccessible to all seductions.
      - A Philosophical Dictionary--Tyranny

The sovereign is called a tyrant who knows no laws but his caprice.
      - A Philosophical Dictionary--Tyranny

Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels.
      - A Philosophical Dictionary--Weaknesses of Both Sides

Very learned women are to be found, in the same manner as female warriors; but they are seldom or ever inventors.
      - A Philosophical Dictionary--Women [Women]

If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.
      - Candide [Change]

Once upon a time in Westphalia, in the castle of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh, there lived a young boy whom nature had endowed with the gentlest of dispositions. His soul was written upon his countenance. He was quite sound in his judgement, and he had the most straightforward of minds.
      - Candide (ch. 1),
        (Roger Pearson translation)
        [Books (First Lines)]

In this country it is found necessary now and then to put an admiral to death in order to encourage the others.
  [Fr., Dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un admiral pour encourager les autres.]
      - Candide (ch. XXIII) [Soldiers]

Everything is for the best in this best of possible worlds.
  [Fr., Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes.]
      - Candide (I) [World]

Froth at the top, dregs at bottom, but the middle excellent.
      - Description of the English Nation

Men use thought only to justify their wrong doings, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.
  [Fr., Ils ne se servent de la pensee que pour autoriser leurs injustices, et emploient les paroles que pour deguiser leurs pensees.]
      - Dialogue XIV--Le Chapon et al Poularde

The secret of being tiresome is in telling everything.
  [Fr., Le secret d'ennuyer est celui de tout dire.]
      - Discours Preliminaire [Talk]

If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.
  [Fr., Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer.]
      - Epitre a l'Auteur du Livre des Trois Imposteurs
         (CXI) [God]

He who is not just is severe, he who is not wise is sad.
  [Fr., Qui n'est que juste est dur, qui n'est que sage est triste.]
    [More accurately: He who is but just is severe, he who is but wise is sad. Or, more idiomatically: He who is only just is severe, he who is only wise is sad.]
      - Epitre au Roi de Prusse
        [Comparison : Justice : Wisdom]

We must distinguish between speaking to deceive and being silent to be reserved.
  [Fr., Il faut distinguer entre parler pour tromper et se taire pour etre impenetrable.]
      - Essai sur les Moeurs (ch. CLXIII) [Speech]

Neither holy, nor Roman, nor Empire.
      - Essay on the Morals of the Holy Empire of the Hapsburgs

To them it seemed that the gifts of an enemy were to be dreaded.
  [Fr., Les dons d'un ennemi leur semblainte trop a craindre.]
      - Henriade (ch. II) [Enemies]

He shines in the second rank, who is eclipsed in the first.
  [Fr., Tel brille au second rang, qui s'eclipse au premier.]
      - Henriade (I) [Fame]

What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous.
  [Fr., C'est un poids bien pesant qu'un nom trop tot fameux.]
      - Henriade (III) [Fame]

All styles are good except the tiresome kind.
  [Fr., Tous les genres sont bons, hors le genre ennuyeux.]
      - L'Enfant Prodigue--Preface [Style]

The first step, my son, which one makes in the world, is the one on which depends the rest of our days.
  [Fr., Le premier pas, mon fils, que l'on fait dans le monde,
    Est celui dont depend le reste de nos jours.]
      - L'Indiscret (I, i) [Beginnings]

History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes.
  [Fr., L'histoire n'est que le tableau des crimes et des malheurs.]
      - L'Ingenu (X) [History]

Your destiny is that of a man, and your vows those of a god.
  [Fr., Tes destins sont d'un homme, et tes voeux sont d'un dieu.]
      - La Liberte [Destiny]

Thou sleepest, Brutus, and yet Rome is in chains.
  [Lat., Tu dors, Brutus, et Rome est dans les fers.]
      - La Mort de Cesar (II, 2) [Sleep]

He who thinks himself wise, O heavens! is a great fool.
  [Fr., Qui se croit sage, o ciel! est en grand fou.]
      - Le Droit du Seigneur (VI, 1) [Folly]

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