Voltaire French Quotes

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Voltaire French Quotes

They could not help loving anything that made them laugh. The Lisbon earthquake was "embarrassing to the physicists and humiliating to theologians" (Barbier). It robbed Voltaire of his optimism. In the huge waves which engulfed the town, in the chasms which opened underneath it, in volcanic flames which raged for days in the outskirts, some 50,000 people perished. But to the courtiers of Louis XV it was an enormous joke. M. de Baschi, Madame de Pompadours brother-in-law, was French Ambassador there at the time. He saw the Spanish Ambassador killed by the arms of Spain, which toppled onto his head from the portico of his embassy; Baschi then dashed into the house and rescued his colleagues little boy whom he took, with his own family, to the country. When he got back to Versailles he kept the whole Court in roars of laughter for a week with his account of it all. "Have you heard Baschi on the earthquake?
— Nancy Mitford —

For all the enlightened nations that profess a loyalty to liberty, democracy, economy and all the rest, there has long been a readiness to look for a chosen one; as Carlyle pointed out, even the French, those great anti-venerators, those relentless beheaders of Great Men, worshipped Voltaire.

— Chris Anderson

Yes, the laws of self-preservation and of self-destruction are equally powerful in this world. The devil will hold his empire over humanity until a limit of time which is still unknown. You laugh? You do not believe in the devil? Scepticism as to the devil is a French idea, and it is also a frivolous idea. Do you know who the devil is? Do you know his name? Although you don't know his name you make a mockery of his form, following the example of Voltaire. You sneer at his hoofs, at his tail, at his horns-all of them the produce of your imagination! In reality the devil is a great and terrible spirit, with neither hoofs, nor tail, nor horns; it is you who have endowed him with these attributes! But ... he is not the question just now!

— Fyodor Dostoyevsky

French philosopher whom professional philosophers generally accord highest honors is Descartes. Montaigne and Pascal, Voltaire and Rousseau, Bergson and Sartre do not enjoy their greatest vogue among philosophers, and of these only Rousseau has had any considerable influence on the history of philosophy (through Kant and Hegel).

— Friedrich Nietzsche

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