When men do not have healthy notions of the Divinity, false ideas supplant them, just as in bad times one uses counterfeit money when there is no good money.
Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
In every author let us distinguish the man from his works.
Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.
Every one goes astray, but the least imprudent are they who repent the soonest.
No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.
He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.
In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.
The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
I should like to lie at your feet and die in your arms.
The ancient Romans built their greatest masterpieces of architecture, their amphitheaters, for wild beasts to fight in.
By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property.
Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
It is the flash which appears, the thunderbolt will follow.
Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.
Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?
Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.
Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.
It is not known precisely where angels dwell whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode.
Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient.
The ancients recommended us to sacrifice to the Graces, but Milton sacrificed to the Devil.
Society therefore is as ancient as the world.
Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors.
The flowery style is not unsuitable to public speeches or addresses, which amount only to compliment. The lighter beauties are in their place when there is nothing more solid to say; but the flowery style ought to be banished from a pleading, a sermon, or a didactic work.
The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.
We are rarely proud when we are alone.
Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable.
Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.
Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.
He who has not the spirit of this age, has all the misery of it.
What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.
The safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.
It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.
I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition.
What then do you call your soul? What idea have you of it? You cannot of yourselves, without revelation, admit the existence within you of anything but a power unknown to you of feeling and thinking.
Use, do not abuse... neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
To believe in God is impossible not to believe in Him is absurd.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.