'War and Peace' Quotes

Leo Tolstoy's Famous Classic Novel

War and Peace is one of the great epic novels by Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. Here are a few quotes from the book--to give you a taste for this great classic!

Quotes

  • "Just as in the clock the result of the complex action of innumerable wheels and pulleys is merely the slow and regular movement of the hand marking the time, so the result of all the complex human activities of these 160,000 Russian and French - of all their passions, hopes, regrets, humiliations, sufferings, outbursts of pride, fear and enthusiasm - was only the loss of the battle of Austerlitz, the battle of the three Emperors, as it was called; that is to say, a slow movement of the hand on the dial of human history."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • "Gazing into Napoleon's eyes, Prince Andrei mused on the unimportance of greatness, the unimportance of life which no one could understand, and the still greater unimportance of death, the meaning of which no one alive could understand or explain."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • "Everything was just as it was everywhere else."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • "He had the unlucky capacity many men, especially Russians, have of seeing and believing in the possibility of goodness and truth, but of seeing the evil and falsehood of life too clearly to be able to take any serious part in life. Every sphere of activity was, in his eyes, linked with evil and deception."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • "She could not follow the opera, could not even listen to the music: she saw only painted cardboard and oddly dressed men and women who moved, spoke and sang strangely in a patch of blazing light. She knew what it was all meant to represent, but it was so grotesquely artificial and unnatural that she felt alternately ashamed and amused at the actors."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • "Almost in the centre of this sky, above the Prichistensky boulevard, surrounded and convoyed on every side by stars but distinguished from them all by its nearness to the earth, its white light and its long uplifted tail, shone the huge, brilliant comet of the year 1812 - the comet which was said to portend all manner of horrors and the end of the world."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • "Every action of theirs, that seems to them an act of their own freewill, is in the historical sense not free at all but is bound up with the whole course of history and preordained from all eternity."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • "War is not a polite recreation but the vilest thing in life, and we ought to understand that and not play at war."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • "The army, like a herd of cattle run wild and trampling underfoot the fodder which might have saved it from starvation, was disintegrating and perishing with every day it remained in Moscow."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • "Power is the relation of a given person to other persons, in which the more this person expresses opinions, theories and justifications of the collective action the less is his participation in that action."
    - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace