All the cruellest words a coarse man could say, he said to her in her imagination, and she could not forgive him for them, as if he had actually said them to her.

Leon Tolstoi

Leon Tolstoi

Profession: Author
Nationality: Russian

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The difference between real material poison and intellectual poison is that most material poison is disgusting to the taste, but intellectual poison, which takes the form of cheap newspapers or bad books, can unfortunately sometimes be attractive.

He could not help knowing that when he thought of death, he thought with all the force of his intellect. He knew too that the brains of many great men, whose thoughts he had read, had brooded over death and yet knew not a hundredth part of what his wife and Agafea Mihalovna knew about it.

The means are... the balance of power in Europe and the rights of the people," the abbe was saying. "It is only necessary for one powerful nation like Russia—barbaric as she is said to be—to place herself disinterestedly at the head of an alliance having for its object the maintenance of the balance of power of Europe, and it would save the world!

Faith is the sense of life, that sense by virtue of which man does not destroy himself, but continues to live on. It is the force whereby we live.

He disliked contradiction, and still more, arguments that were continually skipping from one thing to another, introducing new and disconnected points, so that there was no knowing to which to reply.

We are asleep until we fall in Love!

War is not courtesy but the most horrible thing in life; and we ought to understand that, and not play at war.

When the second act was over Countess Bezukhova rose, turned to the Rostovs’ box—her whole bosom completely exposed—beckoned the old count with a gloved finger, and paying no attention to those who had entered her box, began talking to him with an amiable smile.

I wanted to run after him, but remembered that it is ridiculous to run after one's wife's lover in one's socks; and I did not wish to be ridiculous but terrible.

So much the worse for you! he said mentally, like a man who, after vainly attempting to extinguish a fire, should fly in a rage with his vain efforts and say, Oh, very well then! you shall burn for this!

We will never arrive to the notion of total freedom, that is, the absence of cause.

And Pierre's soul was dimly but joyfully filled not by the story itself but by its mysterious significance: by the rapturous joy that lit up Karataev's face as he told it, and the mystic significance of that joy.

Doctoring her seemed to her as absurd as putting together the pieces of a broken vase. Her heart was broken. Why would they try to cure her with pills and powders?

Morning or night, Friday or Sunday, made no difference, everything was the same: the gnawing, excruciating, incessant pain; that awareness of life irrevocably passing but not yet gone; that dreadful, loathsome death, the only reality, relentlessly closing in on him; and that same endless lie. What did days, weeks, or hours matter?