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contrary
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War and Peace
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contrary
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War and Peace
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  • For the most part things happened contrary to their orders.
  • Anna Pavlovna Scherer on the contrary, despite her forty years, overflowed with animation and impulsiveness.
  • Contrary to Bilibin’s forecast the news he had brought was joyfully received.
  • Helene was so lovely that not only did she not show any trace of coquetry, but on the contrary she even appeared shy of her unquestionable and all too victorious beauty.
  • At that council, contrary to the views of the old generals Kutuzov and Prince Schwartzenberg, it had been decided to advance immediately and give battle to Bonaparte.
  • But the smile did not enhance Vera’s beauty as smiles generally do; on the contrary it gave her an unnatural, and therefore unpleasant, expression.
  • On the contrary, the energetic action of that battery led the French to suppose that here—in the center—the main Russian forces were concentrated.
  • On the contrary, he became more and more elated.
  • "On the contrary, that coiffure suits the princess very well," said Prince Vasili.
  • On the contrary, the soldiers became aware that in front, behind, and on all sides, other Russian columns were moving in the same direction.
  • These sights and sounds had no depressing or intimidating effect on him; on the contrary, they stimulated his energy and determination.
  • That is not cleanly," said Prince Andrew; "on the contrary one must try to make one’s life as pleasant as possible.
  • * * "But, my dear, you ought on the contrary to be grateful to me for explaining to Pierre your intimacy with this young man."
  • On the contrary, I will do what I can.
  • Why negotiate, and above all why retreat, when to retreat is so contrary to his method of conducting war?
  • On the contrary.
  • But as you are a philosopher, be a consistent one, look at the other side of the question and you will see that your duty, on the contrary, is to take care of yourself.
  • Prince Vasili approached first, and she kissed the bold forehead that bent over her hand and answered his question by saying that, on the contrary, she remembered him quite well.
  • The old man, roused by activity, expected the best results from the new campaign, while Prince Andrew on the contrary, taking no part in the war and secretly regretting this, saw only the dark side.
  • I never could understand the fondness some people have for confusing their minds by dwelling on mystical books that merely awaken their doubts and excite their imagination, giving them a bent for exaggeration quite contrary to Christian simplicity.
  • In the midst of a conversation that was started about Napoleon’s Spanish affairs, which they all agreed in approving, Prince Andrew began to express a contrary opinion.
  • In the contrary case, Your Majesty, I shall see myself forced to repel an attack that nothing on my part has provoked.
  • Then he began to imagine that the Russians were running away and that he himself was killed, but he quickly roused himself with a feeling of joy, as if learning afresh that this was not so but that on the contrary the French had run away.
  • If it is said that he expected to end the campaign by occupying Moscow as he had ended a previous campaign by occupying Vienna, there is much evidence to the contrary.
  • I set myself above him and so become much worse than he, for he is lenient to my rudeness while I on the contrary nourish contempt for him.
  • On the contrary, but what dignity?
  • No, on the contrary, on the contrary!
  • No, on the contrary, on the contrary!
  • Julie on the contrary accepted his attentions readily, though in a manner peculiar to herself.
  • He not only showed no sign of constraint or self-reproach on account of his outburst that morning, but, on the contrary, tried to reassure Balashev.
  • The best generals I have known were, on the contrary, stupid or absent-minded men.
  • On the contrary it tormented her more than anything else of late, and particularly so on this bright, hot summer day in town.
  • Anna Pavlovna’s circle on the contrary was enraptured by this enthusiasm and spoke of it as Plutarch speaks of the deeds of the ancients.
  • Dron on the contrary retired to the rear and the crowd drew closer together.
  • The Russians did not seek out the best position but, on the contrary, during the retreat passed many positions better than Borodino.
  • "On the contrary it’s very interesting!" replied Pierre not quite truthfully.
  • On the contrary, just because he happened to be there he thought it one of the least significant parts of the field.
  • "On the contrary, your Highness, in indecisive actions it is always the most stubborn who remain victors," replied Raevski, "and in my opinion…."
