If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?
Fools admire everything in an author of reputation. For my part, I read only to please myself. I like only that which serves my purpose.
Verses, which do not teach men new and moving truths, do not deserve to be read.
One merit of poetry few persons will deny; it says more, and in few words, than prose.
There is pleasure in not being pleased.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
When he who hears does not know what he who speaks means, and when he who speaks does not know what he himself means, that is philosophy.
Had there been a literary censorship in Rome, we should have had today neither Horace, Juvenal, nor the philosophical works of Cicero. If Milton, Dryden, Pope, and Locke had not been free, England would have had neither poets nor philosophers; there is something positively Turkish in proscribing printing; and hampering it is proscription.
It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.
Everything persecutes me in this world, even things that do not exist.