“How strange, extraordinary, and joyful it was to her to think that her son - the little son, whose tiny limbs had faintly stirred within her twenty years ago, for whose sake she had so often quarreled with the count, who would spoil him, the little son, who had first learnt to say grusha, and then had learnt to say baba - that that son was now in a foreign land, in strange surroundings, a manly warrior, alone without help or guidance, doing there his proper manly work. All the world-wide experience of ages, proving that children do imperceptibly from the cradle grow up into men, did not exist for the countess. The growth of her son had been for her at every strage of his growth just as extraordinary as though millions of millions of men had not grown up in the same way. Just as, twenty years before, she could not believe that the little creature that was lying somewhere under her heart, would one day cry and learn to talk, now she could not believe that the same little creature could be that strong, brave man, that paragon of sons and of men that, judging by this letter, he was now.”

Leo Tolstoy

“I already love in you your beauty, but I am only beginning to love in you that which is eternal and ever precious – your heart, your soul. Beauty one could get to know and fall in love with in one hour and cease to love it as speedily; but the soul one must learn to know. Believe me, nothing on earth is given without labour, even love, the most beautiful and natural of feelings,But the more difficult the labour and hardship, the higher the reward,”

Leo Tolstoy

“Many people have ideas on how others should change; few people have ideas on how they should change. ”

Leo Tolstoy

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”

Leo Tolstoy

“She was in that highly-wrought state when the reasoning powers act with great rapidity: the state a man is in before a battle or a struggle, in danger, and at the decisive moments of life - those moments when a man shows once and for all what he is worth, that his past was not lived in vain but was a preparation for these moments.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Occasionally she glanced at him, asking with her glance, 'Is this what I think?' "I understand,' she said, blushing. "What is this word?' he said, pointing to the "n' that signified the word "never." .... She wrote: t, I, c,g,n,o,a.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Never, never marry, my friend. Here’s my advice to you: don’t marry until you can tell yourself that you’ve done all you could, and until you’ve stopped loving the woman you’ve chosen, until you see her clearly, otherwise you’ll be cruelly and irremediably mistaken. Marry when you’re old and good for nothing...Otherwise all that’s good and lofty in you will be lost.”

Leo Tolstoy

“A Frenchman's self-assurance stems from his belief that he is mentally and physically irresistibly fascinating to both men and women. An Englishman's self-assurance is founded on his being a citizen of the best organized state in the world and on the fact that, as an Englishman, he always knows what to do, and that whatever he does as an Englishman is unquestionably correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets. A Russian is self-assured simply because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe in the possibility of knowing anything fully.”

Leo Tolstoy

“To tell the truth is very difficult, and young people are rarely capable of it.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Life is fragile and absurd.

Leo Tolstoy

“Love those you hate you.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Rostov was not listening to the soldier. He looked at the snowflakes dancing above the fire and remembered the Russian winter with a warm, bright house, a fluffy fur coat, swift sleighs, a healthy body, and all the love and care of a family. “And why did I come here?” he wondered.”

Leo Tolstoy

If in Doubt, don't do it”

Leo Tolstoy

But he had done neither the one nor the other, yet he continued to live, think, and feel, had even at that very time got married, experienced many joys, and been happy whenever he was not thinking of the meaning of his life.

Leo Tolstoy

“Russia alone is to be the savior of Europe.”

Leo Tolstoy


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