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Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace (1867)

When it is impossible to stretch the very elastic threads of historical ratiocination any farther, when actions are clearly contrary to all that humanity calls right or even just, the historians produce a saving conception of “greatness.” “Greatness,” it seems, excludes the standards of right and wrong.

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Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace (1867)

He had learned that as there is no condition in which man can be happy and entirely free, so there is no condition in which he need be unhappy and lack freedom.

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Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace (1867)

It is natural for a man who does not understand the workings of a machine to imagine that a shaving that has fallen into it by chance and is interfering with its action and tossing about in it is its most important part.

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Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace (1867)

The satisfaction of one’s needs–good food, cleanliness, and freedom–now that he was deprived of all this, seemed to Pierre to constitute perfect happiness; and the choice of occupation, that is, of his way of life–now that that choice was so restricted–seemed to him such an easy matter that he forgot that a superfluity of the comforts of life destroys all joy in satisfying one’s needs, while great freedom in the choice of occupation–such freedom as his wealth, his education, and his social position had given him in his own life–is just what makes the choice of occupation insolubly difficult and destroys the desire and possibility of having an occupation.

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Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace (1867)

With regard to legal matters, after the execution of the supposed incendiaries the rest of Moscow burned down.

Fiction

Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace (1867)

From the twenty-sixth of August to the second of September, that is from the battle of Borodinó to the entry of the French into Moscow, during the whole of that agitating, memorable week, there had been the extraordinary autumn weather that always comes as a surprise, when the sun hangs low and gives more heat than in spring, when everything shines so brightly in the rare clear atmosphere that the eyes smart, when the lungs are strengthened and refreshed by inhaling the aromatic autumn air, when even the nights are warm, and when in those dark warm nights, golden stars startle and delight us continually by falling from the sky.

Fiction

Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace (1867)

In her view the aim of every religion was merely to preserve certain proprieties while affording satisfaction to human desires.

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