Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

Leo
Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi
1828
1910

Russian Essayist, Realistic Fiction Novelist and Playwright, best known for novels "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina"

Author Quotes

The strongest of all warriors are these two - Time and Patience.

Then I remembered the first lesson God had set me: Learn what dwells in man. And I understood that in man dwells Love! I was glad that God had already begun to show me what He had promised, and I smiled for the first time.

There is no greatness where there is not simplicity.

Therein is the whole business of one's life; that soul which is to seek out and save in the Perishing.

The study was slowly lit up as the candle was brought in. The familiar details came out: the stag's horns, the bookshelves, the looking-glass, the stove with its ventilator, which had long wanted mending, his father's sofa, a large table, on the table an open book, a broken ash-tray, a manuscript-book with his handwriting. As he saw all this, there came over him for an instant a doubt of the possibility of arranging this new life, of which he had been dreaming on the road. All these traces of his life seemed to clutch him, and to say to him: 'No, you're not going to get away from us, and you're not going to be different, but you're going to be the same as you've always been; with doubts, everlasting dissatisfaction with yourself, vain efforts to amend, and falls, and everlasting expectations, of a happiness which you won't get, and which isn't possible for you.

Then remember what they had heard about the soldiers fell on the battlefield. When the fire was heard in the sanctuary and do anything Dshmnand not fun trying to find it easier to bear the risk. Like all the soldiers who were at the Pierre wanted to get rid of the evils of life. One was in Namjvyy one would forget his gambling, the law, and he was one Znbarh one horse rooted one Mybakht policy, the time spent hunting, one takes refuge in the arms of the state and the struggle was . All of them are created equal. It is important to live any way we can get rid of. Just be faced with life Khvfangyz escaped this life.

There is no happiness in existence, there are only flashes of happiness.

These joys were so trifling as to be as imperceptible as grains of gold among the sand, and in moments of depression she saw nothing but the sand; yet there were brighter moments when she felt nothing but joy, saw nothing but the gold.

The subject of history is the life of peoples and of humanity. To catch and pin down in words--that is, to describe directly the life, not only of humanity, but even of a single people, appears to be impossible.

Then she thought of how life could still be happy, and how tormentingly she loved and hated him, and how terribly her heart was pounding.

There is nothing certain, nothing at all except the unimportance of everything I understand, and the greatness of something incomprehensible but all-important.

These loaves, pigeons, and two little boys seemed unearthly. It all happened at the same time: a little boy ran over to a pigeon, glancing over at Levin with a smile; the pigeon flapped its wings and fluttered, gleaming in the sunshine among the snowdust quivering in the air, while the smell of freshly baked bread was wafted out of a little window as the loaves were put out. All this together was so extraordinarily wonderful that Levin burst out laughing and crying for joy.

The superfluity of the comforts of like destroys all joy in satisfying one's needs, while great freedom in the choice of occupation... is just what makes the choice of occupation insoluble difficult and destroys the need and even the possibility of having an occupation.

Then these moments of perplexity began to recur oftener and oftener, and always in the same form. They were always expressed by the questions: What is it for? What does it lead to? At first it seemed to me that these were aimless and irrelevant questions. I thought that it was all well known, and that if I should ever wish to deal with the solution it would not cost me much effort; just at present I had no time for it, but when I wanted to I should be able to find the answer. The questions however began to repeat themselves frequently, and to demand replies more and more insistently; and like drops of ink always falling on one place they ran together into one black blot. Then occurred what happens to everyone sickening with a mortal internal disease. At first trivial signs of indisposition appear to which the sick man pays no attention; then these signs reappear more and more often and merge into one uninterrupted period of suffering. The suffering increases, and before the sick man can look round, what he took for a mere indisposition has already become more important to him than anything else in the world -- it is death! That is what happened to me.

There is one thing, and only one thing, in which it is granted to you to be free in life, all else being beyond your power: that is to recognize and profess the truth.

These new justifications are termed scientific. But by the term scientific is understood just what was formerly understood by the term religious: just as formerly everything called religious was held to be unquestionable simply because it was called religious; so now all that is called scientific is held to be unquestionable. In the present case the obsolete religious justification of violence which consisted in the recognition of the supernatural personality of the God-ordained ruler (there is no power but of God) has been superseded by the scientific justification which puts forward, first, the assertion that because the coercion of man by man has existed in all ages, it follows that such coercion must continue to exist. This assertion that people should continue to live as they have done throughout past ages rather than as their reason and conscience indicate, is what science calls the historic law. A further scientific justification lies in the statement that as among plants and wild beasts there is a constant struggle for existence which always results in the survival of the fittest, a similar struggle should be carried on among human ªbeings, that is, who are gifted with intelligence and love; faculties lacking in the creatures subject to the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. Such is the second scientific justification. The third, most important, and unfortunately most widespread justification is, at bottom, the age-old religious one just a little altered: that in public life the suppression of some for the protection of the majority cannot be avoided ? so that coercion is unavoidable however desirable reliance on love alone might be in human intercourse. The only difference in this justification by pseudo-science consists in the fact that, to the question why such and such people and not others have the right to decide against whom violence may and must be used, pseudo-science now gives a different reply to that given by religion ? which declared that the right to decide was valid because it was pronounced by persons possessed of divine power. Science says that these decisions represent the will of the people, which under a constitutional form of government is supposed to find expression in all the decisions and actions of those who are at the helm at the moment. Such are the scientific justifications of the principle of coercion. They are not merely weak but absolutely invalid, yet they are so much needed by those who occupy privileged positions that they believe in them as blindly as they formerly believed in the immaculate conception, and propagate them just as confidently. And the unfortunate majority of men bound to toil is so dazzled by the pomp with which these scientific truths are presented, that under this new influence it accepts these scientific stupidities for holy truth, just as it formerly accepted the pseudo-religious justifications; and it continues to submit to the present holders of power who are just as hard-hearted but rather more numerous than before.

The very fact of the death of someone close to them aroused in all who heard about it, as always, a feeling of delight that he had died and they hadn't.

Then we should find some artificial inoculation against love, as with smallpox.

There is only one time that is important -- NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.

These principles laid down as in variable rules: that one must pay a card sharper, but need not pay a tailor; that one must never tell a lie to a man, but one may to a woman; that one must never cheat any one, but one may a husband; that one must never pardon an insult, but one may give one and so on. These principles were possibly not reasonable and not good, but they were of unfailing certainty, and so long as he adhered to them, Vronsky felt that his heart was at peace and he could hold his head up.

The very nastiest and coarsest, I can't tell you. It is not grief, not dullness, but much worse. It is as if all that was good in me had hidden itself, and only what is horrid remains.

There are as many kinds of love, as there are hearts

There is only one way to put an end to evil, and that is to do good for evil.

These things are so, because men have ceased to live by their own labor, and have taken to depending on the labor of others. In the old time, men lived according to God?s law. They had what was their own, and coveted not what others had produced.

The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people.

Author Picture
First Name
Leo
Last Name
Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi
Birth Date
1828
Death Date
1910
Bio

Russian Essayist, Realistic Fiction Novelist and Playwright, best known for novels "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina"