Even in the best, most friendly and simplest relations of life, praise and commendation are essential, just as grease is necessary to wheels that they may run smoothly.
Pierre concluded that this also was essential, and after a short interval followed her.
"I ought to tell you that I do not believe…. do not believe in God," said Pierre, regretfully and with an effort, feeling it essential to speak the whole truth.
But as I see it, physical labor is as essential to him, as much a condition of his existence, as mental activity is to you or me.
Pierre paid no more attention to this occurrence than to the rest of what went on, having made up his mind once for all that what he saw happening around him that evening was in some way essential.
It seemed to him essential to see Natasha.
It is essential for him to combine his movements with those of the commander in chief.
It is essential for us; it will give us all we need: comfortable quarters and a speedy return to our country.
A whole series of sensible and logical considerations showing it to be essential for him to go to Petersburg, and even to re-enter the service, kept springing up in his mind.
Pierre listened to him, straining each faculty to understand the essential points of the impending battle, but was mortified to feel that his mental capacity was inadequate for the task.
And she deduced the essentials of his wishes quite correctly, and having once arrived at them clung to them tenaciously.
But this was only the external condition; the essential significance of the presence of the Emperor and of all these people, from a courtier’s point of view (and in an Emperor’s vicinity all became courtiers), was clear to everyone.
Everything essential had already been done; feet, hands, necks, and ears washed, perfumed, and powdered, as befits a ball; the openwork silk stockings and white satin shoes with ribbons were already on; the hairdressing was almost done.
The important mystery mentioned by the Rhetor, though it aroused his curiosity, did not seem to him essential, and the second aim, that of purifying and regenerating himself, did not much interest him because at that moment he felt with delight that he was already perfectly cured of his former faults and was ready for all that was good.
That is an essential condition.
And to do that, order and strictness are essential….
A return to the first is impossible, the belief has been destroyed; and so it is essential to explain what is meant by power.
But as soon as we do not admit that, it becomes essential to determine what is this power of one man over others.
Arriving at this conclusion we can reply directly and positively to these two essential questions of history: (1) What is power?
So the historians of this class, by mutually destroying one another’s positions, destroy the understanding of the force which produces events, and furnish no reply to history’s essential question.
As gold is gold only if it is serviceable not merely for exchange but also for use, so universal historians will be valuable only when they can reply to history’s essential question: what is power?
The fundamental and essential significance of the European events of the beginning of the nineteenth century lies in the movement of the mass of the European peoples from west to east and afterwards from east to west.
The few glasses of wine he had drunk and the conversation with this good-natured man had destroyed the mood of concentrated gloom in which he had spent the last few days and which was essential for the execution of his design.
But if I examine an act performed a month ago, then being in different circumstances, I cannot help recognizing that if that act had not been committed much that resulted from it—good, agreeable, and even essential—would not have taken place.
Life meanwhile—real life, with its essential interests of health and sickness, toil and rest, and its intellectual interests in thought, science, poetry, music, love, friendship, hatred, and passions—went on as usual, independently of and apart from political friendship or enmity with Napoleon Bonaparte and from all the schemes of reconstruction.
In battle he was always under fire, so that Kutuzov reproved him for it and feared to send him to the front, and like Dokhturov he was one of those unnoticed cogwheels that, without clatter or noise, constitute the most essential part of the machine.
The man who does not understand the construction of the machine cannot conceive that the small connecting cogwheel which revolves quietly is one of the most essential parts of the machine, and not the shaving which merely harms and hinders the working.
Restoring the essential condition of relation between those who command and those who execute, we find that by the very nature of the case those who command take the smallest part in the action itself and that their activity is exclusively directed to commanding.
We see the same if we watch moment by moment the movement of historical characters (that is, re-establish the inevitable condition of all that occurs—the continuity of movement in time) and do not lose sight of the essential connection of historical persons with the masses.
The eighth and largest group, which in its enormous numbers was to the others as ninety-nine to one, consisted of men who desired neither peace nor war, neither an advance nor a defensive camp at the Drissa or anywhere else, neither Barclay nor the Emperor, neither Pfuel nor Bennigsen, but only the one most essential thing—as much advantage and pleasure for themselves as possible.
In all these plottings the subject of intrigue was generally the conduct of the war, which all these men believed they were directing; but this affair of the war went on independently of them, as it had to go: that is, never in the way people devised, but flowing always from the essential attitude of the masses.
The theory of the transference of the collective will of the people to historic persons may perhaps explain much in the domain of jurisprudence and be essential for its purposes, but in its application to history, as soon as revolutions, conquests, or civil wars occur—that is, as soon as history begins—that theory explains nothing.
After the twenty-eighth of October when the frosts began, the flight of the French assumed a still more tragic character, with men freezing, or roasting themselves to death at the campfires, while carriages with people dressed in furs continued to drive past, carrying away the property that had been stolen by the Emperor, kings, and dukes; but the process of the flight and disintegration of the French army went on essentially as before.
And as counters of imitation gold can be used only among a group of people who agree to accept them as gold, or among those who do not know the nature of gold, so universal historians and historians of culture, not answering humanity’s essential question, serve as currency for some purposes of their own, only in universities and among the mass of readers who have a taste for what they call "serious reading."
But even admitting as correct all the cunningly devised arguments with which these histories are filled—admitting that nations are governed by some undefined force called an idea—history’s essential question still remains unanswered, and to the former power of monarchs and to the influence of advisers and other people introduced by the universal historians, another, newer force—the idea—is added, the connection of which with the masses needs explanation.
…three, five, or ten thousand men, and subjugates a kingdom and an entire nation of several millions, all the facts of history (as far as we know it) confirm the truth of the statement that the greater or lesser success of one army against another is the cause, or at least an essential indication, of an increase or decrease in the strength of the nation—even though it is unintelligible why the defeat of an army—a hundredth part of a nation—should oblige that whole nation to submit.
There are no more uses of "essential" in the book.
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The essential feature of the pen is that it writes so consistently.
I carry all the essential tools and materials I need in this toolbox.