Voltaire Candide Quotes

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Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?
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Voltaire (Candide: or, Optimism)
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You're a bitter man," said Candide. That's because I've lived," said Martin.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Let us cultivate our garden.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Optimism," said Cacambo, "What is that?" "Alas!" replied Candide, "It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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But for what purpose was the earth formed?" asked Candide. "To drive us mad," replied Martin.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Our labour preserves us from three great evils -- weariness, vice, and want.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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I read only to please myself, and enjoy only what suits my taste.
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Voltaire (Candide and Other Tales)
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You are very harsh.' 'I have seen the world.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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I should like to know which is worse: to be ravished a hundred times by pirates, and have a buttock cut off, and run the gauntlet of the Bulgarians, and be flogged and hanged in an auto-da-fe, and be dissected, and have to row in a galley -- in short, to undergo all the miseries we have each of us suffered -- or simply to sit here and do nothing?' That is a hard question,' said Candide.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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When a man is in love, jealous, and just whipped by the Inquisition, he is no longer himself.
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Voltaire (Candide (Bantam Classics))
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Martin in particular concluded that man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Come! you presence will either give me life or kill me with pleasure.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Let us work without reasoning,' said Martin; 'it is the only way to make life endurable.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Do you believe,' said Candide, 'that men have always massacred each other as they do to-day, that they have always been liars, cheats, traitors, ingrates, brigands, idiots, thieves, scoundrels, gluttons, drunkards, misers, envious, ambitious, bloody-minded, calumniators, debauchees, fanatics, hypocrites, and fools?' Do you believe,' said Martin, 'that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they have found them?
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Voltaire (Candide)
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But there must be some pleasure in condemning everything--in perceiving faults where others think they see beauties.' 'You mean there is pleasure in having no pleasure.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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It is love; love, the comfort of the human species, the preserver of the universe, the soul of all sentient beings, love, tender love.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Fools admire everything in an author of reputation.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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What a pessimist you are!" exclaimed Candide. "That is because I know what life is," said Martin.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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I hold firmly to my original views. After all I am a philosopher.
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Voltaire (Candide: or, Optimism)
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All men are by nature free; you have therefore an undoubted liberty to depart whenever you please, but will have many and great difficulties to encounter in passing the frontiers.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Cela est bien, repondit Candide, mais il faut cultiver notre jardin.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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And ask each passenger to tell his story, and if there is one of them all who has not cursed his existence many times, and said to himself over and over again that he was the most miserable of men, I give you permission to throw me head-first into the sea.
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Voltaire (Candide: or, Optimism)
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Secret griefs are more cruel than public calamities.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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He wanted to know how they prayed to God in El Dorado. "We do not pray to him at all," said the reverend sage. "We have nothing to ask of him. He has given us all we want, and we give him thanks continually.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes possibles.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Qui plus sait, plus se tait
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Alas...I too have known love, that ruler of hearts, that soul of our soul: it's never brought me anything except one kiss and twenty kicks in the rump. How could such a beautiful cause produce such an abominable effect on you?
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Voltaire (Candide: or, Optimism)
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Even in those cities which seem to enjoy the blessings of peace, and where the arts florish, the inhabitants are devoured by envy, cares and anxieties, which are greater plagues than any expirienced in a town when it is under siege.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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To caress the serpent that devours us, until it has eaten away our heart.
