French Satirist, Essayist, Dramatist, Philosopher and Historian
"Bring together all the children of the universe, you will see nothing in them but innocence, gentleness, and fear; were they born wicked, spiteful, and cruel, some signs of it would come from them; as little snakes strive to bite, and little tigers to tear. But nature having been of offensive weapons to man as to pigeons and rabbits, it cannot have given them an instinct to mischief and destruction."
"All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God."
"False wit is a fatiguing search after cunning traits, an affectation of saying in enigmas what others have already said naturally, to hang together ideas which are incompatible, to divide that which ought to be united, of seizing false relations."
"How is reason so precious a gift that we would not lose it for anything in the world? and how has this reason served only to make us the most unhappy of all beings? Whence comes it that loving truth passionately, we are always betrayed to the most gross impostures?"
"Let all the laws be clear, uniform, and precise; to interpret laws is almost always to corrupt them."
"Love has features which pierce all hearts, he wears a bandage which conceals the faults of those beloved. He has wings, he comes quickly and flies away the same."
"Men use thought only to justify their wrongdoings, and speech only to conceal their thoughts."
"Of all religions, the Christian is without doubt the one which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men."
"Self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles that provision for the perpetuity of mankind; it is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, but we must conceal it."
"Self-esteem is the instrument of our conservation; it resembles the instrument of the perpetuity of the species: it is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, and it has to be hidden."
"The word “liberty,” “free-will,” is therefore an abstract word, a general word, like beauty, goodness, justice. These terms do not state that all men are always beautiful, good and just; similarly, they are not always free."
"A multitude of laws in a country is like a great number of physicians, a sign of weakness and malady."
"Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing."