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Full text of "Leo Tolstoy"

LEO TOLSTOY 



BY 



G. K. CHESTERTON, G. H. FERRIS 

ETC. 




WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS 



TORONTO 
COPP CLARK COMPANY 

LONDON : HODDER AND STOUGHTON 




as 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

LK.O TOLSTOY. ... . . 

TOI.STOV AS AN OKKICKR .......... 1 

TOLSTOY ix ins STCDKXT DAYS ......... 52 

VASXAYA POLYAXA, Tin. COUNTRY HO.MK OK COUNT TOLSTOY. . . .3 

THK Ai'i'ROACH TO THK. PAHK AT VASXAYA POLYANA .... . . . 4 

Tin. GATEWAY-ENTRANCE TO YASN\UA I'OLYAXA ...... 5 

TOLSTOY WITH IMS HICYCLK. . . . . . . . . . .6 

"Tm: TRK.K. OK TIM: POOR" .......... 7 

TOLSTOY, AX KAKLY PORTRAIT ......... 7 

C'orxT AXD CorxTKss TOLSTOY ......... 8 

Li o TOLSTOY (from a Sketch by Victor Trout) ...... 9 

COIXT TOLSTOY AT WORK IN THK PIKLDS ....... 10 

I-'A< SIMII.K OK A PORTION OK TOLSTOY'S MS. ....... 11 

COUNT TOLSTOY, HIS WIKK, AND DAI-CHTKRS ....... 12 

TOLSTOY AT WORK ix HIS STUDY AT VASNAYA POLYAXA 

TOLSTOY WIUTIXC; AT HIS DKSK . . . . . . . . . 1-t 

OXK OK H. R. MILLAR'S ILLUSTRATIONS. ....... 15 

COUNT TOLSTOY . . . . .. .. . . . .16 

\ FAMOUS PAIXTIXI; OK TOLSTOY .... ^. .... 17 

A PiioToiiKAiMi OK COUNT TOLSTOY TAKKX AT VASXAYA POLYAXA . . .18 
RUSSIAN JAILI.R AND \\OMAX WARDKR . 19 



IV 



PAGE 

20 



A TOUSTOY MEDALLION. . . ' . . 

THK COVER OF THK TRACT " WHKHK LOVK is, THERE GOD is ALSO" . 20 

ONE OF THE POSTCARDS ISSUED IN Moscow IN 1898 TO COMMEMORATE 

TOLSTOY'S LITERARY JUBILEE . v . . 21 

Two OF THE POSTCARDS ISSUED AT Moscow IN 1898 TO COMMEMORATE 

TOLSTOY'S LITERARY JUBILEE . . "". . . . _ . .22 

COUNT TOLSTOY AT REST (from a Painting by Repin) ... .23 

TOLSTOY IN THE GROUNDS OF YASNAYA POLYANA ...... 24 

ONE OF H. R. MILLAR'S ILLUSTRATIONS . . .25 

ONE OF MANY BUSTS OF COUNT TOLSTOY .... . .26 

A RECENT PORTRAIT OF COUNT TOLSTOY . . . . . .27 

THE DEFENDANTS . . . , . . . . . . .29 

TOLSTOY AND HIS DAUGHTER TATYANA . . * . . . .30 

COUNT TOLSTOY AND HIS FAMILY . . . . . . . .31 

LEO TOLSTOY (from a Portrait painted in 1884). . ... 33 

MASLOVA'S RETURN TO THE WARD AFTER THE SENTENCE . . . .34 

LEO TOLSTOY, 1896 (from a Photograph) ... . . . .35 



TOLSTOY 




I 



TOLSTOY AS AN OFFICER 



F any one wishes to form the fullest 
estimate of the real character and 
influence of the great man whose name 
is prefixed to these remarks, he will not 
find it in his novels, splendid as they 
are, or in his ethical views, clearly and 
finely as they are conceived and ex- 
panded. He will find it best expressed 
in the news that has recently come 
from Canada, that a sect of Russian 
Christian anarchists has turned all its 
animals loose, on the ground that it is 
immoral to possess them or control 
them. About such an incident as this 
there is a quality altogether indepen- 
dent of the rightness or wrongness, the sanity or insanity, of the view. 
It is first and foremost a reminder that the world is still young. 
There are still theories of life as insanely reasonable as those which 
were disputed under the clear blue skies of Athens. There are still 
examples of a faith as fierce and practical as that of the Mahome- 
tans, who swept across Africa and Europe, shouting a single word. 
To the languid contemporary politician and philosopher it seems 
doubtless like something out of a dream, that in this iron-bound, 
homogeneous, and clockwork age, a company of European men in 
boots and waistcoats should begin to insist on taking the horse out 
of the shafts of the omnibus, and lift the pig out of his pig-sty, and 
the dog out of his kennel, because of a moral scruple or theory. 
It is like a page from some fairy farce to imagine the Doukhabor 
solemnly escorting a hen to the door of the yard and bidding it 
a benevolent farewell as it sets out on its travels. All this, as I 

1 




TOLSTOY 

IN 
HIS 

STUDENT 
DAYS 



say, seems mere muddle-headed absurdity to the typical leader of 
human society in this decade, to a man like Mr. Balfour, or 
Mr. Wyndham. But there is nevertheless a further thing to be 
said, and that is that, if Mr. Balfour could be converted to a religion 
which taught him that he was morally bound to walk into the House 
of Commons on his hands, and he did walk on his hands, if Mr. 
Wyndham could accept a creed which taught that he ought to dye 
his hair blue, and he did dye his hair blue, they would both "of 
them be, almost beyond description, better and happier men than 
they are. For there is only one happiness possible or conceivable 
under the sun, and that is enthusiasm that strange and splendid 



TOLSTOY 



8 




YASNAYA POLYANA, THE COUNTRY HOME OF COUNT TOLSTOY 

word that has passed through so many vicissitudes, which meant, in 
the eighteenth century the condition of a lunatic, and in ancient 
Greece the presence of a god. 

This great act of heroic consistency which has taken place in 
Canada is the best example of the work of Tolstoy. It is true (as 
I believe) that the Doukhabors have an origin quite independent of 
the great Russian moralist, but there can surely be little doubt that 
their emergence into importance and the growth and mental dis- 
tinction of their sect, is due to his admirable summary and justification 
of their scheme of ethics. Tolstoy, besides being a magnificent 
novelist, is one of the very few men alive who have a real, solid, 
and serious view of life. He is a Catholic church, of which he is 
the only member, the somewhat arrogant Pope and the somewhat 
submissive layman. He is one of the two or three men in Europe, 
who have an attitude towards things so entirely their own, that we 
could supply their inevitable view on anything a silk hat, a Home 
Rule Bill, an Indian poem, or a pound of tobacco. There are three 
men in existence who have such an attitude : Tolstoy, Mr. Bernard 
Shaw, and my friend Mr. Hilaire Belloc. They are all diametrically 
opposed to each other, but they all have this essential resemblance, 



TOLSTOY 



that, given their basis of thought, their soil of conviction, their 
opinions on every earthly subject grow there naturally, like flowers 
in a Held. There are certain views of certain things that they must 
take ; they do not form opinions, the opinions form themselves. 
Take, for instance, in the case of Tolstoy, the mere list of miscel- 
laneous objects which I wrote down at random above, a silk hat, 
a Home Rule Bill, an Indian poem, and a pound of tobacco. Tolstoy 
would say: "I believe in the utmost possible simplification of life; 
therefore, this silk hat is a black abortion." He would say : " I believe 
in the utmost possible simplification of life ; therefore, this Home 
Rule Bill is a mere peddling compromise ; it is no good to break 
up a centralised empire into nations, you must break the nation up 
into individuals." He would say : " I believe in the utmost possible 
simplification of life ; therefore, I am interested in this Indian poem, 
for Eastern ethics, under all their apparent gorgeousness, are far 
simpler and more Tolstoyan than Western." He would say : " I 
believe in the utmost possible simplification of life ; therefore, this 
pound of tobacco is a thing of evil ; take it away." Everything in 
the world, from the Bible to a bootjack, can be, and is, reduced by 

Tolstoy to this great fundamental 
Tolstoyan principle, the simplifica- 
tion of life. When we deal with 
a body of opinion like this we are 
dealing with an incident in the 
history of Europe infinitely more 
important than the appearance of 
Xapoleon Buonaparte. 

This emergence of Tolstoy, with 
his awful and .simple ethics, is im- 
portant in more ways than one. 
Among other things it is a very 
interesting commentary on an atti- 
tude which has been taken up for 
the matter of half a century by all 
the avowed opponents of religion. 
The secularist and the sceptic have 
denounced Christianity first and 




THE APPROACH TO THE PARK AT 
YASNAVA POLYANA 



TOLSTOY 




THE GATEWAY-ENTRANCE TO YASNAYA POLYANA 



foremost, be- 
c a use of its 
encouragement 
of fanaticism ; 
because religious 
excitement 1 e d 
men to burn 
their neighbours, 
and to dance 
naked down the 
street. How 
queer it all 
sounds now. 
Religion can be 
swept out of the 

matter altogether, and still there are philosophical and ethical theories 
which can produce fanaticism enough to fill the world. Fanaticism has 
nothing at all to do with religion. There are grave scientific theories 
which, if carried out logically, would result in the same fires in the 
market-place and the same nakedness in the street. There are 
modern aesthetes who would expose themselves like the Adamites 
if they could do it in elegant attitudes. There are modern scientific 
moralists who would burn their opponents alive, and would be 
quite contented if they were burnt by some new chemical process. 
And if any one doubts this proposition that fanaticism has nothing 
to do with religion, but has only to do with human nature let 
him take this case of Tolstoy and the Doukhabors, A sect of 
men start with no theology at all, but with the simple doctrine 
that we ought to love our neighbour and use no force against 
him, and they end in thinking it wicked to carry a leather hand- 
bag, or to ride in a cart. A great modern writer who erases theology 
altogether, denies the validity of the Scriptures and the Churches 
alike, forms a purely ethical theory that love should be the instrument 
of reform, and ends by maintaining that we have no right to strike 
a man if he is torturing a child before our eyes. He goes on, he 
develops a theory of the mind and the emotions, which might be held 
by the most rigid atheist, and he ends by maintaining that the sexual 



TOLSTOY 



relation out of which all hu- 
manity has come, is not only 
not moral, but is positively not 
natural. This is fanaticism as it 
has been and as it will always 
be. Destroy the last copy of 
the Bible, and persecution and 
insane orgies will be founded on 
Mr. Herbert Spencer's " Synthe- 
tic Philosophy." Some of the 
broadest thinkers of the Middle 
Ages believed in faggots, and 
some of the broadest thinkers 
in the nineteenth century be- 
lieve in dynamite. 

The truth is that Tolstoy, 
with his immense genius, with 
his colossal faith, with his vast 
fearlessness and vast knowledge 
of life, is deficient in one faculty 
and one faculty alone. He is 
not a mystic : and therefore he 
has a tendency to go mad. Men 
talk of the extravagances and 
t'rcM/ies that have been produced by mysticism : they are a mere drop 
in the bucket. In the main, and from the beginning of time, mys- 
ticism has kept men sane. The thing that has driven them mad was 
logic. It is significant that, with all that has been said about the 
excitability of poets, only one English poet ever went mad, and he 
went mad from a logical system of theology. He was Cowper> and 
his poetry retarded his insanity for many years. So poetry, in which 
Tolstoy is deficient, has always been a tonic and sanative thing. The 
only thing that has kept the race of men from the mad extremes of 
the convent and the pirate-galley, the night-club and the lethal 
chamber, has been mysticism the belief that logic is misleading, and 
that things are not what they seem. 

G. K. CHESTERTON. 




TOLSTOY WITH HIS BICYCLE 

(Photographed in 1896) 




"THE TREK OF THE POOR" 
Where Tolstoy receives the peasants and listens with unwearying patience to their tales of distress 



LEO TOLSTOY AS WRITER 

HALF the ignorance or misunderstanding of this greatest living 
figure in literature comes of the attempt to judge him as \\ v 
judge the specialised Western novelist an utterly futile method of 

approach. He is a Russian, in the first 
place. Had he come to Paris with Tur- 
guenieff, he might have been similarly 
de-nationalised, might possibly have de- 
veloped into a writer pure and simple ; 
the world might so have gained a few 
great romances it would have lost in- 
finitely in other directions. TurgucniefF 
wished it so. " My friend," he wrote to 
Tolstoy from his deathbed, ** return to 
literature ! Reflect that that gift comes 
to you whence everything comes to us. 
Ah ! how happy I should be if I could 
think that my prayer would influence 
you. . . . My friend, great writer of our 
TOLSTOY, AN EARLY PORTRAIT Hussiaii land, \\enr my entreaty ! " For 




TOLSTOY 




COUNT 
AND 

COUNTESS 
TOLSTOY 

From a 
Portrait taken 

in 
September 1895 

(Reproduced 
by kind permission . 

from 

"How Count Tolstoy 
Lives and Works," 

by 
P. A. Sergyeenko) 



once, the second greatest of modern Russians took a narrow view 
of character and destiny. Genius must work itself out on its own 
lines. Tolstoy remained a Russian from tip to toe that is one of 
his supreme values for us ; and he remained an indivisible personality. 
The artist and the moralist are inseparable in his works. " We are 
not to take ' Anna Karenina ' as a work of art," said Matthew 



TOLSTOY 



Arnold; "we are to take it us a piece of life." The distinction is 
not very satisfactorily stated, but the meaning is clear. So, too, 
W. 1). Howells, in his introduction to an American edition of the 
"Sebastopol Sketches": "I do not know how it is with others to 
whom these books of Tolstoy's have come, but for my part I cannot 
think of them as literature in the artistic sense at all. Some people 
complain to me when I praise them that they are too long, too 
diffuse, too confused, that the characters' names are hard to pro- 
nounce, and that the life they portray is very sad and not amusing. 
In the presence of these criticisms I can only say that I find them 
nothing of the kind, but that each history of Tolstoy's is as clear, 
as orderly, as brief, as something I have lived through myself. . . . 
I cannot think of any service which imaginative literature has done 
the race so great as 
that which Tolstoy 
has done in his con- 
ception of Karenina 
at that crucial mo- 
rn e n t when the 
cruelly outraged man 
sees that he cannot 
be good with dignity. 
This leaves all tricks 
of fancy, all effects 
of art, immeasurably 
behind." So much 
being said, however, 
we may be allowed 
to emphasise in this 
small space the great 
qualities and achieve- 
ments of Tolstoy as 
artist, rather than the 
expositions of Chris- 
tian Anarchism and 

. , * .,. LEO TOLSTOY, FROM A SKETCH BY VICTOR PROUT 

SOCial phlllpplCS (Reproduced by kind permission of Mr. F. R. Henderson) 




10 



TOLSTOY 








COUNT TOLSTOY AT WORK IN THE FIELDS 



under which those achievements have been somewhat hidden in 
recent years. 