  • Contrary to his habit of being late, Pierre on that day arrived at the Bergs’ house, not at ten but at fifteen minutes to eight.
  • Contrary to his expectation, Davout, after hearing him, became still surlier and ruder.
  • Smolensk was abandoned contrary to the wishes of the Emperor and of the whole people.
  • On the contrary, I ask you to go with all your belongings to our estate near Moscow, and I promise you I will see to it that there you shall want for nothing.
  • On the contrary….
  • On the contrary….
  • On the contrary….
  • To the joy and pride of the whole army, a personal interview was refused, and instead of the Sovereign, Prince Dolgorukov, the victor at Wischau, was sent with Savary to negotiate with Napoleon if, contrary to expectations, these negotiations were actuated by a real desire for peace.
  • "On the contrary, things seem satisfactory, ma cousine," said Pierre in the bantering tone he habitually adopted toward her, always feeling uncomfortable in the role of her benefactor.
  • The first declared that the report that Count Rostopchin had forbidden people to leave Moscow was false; on the contrary he was glad that ladies and tradesmen’s wives were leaving the city.
  • Boris on the contrary at once found his footing, and related quietly and humorously how he had known that doll Mimi when she was still quite a young lady, before her nose was broken; how she had aged during the five years he had known her, and how her head had cracked right across the skull.
  • The facts clearly show that Napoleon did not foresee the danger of the advance on Moscow, nor did Alexander and the Russian commanders then think of luring Napoleon on, but quite the contrary.
  • "On the contrary, Your Majesty," said Balashev, hardly able to remember what had been said to him and following these verbal fireworks with difficulty, "the troops are burning with eagerness…."
  • But contrary to what had always happened in their former battles, instead of the news they expected of the enemy’s flight, these orderly masses returned thence as disorganized and terrified mobs.
  • Had that event not occurred these hints would have been forgotten, as we have forgotten the thousands and millions of hints and expectations to the contrary which were current then but have now been forgotten because the event falsified them.
  • Rostov heard the story and not only said nothing to encourage Zdrzhinski’s enthusiasm but, on the contrary, looked like a man ashamed of what he was hearing, though with no intention of contradicting it.
  • Not only does a good army commander not need any special qualities, on the contrary he needs the absence of the highest and best human attributes—love, poetry, tenderness, and philosophic inquiring doubt.
  • As the mazurka began, Boris saw that Adjutant General Balashev, one of those in closest attendance on the Emperor, went up to him and contrary to court etiquette stood near him while he was talking to a Polish lady.
  • With the enemy’s approach to Moscow, the Moscovites’ view of their situation did not grow more serious but on the contrary became even more frivolous, as always happens with people who see a great danger approaching.
  • Formerly in Anna Pavlovna’s presence, Pierre had always felt that what he was saying was out of place, tactless and unsuitable, that remarks which seemed to him clever while they formed in his mind became foolish as soon as he uttered them, while on the contrary Hippolyte’s stupidest remarks came out clever and apt.
  • In his soul there suddenly arose such an unexpected turmoil of youthful thoughts and hopes, contrary to the whole tenor of his life, that unable to explain his condition to himself he lay down and fell asleep at once.
  • His features were like his sister’s, but while in her case everything was lit up by a joyous, self-satisfied, youthful, and constant smile of animation, and by the wonderful classic beauty of her figure, his face on the contrary was dulled by imbecility and a constant expression of sullen self-confidence, while his body was thin and weak.
  • But on the contrary, my papa and mamma are now provided for—I have arranged that rent for them in the Baltic Provinces—and I can live in Petersburg on my pay, and with her fortune and my good management we can get along nicely.
  • On the contrary, the deviations made from his theory were, in his opinion, the sole cause of the whole disaster, and with characteristically gleeful sarcasm he would remark, "There, I said the whole affair would go to the devil!"
  • This could not be done, as from the spots selected by Napoleon the projectiles did not carry to the Russian works, and those 102 guns shot into the air until the nearest commander, contrary to Napoleon’s instructions, moved them forward.
  • Prince Vasili sternly declaimed, looking round at his audience as if to inquire whether anyone had anything to say to the contrary.
