Posts tagged Voltaire

True of the Majority of Mankind

We can become accustomed to anything. Well fed, well looked after, but always closely watched, Candide was not utterly disgusted with his condition. Good cheer, and the various amusements offered by Ismael’s slaves, gave him respite from his sorrows. He was unhappy only when he thought: and that is true of the majority of mankind.

Candide (Voltaire )


I have seen scarcely a city that did not wish the ruin of its neighbouring city; nor a family that did not wish to exterminate some other family. Everywhere the weak hate the powerful, before whom they crawl, and the powerful treat the weak like sheep, selling their wool and their carcases.

– Martin the Manichaean, Candide (Voltaire)

To Cherish the Serpent That Devours Us

… A hundred times I wished to kill myself, but my love of life persisted. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of the most fatal of our faults. For what could be more stupid than to go on carrying a burden that we always long to lay down? To loathe, and yet cling to, existence? In short, to cherish the serpent that devours us, until it has eaten our hearts?

– The Old Woman’s Story, Candide (Voltaire)

The Most Surprising Things

Beautiful mistress, when a man is in love, is jealous, and has been flogged by the Inquisition, he does the most surprising things.

Candide (Voltaire)

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