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Voltaire (Candide: or, Optimism)
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A State can be no better than the citizens of which it is composed. Our labour now is not to mould States but make citizens.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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He was my equal in beauty, a paragon of grace and charm, sparkling with wit, and burning with love. I adored him to distraction, to the point of idolatry: I loved him as one can never love twice.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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I am the best-natured creature in the world, and yet I have already killed three, and of these three two were priests.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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There is some pleasure in having no pleasure.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Reading list (1972 edition)[edit] 1. Homer – Iliad, Odyssey 2. The Old Testament 3. Aeschylus – Tragedies 4. Sophocles – Tragedies 5. Herodotus – Histories 6. Euripides – Tragedies 7. Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War 8. Hippocrates – Medical Writings 9. Aristophanes – Comedies 10. Plato – Dialogues 11. Aristotle – Works 12. Epicurus – Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus 13. Euclid – Elements 14. Archimedes – Works 15. Apollonius of Perga – Conic Sections 16. Cicero – Works 17. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things 18. Virgil – Works 19. Horace – Works 20. Livy – History of Rome 21. Ovid – Works 22. Plutarch – Parallel Lives; Moralia 23. Tacitus – Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania 24. Nicomachus of Gerasa – Introduction to Arithmetic 25. Epictetus – Discourses; Encheiridion 26. Ptolemy – Almagest 27. Lucian – Works 28. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations 29. Galen – On the Natural Faculties 30. The New Testament 31. Plotinus – The Enneads 32. St. Augustine – On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine 33. The Song of Roland 34. The Nibelungenlied 35. The Saga of Burnt NjΓ‘l 36. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica 37. Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy 38. Geoffrey Chaucer – Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales 39. Leonardo da Vinci – Notebooks 40. NiccolΓ² Machiavelli – The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy 41. Desiderius Erasmus – The Praise of Folly 42. Nicolaus Copernicus – On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres 43. Thomas More – Utopia 44. Martin Luther – Table Talk; Three Treatises 45. FranΓ§ois Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel 46. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion 47. Michel de Montaigne – Essays 48. William Gilbert – On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies 49. Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote 50. Edmund Spenser – Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene 51. Francis Bacon – Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis 52. William Shakespeare – Poetry and Plays 53. Galileo Galilei – Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences 54. Johannes Kepler – Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World 55. William Harvey – On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals 56. Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan 57. RenΓ© Descartes – Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy 58. John Milton – Works 59. MoliΓ¨re – Comedies 60. Blaise Pascal – The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises 61. Christiaan Huygens – Treatise on Light 62. Benedict de Spinoza – Ethics 63. John Locke – Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education 64. Jean Baptiste Racine – Tragedies 65. Isaac Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics 66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz – Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology 67. Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe 68. Jonathan Swift – A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal 69. William Congreve – The Way of the World 70. George Berkeley – Principles of Human Knowledge 71. Alexander Pope – Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man 72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu – Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws 73. Voltaire – Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary 74. Henry Fielding – Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones 75. Samuel Johnson – The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets
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Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
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All is for the best in the best of possible worlds.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Isn't there a pleasure in criticising everything and discovering faults where other men detect beauties?
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Voltaire (Candide)
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I have seen so many extraordinary things that nothing seems extraordinary to me
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Voltaire (Candide)
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How many plays have been written in France?' Candide asked the abbe. 'Five or six thousand.' 'That's a lot,' said Candide. 'How many of them are good?' 'Fifteen or sixteen,' replied the abbe. 'That's a lot,' said Martin.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Everywhere the weak execrate the powerful, before whom they cringe; and the powerful beat them like sheep whose wool and flesh they sell.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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had no need of a guide to learn ignorance
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Voltaire (Candide)
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when man was put into the garden of eden, he was put there with the idea that he should work the land; and this proves that man was not born to be idle.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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What can be more absurd than choosing to carry a burden that one really wants to throw to the ground? To detest, and yet to strive to preserve our existence? To caress the serpent that devours us and hug him close to our bosoms tillhe has gnawed into our hearts?
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Voltaire (Candide)
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But in this country it is necessary, now and then, to put one admiral to death in order to inspire the others to fight.
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Voltaire (Candide: or, Optimism)
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God has punished the knave, and the devil has drowned the rest.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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O che sciagura d'essere senza coglioni
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Voltaire (Candide)
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We are at the end of all our troubles, and at the beginning of happiness
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Voltaire (Candide)
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My dear young lady, when you are in love, and jealous, and have been flogged by the Inquisition, there's no knowing what you may do.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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It is noble to write as one thinks; this is the privilege of humanity.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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What's Optimism?' asked Cacambo. 'I'm afraid to say,' said Candide, 'that it's a mania for insisting that all is well when things are going badly.
