“Pretence about anything sometimes deceives the wisest and shrewdest man, but, however cunningly it is hidden, a child of the meanest capacity feels it and is repelled by it.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Stepan Arkadyevitch took in and read a liberal paper, not an extreme one, but one advocating the views held by the majority. And in spite of the fact that science, art, and politics had no special interest for him, he firmly held those views on all these subjects which were held by the majority and by his paper, and he only changed them when the majority changed them—or, more strictly speaking, he did not change them, but they imperceptibly changed of themselves within him.

Leo Tolstoy

“One step beyond that boundary line which resembles the line dividing the living from the dead lies uncertainty, suffering, and death. And what is there? Who is there?--there beyond that field, that tree, that roof lit up by the sun? No one knows, but one wants to know. You fear and yet long to cross that line, and know that sooner or later it must be crossed and you will have to find out what is there, just as you will inevitably have to learn what lies the other side of death. But you are strong, healthy, cheerful, and excited, and are surrounded by other such excitedly animated and healthy men.”

Leo Tolstoy

“If you see that some aspect of your society is bad, and you want to improve it, there is only one way to do so: you have to improve people. And in order to improve people, you begin with only one thing: you can become better yourself”

Leo Tolstoy

“A man on a thousand mile walk has to forget his goal and say to himself every morning, 'Today I'm going to cover twenty-five miles and then rest up and sleep.”

Leo Tolstoy

“It was long before I could believe that human learning had no clear answer to this question. For a long time it seemed to me, as I listened to the gravity and seriousness wherewith Science affirmed its positions on matters unconnected with the problem of life, that I must have misunderstood something. For a long time I was timid in the presence in learning, and I fancied that the insufficiency of the answers which I received was not its fault, but was owing to my own gross ignorance, but this thing was not a joke or a pastime with me, but the business of my life, and I was at last forced, willy-nilly, to the conclusion that these questions of mine were the only legitimate questions underlying all knowledge, and that it was not I that was in fault in putting them, but science in pretending to have an answer for them.”

Leo Tolstoy

“If you feel that you are not free, look for the reason inside you.”

Leo Tolstoy

“All this was clear to me, and I was glad and at peace. Then it is as if someone is saying to me, "See that you remember." And I awoke.”

Leo Tolstoy

“To get rid of an enemy one must love him. ”

Leo Tolstoy

“In the past he had been unable to see the great, teh unfathomable, the infinite, in anything. He had only felt that it must exist somewhere and had been seeking it. In everything near and comprehensible he had seen only what was limited, petty, commonplace, and meaningless. He had equipped himself with a mental telescope and gazed into the distance where the distance had seemed to him great and infinite only because they were not clearly visible. Such had Europan life, politics, Masonry, philosophy, and philanthropy seemed to him. Bet even then, at moments of weakness as he had accounted them, his mind had penetrated that distance too, and he had seen there the same triviality, worldliness, and absurdity.

Leo Tolstoy

“All the girls in the world were divided into two classes: one class included all the girls in the world except her, and they had all the usual human feelings and were very ordinary girls; while the other class -herself alone- had no weaknesses and was superior to all humanity.”

Leo Tolstoy

“In all human sorrow nothing gives comfort but love and faith, and that in the sight of Christ's compassion for us no sorrow is trifling.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Why do i live? In the infinity of space, and infinity of time infinitely small particles mutate with infinite complexity. When you understand the laws of these mutations, you'll understand why you live.”

Leo Tolstoy

“And indeed, if Evgeny Irtenev was mentally ill, then all people are just as mentally ill, and the most mentally ill are undoubtably those who see signs of madness in others that they do not see in themselves.”

Leo Tolstoy

“she smiled at him, and at her own fears.”

Leo Tolstoy


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