A minister is excusable for the evil he may do when the helm of the government is forced into his hands by storms of state; but when there is a calm, he is answerable for all the good he does not do. - Voltaire Quotes (The Age of Louis XIV (1751))

A minister is excusable for the evil he may do when the helm of the government is forced into his hands by storms of state; but when there is a calm, he is answerable for all the good he does not do.[Also known as:]Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.[Un ministre est excusable du mal qu’il fait lorsque le gouvernail de l’État est forcé dans sa main par les tempêtes ; mais dans le calme il est coupable de tout le bien qu’il ne fait pas.]

Source:The Age of Louis XIV (1751), Chapter V. To the Death of Mazarin; The Works of Voltaire (ed. Werner, 1906), Volume XXII, Page 102
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