“We are all brothers, but I live on a salary paid me for prosecuting, judging, and condemning the thief or the prostitute whose existence the whole tenor of my life brings about...We are all brothers, but I live on the salary I gain by collecting taxes from needy laborers to be spent on the luxuries of the rich and idle. We are all brothers, but I take a stipend for preaching a false Christian religion, which I do not myself believe in, and which only serves to hinder men from understanding true Christianity.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Natasha, with a vigorous turn from her heel on to her toe, walked over to the middle of the room and stood still... Natasha took the first note, her throat swelled, her bosom heaved, a serious expression came into her face. She was thinking of no one and of nothing at that moment, and from her smiling mouth poured forth notes, those notes that anyone can produce at the same intervals, and hold for the same length of time, yet a thousand times leave us cold, and the thousand and first time they set us thrilling and weeping.”

Leo Tolstoy

“But any acquisition that doesn't correspond to the labour expended is dishonest”

Leo Tolstoy

“A little muzhik was working on the railroad, mumbling in his beard.

Leo Tolstoy

“I wanted to run after him, but remembered that it is ridiculous to run after one's wife's lover in one's socks; and I did not wish to be ridiculous but terrible.”

Leo Tolstoy

“The assertion that you are in falsehood and I am in truth ist the most cruel thing one man can say to another”

Leo Tolstoy

“the same question arose in every soul: "For what, for whom, must I kill and be killed?"

Leo Tolstoy

“Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source." These thoughts seemed to him comforting. But they were only thoughts. Something was lacking in them, they were not clear, they were too one-sidedly personal and brain-spun. And there was the former agitation and obscurity.”

Leo Tolstoy

“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.”

Leo Tolstoy

“In order to understand, observe, deduce, man must first be conscious of himself as alive. A living man knows himself not otherwise than as wanting, that is, he is conscious of his will. And his will, which constitutes the essence of his life, man is conscious of and cannot be conscious of otherwise than as free.”

Leo Tolstoy

“She did worse than break the law, she broke the rules”

Leo Tolstoy

“He soon felt that the realization of his longing gave him only one grain of the mountain of bliss he had anticipated. That realization showed him the eternal error men make by imagining that happiness consists in the gratification of their wishes.”

Leo Tolstoy

“The simplest and shortest ethical precept is to be served as little as possible . . . and to serve others as much as possible.”

Leo Tolstoy

“When loving with human love one may pass from love to hatred, but divine love cannot change.”

Leo Tolstoy

“And you know, there's less charm in life when you think about death--but it's more peaceful.”

Leo Tolstoy


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