Morbid introspectiveness and the spirit of revolt inevitably colour 
what is best in nineteenth-century Russia. Born at Yasnaya Polyana 
<" Clear Field"), Tula, in 1828, and early orphaned, Tolstoy's youth 



TOLSTOY 



11 



u^&*-^&&*? 




FACSIMILE OF A PORTION OF TOLSTOY'S MS. 

(Reproduced by kind permission of Messrs. Nisbet & Co., from " How Count Tolstoy Lives and Works," 

by P. A. Sergyeenko) 

synchronised with the period of reaction that brought the Empire 
to the humiliating disasters of the Crimean War. No hope was left 
in the thin layer of society lying between the two mill-stones of 
the Court and the serfs ; none in the little sphere of art where 
Byronic romanticism was ready to expire. The boy saw from the 
first the rottenness of the patriarchal aristocracy in which his lot 
seemed to be cast. Precocious, abnormally sensitive and observant, 
impatient of discipline and formal learning, awkward and bashful, 
always brooding, not a little conceited, he was a sceptic, at fifteen, and 
left the University of Kazan in disgust at the stupid conventions 
of the time and place, without taking his degree. " Childhood, 
Boyhood, and Youth " which appeared in three sections between 
185*2 and 1857 tells the story of this period, though the figure 
of Irtenieff is probably a projection rather than a-portrait of himself, 
to whom he is always less fair, not to say merciful, than to others. 
This book is a most uncompromising exercise in self-analysis. It 
is of great length, there is no plot, and few outer events are recorded. 



12 



The realism is generally morbid, but is varied by some passages of 
great descriptive power, such as the account of the storm, and 
occasionally with tender pathos, as in the story of the soldier's death, 
as well as by grimly vivid pages, such as the narrative of the 
mother's death. In this earliest work will be found the seeds both 
of Tolstoy's artistic genius and of his ethical gospel. 

After five years of .mildly benevolent efforts among his serfs at 
Vasnaya Polyana (the disappointments of which he related a few 
years later in " A Landlord's Morning," intended to have been part 

of a full novel to be called " A Rus- 
sian Proprietor "), his elder brother 
Nicholas persuaded him to join the 
army, and in 1851 he was drafted to 
the Caucasus as an artillery officer. 
On this favourite stage of classic 
Russian romance, where for the first 
time he saw the towering mountains, 
and the tropical sun, and met the 
rugged adventurous highlanders, Tol- 
stoy felt his imagination stirred as 
Byron among the isles of Greece, and 
his early revulsion against city life 
confirmed as Wordsworth amid the 
Lakes, as Thoreau at Walden, by a 
direct call from Nature to his own 
heart. The largest result of this ex- 
perience was "The Cossacks " (1852). 
Turguenieff described this fine prose 
epic of the contact of civilised and 
savage man as "the best novel written 
in our language." " The Raid " (or 
" The Invaders," as Mr. Dole's trans- 
lation is entitled), dating from tlie 
same year, " The Wood - Cutting 
Expedition" (1855), "Meeting an 
Old Acquaintance" (1856), and "A 




COUNT TOLSTOY, HIS WIFE, AND 
DAUGHTERS 



14 



TOLSTOY 




TOLSTOY WRITING AT HIS DESK 



Prisoner in the Caucasus " (1862) are also drawn from recollections 
of this sojourn, and show the same descriptive and romantic power. 
Upon the outbreak of the Crimean War the Count was called to 
Sebastopol, where he had command of a battery, and took part 
in the defence of the citadel. The immediate product of these 
dark months of bloodshed was the thrilling series of impressions 
reprinted from one of the leading Russian reviews as " Sebastopol 
Sketches" (1856). From that day onward Tolstoy knew and told 
the hateful truth about war and the thoughtless pseudo-patriotism 
which hurries nations into fratricidal slaughter. From that day 
there was expunged from his mind all the cheap romanticism 
which depends upon the glorification of the savage side of human 
nature. These wonderful pictures of the routine of the battlefield 
established his position in Russia as a writer, and later on created 
in Western countries an impression like that of the canvases of 
Verestchagin. 



TOLSTOY 



15 



For a brief time Tolstoy became a figure in the old and new 
capitals <>!' Russia by right of talent as well as birth. His \ < TV 
chequered friendship with TuTguenieff, one of the oddest chapters 
in literary history, can only be mentioned here. In 1857 he travelled 
in (lermany. France, and Italy. It was of these years that he 
declared in **Mv Confession" that he could not think of them without 
horror, disgust, and pain of heart. The catalogue of crime which lie 
charged against himself in his Salvationist crisis of twenty years later 
must not be taken literally ; but that there was some ground for it 
we may guess from the scenic and incidental realism of the " Recol- 
lections of a Billiard Marker" (18o<>), and of many a later page. 
Several other powerful short novels date from about this time, 
including " Albert " and " Lucerne," both of which remind us of 
the Count's susceptibility to music ; 
" Polikushka," a tale of peasant life ; 
and " Family Happiness," the story 
of a marriage that failed, a most 
clear, consistent, forceful, and in parts 
beautiful piece of work, anticipating 
in essentials " The Kreutzer Sonata " 
that was to scandalise the world thirty 
years afterward. 

After all, it was family happiness 
that saved Leo Tolstoy. For the third 
time the hand of death had snatched 
away one of the nearest to him his 
brother Nicholas. Two years later, in 
18(>2, he married Miss Behrs, daughter 
of the army surgeon in Tula the most 
fortunate thing that has happened to 
him in his whole life, I should think. 
Family responsibilities, those novel 
and daring experiments in peasant 
education which are recorded in several 
volumes of the highest interest, the 
supervision of the estate, magisterial 




One of H. R. Millar's illustrations in the 
English edition of " Where Love is, there God 
is also," reproduced by kind permission of Messrs. 
Walter Scott, Ltd., the publishers . 



16 



TOLSTOY 



work, and last, but 
not least, the pro- 
longed labours upon 
"War and Peace" and 
" Anna Karenina " fill 
up the next fifteen 
years. , " War and 
Peace" (1864-9) is a 
huge panorama of the 
Napoleonic campaign 
of 1812, with preced- 
ing and succeeding 
episodes in Russian 
society. These four 
volumes display in 
their superlative 
degree Tolstoy's in- 
difference to plot and 
his absorption in in- 
dividual character ; 
they are rather a series 
of scenes threaded 
upon the fortunes of 
several families than 
a set novel ; but they 
contain passages of 

penetrating psychology and vivid description, as well as a certain 
amount of anarchist theorising. Of this work, by which its author 
became known in the West, Flaubert (how the name carries us 
backward !) wrote : " It is of the first order. What a painter and 
what a psychologist ! The two first volumes are sublime, but the 
third drags frightfully. There are some quite Shakespearean things 
in it." The artist's hand was now strengthening for his highest 
attainment. In 1876 appeared " Anna Karenina," his greatest, and 
as he intended at the time (but Art is not so easily jilted), his 
last novel. The fine qualities of this book, which, though long, is 




COUNT TOLSTOY 



17 




A FAMOUS PAINTING OF TOLSTOY 



dramatically unified and vitally coherent, have been so fully recog- 
nised that I need not attempt to describe them. Mr. George 
Meredith has described Anna as "the most perfectly depicted 
female character in all fiction," which, from the author of " Diana," 

2 



18 



TOLSTOY 




PHOTOGRAPH 

OF 
COUNT TOLSTOY 

TAKEN AT 
! YASNAYA POLYANA 

(Reproduced 

from "Anna Karenina " 

by kind permission 

of 
I Messrs Walter Scott Ltd.) 



is praise indeed. Parallel with the main subject of the illicit love 
of Anna and Vronsky there is a minor subject in the fortunes 
of Levin and Kitty, wherein the reader will discover many of 
Tolstoy's own experiences. Matthew Arnold complained that the 
book contained too many characters and a burdensome multiplicity 
of actions, but praised its author's extraordinarily fine perception 
and no less extraordinary truthfulness, and frankly revelled in Anna's 



TOLSTOY 



1!) 




RUSSIAN JAILER AND WOMAN WARDER 
" The jailer, rattling the iron padlock, opened the door ol the cell " 

(From an illustration by Pasternak in the English Edition of " Resurrection," reproduced by. kind permission o! 

Mr. F. R. Henderson) 

" large, fresh, rich, generous, delightful nature." " When I had 
ended my work ' Anna Karenina,' " said Tolstoy in "My Confes- 
sion " (1870-82), "my despair reached such a height that I could 
do nothing but think of the horrible condition in which I found 
myself. ... I saw only one thing Death. Everything else was a 
lie." Of that spiritual crisis nothing need be said here except that 
it only intensified, and did not really, as it seemed to do, vitally 
change, principles and instincts which had possessed Tolstoy from 
the beginning. His subsequent ethical and religious development 
may be traced in a long series of books and pamphlets, of which 
the most important are " The Gospels Translated, Compared, and 
Harmonised" (1880-2), "What I Believe" ["My Religion"], pro- 
duced abroad in 1884, "What is to be Done?" (1884-5), "Life" 
(1887), "Work" (1888), "The Kingdom of God is Within You" 
(1893), "Non-Action" (1894). "Patriotism and Christianity" (189G) 



20 



TOLSTOY 




A TOLSTOY MEDALLION 



crusade, in the foreign and the 
clandestine presses at least, 
against all Imperial authority 
and social maladjustments. Mr. 
Tchertkoff, Mr. Aylmer Maude, 
the " Brotherhood Publishing 
Co.," and the "Free Age Press" 
deserve praise for their efforts to 
popularise these and other works 
of the Count in thoroughly good 
translations. In "What is Art?" 
(1898), not content with the bare 
utilitarian argument that it is 
merely a means of social union, 
he launched a jehad against all 
modern ideas of Art which rely 
upon a conception of beauty and 
all ideas of beauty into which 
pleasure enters as a leading con- 
stituent. A short but luminous 
essay on " Guy de Maupassant 
and the Art of Fiction " is a 



a scathing attack upon militarism 
in general and the Franco-Russian 
Alliance in particular "The Chris- 
tian Teaching " (1898), and " The 
Slavery of our Times " (1900). 
Various letters on the successive 
famines and on the religious per- 
secutions in Russia deserve separate 
mention; they remind us that since 
the failure of the revolutionary 
movement miscalled " Nihilism," 
Tolstoy has gradually risen to the 
position of the one man who can 
continue with impunity a public 




THE COVER OF THE TRACT "WHERE LOVE 
IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO " 



TOI-STOV 



21 



more satisfactory con- 
tribution to the subject. 
It is more to our 
purpose to note that in 
this volcanic and fecund 
if fundamentally simple 
personality the artist 
has dogged the steps of 
the evangelist to the 
last. "Master and 
Man" (1895) is one of 
the most exquisite short 
stories ever written. 
"The Death of Ivan 
Ilyitch" (1884) and 
"Resurrection" (1899) 
are in some ways the 
most powerful of all 
his works. The much- 
condemned "Do- 
minion of Darkness " 
(1886) and " Kreutzer Sonata" (1889) will be more fairly judged 
when the average Englishman has learned the supreme merit of that 
uncompromising truthfulness which gives nobility to every line the 
grand Russian ever wrote. To submit a work like " Resurrection " to 
the summary treatment which the ordinary novel receives and merits 
is absurd. It is a large picture of the fall and rise of man done by 
the swift and restless hand of a master who stands in a category 
apart, with an eye that sees externals and essentials with like accuracy 
and rapidity. Because the dramatic quality of these living pictures 
lies, not in their organisation into a conventionally limited plot, 
but first in the challenging idea upon which they are founded, then 
the inexorable development of individual characters, and ever and 
anon in the grip of particular episodes, the little critics scoff. The 
idea, the characters, the episodes are all too real and vital for their 
precious British self-complacency. The grandmotherly AiKcnasum 




ONE OF THE POSTCARDS ISSUED IN MOSCOW IN 1898 TO 
COMMEMORATE TOLSTOY'S LITERARY JUBILEE 



22 



TOLSTOY 




permits some person to 
describe this Promethean 
figure as "a precious vase 
that has been broken," 
and can now only be 
pieced together to make 
"the ornament of a 
museum," which re- 
minds me that I heard a 
lecturer before a well- 
known literary society in 
London describe him 
lately as a "scavenger," and that a city bookseller assured me the 
other day that there was something almost amounting to a boycott 
against his fiction in the shops. The publisher who is preparing a 
complete edition of Tolstoy enormous work! knows better, knows 
that Tolstoy is one of the world-spirits whose advance out of the 



TWO OF THE POSTCARDS ISSUED AT MOSCOW 
IN 1898 TO COMMEMORATE TOLSTOY'S 
LITERARY JUBILEE 



TOLSTOY 



28 



ohscurity <>t'a hcniulitcd laud into UK- largest contemporary rimilat ion 
is hut a tort-taste of an influence' that will soon IK- co-extensive with 
tin- commonwealth of thinking men and women. 

His sen ice to literature is precisely the same as his service to 
morals. Like Human and Hums, Dickens and Whitman, he throws 
down in a world of decadent conventions the tfau^e of the demo- 
cratic ideal. As he calls the politician and the social reformer hack 
to the land and the common people, so he calls the artist hack to 
the- elemental forces ever at work beneath the surface-show of nature 
and humanity. With an extraordinary penetration into the hidden 
recesses of character, he joins a terrihle truthfulness, and that ahsolute 




COUNT TOLSTOY 

AT KKST. 

From a Painting 
by Rcpin, 

(Reproduced by kind 

permisMon from 

" How Tolstoy l.ivc-. 

and Works, " 

by 
I". A. 



24 



TOLSTOY 




direct, 

process. 

beyond 



TOLSTOY IN THE GROUNDS OF 
YASNAYA POLYANA 



simplicity of manner which we 
generally associate with genius. He 
is a realist, not merely of the outer, 
hut more especially of the inner 
life. There is no staginess, no senti- 
mentality, in his work. He has no 
heroes in our Western sfense, none, 
even, of those sensational types of 
personality which glorify the name 
of his Northern contemporary, 
Ibsen. His style is always natural, 

irresistible as a physical 
He has rarely strayed 

the channel of his own 
experience, and the reader who 
prefers breadth to depth of know- 
ledge must seek elsewhere. He 
has little humour, but a grimly 
satiric note has sometimes crept 
into his writing, as Archdeacon 
Farrar will remember. Of artifice 
designed for vulgar entertainment 
he knows nothing ; in the world 
of true art, which is the wine-press 
of the soul of man, he stands, a 
princely figure. Theories, prescrip- 
tions, and discussions are forgotten, 
and we think only with love and 
reverence of this modern patriarch, 
so lonely amid the daily enlarging 
congregation of the hearts he has 
awakened to a sense of the mys- 
tery, the terror, the joy, the 
splendour of human destinies. 

G. H. FERRIS. 



TOLSTOY'S PLACE IN EUROPEAN 

LITERATURE 

1" 1 1 K justness of the word great applied to a nation's writers is 
perhaps best tested by simply taking each writer in tuni 
from out his Age, and seeing how far our conception of his Age 
remains unaffected. We may take away hundreds of clever writers. 

scores of distinguished creators, and 
the Age remains before our eyes, solidly 
unaffected by their absence ; but touch 
one or two central figures, and lo ! the 
whole framework of the Age gives in 
your hands, and you realise that the 
\Vorld's insight into, and understand- 
ing of that Age's life has been supplied 
us by the special interpretation offered 
by two or three great minds. In fact, 
every Age seems dwarfed, chaotic, full 
of confused tendencies and general 
contradiction till the few great men 
have arisen, and symbolised in them- 
selves what their nation's growth or 
strife signifies. How many dumb ages 
are there in which no great writer has 
appeared, ages to whose inner life in 
consequence we have no key ! 

Tolstoy's significance as the great 
writer of modern Russia can scarcely 
be augmented in Uussian eyes by his 
exceeding significance to Europe as 

One of H. R. Millar's illustrations in the " ... 

English edition of " What Men Live By " (written SymbollSlIlg tllC Spiritual UnrCSt Of tllC 
in 1881), reproduced by kind permission of . x -.it 

Messrs. Waher Scott, Ltd., the publishers modem WOTlCL 1 Ct SO HieVltahlv 




26 



TOLSTOY 




ONE 
OF THE 

MOST 

STRIKING 

OF THE 

MANY 
BUSTS OF 

COUNT 
TOLSTOY 



must the main stream of each age's tendency and the main move- 
ment of the world's thought be discovered for us by the great 
writers, whenever they appear, that Russia can no more keep 
Tolstoy's significance to herself than could Germany keep Goethe's 
to herself. True it is that Tolstoy, as great novelist, has been 
absorbed in mirroring the peculiar world of half-feudal, modern 




l-y\ 



A RECEN'T PORTRAIT OF COUNT TOLSTOY 



\Rck Mat iM, Zs,>fn 



28 TOLSTOY 

Russia, a world strange to Western Europe, but the spirit of analysis 
with which the creator of " Anna Karenina " and " War and Peace 5> 
has confronted the modern world is more truly representative of our 
Age's outlook than is the spirit of any other of his great con- 
temporaries. Between the days of " Wilhelm Meister " and of 
" Resurrection " what an extraordinary volume of the rushing tide 
of modern life has swept by ! A century of that '* liberation of 
modern Europe from the old routine " has passed since Goethe 
stood forth for " the awakening of the modern spirit." A century 
of emancipation, of Science, of unbelief, of incessant shock, change, 
and Progress all over the face of Europe, and even as Goethe a 
hundred years ago typified the triumph of the new intelligence of 
Europe over the shackles of its old institutions, routine, and dogma 
(as Matthew Arnold affirms), so Tolstoy to-day stands for the triumph 
of the European soul against civilisation's routine and dogma. The 
peculiar modernness of Tolstoy's attitude, however, as we shall pre- 
sently show, is that he is inspired largely by the modern scientific 
spirit in his searching analysis of modern life. Apparently at war 
with Science and Progress, his extraordinary fascination for the 
mind of Europe lies in the fact that he of all great contemporary 
writers has come nearest to demonstrating, to realising what the life 
of the modern man is. He of all the analysts of the civilised man's 
thoughts, emotions, and actions has least idealised, least beautified, 
and least distorted the complex daily life of the European world. 
With a marked moral bias, driven onward in his search for truth by 
his passionate religious temperament, Tolstoy, in his pictures of life, 
has constructed a truer whole, a human world less bounded by the 
artist's individual limitations, more mysteriously living in its vast 
flux and flow than is the world of any writer of the century. *' War 
and Peace " and " Anna Karenina," those great worlds where the 
physical environment, mental outlook, emotional aspiration, and 
moral code of the whole community of Russia are reproduced by 
his art, as some mighty cunning phantasmagoria of changing life; 
are superior in the sense of containing a whole nation's life, to the 
worlds of Goethe, Byron, Scott, Victor Hugo, Balzac, Dickens, 
Thackeray, Maupassant, or any latter day creator we can name. 



TOLSTOY 




THE 
DEFENDANTS 

" The third prisoner 
was Ma-slova " 

(From an illustration 
by Pasternak 

in the 

English Edition or 

" Resurrection," 

reproduced by 

kind permission of 

Mr. F. R. 

Henderson) 



And not only so, but Tolstoy's analysis of life throws more light on 
the main currents of thought in our Age, raises deeper problems, and 
explores more untouched territories of the mind than does any 
corresponding analysis by his European contemporaries. 

It is by Tolstoy's passionate seeking of the life of the soul that the 



30 



TOLSTOY 




great Russian writer towers above the men of our day, and it is because 
his hunger for spiritual truth has led him to probe contemporary life, 
to examine all modern formulas and appearances, to penetrate into 
the secret thought and emotion of men of all grades in our complex 
society, that his work is charged with the essence of nearly all that 
modernity thinks and feels, believes and suffers, hopes and fears as it 
evolves in more and more complex forms of our terribly complex 
civilisation. The soul of humanity is, however, always the 
appeal of men from the life that environs, moulds, and burdens 
them, to instincts .that go beyond and transcend their present 
life. Tolstoy is the appeal of the modern world, the cry of the 
modern conscience '. against the blinded fate of its own progress. 
To the eye of science everything is possible in human life, the 
sacrifice of the innocent .for the sake of the progress of the guilty, 



32 TOLSTOY 

the crushing and deforming of the weak so that the strong may 
triumph over them, the evolution of new serf classes at the dictates 
of a ruling class. All this the nineteenth century has seen accom- 
plished, and not seen alone in Russia. It is Tolstoy's distinction 
to have combined in his life-work more than any other great artist 
two main conflicting points of view. He has fused by his art the 
science that defines the way Humanity is forced forward blindly and 
irresponsibly from century to century by the mere pressure of events, 
he has fused with this science of our modern world the soul's protest 
against the earthly fate of man which leads the generations into taking 
the ceaseless roads of evil which every age unwinds. 