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Voltaire (Candide and Other Stories)
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man was born to live either in a state of distracting inquietude or of lethargic disgust.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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For can anything be sillier than to insist on carrying a burden one would continually much rather throw to the ground?
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Voltaire (Candide and Other Stories)
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It is manΒ΄s faith to live either on agonies of fear and turmoil or in the prostration of boredom.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Imagine all contradictions, all possible incompatibilities--you will find them in the government, in the law-courts, in the churches, in the public shows of this droll nation.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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We must cultivate our garden.
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Voltaire
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the women are never at a loss, God provides for them, let us run.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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self-esteem is a balloon filled with wind, from which great tempests surge when it is pricked
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Voltaire (Candide and Other Stories)
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Why should you think it so strange that in some countries there are monkeys which insinuates themselves into the good graces of the ladies; they are a fourth part human, as I am a fourth part Spaniard.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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His face was the true index of his mind.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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فقال ΩƒΨ§Ω†Ψ―ΩŠΨ―: Β«Ψ£ΨΉΩ„Ω… أيآا Ψ£Ω†Ω‡ يجب Ψ£Ω† Ω†Ψ²Ψ±ΨΉ Ψ­Ψ―ΩŠΩ‚ΨͺΩ†Ψ§Β». ΩˆΩ‚Ψ§Ω„ Ψ¨Ψ§Ω†ΨΊΩ„ΩˆΨ³: Β«Ψ£Ω†Ψͺ Ω…Ψ­Ω‚: لأنهُ ΨΉΩ†Ψ―Ω…Ψ§ وآِع Ψ§Ω„Ψ₯Ω†Ψ³Ψ§Ω† في Ψ¬Ω†Ψ© ΨΉΨ―Ω†ΨŒ ΩƒΨ§Ω† Ψ°Ω„Ωƒ Ω„ΩŠΨΉΩ…Ω„.. Ω…Ω…Ψ§ يثبΨͺ Ψ£Ω† Ψ§Ω„Ψ₯Ω†Ψ³Ψ§Ω† Ω„Ω… ΩŠΩˆΩ„Ψ― Ω„Ω„Ψ±Ψ§Ψ­Ψ©Β». فقال Ω…Ψ§Ψ±ΨͺΩ†: «فلنعمل Ψ¨Ω„Ψ§ ΨͺΩΩƒΩŠΨ±: Ω‡Ψ°Ω‡ Ω‡ΩŠ Ψ§Ω„ΩˆΨ³ΩŠΩ„Ψ© Ψ§Ω„ΩˆΨ­ΩŠΨ―Ψ© Ω„Ψ¬ΨΉΩ„ Ψ§Ω„Ψ­ΩŠΨ§Ψ© ΨͺُحΨͺΩ…Ω„Β».
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Men must have somewhat altered the course of nature; for they were not born wolves, yet they have become wolves. God did not give them twenty-four-pounders or bayonets, yet they have made themselves bayonets and guns to destroy each other. In the same category I place not only bankruptcies, but the law which carries off the bankrupts’ effects, so as to defraud their creditors.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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I know this love, that sovereign of hearts, that soul of our souls; yet it never cost me more than a kiss and twenty kicks on the backside. How could this beautiful cause produce in you an effect so abominable.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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to find why this sheep's wool was red; and the prize was awarded to a learned man of the North, who demonstrated by A plus B minus C divided by Z, that the sheep must be red, and die of the rot.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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I am infinitely more touched by your extreme generosity than with the inhumanity of that gentleman
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Voltaire (Candide)
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All that is very well," answered Candide, "but let us cultivate our garden.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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if Columbus in an island of America had not caught the disease, which poisons the source of generation, and often indeed prevents generation, we should not have chocolate and cochineal
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Voltaire (Candide (Bantam Classics))
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It is best one should quote what one doesn't understand at all in the language one knows the least
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Voltaire (Candide and Other Stories)
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Il faut cultiver son jardin
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Wisdom must yield to superstition's rules, Who arms with bigot zeal the hand of fools.
