“The combination of causes of phenomena is beyond the grasp of the human intellect. But the impulse to seek causes is innate in the soul of man. And the human intellect, with no inkling of the immense variety and complexity of circumstances conditioning a phenomenon, any one of which may be separately conceived of as the cause of it, snatches at the first and most easily understood approximation, and says here is the cause.”

Leo Tolstoy

“One must try to make one's life as pleasant as possible. I'm alive and it's not my fault, which means I must somehow go on living the best I can, without bothering anybody, until I die.' 'But what makes you live? With such thoughts, you'll sit without moving, without undertaking anything...' 'Life won't leave one alone as it is.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.

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

“Attack me, I do this myself, but attack me rather than the path I follow and which I point out to anyone who asks me where I think it lies. If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side!”

Leo Tolstoy

“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.”

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

“We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”

Leo Tolstoy

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”

Leo Tolstoy

“He felt that now over his every word, his every deed, there was a judge, a judgment, which was dearer to him than the judgments of all the people in the world. He spoke now, and along with his words he considered the impression his words would make on Natasha. He did not deliberately say what would be please her, but whatever he said, he judged himself from her point of view.”

Leo Tolstoy

“So it would be, were it not for the law of inertia, as immutable a force in men and nations as in inanimate bodies. In men it takes the form of the psychological principle, so truly expressed in the words of the Gospel, " They have loved darkness better than light, because their deeds were evil." This principle shows itself in men not trying to recognise the truth, but to persuade themselves that the life they are leading, which is what they like and are used to, is a life perfectly consistent with truth.”

Leo Tolstoy

“As the sun and each atom of ether is a shphere complete in itself, yet at the same time only a part of a whole too vast for man to comprehend, so each individual bears within himself his own purpose, yet bears it ot serve a general purpose unfathomable to man.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Everything I know, I know because I love.”

Leo Tolstoy

“He was much changed and grown even thinner since Pyotr Ivanovich had last seen him, but, as is always the case with the dead, his face was handsomer and above all more dignified than than when he was alive.”

Leo Tolstoy

“The latter part of her stay in Voronezh had been the happiest period in Princess Marya's life. Her love for Rostov was not then a source of torment or agitation to her. That love had by then filled her whole soul and become an inseparable part of herself, and she no longer struggled against it. Of late Princess Marya was convinced- though she never clearly in so many words admitted it to herself- that she loved and was beloved.”

Leo Tolstoy


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