It is without a doubt that Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace is one of my all-time reads. To be honest, I was really daunted by this very lengthy book, which at over 1,300+ pages, can be intimidating to any reader. However, once I got the hang of it, what emerged before me is an amazing chronicle, part essay, part novel, about Russian history, and ultimately, about the indomitable Russian spirit. This is also one of the reasons why I beginning to warm up to Russian literary works. This is just the start.

More than being an amazingly constructed literary piece, War and Peace is also a well of thought-provoking and memorable quotes. I have rounded out some of the most memorable of these lines and sharing them with you dear readers. I hope you get to enjoy the quotes that I have picked up from this colossal masterpiece.

Do check out my review of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace by clicking on this link.


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“And yet, the only thing I love and prize is triumph over all of them, that mysterious power and glory which seems hovering over me in this mist.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“You say you can’t see the dominion of good and truth on earth. I have not see it either, and it cannot be seen if one looks upon our life as the end of everything. On earth, this earth here, there is no truth – all is deception and wickedness. But in the world, the whole world, there is a dominion of truth, and we are now the children of the earth, but eternally the children of the whole universe.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“We must live, we must love, we must believe that we are not only living to-day on this clod of earth, but have lived and will live for over there in everything.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“Every reform by violence is to be deprecated, because it does little to correct the evil while men remain as they are, and because wisdom has no need of violence.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“Don’t imagine that sorrow is the work of men. Men are His instruments. Sorrow is sent by Him, and not by men. Men are instruments of His will, they are not to blame. If it seems to you that some one has wronged you – forget it and forgive. We have no right to punish. And you will know the happiness of forgiveness.”

~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“Let us leave the dead to bury the dead; but while one is living, one must live and be happy.”

~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“Remember that misfortunes come from God, and men are never to blame.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“I shall come to one place. I shall pray there, and before I have time to grow used to it, love it, I shall go on further. And I shall go on till my legs give way under me and I lie down and die somewhere, and reach at last that quiet, eternal heaven, where is neither sorrow nor sighing.”

~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“But isn’t it all the same now? What will be there, and what has been here? Why was I so sorry to part with life? There was something in this life that I didn’t understand, and don’t understand.”

~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“For the human mind, the absolute continuity of motion is inconceivable. The laws of motion of any kind only become comprehensible to man when he examines units of this motion arbitrarily selected. But at the same time, it is from this arbitrary division of continuous motion into discontinuous units that a great number of human errors proceeds.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“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 on the immense variety and complexity of circumstances conditioning a phenomena, any one of which may be separately conceived of as the cause of it, snatches the first and most easily understood approximation, and says here is the cause.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“But whenever there have been wars, there have been great military leaders, where there have been revolutions in states, there have been great men.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“Causes of historical events – there are not and cannot be save the cause of all causes. But there are laws controlling these events; laws partly unknown, partly accessible to us. The discovery of these laws is only possible when we entirely give up looking for a cause in the will of one man, just as the discovery of the laws of motions of the planets has only become possible since men have given up the conception of the earth being stationary.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“Our body is a machine for living. It is organized for that, it is its nature; leave life to it unhindered, let life defend itself in it; it will do more than if you paralyse it, encumbering it with remedies. Our body is a perfect watch, meant to go for a certain time; the watchmaker has not the power of opening it, he can only handle it in fumbling fashion, blindfolded.”

~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“Do you know what the military consists in? It is the art of being stronger than the enemy at a given moment.” ~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“Love? What is love? Love hinders death. Love is life. All, all that I understand, I understand only because I love. All is, all exists only because I love. All is bound up in love alone. Love is God and dying means for me a particle of love, to go back to the universal and eternal source of love.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“There is nothing, nothing more certain but the nothingness of all that is comprehensible to us and the grandeur of something incomprehensible, but more important.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace


So readers, these are just 17 of the memorable lines that one can find hemmed in to the wonderful tapestry of War and Peace. What is your favorite line from this Russian classic? Do share it in the comment box.

Happy reading!

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