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Voltaire (Candide and The Maid of Orleans)
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فقال ΩƒΨ§Ω†Ψ―ΩŠΨ― Ω„Ω„ΨͺΨ±ΩƒΩŠ: Β«Ω„Ψ§ Ψ¨Ψ―ΩŽΩ‘ Ψ£Ω†Ωƒ ΨͺΩ…Ω„Ωƒ Ψ£Ψ±ΨΆΨ§ واسعة ΨΉΨΈΩŠΩ…Ψ©ΨŸΒ». فأجب Ψ§Ω„ΨͺΨ±ΩƒΩŠ: Β«Ω„ΩŠΨ³ Ω„Ψ―ΩŠ Ψ£Ω„Ψ§ ΨΉΨ΄Ψ±ΩŠΩ† فدّانا ΩΩ‚Ψ·ΨŒ Ψ£Ψ²Ψ±ΨΉΩ‡Ψ§ Ω…ΨΉ Ψ£ΩˆΩ„Ψ§Ψ―ΩŠ. فالعمل يبعد ΨΉΩ†Ω‘Ψ§ شرورا Ψ«Ω„Ψ§Ψ«Ψ©: Ψ§Ω„ΨΆΨ¬Ψ±ΨŒ ΩˆΨ§Ω„Ψ΄Ψ±ΨŒ ΩˆΨ§Ω„ΩΨ§Ω‚Ψ©Β».
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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The supper was like most Parisian suppers: silence at first, then a burst of unintelligible chatter, then witticisms that were mostly vapid, false rumors, bad reasonings, a little politics and a great deal of slander; they even spoke about new books.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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It is demonstrable," said he, "that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles. The legs are visibly designed for stockings, accordingly we wear stockings. Stones were made to be hewn and to construct castles, therefore My Lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Swine were intended to be eaten, therefore we eat pork all the year round: and they, who assert that everything is right, do not express themselves correctly; they should say that everything is best.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Il est dΓ©montrΓ©, disait-il, que les choses ne peuvent Γͺtre autrement; car tout Γ©tant fait pour une fin, tout est nΓ©cessairement pour la meilleure fin. Remarquez bien que les nez ont Γ©tΓ© faits pour porter des lunettes; aussi avons-nous des lunettes
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Voltaire (Candide)
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A hundred times I was upon the point of killing myself; but still I loved life. This ridiculous foible is perhaps one of our most fatal characteristics; for is there anything more absurd than to wish to carry continually a burden which one can always throw down? to detest existence and yet to cling to one's existence? in brief, to caress the serpent which devours us, till he has eaten our very heart?
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Voltaire (Candide)
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All events are linked together in the best of possible worlds; after all, if you had not been driven from a fine castle by being kicked in the backside for love of Miss Cunegonde, if you hadn't been sent before the Inquisition, if you hadn't traveled across America on foot, if you hadn't given a good sword thrust to the baron, if you hadn't lost all your sheep from the good land of Eldorado, you wouldn't be sitting here eating candied citron and pistachios. - That is very well put, said Candide, but we must cultivate our garden.
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Voltaire
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Ψ§Ω„ΨΉΨ§Ω„Ω… Ψ§Ω„Ψ°ΩŠ Ψ£ΨͺيΨͺ Ψ₯Ω„ΩŠΩ‡ Ω…ΩƒΨ§Ω† Ω…Ω…Ω„ Ψ₯Ω„Ω‰ Ψ―Ψ±Ψ¬Ψ© Ω„Ψ§ ΨͺΨ·Ψ§Ω‚ΨŒ ΩˆΩ„Ψ§ Ψ³Ψ¨ΩŠΩ„ Ψ₯Ω„Ω‰ Ψ§Ω„ΨΉΩŠΨ΄ ΩΩŠΩ‡ Ψ―ΩˆΩ† Ψ£Ω† Ψ£ΨΉΩ…Ω„ Ψ£ΩŠΩ‹Ψ§ ΩƒΨ§Ω† الدافع أو Ψ§Ω„Ω†Ψͺيجة Ψ§Ω„Ω…Ω†Ψ΄ΩˆΨ―Ψ©.
