Quotes from book
Family Happiness

Leo TolstoyOriginal title Семейное счастье (Russian, 1859)

Family Happiness is an 1859 novella written by Leo Tolstoy, first published in The Russian Messenger.


Leo Tolstoy photo
Leo Tolstoy photo

„I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt it in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life.“

—  Leo Tolstoy, book Family Happiness

Variant: I want movement, not a calm course of existence. I want excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I feel in myself a superabundance of energy which finds no outlet in our quiet life.
Source: Family Happiness

Leo Tolstoy photo
Leo Tolstoy photo

„He was right in saying that the only certain happiness in life is to live for others.“

—  Leo Tolstoy, book Family Happiness

Part 1, chapter 2 http://books.google.com/books?id=eWU4AAAAYAAJ&q=%22there+is+only+one+enduring+happiness+in+life+to+live+for+others%22&pg=PA22#v=onepage
Family Happiness (1859)
Variant: There is only one enduring happiness in life— to live for others.

Leo Tolstoy photo
Leo Tolstoy photo

„I longed for activity, instead of an even flow of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to renounce self for the sake of my love. I was conscious of a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life. I had bouts of depression, which I tried to hide, as something to be ashamed of…My mind, even my senses were occupied, but there was another feeling – the feeling of youth and a craving for activity – which found no scope in our quiet life…So time went by, the snow piled higher and higher round the house, and there we remained together, always and for ever alone and just the same in each other’s eyes; while somewhere far away amidst glitter and noise multitudes of people thrilled, suffered and rejoiced, without one thought of us and our existence which was ebbing away.“

—  Leo Tolstoy, book Family Happiness

Worst of all, I felt that every day that passed riveted another link to the chain of habit which was binding our life into a fixed shape, that our emotions, ceasing to be spontaneous, were being subordinated to the even, passionless flow of time… ‘It’s all very well … ‘ I thought, ‘it’s all very well to do good and lead upright lives, as he says, but we’ll have plenty of time for that later, and there are other things for which the time is now or never.’ I wanted, not what I had got, but a life of challenge; I wanted feeling to guide us in life, and not life to guide us in feeling.
Family Happiness (1859)

Leo Tolstoy photo

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