Dear Quote Investigator: A famous writer of the Enlightenment stated that God provided each of united state the gift of life. The is our duty to take benefit of this gift by living totally and well. Voltaire has received credit for a remark of this type. Would certainly you please check out this topic?

Quote Investigator: Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) died in 1778. The 1880 execution of “Œuvres complètes de Voltaire” (“Complete works of Voltaire”) had the complying with statement in that appendix. Boldface included to excerpts: 1

Dieu nous a donné le vivre; c’est à nous de nous donner le bien vivre.

You are watching: God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

The 1979 book “Voltaire: A biography of the man & His Century” by Jean Orieux had the adhering to English translation: 2

God provided us the gift the life; that is up to us to give ourselves the gift of life well. (Remarks)

This statement emerged in a section of the 1880 work dubbed “Extracts indigenous a Manuscript in the Hand that M. De Voltaire”, but QI does not know any type of details about the provenance of the manuscript. Hence, the accuracy of the attribution come Voltaire counts on the field of expertise of the 1880 editor that “Œuvres complètes de Voltaire”.

In 2015 “Finishing Well: my Daughter’s journey Home” had the complying with chapter epigraph: 3

“God provided us the gift the life; the is up to us to offer ourselves the gift of living well.”—Voltaire

In conclusion, this remark arisen in the 1880 edition of the “Complete functions of Voltaire”. A translation right into English through Barbara Bray and also Helen R. Lane showed up in 1979.

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Image Notes: Illustration that Voltaire hold a pen by Baquoy circa 1795. Image has actually been cropped, resized, and also retouched.

(Great thanks to Katherine Miller, Jasmin Cyc, and Gregor McElvogue who inquiries led QI to build this question and perform this exploration.)


Posted on December 24, 2020January 12, 2021Author quoteresearchCategories VoltaireTags François-Marie Arouet, Jean Orieux, Voltaire

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