Let us cite Tolstoy's treatment of War as an instance of how 
this great artist symbolises the Age for us and so marks the advance 
in self-consciousness of the modern mind, and as a nearer approxima- 
tion to a realisation of what life is. We have only got to com- 
pare Tolstoy's "Sebastopol" (1856) with any other document on 
war by other European writers to perceive that Tolstoy alone 
among artists has realised war, his fellows have idealised it. 
To quote a passage, from a former article let us say that 
" ' Sebastopol ' gives us war under all aspects war as a squalid, 
honourable, daily affair of mud and glory, of vanity, disease, hard 
work, stupidity, patriotism, and inhuman agony. Tolstoy gets the 
complex effects of ' Sebastopol ' by keenly analysing the effect of 
the sights and sounds, dangers and pleasures, of war 011 the brains 
of a variety of typical men, and by placing a special valuation of his 
own on these men's actions, thoughts, and emotions, on their courage, 
altruism, and show of indifference in the face of death. He lifts 
up, in fact, the veil of appearances conventionally drawn by society 
over the actualities of the glorious trade of killing men, and he 
does this chiefly by analysing keenly the insensitiveness and in- 
difference of the average mind, which says of the worst of war's 
realities, * I felt so and so, and did so and so : but as to -what 
those other thousands may have felt in their agony, that I did 
riot enter into at all.' * Sebastopol,' therefore, though an exceed- 
ingly short and exceedingly simple narrative, is a psychological 
document on modern war of extraordinary value, for it simply 



LEO TOLSTOY, FROM A PORTRAIT PAINTED IN 1884 




34 



TOLSTOY 




MAM. OVA'S RETfUN TO THK WARD AFTER THE SEX'I ENCE 

" She could bear it no longer ; her face quivered and she burst into sobs " 

(From an illustration by Pasternak in the English Edition of "Resurrection" reproduced by kind permission 

of Mr. F. R. Henderson) 

relegates to the lumber-room, as imlife-like and hopelessly limited, 
all those theatrical glorifications of war which men of letters, romantic 
poets, and grave historians alike have been busily piling up on 
humanity's shelves from generation to generation. And more : we 
feel that in ' Sebastopol ' we have at last the sceptical modern spirit, 
absorbed in actual life, demonstrating what war is, and expressing at 
length the confused sensations of countless men, who have heretofore 
never found a genius who can make humanity realise what it knows 
half-consciously and consciously evades. We cannot help, therefore, 
recognising this man Tolstoy as the most advanced product of our 
civilisation, and likening him to a great surgeon, who, not deceived 
by the world's presentation of its own life, penetrates into the 
essential joy and suffering, health and disease of multitudes of men ; 
a surgeon who, face to face with the strangest of Nature's laws in the 



TOLSTOY 



85 



constitution <>!' human 
society, pu/./.led by all 
tin- illusions, fatuities. 
and convent inns of 
the human mind, reso- 
lutely sets himself to 
lay hare the foots of 
all its passions, appe- 
tites, and incentives in 
the struck- for life, so 
that at least human 
reason may advance 
farther along the path 
of self-knowledge in 
Advancing towards a 
general sociological 
study of man." 

Tolstoy's place in 
nineteenth-century 
literature is, therefore. 
in our view, no less 
fixed and certain than 
is Voltaire's place in 
the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Both of these 
writers focus for us in 
a marvellously complete manner the respective methods of analysing 
life by which the rationalism of the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries, and the science and humanitarianism of the nineteenth 
century have moulded for us the modern world. All the movements, 
all the problems, all the speculation, all the agitations of the world of 
to-day in contrast with the immense materialistic civilisation that 
science has hastily built up for us in three or four generations, all the 
xjurif of modern life is condensed in the pages of Tolstoy's writings, 
because, as we have said, he typifies the soul of the nuxlern man 
ga/ing, now undaunted, and now in alarm, at the formidable army 




LKO TOLSTOY, 189 
(Front a Photograph) 



36 TOLSTOY 

of the newly-tabulated cause and effect of humanity's progress, at 
the appalling cheapness and waste of human life in Nature's hands. 
Tolstoy thus stands for the modern soul's alarm in contact tc/t/i 
science. And just as science's work after its first destruction of the 
past ages' formalism, superstition, and dogma is directed more and 
more to the examination and amelioration of human life, so Tolstoy's 
work has been throughout inspired by a passionate love of humanity, 
and by his ceaseless struggle against conventional religion, dogmatic 
science, and society's mechanical influence on the minds of its 
members. To make man more conscious of his acts, to show 
society its real motives and what it is feeling, and not cry out 
in admiration at what it pretends to feel this has been the great 
novelist's aim in his delineation of Russia's life. Ever seeking 
the one truth to arrive at men's thoughts and sensations under 
the daily pressure of life never flinching from his exploration of 
the dark world of man's animalism and incessant self-deception, 
Tolstoy's realism in art is symbolical of our absorption in the world 
of fact, in the modern study of natural law, a study ultimately without 
loss of spirituality, nay, resulting in immense gain to the spiritual life. 
The reaKstii of the great Russian's novels is, therefore, more in line 
with the modern tendency and outlook than is the general tendency 
of other schools of Continental literature. And Tolstoy must be 
finally looked on, not merely as the conscience of the Russian world 
revolting against the too heavy burden which the Russian people 
have now to bear in Holy Russia's onward march towards the build- 
ing-up of her great Asiatic Empire, but also as the soul of the modern 
world seeking to replace in its love of humanity the life of those old 
religions which science is destroying day by day. In this sense 
Tolstoy will stand in European literature as the conscience of the 
modern world. 

EDWAKD GAKNETT. 



Count Tolstoy 



Tolstoy In his 
Student days 
see page 2 



Y asnaya Polyana 
seepage 3 



Tho Gateway to 

Yasnaya Polyana 
seepage 5 

The Approach 
to the Park 
see page 4 



" The Tree of the 
Poor " 

see page 7 



BIOGRAPHICAL NoTK 

l.\ert" Nikolaevitch Tol-toy wa- Imrn at N.i-n.iy.t l'u|\;in;i mi Aufc'ii-t 2Hth 
(September !tli new -tyle). 1H-H. Hi- father. Count S'icliohi ToUtny. wa. 
a member of the nli| Russian nobility. In IHI.'I. after tin* t.ieg of Krfurt. he 
wa- taken pri-oner by the French anil afterward- retired from tin- army holding 
tin- rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Having a inncd tin- burden of many family 
debt-, be roOOeaded in paying liis rr<Mlitnr- in full, thu- cainim.' a reputation 
for Unfailing penevenuice. Tol-toy lia- de-cribcd hi- character in "Child- 
hood anil Youth." "He was a man of tin- la-t century." hi- wrote, "and. 
like all his contemporaries, ho had in him >omcthing chivalrou-, entcrpri-ini.'. 
Belf-pOM6Med. amiable, a pa ion fur plea-lire. . . . Hi- lift- wa- -< full nf 
all kinds of impulse that he had no time to think ahout conviction- ; and 
besides, he had heen so happy all his life that he did not feel it m-ctntMiry 
to dn so." His father died before ToUtoy reached the aire often year-, -even 
year- after the death of his mother, of whom he wrote : " \Vheii I try to 
recall to mind my mother as she was then, only her brown eye- ari-e before 
me, always the same look of love and kindne in them. If during the ino-t 
trying moments of my life 1 could have caught a glimpse of her -mile, I 
should not have known what grief is." 

