Leo Tolstoy Quotes (295 Quotes)


    And the light by which she had read the book filled with troubles, falsehoods, sorrow, and evil, flared up more brightly than ever before, lighted up for her all that had been in darkness, flickered, began to grow dim, and was quenched forever.


    I ask one thing only: I ask for the right to hope, to suffer as I do. But if even that cannot be, command me to disappear, and I disappear. You shall not see me if my presence is distasteful to you.


    Sight-seeing, aside from the fact that everything had been seen already, could not have for him--and intelligent Russian--the inexplicable importance attached to it by the English.


    There are people who, on meeting a successful rival, no matter in what, are at once disposed to turn their backs on everything good in him, and to see only what is bad. There are people, on the other hand, who desire above all to find in that lucky rival the qualities by which he has outstripped them, and seek with a throbbing ache at heart only what is good.

    All the stories and descriptions of that time without exception peak only of the patriotism, self-sacrifice, despair, grief, and heroism of the Russians. But in reality it was not like that...The majority of the people paid no attention to the general course of events but were influenced only by their immediate personal interests.

    Every general and every soldier was conscious of his own insignificance, aware of being but a drop in that ocean of men, and yet at the same time was conscious of his strength as a part of that enormous whole.

    I don't give a damn unless I'm fond of a person;but I'd sacrifice my life for those I am fond of; the rest I'd throttle if they stood in my way...And you may not believe me but if I still set a value on life it is only because I still hope one day to meet such a heavenly creature who will regenarate me, purify me and elevate me. But you don't understand that.

    Life is everything. Life is God. Everything shifts and moves, and this movement is God. And while there is life, there is delight in the self-awareness of the divinity. To love life is to love God. The hardest and most blissful thing is to love this life in one's suffering, in the guiltlessness of suffering.


    There was within him a deep unexpressed conviction that all would be well, but that one must not trust to this and still less speak about it, but must only attend to one's own work. And he did his work, giving his whole strength to the task.



    Friends we shall never be, you know that yourself. Whether we shall be the happiest or the wretchedest of people--that's in your hands.

    I do value my work awfully; but in reality only consider this: all this world of ours is nothing but a speck of mildew, which has grown up on a tiny planet. And for us to suppose we can have something great - ideas, work - it's all dust and ashes.

    I've always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.

    Something magical has happened to me: like a dream when one feels frightened and creepy, and suddenly wakes up to the knowledge that no such terrors exist. I have wakened up.

    There was no answer, except the general answer life gives to all the most complex and insoluble questions. That answer is: one must live for the needs of the day, in other words, become oblivious.



    I feel not only that I cannot disappear, as nothing disappears in the world, but that I will always be and have always been. I feel that, besides me, above me, spirits live, and that in this world there is truth.

    Life meanwhile, the actual life of men with their real interests of health and sickness, labour and rest, with their interests of thought, science, poetry, music, love, affection, hatred, passion, went its way, as always, independently, apart from the political amity or enmity of Napoleon Bonaparte, and apart from all possible reforms.

    She danced the dance so well, so well indeed, so perfectly, that Anisya Fyodorovna, who handed her at once the kerchief she needed in the dance, had tears in her eyes, though she laughed as she watched that slender and graceful little countess, reared in silk and velvet, belonging to another world than hers, who was yet able to understand all that was in Anisya and her father and her mother and her aunt and every Russian soul.

    There will be today, there will be tomorrow, there will be always, and there was yesterday, and there was the day before...


    Anna spoke not only naturally and intelligently, but intelligently and casually, without attaching any value to her own thoughts, yet giving great value to the thoughts of the one she was talking to.

    He could not be mistaken. There were no other eyes like those in the world. There was only one creature in the world who could concentrate for him all the brightness and meaning of life. It was she. It was Kitty.

    I don't want to prove anything; I merely want to live, to do no one harm but myself. I have the right to do that, haven't I?

    Just think! This whole world of ours is only a speck of mildew sprung up on a tiny planet, yet we think we can have something great - thoughts,, actions! They are all but grains of sand

    Sometimes she did not know what she feared, what she desired: whether she feared or desired what had been or what would be, and precisely what she desired, she did not know.

    There was no solution, save that universal solution which life gives to all questions, even the most complex and insolvable: One must live in the needs of the day--that is, forget oneself.

    And from the height of this perception all that had previously tormented and preoccupied him suddenly became illumined by a cold white light without shadows, without perspective, without distinction of outline. All life appeared to him like magic-lantern pictures at which he had long been gazing by artificial light through a glass. Now he suddenly saw those badly daubed pictures in clear daylight and without a glass.



    Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs. If there was no suffering, man would not know his limits, would not know himself.

    Sitting in his old schoolroom on the sofa with little cushions on the arms and looking into Natasha's wildly eager eyes, Rostov was carried back into that world of home and childhood which had no meaning for anyone else, but gave him some of the greatest pleasure in his life.

    This history of culture will explain to us the motives, the conditions of life, and the thought of the writer or reformer.

    You can love a person dear to you with a human love, but an enemy can only be loved with divine love.


    He felt that all his hitherto dissipated and dispersed forces were gathered and directed with terrible energy towards one blissful goal.

    I have discovered nothing. I have only found out what I knew. I understand the force that in the past gave me life, and now too gives me life. I have been set free from falsity, I have found the Master.

    Levin scowled. The humiliation of his rejection stung him to the heart, as though it were a fresh wound he had only just received. But he was at home, and at home the very walls are a support.

    Speak to her now? But that's just why I'm afraid to speak-because I'm happy now, happy in hope, anyway… . And then?… . But I must! I must! I must! Away with weakness!

    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.

    And what will be there, and what has there been here? Why was I so reluctant to part with life? There was something in this life I did not and do not understand.



    Man lives consciously for himself, but serves as an unconscious instrument for the achievement of historical, universally human goals.

    Smiling with pleasure, they went through their memories, not sad, old people's memories, but poetic, youthful ones, those impressions from the very distant past where dream merges with reality, and they laughed softly, rejoicing at something.


    More Leo Tolstoy Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Life - Man - Love - Happiness - World - People - God - Mind - Truth - Christianity - Death & Dying - Good & Evil - War & Peace - Time - Reasoning - Beauty - Work & Career - Joy & Excitement - History - View All Leo Tolstoy Quotations

    More Leo Tolstoy Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Anna Karenina
    - War and Peace

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