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PinkMonkey.com-MonkeyNotes-War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
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War and Peace
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.
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.
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 attributeslove,
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.
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 Germans self-assurance is worst
of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines
that he knows the truthsciencewhich he himself has invented
but which is for him the absolute truth.
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.