wheth  se and an eccentric—●if one may er my the subject of woollen underclothBRADLEY
SEPTEMBER 6th, 2013



secret worship. ▓ We turned in at last between two stone pil▓lars at the park of Yasnaya Polyana.Below, besi●de the frozen pond, we saw a youthful▓ figure advancing with the light step o▓f an officer surrounded by a pack of baying ▓and leaping dogs.Yet, if my eyes did not deceiv●e me, a gray beard flowed over the breast of ▓this slender, boyish figure.He stoppe●d, shaded his eyes with his hand, an●d looked towards our sleigh.Then he tu▓rned back.It was he. We had h▓ardly reached the house and been[Pg 28●9] unwrapped from our furs and overshoes by ●the servants, when the door of the low v●estibule opened, and there, in muzhik s▓mock and fur, high boots and tall fur cap,● as we knew him from a thousand pictures, Leo T●olsto stood before us and held out a friendl●y hand. While he, motioning away the se●rvants, pulled off his knee-high felt ov▓ershoes, I had opportunity to ●look at him.That is to say, my▓ eyes at first were held by the▓ head alone, with its softly curling ●gray hair, which flows, parted, to the neck.T▓hick, bushy, gray brows


shade th●e deep-set, blue eyes and sharply de●fine an angular, self-willed▓ forehead.The nose is strong, slender above, br●oad and finely modelled in the▓ nostrils.The long, gray mustache complete▓ly covers the mobile mouth.A waving white▓ beard, parted in the middle,● flows from the hoary cheeks to the shoulder▓s.The head is not broad—rather, it might be c●alled narrow—wholly unslavonic, an▓d is well poised.The broad, strongly buil▓t shoulders have a military erectness.The powe●rful body is set on slender h●ips.A narrow foot is hidden in▓ the high Russian boot and mov▓es elastically.The step and carr●iage are youthful.An irony of fate will▓ have it that the bitterest foe of m▓ilitarism betrays in his whole ap▓pearance the former officer.The man ●in the peasant's dress is in every movement ▓the grand seigneur. We were still s▓tanding in the vestibule, which se●rves also as a cloak-room.T●he count thrust both[Pg 290] han▓ds in his belt—well-shaped, powerful h▓ands—and asked in faultless German my pl


a▓n for the day.I felt the gen▓tle eyes on my face as he spoke.The● look is beaming and kindly.One is no▓t pierced, only illuminated.Yet one f▓eels distinctly that nothing is hidden fr●om those quiet, kindly eyes.I answ●ered that I should return to Mo▓scow at midnight, and until ▓then would under no consideration disturb h▓im in his work.He told me, the●reupon, to send back my sleigh, si●nce he would have us driven at night to the ●station in his own.He would h▓ave no refusal to our eating breakfast before w●e withdrew to the room assigned us.T▓he countess, he said, was in Moscow at the t●ime, but the youngest daughter would soon retur●n from the village school, where she taug●ht.He would leave her to entertain us until▓ luncheon.I should say here t●hat my wife accompanied me on this wint●ry journey, as on the whole journey of


in●vestigation.Tolsto himself would keep● to his usual programme—would loo●k over his mail, write a promised a▓rticle, rest a little in the aftern●oon, then ride, and from dinner—that i●s, from six o'clock—until midnight▓ would be at my disposal.Then ●he led us to a large room on the first floor.▓Here stood a long table, which re▓mains spread all day.Tea and eggs were b●rought.Before withdrawing, however, the● count sat with us awhile, asked with the tact● of a man of the world about personal matters 癃the number of our children and how they w●ere cared for in our absence,[Pg 291] and the▓ friends in Moscow who had introduced us to▓ him—all in a low, musical voice which banish●ed all embarrassment.Then he ros●e with a slight bow and walked to his room.At t▓he door, however, he turned and came ba▓ck to ask



whether we brought any news● of the war.It was just in the▓ pause after the first catastro●phe at Port Arthur.We were obliged, th●erefore, to say no.Then the servant appea▓red and led us back to the g●round floor, where we were s●hown into two connecting rooms.We ●had time to record our first impress▓ions. The worst was over.▓ There was no fear of disillusion.Tha●t was gone like a cloud of smok●e.The infinite kindliness of his eyes, ●the gentleness of his hand-shake, the b▓eaut


y of the silvery head exer▓t a fascination.There can be no doubt ▓of his complete sincerity.The mind is fi▓lled with an entirely new fee●ling, that of astonishment at the unp●retentious peacefulness of this fighter, w●ho, from the stern seriousness o●f his latest writings, and from his c●urrent portraits, might be taken for a phi▓losophizing pessimist.Whatever titanic thou▓ghts may work in this head, which looks like▓ one of Michael Angelo's, all that is visibl●e is a glow of serene and holy peace, which g▓ently relaxes the tension of ▓our



own souls also.The ever-di▓sturbing thought that we might find in the● count a reclu


use such profane expressions in conn▓ection with this illustrious man 癃a fanatic on



i▓ng and a return to[Pg 292] nature in foo▓ds, was set at rest from the first moment of▓ meeting.The count is no eccentric, but a po▓lished man in spite of the convenient dre●ss of the muzhik.The peasant ●dress is simply the one that ha▓s proved best for his intercourse with the● country people.Moreover, there is a noticeab▓le difference between the well-cut and well▓-fitting coat of Tolsto and that of the ragged ●peasant.I must confess that the setting at res▓t of even this little misgiv●ing was of value to me.For, as people are i▓n this world, they will not take e●ven a saint seriously if he w●raps himself in external eccentricities—if he h●as not good taste.Leo Tolsto de▓cidedly has good taste.Only he is great enough ●and strong enough not to sub▓mit to the tyranny of fashion●.I should like, however, to see th▓e man who felt the least sugges▓tion of worldly superiority in talking● with him.Truly the count is not ●the man whom any fop in the consciousness of▓ his English tailor would presume to patronize●.Perhaps, unconsciously to himself, and certa●inly against his will, it is u▓nmistakably to be seen in him that he onc●e had the idea of being comme il faut, as he t●ells in his Childhood and Yout


h▓.However insignificant this circumstance may b▓e in the worldwide fame of L●eo Tolsto, it must be mentioned, simply b▓ecause the legend of the muzhik's smo●ck may too easily create an entirely▓ false impression of the personality of the● poet.In spite of all the kindly simplicity o▓f his bearing, no one can fo●r a[Pg 293] moment escape the impr▓ession that here speaks a disting▓uished man in every sense of the term▓. The rooms allotted to us were parts of hi▓s large library.On a shelf I found t▓he carefully kept catalogue of the● fourteen cases, with each book on a separate sl▓ip.A glance through one of the glass doors▓ showed me English, French, German, and Russia▓n books; my eye even fell on a D●anish grammar.There stood side by side a work ●on Leonardo da Vinci, Bjrnson's über ●unsere Kraft, Marcel Prévos●t's Vierges Fortes, Jules Ver●ne's Journey to the Centre of the ▓Earth, Spinoza, Renan, a book of travel▓ by Vámbéry, a book of entomology, Buff▓on—the most different sorts ▓of books, and obviously much used.T▓he count is able to accomplis?/p>



坔 such an achievement in reading only by a ▓careful division of the day, not to say a ▓military exactness and thoroughne▓ss, pushed perhaps to pedant▓ry, in all his doings.Later, in ▓speaking with me, he used the familiar phrase, ▓Genius is eternal patience.He has this ●patience.It is well known how he works 癃that he has his first conception copied ▓on the type-writer, then corrected,● then copied again, and so on until th●e work satisfies him.On the day of ▓my visit this man of seventy-five took an ea▓rly morning wal


k of an hour and a ●half, looked over his large mail, w▓rote an English article upon the▓ war, rode two full hours in the afternoon wi▓th the thermometer at six, worked again, and● remained in almost uninterrupted conversatio▓n with us from six[Pg 294] o'clock un●til midnight.He spoke German most ●of the time, rarely French.At the end ▓of the exceedingly intense conversation he was j▓ust as youthfully elastic as at the▓ beginning; indeed, in the late night hours his ●eyes first began to glow with a light of inspir●ation which no one who has once seen it can eve●r forget.In addition to the great thorou▓ghness of all his action and the strict divisi▓on of the day, a vital ene

rgy which must be ca▓lled truly phenomenal is also most ●essentially characteristic of his persona▓lity.Leo Tolsto is a giant in p▓sychical and intellectual streng●th, as he must once have been● in physical strength also.It is not purely ac●cidental that the two heroes in whom he has▓ pictured himself most unmistakably—P●eter, in War and Peace, and Levin, in Anna Kar▓enina—are large, strong men of un●usual productive capacity. XXI▓X A VISIT TO TOLSTO—CONTINUED It was not y▓et noon

when the door opened and ●a supple, laughing creature burst in li●ke a whirlwind and ran up the stairs, ▓filling the house with music.Soon▓ afterwards the servant summon▓ed us to luncheon.When we went up-stairs the l▓aughing singer with the voice like a silver ●bell met us at the door of the dinin▓g-room.It was the Countess Alexandr▓a Lvovna, or, as she is known in the ho●use, Sasha, a b

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▓her.[Pg 296] His health the precedin▓g year had been very weak from attacks of mala▓ria and typhus, and even now the family were ●constantly anxious about him.F▓or he does not spare himself in th▓e least, and will not take hi●s advanced years into consideration at all.● For twen

ty years he has not eaten a mo●rsel of meat.What appeared to be cut▓lets, which I saw him eat late▓r, were made of baked rice.I cautiously le▓d the conversation to a former inmate of the h▓ouse, who, in an indiscreet book u▓pon the family of

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