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Voltaire
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If one doesn't get what one wants in one world, one can always get it in another
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Voltaire (Candide and Other Stories)
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Said Candide to Cacambo: My friend, you see how perishable are the riches of this world; there is nothing solid but virtue, and the happiness of seeing Cunegonde once more.
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Voltaire
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The Baron's lady weighed about three hundred and fifty pounds, and was therefore a person of great consideration..
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Voltaire (Candide)
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A hundred times I have wanted to kill myself, but I was still in love with life. This absurd weakness is perhaps one of our deadliest attachments: can anything be more foolish than to keep carrying a fardel and yet keep wanting to throw it to the ground? To hold one's existence in horror, and yet cling to it?
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Do you believe," said Martin, "that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they have found them?" "Yes, without doubt," said Candide. "Well, then," said Martin, "if hawks have always had the same character why should you imagine that men may have changed theirs?
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Voltaire (Candide)
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He showed, in a few words, that it is not sufficient to throw together a few incidents that are to be met with in every romance, and that to dazzle the spectator the thought should be new, without being farfetched; frequently sublime, but always natural; the author should have a thorough knowledge of the human heart and make it speak properly; he should be a complete poet, without showing an affectation of it in any of the characters of his piece; he should be a perfect master of his language, speak it with all its pruity and with the utmost harmony, and yet so as not to make the sense a slave to the rhyme. Whoever, added he, neglects any one of these rules, though he may write two or three tragedies with tolerable success, will never be reckoned in the number of good authors.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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For the poetry of a text is largely produced by the fact that the wild chaos of the universe is therein, at one and the same time, expressed and controlled by a rhythm. In Candide both characteristics exist.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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we often meet with those whom we expected never to see more;
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Fools admire everything in an author of reputation. For my part, I read only to please myself. I like only that which serves my purpose.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Only cut off a buttock of each of those ladies,' said he,'and you'll fare extremely well; if you must go to it again, there will be the same entertainment a few days hence; heaven will accept of so charitable an action, and send you relief.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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mankind have a little corrupted nature, for they were not born wolves, and they have become wolves; God has given them neither cannon of four-and-twenty pounders, nor bayonets; and yet they have made cannon and bayonets to destroy one another.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Divert yourself, and ask each passenger to tell his story, and if there is one of them all who has not cursed his existence many times, and said to himself over and over again that he was the most miserable of men, I give you permission to throw me head-first into the sea.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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I have been in several provinces. In some one-half of the people are fools, in others they are too cunning; in some they are weak and simple, in others they affect to be witty; in all, the principal occupation is love, the next is slander, and the third is talking nonsense.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Kissinger projects a strong impression of a man at home in the world and on top of his brief. But there are a number of occasions when it suits him to pose as a sort of Candide: naive, and ill-prepared for and easily unhorsed by events. No doubt this pose costs him something in point of self-esteem. It is a pose, furthermore, which he often adopts at precisely the time when the record shows him to be knowledgeable, and when knowledge or foreknowledge would also confront him with charges of responsibility or complicity.
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Christopher Hitchens (The Trial of Henry Kissinger)
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I already began to inspire the men with love. My breast began to take its right form, and such a breast! white, firm, and formed like that of the Venus de' Medici; my eyebrows were as black as jet, and as for my eyes, they darted flames and eclipsed the luster of the stars, as I was told by the poets of our part of the world. My maids, when they dressed and undressed me, used to fall into an ecstasy in viewing me before and behind; and all the men longed to be in their places.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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Do you believe," said Candide, "that men have always massacred each other as they do to-day, that they have always been liars, cheats, traitors, ingrates, brigands, idiots, thieves, scoundrels, gluttons, drunkards, misers, envious, ambitious, bloody-minded, calumniators, debauchees, fanatics, hypocrites, and fools?" "Do you believe," said Martin, "that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they have found them?" "Yes, without doubt," said Candide. "Well, then," said Martin, "if hawks have always had the same character why should you imagine that men may have changed theirs?
