One day, the philosopher was surrounded in the street by an angry mob. "Hang him!" they shouted. "Hang the Frenchman!"
Voltaire calmly turned to face the madding crowd: "Men of England!" he called. "You wish to kill me because I am a Frenchman? Am I not punished enough in not having been born an Englishman?"
So pleased were his captors with Voltaire's address that he was loudly applauded and escorted back to his lodgings.
["My prayer to God is a very short one," Voltaire once remarked. "O, Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. God has granted it."]