  • There are always so many conjectures as to the issue of any event that however it may end there will always be people to say: "I said then that it would be so," quite forgetting that amid their innumerable conjectures many were to quite the contrary effect.
  • He talked boldly and naturally, and Natasha was strangely and agreeably struck by the fact that there was nothing formidable in this man about whom there was so much talk, but that on the contrary his smile was most naive, cheerful, and good-natured.
  • Petya and Natasha on the contrary, far from helping their parents, were generally a nuisance and a hindrance to everyone.
  • On the contrary, he is probably pursuing you with detachments, or at most with an army corps much weaker than the army entrusted to you.
  • He not merely did nothing of the kind, but on the contrary he used his power to select the most foolish and ruinous of all the courses open to him.
  • On the contrary the greater the heat the more solidified the remaining snow becomes.
  • On the contrary, the army had never under the best material conditions presented a more cheerful and animated aspect.
  • On the contrary I continually reproach myself….
  • Natasha on the contrary had at once abandoned all her witchery, of which her singing had been an unusually powerful part.
  • On the contrary, now is the best of all.
  • Contrary to the Emperor’s wish Kutuzov detained the greater part of the army at Vilna.
  • To this question historians reply that Louis XIV’s activity, contrary to the program, reacted on Louis XVI.
  • Pierre maintained the contrary, and as his mental faculties were greater and more resourceful, Nicholas felt himself cornered.
  • But the roll of the drums did not make the looting soldiers run in the direction of the drum as formerly, but made them, on the contrary, run farther away.
  • This simultaneous discussion of many topics did not prevent a clear understanding but on the contrary was the surest sign that they fully understood one another.
  • On the contrary I was then wiser and had more insight than at any other time, and understood all that is worth understanding in life, because…. because I was happy.
  • Alpatych had gone out to admonish them, but was told (it was chiefly Karp who did the talking, Dron not showing himself in the crowd) that they could not let the princess go, that there was an order to the contrary, but that if she stayed they would serve her as before and obey her in everything.
  • Prince Andrew’s last stay at Bogucharovo, when he introduced hospitals and schools and reduced the quitrent the peasants had to pay, had not softened their disposition but had on the contrary strengthened in them the traits of character the old prince called boorishness.
  • Some said there had been another battle after Borodino at which the French had been routed, while others on the contrary reported that the Russian army had been destroyed.
  • Only Marya Dmitrievna Akhrosimova, who had come to Petersburg that summer to see one of her sons, allowed herself plainly to express an opinion contrary to the general one.
  • But to men who do not admit that Russia was formed by the will of one man, Peter I, or that the French Empire was formed and the war with Russia begun by the will of one man, Napoleon, that argument seems not merely untrue and irrational, but contrary to all human reality.
  • —from that moment this conversation began, contrary to all the laws of logic and contrary to them because quite different subjects were talked about at one and the same time.
  • —from that moment this conversation began, contrary to all the laws of logic and contrary to them because quite different subjects were talked about at one and the same time.
  • Some said that no one was to be allowed to leave the city, others on the contrary said that all the icons had been taken out of the churches and everybody was to be ordered to leave.
  • He ordered dinners and suppers and obviously tried to appear cheerful, but his cheerfulness was not infectious as it used to be: on the contrary it evoked the compassion of those who knew and liked him.
  • "On the contrary," he said, in a querulous and angry tone that contrasted with his flattering words, "on the contrary, your excellency’s participation in the common action is highly valued by His Majesty; but we think the present delay is depriving the splendid Russian troops and their commander of the laurels they have been accustomed to win in their battles," he concluded his evidently prearranged sentence.
  • "On the contrary," he said, in a querulous and angry tone that contrasted with his flattering words, "on the contrary, your excellency’s participation in the common action is highly valued by His Majesty; but we think the present delay is depriving the splendid Russian troops and their commander of the laurels they have been accustomed to win in their battles," he concluded his evidently prearranged sentence.
