tolstoy's war and peace

A king is history's slave. (book nine)


...imagining that they knew what they were doing and did it of their own free will, but they all were involuntary tools of history, carrying out a work concealed from them but comprehensible to us. (book ten)


Kutuzov did not understand what Europe, the balance of power, or Napoleon meant. He could not understand it. For the representative of the Russian people, after the enemy had been destroyed and Russian liberated and raised to the summit of her glory, there was nothing left to do as a Russian. Nothing remained for the representative of the national war but to die, and Kutuzov died. (book fifteen, chapter eleven)