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Voltaire (Candide)
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For Paley, a watch is purposeful and thus must have been created by a being with a purpose. A watch needs a watchmaker, just as a world needs a world-makerβ€”God. Yet both Wallace and Paley might have heeded the lesson from Voltaire's Candide (1759), in which Dr. Pangloss, a professor of "metaphysico-theology-cosmolonigology," through reason, logic, and analogy "proved" that this is the best of all possible worlds: '"Tis demonstrated that things cannot be otherwise; for, since everything is made for an end, everything is necessarily for the best end. Observe that noses were made to wear spectacles; and so we have spectacles. Legs were visibly instituted to be breeched, and we have breeches" (1985, p. 238). The absurdity of this argument was intended on the part of the author, for Voltaire firmly rejected the Panglossian paradigm that all is best in the best of all possible worlds. Nature is not perfectly designed, nor is this the best of all possible worlds. It is simply the world we have, quirky, contingent, and flawed as it may be.
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Michael Shermer (Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time)
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Surely you must be possessed by the devil," said Candide. "He is so deeply concerned in the affairs of this world," answered Martin, "that he may very well be in me, as well as in everybody else; but I own to you that when I cast an eye on this globe, or rather on this little ball, I cannot help thinking that God has abandoned it to some malignant being. I except, always, El Dorado. I scarcely ever knew a city that did not desire the destruction of a neighbouring city, nor a family that did not wish to exterminate some other family. Everywhere the weak execrate the powerful, before whom they cringe; and the powerful beat them like sheep whose wool and flesh they sell. A million regimented assassins, from one extremity of Europe to the other, get their bread by disciplined depredation and murder, for want of more honest employment. Even in those cities which seem to enjoy peace, and[Pg 100] where the arts flourish, the inhabitants are devoured by more envy, care, and uneasiness than are experienced by a besieged town. Secret griefs are more cruel than public calamities. In a word I have seen so much, and experienced so much that I am a Manichean." "There are, however, some things good," said Candide. "That may be," said Martin; "but I know them not.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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As Candide went back to his farm, he reflected deeply on the Turk's remarks. He said to Pangloss and Martin: "That good old man seems to me to have made himself a life far preferable to that of the six Kings with whom we had the honor of having supper." "Great eminence," said Pangloss, " is very dangerous, according to the report of all philosophers. For after all, Eglon, King of the Moabites, was assassinated by Ehud; Absolom was hanged by his hair and pierced with three darts; King Naab son of Jeroboam was killed by Baasha..." "I also know", said Candide, "that we must cultivate our garden." "You are right," said Pangloss, "for when man was put in the Garden of Eden, he was put there ut operaretur eum, to work; which proves that man was not born to rest." "Let us work without reasoning," said Martin, "it is the only way to make life endurable." All the little society entered into this laudable plan; each one began to exercise his talents. The little piece of land produced much. True, CunΓ©gonde was very ugly; but she became and excellent pastry cook; Paquette embroidered; the old woman took care of the linen. No one, not even Friar GiroflΓ©e, failed to perform some service; he was a very good carpenter, and even became an honorable man; and Pangloss sometimes said to Candide: "All events are linked together in the best of all possible worlds. for after all, if you had not been expelled from a fine castle with great kicks in the backside for love of Mademoiselle CunΓ©gonde, if you had not been subjected to the Inquisition, if you had not traveled about America on foot, if you had not given the Baron a great blow with your sword, if you had not lost all your sheep from the good country of Eldorado, you would not be here eating candied citrons and pistachios." "That is well said," replied Candide, "but we must cultivate our garden.
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Voltaire (Candide)