  • Even now he felt clearly that the gory trace of that recollection would not pass with time, but that the terrible memory would, on the contrary, dwell in his heart ever more cruelly and painfully to the end of his life.
  • Only the recognition of the fact that he possessed this feeling caused the people in so strange a manner, contrary to the Tsar’s wish, to select him—an old man in disfavor—to be their representative in the national war.
  • To solve the question of how freedom and necessity are combined and what constitutes the essence of these two conceptions, the philosophy of history can and should follow a path contrary to that taken by other sciences.
  • When Arakcheev, coming to him from the Emperor, said that Ermolov ought to be appointed chief of the artillery, Kutuzov replied: "Yes, I was just saying so myself," though a moment before he had said quite the contrary.
  • On the contrary, he now repeated in imagination every word that he or Natasha had spoken and pictured every detail of her face and smile, and did not wish to diminish or add anything, but only to repeat it again and again.
  • Very serious consideration was given to the question whether it would be better to put A in B’s place and B in D’s, or on the contrary to put D in A’s place, and so on—as if anything more than A’s or B’s satisfaction depended on this.
  • On the contrary, it seemed to her certain that had he not been there she would have perished at the hands of the mutineers and of the French, and that he had exposed himself to terrible and obvious danger to save her, and even more certain was it that he was a man of lofty and noble soul, able to understand her position and her sorrow.
  • 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."
  • Never to the end of his life could he understand goodness, beauty, or truth, or the significance of his actions which were too contrary to goodness and truth, too remote from everything human, for him ever to be able to grasp their meaning.
  • General Bagovut, a fighting old soldier of placid temperament, being also upset by all the delay, confusion, and cross-purposes, fell into a rage to everybody’s surprise and quite contrary to his usual character and said disagreeable things to Toll.
  • Just as in a dream when all is uncertain, unreasoning, and contradictory, except the feeling that guides the dream, so in this intercourse contrary to all laws of reason, the words themselves were not consecutive and clear but only the feeling that prompted them.
  • With his sixty years’ experience he knew what value to attach to rumors, knew how apt people who desire anything are to group all news so that it appears to confirm what they desire, and he knew how readily in such cases they omit all that makes for the contrary.
  • But this happiness on one side of her spiritual nature did not prevent her feeling grief for her brother with full force; on the contrary, that spiritual tranquility on the one side made it the more possible for her to give full play to her feeling for her brother.
  • On the contrary he gazed joyfully, his eyes moist with tears, at this bright comet which, having traveled in its orbit with inconceivable velocity through immeasurable space, seemed suddenly—like an arrow piercing the earth—to remain fixed in a chosen spot, vigorously holding its tail erect, shining and displaying its white light amid countless other scintillating stars.
  • Seeing, on the other side, some Cossacks (les Cosaques) and the wide-spreading steppes in the midst of which lay the holy city of Moscow (Moscou, la ville sainte), the capital of a realm such as the Scythia into which Alexander the Great had marched—Napoleon unexpectedly, and contrary alike to strategic and diplomatic considerations, ordered an advance, and the next day his army began to cross the Niemen.
  • It no longer seemed strange to them but on the contrary it seemed the only thing that could be done, just as a quarter of an hour before it had not seemed strange to anyone that the wounded should be left behind and the goods carted away but that had seemed the only thing to do.
  • On the contrary it is a very mild expression of the contradictory replies, not meeting the questions, which all the historians give, from the compilers of memoirs and the histories of separate states to the writers of general histories and the new histories of the culture of that period.
  • We often think that by removing all the difficulties of our life we shall more quickly reach our aim, but on the contrary, my dear sir, it is only in the midst of worldly cares that we can attain our three chief aims: (1) Self-knowledge—for man can only know himself by comparison, (2) Self-perfecting, which can only be attained by conflict, and (3) The attainment of the chief virtue—love of death.
  • Natasha and Pierre, left alone, also began to talk as only a husband and wife can talk, that is, with extraordinary clearness and rapidity, understanding and expressing each other’s thoughts in ways contrary to all rules of logic, without premises, deductions, or conclusions, and in a quite peculiar way.
