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PinkMonkey.com-MonkeyNotes-War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy




PinkMonkey® Quotations on . . .

War and Peace

By

Leo Tolstoy

QUOTATION: Man lives consciously for himself, but is an unconscious instrument in the attainment of the historic, universal, aims of humanity.
ATTRIBUTION: Leo Tolstoy (1829–1910), Russian novelist, philosopher. War and Peace, bk. 9, ch. 1 (1868-1869).

QUOTATION: Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only 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.
ATTRIBUTION: Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), Russian novelist, philosopher. Prince Andrew, in War and Peace, bk. 12, ch. 4 (1868-1869).

QUOTATION: In historic events, the so-called great men are labels giving names to events, and like labels they have but the smallest connection with the event itself. Every act of theirs, which appears to them an act of their own will, is in an historical sense involuntary and is related to the whole course of history and predestined from eternity.
ATTRIBUTION: Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), Russian novelist, philosopher. War and Peace, bk. 9, ch. 1 (1868-1869).

QUOTATION: The best generals I have known were ... stupid or absent-minded men.... Not only does a good army commander not need any special qualities, on the contrary he needs the absence of the highest and best human attributes—love, poetry, tenderness, and philosophic inquiring doubt. He should be limited, firmly convinced that what he is doing is very important (otherwise he will not have sufficient patience), and only then will he be a brave leader. God forbid that he should be humane, should love, or pity, or think of what is just and unjust.
ATTRIBUTION: Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), Russian novelist, philosopher. Prince Andrew, in War and Peace, bk. 9, ch. 11 (1868-1869).

QUOTATION: A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally both in mind and body as irresistibly attractive to men and women. An Englishman is self-assured as being a citizen of the best-organized state in the world and therefore, as an Englishman, always knows what he should do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people. A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that anything can be known. The German’s self-assurance is worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth—science—which he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth.
ATTRIBUTION: Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), Russian novelist, philosopher. War and Peace, bk. 9, ch. 10 (1868-1869).

QUOTATION: In quiet and untroubled times it seems to every administrator that it is only by his efforts that the whole population under his rule is kept going, and in this consciousness of being indispensable every administrator finds the chief reward of his labor and efforts. While the sea of history remains calm the ruler-administrator in his frail bark, holding on with a boat hook to the ship of the people and himself moving, naturally imagines that his efforts move the ship he is holding on to. But as soon as a storm arises and the sea begins to heave and the ship to move, such a delusion is no longer possible. The ship moves independently with its own enormous motion, the boat hook no longer reaches the moving vessel, and suddenly the administrator, instead of appearing a ruler and a source of power, becomes an insignificant, useless, feeble man.
ATTRIBUTION: Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), Russian novelist, philosopher. War and Peace, bk. 11, ch. 12 (1868-1869).



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