portrait of Voltaire
1718 portrait by Nicolas de Largilli

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Quotes of the Day for 21 November 2002 – Voltaire

François Marie Arouet was born at Paris on this day in 1694. He received his education at a Jesuit college there, leaving school at age 16 and soon becoming a favorite among the aristocracy for his wit. Hubris struck; after he wrote a satire of the government he spent almost a year in the Bastille. There he wrote his first successful play, published under his new nom de plume (I have to say it in French in this case), Voltaire.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

Doubt is not a pleasant mental state but certainty is a ridiculous one.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.

The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
     - All from François Marie Arouet (Voltaire), 1694 - 1778

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