  • It was not that they knew that much food and fresh troops awaited them in Smolensk, nor that they were told so (on the contrary their superior officers, and Napoleon himself, knew that provisions were scarce there), but because this alone could give them strength to move on and endure their present privations.
  • The Russians, on the contrary, ought according to tactics to have attacked in mass, but in fact they split up into small units, because their spirit had so risen that separate individuals, without orders, dealt blows at the French without needing any compulsion to induce them to expose themselves to hardships and dangers.
  • Under the influence of this feeling Sonya, whose life of dependence had taught her involuntarily to be secretive, having answered the countess in vague general terms, avoided talking with her and resolved to wait till she should see Nicholas, not in order to set him free but on the contrary at that meeting to bind him to her forever.
  • He had gone to Joseph Alexeevich’s house, on the plea of sorting the deceased’s books and papers, only in search of rest from life’s turmoil, for in his mind the memory of Joseph Alexeevich was connected with a world of eternal, solemn, and calm thoughts, quite contrary to the restless confusion into which he felt himself being drawn.
  • Napoleon felt this, and from the time he took up the correct fencing attitude in Moscow and instead of his opponent’s rapier saw a cudgel raised above his head, he did not cease to complain to Kutuzov and to the Emperor Alexander that the war was being carried on contrary to all the rules—as if there were any rules for killing people.
  • Attempted drives from east to west—similar to the contrary movements of 1805, 1807, and 1809—precede the great westward movement; there is the same coalescence into a group of enormous dimensions; the same adhesion of the people of Central Europe to the movement; the same hesitation midway, and the same increasing rapidity as the goal is approached.
  • This power cannot be based on the predominance of moral strength, for, not to mention heroes such as Napoleon about whose moral qualities opinions differ widely, history shows us that neither a Louis XI nor a Metternich, who ruled over millions of people, had any particular moral qualities, but on the contrary were generally morally weaker than any of the millions they ruled over.
  • Alpatych, who had reached Bogucharovo shortly before the old prince’s death, noticed an agitation among the peasants, and that contrary to what was happening in the Bald Hills district, where over a radius of forty miles all the peasants were moving away and leaving their villages to be devastated by the Cossacks, the peasants in the steppe region round Bogucharovo were, it was rumored, in touch with the French, received leaflets from them that passed from hand to hand, and did not…
  • Had Helene herself shown the least sign of hesitation, shame, or secrecy, her cause would certainly have been lost; but not only did she show no signs of secrecy or shame, on the contrary, with good-natured naivete she told her intimate friends (and these were all Petersburg) that both the prince and the magnate had proposed to her and that she loved both and was afraid of grieving either.
  • "On the contrary," replied the prince, who had plainly become depressed, "I shall be only too glad if you relieve me of that young man….
  • On the contrary, I am very glad to make your acquaintance," said Pierre.
  • The old man, experienced in court as well as in military affairs—this same Kutuzov who in August had been chosen commander in chief against the sovereign’s wishes and who had removed the Grand Duke and heir—apparent from the army—who on his own authority and contrary to the Emperor’s will had decided on the abandonment of Moscow, now realized at once that his day was over, that his part was played, and that the power he was supposed to hold was no longer his.
  • …in chief himself needs sleep and refreshment to maintain his energy and a respectable general who has been overlooked in the distribution of rewards comes to complain, and the inhabitants of the district pray to be defended, and an officer sent to inspect the locality comes in and gives a report quite contrary to what was said by the officer previously sent; and a spy, a prisoner, and a general who has been on reconnaissance, all describe the position of the enemy’s army differently.
  • The sixth party, the Bennigsenites, said, on the contrary, that at any rate there was no one more active and experienced than Bennigsen: "and twist about as you may, you will have to come to Bennigsen eventually.
  • On the contrary, I can supply you with everything even if you want to give dinner parties," warmly replied Chichagov, who tried by every word he spoke to prove his own rectitude and therefore imagined Kutuzov to be animated by the same desire.

  • There are no more uses of "contrary" in the book.


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  • We will not allow members to act contrary to our code of ethics.
  • What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.

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