Leo Tolstoy Quotes

Enjoy the top 1698 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Leo Tolstoy.

Leo Tolstoy Quotes

The hero of my tale," Tolstoy wrote when he was just twenty-seven, "whom I love with all the power of my soul, whom I have tried to portray in all its beauty, who has been, is, and always will be beautiful— is Truth.
— Leo Tolstoy —

What I think about vivisection is that if people admit that they have the right to take or endanger the life of living beings for the benefit of many, there will be no limit to their cruelty.

— Leo Tolstoy

Her maternal instinct told her Natasha had too much of something, and because of this she would not be happy

— Leo Tolstoy

A commercial company enslaved a nation comprising two hundred millions. Tell this to a man free from superstition and he will fail to grasp what these words mean. What does it mean that thirty thousand men, not athletes but rather weak and ordinary people, have subdued two hundred million vigorous, clever, capable, and freedom-loving people?

— Leo Tolstoy

A little muzhik was working on the railroad, mumbling in his beard.
And the candle by which she had read the book that was filled with fears, with deceptions, with anguish, and with evil, flared up with greater brightness than she had ever known, revealing to her all that before was in darkness, then flickered, grew faint, and went out
forever.

— Leo Tolstoy

Nikolushka and his upbringing, Andre, and religion were Princess Marya's comforts and joys; but, besides that, since every human being needs his personal hope, Princess Marya had in the deepest recesses of her soul a hidden dream and hope, which provided the main comfort of her life.

— Leo Tolstoy

No matter when, at whatever moment, if she were asked what she was thinking about she could reply quite correctly - one thing, her happiness and her unhappiness.

— Leo Tolstoy

As long as he followed the fixed definition of obscure words such as spirit, will, freedom, essence, purposely letting himself go into the snare of words the philosophers set for him, he seemed to comprehend something. But he had only to forget the artificial train of reasoning, and to turn from life itself to what had satisfied him while thinking in accordance with the fixed definitions, and all this artificial edifice fell to pieces at once like a house of cards, and it became clear that the edifice had been built up out of those transposed words, apart from anything in life more important than reason.

— Leo Tolstoy

The idea of seeking help in her difficulty in religion was as remote from her as seeking help from Alexey Alexandrovitch himself, although she had never had doubts of the faith in which she had been brought up. She knew that the support of religion was possible only upon condition of renouncing what made up for her the whole meaning of life. She was not simply miserable, she began to feel alarm at the new spiritual condition, never experienced before, in which she found herself. She felt as though everything were beginning to be double in her soul, just as objects sometimes appear double to over-tired eyes. She hardly knew that times what it was she feared, and what she hoped for. Whether she feared or desired what had happened, or what was going to happen and exactly what she longed for, she could not have said.

— Leo Tolstoy

Was it not youth, the feeling he experienced now, when, coming out to the edge of the wood again from the other side, he saw in the bright light of the sun's slanting rays Varenka's graceful figure, in a yellow dress and with her basket, walking with a light step past the trunk of an old birch, and when this impression from the sight of Varenka merged with the sight, which struck him with its beauty, of a yellowing field of oats bathed in the slanting light, and of an old wood far beyond the field, spotted with yellow, melting into the blue distance? He felt his heart wrung with joy. A feeling of tenderness came over him. He felt resolved. Varenka, who had just crouched down to pick a mushroom, stood up with a supple movement and looked over her shoulder.

— Leo Tolstoy

The hero of my tale," Tolstoy wrote when he was just twenty-seven, "whom I love with all the power of my soul, whom I have tried to portray in all its beauty, who has been, is, and always will be beautiful- is Truth.

— Leo Tolstoy

Kings are the slaves of history. History, that is, the unconscious, swarmlike life of mankind, uses every moment of a king's life as an instrument for its purposes.

— Leo Tolstoy

Soon after the doctor, Dolly had arrived. She knew that there was to be a consultation that day, and though she was only just up after her confinement (she had another baby, a little girl, born at the end of the winter), though she had trouble and anxiety enough of her own, she had left her tiny baby and a sick child, to come and hear Kitty's fate, which was to be decided that day.

— Leo Tolstoy

He felt what a murderer must feel, when he sees the body he has robbed of life. That body, robbed by him of life, was their love, the first stage of their love. There was something awful and revolting in the memory of what had been bought at this fearful price of shame. Shame at their spiritual nakedness crushed her and infected him.

— Leo Tolstoy

Pierre's insanity consisted in not waiting, as he used to do, to discover personal attributes which he termed "good qualities" in people before loving them; his heart was now overflowing with love, and by loving people without cause he discovered indubitable causes for loving them.

— Leo Tolstoy

But by marriages of prudence we mean those in which both parties have sown their wild oats already. That's like scarlatina-one has to go through it and get it over.

— Leo Tolstoy

The story told about him at Count Rostov's was true. Pierre had taken part in tying a policeman to a bear. He

— Leo Tolstoy

One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of one's own flesh in the inkpot, each time one dips one's pen.

— Leo Tolstoy

If Mormonism is able to endure, unmodified, until it reaches the third and fourth generation, it is destined to become the greatest power the world has ever known.

— Leo Tolstoy

Power is the relation of a given person to other persons, in which the more this person expresses opinions, theories and justifications of the collective action the less is his participation in that action.

— Leo Tolstoy

In the evolution of knowledge-mistaken and unnecessary beliefs are forced out and supplanted by truer and more necessary knowledge. So too in the evolution of feelings, which takes place by means of art. Lower feelings-less kind and less needed for the good of humanity-are forced out and replaced by kinder feelings which better serve us individually and collectively. This is the purpose of art.

— Leo Tolstoy

Through the influence of real art, aided by science, guided by religion ... peaceful co-operation of man is now obtained by external means - by law courts, police, charitable institutions, factory inspections ... It should be obtained by man's free and joyous activity.

— Leo Tolstoy

It is this law of love and its recognition as a rule of conduct in all our relations with friends, enemies and offenders which must inevitably bring about the complete transformation of the existing order of things,
not only among Christian nations, but among all the peoples of the globe

— Leo Tolstoy

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