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?.
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.
Optimism," said Cacambo, "What is that?" "Alas!" replied Candide, "It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.
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.
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?.
She blushed and so did he. She greeted him in a faltering voice, and he spoke to her without knowing what he was saying.
In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense.
Martin in particular concluded that man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom.
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.
It is love; love, the comfort of the human species, the preserver of the universe, the soul of all sentient beings, love, tender love.
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.
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.
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.
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?.
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.
Just for the sake of amusement, ask each passenger to tell you his story, and if you find a single one who hasn’t often cursed his life, who hasn’t told himself he’s the most miserable man in the world, you can throw me overboard head first.
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.
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.
I am the best-natured creature in the world, and yet I have already killed three, and of these three two were priests.
When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?.
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.
Isn't there a pleasure in criticising everything and discovering faults where other men detect beauties?.
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?.
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.
Everywhere the weak execrate the powerful, before whom they cringe; and the powerful beat them like sheep whose wool and flesh they sell.
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.
But in this country it is necessary, now and then, to put one admiral to death in order to inspire the others to fight.
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.
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?.
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.