Tolstoy's early years were paed in the country on the old-fa-biom-d 
Russian estate, which resembled somewhat in patriarchal hahit-. ari-tocratic 
manners, democratic familiarity, shiftlessness, and supcr-tition, a Southern 
Plantation in the days of slavery. After the deatli of his father in HM~ the 
family was taken charge of by an aunt, the Countess Alexandra O-ten-Saken. 
and three years later by relatives ot his mother who lived at Ka/an. In 1H-M 
TnUtoy entered the University of Kazan, where " lm|M-rvioiis to the ambitions 
of scholarship and research, unimpressed by the provincial ari-tocracy. too 
nice to enjoy the rou^h revels of the students, and replied alike from 
aristocrats, j)rofessors, and students by an unsocial and what, with our Knt:li-h 
emphasis on ffovernment, we should call an unregulated di-po-:tion. he seem- 
to have had during these two or three years a thoroughly unhappy and 
unprofitable experience." ' Having left the I niversity in 1H'.:; without 
^raduatiiiff he returned to the old country home. ^ asnaya I'olvana dex-enileil to 
Tolstoy from his mother. The estate, which covers an area of <ome L'..VMI acre-, 
partly arable and partly wooded, lies a hundred miles due south of Mo-row. 
It was at one time Tolstoy's intention to dispossess himself entirely ot hi- 
property and live as a peasant. Instead of this, however, he ha- made oxer 
the whole of the land to his wife and children, and lives in the hoii-e nomin- 
ally as a guest. 

At the entrance to the park are two towers, medieval in -tyle. which were 
erected by Tolstoy's maternal grandfather. From them the road runs 
through the park, rising as it approaches the house, and In-come- mcrired in a 
level avenue of birch trees. (Jlimpses of a pond are caught through the 
deii-e foliage and of a square smoothly rolled sjiace u-ed a- a tcnni 
ground, the game being one in which Count Tolstoy jwirticipates with great 
enjoyment. It will be noticed that in the photograph on page .'U he i- hold- 
ing a tennis racket in his hand. 

The house itself is a plain white rectangular two-storied building of 
stuccoed brick, and it would be hard to imagine a simpler and le pretentious 
place than the home in which Tolstoy has -|>ent the greater |>art of hi- life. 
It boasts neither pia/./a- nor towers ; indeed, noa'rchitectural ornament- of any 
kind, nor are vines or other creein-rs trained U|MHI the flat wall- to relieve 
their striking whitenes- or -often their rectangular outlines. The house was 
not completed all at once, but wa- enlarged in pro|>ortion to the need- of the 
family. On one side, devoid of windows, there is a low iM>rch. near which 
-tand- an old elm tree, called " The Tree of the Poor." ( lo-e to it- trunk is 
1 " Leo Tolstoy," by G. II. Perii-. 
37 



38 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 



Tolstoy as an 
Officer 

see page i 



Count Tolstoy 
and his wife 
see page 8 



Count Tolstoy at 
work in the 
fields 



a bench on which the peasants sit to await the coming of Count Tolstoy. 
Here lie listens with unwearying patience to many stories of distress and 
difficulty, and gives in return, not only sympathy and advice, but such material 
assistance as may lie at his command. 

It was during the period following upon his University career that Tolstoy 
threw all his energies into the task of raising both the economical and moral 
standard of peasant life, and suffered much disappointment at the hands of the 
peasants, who refused to allow him to pull down their dilapidated hovels even 
that he might erect new and convenient ones at his own cost. The result was 
that Tolstoy left Yasnaya Polyana for St. Petersburg in the autumn of 1847, 
resolved to prosecute his studies with the intention of taking a degree in law. 
With this choice of a career, however, he was dissatisfied, and returned again 
to his estate in 1848. 

For a few years he lived the ordinary life of the Russian nobleman, 
enlisting at the age of 23 as cadet in a regiment of artillery in which his 
elder brother Nicholas was captain. Discontented with the idle life he was 
leading and out of harmony with his gay surroundings, he decided to jot 
down his recollections of the homeland he loved so well, and it was at this 
time that he commenced writing "Childhood and Youth" (which, however, 
was not published in its complete form until six years later) and " The 
Cossacks." 

Subsequently Tolstoy was appointed to a post on Prince GortchakofFs 
staff in Turkey, and was present at Sevastopol in 18-55, having attained 
the rank of divisional commander. His experiences during the war are 
pictured in his three sketches, "Sevastopol in December 18.54," "In May 
185-5," and "In August 18,5.5." These were published the following year and 
at once made his literary reputation. At the end of the campaign he left the 
army and visited Western Europe, in order to study various school systems, 
and upon his return to Yasnaya Polyana he established several schools of 
his Own. - . 

In September 1862 Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Behrs, the 
daughter of a military doctor. He was at this time thirty-four years of age, 
his bride being sixteen years younger. Miss Behrs was not only beautiful, she 
was an exceedingly cultured girl, having passed various examinations at the 
Moscow University. According to her brother, the manner of their courtship 
was practically identical with that of Levin and Kitty in "Anna Karenina." 
Countess Tolstoy at the age of forty-eight is described by Sergyeenko in " How 
Count Tolstoy Lives and Works," as having " An open, expressive counte- 
nance, with vivacious, fearless eyes, which she constantly brings near to the 
objects at which she is looking. At her very first words one feels her 
straightforward nature. In her manner there is not even a shadow of truck- 
ling to suit the tone of any one whomsoever ; her own individual note is 
always audible." 

About the time of his marriage, Tolstoy was described as " a tall, wide- 
shouldered thin-waisted man, with a moustache^ but without a beard, with 
a serious, even a gloomy expression of face, which, however, was softened by 
a gleam of kindliness whenever he smiled." 

Living at Yasnaya Polyana winter and summer, with but rare intervening 
visits to Moscow, Tolstoy interested himself in all the practical details of 
farming. Probably his own experiences of the physical labour of mowing 
are depicted as those of Levin in "Anna Karenina." "The work went 
on and on. Levin absolutely lost all idea of time, and did not knofr 
whether it was early or late. Though the sweat stood on his face, and 
dropped from his nose, and all his back was wet as though he had been 
plunged in water, still he felt very well. His work now seemed to him full 
of pleasure. It was a state of unconsciousness : he did not know what he was 
doing, or how much he was doing, or how the hours and moments were flying, 
but only felt that at this time his work was good. " 



BIOGRAPHICAL Noil. 



Facsimile of a 
portion of 
Tolstoy's MS. 



Tolstoy at work 
in his study at 
Yasnaya Polyana 
see page 13 



Tolstoy with bis 
bicycle 

see page 6 



A portrait of 
Tolstoy 

.<<< : 



Tolstoy in the 
grounds of 
Yasnaya Polyana 

sec ptige 24 



Count Tolstoy 
and his family 
see page 31 



Tol-to\ \\a- al-o :iu cutlm-ia-tic .port-man a diver-ion u hich orroMioned 
him two >eriou- accident- :in<l. in addition to fulfilling tin- ilutu- of a JiMice 
of tlic Peace, In- set himself to L'rapplc with tin- novel condition- of land- 
iiumii-. a OOmpUeated ami aril linn- ta-k to \vliirli In- applied hiriiM-lf with 
characteri-tic energy ami shrcwdnc-s. Indeed, hi. intcre.t- were manifold 
ami exacting. Yet during thi- hu-y period In- by mi mean- nc^b-rled lii 
literary work. The composition of his novel " War ami I 1 . IM-C.-UI 

immediately after his marriage, ami extended over a in-riud of eight year- 
Hi- uife ropieil out the manuscript of this work mi le than -e\en time- 
a- he altered ami improved it. " \\';ir and I'eare " wa* followed by " Anna 
Karenina," which was not completed until \H~C>. 

In his method of working, Tol-toy may he likened to the old painti-r- 
I laving settled upon a plan of work, and collected a large number of 
studies, he tirst makes a charcoal -ketch, a- it wen*, and write- rapidly 
without thinking of particulars. He then ha- a clean ropy of tin- work made 
by hi- wife or one of his daughters, ami tin- is ajfain -ubjected to careful 
remodelling. It is still in the nature of a charcoal sketch. The MS. U 
speedily covered witli erasures and Interpolation*. \\'holt> MMitenre- replace 
others. The work is then copied a^iin, and sonu* cbaptfr- Tol-toy \\ rite 
more than ten times. He usually writes on quarto -hci-t- if cheap plain 
paper in a larjre involved band, and sometimes rovers as many a- twenty 
paires iii one day. He regards the interval lietweeii nine o'cbx-k and tbree 
as the best time for work. 

His study at Yasnaya Polyana is a small room with an unrarpeted floor. 
a vaulted ceiling, and thick stone walls. Formerly it was a store-room, and 
on the ceiling are heavy black iron ring's, on \\hich bams u-ed to baiuf and 
which were used later for ffymn.-sstic exercises. Tlie study is very cool ami 
quiet, and contains various implement- of labour, such as a -cythe. a saw, 
pincers, files, etc. 

After his morning labours, Tolstoy generally iroe- out. often ridinjr on 
hor-eback or on his bicycle, according to the state of the weather. He i. 
a strict vctretarian. eatiny only the simj>lest foiMl and avoiding all stimulant-. 
He loiifr ajfo ceased to -moke. Attaching great importance to manual hiltour. 
lie takes a share in the. housework, liirhtinj: his own tire and carrying water. 
At one time he learned bootmakingj and it is wonderful what an amount of 
physical exertion he was able to undergo at the a>re of seventy in the way 
of heavy labour in the field, of riding scores of versN on bis bicycle, or of 
playing for hours at lawn tennis. 

Tolstoy has always dre--ed extremely simply, and when at home hi- 
costume consisted of a irrey flannel blouse, which ill summer he exchanged 
for a canvas one of a very original cut, as may be judged from the fact that 
there was in the whole district only one old woman who could make it accord- 
ing to his orders. In this blouse Tolstoy sit for his portrait to Kramsky and 
Hepiii. the painters. His over-dress was composed of a caftan and half-sboulta. 
made of the simplest materials, and, like the blouse, eccentric in their cut, 
beiiu; made evidently not for show but to stand liad weather. The Hon. 
Krnest Howard Crosby has triven an interesting description of Count 
Tolstoy'- appearance. " He i- dressed like a pea-ant in a grey-white hlou-e 
of thin, coarse, canvas-like material, with a leather In'lt ; but his toilet differs 
from a |icasaiit's in being scrupulously clean. His features are irregular and 
plain, and yet his figure is so strong and massive that the tout rmtrmMr is 
striking and fine-looking. His little blue eyes peer out from under his hiihy 
eyebrows with the kindliest of expressions. >f 

Count and Countess Tolstoy have had fifteen children of whom only seven 
survived. The system of their upbringing has been fully dealt with by M. 
C. A. Hehrs in his Recollections of Count Leo Tolstoy. ' Toys and play- 
things were rigorously hani-hed from the nursery. \\ itb the fiist child flu- 
trial was made to di-pen-e altogether with a nurse. Hut later it was thought 



40 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 



Count Tolstoy, 
his wife, and 
daughters 

see page 12 



Tolstoy and his 
eldest daughter 
Tatyana 

see page 30 

Leo Tolstoy, from 
a portrait 
painted in 1884 

see page 33 

Illustrations by 
H. R. Millar to 
" What Men Live 
By"- 

see page 25 

and to "Where 
Love is there God 
is also " 

see page 15 

Cover of " Where 
Love is there God 
is also " 

see page 20 



Pasternak's 
illustrations to 
" Resurrection " 

see pages 19, 29 
and 34 



well to yield to the requirements of their social position and to the habits of 
contemporary life, and the children were put under the care of nurses, bonnes, 
and governesses. The parents, however, exercised a strict and unremittent 
surveillance over both the children and those who had the care of them. 

The greatest possible liberty was allowed to the children, and all put in 
authority over them were strictly forbidden to have resort under any pretext 
to violent or severe punishments. 

Tolstoy believed that these principles were nowhere so generally accepted 
as in England, and, accordingly, from their third to their ninth year, the 
children were placed under the charge of young English governesses engaged 
directly from' London. 

Countess Tolstoy is an excellent housewife, attentive and hospitable. All 
the complicated and troublesome management of the housekeeping and 
direction of household affairs is under her charge. She is indefatigable, and 
brings her brisk energy, thriftiness, and activity to bear in every direction, 
and this she does without help. Her three eldest sons live apart, each 
occupied with his own business matters. Her daughters have their own 
interests and duties, which take up the greater part of their time. 

Tolstoy's eldest daughter, Tatyana Lvovna, a girl of exceptional talent, in 
particular works very hard. In addition to copying much of her father's 
manuscript, she conducts his vast correspondence, consisting of an almost 
incredible number of letters received in all languages from every part of the 
globe. 

This is probably the most striking of all the portraits of Count Tolstoy, 
representing him when at the height of his popularity and power. In 1884 
he was at work on the Popular Tales and Sketches which sold by millions 
throughout Russia, and from which we reproduce two or three illustrations 
viz., one by H. R. Millar from the English edition of " What Men Live By," 
written in 1881 ; another by the same artist from the. English edition of 
" Where Loye is there God is also," and a third showing the cover of this 
tract, which was written in 1885, and issued in rough pamphlet form at the 
price of a few farthings. 

During the last twenty years Tolstoy has written the following books : 
" My Confession," " A Criticism of Dogmatic Theology," which has never 
been translated, " The Four Gospels, Harmonized and Translated," " What 
I Believe," "The Gospel in Brief," "What to Do," "On Life " (also called 
"Life"), "The Kreutzer Sonata," "The Kingdom of God is Within You," 
" The Christian Teaching," " What is Art ?" which in Tolstoy's own opinion 
is the best constructed of his books, "Resurrection," his last novel, begun 
about 1894, and then laid aside in favour of what seemed more important 
work to be completely rewritten and published in 1899 for the benefit of the 
Doukhabors, and latterly " What is Religion and what is Its Essence," published 
in February 1902. The illustrations reproduced from "" Resurrection " on 
pages 19, 29, and 94 are from the remarkable drawings by Pasternak. Concern- 
ing these pictures there is an interesting note. in the preface of the French 
edition of the novel from which it may be gathered that the drawings 
tallied very closely with Tolstoy's own conception of the appearance of his 
characters. It was the artist's usual custom to submit each design on its 
completion to the eminent novelist for his opinion. Invariably Tolstoy 
showed his approval of the clever realisation of his ideas. But when it came 
to the sketch of Prince Nekhludov, Tolstoy went so far as to enquire of 
M. Pasternak whether he was acquainted with the person who had served him 
as a model. At this the artist showed extreme surprise he had not even 
been aware that the character was copied from an original. 



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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY