UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A consideration of the influence of certain women on Leo Tolstoy Kournossoff, Michael V. 1961

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A CONSIDERATION OF THE INFLUENCE OF CERTAIN WOMEN ON LEO TOLSTOY  by  MICHAEL V. KOURNOSSOFF B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia,  I960.  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF SLAVONIC STUDIES  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d standard  THE  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1961.  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s ' t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of  the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the  University  o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make it  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and  agree t h a t ' p e r m i s s i o n  f o r extensive  f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may  study.  I  further  c o p y i n g of t h i s t h e s i s  be g r a n t e d by.the Head o f  Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  my  I t i s understood  t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n , o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not  be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n  Department o f  Slavonic studios  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver Canada.  permission.  ii  THE  It  ARGUMENT  i s t h e purpose o f t h i s t h e s i s t o t r a c e the i n f l u e n c e  on the development o f T o l s t o y as a l i t e r a r y g e n i u s o f s e v e r a l women w i t h whom he came i n c l o s e c o n t a c t d u r i n g h i s long The the old.  first  woman c o n s i d e r e d  life.  i s Countess Mary T o l s t o y ,  s a i n t l y mother who d i e d when h e r son was l e s s than two y e a r s A l l t h a t he knew o f her, he l e a r n e d i n d i r e c t l y from h e r  l e t t e r s and d i a r y , from o l d s e r v a n t s ,  f r i e n d s , and r e l a t i v e s , and  more e s p e c i a l l y from "Aunt*' Tatyana Y e r g o l s k a y a . i n f l u e n c e was so g r e a t ,  However, h e r  i n s p i t e o f the f a c t t h a t he never remem- .  bered her p e r s o n a l l y , t h a t she must occupy a prominent p l a c e i n t h i s work.  She became f o r h e r famous son an i d e a l , a seeker f o r  t r u t h , a mother-image and a standard  o f s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g woman-  hood a g a i n s t which, throughout h i s l i f e and f e l l  a l l women were measured  short. Another woman whose i n f l u e n c e on T o l s t o y was somewhat  i n d i r e c t was h i s "Aunt" A l e x a n d r a A n d r e i e v n a T o l s t o y , t o whom he wrote and i n whom he c o n f i d e d from h i s e a r l y manhood t i l l h e r death i n 1903,  but whom he r a r e l y met.  H i s correspondence w i t h  her has been used i n t h i s t h e s i s . The  woman who had the most d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e on T o l s t o y  d u r i n g h i s e a r l y formative  y e a r s was Tatyana Y e r g o l s k a y a .  she who n o t only kept always b e f o r e  hinfc the image o f h i s  I t was saintly  iii mother, b u t who h e r s e l f became i t s r e f l e c t i o n .  I t was she who  c r e a t e d the warm n e s t , p r o t e c t i n g him from t h e c o l d r e a l i t i e s o f life  and making h i s f u t u r e adjustment so d i f f i c u l t ; who through,  h e r l o v i n g s e l f - s a c r i f i c e developed h i s egoism; and who f i r s t i n s p i r e d him t o w r i t e . Amongst the women w i t h whom T o l s t o y f e l l Arseniev him  h e l d a unique p o s i t i o n .  i n love, V a l e r i a  I t was n o t t h a t she i n f l u e n c e d  d i r e c t l y , but i n d i r e c t l y she c o n t r i b u t e d t o h i s development,  i n t h a t d u r i n g h i s c o u r t s h i p , w h i l e weighing the a d v i s a b i l i t y o f marriage, T o l s t o y c r y s t a l i z e d h i s i d e a s of what a w i f e and what r o l e she should p l a y  i nhis l i f e .  of h i s i d e a l o f womanhood and h i s conception  should be,  Valeria f e l l  short  o f a help-mate.  He  searched elsewhere. The his up  greatest  w i f e , Sophia.  i n f l u e n c e on h i s genius was undoubtedly  Having found the woman who, he f e l t , measured  as c l o s e l y as p o s s i b l e t o h i s requirements of a s e l f - s a c r i f -  i c i n g worker, an i n t e l l e c t u a l companion and l i t e r a r y h e l p e r , l o y a l , dedicated 1877  l o v i n g mother, he m a r r i e d i n h a s t e .  Sophia's i n f l u e n c e was paramount.  a  Prom 1862-  B e l i e v i n g i n her mission,  to.be nurse t o h i s genius, she c r e a t e d the atmosphere conducive to h i s w r i t i n g ; she gave him t h e s t a b l e home l i f e w i t h a l a r g e f a m i l y t h a t he wanted and needed as anchor; she encouraged him to w r i t e by h e r u n f l a g g i n g b e l i e f i n h i s t a l e n t and h e r a d r o i t use  o f f l a t t e r y , c a j o l e r y , and g e n t l e prodding; she made i t p o s s i b l e  iv for  him t o devote a l l h i s powers t o p u r e l y c r e a t i v e work by t i r e -  l e s s l y t r a n s c r i b i n g and i n t e l l i g e n t l y c r i t i c i z i n g h i s work; and she ; cared f o r h i s p h y s i c a l and m e n t a l w e l l b e i n g by t a k i n g o f f h i s shoulders, to  as f a r as she was a b l e , the weight o f mundane m a t t e r s  do w i t h f a m i l y , e s t a t e , b u s i n e s s ,  she f e l l  s h o r t o f the mother-image.  and the seeker transcended  and p u b l i s h i n g . In l a t e r l i f e  the c r e a t i v e a r t i s t .  the m o r a l i s t  Here, Sophia  would not, and indeed c o u l d n o t , f o l l o w h e r husband. not see the god f o r the f e e t o f c l a y .  But even  With h i s l a s t  She c o u l d artistic  work, R e s u r r e c t i o n , h e r i n f l u e n c e ceased and her work ended.  She  who had been h i s help-mate i n h i s l i t e r a r y work became h i s c r o s s i n h i s moral l a b o u r . T o l s t o y owed a tremendous debt t o the women who had i n f l u e n c e d h i s l i f e , b u t f o r once, the s e e r was b l i n d —  he c o u l d  not  see the f o r e s t f o r the t r e e s .  his  o p i n i o n of women had been f a l l i n g f o r seventy y e a r s —  enigmatic fell  A t seventy-one he s a i d t h a t  statement can be e x p l a i n e d .  s h o r t of h i s i d e a l mother-image.  Each woman i n h i s  this life  Y  CONTENTS.  Page  Chapter I  Countess Mary Tolstoy  The i d e a l mother-image  1  Chapter II  Tatyana Yergolskaya:  The r e f l e c t i o n of the mother-image  36  The formative influence on the man and the miter Chapter I I I V a l e r i a Arseniev  The ideal that f a i l e d to 46 materialize ,  Chapter TV  Sophia Behrs  The ideal choice  67  Chapter V  Sophia Tolstoy  The re strainer of the  102  rebel The nurse of genius Chapter VI  Sophia Tolstoy  •;—  The rebel's cross  120  I  CHAPTER  I  On t h e o c c a s i o n o f the marriage t o M i c h a e l Sukhotin o f Tatyana, t h e e l d e s t daughter Nov.  o f Leo T o l s t o y , he wrote i n h i s d i a r y ,  14, 1899: Tanya has gone o f f w i t h Sukhotin, and why? I t i s sad and o f f e n s i v e . F o r seventy y e a r s I have been l o w e r i n g and l o w e r i n g my o p i n i o n o f women and s t i l l have t o lower i t more. The woman q u e s t i o n ! How can t h e r e n o t he a women question? But i t b e a r s no r e l a t i o n t o the f a c t t h a t women should b e g i n t o d i r e c t l i f e , b u t t o the f a c t t h a t they should stop ruining i t . 1  One might a s c r i b e t h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y o u t b u r s t o f T o l s t o y ' s to  a p a s s i n g b i t t e r n e s s generated by a combination o f p a r e n t a l  j e a l o u s y and g r i e f a t l o s i n g , n o t o n l y a daughter but a f a i t h f u l s e c r e t a r y , 2 and even t o some extent a d i s c i p l e .  But t h a t t h i s was  not e n t i r e l y the reason can be gathered from a c o n v e r s a t i o n about women t h a t T o l s t o y . h a d w i t h V . I . A l e x e i e v who r e p o r t e d i t i n h i s Reminiscences:  1 She was the most feminine o f a l l T o l s t o y ' s daughters and from her e a r l y youth had dreamt o f marriage and prepared h e r s e l f f o r motherhood. She r e c o u n t s i n h e r memoirs how she d a i l y , as an a d o l e s c e n t , bathed h e r b r e a s t s i n c o l d water t o prepare h e r s e l f f o r the arduous t a s k o f f e e d i n g a l a r g e f a m i l y . T i l l t h e age o f 35 she had devoted h e r l i f e almost e x c l u s i v e l y t o the s e r v i c e o f h e r f a t h e r . A f t e r Sophia r e f u s e d t o t r a n s c r i b e T o l s t o y ' s nonl i t e r a r y works, Tatyana took on the d i f f i c u l t work. No l o n g e r able t o sublimate h e r m a t e r n a l i n s t i n c t s she f e l l almost morbidly i n l o v e w i t h M i c h a e l Sukhotin, a widower, w i t h a growing f a m i l y of s i x , and a n o t o r i o u s l i b e r t i n e . 2 T h i s work was v e r y important t o T o l s t o y because o f h i s i l l e g i b l e s c r i b b l e s , o f t e n d e v o i d o f p u n c t u a t i o n which only a few people could decipher.  2  M a r r i e d women a r e w o r t h y o f r e s p e c t ; as f a r a s u n m a r r i e d women a r e c o n c e r n e d t h e y a r e n o t w o r t h y o f r e c e i v i n g e q u a l r i g h t s w i t h men b e c a u s e t h e y a r e w e a k e r a n d i n g e n e r a l l e s s d e v e l o p e d — more s t u p i d t h a n men a n d t h e i r m i s s i o n i n l i f e i s t o t e m p t m a n , and t h e n he a d d e d he was i n c o m p l e t e a g r e e m e n t w i t h S c h o p e n h a u e r who c o m p a r e d women t o a p a p e r b a g f i l l e d with a i r which i s i n t e r e s t i n g only u n t i l i t bursts with a loud report. A f t e r w a r d s i t no l o n g e r i n s p i r e s any i n t e r e s t f o r i t now i s n o t h i n g b u t a b i t o f t o r n paper. 3  When A l e x e i e v  4  indignantly protested,  Tolstoy  added,  L i s t e n i n g t o y o u one m i g h t t h i n k t h a t woman i s a c r e a t i o n t h a t r e s e m b l e s a human b e i n g t o s u c h an e x t e n t t h a t a t t i m e s one may make a m i s t a k e a n d a c t u a l l y t a k e h e r f o r one .5  3  V.I. USSR.  Alexeiev,  T o l s t o y a h ; . C h r o n i c l e s , S t a t e L i b r a r y Museum,  P.354-561.  4  A l e x e i e v spent f o u r y e a r s as t u t o r ( 1 8 7 7 - 8 1 ) a t Y a s n a y a P o l y a n a . He was one o f t h e m o s t c h a r m i n g p e r s o n a l i t i e s amongst t h o s e c l o s e to Tolstoy. Son o f a w e l l - t o - d o P s k o v l a n d o w n e r , h e , a f t e r g r a d u a t i n g b r i l l i a n t l y from the University of St.Petersburg a n d h a v i n g come u n d e r t h e i n f l u e n c e o f P r o u d h o n , s e t s a i l f o r A m e r i c a w i t h some i n t e l l e c t u a l s w i t h s i m i l a r v i e w s , a n d e s t a b l i s h e d an a g r i c u l t u r a l Commune i n K a n s a s . I n h i s m e m o i r s he t r u t h f u l l y a n a l y z e s the reasons f o r i t s f a i l u r e . He r e t u r n e d t o R u s s i a b u t was d i s owned b y h i s f a t h e r a n d s u f f e r e d g r e a t h a r d s h i p s u n t i l he o b t a i n e d the p o s i t i o n of t u t o r at Yasnaya Polyana. D i s l i k i n g l u x u r y , cerem o n y , a n d b e i n g w a i t e d o n b y s e r v a n t s , he l i v e d i n a p e a s a n t h u t . He e x e r c i s e d a t r e m e n d o u s s p i r i t u a l a n d m o r a l i n f l u e n c e o n T o l s t o y and c o n t r i b u t e d t o h i s m e n t a l and s p i r i t u a l d e v e l o p m e n t . Sophia s e n s e d h i s i n f l u e n c e , and f e a r e d h i s i d e a s c o n c e r n i n g p r i v a t e property. She f e l t he m i g h t , t h r o u g h h i s s p i r i t u a l i n f l u e n c e , d i s t r a c t T o l s t o y from h i s a r t i s t i c l i t e r a r y work. E v e n t u a l l y she succeeded i n g e t t i n g h i m removed from Y a s n a y a P o l y a n a b u t n o t b e f o r e he h a d made a d e e p a n d p e r m a n e n t i m p r e s s i o n o n T o l s t o y . 5  Loc.  cit.  3  1  T o l s t o y ' s a t t i t u d e t o women i s summarized by Maxim G o r k i , " I f e e l he i s f i l l e d w i t h an implacable h o s t i l i t y t o women." The f a c t t h a t T o l s t o y was p a t h o l o g i c a l l y a n t i p a t h e t i c t o women can be seen from h i s a t t i t u d e as r e v e a l e d i n The Power o f Darkness, K r e u t z e r Sonata,  and more e s p e c i a l l y , The D e v i l , and even though  t o a l e s s e r extent i n Anna K a r e n i n a . In Anna K a r e n i n a i t i s , fundamentally, Anna who has r u i n e d Vronsky's l i f e ;  i t i s s h e who has o u t r a g e d  God b y b e i n g  unfaithful  t o h e r husband and abandoning h e r c h i l d ; i t i s she who pays t h e f i n a l p e n a l t y --"Vengeance i s mine, I w i l l repay."  The r e a d e r can-  not escape the f e e l i n g t h a t T o l s t o y a l s o condemns h e r .  In Kreutzer  Sonata, Posnikov's d e t e s t a t i o n f o r h i s w i f e as a woman, i s most obvious.  I n The D e v i l , a posthumous a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l s t o r y  on h i s l a s t i l l i c i t p r e - m a r i t a l l o v e a f f a i r  6  based  and h i s s u c c e s s f u l l y  r e s i s t e d p o s t - m a r i t a l temptation t o s t a r t an a f f a i r w i t h Domna,''' i n 1881,  t h e f a u l t i s n o t t h a t the l a s c i v i o u s s q u i r e takes  advant-  age o f h i s p o s i t i o n o f power t o s a t i s f y h i s s e x u a l a p p e t i t e s b u t w i t h the s e d u c t i v e q u a l i t i e s o f the women.  Tolstoy's a r t i s t r y  b e f u d d l e s the r e a d e r t o such an extent t h a t h i s sympathies a r e t u r n e d t o the h a p l e s s squire who i s the v i c t i m o f t h i s  "diabolical"  s e d u c t i v e power.  6 An a f f a i r w i t h a Yasnaya P o l y a n a s e r f - g i r l , A k s i n i a , by whom he had a c h i l d , and whose husband was i n the army. 7  A cook i n the s e r v a n t s ' k i t c h e n a t Yasnaya Polyana, whose husband was away i n t h e army. So g r e a t was T o l s t o y ' s temptation t h a t he appealed t o V . I . A l e x e i e v t o accompany him on a l l h i s walks so as to h e l p him r e s i s t t h i s p a s s i o n a t e urge.  The  reason f o r T o l s t o y ' s a t t i t u d e t o women i s e x t r a -  o r d i n a r i l y i n t e r e s t i n g and opens up a r e l a t i v e l y unexplored avenue t o one of t h e aspects o f t h a t complex f i g u r e , T o l s t o y . I t i s also paradoxical.  Any c a r e f u l student  cannot f a i l t o r e a l i z e t h a t women had a.great  of Tolstoy's  life  i n f l u e n c e on h i s  development, both as a w r i t e r , and educator, and a m o r a l i s t ; i n f a c t , they p l a y e d  a d e c i s i v e r o l e i n h i s development.  I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t i n War and Peace, and Anna K a r e n i n a and even i n R e s u r r e c t i o n T o l s t o y shows h i m s e l f t o be a master i n d e p i c t i n g female c h a r a c t e r s .  I n War and Peace, h i s  g e n i u s has c r e a t e d such memorably d i v e r s e c h a r a c t e r s as P r i n c e s s Mary, Natasha, Sonya —  he p e n e t r a t e d  i n t o t h e i r innermost  souls  and brought them l i v i n g b e f o r e the r e a d e r . Strangely ual  enough, p o s s i b l y the g r e a t e s t moral and s p i r i t -  i n f l u e n c e e x e r c i s e d on T o l s t o y was t h a t o f h i s mother who d i e d ,  when T o l s t o y was t o o young t o remember h e r . l i e s the s t r e n g t h o f h e r i n f l u e n c e . a reality — was  Therein, p o s s i b l y ,  She was a legend  r a t h e r than  an a b s t r a c t i o n f o r t h e s e n s i t i v e c h i l d o f a l l t h a t  good, pure, and worthwile.  T o l s t o y h i m s e l f , seemed t o r e a l i z e  the importance o f the f a c t t h a t he c o u l d n o t remember her. Reminiscences o f Childhood  In his  w r i t t e n i n 1903-06 he w r i t e s :  My mother I do n o t remember at a l l . F o r I was only one-and-a-half y e a r s o l d when she d i e d . By a strange q u i r k o f f a t e t h e r e remains n o t a s i n g l e p o r t r a i t o f  \  5  her;° so t h a t I cannot t h i n k of her as a r e a l p h y s i c a l being. I am somewhat g l a d of t h i s f o r i n my i m a g i n a t i o n s u r v i v e s only her s p i r i t u a l i t y and e v e r y t h i n g t h a t I know o f h e r i s b e a u t i f u l , and I t h i n k , not only because a l l those who spoke to me of my mother t r i e d t o say n o t h i n g but good of her but because, i n r e a l i t y , there was much o f her t h a t was good ... But her most p r e c i o u s q u a l i t y -- was t h a t , a c c o r d i n g t o the s e r v a n t s , she, although v e r y hot tempered, could always c o n t r o l herself. She would become r e d i n the f a c e , even b u r s t i n t o ^ t e a r s — her maid t o l d me — but would never say a harsh word. She d i d n ' t know one.^ F o r t u n a t e l y , some o f her e a r l y w r i t i n g s s u r v i v e — d i a r y o f a t r i p which she made w i t h her f a t h e r to i n 1810;  a special diary called,  her  St.Petersburg  D i a r y o f the Conduct of L i t t l e  N i c h o l a s , which r e c o r d s h e r attempts t o put i n t o p r a c t i c e some of h e r advanced i d e a s on the upbringing of c h i l d r e n ; ^ and  her  8  There i s extant, a q u a i n t l i t t l e s i l h o u e t t e of h e r . Underneath i s w r i t t e n i n T o l s t o y ' s handwriting, " My Mother — Leo Tolstoy." 9 C o l l e c t e d Works of T o l s t o y , e d i t e d by P.E. Bir#ukov, Moscow, I.D. Syitin 1913, Vol.I,p.226. H e r e i n a f t e r r e f e r r e d t o as C o l l e c t e d Works. 10 Mary had g i v e n a good d e a l o f thought to education and i n her D i a r y J u l y 11, 1810, she wrote about a c o n v e r s a t i o n she had had about e d u c a t i o n a l t h e o r i e s , "Although t h e r e are many books w r i t t e n on the s u b j e c t of education those who want t o f o l l o w l i t e r a l l y any one o f these p l a n s are mistaken. Only p r a c t i c a l experience can be the t r u e guide. Every c h i l d needs i t s own p l a n . " ( S . T o l s t o y mother and Grandfather of L . T o l s t o y . F e d e r a t s y a Moscow 1928 p.90-91) I t i s c u r i o u s to note t h a t T o l s t o y ' s r e v o l u t i o n a r y e d u c a t i o n a l t h e o r y was p r i m a r i l y based on these premises and t h a t the c h i l d must be the guide o f the t e a c h e r and i t s i n c l i n a t i o n s must decide what i s t o be s t u d i e d . The o b j e c t o f Mary's D i a r y of the Conduct of L i t t l e N i c h o l a s was corrective. She entered e v e r y t h i n g he d i d t h a t was praiseworthy but a l s o h i s misdemeanours but,before t h e l a t t e r were entered,the c h i l d had t o understand i n what way he had misbehaved and agree to h i s i l l conduct b e i n g r e c o r d e d . An e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y modern approach t o c o r r e c t i v e punishment.  6 correspondence w i t h her husband and wrote about her t r i p , when she was  in-laws*  1  The  diary that  twenty, p r o v i d e s  the most  m a t e r i a l f o r the study o f t h i s most i n t e r e s t i n g woman. Mary spent s i x weeks i n the c a p i t a l t h e r e ence to any  i s not  Medea performed.  Her  she valuable  Although  a single  s o c i a l entertainment, except f o r seeing  ,  refer-  Conneille's  s i x weeks " h o l i d a y " seem to have been prim-  a r i l y devoted t o i n t e l l e c t u a l improvement.  She  read  carefully  a h i s t o r i c a l d i c t i o n a r y , v i s i t e d a r t g a l l e r i e s , museums, observatories,  and even s e v e r a l f a c t o r i e s .  made i n t e l l i g e n t comments. u a l l y reached T o l s t o y . and  Gn  the  she  These w r i t i n g s o f h i s mother event-  These, i n a d d i t i o n to s t o r i e s by  servants h e l p e d to r e - c r e a t e her.  T o l s t o y was  a l l these t h i n g s  What p a r t i c u l a r l y  relatives struck  s i m p l i c i t y and t r u t h f u l n e s s of her l e t t e r s espec-  i a l l y those to h e r husband.  L e t t e r s of t h a t p e r i o d were o f t e n  fulsome i n sentiment and t h i s tendency i s seen i n h i s f a t h e r ' s letters.  T o l s t o y , the  seer, sensed the i n s i n c e r i t y i n c o n t r a s t  to the d i r e c t t r u t h f u l r e p l i e s w r i t t e n by Mary. h e r husband simply l e t t e r to w r i t e : t r u t h f u l , we  as "mon  bon  ami"  addresses  and does not h e s i t a t e i n  "Time drags slowly without you,  do not  She  one  although, to  enjoy much o f your company when you  are  be  here."  E a r l i e r i n h i s l i f e , T o l s t o y noted h i s mother's q u a l i t i e s of s i m p l i c i t y and t r u t h f u l n e s s , t h a t he  so much admired,  11 As some of her l e t t e r s are w r i t t e n j o i n t l y w i t h other members of the T o l s t o y f a m i l y one i s s t r u c k by the s u p e r i o r i t y , beauty and e s p e c i a l l y the s i m p l i c i t y o f her Russian compared w i t h t h a t of the other members of her husband's f a m i l y . Her mother-in-law appears to be almost i l l i t e r a t e . 12 C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 1 , p.257.  1 2  re-created died.  in Ms  e l d e r b r o t h e r N i c h o l a s , who  was  s i x when Mary-  More t h a t any o f the o t h e r c h i l d r e n he resembled her  c a l l y and  physi-  spiritually. They b o t h possessed a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which I sensed i n my mother's l e t t e r s but which I a c t u a l l y knew i n my b r o t h e r , t h a t i s , complete i n d i f f e r e n c e to the o p i n i o n s of o t h e r s and modesty t h a t sometimes compelled them to h i d e t h e i r mental, i n t e l l e c t u a l , and m o r a l s u p e r i o r i t y over o t h e r s . They seemed a c t u a l l y ashamed of t h i s s u p e r i o r i t y . 1 3  T o l s t o y goes on t o say t h a t Turgeniev noted very i t y i n Nicholas.  "He  early t h i s qual-  l a c k s d e f e c t s o f c h a r a c t e r which are neces-  sary t o the makeup of a g r e a t w r i t e r . "  1 4  To f u r t h e r i l l u s t r a t e  t h i s q u a l i t y i n both h i s mother and N i c h o l a s much, T o l s t o y uses the  t h a t he  admires so  s t o r y of a s a i n t :  I t i s a s h o r t v i t a of a monk who as was w e l l known t o the e n t i r e brotherhood, had many s h o r t comings. But, i n s p i t e of these, the E l d e r o f the monastery saw him, i n a dream, amongst the s a i n t s . The amazed E l d e r asked, "What enabled t h i s imperfe c t monk t o r e c e i v e such a reward?" The answer came, "He never judged anyone." I f such rewards e x i s t I b e l i e v e b o t h my mother and my b r o t h e r have r e c e i v e d them. ** 1  To what extent T o l s t o y was mother can be  moved by the  s p i r i t u a l v i s i o n of h i s  seen from the f o l l o w i n g :  She appeared to me as such an e x a l t e d , pure, s p i r i t u a l b e i n g t h a t o f t e n d u r i n g the middle p e r i o d o f my l i f e , d u r i n g the s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t  13 14  C o l l e c t e d Works, Vol.1,p.257. loc.cit.  15  ibid,  257.  8  temptation t h a t b e s e t me, I prayed t o h e r s o u l begging h e r f o r h e l p . T h i s p r a y e r always h e l p e d me.  16  But what i s a c t u a l l y known about t h i s woman t o whose s o u l T o l s t o y f e l t he c o u l d pray? Nicholas  She was the daughter o f P r i n c e  S e r g e i e v i t c h Volkonsky whose f a m i l y t r a c e d i t s p e d i g r e e  t o the martyr P r i n c e S t . M i c h a e l  of Chernigov.  I n Holy  1 7  Russia  of t h a t p e r i o d t h i s was most s i g n i f i c a n t , f o r the martyr's crown was  the h i g h e s t honor.  I t i s c e r t a i n that a l l the servants at  Yasnaya Polyana knew o f t h i s s a i n t l y ancestor so much the more.  S e r g e i T o l s t o y remembers the i c o n o f S t . M i c h a e l  hanging a t Yasnaya P o l y a n a . But  and v e n e r a t e d Mary  1 8  God scourges those whom he l o v e s  and indeed i t i s  h a r d t o imagine a l e s s happy l i f e than t h a t o f Mary Volkonsky. Little  i s known about h e r mother, C a t h e r i n e  except t h a t she m a r r i e d u n u s u a l l y  Trubetskoi  late i nl i f e .  1749-92,  In f a c t her late  marriage was most e x t r a o r d i n a r y , f o r a t t h a t p e r i o d , i t was u s u a l f o r g i r l s t o marry between t h e age o f 16 and 18 and any g i r l unm a r r i e d by 21 was c o n s i d e r e d  a confirmed o l d maid.  Unfortunately  the few d e t a i l s t h a t T o l s t o y g i v e s i n h i s Reminiscences are q u i t e incorrect.  He t e l l s us h i s g r a n d f a t h e r  married a f t e r returning  from m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e d u r i n g the r e i g n of P a u l I .  B u t the f a c t s  16 Loc. c i t . St.Michael went t o t h e Golden Horde and was ordered t o pass between the p u r i f y i n g f i r e s i n a pagan r i t e . Rather than compromise h i s C h r i s t i a n f a i t h he r e f u s e d and d i e d the death of a martyr. 18 There was a l s o hanging at Yasnaya P o l y a n a a woodcut o f t h e f a m i l y t r e e showing the f a m i l y s p r i n g i n g from the m a r t y r . T o l s t o y r e f e r s t o t h i s i n War and Peace, and S e r g e i T o l s t o y , i n h i s book Mother and Grandfather o f T.eo T o l s t o y , p.7. 1  7  I*  9  are t h a t he r e t i r e d i n 1799, two  years before  f a t h e r was  37  a l l y , he was had  and h i s daughter was  h i s wife died.  According  horn i n  1790,  to T o l s t o y , h i s grand-  and h i s grandmother 41 when they were m a r r i e d . 26  and h i s b r i d e 30.  B e l i e v i n g that his  grandfather  r e t i r e d b e f o r e marriage, T o l s t o y assumed t h a t h i s mother  brought up from h e r e a r l i e s t y e a r s under the d i r e c t of h i s grandfather, but  i n r e a l i t y he was  s e r v i c e u n t i l the l i t t l e g i r l was looked  a f t e r h e r f o r the  Actu-  was  supervision  away from home on a c t i v e  9 and n o t h i n g  i s known as t o  seven y e a r s a f t e r her mother's death  who till  h e r f a t h e r ' s r e t u r n home. T o l s t o y most a s s i d u o u s l y mother not  only from s e r v a n t s  been w i t h her when she was  9  who  had  a l s o from a c o u s i n  spent much o f her l i f e  at  r e t a i n e d u n t i l her o l d age e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y  v i v i d r e c o l l e c t i o n s of l i f e  t h e r e when Mary was  spent s e v e r a l weeks at B a r b a r a ' s l i t t l e i n c e of T v e r and w r i t e s about  19  about h i s  at Yasnaya Polyana, some of whom had  a s m a l l c h i l d , but  of h e r s , B a r b a r a V o l k o n s k y , ! Yasnaya P o l y a n a and who  sought i n f o r m a t i o n  alive.  Tolstoy  e s t a t e at K l i n i n the prov-  her:  How c l o s e was B a r b a r a Volkonsky t o Mary i s shown by the f a c t t h a t the extant s i l h o u e t t e of Mary o r i g i n a l l y was p a r t of a p a i r framed t o g e t h e r ! The other was t h a t of B a r b a r a , the g i r l s were framed f a c i n g each o t h e r . T o l s t o y ' s f r i e n d s h i p with Barbara Volkonsky throws l i g h t on T o l s t o y ' s methods of a r t i s t i c c r e a t i o n and t o what extent he drew from l i f e , f o r she had a most unusual hobby f o r an u p p e r - c l a s s woman of t h a t p e r i o d .-- wood t u r n i n g on a l a t h e . The a r t i s t i c o b j e c t s t h a t she made she used i n ber home o r gave as g i f t s . T o l s t o y i n War and Peace a s c r i b e s t h i s hobby t o P r i n c e Bolkonsky.  10  s  She embroidered on a frame, looked a f t e r h e r l i t t l e household and t r e a t e d me t o some cabbage, cottage cheese and home-made marmalade, such good simple f a r e can be found o n l y w i t h m i s t r e s s e s o f s m a l l e s t a t e s . She would t a l k o f o l d days, o f my mother and g r a n d f a t h e r and o f the f o u r c o r o n a t i o n s she had attended. I t was a t h e r p l a c e t h a t I wrote my s t o r y , Three Deaths. T h i s stay w i t h h e r remains i n my memory as one o f t h e p u r e s t and b r i g h t e s t r e c o l l e c t i o n s o f my l i f e . 2 0  It  seems t h a t even a s h o r t s t a y w i t h t h i s woman who knew h i s mother  had a b e n e f i c i a l e f f e c t on T o l s t o y .  Not only d i d he, d u r i n g h i s  s t a y , produce one o f h i s a r t i s t i c gems, Three Deaths, b u t he gathered many impressions  l a t e r i n c o r p o r a t e d i n War and Peace. H i s  l a s t remark seems t o be i n d i r e c t c o n t r a d i c t i o n o f h i s b i t t e r t h e o r i e s on t h e i n f l u e n c e o f women. Some o f t h e impressions he r e c e i v e d d u r i n g t h i s he u t i l i z e d i n h i s e a r l y work Childhood.  visit  I t i s impossible t o doubt  t h a t what the o l d nurse, Nat a l i a Savishna, t e l l s so movingly about his  dead, mother i s drawn from  life:  I t was f o r my s i n s t h a t I was allowed t o o u t l i v e her. I t i s H i s holy w i l l . He took h e r t o h i m s e l f because she i s worthy o f i f — He needs k i n d ones t h e r e ... How y o u r l a t e mother l o v e d meI But t o speak t h e t r u t h , was t h e r e anyone she d i d n o t love? Yes, my young master, you must not f o r g e t your mother. She was no o r d i n a r y b e i n g but a heavenly angel.  20 P.Biryukov, Biography o f Leo T o l s t o y , Moscow Posrednik P u b l i s h ing House 1913, V e l . l . P.40. T h i s l a s t sentence was i n s e r t e d i n T o l s t o y ' s own h a n d w r i t i n g i n B i r y o k o v ' s manuscript, whichbe was r e a d i n g about 1904. 21 C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 1 . P.75.  i  11  It  i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t , i n C h i l d h o o d t h e name o f the ;  nurse i s N a t a l i a Savishna and i n War and Peace, she i s c a l l e d  ? —————————5 P r a s k o v i a Savishna but i n b o t h cases she would u s u a l l y be r e f e r r e d to  as merely, S a v i s h n a .  on an o l d housekeeper  B o t h are drawn from l i f e  and are modelled  a t Yasnaya Polyana c a l l e d P r a s k o v i a  Esayevna, h i s mother's former n u r s e . As T o l s t o y says: I have d e s c r i b e d f a i r l y a c c u r a t e l y P r a s k o v i a Esayevna i n C h i l d h o o d (under the name o f N a t a l i a S a v i s h n a ) . A l l t h a t I have w r i t t e n about h e r i s based on a c t u a l f a c t . 2 2  There i s an abundance o f m a t e r i a l i n War and Peace t h a t sheds a v i v i d l i g h t on Countess Mary's l i f e .  Of course one may argue t h a t  t h i s book i s f i c t i o n , however, T o l s t o y was always at h i s b e s t when he p a i n t e d from l i f e ,  from what he knew and whenever he c o u l d , he  m e t i c u l o u s l y adhered t o t h e a c t u a l f a c t s .  Such almost completely  a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l works as C h i l d h o o d and Youth, Cossacks, S q u i r e ' s Morning, L i g h t t h a t S h i n e t h i n Darkness, The D e v i l , o t h e r s bear w i t n e s s t o t h i s f a c t .  and many  I n t h e case o f the c h a r a c t e r  of P r i n c e N i c h o l a s Bolkonsky and P r i n c e s s Mary t h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y true.  The T o l s t o y c h i l d r e n were always f i l l e d w i t h awe when l o o k i n g  at t h e p o r t r a i t  o f t h e i r g r a n d f a t h e r Volkonsky thathung i n the d i n -  i n g room at Yasnaya Polyana.  Anyone who has seen t h i s  portrait  cannot h e l p b e i n g s t r u c k by t h e m e t i c u l o u s r e a l i s m o f t h e desc r i p t i o n i n War and Peace o f P r i n c e Bolkonsky t h a t i s based on this portrait  22  of the prototype.  I b i d , p.276.  The most s t r i k i n g f e a t u r e s are  12  the shaggy gray eyebrows and h a r s h gray p i e r c i n g eyes which again and again i n War  and Peace and are so s k i l f u l l y  appear  emphasized  by T o l s t o y . Whatever he may  have been i n h i s youth, of which we  know v e r y l i t t l e , i n h i s o l d age P r i n c e Volkonsky was and embittered man,  p r o b a b l y because he was  a warped  r e t i r e d at the e a r l y  age of 49 d u r i n g the r e i g n of P a u l I , and t h e r e a f t e r was f o r g o t t e n on h i s country e s t a t e .  completely  As one o f h i s contemporaries  s a i d , " H i s f a t e was worse than d i s f a v o u r —  he was  forgotten.'  His  e a r l y widowhood and the f a c t t h a t h i s o n l y s u r v i v i n g  was  a s i c k l y and p h y s i c a l l y most u n a t t r a c t i v e g i r l ,  adding.to h i s f e e l i n g of f r u s t r a t i o n .  1  child  c o u l d not h e l p  However, he attempted t o  d e f y f a t e by g i v i n g h i s daughter an e d u c a t i o n s u i t e d t o a son, and p e r s o n a l l y i n s t r u c t e d her i n geometry and a l g e b r a .  He  saw t o  i t t h a t she l e a r n e d not o n l y e x c e l l e n t French, a u s u a l accomplishment, but good l i t e r a r y R u s s i a n as w e l l and t h a t she became f l u e n t i n German, and I t a l i a n .  There are two  at Yasnaya Polyana.  bears the i n s c r i p t i o n s "Some notes l e a d -  ing  One  e x e r c i s e books p r e s e r v e d  t o the knowledge of g r a i n farming at Yasnaya P o l y a n a . "  2 3  The  essay i s c a r e f u l l y w r i t t e n , or r a t h e r p r i n t e d , by Mary and shows some s i g n s of h a v i n g been dictated..  I t c o n t a i n s e x p l a n a t i o n s of  v a r i o u s standard measurements and weights and o f v a r i o u s r o t a t i o n crops.  The second book, l a r g e r than the f i r s t ,  e n t i t l e d "Motes  on mathematical, p h y s i c a l and p o l i t i c a l geography."  23 Mother and Grandfather of Leo T o l s t o y ,  p.11  There i s an  13  i n s c r i p t i o n p o s s i b l y i n the hand of h e r f a t h e r , P r i n c e s s Volkonsky".  stating,"For  I t b e g i n s w i t h g e n e r a l i n f o r m a t i o n on Geo-  graphy o f the e a r t h and the p l a n e t a r y system.  I t c o n t a i n s an  e x p o s i t i o n of the systems of Pythagoras, P l a t o , Ptolomy, the E g y p t i a n s , and C o p e r n i c u s .  E x p l a n a t i o n s of v a r i o u s forms o f  government are a l s o g i v e n and i t i s n o t e d t h a t i n the democratic form, l e g i s l a t i v e power belongs t o a l l the p e o p l e . I t i s q u i t e obvious t h a t Leo T o l s t o y , although he mired h i s g r a n d f a t h e r , c o n s i d e r e d him the worst He d e p i c t s him i n War  ad-  imaginable t e a c h e r .  and Peace as P r i n c e Bolkonsky.  Extraord-  i n a r i l y b r i l l i a n t himself, he attempts t o endow h i s daughter w i t h a b i l i t i e s she does n o t p o s s e s s and becomes i r r i t a t e d and impatient when she f a i l s t o understand h i s mathematical  expositions.  At  times he works h i m s e l f i n t o u n c o n t r o l l a b l e f i t s o f rage w i t h h i s hapless p u p i l .  The d a i l y " l e s s o n s " w i t h h e r f a t h e r are a source  of t e r r o r f o r Mary —  t e r r o r so v i v i d l y d e s c r i b e d i n War  and  Peace.  I n the morning as u s u a l P r i n c e s s Mary a t the exact appointed hour e n t e r e d t h e r e c e p t i o n room t o pay her r e s p e c t s — and f e a r f u l l y c r o s s i n g h e r s e l f prayed inwardly t h a t the d a i l y encounter would pass without i n c i d e n t ... "Well my l a d y " the o l d man would b e g i n , bending c l o s e t o h i s daughter over the e x e r c i s e book ... "Well, my l a d y , these t r i a n g l e s are a l i k e ; p l e a s e k i n d l y note the angle A B C ..." The t e r r i f i e d P r i n c e s s was l o o k i n g at the b u r n i n g eyes of her f a t h e r which were c l o s e t o h e r . Red b l o t c h e s broke out on her f a c e . I t was obvious she understood n o t h i n g and t h a t ; s h e was so t e r r f i e d t h a t f e a r would p r e v e n t h e r from u n d e r s t a n d i n g any o f h e r f a t h e r ' s f u r t h e r e x p l a n a t i o n s no matter how c l e a r they might be. I t i s h a r d t o know whose f a u l t i t was — t e a c h e r or p u p i l . But every day the same t h i n g o c c u r r e d .  f  14  E v e r y t h i n g swam b e f o r e h e r eyes. She c o u l d n e i t h e r see n o r hear anything. She was only conscious of t h e w i t h e r e d f a c e of h e r f a t h e r ... and thought o n l y how she c o u l d escape as soon a s ; p o s s i b l e from h i s presence t o t r y t o understand t h e problem i n t h e q u i e t o f h e r own room. The o l d man would be beside; h i m s e l f ; he would n o i s i l y push h i s c h a i r back and f o r t h , make a tremendous e f f o r t t o c o n t r o l h i m s e l f , i n e v i t a b l y f a i l , l o s e h i s temper and h u r l an e x e r c i s e book. "What a f o o l ! " he would y e l l ... "Mathematics i s a s u b j e c t o f great importance, my l a d y , I cannot l e t you resemble our s t u p i d s o c i e t y women."24 T h i s d a i l y o r d e a l was but a p a r t o f the w e l l r o u t i n e o f P r i n c e s s Mary's day.  regulated  A f t e r i t she was expected t o  prepare h e r l e s s o n s f o r the next day and from 1 2 - 2 P.M. she was  o b l i g e d t o p r a c t i s e the c l a v i c h o r d while h e r f a t h e r s l e p t .  K. s p i t e o f h e r u g l y appearance and clumsy movements h e r f a t h e r was  p a s s i o n a t e l y , fond o f h e r b u t somehow the n e c e s s i t y t o i n -  f l i c t m o r a l t o r t u r e on her,became f o r him a p a t h o l o g i c a l necess i t y . A t times h i s behaviour reached q u i t e grotesque, even repulsive  proportions. Knowing t h a t she was deeply attached  governess, P r i n c e Bolkonsky proceeded t o f l i r t and  even threatened  t o marry h e r .  t o her French openly w i t h h e r  As was n a t u r a l the p e n n i l e s s  governess was o n l y t o o eager arid h e r head was completely by the p r o s p e c t  o f marriage w i t h t h e wealthy o l d P r i n c e .  turned This  i s , o f course, f i c t i o n , found i n War and Peace, b u t , i n h i s R e m i n i s c e n c e s , T o l s t o y r e f e r s somewhat vaguely t o h i s mother's  24 C o l l e c t e d Works.  V o l . IV, p.84^-85  passionate  d e v o t i o n to h e r F r e n c h governess, Mademoiselle L o u i s e  Henissienne,  who,  he  M i c h a e l Volkonsky.  says, l a t e r m a r r i e d Mary's c o u s i n P r i n c e Here T o l s t o y makes a s e r i o u s mistake.  not the governess but h e r s i s t e r , Mary Henissienne, the P r i n c e and whose marriage was  who  It i s  married  made p o s s i b l e by P r i n c e s s Mary's  e x t r a o r d i n a r y g e n e r o s i t y ; f o r i t was  she who  s u p p l i e d the dowry  of 75,000 r o u b l e s , i n s p i t e o f determined o p p o s i t i o n by the whole Volkonsky f a m i l y . ^ 2  s i n c e Mary was  unmarried they  considered  themselves as h e i r s t o her f o r t u n e and denounced her f o r her  un-  n a t u r a l and even shameless a f f e c t i o n f o r her governess under whose i n f l u e n c e , i t appeared, she was their r i g h t f u l inheritance.  prepared  to rob her own  k i n of  A f t e r Mary's marriage t o N i c h o l a s  Tolstoy,- the l a t t e r disapproved  o f her p a s t g e n e r o s i t y at the  pense o f t h e i r f u t u r e c h i l d r e n and put  a speedy end to her  ex-  life-  long f r i e n d s h i p w i t h the governess by g e t t i n g r i d of L o u i s e Henissienne. In War  and Peace there are c o n v e r s a t i o n s between P r i n c e  A n d r e i and Mary t h a t must have been based on those between Mary Volkonsky and her c o u s i n B a r b a r a and which the l a t t e r  recounted  to T o l s t o y : T r u t h f u l l y Mary, i s n ' t i t v e r y hard f o r you sometimes to bear your f a t h e r ' s temper?" P r i n c e A n d r e i suddenly asked h e r . At f i r s t P r i n c e s s Mary was taken aback, then a f r a i d by the q u e s t i o n , "me - me -  25  Mother and Grandfather of Leo T o l s t o y , p.48-53 The author, T o l s t o y ' s son S e r g e i , draws h i s Information on t h i s s u b j e c t from a d i a r y of a c o u s i n of M i c h a e l Volkonsky which was p u b l i s h e d m Prague 1925.  16  hard t o l i v e " she s a i d . "Yes, has he been always i r a s c i b l e and now i s he n o t becoming unbearable?" " T h i s i s a g r e a t s i n . I s i t p o s s i b l e t o judge one's f a t h e r and even i f i t were p o s s i b l e what f e e l i n g except t h a t o f v e n e r a t i o n couldtaman o f my f a t h e r ' s type provoke? I am completely happy w i t h him and I wish o t h e r s c o u l d be as happy as I am ... B u t one thought oppresses me — I w i l l t e l l you the t r u t h A n d r e i , t h i s i s my f a t h e r ' s a t t i t u d e t o r e l i g i o n . I can't understand how a man w i t h such i n t e l l i g e n c e cannot see t h a t which i s as c l e a r as day and how he can be so mistaken on t h i s q u e s t i o n . T h i s i s my o n l y sorrow. However, l a t e l y , even i n t h i s r e s p e c t I have r e c e i v e d some c o n s o l a t i o n . H i s mocking has been l e s s v i r u l e n t and t h e r e i s a monk whom he r e c e i v e d and w i t h whom he has had l o n g c o n v e r s a t i o n s . " Was Mary r e a l l y s i n c e r e when she spoke o f h e r happiness? How was i t p o s s i b l e t h a t she c o u l d be happy l i v i n g under such conditions?  Of course when she spoke o f happiness she meant h e r i n -  ward s p i r i t u a l happiness a r i s i n g from h e r boundless f a i t h i n God from whom c o u l d come n o t h i n g b u t b l e s s i n g s .  T h i s enabled h e r n o t  only t o bear a l i f e t h a t o t h e r s would f i n d i n t o l e r a b l e b u t t o look upon i t as a p a r t o f t h e D i v i n e p l a n t o p u r i f y and save h e r s o u l . She had moments o f weakness when she exclaimed  to Pierre:  0 my God, t h e r e are minutes when I would marry anyone ... how hard i t i s t o l o v e a man t h a t i s c l o s e t o you and f e e l t h a t ... you can b r i n g him n o t h i n g but sorrow; when you know you are completely h e l p l e s s t o change anything! Then t h e r e i s b u t one escape — t o go away. But where c o u l d I go?27 But these moments were r a r e . sensed t h a t h e r f a t h e r l o v e d h e r deeply  26 C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . I V , p.101 27 i b i d , p.248.  I n h e r h e a r t o f h e a r t s she and p a i n f u l l y i n h i s own  17.  twisted way and she f e l t how wretchedly unhappy he was. sure she knew the reason f o r h i s misery. against God.  She  was  I t lay i n h i s r e b e l l i o n  Even to herself she never admitted the p o s s i b i l i t y  that he d i d not believe i n God.  She knew that, no matter how  was made to s u f f e r , i t was he that deserved p i t y .  she  She could never  seriously think of leaving him i n h i s unhappiness.  In her simple  c h i l d l i k e f a i t h she found not only strength to continue her l i f e , but a source of happiness.  Often her f a i t h was severely tested  and sometimes she was driven to despair,but i t was always renewed and strengthened by d i r e c t contact with simple people who possessed f a i t h to even a greater degree that she did, and, who l i k e herself, sought to f i n d redemption and salvation i n suffering f o r Christ's sake. These contacts were made much easier because the manor house of Lysye, Gory v ( i n r e a l i t y , Yasnaya Polyana. :  Tolstoy,  because he wanted the estate to be occupied by the French f o r the purpose of h i s story, transplanted Yasnaya Polyana i n t a c t to the Province of Smolensk.  The Moscow-Kiev highway becomes the Moscow-  Smolensk highway) ley but a short distance from Mo scow-Smolensk highway.  Summer and winter, i n a l l kinds of weather, flowed  along t h i s road a continuous stream of pilgrims, known i n Russia as "God's People".  I t i s perhaps these streams of pilgrims trav-  e l l i n g the highways of old Russia that gave foreign v i s i t o r s the impression that there was a deep r e l i g i o u s undercurrent i n the Russion people.  I t was these people, "God's People" who  symbolized  IS  the s p i r i t of Holy R u s s i a .  The p i l g r i m s , armed w i t h the t r a d i t -  i o n a l s t a f f and c a r r y i n g a coarse l i n e n sack over t h e i r s h o u l d e r asked, i n the name of C h r i s t , f o r f o o d and s h e l t e r as they trudged t o some h o l y s h r i n e , monastery o r m i r a c u l o u s i c o n . R a r e l y did  a peasant,  even the p o o r e s t , r e f u s e .  O c c a s i o n a l l y these  grims ventured t o appear at a manor house, but t h a t was  pil-  a risky  b u s i n e s s f o r they u s u a l l y had t o run the g a u n t l e t of packs of f i e r c e watch-dogs, so t h a t o n l y l a r g e groups o f them, moving i n a s o l i d phalanx guarding t h e i r f l a n k s by swinging t h e i r staves i n u n i s o n c o u l d hope t o reach the k i t c h e n door and ask f o r f o o d . Even here t h e i r good r e c e p t i o n was not c e r t a i n f o r many l a n d l o r d s looked on them as l o a f e r s , n e ' e r - d o - w e l l s , even runaway s e r f s p r e f e r r e d t o make a nuisance of themselves r a t h e r than do honest day's work.  In many cases i t was by the master's  t h a t f i e r c e dogs were s i c k e d  upon the p i l g r i m s .  who  an orders  2 8  T h i s p i c t u r e of p i l g r i m R u s s i a , p a i n t e d so v i v i d l y by T o l s t o y i n War  and Peace i s , as we know, drawn from l i f e .  I t was  known t o the p i l g r i m s by t h e i r "grape-vine" t h a t P r i n c e s s Mary, at Yasnaya Polyana, would be c h a r i t a b l e and k i n d l y and t h a t s a i n t l y woman would g i v e them welcome. ...respect she was  this  Although i n every o t h e r  completely submissive t o the l e a s t wish of her  f a t h e r , on t h i s one p o i n t she s t e a d f a s t l y r e f u s e d t o bow peremptory o r d e r f o r b i d d i n g any l o a f e r o r tramp (as he  to h i s called  28  T r e s p a s s e r s were known to have been t o r n t o p i e c e s by these dogs — a s i g h t which i n some cases o f f e r e d a welcome d i v e r s i o n f o r bored b r u t a l s q u i r e s and t h e i r g u e s t s .  ,  S7  19  P i l g r i m s ) from s e t t i n g f o o t on h i s p r o p e r t y .  I t i s t r u e that,when  the o l d P r i n c e was at home, the p i l g r i m s had t o approach by a c i r c u i t o u s route the back door o f t h e Manor house through which they were l e d t o the young m i s t r e s s " s p r i v a t e q u a r t e r s . did  i n a never ending stream.  B u t come they  I t i s even p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e P r i n c e  might n o t have been e n t i r e l y i g n o r a n t o f h i s daughter's disobedi e n c e , and t h a t knowing o f these s t e a l t h y v i s i t s ,  i n h i s heart  c o u l d n o t h e l p admiring t h i s o n l y m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f the h e r e d i t a r y Volkonsky w i l f u l n e s s shown by h i s otherwise submissive daughter. Even a f t e r h e r f a t h e r ' s death, and h e r marriage t o N i c h o l a s T o l s t o y , she was adamant i n c o n t i n u i n g t h i s age-old custom.  Quiet t a l k  w i t h these simple h o l y p e o p l e , these " F o o l s f o r C h r i s t ' s gave Mary the s p i r i t u a l f o o d she craved. r e a l happiness.  sake",  To h e l p them gave h e r  She f e l t they r e p r e s e n t e d a l l t h a t was t r u e and  good i n l i f e . To l e a v e one's f a m i l y , n a t i v e l a n d , a l l thought o f w o r l d l y goods, i n o r d e r t o , without a t t a c h i n g ones e l f t o a n y t h i n g , wander i n coarse rags under an assumed name, doing no harm t o people and p r a y i n g f o r them — p r a y i n g b o t h f o r those who p e r s e c u t e them and those who are c h a r i t a b l e t o them; t h e r e i s ; no h i g h e r t r u t h and no h i g h e r l i f e than t h i s t r u t h and t h i s l i f e . 2 9 Did  Mary h e r s e l f dream o f becoming a p i l g r i m ?  Whatever h e r dreams  they were n o t r e a l i z e d f o r one y e a r a f t e r h e r f a t h e r d i e d , i n 1821, she m a r r i e d Count N i c h o l a s T o l s t o y , a marriage of convenience, as T o l s t o y says i n h i s Reminiscences  29 C o l l e c t e d Works.  Vol.V., p.189.  arranged by r e l a t i v e s :  20  She was r i c h , no l o n g e r young, ah orphan, My f a t h e r , on the o t h e r hand, was a j o l l y b r i l l i a n t young man o f good f a m i l y and conn e c t i o n s but h i s f o r t u n e had been d i s s i p ated to such an extent by h i s f a t h e r t h a t he even found i t expedient to renounce h i s i n h e r i t a n c e as h i s f a t h e r ' s l i a b i l i t i e s exceeded his assets. I t h i n k t h a t my mother l o v e d my f a t h e r , more as a husband and as the f a t h e r o f her c h i l d r e n than as a man, h i m s e l f .30' A c t u a l l y N i c h o l a s T o l s t o y found h i m s e l f i n an u t t e r l y desperate s i t u a t i o n . p o s s e s s e d was,  He was; penniless f o r e v e r y t h i n g  his family  upon the death o f h i s f a t h e r , s e i z e d by h i s num-  erous c r e d i t o r s .  What made m a t t e r s worse was  t h a t he was  to support a l a r g e f a m i l y which were accustomed t o a v e r y not to say, l u x u r i o u s way  of l i v i n g . To  obliged high,  attempt to support such  a f a m i l y on the meagre s a l a r y of a government o f f i c i a l was o f the q u e s t i o n . to marry q u i c k l y . accept not  He had no  out  c h o i c e but t o marry an h e i r e s s ,  Furthermore, t h i s h e i r e s s must be prepared t o  only him,but h i s e n t i r e f a m i l y : - h i s mother, h i s  e c c e n t r i c aunt and her adopted daughter, h i s d i s t a n t c o u s i n had been h i s fiancee) and numerous r e t a i n e r s and o l d Mary Volkonsky seemed the she was  and  s o l u t i o n to the problem.  t h i r t y - t w o y e a r s o l d and v e r y p l a i n .  c r i b e d her i n War  servants. Though r i c h  T o l s t o y has  des-  and Peace:  The m i r r o r r e f l e c t e d an u n a t t r a c t i v e weak body and t h i n f a c e . Her eyes, always sad, now looked h o p e l e s s l y at h e r s e l f i n the m i r r o r ... she r e t u r n e d t o h e r room w i t h a sad f r i g h t e n e d express i o n on her f a c e t h a t seldom l e f t her and made her u n a t t r a c t i v e s i c k l y f a c e even more u n a t t r a c t ive .31  30 C o l l e c t e d W o r k s T V o l . T t p.259 31 I b i d , V o l . IV, p.86  (who  21  But —  often Tolstoy r e f e r s t o her large radiant blue  eyes t h a t appeared r a d i a n t l y b e a u t i f u l o n l y on r a r e  when they r e f l e c t e d the emotions o f h e r innermost s o u l . occasions  occasions On these  h e r p l a i n n e s s was i l l u m i n a t e d from w i t h i n and she  appeared almost b e a u t i f u l .  But she was u n b e l i e v a b l y  i s highly u n l i k e l y that her prospective saw  eyes  shy and i t  j o l l y bridegroom ever  t h i s i l l u m i n a t i o n and even i f he had he would not have apprec-  i a t e d i t . T h i s coarse s q u i r e a p p r e c i a t e d h i s h u n t i n g dogs. " S p i r i t u a l l y she stood much h i g h e r than my f a t h e r o r h i s f a m i l y w i t h the p o s s i b l e exception  o f Tatyana Yergolskaya'.'  32  A f t e r the marriage, N i c h o l a s T o l s t o y and h i s e n t i r e f a m i l y moved i n and l i t e r a l l y took over Yasnaya P o l y a n a without the  shy b r i d e h a v i n g so much as a s h o r t honeymoon.  To what ex-  t e n t the t a k i n g over was complete can be gathered from Reminiscences when T o l s t o y  says:  The l i f e of my mother i n f a t h e r ' s f a m i l y , as f a r as I am able t o conclude from l e t t e r s and what o t h e r s t o l d me was v e r y good and v e r y happy. Her l i f e passed e n t i r e l y occupi e d w i t h h e r c h i l d r e n , r e a d i n g n o v e l s aloud t o my grandmother, r e a d i n g Rousseau's Emile to h e r s e l f , d i s c u s s i n g books t h a t had been read, p l a y i n g the p i a n o , t e a c h i n g I t a l i a n t o one o f the aunts, w a l k i n g , and c a r i n g f o r household d u t i e s . 3 3  How many women c o u l d be happy under these circumstances?  True she complained i n one o f h e r l e t t e r s t h a t she  32 C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . I , p.257 33 i b i d , V o l . I , p.260.  I  22  r a r e l y saw h e r husband even when he was  at home.  One  suspects t h a t  N i c h o l a s avoided h i s u n a t t r a c t i v e w i f e as much as he c o u l d . i n t e r e s t i n g l i g h t i s thrown oh Mary T o l s t o y ' s m a r r i e d l i f e by  An a  s e c t i o n of Chapter IV of C h i l d h o o d which T o l s t o y omitted from the f i n a l version. ment  3 4  L a t e r t h i s o m i t t e d p o r t i o n was put i n a supple-  t o the book: One t h i n g of which I was completely conv i n c e d was t h a t f a t h e r gave h i s cheek t o be k i s s e d , but the k i s s i n g was done by mother ... she was one of those women whose o b j e c t i n l i f e was s e l f - s a c r i f i c e and the happiness of o t h e r s : t h e r e f o r e , although f a t h e r was a t t e n t i v e and w i t h another woman might have appeared an e x c e l l e n t husband, w i t h mother he was rude. T h i s , one c o u l d see when at times he allowed h e r t o serve him, t o s a c r i f i c e her p l e a s u r e f o r him. He so o f t e n i n t e r r u p t e d h e r when she was s p e a k i n g . This c o u l d be seen even more from the way the rooms i n the house,.were d i v i d e d between them — whose rooms had more windows? Whose had the b e t t e r view? Whose s e r v a n t s were b e t t e r quartered? Whose entrance to the house was p r e t t i e r and more convenient? Who had the entrance t o the garden? Who had the f i r e p l a c e ? In whose rooms were guests r e c e i v e d ? ... To whose window was the tame b e a r brought? ... A l l the advantages l a y i n my f a t h e r ' s p a r t of the house. 3 5  34 C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 1 , p.298 35 There i s an i n t e r e s t i n g comment by Mary on t h i s s u b j e c t which c o r r o b o r a t e s what T o l s t o y had gathered. She wrote t o Y e r g o l s h a y a i n October 1827."Today we are going t o f i n i s h r e a d i n g the books of M a r i a Ivanovna, and s i n c e we have r e c e n t l y sent back the l i b r a r y books, our home w i l l be, f o r the time b e i n g , w i t h o u t books. D u r i n g your absence A l e x a n d r i n e read aloud t o us. N i c h o l a s l i s t e n e d and, as i s h i s wont, i n t e r r u p t e d t h e r e a d i n g w i t h h i s a b s u r d i t i e s a t the most i n t e r e s t i n g moments. (Mother and Grandf a t h e r of Leo T o l s t o y , p.146)  23  The  s i t u a t i o n at Yasnaya P o l y a n a was not eased by the-  presence o f Tatyana Y e r g o l s k a y a  ( l a t e r o f t e n r e f e r r e d t o as Aunt  Tanya) t h e b e a u t i f u l woman w i t h whom N i c h o l a s had been, and s t i l l was,  i n love,  B u t , as d u r i n g Mary's unmarried l i f e ,  she again  found h e r happiness i n l i v i n g f o r o t h e r s and i n c o n t a c t s w i t h God's People, who brought w i t h them the atmosphere of o t h e r - w o r l d l i n e s s t h a t was so dear t o her.  F o r a l l t h a t she had brought t o N i c h o l a s  and h i s f a m i l y she r e c e i v e d l i t t l e  g r a t i t u d e and from h e r mother-  in-law v e r y l i t t l e a f f e c t i o n s My grandmother was p a s s i o n a t e l y f o n d o f my f a t h e r and u s g r a n d c h i l d r e n and enjoyed p l a y ing w i t h us. She a l s o l o v e d my aunts b u t i t seems t o me she d i d n o t a l t o g e t h e r l o v e my mother, c o n s i d e r i n g her unworthy o f my f a t h e r . She was j e a l o u s o f h e r . My grandmother d i d n ' t have t o be e x a c t i n g w i t h the household s e r f s and servants because everybody r e c o g n i z e d the f a c t t h a t she was t h e r e a l m i s t r e s s o f the house and everyone t r i e d t o p l e a s e her.36 It  i s s m a l l wonder t h a t amongst h e r o l d household s e r -  v a n t s the f e e l i n g grew t h a t Countess Mary, t h e i r dear o l d m i s t r e s s , was  indeed a s a i n t t o endure such a s i t u a t i o n , and, moreover, t o  endure i t w i t h meekness and s e r e n i t y .  But i f she completely  sub-  m i t t e d t o the wishesmof h e r husband and e f f a c e d h e r s e l f b e f o r e his  f a m i l y , she s t e a d f a s t l y r e f u s e d t o abandon h e r custom of keep-  ing  the doors o f Yasnaya P o l y a n a open t o God's People.  one  p o i n t she a s s e r t e d h e r s e l f as m i s t r e s s o f the house by o f t e n  On t h i s  i n v i t i n g the p i l g r i m s t o eat i n the dining-room at a s p e c i a l t a b l e s e t apart f o r them.  C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 1 , p.265  24  In Childhood, T o l s t o y d e s c r i b e s  a scene when the Countss  h u n t i n g dogs had been d e l i b e r a t e l y s i c k e d on t o the p i l g r i m s , and one  o f them, h i s c l o t h i n g t o r n , i s b e i n g g i v e n f o o d i n the d i n i n g -  room and i s i n c o h e r e n t l y t e l l i n g h i s s t o r y ,  Nicholas  Tolstoy  i m p a t i e n t l y remarks t h a t he cannot understand a word o f h i s j i b b e r i s h t o which Mary r e p l i e s : " I understand, he i s t e l l i n g me t h a t some huntsmen d e l i b e r a t e l y s e t a pack of dogs on him, so t h a t the dogs would t e a r him t o p i e c e s but t h a t God p r o t e c t e d him. He begs you n o t t o p u n i s h them." "And how does he know t h a t I i n t e n d t o p u n i s h them? You know I am no l o v e r o f these gentry, who c o u l d deny I have had every opportu n i t y t o study t h i s crew. Swarms of them come to see you and they are a l l o f the same kidney ... I am outraged when c l e v e r , educated people f a l l v i c t i m t o such d e c e p t i o n s . " "To t h i s I must r e p l y t h a t i t i s h a r d t o b e l i e v e t h a t a man who, i n s p i t e o f h i s 60 y e a r s , goes b a r e f o o t w i n t e r and summer never t a k e s o f f h i s chains weighing 80 l b s . t h a t he wears under h i s c l o t h i n g , and who r e p e a t e d l y r e f u s e s o f f e r s o f comf o r t a b l e s h e l t e r and f o o d -- i t i s hard t o b e l i e v e t h a t such a man does a l l t h i s because he i s l a z y ... As t o p r o p h e c i e s ... I t o l d you how K i r y u s h a f o r e t o l d the v e r y day and hour o f my f a t h e r ' s d e a t h . " 3 7  The  whole s t r u g g l e between Mary and N i c h o l a s  over t h e  s u b j e c t o f God'"s People was made e a s i e r f o r h e r because she found an unexpected a l l y i n a member of h i s f a m i l y - h i s s i s t e r , A l e x a n d r a , u s u a l l y known as Aunt A l i n e . it  appears she was an exceedingly  eyes and a g e n t l e  expression  From a p o r t r a i t o f h e r  b e a u t i f u l g i r l with large blue  on h e r p a l e f a c e .  she was g r a c e f u l , had a romantic i m a g i n a t i o n ,  37 C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 1 ,  p  . o. 2  T o l s t o y t e l l s us and a g r e a t  love  V  25  for  French p o e t r y and p l a y i n g the harp.  c r e a t u r e who, a f t e r a t r a g i c l i f e ,  I t was t h i s b e a u t i f u l  and as an o l d e r and sadder  woman kept a l i v e t h e s p i r i t u a l atmosphere a t Yasnaya P o l y a n a Mary's death.  after  I t was she who, t r y i n g to put her C h r i s t i a n p r i n -  c i p l e s i n t o p r a c t i c e , sowed t h e seeds i n the y o u t h f u l T o l s t o y t h a t l a t e r bore  such r i c h  fruit.  My aunt, A l e x a n d r a Ilyinichns,.., was not o n l y outwardly r e l i g i o u s , t h a t i s t o say she kept the f a s t s , prayed much, had constant a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h people o f h o l y l i f e such as the E l d e r at the G p t i n a P u s t i n , at h e r time, Leonide, but she h e r s e l f l i v e d a t r u l y C h r i s t i a n l i f e t r y i n g n o t only t o a v o i d every k i n d o f l u x u r y and s e r v i c e from o t h e r s but endeavouring t o serve o t h e r s h e r s e l f as much as p o s s i b l e . She never had any money because she gave away a l l t h a t she had t o anyone who asked her. Her maid, Gasha, who had s e r v e d my grandmother unt i l l h e r death, r e l a t e d t o me how Aunt Alexandra, d u r i n g h e r l i f e i n Moscow, would, t i p - t o e p a s t the s l e e p i n g maid when going t o e a r l y mass, and t h a t she would do h e r s e l f a l l those t h i n g s which were c u s t o m a r i l y done by a maid. I n h e r f o o d and c l o t h i n g she was simple and i n e x a c t i n g t o an i n c r e d i b l e degree. Although I ain v e r y r e l u c t ant t o admit i t I c a n remember from my e a r l i e s t c h i l d h o o d a p e c u l i a r sour s m e l l emanating from her, which was p r o b a b l y caused by n e g l e c t o f her person.39 3 S  38  A f t e r T o l s t o y ' s " c o n v e r s i o n " , he a l s o n e g l e c t e d h i s person, and h i s w i f e found h i s c o n d i t i o n o f f e n s i v e . She w r i t e s Feb.7,1891:"He kept me awake t i l l 2 A.M. A t f i r s t he remained downstairs washing h i m s e l f . I began t o t h i n k he was u n w e l l . Washing f o r him i s an event. He t o l d me t h a t h i s f e e t were so covered w i t h d i r t t h a t t h e r e were s o r e s under cakes o f i t . I shuddered from d i s g u s t . " ( T h e s e 22 words are omitted by the e d i t o r , S e r g e i T o l s t o y ) " T h e n he l a y down and r e a d f o r a l o n g time. I am i n h i s way when I am n o t needed-to s a t i s f y h i s d e s i r e s . These days o f d i s g u s t a t t h e p h y s i c a l s i d e o f my husband's l i f e oppress me f r i g h t f u l l y , - b u t I cannot, cannot g e t accustomed - w i l l never get accustomed t o f i l t h and stench (12 words omitted by the e d i t o r . ) D i a r y o f Sophia A. T o l s t o y 1860-91, e d i t e d by S . L . T o l s t o y , L e n i n g r a d , S. and M.Sahashnikov 1928) o  v  I b i d , V o l . 1 , p.268-9.  26  At  the age of 17, when A l e x a n d r a came out at the  h e r beauty caused a s o c i a l s e n s a t i o n and, as c o u l d be led  capital,  expected,  t o a b r i l l i a n t match w i t h a wealthy B a l t i c n o b l e , Count Osten-  Saken, who  took h i s young b r i d e t o h i s g r e a t e s t a t e i n the prov-  i n c e o f Courlend.  S h o r t l y a f t e r w a r d s s t r o n g symptoms o f a mental  d i s o r d e r appeared  i n the Count which p r o g r e s s e d so r a p i d l y  that  ?  when h i s young w i f e was n e a r i n g the end of h e r pregnancy^ he developed a p e r s e c u t i o n mania.  Dashing  his  enemies were about t o k i l l him,  led  her to a w a i t i n g c a r r i a g e .  i n t o her room, c r y i n g t h a t and t h a t they must f l e e ,  he  As they drove away he f o r c e d a  l o a d e d p i s t o l i n t o h e r hand and,arming h i m s e l f w i t h another t o l d h e r t h a t , should they be overtaken by h i s p u r u e r s , they must each o t h e r .  kill  Seeing another c a r r i a g e approaching from a s i d e road,  he f i r e d at h e r p o i n t blank, the b u l l e t p a s s i n g through h e r c h e s t . The b l e e d i n g young w i f e was  taken t o the nearby house of a Lutheran  p a s t o r and so c a r e f u l l y nursed t h a t she was  soon on the road to  recovery.  came t o v i s i t the i n -  The mad  count, f e i g n i n g remorse,  v a l i d and under the p r e t e x t o f s o l i c i t u d e f o r h e r h e a l t h asked t o see h e r tongue.  No  sooner had she complied t h a t he s e i z e d her  tongue, whipped out a r a z o r and attempted t o cut o f f h e r Once a g a i n she was asylum  rescued and when the count was  was  c o n f i n e d t o an  she r e t u r n e d t o h e r parents* home where she g i v e b i r t h  prematurely to a dead c h i l d . nervous  tongue.  By t h i s time she was  i n such a  c o n d i t i o n t h a t h e r p a r e n t s dared not t e l l h e r the  dead.  born baby.  child  To save h e r reason they s u b s t i t u t e d a s e r v a n t ' s newThe  countess never r e c o v e r e d from these shocks  and  ll  27  became s l i g h t l y odd and s u f f e r e d from excessive her,  Countess Mary found a k i n d r e d  spirit  r e l i g i o s i t y . In  and a staunch  ally.  A f t e r Mary's death i t was Countess Osten-Saken who c a r r i e d on the t r a d i t i o n o f keeping Yasnaya P o l y a n a as a haven f o r p i l g r i m s . A f t e r N i c h o l a s T o l s t o y d i e d suddenly while on a t r i p t o T u l a , Aunt A l e x a n d r a became l e g a l g u a r d i a n to the orphaned c h i l d r e n and m i s t r e s s  o f Yasnaya Polyana.  I t was t h i s p e r i o d t h a t T o l s t o y so w e l l remembered and t h a t . l e f t such a v i v i d impression when she d i e d .  on h i s mind.  He was twelve  I n h i s Reminiscences he w r i t e s :  T h i s aunt was a t r u l y r e l i g i o u s woman. More than anything e l s e she l o v e d t o read the l i v e s of s a i n t s ; t o t a l k to p i l g r i m s , Fools f o r C h r i s t ' s sake, monks and nuns, some o f whom always l i v e d i n our house, w h i l e o t h e r s v i s i t e d her constantly. Among the almost permanent d w e l l e r s was a nun, godmother t o my s i s t e r , c a l l e d Marya Gerasimovna who i n her youth, assuming the name of Ivanuska, and wearing monk s c l o t h i n g , went on p i l g r i m ages d i s g u i s e d as a " F o o l f o r C h r i s t ' s sake." 1  I t i s t h i s p e r i o d t h a t T o l s t o y has d e s c r i b e d  so v i v i d l y i n C h i l d -  hood and War and Peace.  SO T o l s t o y t e l l s why she l i v e d almost permanently at Yasnaya. P o l y a n a . ' A f t e r the' b i r t h of 4 sons Mary T o l s t o y longed f o r a daughter. She promised Marya Gerasimovna t h a t i f she would pray t o God f o r a g i r l baby f o r Mary, and i f h e r p r a y e r should be g r a n t e d , she would be' cared f o r f o r t h e r e s t o f h e r l i f e at Yasnaya Polyana. A l e x a n d r a T o l s t o y i n F a t h e r g i v e s a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n o f the s t o r y .  28  However t h i s may a most u n u s u a l l y d u r i n g the l i f e  be,  i t i s q u i t e obvious t h a t t h e r e  r e l i g i o u s atmosphere at Yasnaya Polyana, o f T o l s t o y ' s mother, but  even a f t e r her  when perhaps i t became i n t e n s i f i e d by the p r o f o u n d l y n a t u r e of h i s aunt A l e x a n d r a .  endous i n f l u e n c e on T o l s t o y can be i o n s of the Y u r o d i v y , .  42  religious •  seen i n h i s m a s t e r l y d e s c r i p t -  is fictional?it  i s undoubtedly  composite c h a r a c t e r based on many Yurodivys. t h a t T o l s t o y as a c h i l d .  The  v i v i d p i c t u r e of Grisha praying  l i g h t and f a l l i n g i n h i s chains from l i f e .  The  who  a  had  i n the moon-  i n an e c s t a s y of d e v o t i o n  i s drawn  T o l s t o y c h i l d r e n used to l i s t e n to an under-  gardener at Yasnaya Polyana when he prayed. divy  a trem-  G r i s h a i n C h i l d h o o d. Although T o l s t o y  t e l l s us t h a t t h i s c h a r a c t e r  met  not,only  death,  That t h i s atmosphere had  4 1  was  had been given  He,  also was  a Yuro-  employment e i t h e r by Mary, o r Countess  Osten-Saken. P o s s i b l y the f a c t t h a t T o l s t o y c o u l d not remember h i s mother p e r s o n a l l y i n t e n s i f i e d her  i n f l u e n c e over him  not be d i s p u t e d t h a t she became f o r him  f o r i t can-  a legendary s a i n t ,  a legend i s always more potent than r e a l i t y .  and  Of course he remem-  bered h i s r e l i g i o u s aunt A l e x a n d r a much b e t t e r , but he never speaks of p r a y i n g life  to her  s o u l d u r i n g the  but he d i d pray t o the  became even stronger  stormy p e r i o d of h i s  s o u l of h i s mother.  as time passed and  This  a f f e c t e d not  influence only h i s  When she became i l l she asked t o be taken to the famous mona s t e r y O p t i n a P u s t i n , where she d i e d . T h i s was the monastery t h a t p l a y e d such a b i g p a r t i n T o l s t o y ' s own l i f e . 42  A F o o l f o r C h r i s t ' s sake.  29  personal l i f e  and t h a t of h i s f a m i l y , but  a l s o h i s c r e a t i v e works.  T h i s i n f l u e n c e , l a r g e l y c o n t r i b u t e d t o by Countes Osten-Saken, a f f e c t e d not  o n l y T o l s t o y but to v a r y i n g degrees a l l the  other  children. N i c h o l a s , T o l s t o y ' s e l d e s t b r o t h e r , f e l t the  influence  b e f o r e T o l s t o y , f o r b e i n g . s i x y e a r s o l d e r than T o l s t o y he a l l y remembered h i s mother. child.  He must have been an  extraordinary  T o l s t o y t e l l s us i n Reminiscences t h a t a l l the  c h i l d r e n addressed him  actu-  f o r some i n e x p l i c a b l e reason as  other "you".  4 3  He was an e x t r a o r d i n a r y boy and l a t e r an e x t r a o r d i n a r y man. Turgeniev s a i d so t r u l y about him t h a t he was not endowed w i t h the d e f e c t s necessary t o become a g r e a t w r i t e r . He was devoid of the most necessary d e f e c t : he completely l a c k e d i n t e l l e c t u a l p r i d e . He was i n d i f f e r e n t to what people thought of him. I t was his  endless  N i c h o l a s who  f a s c i n a t e d the other c h i l d r e n w i t h  s t o r i e s of the "Ant B r o t h e r s "  of the "Green S t i c k " , a c c o r d i n g  and who  to which the  c r e a t e d the myth  s e c r e t which would  make a l l human b e i n g s happy, e l i m i n a t e a l l s i c k n e s s , unpleasantness and q u a r r e l s , was  known to him  and was  which he b u r i e d along "the road at the the o l d w o o d " his  44  at Yasnaya Eblyana.  w r i t t e n on the green s t i c k , edge of the p r e c i p i c e i n  I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that a l l  l i f e T o l s t o y devoted most of h i s time to t r y i n g to  t h i s s e c r e t and  expressed a wish t o be b u r i e d at t h a t spot i n  the o l d wood where N i c h o l a s has b u r i e d the s e c r e t .  43  4  4  discover  "Thou" would be the customary address. "You" suggests p r o f o u n d e s t r e s p e c t , almost C o l l e c t e d Works. V o l . I , p.284  As  an o l d  veneration.  30  man,  T o l s t o y wrote: How I b e l i e v e d i n the e x i s t e n c e o f t h i s green s t i c k on which was w r i t t e n t h a t which would d e s t r o y a l l e v i l i n human b e i n g s and g i v e them the g r e a t b l e s s i n g . And so I b e l i e v e now t h a t t h i s t r u t h does e x i s t and i t w i l l be r e v e a l e d t o human beings and b r i n g f u l f i l m e n t o f i t s p r o m i s e . 4 5  T o l s t o y ' s second b r o t h e r , D m i t r i , a l s o came under the same i n f l u e n c e f o r T o l s t o y  says:  I don't know what prompted him t o take such an e a r l y i n t e r e s t i n r e l i g i o n , but from the f i r s t y e a r a t the U n i v e r s i t y t h i s l i f e began. R e l i g ious a s p i r a t i o n s n a t u r a l l y d i r e c t e d him towards the church and as w i t h e v e r y t h i n g e l s e he went to excess. He began t o f a s t , attend the s e r v i c e s and became v e r y e x a c t i n g towards h i m s e l f . He possessed the p r e c i o u s q u a l i t y o f c h a r a c t e r which I suspected i n my mother, and which I d i s c o v e r e d i n my b r o t h e r N i c h o l a s , and which I t o t a l l y l a c k e d — the q u a l i t y o f b e i n g completely i n d i f f e r e n t t o the o p i n i o n s o f o t h e r s . . . Throughout my e n t i r e l i f e , and u n t i l t h i s v e r y d a y ^ -I c o u l d never g e t r i d o f the concern I had f o r other people's o p i n i o n s o f me.47 4  T o l s t o y goes on t o say t h a t while he, and e s p e c i a l l y h i s b r o t h e r S e r g e i were always anxious t o be comme i l f a u t , D m i t r i was u n t i d y and even d i r t y i n appearance.  He d i d n o t dance and r e f u s e d  even t o l e a r n ; would pay no s o c i a l v i s i t s , student's uniform.  and wore only a  I n s t e a d o f a t t e n d i n g the f a s h i o n a b l e  s i t y Church he i n v a r i a b l y attended  the one attached t o the Kazan  g a o l where there was an e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y devoutsand s t r i c t w i t h whom he s t r u c k up a s t r o n g f r i e n d s h i p . 45 46 4  7  1906 loc. c i t . C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 1 , p.286  Univer-  priest  But what was more  31  amazing was  t h a t he b e f r i e n d e d a wretched young g i r l ,  a  product  of i n c e s t i n a well-known family^who somehow found refuge  at  Yasnaya Polyana and l a t e r moved w i t h the f a m i l y t o Kazan. She was a p i t i f u l c r i n g i n g c r e a t u r e ... her f a c e was swollen as i f i t had been stung by bees, h e r eyes were narrow s l i t s under p u f f y shiny h a i r l e s s brows; her y e l l o w i s h cheeks, nose and l i p s were a l s o swollen; she spoke w i t h d i f f i c u l t y ; i n summer f l i e s s a t on her f a c e u n n o t i c e d by her ... a r e v o l t i n g s m e l l always emanated from her person. I t was t h i s g i r l t h a t D m i t r i b e f r i e n d e d . He v i s i t e d her, t a l k e d t o her, r e a d to h e r . But we were so m o r a l l y i n s e n s i t i v e t h a t we laughed at him. But he was so m o r a l l y s u p e r i o r , so heedless o f our o p i n i o n s , t h a t he never by word or h i n t even suggested t h a t what he was doing was good. He merely d i d i t . And t h i s was not a whim f o r he continued s e e i n g her d u r i n g our e n t i r e s t a y at K a z a n . 4 8  Although a l l the T o l s t o y c h i l d r e n found i t hard t o r e a d j u s t themselves t o l i f e  i n the world  after this intensely  s p i r i t u a l background at Yasnaya Polyana, D m i t r i never managed and p e r i s h e d i n the  process.  I t h i n k i t was when I was i n the Caucasus t h a t t h i s sudden t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o c c u r r e d i n D m i t r i . He began to d r i n k , smoke, and squander h i s money. How i t happened I don't know f o r I had l o s t cont a c t w i t h him ... However, even i n t h i s l i f e he remained as always the same s e r i o u s r e l i g i o u s man. He bought out of a b r o t h e l the p r o s t i t u t e Masha, the f i r s t woman he had known and l i v e d w i t h her. But he d i d not l i v e l o n g . I t h i n k i t was not so much the unhealthy l i f e he l e d f o r a few months i n Moscow b u t r a t h e r the i n n e r s t r u g g l e , the p r i c k s o f conscience t h a t suddenly d e s t r o y e d h i s p r e v i o u s robust h e a l t h . 4 9  48 49  C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . I , p.287 I b i d , V o l . I , p.289  32  The e a r l y death o f D m i t r i was,  f  of course, an extreme  example o f the d i f f i c u l t y o f adjustment, but a c t u a l l y not one o f the  c h i l d r e n completely escaped the somewhat s h a t t e r i n g exper-  i e n c e and not one a d j u s t e d n o r m a l l y . : H i s s i s t e r , Mary, a f t e r an unhappy marriage w i t h her c o u s i n V a l e r i a n T o l s t o y , and a t u r b u lent, love a f f a i r w i t h a Swedish v i s c o u n t w i t h whom she spent s e v e r a l e x o t i c y e a r s i n Morocco,ended her l i f e Sharoaixiino Convent.  as a nun at the  Even the s t a i d and u n t i l then u t t e r l y "comme  i l f a u f ' S e r g e i , shocked T u l a s o c i e t y and earned the l i f e l o n g d e t e s t a t i o n o f h i s s i s t e r - i n - l a w , Sophia T o l s t o y , by b r e a k i n g off  h i s engagement w i t h the f a s c i n a t i n g 17 year.-, o l d Tatyana  Behrs r a t h e r than abandon the i l l i t e r a t e gypsy woman by whom he had had s e v e r a l c h i l d r e n . 5 0  C o n s i d e r i n g t h a t S e r g e i was  at t h a t  time 40 and completely i n f a t u a t e d w i t h the a t t r a c t i v e "besyonok",' who  had d e f i n i t e l y s e t her cap a t the Count, and c o n s i d e r i n g  t h a t he was, his to  even more than T o l s t o y v e r y proud and conscious of  a r i s t o c r a t i c f a m i l y background t h e r e i s only one be drawn —  the moral i s s u e was d e c i s i v e .  w r i t e s i n her d i a r y June 9,  conclusion  5 2  Sophia T o l s t o y  1865:  A l l the c h i l d r e n , whom he adopted t o make them l e g i t i m a t e , had tragic l i v e s . The daughters brought b o t h sorrow and s o c i a l d i s g r a c e t o t h e i r father. 51 The nickname Leo T o l s t o y a d m i r i n g l y bestowed on Tatyana, meaning " l i t t l e d e v i l " . Tatyana was the model f o r Natasha Rostov i n War and Peace. 5  0  When he became engaged t o Tatyana,the gypsy woman made not- the slightest trouble. In f a c t she s a i d that she had been happy w i t h S e r g e i , she c o u l d now look a f t e r h e r s e l f and she would take absol u t e l y no f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e from him.  5  2  The o t h e r day e v e r y t h i n g was d e c i d e d , Tanya and Seryozha are g o i n g t o be .married. I t i s a j o y to look at them and h e r g r e a t happiness d e l i g h t s me ... they are w a l k i n g i n the garden and I p l a y e d the r p l e o f go-between ... I l o v e Seryozha f o r Tanya's sake ... The wedding i s t o be i n twenty days. On J u l y 12, Sophia w r i t e s : Seryozha has d e c e i v e d Tanya. He has a c t e d as a complete s c o u n d r e l . A whole month has passed i n c e a s e l e s s anguish f o r Tanya. T h i s charming, p o e t i c a l , talented creature i s perishing. She i s showing symptoms o f consumption and I am d e s o l a t e ... My d e t e s t a t i o n f o r S. i s boundless but I w i l l t r y t o have my revenge ... She loved, him so ... The gypsy was more p r e c i o u s t o him.5' But Sophia T o l s t o y d i d not understand. felt for ion.  t h a t h i s marriage w i t h the gypsy was  Actually  Sergei  such d e g r a d a t i o n t h a t  y e a r s he b a r e l y l e f t h i s room and l i v e d i n complete  isolat-  H i s c h i l d r e n brought him f u r t h e r h u m i l i a t i o n and m i s e r y .  He l i v e d and d i e d a desperate m i s e r a b l e man.  Surely there i s a  s t r o n g p a r a l l e l here w i t h the a c t i o n s o f D m i t r i .  Only a sense  o f moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y c o u l d have compelled him t o make the d e c i s i o n and take the step t h a t r u i n e d h i s l i f e .  His l i a i s o n  w i t h the gypsy had been q u i t e "comme i l f a u t " , but marriage t o h e r meant s o c i a l o s t r a c i s m by l o c a l s o c i e t y .  T h i s he  felt  b i t t e r l y , f o r he had a p a s s i o n f o r h u n t i n g which n e c e s s i t a t e d s o c i a l g a t h e r i n g s , b a l l s , meets e t c .  But a f t e r h i s marriage  a l l t h i s stopped, f o r h i s moral p r i n c i p l e s were as l i t t l e  appre-  c i a t e d by the l o c a l s q u i r a r c h y as they were by Sophia T o l s t o y .  53  D i a r y o f Sophia T o l s t o y 1860-1891,  p.91  1  i  34 In the l i g h t of what has been s a i d about the moral andr e l i g i o u s atmosphere which p r e v a i l e d at Yasnaya P o l y a n a d u r i n g t h e childhood  of the T o l s t o y s -- t h e atmosphere which was so c l o s e l y  associated with that extraordinary and which not  only continued  p e r s o n a l i t y — , Countess Mary,  a f t e r h e r death b u t was a c t u a l l y i n -  t e n s i f i e d under Countess Osten-Saken, i t i s impossible  t o over-  estimate the i n f l u e n c e o f Countess Mary on a l l w i t h whom she came in  c o n t a c t d i r e c t l y or, as i n the case of h e r c h i l d r e n , i n d i r e c t l y .  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , h e r i n f l u e n c e was so great  on Leo T o l s t o y , who  never had any p e r s o n a l memory of her, t h a t he was never able t o f r e e h i m s e l f from h e r i n f l u e n c e .  I t i s perhaps n o t an exagger-  a t i o n t o say t h a t a l l t h a t was b e s t but  i n him,  n o t only as an a r t i s t  as a man and e s p e c i a l l y as a m o r a l i s t and p h i l o s o p h e r  able t o h e r i n f l u e n c e .  i s trace-  P o s s i b l y i t was because he c o u l d never f r e e  h i m s e l f from i t t h a t he developed such an uncanny power t o i n f l u e n c e others. in his  T o l s t o y h i m s e l f was w e l l aware o f t h i s f o r m a t i v e  influence  life. Not  o n l y h i s own l i f e was i n f l u e n c e d one might even say  i n s p i r e d and d i r e c t e d by a woman b u t t h a t o f h i s b r o t h e r s and sisters also. ing" ous  life  F o r T o l s t o y t o say t h a t women "should  stop  ruin-  i s tantamount t o a complete n e g a t i o n o f h i s own tremend-  achievements f o r i t i s no e x a g g e r a t i o n t o say that, without  t h i s background and the  i n f l u e n c e e x e r c i s e d by h i s mother, he might  never have become the m o r a l i s t , the seer, and the l i v i n g  conscience  of t h e world.  That which i n t h e case o f S e r g e i and D m i t r i  t h e i r personal  circumscribed  involved  r e l a t i o n s and i n d i v i d u a l conscience  35  i n t h e case o f T o l s t o y was expanded t o embrace t h e e t e r n a l problems t h a t c o n f r o n t mankind. I t i s obvious t h a t , a l l h i s l i f e , T o l s t o y was haunted by a v i s i o n of a mother image which he saw r e f l e c t e d i n Aunt Tanya and  i n Nicholas  and symbolized by the "green s t i c k " .  The h a t r e d  f o r women t h a t so many p e o p l e n o t i c e d i n T o l s t o y and which he expressed  c l e a r l y h i m s e l f may be t r a c e d t o the f a c t t h a t a l l h i s  l i f e he attempted t o measure every woman against the i d e a l p i c t u r e of the mother he had never known.  I n t h i s , perhaps, l i e s the ex-  p l a n a t i o n of h i s otherwise i n e x p l i c a b l e remark:: at the age o f 71 t h a t , f o r the l a s t 70 y e a r s , h i s o p i n i o n o f women had been  lowering.  I t a l s o e x p l a i n s why he was so a t t r a c t e d t o women and y e t  so ever  i n c r e a s i n g l y a n t i p a t h e t i c t o them.  V  CHAPTER  II  No d i s c u s s i o n of the women who  i n f l u e n c e d Leo  Tolstoy  would he complete without the i n c l u s i o n of h i s d i s t a n t r e l a t i v e , Tatyana Alexandrovna Y e r g o l s k a y a , who, Nicholas  a f t e r the marriage of  T o l s t o y to Mary Volkonsky, moved t o Yasnaya P o l y a n a w i t h  the r e s t of h i s f a m i l y . A f t e r the death o f Countess Osten-Saken T o l s t o y was the  13, h i s aunt P e l a g e a Yushkov became l e g a l g u a r d i a n o f  c h i l d r e n and t h i s was the o n l y p e r i o d of her l i f e  skaya ion  i n 1841, when  spent away from them.  that  Yergol-  As soon as T o l s t o y came i n t o possess-  of Yasnaya Polyana he i n v i t e d h e r to r e t u r n t o the o l d house  where she l i v e d t i l l her death i n 1874. "Aunt Tatyana Alexandrovna had the g r e a t e s t my  l i f e " , wrote T o l s t o y i n h i s R e m i n i s c e n c e s .  54  i n f l u e n c e on  Perhaps  Tolstoy  i s r i g h t i n s a y i n g t h i s f o r i n h i s mind the i n f l u e n c e o f h i s mother's legend had f u s e d w i t h t h a t of Aunt Tanya, who who  was  one o f the main sources of i n f o r m a t i o n  Indeed, she was  brought him up  and  about h i s mother.  l a r g e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the legend of the  saintly  mother: She taught me the s p i r i t u a l d e l i g h t s of l o v e . She taught t h i s to me not i n words but by h e r entire being — she i n j e c t e d me w i t h l o v e . I saw how happy she was i n l o v i n g o t h e r s and I t h u s grasped the happiness of love ... she 5 5  54 55 I t must be noted t h a t t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f Aunt Tanya seems to correspond to t h a t of h i s mother, found not only i n Reminiscences b u t i n War and Peace. The two b e i n g s , the dead and the l i v i n g , seem t o merge I r T h i s mind.  I 37  taught me the d e l i g h t s of an u n h u r r i e d solitary l i f e . I remember the l o n g autumn and.iwinter evenings spent w i t h h e r . These evenings w i l l always remain the most marvell o u s memories. To these evenings I am i n debted f o r my b e s t thoughts, f o r the best impulses of my soul.56 T o l s t o y h i m s e l f acknowledges the tremendous i n f l u e n c e t h a t Aunt Tanya had  on him.  Not  o n l y d i d she b r i n g him up  take the p l a c e of h i s mother but  she was,  and  f o r Tolstoy, a l i v i n g  p r o o f t h a t happiness can be found i n u t t e r s e l f - a b n e g a t i o n  5 7  and complete s e l f - s a c r i f i c e t o l o v e d ones. The life.  s t o r y of her s e l f - s a c r i f i c e i s the s t o r y of her  Her f i r s t great s a c r i f i c e was  vivacious, unusually  attractive g i r l .  madly in.-love w i t h her and, to  t h i s pennyless g i r l .  f a c t he was life,  her beloved,  to  She  a young,  Nicholas Tolstoy  fell  t o the h o r r o r of h i s f a m i l y , proposed  Though d e s p e r a t e l y i n l o v e w i t h him,  c o u l d not b r i n g him  the  stepped a s i d e , making i t p o s s i b l e f o r him  r e t r i e v e the f a m i l y f o r t u n e through a marriage w i t h the  ess, P r i n c e s s Mary Volkonsky. story.  in  one might almost say, her i d o l a l l her  Tanya r e f u s e d him because she  dowry he needed.  made when she was  But t h a t was  S i x y e a r s a f t e r Mary d i e d and  not the end of the  a f t e r Tanya had been l o v -  i n g l y c a r i n g f o r N i c h o l a s ' c h i l d r e n , she wrote a l a c o n i c memo (found a f t e r h e r death tucked  heir-  away i n a l i t t l e  little  o l d bead  embroidered r e t i c u l e ) :  56 C o l l e c t e d Works. V o l . 1 , p.272. 57 A g a i n the p i c t u r e p a r a l l e l s t h a t of h i s mother, Countess Mary.  /  38  Today (August 16, 1836) N i c h o l a s made two e x t r a o r d i n a r y p r o p o s a l s t o me; t h a t I should marry him and care f o r h i s orphan c h i l d r e n , never l e a v i n g them. The f i r s t I r e f u s e d and the second I agreed t o f u l f i l as l o n g as I live.58 Where can one f i n d a p a r a l l e l t o t h i s ? p a r a t i v e l y young woman proposed been, and s t i l l  t o by the man w i t h whom she has  i s , madly i n l o v e , r e f u s e s him now when he i s  f r e e , and, thanks t o h e r f i r s t marriage  A s t i l l com-  refusal, rich,  simply because t h i s  might s p o i l the sweet i d y l l i c r e l a t i o n s h i p which a l r e a d y  e x i s t s between h e r and h i s c h i l d r e n .  What t h i s s a c r i f i c e c o s t  h e r i s v i v i d l y r e v e a l e d i n another note w r i t t e n the y e a r N i c h o l a s died  (1837): There are wounds t h a t never h e a l . I do n o t speak o f the sorrows t h a t f i l l e d my c h i l d h o o d . The l o s s o f N i c h o l a s caused me the most l i v i n g , b u r n i n g , p a i n f u l sorrow -- i t t o r e my h e a r t . 5 9 As a young p e n n i l e s s g i r l ,  l i v i n g on the c h a r i t y o f  d i s t a n t r e l a t i v e s , t h e T o l s t o y s , Tanya Y e r g o l s k a y a by h e r beauty and c l e v e r n e s s had a t t r a c t e d the a t t e n t i o n o f a wealthy n o b l e , V . I . Yushkov.  Kazan  I n s p i t e o f t h e f a c t t h a t t h e r e c o u l d be no  dowry, an unheard-of t h i n g i n those days, he proposed. But Tanya, l o v i n g only N i c h o l a s , s a c r i f i c e d h e r whole b r i l l i a n t f u t u r e by r e f u s i n g him.  Though marrying N i c h o l a s  he always remained i n l o v e w i t h Tanya. forgave h e r r i v a l 58 59 60  1 3 0  1  sister  F o r t h i s Pelagea  Pelagea, never  and when she became the l e g a l guardian o f  C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 1 , p.270 A l e x a n d r a T o l s t o y , F a t h e r , London, Y a l e Press,1933, V o l l , p.25 Aylmer Maude, C o l l e c t e d Works, London Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1924, V o l . 1 , p.32.  39  N i c h o l a s ' c h i l d r e n took her revenge by i n f l i c t i n g a wound where i t would r e a l l y h u r t .  Regardless  of a l l t h a t Tanya had done f o r  the c h i l d r e n , Aunt P e l a g e a (or Aunt P a u l i n e as she was  called)  d e c i d e d t h a t the boys were t o be removed from Moscow t o Kazan to attend the new  U n i v e r s i t y t h e r e and t o be under her  personal  s u p e r v i s i o n , which i n f a c t amounted t o complete n e g l e c t .  Tolstoy  throws some l i g h t on what t h i s s e p a r a t i o n meant not only to Aunt Tanya but to h i m s e l f : I c r y — why do I c r y t h i n k i n g about you? These are the t e a r s of j o y . I am happy i n the r e a l i z a t i o n of y o u r l o v e f o r us. No matter what m i s f o r t u n e s w i l l overtake me o r b e f a l l me I s h a l l never c o n s i d e r myself t o t a l l y unhappy as l o n g as you l i v e . ( I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t the r e a l c r i s i s i n T o l s t o y ' s l i f e came immediately a f t e r the death o f Aunt Tanya, 1874): Do you remember how we p a r t e d i n the I b e r i a n chapel when we were going to Kazan, then, as i f through i n s p i r a t i o n , at the v e r y moment o f s e p a r a t i o n I understood what you were f o r me and although I was s t i l l a c h i l d I managed to convey t o you, by my t e a r s and a few d i s j o i n t e d words what I f e l t f o r you. I have never ceased to love you but the f e e l i n g I experienced bef o r e the I b e r i a n V i r g i n and t h a t of today i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t . The one today i s s t r o n g e r , more sublime than a t any o t h e r time ... only now ... I understand you, your boundless l o v e f o r us and your sublime s o u l . 6 1  Undoubtedly Aunt Tanya was She gave him gave him  T o l s t o y ' s guardian  a deep f e e l i n g of the t r u e nature  angel.  o f happiness;  she  a t r u l y happy c h i l d h o o d f i l l e d w i t h l o v e and s e c u r i t y : she  61 C o l l e c t e d Works. V o l . 2 1 , p.120.  40  i n s p i r e d him and encouraged him i n a l l h i s undertakings h i s l i t e r a r y work.  including  Aunt Tanya, through h e r unbounded f a i t h i n  h i s genius and i n h i s d e s t i n y , i n f e c t e d T o l s t o y from h i s e a r l i e s t c h i l d h o o d w i t h h e r b e l i e f i n him so t h a t he became convinced o f his special destiny.  She d i d n o t at f i r s t t h i n k o f him as becom-  i n g a g r e a t l i t e r a r y f i g u r e , she merely saw him w i t h e p a u l e t t e s and a b r i l l i a n t m i l i t a r y  adjutant's  career.  Yes my dear Aunt, T o l s t o y writes,62 how I hoped t h a t your prophecy should be f u l f i l l e d . I dream o f n o t h i n g b u t becoming an adjutant to such a man as he, a man63 whom I l o v e and r e s p e c t from the depth o f my h e a r t . At times,  i n h e r f o n d e s t dreams she even saw him as adjutant t o  the Emperor himself1  Only, a f t e r T o l s t o y became d i s i l l u s i o n e d  w i t h h i s m i l i t a r y c a r e e r and a f t e r i t became p l a i n even t o Aunt Tanya t h a t h i s v e r y c h a r a c t e r , devoid o f t a c t and a g g r e s s i v e l y argumentative, excluded him from the advancement she had e n v i s aged f o r him, d i d she urge upon him a l i t e r a r y c a r e e r and p r e s s e d him  to t r y h i s hand at n o v e l s . You remember, d e a r e s t A u n t i e , the advice you gave me t o w r i t e n o v e l s — , so, I am f o l l o w i n g your advice and the occupation to which I r e f e r r e d i n my l e t t e r was l i t e r a r y work. I do not know whether anything which I w r i t e w i l l be p u b l i s h e d but t h i s work f a s c i n a t e s me and I have got too i n v o l v e d i n i t t o drop i t . 6  62 C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 2 1 , p.120. 63 P r i n c e Gorchakov. 64. C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 2 1 , p.135.  4  41  It  i s i m p o s s i b l e t o overestimate the p r a c t i c a l h e l p she  gave him through engaging  i n a correspondence  t h a t h i s l e t t e r s t o her, alone, f i l l  o f such magnitude  a s m a l l volume.  The c o r r e s -  pondence was, at h e r i n s i s t e n c e c a r r i e d on i n F r e n c h and he formed the h a b i t o f d e s c r i b i n g h i s moods and i n t e r p r e t i n g h i s experiences. of  gambling,  When he was s u f f e r i n g from remorse a f t e r a s p e l l he eased h i s s o u l i n h i s l e t t e r s t o her.  When he  was l o n e l y i n a strange h o s t i l e world and s u f f e r i n g from  dis-  i l l u s i o n m e n t and d e s p a i r , he f l e d back to the warmth o f h e r sympathy and. understanding  and bathed h i m s e l f i n h e r l o v e and  approbation, always so generously g i v e n , so l a v i s h l y bestowed. He c o n f i d e d t o h e r h i s b i t t e r disappointment  at m i s s i n g the  George's Cross: I am p e r p e t u a l l y pursued by m i s f o r t u n e i n e v e r y t h i n g I undertake. D u r i n g t h i s campaign . I had twice the chance o f b e i n g c i t e d f o r the St.George's Cross and I c o u l d n ' t g e t i t because some accursed documents a r r i v e d a few days l a t e ... I can t e l l you q u i t e f r a n k l y , that, o f a l l m i l i t a r y honours I was d r i v e n by my ambition t o d e s i r e n o t h i n g b u t t h i s l i t t l e c r o s s . You w i l l understand t h a t I h i d the v e x a t i o n t h a t t h i s l o s s caused me n o t o n l y from s t r a n g e r s b u t from b r o t h e r N i c h o l a s . I h i d i t a l s o from you f o r the same reason b u t now I am o b l i g e d t o t e l l you t h i s . 6 5 But Aunt Tanya was n o t only h i s guardian angel b u t a l s o , undoubtedly  h i s e v i l genius, f o r she made him a supreme  e g o i s t , a man who i n ^ p i t e of h i s e f f o r t s t o the c o n t r a r y c o u l d l o v e no-one b u t h i m s e l f .  65  Even when he appeared  C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 2 1 , p.126.  to love others  42  he l o v e d them through h i m s e l f and f o r the sake o f h i m s e l f . his  Even  " d e a r e s t Aunt Tanya" f o r whom he p r o f e s s e d the g r e a t e s t l o v e  and o f whom he w r i t e s : " I eannot r e c o l l e c t a s i n g l e case when she h u r t anyone and I never met anyone who d i d not l o v e her",66 a s W  u n k i n d l y t r e a t e d by T o l s t o y , the s e l f i s h e g o i s t o f h e r own making. To pay h i s gambling debts he s e l l s t o be wrecked h e r o l d home a t Yasnaya Polyana.  Her home, i n which she i s now alone w i t h only  h e r sweet memories o f the p a s t , o f Mary and h e r b e l o v e d N i c h o l a s , of  h e r second  supreme s a c r i f i c e , o f the l i t t l e  had l o v i n g l y brought  up.  orphans t h a t she  To T o l s t o y i t i s merely  an o l d house w i t h  some cash v a l u e , salvage v a l u e , and o f use t o him at t h a t time. He s o l v e d h i s conscience by remarking big  enough f o r me and my aunt."  airily:  "The guest house i s  Again, while b e i n g e x t r a v a g a n t l y  s e l f - i n d u l g e n t , he r e f u s e s h e r the l i t t l e  sums o f pocket-money  which she needed only f o r h e r c h a r i t i e s o r t o keep h e r room stocked w i t h such simple d a i n t i e s as candy, dates o r r a i s i n s  —  d a i n t i e s t h a t she kept t o t r e a t him, t o s p o i l him f u r t h e r , on the r a r e o c c a s i o n s when he v i s i t e d her. Tolstoy records i n 1 9 0 3 ) : my r e f u s a l t o h e r . "  6 7  But from h e r , o n l y a s i g h (as  " S t i l l I cannot  Never a word o f reproach, only  l o v e , s e l f - s a c r i f i c e and b e l i e f i n him. whole l i f e  remember without h o r r o r boundless  Even when she i s o l d , h e r  spent f o r him, and now, occupying a good room i n the  new Manor house at Yasnaya Polyana, and t h i n k i n g only o f him, she urges him w i t h t e a r s i n h e r eyes t o move h e r so t h a t when she d i e s , which she f e a r s w i l l be soon, the good room w i l l not be haunted by  66 ibid, p.173 67 i b i d , p.172  1  43  unpleasant memories f o r T o l s t o y . consider?  What does he do?  Events speak f o r themselves —  Whom does he  she was moved.  But  a c t u a l l y Aunt Tanya had no-one to blame but h e r s e l f f o r h e r s e l f s a c r i f i c i n g l o v e extended only t o the T o l s t o y f a m i l y and she i m p l i c i t l y expected a l l o t h e r s t o s a c r i f i c e themselves a l s o f o r the T o l s t o y s .  What an e f f e c t t h i s had on the c h i l d r e n , and i n  p a r t i c u l a r on Leo! Although t h e peasants l o v e d her, and i t i s obvious t h a t she was not u n k i n d t o them, we l e a r n from S q u i r e ' s Morning and a l s o from F a t h e r t h a t T o l s t o y r e t u r n i n g from the U n i v e r s i t y of Kazan i n s p i r e d w i t h the d e s i r e t o improve the l o t of the peasants was u t t e r l y aghast when he d i s c o v e r e d the p o v e r t y , misery and deg r a d a t i o n e x i s t i n g i n the v i l l a g e o f Yasnaya Polyana.  Aunt  Tanya  must have known of these c o n d i t i o n s , but out o f love f o r Leo never t o l d him o f them and was  even s t r o n g l y opposed t o any minor reforms  t h a t he contemplated on the grounds t h a t they might d i m i n i s h h e r d a r l i n g ' s income o r , p e r i s h the thought, h i s patrimony! To h e r , serfdom was  serfdom, and the s e r f s were t h e r e  to s a t i s f y each and every whim-of t h e master, i n c l u d i n g h i s sexu a l appetite.  I t i s well-known  how  f r e e was S e r g e i , the e l d e r  b r o t h e r , w i t h the s e r f g i r l s and what an e f f e c t h i s example had on the young Leo.  There i s an e n t r y i n T o l s t o y ' s d i a r y ,  ironically  enough made at the h e i g h t o f h i s r e f o r m i n g z e a l , i n which he mentions beckoning to "something i n -pink" which was admitted through the back door and which on i n t i m a t e c o n t a c t u l t i m a t e l y d i s g u s t e d and d i s a p p o i n t e d him.  U n f o r t u n a t e l y the "something i n  /  44 pink"was too busy e a r n i n g h e r bread i n the sweat o f h e r brow to leave  a r e c o r d o f her impressions  master.  of i n t i m a t e c o n t a c t w i t h t h e  And Aunt Tanya saw n o t h i n g wrong, i n f a c t i t was q u i t e  natural, a p a r t  o f the s e r f ' s o b l i g a t i o n s .  She would, however,  have p r e f e r r e d , as T o l s t o y r e c o r d s , t h a t he should form a h e a l t h y l i a i s o n w i t h a decent m a r r i e d woman o f h i s own c l a s s .  When,  d i s g u s t e d w i t h the s e r f ' s d i s t r u s t o f him, he decamped t o Moscow to resume h i s l i f e o f gambling and debauchery,(this u n c e r t a i n t y as t o the m i s e r a b l e  time i n no  c o n d i t i o n o f h i s s e r f s ) he made  some astounding r e s o l u t i o n s r e c o r d e d  i n h i s d i a r y i n 1850:  to get i n t o a c i r c l e o f gamblers and gamble p r o f i t a b l y , t o g a i n admittance i n t o the h i g h est c i r c l e s o f s o c i e t y and under c e r t a i n cond i t i o n s t o marry, t o get a l u c r a t i v e government p o s t . The  l o v i n g and u n s e l f i s h Aunt Tanya would c e r t a i n l y n o t reproach  him  f o r making o r c a r r y i n g out these r e s o l u t i o n s . Aunt Tanya was l a r g e l y r e s p o n s i b l e not only f o r h i s  egoism b u t a l s o f o r h i s undoubtedly s p l i t p e r s o n a l i t y . instilled  She  i n him an almost p a t h o l o g i c a l c r a v i n g t o be l o v e d but  at the same time d e p r i v e d him, by h e r i n c r e d i b l e s p o i l i n g , o f the n e c e s s a r y q u a l i t i e s t h a t would draw t o him t h i s l o v e from o t h e r s . Had  Leo n o t been a genius,  and had he n o t found an o u t l e t i n h i s  c r e a t i v e work, he would, probably  have been crushed by the r e a l -  i t i e s o f l i f e j u s t as h i s b r o t h e r D m i t r i was, who p e r i s h e d unable to r e c o n c i l e h i s d e s i r e t o be l o v e d and t o do good w i t h h i s u t t e r l y ungovernable temper and u n b r i d l e d  passions.  \  )  Aunt Tanya gave a l l t h e T o l s t o y c h i l d r e n a b e a u t i f u l v i s i o n o f the p a r a d i s e , which she had entered key  through the magic  o f u n s e l f i s h l o v e , b u t they were unable t o f o l l o w h e r f o r  each c h i l d was brought up t o accept l o v e , n o t t o suppress s e l f i s h egoism. 'key'  O f t e n we see Leo attempting t o use Aunt Tanya's  b u t each time the e f f o r t i s d e f e a t e d  egoism.  by a resurgence o f  When T o l s t o y l e f t t h e warm l o v e nest t h a t Aunt Tanya  had b u i l t f o r him a t Yasnaya P o l y a n a he f e l t l i k e a ' f e a t h e r l e s s f l e d g l i n g ' f a l l e n t o the ground and t h e world i n t o which he f e l l he found c o l d and h e a r t l e s s and peopled w i t h egoists s i m i l a r to himself.  B o t h T o l s t o y ' s d i a r y and c o r r e s -  pondence d u r i n g h i s p e r i o d i n Moscow and S t . P e t e r s b u r g 1849  selfish  (around  t o 1852) r e v e a l the s t r u g g l e o f h i s s p l i t p e r s o n a l i t y .  He  alternates periods  o f s e l f - c a s t i g a t i o n , remorse and t h e s i n g i n g  of Moleben's before  the ikon o f our Lady o f I b e r i a begging h e r  h e l p i n f i g h t i n g temptation, and r e s o l u t i o n s t o mend h i s ways and be good, w i t h bouts o f g r e a t e r  and g r e a t e r d i s s i p a t i o n and  debauchery, u n t i l , hounded by c r e d i t o r s , T o l s t o y escapes t o t h e Caucasus, b u t , s i n c e he i s unable t o escape from h i m s e l f , the inward s t r u g g l e  continues.  Y e r g o l s k a y a ' s i n f l u e n c e on T o l s t o y was perhaps more f a r - r e a c h i n g than t h a t o f any other woman except h i s w i f e ,  Sophi  f o r i t was she who h e l p e d t o mold b o t h the man and the c r e a t i v e a r t i s t ; the e g o i s t and the m o r a l i s t .  I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that  T o l s t o y ' s g r e a t e s t mental c r i s i s f o l l o w e d t h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y woman.  c l o s e on the death o f  CHAPTER I I I From the many women who  played  the l i f e of T o l s t o y , i t i s i m p o s s i b l e For  t o omit V a l e r i a Arsenyev.  some reason, most of h i s b i o g r a p h e r s d i s m i s s t h i s  in his l i f e It  a significant role in  as of l i t t l e  s i g n i f i c a n c e and t r e a t i t a c c o r d i n g l y .  i s u s u a l l y thought of as a p a s s i n g  sided a f t e r a short separation St. Petersburg,  episode  i n f a t u a t i o n which sub-  occasioned  by T o l s t o y ' s t r i p to  undertaken, o s t e n s i b l y , to t e s t h i s f e e l i n g s .  Y e t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h V a l e r i a produced n o t only a f a i r l y correspondence between them i n the  lengthy  summer and f a l l of 1856,but  a l s o many l e t t e r s about h e r t o other people, p a r t i c u l a r l y , Aunt Tatyana.  These l e t t e r s shed an e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y i n t e r e s t i n g  l i g h t on T o l s t o y and h i s outlook on l i f e period.  and marriage at t h i s  They are p a r t i c u l a r l y r e v e a l i n g on h i s a t t i t u d e towards  marriage and prove, t h a t h i s views were already formed by time.  So t h a t , even a d m i t t i n g  T o l s t o y to any great  extent,  t h a t V a l e r i a d i d not  she  c e r t a i n l y must be  p r o v i d i n g him w i t h a m a r v e l l o u s o p p o r t u n i t y —  that  influence  -  credited with  for self-revelation  r e v e l a t i o n t h a t can be d e s c r i b e d as more i n t e r e s t i n g than  flattering. But what were the f a c t s of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p between V a l e r i a and T o l s t o y ? daughters and lay  a son,  The  Arsenyev f a m i l y , c o n s i s t i n g of  three  l i v e d at t h e i r e s t a t e of Soudakovo which  e i g h t v e r s t s (about 5 m i l e s ) from Yasnaya P o l y a n a on the  to T u l a .  Upon the death o f the f a t h e r i n 1854,  Tolstoy  was  road  47 appointed guardian t o the c h i l d r e n i n compliance of the w i l l .  On June 14, 1856,  c h i l d h o o d f r i e n d D.A. — his  he's  T S l s t o y , who  was  w i t h the terms v i s i t e d by h i s  Dyakov, wrote i n h i s d i a r y : "my  best f r i e n d  so charming" and adds t h a t Dyakov has a d v i s e d hirn to marry  neighbour  daughters,  and ward V a l e r i a Arsenyev, the e l d e s t of the t h r e e  a p r e t t y twenty-year o l d g i r l .  T o l s t o y apparently  took t h i s advice s e r i o u s l y f o r the v e r y next day, June 15,  he  p a i d a v i s i t to " Sudakovo and continued v i s i t i n g f r e q u e n t l y t i l l , August 12.  How  s e r i o u s l y he took t h i s a f f a i r can be seen by  e n t r i e s i n h i s d i a r y t h a t summer. meticulously — almost  the  He r e c o r d s h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s  o b s e r v a t i o n s which were c a r r i e d out i n a c a r e f u l  c l i n i c a l study of her c h a r a c t e r so as to decide on her  s u i t a b i l i t y f o r the r o l e of h i s f u t u r e w i f e .  His recorded  im-  p r e s s i o n s , p o s s i b l y i n f l u e n c e d by h i s moods, are so c o n t r a d i c t ory t h a t i t i s hard to r e c o n c i l e them w i t h the legend of T o l s t o y the seer, who  could penetrate  i n t o the i n n e r r e c e s s e s of the  He w r i t e s : She i s devoid o f backbone and f i r e , r e s e m b l i n g home made n o o d l e s . But she i s k i n d and her smile i s p a i n f u l l y submissive...V. i s charming ... She p l a y e d exceedingly w e l l ... charming ... V. p r a t t l e d about d r e s s e s and the coronation. She appears f r i v o l o u s . I t seems t h i s i s not a p a s s i n g i n t e r e s t but a permanent pass i o n ... I t a l k e d l i t t l e to her, but the l e s s I t a l k e d the more she impressed me ... V. was no good at a l l . I t h i n k no more of i t ' . . . V. i n a white d r e s s , v e r y charming. I have spent one of the mes t d e l i g h t f u l days of my l i f e . Do I s e r i o u s l y l o v e her? Can her l o v e be permanent? These are the two questions which I would l i k e t o answer but cannot ... V. i s r o t t e n l y brought up — i g n o r a n t , i f not s t u p i d ... V. i s a p l e a s ant g i r l but doesn't appeal to me i n the l e a s t ... V. e x c e e d i n g l y charming and our r e l a t i o n s  soul.  ,K 48  are u n c o n s t r a i n e d and d e l i g h t f u l . I f only they c o u l d always remain thus ... V. i s more a t t r a c t i v e than ever but h e r f r i v o l i t y and absence o f i n t e r e s t i n e v e r y t h i n g s e r i o u s i s appalling. I am a f r a i d she had a c h a r a c t e r , which p r e c l u d e s even the love of c h i l d r e n . 6 8  At t h i s time T o l s t o y was v i s i t e d by h i s e l d e r b r o t h e r Sergei.  On b e i n g t o l d of the a f f a i r w i t h V a l e r i a he, w i t h h i s  u s u a l s c e p t i c i s m , poured c o l d water on the whole t h i n g ? b u t d i d n o t dampen T o l s t o y ' s enthusiasm.  this  Two days l a t e r he p a i d an-  o t h e r v i s i t t o V a l e r i a and then w r i t e s i n h i s d i a r y j "She appears to p o s s e s s an a c t i v e l o v i n g n a t u r e .  I spent  But the next e n t r y r e c o r d s o p p o s i t e  feelings:  a happy  evening."  V. d i s p l e a s e d me e x c e e d i n g l y and spoke s t u p i d l y ... i t seems she i s u t t e r l y s t u p i d . . . V. was i n a s t a t e of c o n f u s i o n , h i g h l y a f f e c t e d and s t u p i d ... V. i n s p i r e d i n me a f e e l i n g o f c u r i o s i t y and g r a t i t u d e ... We t a l k e d o f marriage. She i s i n t e l l i g e n t and e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y kind.69 On August 12 V a l e r i a went t o Moscow t o attend the c o r o n a t i o n of Alexander I I and T o l s t o y went t o see h e r o f f . wrote: "She was e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y simple Most o f h i s impressions appear f a v o u r a b l e  On h i s r e t u r n he  and charming".70  as a r e s u l t o f h i s v i s i t s  and two.days l a t e r on Aug. 16,  a f t e r f o u r days  o f absence he wrote: " A l l these days I t h i n k more and more o f dear l i t t l e V a l e r i a " , 68 69 70  and t h e next day he w r i t e s t o h e r admit-  N".$r.'.'.iGu-sev Leo N . T o l s t o y - M a t e r i a l s o f S c i e n c e s , 1957, p.79. i b i d , p.80 l o c . cit.  1855-1869, Moscow Academy  49  t i n g t h a t h i s s o l e o b j e c t i s t o make h e r r e p l y . permeated w i t h g e n t l e humour and l i g h t  This l e t t e r i s  i r o n y f o r he  speaks i n the  same b r e a t h o f the extreme importance of b e i n g "presented c o u r t " and"buying some l a c e " .  at  However, t o h i s c h a g r i n , V a l e r i a  n e g l e c t e d t o r e p l y , but  she wrote to Tatyana Y e r g o l s k a y a  the w h i r l of excitement  i n Moscow w i t h the b a l l s and parades.  What p a r t i c u l a r l y h u r t T o l s t o y was  been one  about  her account of watching a r e -  view of t r o o p s w i t h some other l a d i e s and "two Emperor".  7 2  a d j u t a n t s of the  T h i s s h a f t went home, f o r e a r l i e r i n h i s l i f e  i t had  of h i s c h e r i s h e d but u n r e a l i z e d ambitions to become an  adjutant t o P r i n c e Gorchakov, but T o l s t o y never a s p i r e d to the e x a l t e d p o s i t i o n of a d j u t a n t to the E m p e r o r .  73  V a l e r i a a l s o com-  p l a i n e d t h a t hei* g a l a d r e s s , the " c o l o u r of r e d - c u r r a n t " , s u f f e r e d i n the c r u s h . h u r t and  had  T o l s t o y promptly wrote to her again,  a  excited l e t t e r : Is i t p o s s i b l e t h a t some " c u r r a n t s " , f o r s o o t h , and the beau-monde, and Emperor's a d j u t a n t s w i l l f o r e v e r remain f o r you the acme of contentment? ... Knowing me you must r e a l i z e how your k i n d l e t t e r would h u r t . Can you doubt t h a t a l l t h i s i s most d i s t a s t e f u l ? ... To l o v e h i g h s o c i e t y but not the men i s d i s h o n e s t and even dangerous f o r i n these c i r c l e s one meets more reprobates than i n any o t h e r ... As to Emperor's a d j u t a n t s — I b e l i e v e t h e r e are about 40 of them and I know f o r a f a c t t h a t only two are not scoundrels and these are f o o l s . 7 4  72  In the T o l s t o y Museum i n USSR, t h e r e are 10 unpublished l e t t e r s , a l l w r i t t e n i n French from V a l e r i a t o Tatyana Y e r g o l s k a y a .  73 Throughout War and Peace T o l s t o y i s p a r t i c u l a r l y b i t t e r , when he makes any r e f e r e n c e to an a d j u t a n t . 74 >Gosev - M a t e r i a l s  p.81.  50  He then t r i e s t o shame h e r by c o n t r a s t i n g the simple p l e a s u r e s o f country l i f e of c o u r t i e r s .  such as h u n t i n g , w i t h a l l the f u t i l e empty p l e a s u r e s He concludes, "Wishing you a l l s o r t s o f e x a l t e d  p l e a s u r e s , I remain your most obedient and most unpleasant  servant."  I t appears t h a t f o r some time T o l s t o y c o u l d n o t get over the unfavourable  impression made by V a l e r i a ' s l e t t e r - t o h i s  aunt. F o r twelve days t h e r e are no e n t r i e s i n h i s d i a r y but on S e p t . l he w r i t e s " I am t h i n k i n g o f V a l e r i a w i t h g r e a t p l e a s u r e " and on Sept. 6 , h a v i n g v i s i t e d ; Sudakovo while h u n t i n g he again thought  o f h e r w i t h g r e a t p l e a s u r e and wrote t o h e r : I am tormented w i t h the thought t h a t I have w r i t t e n t o you without p e r m i s s i o n and t h a t what I wrote was s t u p i d , rude, and bad.  He begs h e r t o w r i t e a few words t o assure him she i s n o t angry. He urges h e r t o enjoy h e r s e l f and adds there i s n o t h i n g in this  ironical  statement. To t h i s l e t t e r V a l e r i a c o u l d n o t h e l p r e p l y i n g .  She  assured him she was not annoyed w i t h h e r "charming neighbour" f o r m o r a l i z i n g and t h a t she always a p p r e c i a t e d h i s a d v i c e .  But she  does r e s e n t t h a t he m i s i n t e r p r e t e d h e r l e t t e r t o Tatyana Y e r g o l s k a y a and d i s l i k e d h i s reprimand She  concerning her vanity.-  continues t h a t she i s caught up i n a w h i r l o f s o c i a l  ities,  activ-  i s having piano l e s s o n s from M o r t i e r , and i s tremendously  l o o k i n g forward t o the b a l l s t o be g i v e n by t h e A u s t r i a n and F r e n c h Ambassadors.  What impression t h i s l e t t e r had on T o l s t o y  can be gathered from the f a c t t h a t t h e r e i s a b s o l u t e l y no r e f e r ence t o i t i n h i s d i a r y .  \  51  On a visit. On  Sept.21 V a l e r i a r e t u r n e d home and T o l s t o y p a i d  "V.  i s charming hut,  Sept.25, he w r i t e s : "V.  altogether t r i v i a l . "  On  alasi utterly s t u p i d "  i s charming but has  Sept.28, he  he  7 5  her  records.  a s m a l l mind  spent the n i g h t  at  —  ^udakovo  and n o t e s t h a t t h a t evening V a l e r i a appealed to him but the next morning comes t h i s t e l l i n g entry ill-humour. ual  life."  V.  i n h i s d i a r y : " I woke up  i s not endowed f o r e i t h e r p r a c t i c a l or  That day V a l e r i a t o l d him  i n l o v e w i t h him.  remark provoked the f o l l o w i n g e n t r y i n the d i a r y : I was  added: "V.  c o l d as i c e .  f e a r f u l l y empty.  Hence her endless  This  F o r the When he  first  got  Devoid o f p r i n c i p l e and  as  infatuations."  T h i s v a c i l l a t i o n , blowing hot a t i o n continued  in  "I f e l t i n -  ashamed both f o r myself and f o r her.  time I experienced f o r h e r some s o r t of p a s s i o n . " home he  intellect-  about her piano t e a c h e r  Moscow and p l a y f u l l y h i n t e d t h a t she was  sulted.  i n an  and c o l d on h i s i n f a t u -  u n t i l , unexpectedly on Oct. 24, T o l s t o y u s i n g  a l l e g o r i c a l s t o r y i n which he  i s c a l l e d Khrapovitski  Dembitsky, makes a v e i l e d p r o p o s a l  and  of marriage, to her.  c l e a r that- V a l e r i a understands the a l l e g o r y and  she  an Mile.  It is  i n the morning  appeared " s h y l y f l u s h e d and happy".  He  and d i s g u s t e d " .  accompanies h e r t o a b a l l at  The  same evening he  T u l a and makes a l a c o n i c entry w i t h her" — her".  the next day  T h i s l a s t entry he  N. Gusev, M a t e r i a l s ,  i n h i s d i a r y " I am  "delighted  almost i n . l o v e  t h i s i s changed and he w r i t e s "I love; shows t o V a l e r i a who  as a keepsake.  75  r e c o r d s he f e l t  p.85  t o r e out the page  From now  on they were c o n s i d e r e d an engaged couple  t r e a t e d as such by the neighbourhood. i n h i s d i a r y , " I n ^ p i t e of myself bridegroom. of  T h i s enrages me."  e n t r i e s favourable  On Oct. 28, T o l s t o y w r i t e s  I have become some s o r t of a Then f o l l o w s another l o n g  end unfavourable  t a l k to her o f anything.  and  to V a l e r i a .  "One  series cannot  Her mental l i m i t a t i o n s t e r r i f y me."  This  c l e a r l y shows what importance Tolstoy attached t o f i n d i n g a w i f e , i f not h i s mental equal, at l e a s t capable  of b e i n g a helpmate i n  l i t e r a r y work. Oh Oct. 31, T o l s t o y again accompanies V a l e r i a t o a b a l l at T u l a and again f i n d s her charming. supper w i t h her f a m i l y and at 3 A.M. Nov.  But  a f t e r the b a l l he  suddenly  had  l e f t f o r Moscow. On  2nd he w r i t e s to V a l e r i a , t e l l i n g her he has no doubt of t h e i r  happinesSjbut  warns her of the tremendous e f f o r t at s e l f - i m p r o v e -  ment t h a t each must make and without ness.  which there can be no  He makes i t q u i t e c l e a r what he means by  happi-  self-improvement:  To l e a r n to p l a y w e l l d i f f i c u l t music; t o be able t o a p p r e c i a t e p o e t r y or an a r t i s t i c p r o d u c t i o n ; and above a l l to do good t o someone and thereby f o r c e t h i s person to be g r a t e f u l to God f o r the e x i s t e n c e of the doer. T h i s w i l l be a source of d e l i g h t t o you but now you know t h e r e i s a man who w i l l l o v e you more and more, even t o i n f i n i t y , not only f o r y o u r s e l f but f o r e v e r y t h i n g good t h a t you may a c q u i r e . A man who l o v e s you w i t h the most powerful, tender, and e t e r n a l l o v e ... bod, h i m s e l f , has prompted me t o leave Yasnaya Polyana i n order to t e s t my f e e l i n g s . I could not have done i t . I t was He who guided me f o r the sake o f our p e r s o n a l happiness ... C h r i s t be w i t h youi May He h e l p us to understand and l o v e each other w e l l . ° 7  76 ibid,  p.85.  53  T o l s t o y remained i n Moscow f o r only f i v e days b u t j u s t b e f o r e h i s departure he heard from a d i s t a n t r e l a t i v e , P r i n c e Volkonsky,  some c u r r e n t Moscow scandal about V a l e r i a and the  p i a n i s t , M o r t i e r , w i t h whom she corresponded heels i n love. he  and was head-over-  On Nov.5th he r e c o r d s i n h i s d i a r y how h o r r i f i e d  i s by the " f l i g h t i n e s s , f i c k l e n e s s , and empty headedness" o f  the g i r l w i t h whom he planned t o j o i n h i s l i f e . I t i s obvious t h a t T o l s t o y has a double m o r a l i t y f o r men and women.  standard o f  He i s shocked at a b r e a t h o f scandal  end a q u i t e unfounded rumour about h i s f i a n c e e , y e t he, h i m s e l f , throughout  t h i s p e r i o d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e e n t r i e s i n h i s d i a r y was  having i l l i c i t  r e l a t i o n s w i t h the w i f e o f one o f h i s s e r f s who  had been sent, presumably a t h i s o r d e r s , i n t o t h e army.  And t h i s  i s the man who t a l k s o f h i g h m o r a l i t y , self-improvement,  and d o i n g  good so t h a t people w i l l thank God f o r one's e x i s t e n c e .  What a  d i s t a n c e between T o l s t o y ' s t h e o r y and p r a c t i c e !  advant-  To take  age o f the i n s t i t u t i o n o f serfdom and h i s power t o send any man i n t o the army and then t o g r a t i f y h i s a p p e t i t e w i t h the w i f e o f the s e r f he had sent s a f e l y out o f h i s way f o r t w e n t y - f i v e y e a r s i s h a r d l y a c c o r d i n g t o h i s moral  sentiments.  7 7  I n S t . P e t e r s b u r g he e s t a b l i s h e d h i m s e l f more o r l e s s permanently f o r he r e n t e d a f l a t and c a r r i e d on a lengthy c o r r e s pondence w i t h V a l e r i a , which i s extant, and which i s a c a r e f u l  77 I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t t h e T o l s t o y m a t e r i a l s c o l l e c t e d by N. G(jjpsev f o r the p e r i o d 1855-69, and c o v e r i n g some 900 pages of c l o s e p r i n t , p u b l i s h e d by the S o v i e t Academy, omit any mention °f* J&XstoyJ s numerous p e c a d i l l o s r w i t h h i s s e r f g i r l s o r i n t h e Drothels Of Moscow.  1  54  " e x p o s i t i o n of h i s views on marriage.  The reader i s l e f t w i t h no  doubt t h a t T o l s t o y looked on h i m s e l f as engaged t o V a l e r i a .  He  con-  t i n u e s t o use the names K h r a p o v i t s k y and Dembitsky and draws upd e t a i l e d plans f o r t h e i r married l i f e .  He goes t o g r e a t p a i n s t o  c a l c u l a t e t h e i r combined incomes and warns her t h a t i t w i l l not s u f f i c e f o r them to l i v e a l l the y e a r round i n the c a p i t a l , though he does concede t h a t they c o u l d spend a few months of each y e a r there.  However, they w i l l have t o l i v e i n a simple way  f l o o r four-room  f l a t g i v i n g up a l l expensive  in a fifth  entertainment.  He  p a i n t s a p i c t u r e of simple c o n j u g a l b l i s s b r i g h t e n e d by c o n t a c t s w i t h a r t i s t s and l i t e r a r y f r i e n d s .  But always,  in his letters,  he i s the m o r a l i s t , the s p i r i t u a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l u p l i f t e r , he l e a v e s no doubt as t o who the model t o he emulated. r e a d e r who  i s t o be u p l i f t e d and who  and  i s t o be  Here i s deep i r o n y f o r the w e l l - i n f o r m e d  knows of the d i s s i p a t e d l i f e t h a t T o l s t o y l e d at t h i s  time, w i t h h i s gambling,  d r i n k i n g , and f r e q u e n t v i s i t s t o b r o t h e l s .  However, he seems t o be s t i l l  i n l o v e w i t h V a l e r i a f o r , on Nov.9  he w r i t e s a l e t t e r f u l l o f l o v e and tenderness.  S t i l l he i s  t o r t u r e d w i t h doubts and asks her a n x i o u s l y : Do you not belong t o those people who a l l t h e i r l i v e s have no d e l i g h t s and s u f f e r i n g s — moral, of course ... O f t e n i t seems t o me you are such a person and t h i s causes me great p a i n . He begs h e r t o t e l l him f r a n k l y i f she i s such a one, but c l u d e s , "Whatever you are, you charming n a t u r e . "  7 8  He  are a d a r l i n g and you have a t r u l y  continues r a t h e r p a t h e t i c a l l y :  72 N. Qruisev, M a t e r i a l s , p.87.  con-  55 Whenever something happens t o me, whether i t he s e r i o u s o r not — some set-back, some p r i c k to my s e l f - e s t e e m e t c . I at the same second r e member you and say t o myself: " A l l t h i s i s nonsense — up t h e r e i s a g i r l , and n o t h i n g m a t t e r s . " Such a f e e l i n g I have never experienced f o r any o t h e r woman. " 7  He then exhorts h e r to work: Because work i s the f i r s t c o n d i t i o n f o r a good moral l i f e , and t h e r e f o r e , happiness ... I know t h i s because I have not o n l y ftelt t h i s but reached t h i s c o n c l u s i o n through s u f f e r i n g . I am convinced the o n l y p o s s i b l e t r u e , e t e r n a l , and h i g h e s t form o f happiness i s a c q u i r e d by t h r e e means: work, s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , and l o v e . T h i s c o n v i c t i o n I c a r r y i n my s o u l although I put i t i n t o p r a c t i c e perhaps f o r o n l y two hours d u r i n g a whole y e a r . But i f you would g i v e yours e l f up t o t a l l y to t h i s c o n v i c t i o n , t o t a l l y , completely ... imagine two b e i n g s j o i n e d t o g e t h e r by t h i s c o n v i c t i o n — but t h i s i s supreme h a p p i ness ... T h i s f e e l i n g , however cannot be i n s p i r e d by someone e l s e one must a r r i v e at i t through independent i n n e r s t r u g g l e . Words are of no avail. The i n s p i r a t i o n comes from God h i m s e l f i n due time. Six to  times i n one him —  l e t t e r does T o l s t o y appeal to h i s b e l o v e d t o w r i t e  "Write t o me",  "Write t o me  f o r God's sake every  day",  ''Write t o me f o r God's sake at once", e t c . D u r i n g the n i g h t of Nov.12, he w r i t e s another l o n g l e t t e r , again r e f e r r i n g to h i m s e l f as K h r a p o v i t s k y ahd h i s f i a n c e e as Dembitsky, and d e s c r i b e s h i m s e l f as a " m o r a l l y o l d man" has p e r p e t r a t e d i n h i s youth endless f o l l i e s , his  t r u e road and c a l l i n g i n l i t e r a t u r e .  but who  now  who has  He has profoundest  found con-  tempt f o r h i g h s o c i e t y f o r i n t h i s d i s s i p a t e d l i f e p e r i s h a l l good,  79  ibid,  p.88.  honest,  and pure thoughts.  family l i f e .  What he t r u l y l o v e s i s a q u i e t moral  "Her i d e a l s are q u i t e d i f f e r e n t ;  ness i n b a l l s , naked shoulders,SO acquaintance w i t h chamberlains  her own  she f i n d s her happi-  c a r r i a g e , diamonds,  and a d j u t a n t s g e n e r a l s e t c . "  f o l l o w s t h a t K h r a p o v i t s k y and Dembitsky have o p p o s i t e i o n s , but they l o v e each o t h e r .  How,  It  inclinat-  then, can they l i v e  together?  They must make c o n c e s s i o n s to each other and he "whose i n c l i n a t i o n s are the l e a s t moral" must y i e l d the more. prepared to spend a l l h i s l i f e t h r e e occupations: happiness,  Khrapovitsky i s  i n the country where he w i l l have  l o v i n g Madam Dembitsky and c a r i n g f o r her  l i t e r a t u r e , and managing the e s t a t e .  This l a t t e r task  w i l l c o n s i s t of " f u l f i l l i n g h i s duty to human b e i n g s e n t r u s t e d to  him  ... M i l e . Dembitsky^however, dreams otherwise."  dreams of l i f e  She  i n St.Petersburg, attending t h i r t y b a l l s i n a  season, r e c e i v i n g her f r i e n d s at home, and d r i v i n g along Nev^sky Prospect i n her c a r r i a g e .  He  concludes w i t h a desperate  "Whatever happens f o r the sake of the L i v i n g God, of  appeal,  f o r the memory  your f a t h e r , and f o r e v e r y t h i n g t h a t you h o l d s a c r e d , I en-  t r e a t you, be f r a n k w i t h me,  t o t a l l y frank."  On Nov.19, he w r i t e s a v e r y s i g n i f i c a n t l e t t e r i n r e p l y to  a good l e t t e r from her.  I t seems t o a n t i d a t e some of the  views a s s o c i a t e d w i t h h i s c o n v e r s i o n t h a t o c c u r r e d much l a t e r , i n 1380: My main c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s complete s c e p t i c i s m which i s due t o an i n c l i n a t i o n t o doubt everyt h i n g i n t h i s w o r l d but I do not doubt t h a t ;  80 'Naked s h o u l d e r s ' e x h i b i t e d p a r t i c u l a r l y by m a r r i e d women were v e r y obnoxious to T o l s t o y . L a t e r i t proved t o be a source of cons i d e r a b l e f r i c t i o n between h i m s e l f and h i s w i f e , Sophia.  57  good i s good ... by t h i s I mean the moral good, i . e . l o v e f o r one's neighbour, poety, beauty. T h i s i s the o n l y t h i n g t h a t I have never doubted and which I worship always although I h a r d l y ever p r a c t i c e i t . " He  adds t h a t h i s a t t r a c t i o n f o r h i s b e t r o t h e d i s mainly due  to  to the f a c t t h a t she appears t o him capable o f b e i n g good i n t h a t sense of the word. On Nov.  20,  a f t e r having r e c e i v e d a somewhat empty  l e t t e r from V a l e r i a , T o l s t o y notes i n h i s d i a r y , She b e t r a y s her undeveloped but l o v i n g n a t u r e . But there i s hope t h a t under my i n f l u e n c e she w i l l l e a r n how t o t h i n k . He t r i e s  t o impress upon her the importance  will-power.  To do t h i s she must s t r i v e a g a i n s t her bad h a b i t s  and do what she ought to do.  He then proceeds t o o u t l i n e a whole  program of t h e i r f u t u r e m a r r i e d l i f e . spend i n town and seven i n the country. be  of developing her  F i v e months they w i l l The w i n t e r months w i l l  spent a l t e r n a t i v e l y at S t . P e t e r s b u r g and abroad,  n e i t h e r one w i l l f e e l would be a m i s f o r t u n e . swim —  so t h a t  out of the swim and become p r o v i n c i a l , which He  e x p l a i n s what he means by b e i n g i n the  b e i n g w e l l - i n f o r m e d about a l l noteworthy new  keeping up w i t h European p o l i t i c s , contemporary R u s s i a n i d e a s .  and knowing the most advanced  When i n S t . P e t e r s b u r g t h e y w i l l not  have f a s h i o n a b l e f r i e n d s but r a t h e r i n t e l l e c t u a l , and e s p e c i a l l y good p e o p l e .  books,  While  enlightened,  i n the country K h r a p o v i t s k y ' s  main o b j e c t w i l l be t o make h i s peasants happy.  He  closes:  58  ... two o ' c l o c k i n the morning! I am so happy i n the thought t h a t you e x i s t and t h a t you l o v e me. I don't know what would happen i f you should suddenly t e l l me you love me no l o n g e r . On Nov.  23, having r e c e i v e d a "marvellous,  charming,  and s p l e n d i d " l e t t e r from V a l e r i a , he w r i t e s : I conclude from your l e t t e r t h a t you not only l o v e me but t h a t you b e g i n t o understand the s e r i o u s n e s s of l i f e , t o l o v e the good, to d e l i g h t i n o b s e r v i n g y o u r s e l f , and to go forward along the r o a d to p e r f e c t i o n . The road i s e n d l e s s and c o n t i n u e s even i n the l i f e t o come. I t i s a charming road on which one can f i n d happiness i n t h i s l i f e . Having concluded t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n on the t r u e meaning of  life  he switches t o the t r u e meaning of motherhood, s a y i n g : The t r u e d e s t i n y of a woman i s t o be a mother but not a mere r e p r o d u c t i o n machine.81 Do you understand the d i f f e r e n c e i n meaning? ... In order to be a t r u e mother one needs development. He concludes w i t h words of t e n d e r endearment.  In answer t o t h i s  T o l s t o y r e c e i v e d two l e t t e r s i n q u i c k s u c c e s s i o n which brought him grave doubts as t o the depths of her f e e l i n g s and r e s u l t e d i n the f o l l o w i n g entry i n h i s d i a r y : "She f o o l s h e r s e l f . t h i s through and through.  This i s boring."  I see  He r e p l i e s t o her  without any e f f o r t t o h i d e h i s apprehension as t o the  conse-  quence of t h e i r marriage:  81 T o l s t o y uses the Russian word "matka" which i s mother i n the sense of dam or animal mother.  59  I f e a r marriage so much because I look upon i t as a most s e r i o u s s t e p . Some people about to be m a r r i e d t h i n k : 'Well i f I.don't f i n d happiness so what? my whole l i f e i s ahead of me.' T h i s thought never c r o s s e s my mind. I stake e v e r y t h i n g upon t h i s c a r d . I f I do not f i n d complete happiness I w i l l r u i n e v e r y t h i n g , my t a l e n t , my h e a r t . I w i l l become an a l c o h o l i c , a gambler, a t h i e f i f I do not f i n d courage t o cut my t h r o a t . T h i s l e t t e r marked the t u r n i n g p o i n t i n h i s r e l a t i o n s with V a l e r i a .  He h i m s e l f i s now  completely  convinced  t h a t mar-  r i a g e w i t h her would l e a d t o the consequences he enumerates. F o r the f i r s t time, i n an e n t r y i n h i s d i a r y , he uses, i n r e f e r e n c e to h i s f i a n c e e , the contemptuous d i m i n u a t i v e t o her become p r o g r e s s i v e l y c o l d e r and  "Valka".  His  are f i l l e d w i t h  letters  pedantic  m o r a l i s i n g and f i n a l l y provoke her t o express her resentment f o r b i d him to w r i t e f u r t h e r , f o r h i s l e t t e r s are n o t h i n g " l e c t u r e s " and  "bore her t o death".  On Dec.  and  but  1 Tolstoy received a  l e t t e r from Aunt T a n y a 2 i n which she a d v i s e s him to b r i n g h i s 8  a f f a i r w i t h V a l e r i a t o a speedy c o n c l u s i o n .  He r e p l i e s on Dec.  5:  A f t e r I l e f t , and f o r a week, i t seemed t o me I was i n love as people say, but w i t h my keen i m a g i n a t i o n t h i s i s not d i f f i c u l t . But now, e s p e c i a l l y when I began.to work hard, I would l i k e v e r y much indeed to say, I am i n l o v e , but t h i s i s not so. The o n l y f e e l i n g I s t i l l have f o r her i s one o f g r a t i t u d e f o r her love.83 On Dec.7 he w r i t e s t o V a l e r i a a l e t t e r which c o u l d no doubt i n her mind as t o h i s r e a l f e e l i n g s f o r her. 82 83  This letter i s lost. C o l l e c t e d Works. Vol.21,  p.147  leave  I t i s pos-  60  s i b l e t h a t T o l s t o y was a c t u a l l y seeking  a way out o f h i s p r e d i c -  ament, he may even have been t r y i n g t o provoke h i s f i a n c e e i n t o breaking  o f f the engagement, f o r he wrote: " I t i s impossible t o  l o v e each other when we have a d i f f e r e n t outlook upon There f o l l o w e d  a b i t t e r outburst  i n g i n s o c i e t y a f t e r marriage.  life."  against h e r i n t e n t i o n o f appearHe t e l l s h e r t h a t i f she pursues  her i n t e n t i o n , he would be o b l i g e d t o a s s o c i a t e w i t h people whom he cannot r e s p e c t , w i t h whom i t i s n o t o n l y b o r i n g b u t d i s g u s t i n g t o meet ... he would be o b l i g e d t o waste h i s time, change h i s mode o f l i v i n g , s a c r i f i c e t h a t which i s b e s t i n him — h i s l i t e r a r y work ... There are o n l y two c h o i c e s , e i t h e r you must, make an e f f o r t t o c a t c h up w i t h me o r I must r e gress. But I cannot r e g r e s s because I know t h a t ahead o f me l i e s t h a t which i s b e t t e r , b r i g h t e r , h a p p i e r ... Go as f a s t as you can, I w i l l h e l p you as much as I can. I t w i l l be h a r d f o r you b u t w i t h what s a t i s f a c t i o n , w i t h what happiness, and w i t h what l o v e ( p r o v i d e d a l l t h i s means anything t o you) w i l l we f o l l o w t h e road t o t h e end.84 I t i s obvious t h a t T o l s t o y i s n e i t h e r h o p e f u l nor e n t h u s i a s t i c about the p r o s p e c t s  o f f o l l o w i n g t h i s road t o g e t h e r .  He i s t r y -  i n g t o sugar-coat the b i t t e r p i l l .  I f h i s i n t e n t i o n r e a l l y was t o  provoke h i s b e t r o t h e d  the engagement, he succeeded.  F o r even b e f o r e  into breaking  r e c e i v i n g t h e l a s t l e t t e r , V a l e r i a t o l d him h i s  l e t t e r s , c o n s i s t i n g o f n o t h i n g b u t "reprimanding l e c t u r e s bored her t o death'.' the  T o l s t o y ' s remarks i n h i s d i a r y seem t o bear out  s u p p o s i t i o n t h a t he was s e e k i n g t o end the whole a f f a i r f o r  he w r i t e s t h a t he i s p l e a s e d the t e d i o u s  84 N. .;Gasev, M a t e r i a l s , p.96.  a f f a i r i s ended.  61  On Dec.  12.he w r i t e s t o V a l e r i a f o r the l a s t time: I gathered from y o u r l e t t e r how f a r we are apart from each other ... my t e n d e r e s t and d e a r e s t thoughts t h a t I w r i t e t o you, almost with t e a r s i n my eyes, f i n d no echo i n y o u r heart. I f t h e r e i s nothing i n common between us, love and marriage would b r i n g only s u f f e r i n g ... T r y t o f o r g i v e me and l e t us remain friends. 8 5  On Dec.13, he w r i t e s i n h i s d i a r y : I am v e r y sad. A l l n i g h t I had nightmares. Some people were k i l l i n g each o t h e r on the floor. Some brown naked woman p r e s s e d on my chest and whispered i n my e a r . I t i s c l e a r t h a t T o l s t o y was n o t only d i s g u s t e d w i t h the whole a f f a i r but somewhat ashamed of h i s c o n d u c t .  8 6  He could n o t  h e l p r e a l i z i n g t h a t he had compromised V a l e r i a , who, t o make matters worse, was h i s young ward.  He could not escape b e i n g  condemned by the s t a i d T u l a s o c i e t y , which had very d e f i n i t e views on the o b l i g a t i o n s o f a l e g a l guardian.  H i s d u a l r o l e as guardian  and f i a n c e p l a c e d him i n a dubious p o s i t i o n and made h i s conduct appear r e p r e h e n s i b l e .  T o l s t o y r e a l i z e d t h a t h i s r e p u t a t i o n had  not emerged u n t a r n i s h e d from t h i s r e g r e t t a b l e episode."  What was  worse he r e a l i z e d t h a t he had deeply wounded h i s Aunt Tanya — t h e b e i n g whom, i n h i s own words, he l o v e d "above e v e r y t h i n g e l s e i n the world", and who, l i v i n g i n the d i s t r i c t , would be exposed t o  85  i b i d , p.97 86 i n s p i t e o f a l l t h e unpleasantness and h u m i l i a t i o n t h a t t h i s a f f a i r caused T o l s t o y , he managed t o e x t r a c t from i t something o f v a l u e . I t gave him i n s p i r a t i o n f o r h i s novelette,The F a m i l y Happiness. I n i t he imagines t h a t h i s marriage had a c t u a l l y o c c u r r e d and d e p i c t s a l l the wretched consequences.  62  the unpleasantness  o f the l o c a l s o c i e t y g o s s i p .  unable h e r s e l f t o understand  Being u t t e r l y  the i n n e r workings o f T o l s t o y ' s  mind, she would f i n d i t hard t o defend h e r i d o l . It  i s no wonder t h a t T o l s t o y sought  these unpleasant  a solution of a l l  complications i n a p r e c i p i t o u s f l i g h t  abroad.  Indeed, h i s f l i g h t was so p r e c i p i t o u s t h a t he d i d n o t deem i t a d v i s a b l e t o r e t u r n t o Yasnaya P o l y a n a t o say goodbye t o h i s aunt. In  a l e t t e r dated J a n . 12, 1857, from Moscow, he w r i t e s : My dear Aunt, I have r e c e i v e d my f o r e i g n p a s s p o r t . I have come t o Moscow t o spend a few days w i t h Mashenka ? and then t o go t o Yasnaya P o l y a n a to s e t t l e my a f f a i r s and say good-by t o you. But now I have changed my mind, e s p e c i a l l y on the advice o f Mashenka and have d e c i d e d t o spend a week o r two w i t h her, and then l e a v e d i r e c V . f o r P a r i s v i a Warsaw. You w i l l perhaps understand, dear Aunt, why I do n o t want, or perhaps why I should n o t , come now t o Yasnaya Polyana o r r a t h e r t o Stwudakovo, I t seems I have behaved v e r y b a d l y towards V. B u t i f I should see h e r again, i t ' would be even worse. As I have a l r e a d y w r i t t e n t o you, I am completely i n d i f f e r e n t t o h e r and can no longer d e c e i v e e i t h e r myself o r h e r ... What w o r r i e s me i s t h a t I have h u r t t h i s g i r l and t h a t I won't be able t o say goodbye t o you b e f o r e I l e a v e . 8  8 8  On Feb. 22, 1857, w r i t i n g from P a r i s , he again r e t u r n s to  t h i s subject: J u d g i n g from your l e t t e r , my d e a r e s t Aunt, we do n o t understand each o t h e r a t a l l on the subject o f Soudakovo. Although I admit I am g u i l t y of inconstancy and t h a t e v e r y t h i n g c o u l d have t u r n e d out d i f f e r e n t l y , I s t i l l b e l i e v e t h a t I acted honourably. I never cease t e l l i n g you I do not know what t h e f e e l i n g was t h a t I f e l t f o r  ° 88  f  H i s s i s t e r Mary. C o l l e c t e d Work's, Vol.XXI, p. 144.  63  the young person, b u t I do know i t was n o t l o v e . I wanted t o t e s t myself. T h i s t e s t showed me t h a t I was mistaken and I wrote t h i s t o V. as f r a n k l y as I c o u l d . Had M'lle.. V.89 h o wrote t o me such a r i d i c u l o u s l e t t e r bothered to remember the whole tenor o f my conduct t o V . how I attempted t o v i s i t her as r a r e l y as p o s s i b l e l and how she always pressed me t o come more o f t e n and t o make our r e l a t i o n s more i n t i m a t e . I understand she i s angry because t h a t which she wished d i d n ' t come' t o pass (perhaps I r e g r e t t h i s even more than she does) b u t t h i s doesn't g i v e h e r the .' r i g h t t o t e l l a man, who t r i e d t o behave i n the best p o s s i b l e way, and who s a c r i f i c e d much out o f f e a r o f making o t h e r s unhappy, t h a t he i s a swine and t o persuade o t h e r s t h a t t h i s i s so. I am c e r t a i n that everyone i n T u l a t h i n k s that I am a d r e a d f u l m o n s t e r . " W  9 0  9  T h i s l e t t e r i l l u s t r a t e s b e t t e r than anything  92  e l s e what  e f f o r t i t cost T o l s t o y t,o xake t h e course he f i n a l l y took.  At  t h a t time he was f e a r f u l l y s e n s i t i v e t o the o p i n i o n o f o t h e r s , e s p e c i a l l y to that o f society.  He t e l l s us t h i s  himself.  Nothing was so important t o him as the n e c e s s i t y at a l l times t o behave i n a s t r i c t l y comme i l f a u t way.  E s p e c i a l l y when h i s  89  • T h i s r e f e r s t o V a l e r i a ' s I t a l i a n governess M ' l l e : V e r g a n i who on t h i s o c c a s i o n had w r i t t e n him a f u r i o u s l e t t e r . 90 In B i r y u k o v ' s e d i t i o n o f the complete Works o f T o l s t o y c o n t a i n ing t h i s l e t t e r there i s a f o o t n o t e a f t e r the i n i t i a l V. which reads: "Leo N i c h o l a i v i t c h had a romantic a f f a i r w i t h a g i r l " c a l l e d V.A. and r e l a t i v e s thought t h a t he would marry her." T h i s note i s strange because i n B i r y u k o v ' s biography of T o l s t o y V o l . 1 , he hims e l f r e f e r s t o V a l e r i a as T o l s t o y ' s f i a n c e e . 9  1  rm_.  T h i s statement i s i n . s t r a n g e c o n t r a s t t o a passage found i n a l e t t e r t o Aunt Tanya w r i t t e n from Geneva A p r i l 17, 1857: "As f a r as V a l e r i a i s concerned I never l o v e d h e r t r u l y . I was c a r r i e d away by a bad d e s i r e t o arouse h e r l o v e . T h i s gave me a h i t h e r t o never experienced d e l i g h t , but the time t h a t I spent away from h e r proved t o me t h a t I have no. d e s i r e even t o see h e r , f a r l e s s t o marry h e r (Compl.Works, Vol.XXI, p. 150) 92 C o l l e c t e d Works. V o l . 2 1 , p.148.  I  64  honor was i n anyway i n v o l v e d .  Only a year e a r l i e r , T o l s t o y had  c h a l l e n g e d Longinov, the c r i t i c , t o a d u e l f o r merely making some unfavourable r e f l e c t i o n s on T o l s t o y as a w r i t e r . l e n g e d Turgenev over a t r i f l i n g  quarrel.  He a l s o c h a l -  I t i s , therefore, clear  t h a t he s u f f e r e d i n t e n s e l y from a l l the g o s s i p , rumours, r e c r i m i n a t i o n s and i n s i n u a t i o n s about h i s behaviour. He must, t h e r e f o r e , have had v e r y weighty reasons f o r t a k i n g t h e course he d i d which l e d t o such unpleasant consequences. When T o l s t o y  said,  I f I do not f i n d complete happiness, I w i l l r u i n e v e r y t h i n g , my t a l e n t , my h e a r t . T will become an a l c o h o l i c , a gambler, a t h i e f i f I do not f i n d courage t o eut my own t h r o a t " , he was n o t merely i n d u l g i n g i n r h e t o r i c but was a b s o l u t e l y  sincere.  The f a c t that he speaks o f " r u i n i n g h i s t a l e n t " suggests, t h a t i n 1856, a t the age o f 28, he was completely aware o f h i s l a t e n t c r e a t i v e powers and o f h i s g e n i u s , and that he was aware t h a t these powers must f i n d e x p r e s s i o n  or e l s e he would p e r i s h .  He  was a l s o aware t h a t the problem c o n f r o n t i n g him was n o t merely of f i n d i n g an a t t r a c t i v e w i f e w i t h s u i t a b l e s o c i a l standing, but of f i n d i n g a l i f e - l o n g helpmate i n every sense o f the word. woman capable of t a k i n g an a c t i v e p a r t i n h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l and  o f even a s s i s t i n g him i n h i s c r e a t i v e work.  ness was complicated  life  The whole b u s i -  by a number o f e x a c t i n g c o n d i t i o n s t h a t must  be met by a p r o s p e c t i v e w i f e — his  A  most of which were l a i d down i n  correspondence w i t h V a l e r i a .  The w i f e must be p h y s i c a l l y  a t t r a c t i v e , capable of i n s p i r i n g l i f e l o n g p a s s i o n  and l o v e , she  65  must h e r s e l f be capable of an enduring l o v e f o r him;  she must be  prepared a f t e r marriage t o renounce a l l the u s u a l u p p e r - c l a s s s o c i e t y p l e a s u r e s , above a l l b a l l s i n v o l v i n g "naked s h o u l d e r s " , f o r w h i l e s t r i v i n g always t o arouse h i s p a s s i o n she must a v o i d a l l temptation to i n s p i r e p a s s i o n or even admiration, i n o t h e r men.  Thus she must g i v e up the d e l i g h t f u l s o c i e t y pastime  flirtation.  She must be, i f not a c t u a l l y on the same moral  — and  i n t e l l e c t u a l p l a n e as h i m s e l f , at l e a s t capable of s t r i v i n g under h i s guidance f o r self-improvement. admit  However, he i s q u i t e ready t o  t h a t these h i g h moral p r i n c i p l e s are put i n t o p r a c t i c e by  h i m s e l f perhaps  "two  hours" i n the y e a r .  Above a l l she must be  p r e p a r e d t o f o l l o w i n h i s f o o t s t e p s wherever he may  choose t o  l e a d her, though he admits he b e l i e v e s i n n o t h i n g , t h a t he e v e r y t h i n g , except t h a t "good i s good".  doubts  She must be prepared f o r  the r e s t of h e r l i f e t o l o o k f o r happiness i n "work, s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , and love'.  1  F u l l y understanding t h a t h i s i n c l i n a t i o n s are always on  a h i g h e r moral p l a n e , she must be f u l l y prepared t o y i e l d whenever their inclinations clash.  L a s t , but n o t l e a s t , she must be  a  mother i n the h i g h e s t sense of the word, not a mere "brood-mare". I t i s not a s t o n i s h i n g t h a t w i t h these c o n d i t i o n s i n mind, T o l s t o y found i t d i f f i c u l t  to f i n d a s u i t a b l e w i f e , although  from numerous e n t r i e s i n h i s d i a r i e s and from h i s it  correspondence  i s c l e a r t h a t f o r the next f i v e y e a r s he i s c o n s t a n t l y on the  l o o k o u t f o r the i d e a l w i f e .  As f a t e would have i t i n 1862  he  was  a c t u a l l y f a c e d w i t h the n e c e s s i t y of making a c h o i c e between two  66  almost e q u a l l y d e s i r a b l e , and c e r t a i n l y e q u a l l y anxious, c a n d i dates f o r the h i g h honour o f becoming h i s w i f e —  the two  daughters of Lyubov Behrs, h i s o l d c h i l d h o o d sweetheart,  elder who,  as Lyubochka I r t e n i e v , he so charmingly d e p i c t e d i n •Childhood.  CHAPTER  IV  Lyuobov Alexandrovna I s l a v i n ,  (1826-86) was t h e i l l e g -  itimate daughter o f Alexander I s l e n y e v , a wealthy T u l a L a n d l o r d was was a d i s t a n t n e i g b o u r o f the T o l s t o y s , a t Yasnaya and a c l o s e f r i e n d o f N i c h o l a s T o l s t o y . gambler who almost r u i n e d h i m s e l f .  Polyana  9 3  He was an i n v e t e r a t e  L y u b o v s mother, P r i n c e s s 1  Sophia K o z l o v s k y (nee Countess Zavadovsky) r a n away from h e r drunken  d i s s o l u t e husband, t o whom she had been m a r r i e d a g a i n s t  her w i l l , and formed a l i a i s o n w i t h Alexander I s l e n y e v t o whom she bore s i x c h i l d r e n , who b e i n g unable t o bear t h e i r f a t h e r ' s name were g i v e n t h e f i c t i t i o u s name o f I s l a v i n .  A t the age o f  s i x t e e n Lyubov.. was m a r r i e d t o A n d r e i E v s t a f y e v i t c h B e h r s  9 4  (1808-68) a d i s s o l u t e man more than twice h e r age and s o c i a l l y her i n f e r i o r ?  5  He was an e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y d i f f i c u l t man and i n -  s a n e l y j e a l o u s o f h i s young w i f e .  I t i s w e l l known t h a t when  T o l s t o y f i r s t began h i s f r e q u e n t v i s i t s t o the Behrs f a m i l y , Dr. Behrs, knowing o f T o l s t o y ' s c h i l d h o o d i n f a t u a t i o n f o r h i s w i f e , was convinced t h a t these v i s i t s were prompted by the r e b i r t h o f t h i s p a s s i o n and a d e s i r e t o seduce h e r .  In Tolstoy's  93 The e s t a t e , Krasnoye, l a y w i t h i n about 20 m i l e s o f Yasnaya Polyana. T h i s e s t a t e , I s t e n y e v l o s t at c a r d s . 94 As a young s o c i e t y d o c t o r he had the r e p u t a t i o n o f a l a d y k i l l e r and c a r r i e d on numerous a f f a i r s w i t h h i s p a t i e n t s . He had a s e r i o u s a f f a i r w i t h the mother o f Turgeniev, the n o v e l i s t , who bore him an i l l e g i t i m a t e daughter, B a r b a r a BogdanovitchL o u t o v i n . She i s c h i e f l y known f o r h e r memoirs"The F a m i l y o f I.S. Turgeniev. 95 He was ennobled l a t e r . Born the son o f an apothecary, he became a d o c t o r .  68  d i a r y Dec.  8, 1862,  we  read, "Andrei E v s t a f y e v i t c h i s i n h i s room  and behaves, as i f I had  s t o l e n something"... How  the atmosphere i n the household one T o l s t o y w r i t e s i n her  unpleasant  was  can gather from what Sophia  autobiography:  What heavy memories I r e t a i n of the l a s t y e a r s i n my f a t h e r ' s house. F a t h e r was not only physi c a l l y i l l but l i v e d under tremendous nervous s t r a i n — we l i v e d i n p e r p e t u a l e x p e c t a t i o n o f f a t h e r ' s n o c t u r n a l v i s i t s t o mother and of h i s s h r i e k s — these s h a t t e r e d our nerves and c a s t a gloom over our young s o u l s . We l o v e d mother much, more than f a t h e r and were v e r y sad f o r her.96 Towards the end o f h i s l i f e ,  T o l s t o y speaking  o f Dr. Behrs s a i d :  'He was an e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y f r a n k honest and hot tempered man' and then, l o w e r i n g h i s v o i c e and pausing, added 'and a g r e a t L o v e l a c e . ' To t h i s man Lyubov bore t h i r t e e n c h i l d r e n of whom only seven grew up and she devoted her f r u s t r a t e d and unhappy l i f e t o t h e i r u p b r i n g i n g and f u t u r e . She was determined t h a t they should not s i n k t o her husband's s o c i a l l e v e l . - ' Sh© l e f t not a stone unturned t o advance t h e i r f o r t u n e s , ' 9  96 L e t t e r s of S.A.  T o l s t o y t o L. T o l s t o y ,  p.27  97 i b i d - From the I n t r o d u c t i o n by P. Popov,  p.XV  A good i d e a of the surroundings i n which Sophia T o l s t o y was brought up i s gained from T o l s t o y ' s c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h a. teacher, I v a k i n , which he recorded i n h i s d i a r y Aug.11, 1885, ( t h i s manu s c r i p t has not been p r i n t e d but i s p r e s e r v e d i n the " L i t e r ary Museum" i n the U.S.S.R.):The f a m i l y Behrs l i v e d as any simple c l e r k , under c o n d i t i o n s t h a t now would be i n t o l e r a b l e . The whole f l a t c o n s i s t e d of some s o r t o f a c o r r i d o r , the door from the s t a i r s l e d d i r e c t l y i n t o the d i n i n g room. " The study of the "Potentate" h i m s e l f was so s m a l l t h e r e was no room to t u r n round. The g i r l s s l e p t on some k i n d of dusty s o f a s w i t h broken s p r i n g s . Such c o n d i t i o n s would be i n c o n c e i v a b l e today. Impossible as i t may sound, p a t i e n t s came t o the d o c t o r up r i c k e t y a c t u a l l y dangerous s t a i r s . The c e n t r e lamp i n the room was so low t h a t even an average man would h i t i t when walking, so t h a t i f the p a t i e n t n e g o t i a t e d the s t a i r s s a f e l y he would c e r t a i n l y smash h i s head a g a i n s t the lamp.  69 \ i  She was  eminently s u c c e s s f u l .  A l l h e r sons, except one, P e t e r ,  made c a r e e r s -- Alexander r e c e i v e d a commission Guards regiment, the Prehrazhensky,  i n the crack  and l a t e r became v i c e - g o v e r n o r  of O r e l ; Stepan graduated from the I m p e r i a l School of law  and  made a s u c c e s s f u l l e g a l c a r e e r ; Vyacheslav became a s u c c e s s f u l , engineer and one o f the b u i l d e r s o f the T r a n s - S i b e r i a n r a i l w a y ; V l a d i m i r r e c e i v e d a commission  i n a crack Hussar regiment.  But  perhaps h e r most c h e r i s h e d hopes were c e n t e r e d on her t h r e e daughters, who, ion  f o r t h a t time, r e c e i v e d a most thorough  educat-  under the guidance o f c a r e f u l l y s e l e c t e d p r i v a t e t u t o r s .  She,  h e r s e l f , taught them p e r f e c t French, of course she hoped f o r b r i l l i a n t matches f o r each but, as a form of r e - i n s u r a n c e , she made the two  e l d e s t daughters take a s p e c i a l examination at the Univ-  e r s i t y of Moscow f o r a diploma t h a t would g i v e them the s t a t u s of a q u a l i f i e d p r i v a t e teacher. examination b r i l l i a n t l y But Sophia was  Both E l i z a b e t h and Sophia passed the  though E l i z a b e t h was  the more d i s t i n g u i s h e d .  h i g h l y commended by P r o f e s s o r Tikhonravov t o whom  she submitted h e r essay on music.  To add to these accomplish-  ments, the g i r l s were c a r e f u l l y t r a i n e d i n housewifery.  When  T o l s t o y v i s i t e d Lyubov Behrs s h o r t l y a f t e r h i s r e t u r n from the Crimean War  she, making the excuse t h a t the s e r v a n t s were out,  made the two of  elder g i r l s ,  s e r v i n g the d i n n e r .  aged 13 and 11, take complete  charge  That they a c q u i t t e d themselves v e r y  s u c c e s s f u l l y i s proved by T o l s t o y s f a v o u r a b l e comments on the 1  occasion. how  But Lyubov a l s o saw t o i t t h a t her daughters knew  t o make the v e r y most o f t h e i r c l a i m s when they met  any  70  e l i g i b l e young man.  To what extent she succeeded  i s shown by the  i m p r e s s i o n the three g i r l s made on Alexander F e t , the well-known poet and f r i e n d o f Leo  Tolstoy:  Having taken advantage of the i n v i t a t i o n of the Count to i n t r o d u c e me t o the Behrs f a m i l y I met a h o s p i t a b l e well-mannered o l d man, the doctor, h i s wife, a b e a u t i f u l s t a t e l y brunette who o b v i o u s l y dominated the household. I ref r a i n from d e s c r i b i n g the appearance of the three young g i r l s , the youngest of whom had a charming c o n t r a l t o v o i c e . A l l of them, i n s p i t e of the eagle-eyed s u p e r v i s i o n of the mother, and t h e i r f a u l t l e s s modesty, possessed t h a t a t t r a c t i v e q u a l i t y which the F r e n c h so a p t l y d e s c r i b e as "du c h i e n " . The s t a t e l y h o s t e s s p r e s i d e d over a p e r f e c t l y served and e x c e l l e n t dinner.98  There i s no doubt t h a t i t was  impressed on the daughters by  t h e i r proud, ambitious, f r u s t r a t e d mother, t h a t they must marry t o improve  themselves s o c i a l l y or not marry at a l l . "  How  w e l l they  l e a r n e d t h i s l e s s o n i s shown i n a l e t t e r w r i t t e n by Sophia to. h e r f a v o u r i t e b r o t h e r , Alexander, on Oct. 19,  1862:  98  P.I. B i r y u k o v - Biography o f T o l s t o y , V o l . I , p.467. T h i s comment i s p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t coming as i t does from F e t , who was n o t o n l y a l y r i c a l poet, a cosmopolitan, and a conn o i s s e u r i n such m a t t e r s . L a t e r , F e t wrote s e v e r a l l y r i c s d e d i c a t e d t o Sophia T o l s t o y . 99 Sophia T o l s t o y t e l l s of an e n l i g h t e n i n g i n c i d e n t . A young t u t o r , a b r i l l i a n t m e d i c a l student, a f t e r g i v i n g her two p a s s i o n ate poems, f e l l on h i s knees, covered h e r hand w i t h k i s s e s and proposed. Sophia drew back, s t a r e d i n amazement, b u r s t i n t o t e a r s and dashed i n t o h e r bedroom and, a f t e r c a r e f u l l y washing her hand w i t h eau-de-Cologne, complained t o h e r mother. Mrs.Behrs promptly f i r e d the t u t o r . Sophia a l s o r e c e i v e d a p r o p o s a l from the son-; of the Court apothecary, Zengei*. T h i s was d e l i v e r e d through her sister. She recounts i n her memoirs, " I was so angry, some s t u p i d a r i s t o c r a t i c p r i d e b o i l e d up i n me so t h a t the o n l y t h i n g I c o u l d r e p l y was: 'I do b e l i e v e you have gone out o f your mind.' ( L e t t e r s from S. T o l s t o y t o Leo T o l s t o y — p.4.)  71 i  A s i l l y thought passed through my head; do you remember how we used t o say, 'nous a u t r e s a r i s t o c r a t e s ? And you see what has happened? J u s t fancy this'.100 1  So, although T o l s t o y ' s f r e q u e n t v i s i t s w o r r i e d Dr. Behrs and provoked h i s j e a l o u s y , Lyubov Behrs was d e l i g h t e d , f o r from the  v e r y b e g i n n i n g she sensed the purpose o f the v i s i t s .  It i s  o f t e n thought t h a t the Behrs, i n t h i n k i n g t h a t T o l s t o y was  pay-  ing  c o u r t t o the e l d e r daughter, E l i z a b e t h , simply misunderstood  his  i n t e n t i o n s and t h a t , from the v e r y b e g i n n i n g , he was  o n l y by Sophia.  I t i s h a r d t o accept t h i s p o i n t - o f - v i e w .  T o l s t o y was p r i m a r i l y l o o k i n g f o r a helpmate literary  attracted For i f  i n his creative  work, i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o deny t h a t E l i z a b e t h was  i t e l y b e t t e r f i t t e d f o r t h i s r o l e than her younger  sister.  infinThat  T o l s t o y , h i m s e l f , r e a l i z e d t h i s , can be surmised from the f o l l o w i n g entry i n h i s diary: Sept.22, 1861. L i z a Behrs tempts me. But t h i s cannot take p l a c e . Convenience Is not enough i f t h e r e is- no f e e l i n g . Sept. 8, 1862. L i z a seems t o have q u i e t l y taken p o s s e s s i o n o f me. Oh, my God', how b e a u t i f u l l y unhappy she would b e ' i f she were to become my wife. Sept. 10, 1862. I am b e g i n n i n g to hate L i z a w i t h a l l my s o u l . In the  s p i t e o f these e n t r i e s , one can gather how  s t r o n g was  temptation from the memoirs o f Tatyana Kuzminskaya (nee  Behrs)  100 Gusev, M a t e r i a l s , p.591.  ( 72  Leo N l c k o l a i v i t c h d i d not pay e x c l u s i v e a t t e n t i o n t o any-one of us, t r e a t i n g us a l l e q u a l l y . With L i z a he always t a l k e d about l i t e r a t u r e and even induced h e r to c o n t r i bute t o h i s magazine, 'Yasnaya P o l y a n a . He commissioned h e r to w r i t e f o r h i s students two a r t i c l e s — one on L u t h e r and the other on Mohammed. She wrote them b o t h s p l e n d i d l y and they were both p r i n t e d i n t h e i r e n t i r e l y i n two separate b o o k l e t s . ^ 1  What s a c r i f i c e T o l s t o y made from the p o i n t o f view o f g i v i n g up the chance of a c q u i r i n g a f i r s t - c l a s s l i t e r a r y c o l l a b o r a t o r can be gathered from the f a c t t h a t l a t e r , when p r e p a r i n g m a t e r i a l f o r War and Peace i n Sept. 1863, he appealed t o L i z a Behrs f o r h e l p t h i s request  i n collecting h i s t o r i c a l material.  i s extant,  which he asked.  and contains  Her r e p l y t o  the h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l f o r  She also appended t o t h i s l e t t e r a b i b l i o g r a p h y ,  c i t i n g a l l the b a s i c works on the p e r i o d of 1812.  B.M.Eichenbaum  expresses the view t h a t the c o n t e n t s o f t h i s l e t t e r prove t h a t at t h a t time L i z a Behrs was b e t t e r informed about the l i t e r a t u r e d e a l i n g w i t h 1812 than was T o l s t o y .  He p o i n t s out the thorough  completeness of the b i b l i o g r a p h y . However, t o the d i s t r e s s o f T o l s t o y , L i z a Behrs was convinced t h a t i t was she t o whom T o l s t o y was p a y i n g c o u r t . T h e i r Moscow f r i e n d s agreed.  Tatyana writes:  The frequent v i s i t s of Leo N i c k o l a e v i t c h p r o voked a gooddeal o f g o s s i p i n Moscow t o the e f f e c t t h a t he i s about t o marry my e l d e r s i s t e r L i z a . There were h i n t s made and rumours  101  T.KUiUzminski^ -- My L i f e V o l . 1 , p.71.  at Home and i n Yasnaya Polyana,  I I.  73  spread which c o u l d n o t h e l p r e a c h i n g A t the b e g i n n i n g  her.  1 0 2  o f August 1862, Lyubov Behrs and h e r  daughters made a t r i p to T u l a p r o v i n c e ,  ostensibly to v i s i t her  f a t h e r , but a c t u a l l y by v i s i t i n g Yasnaya Polyana, on the p r e t e x t of v i s i t i n g h e r o l d f r i e n d , Mary T o l s t o y , who was s t a y i n g t h e r e , t o t r y t o b r i n g t o a head t h e a f f a i r between L i z a and T o l s t o y who seemed t o be dragging  his feet.  The impression  t h a t T o l s t o y was  c o u r t i n g L i z a was s t i l l p r e v a l e n t even a f t e r the v i s i t t o Yasnaya Polyana, and on t h e i r r e t u r n t o Moscow when T o l s t o y , q u i t e unexpectedly,  announced he would accompany them i n t h e i r c a r r i a g e .  L i z a Behrs was so c e r t a i n t h a t she was the o b j e c t o f h i s a t t e n t i o n s t h a t she begged Sophia t o allow h e r t o share the o u t s i d e seat w i t h T o l s t o y .  Sophia, complied, —  t o T o l s t o y ' s annoyance.  He f e a r e d t h a t the whole unpleasant episode w i t h V a l e r i a might be repeated,  by compromising h i m s e l f w i t h L i z a .  He was doubly  annoyed f o r d u r i n g t h e i r stay at I v i t s i he had used a d e v i c e which had  a t w o - f o l d purpose o f c l e a r i n g up any m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g i n the  Behrs' f a m i l y and t e s t i n g Sophia's i n t e l l i g e n c e . age  Taking  advant-  o f b e i n g alone w i t h her, he wrote w i t h chalk on a c a r d t a b l e  the i n i t i a l l e t t e r s o f the words composing the f o l l o w i n g two sentences: 'Your y o u t h and your need f o r happiness r e mind me only t o o p o i n t e d l y of my own o l d age and i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f happiness' and 'In y o u r f a m i l y there e x i s t s a misunderstandi n g concerning me and your s i s t e r L i z a , but I hope t h a t you and your s i s t e r Tanya w i l l 102 • i b i d , p.75.  i  74  protect  In Sophia  tells  her us  me.'  s h o r t memoir that  she  entitled,  read this  The  without  Marriage a  of  L.N.Tolstoy,  hitch:  My h e a r t b e g a n t o p o u n d . T h e r e was a n o i s e i n my" t e m p l e s . My f a c e w a s b u r n i n g , — I l o s t consciousness of time, I l o s t the r e a l i z a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l world, i t s e e m e d t o me I w a s c a p a b l e o f a n y t h i n g , that I understood e v e r y t h i n g , that at the moment I e m b r a c e d t h e b o u n d l e s s .  This, younger  sister,  of  Sophia  an  involuntary  in  her Memoirs,  times. ship he  Tolstoy  tiesfor lackedlO  of  this  his  of Tolstoy. as  to  suitability  which  Sophia  t o prompt  played  of Valeria  possessed  as  intellectual  consideration  These  by  the  and  such  an  i n the  to  wife  of  courttest,  There of  role —  blue-stocking Liza  a very  several  of this  light  important  became tellsius,  method  ability.  f o r his future the  She  a result  her  entry  thus  Sophia  somewhat u n u s u a l  Apparently,  Sophia's  important  surprised  e x t r a o r d i n a r y scene.  may  be,  c o r r o b o r a t e d by  room, h i d h e r s e l f  this  another  and  the  been  d i d have  t r u e motherhood. 3  having  Tolstoy  on m a r r i a g e  the  who,  completely  that  satisfied  been  i s not  into  witness  is typical  theories ering  and  Tanya,  However  was  have  however,  s t r o n g degree,  may  his i n consid'  the  quali-  obviously for  into  103 H e r e a g a i n T o l s t o y p r o v e d t o be a t r u e s e e r , f o r L i z a a f t e r making a b r i l l i a n t match, a match beyond h e r w i l d e s t hopes, f o r she m a r r i e d P a v l e n k o , a d j u t a n t t o t h e Emperor, l a t e r d i v o r c e d him to marry her cousin Behrs.  75 h e r teens she c o n t i n u e d t o p l a y w i t h d o l l s , r a p t u r e s over  and she went i n t o  children.  The numerous e n t r i e s i n h i s d i a r y d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d i n d i c a t e t h a t , whereas t h e r e was the otherwise  no genuine f e e l i n g on h i s p a r t f o r  eminently s u i t a b l e blue s t o c k i n g L i z a , t h e r e  was  a c t u a l l y an i n t e n s e o u t b u r s t of p a s s i o n f o r Sophia, which, however, was  preceded by.some h e s i t a t i o n .  On Aug.  23, 1862,  he resumed h i s  d i a r y and w r i t e s : Spent the n i g h t at the Behrs! She i s a mere child! I t seems! Y e t , what a mess. I f only I c o u l d e x t r a c t myself from i t onto a c l e a r and honest armchair ... I am a f r a i d o f myself: What i f t h i s also i s a d e s i r e f o r l o v e and not l o v e itself? I am t r y i n g to see h e r weakest p o i n t s ; yet. A child! Perhaps. On Aug.  24 he w r i t e s : Got up. Hale and h e a r t y w i t h an e x c e p t i o n a l l y c l e a r head. W r i t i n g went w e l l but contents poor. Then sadness overtook me — such sadness as I have not experienced f o r a long time. I have no f r i e n d s , none! I am alone. I had f r i e n d s when I served mammon. I have none when I serve truth. Aug.26, 1862. Went on f o o t t o the Behrs,104 q u i e t  104 At t h i s time the Behrs were at t h e i r "dacha'!, at Streshnevo o u t s i d e Moscow where T o l s t o y was s t a y i n g w i t h a German shoe-maker. The n o v e l r e f e r r e d t o was w r i t t e n by Sophia when she was 16. Lyubov Behrs and h e r three daughters p l a y a prominent p a r t as w e l l as T o l s t o y under the name of P r i n c e D d u b l i t s k y . The uncomplimentary d e s c r i p t i o n of him i s the " s h a f t " t h a t went home. T h i s n o v e l was d e s t r o y e d on h e r marriage, she wrote another s h o r t n o v e l b e f o r e her marriage, c a l l e d "Natasha". T o l s t o y read i t w i t h i n t e r e s t i n 1862. T.A. Konzminshaia r e f e r s t o t h i s n o v e l i n V o l . I , ch. 6 of her book, My L i f e at Home and at Yasnaya Polyana. She summarizes i t s c o n t e n t s . The main c h a r a c t e r s correspond to those i n War end Peace, the heroine b e i n g Natasha. The f i r s t d r a f t of War and Peace, t h e n , t e n t a t i v e l y c a l l e d A l l ' s W e l l t h a t Ends W e l l , resembles t h i s n o v e l o f Sophia's, e s p e c i a l l y i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of the Rostov f a m i l y and Natasha, who as i n both n o v e l s was based on Sophia's younger s i s t e r Tanya. I n h i s l e t t e r t o B a r t e r i e v , Nov.1,1867, T o l s t o y h i m s e l f says t h a t the whole s t r u c t u r e of War and Peace was b u i l t around Natasha's c h a r a c t e r . One cannot escape the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t T o l s t o y i s t o some extent i n d e b t e d t o h i s w i f e f o r at l e a s t p a r t of the plox, and c o n c e p t i o n of some of the main c h a r a c t e r s i n h i s g r e a t e p i c .  I  76  and cozy. G i r l s ' l a u g h t e r . S. was u n a t t r a c t ive end v u l g a r y e t she i n t e r e s t s me. She gave me her n o v e l to read. What energy! What t r u t h ! What s i m p l i c i t y ! She i s t o r t u r e d by u n c e r t a i n t y . While I read my h e a r t d i d not miss a b e a t . I experienced no j e a l o u s y or envy. But, ' e x t r a o r d i n a r y u n a t t r a c t i v e appearance' and 'apt const a n t l y to change h i s o p i n i o n s ' — The s h a f t went home.' I am q u i t e r e s i g n e d . T h i s i s not f o r me. Work and the s a t i s f a c t i o n of my immediate needs i s a l l I can hope f o r . On Aug.  28,  1862,  Tolstoy writes i n his diary:  Ugly m u g . ^ I t ' s n o t f o r you to t h i n k o f marr i a g e . You are d e s t i n e d f o r another c a l l i n g and much i s g i v e n to you i n compensation. Sept.3, 1862. Was t h e r e . A t f i r s t n o t h i n g . Then a walk. I am at peace. On the way home I thought: I t ' s e i t h e r a l l by chance or she has e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y f i n e f e e l i n g s , o r i t i s the most v u l g a r coquetry — today one, tomorrow another. I s i t a c c i d e n t a l or f i n e coquetry? B u t g e n e r a l l y speaking 'nothing, n o t h i n g — s i l e n c e . ' 106 Never has my f u t u r e w i t h a w i f e appeared to me more c l e a r l y , more j o y f u l l y and more p e a c e f u l l y ... But what when the q u i e t dec e p t i o n of each other comes? .. The reckoning. Never f o r g e t ..Dublitsky', you o l d d e v i l , U n c l e Leo. Sept.4, 1862. Saw S. i n a crowd of other g i r l s . Walked w i t h them and suddenly f e l t , , ' I t ' s not i t , i t ' s not i t , ... and yesterday? I didn't sleep a l l n i g h t , I saw my happiness so c l e a r l y ... i n the evening c o n v e r s a t i o n about l o v e . S t i l l worse. 1  r  105 Since h i s e a r l i e s t c h i l d h o o d he had been s e n s i t i v e about h i s looks. T h i s phrase i s taken d i r e c t from Gogol's "Notes of a Madman" and i s a l s o found i n Anna K a r e n i n a . T o l s t o y uses t h i s phrase over and over again i n h i s d i a r y .  77  Sept.6, 1862. I am t o o o l d , to get mixed up w i t h t h i s . Begone, o r cut the knot ... have n o t h i n g now b u t the Behrs i n my head. A t t h i s time T o l s t o y w r i t e s t o Aunt Tanya t h a t he w i l l r e t u r n t o Yasnaya Polyana w i t h i n a week. Moscow t o see t o the p r i n t i n g  He says he i s s t a y i n g i n  o f the two i s s u e s o f h i s magazine.  Not a word about the Behrs o r any thoughts o f marriage. 7 he wrote  On Sept.  i n h i s diary: Today I am alone at home and l o o k i n g at a l l aspects o f t h e s i t u a t i o n . I must w a i t . D 0 u b l i t s k y , do not put your nose where t h e r e i s youth, p o e t r y , beauty, l o v e ... Nonsense: monastery, h a r d work, t h i s i s your c a l l i n g , from the h e i g h t of which you can q u i e t l y and j o y f u l l y contemplate t h e l o v e o f o t h e r s , — and I was i n t h i s monastery and w i l l r e t u r n . Yes.  And then he suddenly concludes: The ,diary i n s i n c e r e . An a r r i e r e pensee. But she i s w i t h me, she w i l l s i t next t o me and read and t h i s i s f o r her. 107 On the same day he wrote  a l e t t e r t o Alexandrine Tolstoy, h i s  d e a r e s t f r i e n d and c o n f i d a n t , which reads i n p a r t as f o l l o w s : I don't know whether i t i s f o r t u n a t e o r unf o r t u n a t e , I , an o l d t o o t h l e s s f o o l , have f a l l e n i n l o v e ... I do not know myself  107  .  '  Upon t h e i r marriage T o l s t o y made a p a c t ( l a t e r broken by him) w i t h h i s w i f e t h a t f o r the r e s t o f t h e i r l i v e s each would have the r i g h t to read the o t h e r ' s l e t t e r s and d i a r i e s .  whether t h i s i s t r u e . Someday I w i l l r e member a l l t h i s e i t h e r w i t h happiness o r sorrow ... But now I am i n a s t a t e of opp r e s s i v e i n d e c i s i o n f o r I am a f r a i d t h a t ... under the impression of a t r a n s i t o r y f e e l i n g I might make a f a l s e step which c o u l d have f a t a l consequences f o r my whole life. I hope i n the near f u t u r e to e x t r i cate myself from t h i s conjured, d i f f i c u l t , b u t happy s i t u a t i o n . On Sept. 9 he w r i t e s i n h i s d i a r y : I t r i e d to work but I can't. Instead I have w r i t t e n her a l e t t e r l 0 8 which I s h a l l not send. Go away from Moscow? I can't. I can't ... I t seems to me I have been i n Moscow f o r a y e a r . I c o u l d not s l e e p t i l l t h r e e i n the morning. I was dreaming of the f u t u r e and at the same time t o r t u r e d l i k e a 16 y e a r o l d boy. Sept.10, Woke up at 10. T i r e d from a d i s t u r b e d n i g h t . Worked l a z i l y w a i t i n g f o r the evening l i k e a school-boy w a i t i n g f o r Sunday. Went f o r a walk and found myself i n the Kremlin. She r e t u r n e d s t e r n and s e r i o u s . I went away, d i s a p p o i n t e d and more than ever i n l o v e . 'Au fond'. There i s hope. I must. I c e r t a i n l y must cut t h i s knot ... Oh L o r d ! h e l p me, t e a c h me'. Again a s l e e p l e s s t o r t u r e d n i g h t . I f e e l , — I, who am i n the h a b i t of l a u g h i n g at the s u f f e r i n g of l o v e r s . He l o v e s best who l o v e s l a s t . How many p l a n s I have made t o t e l l her, t e l l Tanichka a l l i n v a i n ... L o r d h e l p me, t e a c h me. Mother of God, h e l p me! 108  T h i s l e t t e r , T o l s t o y gave t o h i s w i f e a f t e r t h e i r marriage and i t i s preserved i n her f i l e . S t r a n g e l y enough.in t h i s l e t t e r he g i v e s h e r the key to the two sentences w r i t t e n by the i n i t i a l l e t t e r s only on the c a r d t a b l e at I v i t s i . But why would he do t h i s i f , as Sophia says, she d e c i p h e r e d them then?  79 Sept.11. My f e e l i n g i s as s t r o n g as ever. I d i d n o t date t o go t o them ... no.one can h e l p me but God, I'm t i r e d . Sept.12. I'm i n l o v e . I never b e l i e v e d one c o u l d love so. I am insane. I ' l l shoot myself i f t h i s i s t o c o n t i n u e . They gave an even i n g , she i s a l t o g e t h e r charming, and I r e p u l s i v e D u b l i t s k y ! I went too f a r . Now I can't stop. D u b l i t s k y — so be i t . B u t I am made handsome by l o v e . Y e s , tomorrow. In t h e morning I w i l l go t o t h e m . There were o p p o r t u n i t i e s b u t I missed them — I was t o o t i m i d ... God h e l p me'. 1 0 9  Sept.13. Nothing happened ... Every day I t h i n k i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o s u f f e r more and be h a p p i e r . Every day I become more insane. Tomorrow I w i l l go as soon as I g e t up and w i l l t e l l a l l o r shoot myself. (At 4 A.M.) I've w r i t t e n t o her, a l e t t e r I ' l l g i v e i t t o h e r today. Oh! my God, how I am a f r a i d t o d i e . What happiness! My God, h e l p me*. The to his to  l e t t e r t h a t he r e f e r s t o he d i d n o t have the courage t o hand . Sophia t i l l  t h e 16th o f Sept.  To h i s g r e a t r e l i e f and j o y  p r o p o s a l was i n s t a n t l y accepted.  But now i n strange c o n t r a s t  h i s prolonged i n d e c i s i o n , h a v i n g taken t h e plunge, T o l s t o y  m o r t i f i e d , outraged and s c a n d a l i z e d the s t a i d , b o u r g e o i s Behrs f a m i l y by demanding t h a t t h e wedding take p l a c e next day. pleaded t h e importance  Lyubov  of a t r o u s s e a u , t o which T o l s t o y r e t o r t e d ,  p o i n t i n g t o Sophia, "She's d r e s s e d , i s n ' t she?"  No matter how  much Lyubov p l e a d e d f o r d e l a y she was only able t o postpone t h e  109 A c c o r d i n g t o T. Kuzminsky, Dr. Behrs was at" f i r s t outraged because the p r o p o s a l had n o t been made t o E l i z a b e t h . He even r e f u s e d t o pay t h e dowry. As f a r as I can f i n d out t h i s i s t h e o n l y mention ever made o f %he dowry.  80  marriage f o r one week.  But by the end o f the week T o l s t o y is-  once a g a i n a s s a i l e d by t o r m e n t i n g doubts as t o the wisdom o f h i s decision.  On the morning  of the wedding day, c o n t r a r y t o t r a d i -  t i o n , T o l s t o y a r r i v e d at the Behrs'- house i n a s t a t e of great a g i t a t i o n and t e l l s Sophia he had spent a s l e e p l e s s n i g h t w o r r y i n g about the wisdom o f t h e i r d e c i s i o n .  He begs her by a l l t h a t i s  h o l y t o t e l l him h o n e s t l y , f r a n k l y , whether she r e a l l y l o v e s him and whether she i s capable of l o v i n g him f o r ever, t o r e a s s u r e him b e f o r e i t i s too l a t e and the i r r e v o c a b l e step i s taken —  the step  t h a t can l e a d t o happiness or h o r r o r . Sophia was bridegroom's  so upset by the almost insane look i n her  eyes t h a t she was unable t o speak and d i s s o l v e d i n t o a  h y s t e r i c a l f i t of sobbing.  The  s i t u a t i o n was  ance of the r e s o l u t e Lyubov Behrs, who s t a r t any d i s c u s s i o n on the s u b j e c t .  saved by the  appear-  knew T o l s t o y too w e l l t o She f i r m l y p r o p e l l e d him by  main f o r c e out of the room and out of the f l a t . A f t e r a simple marriage ceremony i n the K r e m l i n Church, T o l s t o y took Sophia t o Yasnaya Polyana i n a newly purchased Dormeuse.  He was  somewhat taken aback and annoyed t h a t the whole  Behrs f a m i l y i n c l u d i n g Sophia, d i s s o l v e d i n t e a r s at p a r t i n g . Sophia t e l l s us t h a t , t o the i l l - d i s g u i s e d annoyance of the b r i d e groom, she c o n t i n u e d c r y i n g most of the way I t was  t o Yasnaya Polyana.-  i n the Dormeuse t h a t Sophia's m a r r i e d l i f e began i n every  sense of the word.  There i s no doubt t h a t the young g i r l  was  shocked and perhaps even outraged by T o l s t o y ' s eagerness t o  81  possess h e r and by the manner i n which, t h i s p o s s e s s i o n was lished.  Years l a t e r she was  t o g i v e e x p r e s s i o n to t h i s pent-up-  resentment i n her n o v e l e t t e Song without Words.HQ  It i s a direct  answer t o K r e u t z e r Sonata. The heroine i s Anna, a pure, g i r l who  accomp-  innocent  becomes the b r i d e of a 35 y e a r o l d p r i n c e , a handsome,  r i c h roue» who thinker.  l o v e s p h i l o s o p h i s i n g and b e l i e v e s he i s a profound  She g i v e s a v i v i d d e s c r i p t i o n of Anna's shock and d i s -  i l l u s i o n m e n t at the o l d loue s behaviour 1  on the wedding n i g h t .  Perhaps i t i s not an exaggeration t o say t h a t no m a r r i e d l i f e was and examination  other  ever exposed t o the same p a i n s t a k i n g s c r u t i n y as t h a t o f Sophia T o l s t o y .  I t I s also hard t o  p a r a l l e l the enormous amount of m a t e r i a l a v a i l a b l e f o r s t u d y i n g this l i f e .  From the v e r y b e g i n n i n g b o t h she and her husband kept  d i a r i e s , which were, as mentioned b e f o r e , always r e a d by other.  T h i s had been m u t u a l l y agreed upon.  T o l s t o y ' s d i a r y , i t was l e g i b l e manuscript. his  each  In the case of  a c t u a l l y t r a n s c r i b e d by h i s w i f e i n t o  By t h i s time T o l s t o y was  a  q u i t e conscious of  d e s t i n y as a g r e a t c r e a t i v e a r t i s t and f u l l y aware t h a t what-  ever he wrote would be of i n t e r e s t to p o s t e r i t y .  1 1 1  Sophia  shared  his  c o n v i c t i o n and r e a l i z e d t h a t she t o o , by merely b e i n g h i s w i f e ,  was  d e s t i n e d to share h i s fame.  The world i s i n d e b t e d t o t h i s e a r l y  110  B o t h the manuscript and a t y p e w r i t t e n copy are i n the Yasnaya P o l y a n a L i b r a r y today. One more copy i s i n the L e n i n L i b r a r y , Moscow. As f a r as the w r i t e r i s able t o a s c e r t a i n i t has never been p r i n t e d . Ill T o l s t o y h i m s e l f was b e f o r e h i s marriage q u i t e l a x about p r e s e r v ing l e t t e r s w r i t t e n t o him. The v a s t number o f l e t t e r s w r i t t e n to him by Aunt Tanya are l o s t , though h i s t o her are p r e s e r v e d .  82  r e a l i z a t i o n of h i s f u t u r e fame, f o r the p r e s e r v a t i o n of a very- extended  correspondence  between husband and w i f e .  Sophia m e t i c u l -  o u s l y p r e s e r v e d and made c o p i e s of the l e t t e r s r e c e i v e d , or sent by her.  There are extant over 600  of Sophia's l e t t e r s t o her  husband, of which 443 have been p u b l i s h e d . wrote 656  1 1 2  ^  s  t o T o l s t o y , he  l e t t e r s t o her. As tame went on the r e c o r d i n g of impressions and  which were s u b j e c t e d t o the minutest o c c u p a t i o n of almost everyone who  events,  s c r u t i n y , became an i n t e n s e  came i n c o n t a c t w i t h the f a m i l y .  There were times when p o s s i b l y a dozen d i a r i e s were b e i n g kept simultaneously.  I t appears t h a t the constant and o f t e n morbid  p r e o c c u p a t i o n of Sophia and h e r husband w i t h each o t h e r ' s behaviour, motives,  impulses, and moods, coupled w i t h the knowledge t h a t what-  ever each of them wrote would be almost  i n s t a n t l y read by the.  o t h e r , o f t e n r e s u l t s i n p r e s e n t i n g to the reader a d i s t o r t e d p i c t u r e o f t h e i r mutual r e l a t i o n s h i p .  The p i c t u r e i s , so t o speak,  out of f o c u s , and y e t the r e a d e r i s not always aware of t h i s . T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y t r u e o f Sophia's d i a r y .  The f i r s t  impression pro-  duced i s t h a t i t i s an e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y s i n c e r e , v i v i d and account  112  powerful  o f the d e t e r i o r a t i o n i n the r e l a t i o n s between her and her  „ As c o u l d be expected much of the m a t e r i a l i n her l e t t e r s d e a l s w i t h t r i v i a l f a m i l y matters and i s of l i t t l e i n t e r e s t t o the readi n g p u b l i c , y e t they c o n t a i n much t h a t i s i n v a l u a b l e f o r the study of these two people t h a t i s not t o be found anywhere e l s e . At" "•" f i r s t g l a n c e , t h a t which appears most t r i v i a l w i l l on c l o s e r study sometimes reward the r e a d e r by suddenly i l l u m i n a t i n g some h i t h e r t o dark c o r n e r .  83  husband almost from the v e r y b e g i n n i n g s o f t h e i r m a r r i e d l i f e . The  same impression i s , t o a c e r t a i n extent, produced  d i a r y though t o a f a r l e s s e r degree.  by T o l s t o y ' s  So t h a t the over-hasty  reader may draw c o n c l u s i o n s t h a t are not a l t o g e t h e r sound.  The  whole t h i n g i s complicated by the f a c t t h a t the impression produced on f r i e n d s and c a s u a l v i s i t o r s l l  3  t o Yasnaya Polyana was •  on the whole one o f complete m a r i t a l b l i s s .  This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  t r u e of the impressions o f the poet F e t , a f a i r l y tor, two  who f e l t  t h a t a serene  beings f o r each o t h e r .  ing,  frequent v i s i -  charm emanated from the l o v e o f these Many other v i s i t o r s had the same f e e l -  i n c l u d i n g the n o v e l i s t Turgeniev,  and e s p e c i a l l y  Sophia's  p a r e n t s , who l o u d l y p r o c l a i m e d t o a l l the Moscow f r i e n d s t h a t they c o u l d n o t even have dreamed of a h a p p i e r marriage daughter.  However, %  f o r their  i s i m p o s s i b l e t o say t h a t t h i s was so, on  the b a s i s o f a l l i n f o r m a t i o n a v a i l a b l e .  The g e n e r a l impression  o b t a i n e d from a c a r e f u l study o f t h i s m a t e r i a l , i n the l i g h t o f a l l the known circumstances i n f l u e n c i n g i t s sources, i s t h a t one i s d e a l i n g here, not so much w i t h a c t u a l happiness but a constant and conscious e f f o r t , by no means always s u c c e s s f u l , on the p a r t of  both husband and w i f e t o persuade themselves  t h a t they were,  indeed, completely happy. There i s ample evidence i n T o l s t o y ' s d i a r y t o show t h a t t h i s torment o f p e r p e t u a l doubt as t o the s i n c e r i t y o f h i s w i f e ' s l o v e never ceased t o c a s t a shadow on h i s l i f e .  He says h i m s e l f  i n h i s d i a r y t h a t the v e r y n i g h t b e f o r e h i s wedding he was d i s -  Tl3~~  Tatyana,  Sophia's  sister,  spent every summer at Yasnaya Polyana.  84  t r a c t e d w i t h doubt t o the p o i n t t h a t he was s e r i o u s l y tempted tof l e e immediately from Moscow before  i t was t o o l a t e .  "Fear, m i s t r u s t , and d e s i r e t o f l e e " . wedding Sophia w r i t e s his he  As he w r i t e s :  On the morning of the  i n h e r Memoirs: "He began t o t o r t u r e me w i t h  doubts as t o my l o v e f o r him. i s a f r a i d o f marriage.  I burst  I t seems t o me he wants t o f l e e , into tears."  She goes on t o  say i n h e r Autob iography: B e f o r e the wedding I f e l t s i c k and u t t e r l y distracted. I c o u l d e a t nothing b u t s a l t e d cucumbers and b l a c k bread. The n i g h t s were d i s t u r b e d and my s t a t e o f mind sad ... I was a f r a i d t o l o s e Leo N i c h o l a i v i t c h ' s love and that'he would soon l o s e i n t e r e s t i n me a s i l l y insignificant g i r l . 1 1 4  The  source o f t h i s morbid f e a r of l o s i n g h e r husband's l o v e ,  which never l e f t Sophia, can be found i n e n t r i e s i n T o l s t o y ' s  114  Quoted by N.N. CGKisev i n M a t e r i a l s 1855-69, p.574, from an unp u b l i s h e d manuscript i n seven volumes o f the autobiography o f Sophia T o l s t o y . He had access t o t h i s m a t e r i a l which i s kept at the Yasnaya Polyana Museum and a t y p e w r i t t e n copy i s a l s o at the L e n i n L i b r a r y . I t i s most r e g r e t t a b l e t h a t n o t only much o f the m a t e r i a l d e a l i n g w i t h t h i s s u b j e c t has never been p u b l i s h e d and even t h a t which has been p u b l i s h e d i s incomplete. Sophia's l e t t e r s are only " i n s e l e c t i o n " , about o n e - t h i r d b e i n g omitted; h e r diary,- e d i t e d by h e r e l d e s t son S e r g e i , has been expurgated," whole pages are omitted. O f t e n one i s f o r c e d t o the c o n s l u s i o n t h a t T o l s t o y ' s r e l a t i v e s and f o l l o w e r s are d e l i b e r a t e l y t r y i n g to s h i e l d him a t the expense o f Sophia. T o l s t o y ' s d i a r y fared"even worse. As i s w e l l known i t passed i n t o the hands of Chertkov and although T o l s t o y t o l d him t o d e l e t e a l l e n t r i e s o f f e n s i v e t o Sophia and S e r g e i , he complied, but took p h o t o s t a t i c c o p i e s o f the d e l e t i o n s so t h a t l a t e r he was able t o r e - i n t r o d u c e them selectively at w i l l . B u t Chertkov went even f u r t h e r and d e l i b e r a t e l y d e l e t e d a l l s p e c i a l l y f a v o u r a b l e r e f e r e n c e s made by T o l s t o y throughout the e n t i r e d i a r y . However, a l l these d i f f i c u l t i e s " ' " t h a t make the enquiry so d i f f i c u l t , are what make the e f f o r t t o a s c e r t a i n the t r u t h so f a s c i n a t i n g .  85  }  d i a r y ( a l l of which she e a g e r l y read) such as the one made on Sept.25, 1862,  two days a f t e r h e r wedding:  The solemnity o f the r i t e s . She i n t e a r s . In the Dormeuse she knows e v e r y t h i n g . At B i r y u k o v l l S she i s t e r r i f i e d . There i s something morbid. Seryozha moved t o t e a r s . The Aunt i s a l r e a d y a l l s e t f o r s u f f e r i n g . N i g h t — d i s t u r b i n g dream. I t i s not she ... A t Yasnaya, — morning c o f f e e . Felt v e r y awkward. S t u d e n t s completely taken aback ... Walked w i t h Seryozha and h e r . She i s too b o l d . A f t e r d i n n e r s l e p t . She wrote. U n b e l i e v a b l e happiness. A g a i n she i s w r i t i n g near me. 1 1 6  1 1 7  . On the same day she w r i t e s t o Tatyana, h e r f a v o u r i t e sister.  She t e l l s of her l i f e  and happiness at Yasnaya and con-  cludes: I am t e r r i f i e d and ashamed he l o v e s me so, — Tanya, t h e r e i s n o t h i n g to l o v e me f o r . Do you t h i n k he w i l l stop l o v i n g me? I am a f r a i d t o t h i n k o f the"future.118 In  ah e n t r y dated Sept. 30 ( j u s t one week a f t e r the  wedding) T o l s t o y w r i t e s i n h i s d i a r y :  115 A r o a d s i d e Inn on the way  from Moscow t o T u l a .  At Yasnaya Polyana. they were met by T o l s t o y * s b r o t h e r S e r g e i and Aunt Tanya. 117 T o l s t o y i s r e f e r r i n g t o the U n i v e r s i t y students engaged by him t o t e a c h i n s c h o o l s he had o r g a n i z e d , and who stayed at Yasnaya Polyana. They were taken aback because t h e i r i d o l , , cont r a r y t o h i s expressed views on marriage, had m a r r i e d someone they c o n s i d e r e d t o be a s o c i e t y g i r l . They remembered h i s dictum "To marry a s o c i e t y g i r l i s t o take a f u l l dose o f c i v i l i z a t i o n " . 118 T.Kuzminsky "My L i f e at Home and i n Yasnaya Polyana", p. 143  ... I  86  At Yasnaya. I can't r e c o g n i z e myself. A l l my mistakes have become c l e a r to me. I love her as b e f o r e i f not more. I can't work. We had a scene.' I was sad" t h a t w i t h us a l l i s as i t i s w i t h o r d i n a r y people. She' h u r t my f e e l i n g s . I wept. She i s d e l i g h t f u l . I love her even more. But what I f there i s deception?" Sophia d i d not s t a r t keeping her d i a r y t i l l Oct. 1862.  She begins  8,  i t with:  A g a i n the d i a r y . I t ' s b o r i n g t h a t I should go back to the o l d h a b i t s t h a t I gave up on g e t t i n g married.' In the past I wrote when my h e a r t was heavy and now p o s s i b l y f o r the same reason ... Prom y e s t e r d a y , from the time he t o l d me he doesn't b e l i e v e my love I became r e a l l y f r i g h t e n e d . But I know why he doesn't b e l i e v e me. I t seems to me t h a t I won't be able t o r e l a t e or w r i t e what I t h i n k . Always from'my e a r l i e r days I imagi n e d the man.I was going to l o v e as acompletely whole, new, and pure b e i n g . I imagined, these were c h i l d i s h dreams which even now i t i s h a r d f o r me t o g i v e up, t h a t t h i s man would be always an open book to me, t h a t I would know h i s s l i g h t e s t thoughts and f e e l i n g s , and t h a t a l l my l i f e he w i l l l o v e only me, and t h a t u n l i k e o t h e r s , our f i r s t v i o l e n t t u r m o i l s of l o v e w i l l not subside l e a v i n g us a humdrum e x i s t e n c e . These dreams were so dear to me. Because o f them, I thought I f e l l i n love with P In s h o r t l o v i n g my dreams I made P. t h e i r e m b o d i m e n t . 119  How  s e r i o u s was  her f e e l i n g f o r Polivanov  i s shown i n  what she w r i t e s i n the f i r s t volume of her unpublished  memoirs:  119 T h i s i s the f i r s t i n d i c a t i o n t h a t Sophia t o l d her husband about P o l i v a n o v to whom she was engaged to be m a r r i e d when" T o l s t o y proposed. In her excitement she f o r g o t even to w r i t e her news to P o l i v a n o v who turned up unexpectedly at the Behrs' house i n Moscow. There was a tense moment, f o r T o l s t o y was t h e r e . Fortuna t e l y Sophia's b r o t h e r , Alexander, took him aside and t o l d him of the imminent marriage.  I had l i t t l e what i s c a l l e d g a i e t y and dancing i n my l i f e ... any f l i r t i n g f r i g h t e n e d me and I never encouraged i t , e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e P o l i v a n o v and I d e c i d e d we were going t o be m a r r i e d . I f e l t myself obligated. It  i s f o r t u n a t e t h a t T o l s t o y d i d not know b e f o r e h i s  marriage o f h e r engagement t o P o l i v a n o v f o r i t i s more than l i k e l y t h a t , had he known, he would have f l e d Moscow.  From h i s  correspondence w i t h V a l e r i a i t i s q u i t e c l e a r t h a t what he exp e c t e d from a wife was undisputed  and u n d i v i d e d l o v e .  He was  too much o f a seer i n t o human s o u l s t o b e l i e v e t h a t Sophia had suddenly thrown over h e r o l d sweetheart f o r whom she had had a v e r y deep and permanent f e e l i n g t o f a l l  i n love with Tolstoy i n  the same way.  He must have r e a l i z e d she f e l l  much w i t h him,  Leo T o l s t o y , b u t r a t h e r w i t h Count T o l s t o y and h i s  a l r e a d y c o n s i d e r a b l e l i t e r a r y fame.  i n love not so  Sophia h e r s e l f t r i e d t o  console P o l i v a n o v by t e l l i n g him she c o u l d n o t have g i v e n him up f o r anyone except "Count T o l s t o y " .  I t i s more than f o r t u n a t e  t h a t he d i d not know about i t f o r he c o u l d n o t p o s s i b l y have found a. woman more s u i t e d than Sophia t o f i l l  the e x a c t i n g  role  of being h i s wife.  As t o h i s f e a r s about the permanency o f h e r  a f f e c t i o n s f o r him,  they were q u i t e u n j u s t i f i e d .  bringing —  Her whole up-  t h e i n f l u e n c e o f her mother, endowed her w i t h a  c o r r e c t sense o f v a l u e s .  I f she d i d n o t l o v e Leo T o l s t o y i n  the same sense as she once l o v e d P o l i v a n o v ,  she c e r t a i n l y  much more a l l t h a t which T o l s t o y was able t o g i v e her. she, who a l l h e r l i f e  loved  I t was  s u f f e r e d from a morbid f e a r o f l o s i n g n o t  o n l y h e r husband's love b u t a l l those t h i n g s t h a t she enjoyed because o f i t .  88  I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t y e a r s e a r l i e r when Turgeniev r e p l i e d t o T o l s t o y ' s l e t t e r announcing h i s coming marriage w i t h V a l e r i a , he had w r i t t e n : God grant t h a t e v e r y t h i n g w i l l come t o a happy and c o r r e c t c o n c l u s i o n . This w i l l g i v e an anchor t o y o u r s o u l an anchor of which you are i n need. *12  1  I t cannot be doubted t h a t t h i s desperate love f o r h e r p o s i t i o n as w i f e  o f Count Leo T o l s t o y , t h e mother of h i s c h i l d r e n , the  mistress  of Yasnaya Polyana, t h i s almost p a t h o l o g i c a l f e a r t o  l o s e a l l t h i s and h e r r e l e n t l e s s d e t e r m i n a t i o n doubtless  acted  t o defend i t ,  as such an anchor to which T o l s t o y l a t e r i n l i f e  r e f e r r e d as " h i s c r o s s " .  Cross or a n c h o r i t h e l d him f a s t at ?  Yasnaya Polyana i n an atmosphere and surroundings o u t s i d e of which one can h a r d l y masterpieces.  imagine the c r e a t i o n s o f h i s l i t e r a r y -  Works such as War and Peace and Anna K a r e n i n a !  r e q u i r e d not only stupendous mental e f f o r t but s u s t a i n e d  con-  c e n t r a t i o n , which i n the case o f War and Peace l a s t e d f o r 6 years.  B e f o r e h i s marriage such s u s t a i n e d and u n d i v i d e d  would have been i m p o s s i b l e .  effort  H i s s h o r t n o v e l The Cossacks,  which he began probably i n 1853 was s t i l l uncompleted when i n 1862  he l e t the p u b l i s h e r  Katkov have i t i n settlement  gambling debt o f 1000 r o u b l e s . I  2 1  of a  I n c i d e n t a l l y i t was n o t t i l l  a f t e r h i s marriage t h a t he succeeded i n conquering one o f h i s 120 Correspondence o f T o l s t o y and Turgeniev, p.23. Moscow State P u b l i s h i n g House, 1928. T o l s t o y l o s t t h i s sum t o Katkov p l a y i n g Chinese b i l l i a r d s h i s l a s t f l i n g before h i s marriage. 1  2  1  —  89  worst p a s s i o n s , gambling.  In a l e t t e r dated Sept. 28,  1862,  T o l s t o y wrote t o h i s aunt and constant c o n f i d a n t A l e x a n d r a T o l s t o y : " I am now to  me  a b s o l u t e l y at peace and e v e r y t h i n g i s c l e a r  as i t has never been b e f o r e i n my  life".  On Oct. 8,  he  wrote again: I have no i d e a where a l l t h i s w i l l l e a d me. With every day I f e e l myself more and more a t peace and b e t t e r . I n the past I got t i r e d o f t a k i n g stock of myself and my doings, and p e r p e t u a l l y s t a r t i n g my l i f e a l l o v l r again (do you remember?) F o r a time I got r e c o n c i l e d w i t h my own foulness. I even began t o look upon mys e l f as i f not completely, then at l e a s t r e l a t i v e l y good; but now I have abjured, as never b e f o r e , my e n t i r e p a s t . At every second I am aware of everyone of my d i s g u s t i n g q u a l i t i e s , measured a g a i n s t Sonya as my y a r d - s t i c k . But I cannot wash away the sad l i n e s . 1 2 2  T o l s t o y the dreamer, who l i v e s , t h a t i n h i s own was  new  words he "got t i r e d of counting them",  i n dead earnest when he wrote to Alexandra of h i s t o t a l t r a n s  formation. for  i n h i s past made so many  He  a c t u a l l y d i d undergo a complete change —  at l e a s t  the time b e i n g , not only i n h i s h a b i t s , but what i s much more  s i g n i f i c a n t i n h i s outlook on l i f e . aware of i t or n o t , she was Nov.23, 1862,  Whether Sophia T o l s t o y  the main reason f o r the change.  she w r i t e s i n her d i a r y :  He i s d i s g u s t i n g , w i t h h i s common p e o p l e . I f e e l t h a t i t i s e i t h e r I , t h a t i s t o say, I as a temporary s i n g l e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the f a m i l y or the common people whom L y o v a l o v e s so warmly. Egoism? So be i t . I l i v e f o r him, I l i v e i n him. I expect the 122 Quotation from Pushkin's  poem, Memories.  was  same i n r e t u r n otherwise I am cramped here, s u f f o c a t e d . I r a n away t o d a y because e v e r y t h i n g suddenly d i s g u s t e d me — the aunt, the students, N a t a l i a Petrovna, t h e w a l l s and a l l t h i s l i f e and I c o u l d h a r d l y r e t r a i n my joyous l a u g h t e r when I q u i e t l y r a n away from home ... I em a f r a i d t o l i v e w i t h him. Suppose he f a l l s i n l o v e again w i t h common people. Then I am l o s t . 1 2 3  1 2 4  Apparently,  Tolstoy capitulated.  The schools were promptly d i s  banded, the p u b l i c a t i o n o f the e d u c a t i o n a l magazine Yasnaya Polyana d i s c o n t i n u e d , and the s t u d e n t - t e a c h e r s sudden abandoning o f h i s p h i l a n t h r o p i c a l  departed.  and e d u c a t i o n a l  t i e s d i d not pass u n n o t i c e d by the l i b e r a l p r e s s . paper, Golos,  This activi  The news-  i n c o n c l u s i o n o f a column o f Moscow news s t a t e d :  We have another item o f news, though n o t a l t o g e t h e r c h e e r f u l . We are informed from r e l i a b l e s o u r c e s , t h a t t h e famous Yasnaya P o l y a n a School o f Count T o l s t o y h a s " f a l l e n on e v i l times. I t i s s a i d t h a t s i n c e Count Leo T o l s t o y has stopped p e r s o n a l l y i n s t r u c t ing i n the s c h o o l , t h e m a j o r i t y o f the students have stopped a t t e n d i n g . L a t e l y o n l y a few have shown up. I t i s s u p e r f l u o u s t o say how unpleasant i s t h i s news. Leo T o l s t o y , as i s w e l l known, i s the founder o f the new e d u c a t i o n a l system and.the advocate of a new p e d a g o g i c a l approach which has much i n i t s f a v o u r and c o u l d have made a g r e a t c o n t r i b u t i o n t o s c i e n c e and l i f e i n  123  T h i s i s t h e f i r s t recorded i n s t a n c e o f the c l e v e r use made by Sophia o f h y s t e r i c a l o u t b u r s t s — t h r e a t s t o r u n away, t o drown h e r s e l f e t c . which she used so o f t e n l a t e r and w i t h such success. An impoverished noblewoman who was dependent on Aunt Tanya and l i v e d on Yasnaya Polyana.  91 general. The only p e r s o n capable o f making t h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n was Leo T o l s t o y . Even the o f f i c i a l organ o f the M i n i s t r y o f Education found i t a d v i s a b l e t o p r i n t an a r t i c l e by V. Zolotov: I hope t o make a t r i p t o Yasnaya P o l y a n a but t o my g r e a t r e g r e t was informed t h a t the s c h o o l o f Count T o l s t o y i s no longer i n existence. I say, t o my g r e a t r e g r e t , because, i n s p i t e p f some over-enthusiasm on the p a r t o f the Count t h i s s c h o o l had g r e a t importance because o f i t s p r a c t i c a l i t y b u t s p e c i a l l y because i t was the l i v i n g a n t i t h e s e s o f pedantic pedagogy ... A c c o r d i n g t o the testimony o f those who were c l o s e l y acquainted w i t h t h e s c h o o l a t Yasnaya Polyana, the p r o g r e s s o f t h e students was t r u l y astounding. 126 ft  On Dec. 23, T o l s t o y took h i s w i f e t o Moscow f o r a seven weeks' v i s i t .  O s t e n s i b l y he went t o d e l i v e r the f i n i s h e d  manuscript o f h i s s t o r y P o l i k u s h k a t o the e d i t o r o f t h e magazine, R u s s i a n Messenger.  But the r e a l o b j e c t was t o p a c i f y and d i s -  t r a c t h i s w i f e who was i n a s t a t e b o r d e r i n g  on nervous c o l l a p s e .  Thanks t o some g o s s i p i n g busybody, Sophia d i s c o v e r e d t h a t the young woman A k s i n i a who u s u a l l y came t o wash f l o o r s a t Yasnaya P o l y a n a was the former m i s t r e s s child.  o f T o l s t o y and had born him a  She was b e s i d e h e r s e l f w i t h j e a l o u s y and on Dec. 16, 1862,  she wrote i n h e r d i a r y : I t h i n k t h a t someday I s h a l l be d r i v e n t o s u i c i d e by j e a l o u s y . 'In love as never before'127 And-a simple peasant woman — 125 N. Gusev, M a t e r i a l s , p.391 126 i b i d , p.592. 127. T h i s was an e n t r y i n T o l s t o y ' s d i a r y i n May 10, -13, 1858. He had s a i d then t h a t he never l o v e d anyone i n h i s l i f e as he l o v e d A k s i n i a Anikanova ( a s e r f a t Yasnaya Polyana) H  92  f a t , white, hideous. I looked w i t h such d e l i g h t at the dagger, the guns. One stab, i t ' s easy, as l o n g as I have no child. And she i s here a few steps from me. I am l i k e one possessed. I take a drive. I can meet h e r again at t h i s v e r y moment. That's how he l o v e d h e r . If I c o u l d o n l y burn h i s d i a r i e s , 1 2 8 and w i t h them h i s e n t i r e p a s t ... Read some o f h i s e a r l y works and everywhere, t h e r e was l o v e , women, I f e l t d i s g u s t and my h e a r t was heavy. I would l i k e t o burn i t a l l . L e t n o t h i n g remind me o f h i s p a s t . I would n o t r e g r e t h i s works, f o r because of j e a l o u s y I have become a f e a r f u l e g o i s t . I f I c o u l d k i l l even him and then c r e a t e him anew the same as he i s I would have done t h i s w i t h p l e a s u r e . C o n s i d e r i n g t h i s o u t b u r s t i n h e r d i a r y , i t i s no wonder t h a t T o l s t o y deemed i t expedient t o take h e r t o Moscow, b u t how r e l u c t a n t he was t o go and what a s a c r i f i c e i t was f o r him can be judged from what he wrote i n h i s d i a r y on Dec. 27: As always I p a i d the p e n a l t y f o r town l i f e i n i l l - h e a l t h and i l l - t e m p e r ... I was most d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h my w i f e . Compared h e r w i t h o t h e r s . I almost r e pented. B u t then t h i s f e e l i n g passed. On Jan.5th, happiness."  1863, he w r i t e s : " I am absorbed i n f a m i l y  B u t t h r e e days l a t e r he r e c o r d s a t e r r i f i c row  about some d r e s s and comments on the v u l g a r i t y o f h i s w i f e ' s explanations.  He w r i t e s :  I t i s unpleasant t o be at home w i t h h e r . Apparently without n o t i c i n g i t , much has accumulated i n our s o u l s . I f e e l t h a t 128 A few days a f t e r becoming engaged T o l s t o y gave Sophia a l l h i s d i a r i e s , c o n t a i n i n g a v e r y f r a n k account o f a l l h i s pecadi l l o s f o r Sophia t o read.  93 /  she i s s u f f e r i n g , b u t I am s u f f e r i n g even more. I have n o t h i n g t o say t o her — Yes, n o t h i n g . I em simply c o l d towards her. That's why I so d e s p e r a t e l y t r y t o f i n d something t o do ... She w i l l cease to l o v e me. I am almost c e r t a i n of t h i s ... She says: I'm good. I hate t o hear this. I t i s because o f t h i s she w i l l cease to l o v e me. On J a n . 9, one day a f t e r the above e n t r y , Sophia i s f u l l of  p e n i t e n c e and c o n t r i t i o n f o r her behaviour, whatever  connection w i t h the d r e s s .  i t was,  in  She w r i t e s i n her d i a r y :  Never i n my l i f e was I made so wretched by the r e a l i z a t i o n o f my f a u l t . I never imagi n e d I c o u l d be i n the wrong to such an ext e n t . I am so oppressed t h a t t e a r s choke me. I am a f r a i d t o t a l k to him, a f r a i d t o l o o k at him. Never has he been so a t t r a c t i v e and dear to me. Never have I appeared t o myself so i n s i g n i f i c a n t and so e v i l . And he i s not angry. He c o n t i n u e s t o l o v e me. And h i s look i s so meek and s a i n t l y . One can d i e from happiness and h u m i l i a t i o n w i t h such a man. I f e e l u n w e l l . Because o f my moral s u f f e r i n g s I have become, p h y s i c a l l y i l l . I s u f f e r e d such p a i n t h a t I was a f r a i d o f a m i s c a r r i a g e . I am allmost i n s a n e . I pray a l l day as i f t h i s n o u l d l e s s e n my f a u l t o r undo what I have done. T h i s e n t r y c o n t i n u e s i n the same v e i n f o r another whole page. Jan.  On  23, T o l s t o y , f u l l y m o l l i f i e d , makes the f o l l o w i n g e n t r y : We are on the b e s t o f terms, my w i f e and I . I am no l o n g e r s u r p r i s e d o r f r i g h t e n e d by our h i g h and low t i d e s ... Sometimes even now I am dominated by the f e a r t h a t she i s young and doesn't understand o r l o v e much i n me and t h a t she s t i f l e s , f o r my sake, much i n h e r s e l f , and a l l these s a c r i f i c e s she i n s t i n c t i v e l y h o l d s a g a i n s t me ... T h i s seven weeks v i s i t t o Moscow was  one of the v e r y  r a r e o c c a s i o n s when Sophia l e f t Yasnaya Polyana, where she spent the  94  next e i g h t e e n y e a r s . On J a n . 17, 1863,  t h e r e appeared an advertisement  in  Moscow News, announcing the d i s c o n t i n u a n c e o f the magazine Polyana.  1  Yasnaya  Tolstoy ascribed h i s d e c i s i o n to discontinue i J o t o ^ V : .  l a c k of support.  A t no time, he added, had the number of sub-  s c r i b e r s exceeded 400. r e a l cause —  However, i t i s n o t d i f f i c u l t  t o f i n d the  h i s w i f e ' s i n f l u e n c e , but above a l l a complete r e v o l -  u t i o n i n h i s own  outlook on l i f e  a f t e r h i s marriage.  One  can  h a r d l y doubt t h a t the f i n a l p a r t i n g w i t h h i s c h e r i s h e d dream of becoming a l e a d i n g reformer o f primary e d u c a t i o n a l methods, might even say the d i s c o v e r e r Of a t o t a l l y new c o u l d not have h e l p e d c a u s i n g him  one  approach t o pedagogy,  some twinges of c o n s c i e n c e .  These  were g r e a t l y i n t e n s i f i e d by the r e a c t i o n of the R u s s i a n p r e s s . Throughout R u s s i a , newspapers and m;agazines o f a l l shades of o p i n i o n , w i t h b a r e l y a s i n g l e exception^29  expressed p r o f o u n d e s t r e g r e t and  even dismay at the step taken by T o l s t o y .  Even the august  and  h i g h l y c o n s e r v a t i v e magazine Sunday Reading, p u b l i s h e d by t h e K i e v 130 E c c l e s i a s t i c a l Academy, had the f o l l o w i n g to say: In: spite of the f a c t t h a t we cannot agree w i t h the i d e a s expressed i n t h i s magazine, we s t i l l c o n s i d e r i t an e x t r a o r d i n a r y phenomenon i n our primary pedagogy and r e g r e t i t s d i s c o n t i n u a n c e . E s p e c i a l l y when we bear i n mind how narrow were the t h e o r i e s on which, t i l l now, our pedagogy has been based. 1  3  1  129  L30 1  3  1  The one e x c e p t i o n was the G e r m a n o p h i l e m a g a z i n e , The Teacher, which a f t e r w a i t i n g f o r a whole y e a r b e f o r e commenting, expressed (1864) i t s g r a t i f i c a t i o n at the d i s c o n t i n u a n c e of Yasnaya Polyana — " A l l the t h e o r i e s expounded i n the magazine were absurd" .. wrote the d i s t i n g u i s h e d c o n t r i b u t o r t o the paper, E. Kemnitz. The o l d e s t and h i g h e s t E c c l e s i a s t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n of N a m i n g i n the R u s s i a n Empire, a c t u a l l y an e c c l e s i a s t i c a l U n i v e r s i t y . "Sunday Reading", 1863, No.31, p.733  •I 95  That t h i s abandonment o f the beloved c h i l d of h i s fancywas  not due t o l a c k of support or f i n a n c i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s can be  gathered from the f o l l o w i n g e n t r y i n T o l s t o y ' s d i a r y , Feb.8,  1863:  I am so happy, so happy. I l o v e her so ... S u b c o n s c i o u s l y she i s r e - e d u c a t i n g me ... The s t u d e n t - t e a c h e r s are n o t h i n g but a burden t o me because of the f a l s e n e s s o f the whole s i t u a t i o n ... How c l e a r everyt h i n g i s t o me now. T h i s was the r e s u l t of y o u t h f u l enthusiasm — I was almost showing o f f . T h i s I can no longer c o n t i n u e , having grown up. However, T o l s t o y has moments when he i s f e a r f u l t h a t the family l i f e ,  f o r which he gave up a l l o t h e r a c t i v i t i e s , i s b u i l t  on sand: Mar l . 1863. R e c e n t l y we b o t h f e l t how t e r r i f y i n g l y t r a n s i t o r y i s our happiness! Death — and e v e r y t h i n g i s at an end. . Mar.3, We almost had two q u a r r e l s on success i v e evenings. B a r e l y avoided. Now she i s bored. She f e e l s hemmed i n . Insane searches a storml32. Young but n o t i n s a n e . And I f e a r t h i s mood more than anything e l s e i n t h i s world. And then T o l s t o y attempts t o j u s t i f y h i s g i v i n g up h i s former a c t i v i t i e s , and h i s changed outlook on l i f e which l e d t o the complete abandonment of h i s s e l f l e s s e f f o r t s t o improve the lot  o f the common people: Mar 3, 1863. The s o - c a l l e d s e l f - a b n e g a t i o n and goodness are merely e f f o r t s t o  132 It  A b a d l y misquoted passage from Lermontov's poem "The S a i l " . s h o u l d r e a d "But he, r e b e l l i o u s , i s y e a r n i n g f o r a storm."  I  96  s a t i s f y morbidly developed p r e d i l e c t i o n s . The i d e a l i s harmony. T h i s i s r e a l i z e d only i n a r t . And only t h a t i s t r u e , which adopts as i t s motto: there are no g u i l t y ones i n t h i s w o r l d . He who i s happy i s i n the r i g h t I A s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g man i s b l i n d e r and more c r u e l than o t h e r s . To t h i s p e r i o d belongs a mysterious r e l a t i o n s h i p between Sophia and her husband, which he d e s i g n a t e d lain Doll". i n g l y informs  as t h a t of the "Porce-  W r i t i n g t o h i s s i s t e r - i n - l a w on March 2 3 , her t h a t of l a t e h i s w i f e transforms  i n h i s presence i n t o a c o l d c h i n a d o l l .  she  He u n d e r l i n e s t h i s  i s her n a t u r a l s e l f . "  on Mar.27, Sophia w r i t i n g t o her s i s t e r says: "Now made of c h i n a "  1 3 4  jok-  h e r s e l f while  r e p e a t i n g t h a t she becomes "such a d o l l only when we when o t h e r s are present  he  1 3 3  are  by  alone,  The f a c t t h a t I am no  proves t h a t t h i s r e f e r e n c e to Sophia was  longer not  made j o k i n g l y but r e f l e c t s T o l s t o y ' s r e a l i z a t i o n o f a c e r t a i n s t a t e of mind i n h i s w i f e , a c e r t a i n a t t i t u d e towards him.  This  p e r i o d , which preceded the b i r t h of h i s f i r s t c h i l d , S e r g e i , i s marked by the l a s t r e b e l l i o n of T o l s t o y , the untamed i d e a l i s t , who  i s about t o become a sedate p a t e r - f a m i l i a s .  On A p r i l  1,  E a s t e r day, T o l s t o y c o n t r a s t s t h i s E a s t e r w i t h the p r e c e d i n g He r e c a l l s h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h the student and  133  teacher  one.  Serdobolsky,  notes:  N. ©ttsev.  M a t e r i a l s , p.604  Loc. C i t . quoted from an u n p u b l i s h e d l e t t e r i n the manuscript d i v i s i o n of the S t a t e T o l s t o y Museum, USSR. 1  3  4  97  That was q u i t e a d i f f e r e n t E a s t e r . Now I am occupied w i t h the d r e a r y b u s i n e s s o f running the e s t a t e and am d i s g u s t e d w i t h myself — I am a f l a b b y e g o i s t and y e t I am happy. A l o t o f self-improvement i s needed. June 2, 1863,  he w r i t e s :  A l l t h i s time was a sad p e r i o d o f heavy mental and p h y s i c a l l e t h a r g y . I thought I was growing o l d , t h a t I was d y i n g . I thought how f r i g h t f u l i t i s t h a t I do n o t l o v e . I was h o r r i f i e d t h a t my i n t e r e s t s are c o n f i n e d t o money and v u l g a r m a t e r i a l well-being. T h i s was a p e r i o d i c h i b e r n a t i o n . I t h i n k I am awake now. I l o v e her, the f u t u r e , m y s e l f , and my l i f e ... One cannot f i g h t a g a i n s t one's f a t e . He t r i e s t o f i n d c o n s o l a t i o n i n the thought: "That which i s weakness may become the source o f power." Here T o l s t o y i s q u i t e p r o p h e t i c f o r he was j u s t about t o embark on h i s monumental work, War and Peace. ment o f h i s i d e a l i s t i c  endeavours enabled him t o t u r n whole-  heartedly t o h i s r e a l vocation — r e b e l l i o n i s not y e t over. f i n d a heart rending  The abandon-  art.  But the p e r i o d o f  I n h i s d i a r y o f June 18, 1863,  we  lament f o r h i s i n a b i l i t y t o r e c o n c i l e h i s  i d e a l s w i t h the r e a l i t i e s o f m a r r i e d  life:  Where am I? — he whom I l o v e d and knew so w e l l . He who .would suddenly emerge out o f me and both d e l i g h t and f r i g h t e n me. I am s m a l l . I am i n s i g n i f i c a n t . I have become l i k e t h i s s i n c e I got m a r r i e d . M a r r i e d to a woman whom I l o v e — Almost e v e r y t h i n g w r i t t e n i n t h i s book i s f a l s e — pretence. The thought t h a t she i s here, r e a d i n g over my shoulder, dwarfs and c o r r u p t s my t r u t h .  98  To t h i s p e r i o d belongs almost incomprehensible  outbursts  of mad j e a l o u s y provoked by the f a c t t h a t Sophia, who was i n t h e n i n t h month o f h e r pregnancy, found p l e a s u r e i n c h a t t i n g t o the s c h o o l t e a c h e r , E r l e n v e i n , and t h a t she seemed t o enjoy the a t t e n t i o n s o f t h i s most " i n s i g n i f i c a n t o f men".  Under the i n f l u e n c e o f  t h i s mood, T o l s t o y c o n t i n u e s i n h i s d i a r y but showing how overwrought he i s , the e n t r y i s almost i n c o h e r e n t : Anyone who reads t h i s w i l l say, 'Yes, I know j e a l o u s y I But one must t r y t o q u i e t e n me, do something t o q u i e t e n me, i n o r d e r t o r i d me o f the v u l g a r i t y o f l i f e which I det e s t e d s i n c e my y o u t h . And I have l i v e d i n i t f o r n i n e months. Hideous. I am a gambler and a. drunkard. B l i n d drunk w i t h e s t a t e management. I have i r r e v o c a b l y l o s t n i n e months which c o u l d have been the b e s t and which I made the worst i n my l i f e ... How many times have I w r i t t e n , 'Now I have p u t an end t o all thisl' B u t now I do n o t w r i t e t h i s . OhI My God, h e l p me'. L e t me l i v e always i n the r e a l i z a t i o n o f thee and of my power. Then a d d r e s s i n g h i s w i f e he c o n t i n u e s : I i n v o l u n t a r i l y t r y t o h u r t you. T h i s i s bad and w i l l p a s s . Do not be angry, I can't h e l p l o v i n g you ... T h i s l a s t n i n e months I was the most w o r t h l e s s , weak, absurd, and v u l g a r man. But now t h e m o o n - l i t n i g h t has u p l i f t e d me. Sophia's d i a r y also r e f l e c t s what a t r y i n g time she had d u r i n g these f i r s t nine months of h e r m a r r i e d l i f e , the p e r i o d o f her f i r s t  pregnancy.  I n s p i t e o f having most unorthodox, n o t t o  say i c o n o c l a s t i c views on every o t h e r s u b j e c t , T o l s t o y e n t e r t a i n e d  I  I  99  most c o n s e r v a t i v e , most b o u r g e o i s views on the q u e s t i o n o f marriage. To T o l s t o y the s t a t e o f marriage once entered i n t o was s a c r e d and permanent, he took the vow ' t i l l  death do us p a r t ' l i t e r a l l y .  was e q u a l l y orthodox i n h i s i n s i s t e n c e on c o n j u g a l  He  fidelity.  C u r i o u s l y enough, t h i s i s one, i f not the only one, o f h i s i d e a l s which T o l s t o y succeeded i n p u t t i n g i n t o p r a c t i c e .  Although he  was o f t e n s o r e l y tempted t o commit a d u l t e r y , and on one o c c a s i o n almost f e l l , once m a r r i e d t o Sophia T o l s t o y he remained f a i t h f u l to  h e r f o r the f o r t y - e i g h t y e a r s of t h e i r married l i f e ,  of  h i s unusual  sexual v i r i l i t y .  1 3 5  inspite  I t i s s m a l l wonder t h a t T o l s t o y  who was accustomed t o f r e e l y g r a t i f y h i s sexual a p p e t i t e s , found his  e n f o r c e d a b s t i n e n c e , d u r i n g the l a s t stages o f h e r pregnancy,  e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y irksome and a t times unendurable.  No doubt the  tremendous s t r u g g l e t o remain chaste made him both i r r i t a b l e and difficult  to l i v e with.  I t i s q u i t e c l e a r from Sophia's d i a r y  t h a t a t no time d i d she understand  what was going on i n h i s mind  nor d i d she a p p r e c i a t e the stupendous e f f o r t T o l s t o y ' s enforced c h a s t i t y cost him.  She deeply r e s e n t e d h i s a t t e n t i o n s and l a t e r ,  when i n t e r c o u r s e became i m p o s s i b l e , she f a i l e d t o g i v e him the sympathy he needed d u r i n g h i s s t r u g g l e and f e a r f u l  crises.  I n s t e a d she poured out h e r pent-up b i t t e r n e s s i n h e r d i a r y , which he,  o f course, read.  What e f f e c t s these u n r e s t r a i n e d  outpourings  had on Tolstoy can only be imagined, when she wrote:  135 A c c o r d i n g t o h i s w i f e ' s d i a r y he continued h a v i n g s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s w i t h h e r t i l l t h e age o f 78, when she underwent an extremely s e r i o u s o p e r a t i o n a f t e r which, i n t h e o p i n i o n o f her d o c t o r s , any f u r t h e r i n t e r c o u r s e might a c t u a l l y endanger h e r l i f e .  100 A p r i l 24, 1863. Lyova i s e i t h e r o l d or unhappy. Is i t p o s s i b l e t h a t b e s i d e s money a f f a i r s , management o f the e s t a t e , management of the d i s t i l l e r y , n o t h i n g and nobody i n t e r e s t s him? He doesn't eat, s l e e p , o r t a l k . He p r o w l s about the e s t a t e . He walks and walks always a l o n e . But I am alone. I am b o r e d . Completely alone. H i s l o v e t a k e s the form o f mechanical k i s s i n g o f my hand and of d o i n g me good i n s t e a d o f e v i l . May 8. I t i s a l l the f a u l t o f my pregnancy. I f e e l unbearably r o t t e n , both p h y s i c a l l y and morally. P h y s i c a l l y I am always i l l i n one way or another. M o r a l l y — f e a r f u l boredom, emptiness, despondency. F o r Lyova, I do n o t e x i s t . I feel t h a t I am-repulsive t o him and now I have, one s i n g l e purpose — t o t r y t o remove myself from h i s l i f e as much as p o s s i b l e . I cannot b r i n g any j o y t o him because I am pregnant. What a b i t t e r t r u t h , a woman only f i n d s out i f her husband l o v e s h e r , when she i s pregnant. Though one can d e e p l y sympathise w i t h Sophia's misery at  t h i s time, i t i s , perhaps, n o t a l t o g e t h e r j u s t t o a s c r i b e a l l  T o l s t o y ' s moods and gloom t o h i s s e l f - i m p o s e d abstinance from sex. No doubt i t p l a y e d an important r o l e .  But i t i s also t r u e t h a t  T o l s t o y ' s mind was pregnant w i t h a teeming m u l t i t u d e of unexpressed ideas —  a host of half-formed l i v i n g characters, already conceived  i n h i s mind, s t r u g g l i n g t o be born. The s t a t e o f h i s d i s t r e s s a t not c r e a t i n g truly artistic, his  something  something worthwhile, something b i g enough f o r  immense l a t e n t powers o f which he i s so keenly aware i s r e -  f l e c t e d i n h i s l e t t e r t o F e t , A p r i l 1863: I l i v e i n a. w o r l d so f a r removed from l i t e r ature and c r i t i c s t h a t upon r e c e i v i n g a l e t t e r such as y o u r s , I was f i l l e d w i t h astonishment. Who i s that f e l l o w who wrote The Cossacks and Polikoushka? But they are n o t  101  even worth t a l k i n g about. The w r i t i n g paper can stand a n y t h i n g and the e d i t o r pays and p r i n t s anything. But t h i s i s only t h e f i r s t impression ... When one b e g i n s t o d i g i n o n e s mind one f i n d s , somewhere i n the c o r n e r , amongst the o l d f o r g o t t e n r u b b i s h , something i n d e f i n i t e c a l l e d a r t ... and one begins t o yearn t o w r i t e ... How can I w r i t e now? I am up to my ears i n farming and Sonya ... There are bees, sheep, the new o r c h a r d , t h e d i s t i l l e r y — e v e r y t h i n g i s i n c h i n g along, though n a t u r a l l y b a d l y i n comparison t o ideals. 1  And then i n an u t t e r outburst o f d e s p a i r , a sudden thought, r u n away from i t a l l —  but where?  To war; as i n h i s youth, t o the  Caucasus. What do you t h i n k o f the P o l i s h a f f a i r ? 1 3 6 I t does look bad. Perhaps you, I , and B o r i s o v l 3 7 w i l l have t o take down again our s w o r d s l from the r u s t y n a i l . 3 8  It  i s h a r d t o b e l i e v e t h a t T o l s t o y was s e r i o u s about  t h i s l a s t suggestion f o r he was f a r t o o absorbed w i t h the i n n e r mental s t r u g g l e which preceded  the b i r t h of h i s epic novel,  War and Peace to a l l o w the P o l i s h r e b e l l i o n o r anything e l s e t o interfere with i t .  136 T h i s r e f e r s t o t h e P o l i s h u p r i s i n g of 1863 and the p o s s i b i l i t y o f i n t e r v e n t i o n by Prance and o t h e r powers which would have l e d t o a g e n e r a l war. 137 A neighbour o f T o l s t o y ' s , a r e t i r e d o f f i c e r , who had had a t r a g i c l o v e a f f a i r w i t h Fe't's s i s t e r . 138 There was no c o n s c r i p t i o n i n R u s s i a i n 1863 so t h a t T o l s t o y was c o n s i d e r i n g v o l u n t e e r i n g f o r a c t i v e s e r v i c e .  CHAPTER  V  On the 28th o f June, 1863, who  was  Sophia gave b i r t h t o a son - -  named S e r g e i , i n honour of T o l s t o y ' s b r o t h e r .  One  can  get  some i d e a o f T o l s t o y ' s a t t i t u d e t o the b i r t h of h i s f i r s t - b o r n from the f a c t t h a t he  a c t u a l l y considered  warrant a s p e c i a l d i a r y which he he began on Aug.  5, with  i t important enough to -  c a l l e d Mother's D i a r y , and which  a d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n o f the d e l i v e r y ,  concluding: D a r l i n g , how earnest, pure, t o u c h i n g and s t r i k i n g was h e r beauty ... She d i d n ' t t h i n k about me. There was somet h i n g earnest, something s t e r n about her. Her eyes were b u r n i n g q u i e t l y and ecstatically. However, t h i s f e e l i n g o f e x a l t a t i o n was  short l i v e d .  Sophia developed inflammation o f the b r e a s t s and the d o c t o r s her t o f e e d the c h i l d and recommended t h a t a wet engaged.  forbad  nurse should  be  But t h i s ran c o n t r a r y t o T o l s t o y ' s t h e o r i e s of t r u e  motherhood and he f e l t t h a t by not f e e d i n g her c h i l d h i s wife d e s e c r a t i n g the i n g a wet  i d e a l of motherhood.  nurse, and  He would n o t hear o f engag-  s t e a d f a s t l y claimed t h a t s u c k l i n g the  the b e s t cure f o r the t r o u b l e .  mother under any  was  i n s i s t e d t h a t t h e d o c t o r s were ignoramuses  about such matters and was  Por  child  He h e l d i t monstrous f o r a  circumstances t o abandon a c h i l d .  Lyubov Behrs,  unable t o make her r e f r a c t o r y son-in-law see reason, summoned her husband who  f i n a l l y succeeded i n p e r s u a d i n g him t o allow them to  engage a wet-nurse.  But  a c c o r d i n g t o Tatyana Behrs, T o l s t o y never  103 overcame h i s abhorrence u n n a t u r a l behaviour.  of what, he c o n s i d e r e d Sophia's  utterly  She w r i t e s :  Leo N i c h o l a e v i c h never succeeded i n subd u i n g h i s d i s l i k e o f a n u r s e r y i n which t h e r e was both nurse and wet-nurse ... whenever he entered the n u r s e r y h i s f a c e bore an e x p r e s s i o n o f both d i s g u s t and re s entment.139 How much he r e s e n t e d t h i s f a i l i n g on the p a r t of h i s w i f e t o f u l f i l h e r primary duty as a mother can be gathered by the f a c t that on Aug. 6 he b r i n g s h i s Mother's D i a r y t o an abrupt end w i t h the f o l l o w i n g : I haven't f i n i s h e d t h i s and can no longer continue i t . To speak o f the p r e s e n t time i s t o r t u r e t o me ... Her c h a r a c t e r i s worsen i n g w i t h every day and I r e c o g n i z e i n h e r both P a u l i n e and M a r y ^ i t h t h e i r grumbling and angry sounding l i t t l e b e l l s . I t i s true t h a t t h i s happens t o h e r when she i s u n w e l l . But t h i s i n j u s t i c e and q u i e t egoism f r i g h t e n me ... I s i t p o s s i b l e t h a t she never l o v e d me b u t d e c e i v e d h e r s e l f ? I read through h e r d i a r y — subdued hate towards me b r e a t h e s through the t e n d e r words. I n l i f e i t i s f r e q u e n t l y so a l s o . I f t h i s i s t r u e , and i f . a l l t h i s i s a mistake on h e r p a r t — i t i s horrible. To g i v e up e v e r y t h i n g ... a l l the 1 4  w  4  1  139 My L i f e at Home and i n Yasnaya Polyana, p.94. 140 His  aunt P e l a g e a and h i s ..sister, Mary.  141 Only one who has t r a v e l l e d home f o r hours i n a s l e i g h o r c a r r i a g e behind a t r o i k a w i t h cacophonous.bells ( f o r t u n a t e l y a r a r e occurrence) can understand what T o l s t o y means by t h i s . The w r i t e r , t r a v e l l i n g i n a t r o i k a i n the U r a l s had the misf o r t u n e t o experience the e f f e c t o f t h i s unpleasant soUtid..and had t o ask the coachman t o s i l e n c e the main b e l l on the "douga", a f t e r which the s i d e b e l l s sounded p l e a s a n t .  104 p o e t r y o f the f a m i l y h e a r t h , egoism'towards e v e r y t h i n g except one's own f a m i l y and i n exchange f o r a l l t h i s get s a d d l e d w i t h the care of the r e t a i l vodka-shop (Kabak) I baby-powder, jam, and grumbling, d e v o i d of e v e r y t h i n g which b r i g h t e n s f a m i l y l i f e , w i t h out l o v e and without serene and d i g n i f i e d f a m i l y happiness. N o t h i n g but o u t b u r s t of t e n d e r n e s s — k i s s e s e t c : Ohi how heavy i s my h e a r t ... I come i n the morning, happy and i n a-good mood and I b e h o l d the Countess, who i s annoyed and whose a r i s t o c r a t i c h a i r i s b e i n g combed by the maid, D u s h k a . And the p i c t u r e o f Mashenka at h e r worst comes b e f o r e my eyes. E v e r y t h i n g goes t o p i e c e s . And I? L i k e one s c a l d e d I am a f r a i d of e v e r y t h i n g I see and r e a l i z e t h a t o n l y when I am alone my good p o e t i c mood r e t u r n s to me. I am k i s s e d , by h a b i t , t e n d e r l y and then b e g i n s s n a r l i n g at Dushka, at Aunt, at Tanya, at me, at everybody and I cannot q u i e t l y stand t h i s because a l l t h i s i s not o n l y e v i l but h o r r i b l e i n comparison t o t h a t which I crave ... and then the t i n i e s t glimmer of u n d e r s t a n d i n g and f e e l ing and I am a g a i n a l l happiness and I b e l i e v e h e r o u t l o o k i s the same as mine. One b e l i e v e s 4  2  1 4 3  142  In 1863, T o l s t o y was c a r r i e d away by a grandiose v i s i o n o f q u i c k w e a l t h which he c o u l d a c q u i r e from engaging i n the d i s t i l l i n g i n d u s t r y . At one time he s e r i o u s l y comtemplated b u i l d i n g two d i s t i l l e r i e s , one at Yasnaya P o l y a n a and the o t h e r at N i k o l s k o y e . L i k e most of h i s o t h e r b u s i n e s s e n t e r p r i s e s i t b o i l e d down t o one v e r y s m a l l r a t h e r p r i m i t i v e d i s t i l l e r y which he b u i l t on h a l f shares w i t h h i s neighbour, B i b i k o v , a t the l a t t e r ' s l i t t l e e s t a t e , Teliatinky. I t e x i s t e d f o r about a y e a r and a h a l f . Hoping t o make the b u s i n e s s more p r o f i t a b l e , T o l s t o y t r i e d to s t a r t the r e t a i l s a l e o f vodka and b u i l t a "kabak" on the highway near Yasnaya Polyana. In 1933 t h e r e were s t i l l people at Yasnaya P o l y a n a who remembered the Kabak. A p p a r e n t l y owing t o poor management even t h i s e n t e r p r i s e , u s u a l l y so p r o f i t a b l e , f a i l e d and had t o be d i s c o n t i n u e d . B u t i n an account book at Yasnaya Polyana t h e r e i s an e n t r y , June 1869, "Received, 55 r o u b l e s from G r e t s o v s k i Kabak". 143 Here T o l s t o y r e f e r s t o Dunya Bannikov, a twelve y e a r o l d c h i l d from Yasnaya Polyana, at that time a s s i s t a n t maid t o Sophia T o l s t o y .  105  t h a t which one wishes d e s p e r a t e l y to b e l i e v e . I am content t h a t i t i s o n l y I who am t o r t u r e d ... no, she n e i t h e r l o v e d me nor l o v e s me. Now I am reconc i l e d , somewhat. But why was i t necessary t o deceive me so p a i n f u l l y ? How  Sophia f e l t  unhappy she was  about the same time, and how  desperately  at t h i s time, a time t h a t should have been so  happy, can be seen from e n t r y a f t e r entry i n her d i a r y : J u l y 23, 1863. Ten months m a r r i e d . My s p i r i t s low horrible. I mechanically seek solace as a c h i l d seeks the b r e a s t . My mental p a i n i s unendurable. Lyova i s murderous. He i s i n c a p a b l e o f managing the e s t a t e — not f o r t h a t , b r o t h e r , have you been c r e a t e d I He f u t i l e l y dashes from p l a c e t o p l a c e . He i s not s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h a t which he has; I know what he wants; and t h a t I won't g i v e him. Nothing p l e a s e s him. L i k e a dog I have got used t o h i s c a r e s s e s . He has grown "cold. I console myself t h a t such days w i l l pass, but how f r e q u e n t they are. Patience.144 On J u l y 31, more desperate, more  1863,  she makes another entry t h a t i s even  poignant:  The t r u t h i s , i t i s k i l l i n g me. He i s angry, but what f o r ? Whose f a u l t i s i t ? Our r e l a t i o n s are g h a s t l y . And t h i s , when misfortune b e f e l l us. He says 'I am going t o s l e e p , I am g o i n g f o r a swim and I t h i n k good r i d d a n c e . I s i t over my l i t t l e boy — how heavy i s my s o u l I God has d e p r i v e d me of my husband and my c h i l d . I have j u s t 1  1 4 5  144 D i a r y of Sophia T o l s t o y , 1869-91,  p.74  145 the  She i s here r e f e r r i n g to the f a c t t h a t she child.  i s unable t o f e e d  4 106  r e a d h i s d i a r y ... t h e s e n i n e months, p o s s i b l y the worst i n l i f e . And what o f t h e tenth. How m a n y t i m e s h e t h o u g h t , why d i d I marry? A n d how many t i m e s h a s he s a i d , •Where i s t h e I , I u s e d t o b e ? '  The w e r e made  ghastly  even worse  N a t a l i a Kazakov, conceal Sophia  r e l a t i o n s between T o l s t o y by the f a c t  died  i n great  that  for  Tolstoy's  child  o f i t s mother.  to see at  the heartless was u n d e r s t o o d  that  excellent  food,  the tender  care  h e r husband t h e manor  i t y , and decision  146  the peasant 1  4  either  i t may child,  h i s social on t h e i r —  6  were  plainly  he  should  to feed  h e r baby,  on t h e wet-nurse.  m o t h e r was t o l e a v e  and t o l i v e  said  n o t have  f o rgood pay, s p e c i a l  o f other  depriving  was much t o b e  anxious imposed  told  clothes  h e r own  child  children or relatives; not secluded  f o r about  a  year  house.  of Natalia's  tragedy,  that  i n return  or child;  However death  Actually there  who w a s m o r e t h a n  conditions  made n o e f f o r t s t o  f o rcallous^  only  wife  o f the wet-nurse,  and h i s looks  f e e l i n g s on t h e m a t t e r ,  blamed h i s s i c k wife,  and  Tolstoy  he blamed h e r f o r t h e t r a g e d y  other  It  the child  pain/  h i s f e e l i n g s on t h e m a t t e r  the  but  that  and h i s young  be, T o l s t o y and under  conscience  wedding  he would  the impact  reawakened w i t h  anniversary  escape  was f e a r f u l l y  from  of this  stark  a l l i t s o l d intens-  he was d r i v e n  the horror  shaken by t h e  to a  cruel  of i t a l l ,horror  which  ~  As t h e p e a s a n t s h a d no knowledge o f h y g i e n e , o r b o t t l e f o r m u l a e , and i n f a c t o f t e n c o u l d o b t a i n no m i l k , i t was q u i t e u s u a l f o r t h e w e t - n u r s e ' s c h i l d t o d i e , a s i t was o f t e n f e d on p r e v i o u s l y m a s t i cated black bread.  107 •t  he c o u l d not h e l p a s c r i b i n g t o h i s m a t r i m o n i a l entanglements, j o i n i n g the army on a c t i v e s e r v i c e i n Poland.  by  With h i s u s u a l  i m p e t u o s i t y and without c o n s i d e r i n g the s h a t t e r i n g e f f e c t such an announcement, made on the eve of t h e i r wedding a n n i v e r s a r y , would have on h i s s i c k and overwrought decision.  w i f e , he informed h e r of h i s  What e f f e c t t h i s had on the young w i f e whose nerves  were a l r e a d y at the b r e a k i n g p o i n t can be seen from the e n t r y i n h e r d i a r y on  Sept.22:  Tomorrow i s our wedding a n n i v e r s a r y . Then, hopes f o r happiness, today — wretchedness. I thought u n t i l now i t was a joke; but now he p o s s i b l y means i t . To war! What absurdi t y ! Muddle-headedness? No, t h a t i s not i t . Simply i n c o n s t a n c y . I don't know whether he does i t i n t e n t i o n a l l y or u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y but he i s t r y i n g to arrange our l i f e so as t o make me a b s o l u t e l y m i s e r a b l e . He has p l a c e d me i n such a s i t u a t i o n t h a t I have t o l i v e under constant t h r e a t t h a t i f not today, then tomorrow, I would be l e f t alone w i t h the c h i l d , and perhaps w i t h another as w e l l . With them i t ' s a l l a j o k e , a moment's f a n c y . Today m a r r i e d , because i t s u i t e d him, begot c h i l d r e n . Tomorrow, wants t o go t o war and to abandon. I must expect the death of the child. I w i l l never s u r v i v e t h i s . I do not believe i n h i s love f o r fatherland. This strange enthusiasm at the age of 35! But Sophia d i d not have to worry  so much, f o r T o l s t o y  a c t u a l l y went to war without l e a v i n g her or h i s c h i l d . d i d not take p a r t i n t h e P o l i s h War  but i n the War  But he  of 1812.  Out  o f h i s mental c r i s i s emerged one o f the most memorable c h a r a c t e r s i n War  and Peace, P r i n c e A n d r e i , who  goes t o war  leaving h i s  108  pregnant wife (the l i t t l e princess) with h i s father and s i s t e r at Lyesye Gorye.  In creating Prince Andrei, he made a safety-valve  for h i s own unbearable, pent-up emotions.  In his novel, Tolstoy  makes i t clear that Prince Andrei goes to was because he i s unhappily married.  He says to Pierre Bezoukhov:  I go because the l i f e that I lead here,, t h i s l i f e — i s not my cup of t e a ... Never, never marry u n t i l you can t e l l yourself that you have accomplished everything that you were capable of» u n t i l , and only u n t i l you have ceased to love the woman you have selected, u n t i l you understand her completely; otherwise you w i l l be disappointed and w i l l make a f e a r f u l and irrevocable mistake. Marry when you are a t o t a l l y useless o l d man ... otherwise a l l that i s good and sublime i n you, everything w i l l be wasted on t r i f l e s . I f you expect to accomplish something i n the future, at every step you w i l l f e e l everything i s f i n i s h e d — a l l doors are closed. OhI God, what I would not have given i n order to have remained unmarried.I 47  Can one seriously believe that t h i s creative genius who was already so absorbed i n h i s t i t a n i c e f f o r t to produce h i s epic War and Peace, could possibly tear himself away from t h i s task?  Moreover, there  i s ample evidence, not only i n h i s diary but i n h i s correspondence, that he himself i n h i s heart of hearts knew that nothing could give better scope, better opportunity f o r a r t i s t i c self-expression than a healthy married l i f e i n a quiet, unhurried and, on the whole, peaceful atmosphere of Yasnaya Polyana. horrified  At timed he was  at h i s more than inconsiderate behaviour towards h i s  young wife.  He writes i n his diary:  147 Collected Works, V o l .  P.  109  S o n y a , f o r g i v e me! I know i t o n l y now t h a t I am g u i l t y ( o n e w o r d i l l e g i b l e ) a n d t o w h a t e x t e n t I am a t f a u l t . There are d a y s when one l i v e s a s i t were n o t by o n e ' s own v o l i t i o n b u t o b e y i n g some strange i r r e s i s t i b l e l a w . S u c h was I , d u r i n g t h e s e d a y s , i n my b e h a v i o u r t o w a r d s y o u ; a n d who — I . And y e t I always thought t h a t , a l t h o u g h I h a v e many f a i l i n g s I s t i l l have one-tenth o f a f e e l i n g o f magnanimity. I was r u d e and c r u e l — a n d t o w a r d s whom? T o t h a t o n l y b e i n g who g a v e me t h e b e s t h a p p i n e s s o f my l i f e , t h e o n l y . b e i n g t h a t l o v e d me. S o n y a , I know s u c h t h i n g s c a n n o t be f o r g o t t e n o r f o r g i v e n ; b u t I know a n d u n d e r s t a n d b e t t e r t h a n y o u d o , my own b a s e n e s s , S o n y a , d a r l i n g , I am g u i l t y , repulsi v e ( i l l e g i b l e w o r d ) . I n me t h e r e l i v e s a n e x c e l l e n t man w h o , a t t i m e s , s l e e p s . Love him Sonya! and do n o t b e a r a grudge a g a i n s t him. 148  That  Tolstoy  evident  from  crossed what  out this  he s a y s  only  entry  i n a f i t o f rage  a f e w weeks  later  becomes  o n O c t . 6:  All t h i s i s g o n e , a n d a l l i s u n t r u e . I am happy i n h e r but d i s s a t i s f i e d f e a r f u l l y with myself. I em r o l l i n g r o l l i n g d o w n h i l l t o wards d e a t h and have b a r e l y t h e s t r e n g t h t o stop. I d o n ' t want d e a t h — I want, I l o v e i m m o r t a l i t y ... t h e d i e i s c a s t l o n g ago: l i t e r a t u r e , a r t , pedagogy, f a m i l y .  The literature  reader  h a s no d o u b t  and a r t f o r a l r e a d y  as t o what  T o l s t o y means b y  on Aug. 2nd S o p h i a  had w r i t t e n i n  148 T h i s e n t r y i s q u o t e d b y S o p h i a i n h e r d i a r y Aug.3, 1863, b u t its a u t h e n t i c i t y i s v e r i f i e d b y t h e E d i t o r , S e r g e i T o l s t o y , as coming from h i s d i a r y . T h e e n t r y w a s w r i t t e n i n T o l s t o y ' s own h a n d a n d was l a t e r c r o s s e d o u t b y h i m , b u t e x c e p t f o r t h e two i l l e g i b l e w o r d s , was r e a d a b l e . Apparently, i n another f i t o f rage a g a i n s t h i s w i f e he d e c i d e d t o withdraw t h i s e n t r y , b u t i n such a way t h a t i t c o u l d b e s t i l l r e a d . D i d he mean t o h a l f c a n c e l t h e entry — and y e t t o leave i t f o r Sonya and p o s t e r i t y ?  no  h e r d i a r y , "He  s u f f e r s and w r i t e s " .  That T o l s t o y was  by now  p l e t e l y immersed i n h i s l i t e r a r y work i s c o r r o b o r a t e d from h i s s i s t e r - i n - l a w , T a t y a n a  1 4 9  by  to M i c h a e l Polyvanov  com-  a letter (Sophia's  former f i a n c e ) , "Lyovochka, most of the time, s i t s i n h i s study. He  i s working on h i s new  novel  she  n o v e l which he  r e c e n t l y began."  What  i s r e f e r r i n g to can be gathered from the f a c t t h a t at  the b e g i n n i n g o f September he E l i z a b e t h , to h e l p him  asked h i s c l e v e r s i s t e r - i n - l a w ,  l o c a t e h i s t o r i c a l sources f o r h i s work.  He wants books d e a l i n g w i t h the War  of 1812,  he  is particularly  i n t e r e s t e d i n memoirs, l e t t e r s o f contemporaries e s p e c i a l l y throwing  l i g h t on s o c i a l h a b i t s of t h a t p e r i o d .  Behrs wrote t o him p e r i o d , and w i t h the ested  she  adds t h a t t h e r e  i s hardly  1 5 0  was  dealing inter-  pressed  goes on t o r e l a t e h i s own He  h i s f a t h e r - i n - law,  Dr.  i n connect-  a n o v e l on t h a t p e r i o d . "  Behrs  and h i s f r i e n d ' s r e c o l l e c t i o n s of t h a t  a l s o managed t o arrange an i n t e r v i e w f o r T o l s t o y w i t h  i m p e r i a l p h y s i c i a n , Marcus, who,  surgeon and as such took p a r t i n the My  Soon  i n t o s e r v i c e t o gather  t a l k e d much about 1812  w i t h your i n t e n t i o n to w r i t e  year.  and day-to-day events.  In a l e t t e r , Sept. 5, 1863,  Behrs, w r i t e s : "Last n i g h t we  150 her you  this  i n p o l i t i c a l events, which were so momentous at t h a t time,  materials.  149"  any m a t e r i a l  s o c i a l l i f e of t h a t p e r i o d because people were so  the e n t i r e Behrs f a m i l y  the  Sept.15, E l i z a b e t h  sending a l i s t o f Russian books c o v e r i n g  t h a t few people wrote of f a m i l y l i f e  ion  On  i n 1812,  was  regimental  e n t i r e campaign:  L i f e at Home and at Yasnaya Polyana,  p.82.  Mot only the Behrs f a m i l y , but a l s o A l e x a n d r a T o l s t o y , f o r i n l e t t e r to T o l s t o y , Mar.5, 1864, she w r i t e s . "I cannot get f o r any l e t t e r s or memoirs of the y e a r 1812."  Ill  What e f f e c t t h i s f a m i l y l i f e ,  against which T o l s t o y com-  p l a i n s so much and so b i t t e r l y , had on h i s c r e a t i v e a b i l i t y can be gathered from h i s l e t t e r Oct.17, 1863,  —  t o h i s aunt, A l e x a n d r a  Tolstoy: Never have I f e l t my mental a b i l i t i e s , and even my moral powers, so f r e e and so c a p a b l e of work. And t h i s work I have. T h i s work — a n o v e l d e a l i n g w i t h the p e r i o d o f 1810-20, i n which I have been t o t a l l y absorbed a l l autumn ... Now I am an author w i t h a l l my s o u l . I w r i t e and meditate as never b e f o r e , I am a happy and p e a c e f u l husband and f a t h e r , without m y s t e r i e s f o r anybody and without d e s i r e f o r change. T h i s f e e l i n g d i d not weaken, but grew and w i t h time, f o r on Jan.23,  intensified  1865, he w r i t e s again t o h i s aunt:  Do you remember t h a t I once wrote to you t h a t people are mistaken to expect happiness d e v o i d of l a b o u r , d e c e p t i o n and sorrow, when everyt h i n g goes smoothly and h a p p i l y ? I was mistaken then, such happiness e x i s t s and I have experienced i t f o r t h r e e y e a r s and every day i t becomes more serene and deeper ... I have f e a r f u l l y changed s i n c e my marriage and much of what I accepted as g o s p e l t r u t h i s now i n comprehensible t o me and v i c e - v e r s a . L a t e r , on J u l y 5, unable t o express adequately the complete  trans-  f o r m a t i o n t h a t m a r r i e d l i f e wrought i n him, he r e s o r t s t o an ext r a o r d i n a r i l y h a p p i l y chosen and v i v i d  simile:  I f e e l myself l i k e an apple t r e e which was growing w i t h low branches i n a l l d i r e c t i o n s and which l i f e now has pruned, c l i p p e d , t i e d , and propped so t h a t i t would not h i n d e r o t h e r s and i t s e l f would develop a s t r o n g r o o t system  112  and would grow i n a. s i n g l e stem. Thus I grow: I know not whether the f r u i t w i l l be good or whether I w i l l w i t h e r a l t o g e t h e r . I do know t h a t I grow c o r r e c t l y . How c o n s t a n t l y T o l s t o y was p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h the p r o c e s s of  h i s inward change and w i t h what care and i n t e r e s t o f a c r e a t i v e  a r t i s t he observed  i t , i s shown i n h i s l e t t e r t o h i s aunt  and con-  f i d a n t , Alexandra, Nov. 14, 1865: I got i n t o the r u t o f f a m i l y l i f e which i n s p i t e o f any p r i d e whatsoever, i n s p i t e of any n e c e s s i t y o f s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n , w i l l f o r c e one t o stay i n t h i s deep r u t and w i l l d r i v e one along t h i s r u t t e d road of moderation, duty, and model calmness. So be i t ! Never have I been so conscious of my e n t i r e s e l f and o f my s o u l as I am now when a l i m i t has been s e t t o my a s p i r a t i o n s and p a s s i o n s . It in  i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note the o p i n i o n of T o l s t o y h e l d  the p a s t , b e f o r e h i s marriage, by two keen o b s e r v e r s of human  character:  S. Turgeniev and V.P. B o t k i n .  The former  s a i d : "A  pack o f hounds i s c h a s i n g about and about to exhaustion under T o l s t o y ' s s k u l l " , and the l a t t e r d e s c r i b e d him as a most d i f f i c u l t man t o l i v e w i t h because " h i s head i s f u l l of p r o j e c t e d w r i t i n g s , t h e o r i e s , and schemes which are changing  almost  daily."  However, t o what extent T o l s t o y ' s whole o u t l o o k on l i f e had been transformed by h i s marriage  t o Sophia and by h i s c o n s c i o u s  r e a l i z a t i o n o f f a t h e r h o o d , can be w e l l r e a l i z e d from a f u r t h e r q u o t a t i o n from h i s l e t t e r of Nov.14:  113  I have completely l o s t i n t e r e s t i n a l l s o c i a l q u e s t i o n s , and I am i n sympathy n e i t h e r w i t h the r e a c t i o n a r y t e n d e n c i e s of Katkov's magazine nor w i t h the p o l i t i c a l t h e o r i e s c o n t r a r y t o t h a t tendency. I do not approve the f a c t t h a t the P o l e s are f o r b i d d e n t o speak P o l i s h but I am not angry w i t h those who f o r b i d them, and I do not accuse the Movravyevs and the Cherkasskys, i t i s a . matter o f i n d i f f e r e n c e t o me who i s s t r a n g l i n g the P o l e s or whether S c h l e s w i g - H o l s t e i n i s taken or not or who d e l i v e r e d a speech at a Zemstvo meeting. B u t c h e r s s l a u g h t e r b u l l s which we eat and I am not o b l i g e d t o e i t h e r accuse them or f e e l compassion. Who of  can r e c o g n i z e the m o r a l i z i n g and i d e a l i s t i c T o l s t o y  the days of V a l e r i a ' s c o u r t s h i p , or of the Yasnava Polyana  magazine and s c h o o l days, or even of the c o n s c i o u s - s t r i k e n l a n d l o r d i n S q u i r e ' s Morning? However, the apple t r e e i s not comp l e t e l y pruned and t i e d .  I t s t i l l o c c a s i o n a l l y shoots f o r t h a  s t r a y r e b e l l i o u s branch.  C o n t r a r y t o what he w r i t e s t o h i s aunt,  he can s t i l l f e e l compassion f o r o t h e r s . s t i f l e d h i s s o c i a l conscience.  On May  He has not  completely  16 he w r i t e s t o A.A.  L a t e l y I have been d e l i g h t e d w i t h my own a f f a i r s , however, the g e n e r a l s i t u a t i o n , t h a t i s the coming d i s a s t e r o f hunger which c o n f r o n t s our people t o r t u r e s me more and more every day. How strange i t i s ... t h a t our t a b l e t h e r e are p i n k r a d i s h e s , y e l l o w b u t t e r , golden c r u s t e d s o f t bread on a c l e a n t a b l e - c l o t h , i n the garden greenery, our young l a d i e s i n t h e i r m u s l i n d r e s s e s and d e l i g h t e d t h a t they have shade, t h e r e t h i s d e v i l hunger i s a l r e a d y doing h i s work. He i s c o v e r i n g f i e l d s w i t h pig-weed, p r o d u c i n g cracks i n the parched e a r t h , making sores on /the peasants' f e e t , c r a c k i n g the c a t t l e ' s hoofs and he w i l l so inflame and arouse them t h a t perhaps even we under our shady lime t r e e s , i n our m u s l i n d r e s s e s , w i t h our y e l l o w  Fet:  114  b u t t e r served on a p a i n t e d d i s h w i l l get i t i n the neck.151 O r d i n a r i l y speaking to  one might pass t h i s by as the d e s i r e  w r i t e an i n t e r e s t i n g and provoking  l e t t e r w i t h the wish t o  p r e s s and to shock, something t h a t a l l h i s l i f e T o l s t o y was o f doing. ion  and  But t h i s i s not  a b i l i t y to analyse  a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n and h i s d e s i r e  d i s c o v e r the cause or r o o t of t h i n g s , h i s h a b i t of  to  which he h i m s e l f o f t e n r e f e r s , was  was  book dated Aug. entry was  13, 1865,  "grubeln"  deeply w o r r i e d about the  c o u l d n o t escape the f e e l i n g t h a t he,  p a r t i a l l y responsible.  fond  so, f o r T o l s t o y , w i t h h i s keen p e r c e p t -  to  famine and  im-  as a landowner,  There i s a lengthy e n t r y i n h i s notewhich'substantiates  his feelings.  made t h r e e months a f t e r h i s l e t t e r to F e t and  magnitude o f the d i s a s t e r had become apparent t o  This  a f t e r the  him:  The world-wide problem t h a t c o n f r o n t s R u s s i a i s t o g i v e t o the world the i d e a of a s o c i a l order not based on p r i v a t e ownership of l a n d , " l a p r o p r i e t y c ' e s t l e v o l " remains a g r e a t e r t r u t h than t h a t of the E n g l i s h c o n s t i t u t i o n a s . l o n g as mankind p e r s i s t s . — T h i s i s an absolute t r u t h . There are, however, other t r u t h s , subordinate, t h a t can be deduced from it. The f i r s t o f these r e l a t i v e t r u t h s i s the outlook o f the Russian people upon p r i v a t e property. The Russian people r e j e c t the form of p r o p e r t y which i s the most s t a b l e and the most independent o f l a b o u r , the form which i s more r e s t r i c t i v e as to the r i g h t of a c q u i s i t i o n by o t h e r s , i . e . landed p r o p e r t y . This t r u t h i s n o t a mere f a n c y , i t i s a f a c t which f i n d s embodiment i n the communal ownership of l a n d by peasants and some Cossacks. T h i s t r u t h i s e q u a l l y w e l l understood by the Russian  151 In t h i s l e t t e r T o l s t o y r e f e r s t o the t e r r i b l e drought i n the p r o v i n c e of T u l a i n the summer of 1865. C o l l e c t e d Works, Vol.21, p.179.  115  s c i e n t i s t and the. muzhik who says, 'Let them i n s c r i b e us amongst t h e Cossacks and the l a n d w i l l be f r e e ' . T h i s i d e a .has a f u t u r e . Russian r e v o l u t i o n eahi. be based only upon i t . Russian r e v o l u t i o n w i l l n o t be a g a i n s t the Czar o r despotism, b u t a g a i n s t landed p r o p e r t y . Prophetic, yes!  And y e t how incongruous  coming from  the l i p s o f a f a i r l y l a r g e l a n d owner, soon t o a c q u i r e o t h e r lands i n the p r o v i n c e of T u l a and some 20,000 acres o f v i r g i n l a n d i n the Samara, steppes.  But i t i s n o t incongruous when i t i s r e a l i -  zed t h a t T o l s t o y i s a well-pruned, c l i p p e d , and t i e d apple t r e e , growing c o r r e c t l y as i t must. to  I t may s t r a i n a t times, i t may t r y  break i t s bonds b u t , f o r the time being, i t i s completely  con-  s t r a i n e d and knows i t . Though T o l s t o y s e t t l e d down t o the l o t o f the pruned t r e e , he d i d n o t do i t without grumbling times.  o r even r e b e l l i o n at  As always, these r e b e l l i o n s were promoted by a gnawing  subconscious f e e l i n g t h a t h i s e f f o r t s t o f i n d the g o a l o f h i s l i f e (for  which he searched so d e s p e r a t e l y b e f o r e marriage)  i n quiet  e g o i s t i c a l f a m i l y atmosphere were u l t i m a t e l y doomed t o f a i l u r e . T h i s mood was w e l l r e f l e c t e d i n a l e t t e r he wrote t o h i s s i s t e r in-law, Tanya: Yes, I am arguing w i t h myself now f o r the second day. I t i s v e r y sad but t h i s world i s composed o n l y o f e g o i s t s — amongst whom I am the f i r s t . I do not reproach anyone but I t h i n k t h a t t h i s i s a v e r y bad f e a t u r e and t h a t egoism i s absent o n l y from the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f husband and w i f e when they l o v e each o t h e r . P o r two months we have been l i v i n g i n complete s o l i t u d e w i t h c h i l d r e n who  if  116 are the g r e a t e s t e g o i s t s o f a l l . Nobodybothers about u s . We have been f o r g o t t e n i n Pirogovo.152 I n Moscow, p r o b a b l y a l s o . And I m y s e l f g r a d u a l l y b e g i n t o f o r g e t . I am i n c a p a b l e of e x p r e s s i n g what I r e a l l y want t o say, b u t you are v e r y young and t h a t i s why, perhaps, you w i l l understand. But f o r the l a s t two days one thought haunts me. The F e t s , e s p e c i a l l y , brought on t h i s mood. How good i s the l i f e o f two people when both know how t o l o v e . P l e a s e w r i t e ( i t does n o t matter whether i t i s t r u e or not) t h a t you l o v e us f o r our own sakes. I got t o l o v e Dorkal53 v e r y much because she i s n o t an e g o i s t ... Read t h i s l e t t e r t o no-one — they w i l l t h i n k I have gone out o f my head.154 T h a t T o l s t o y must have once again been p a s s i n g through a s p i r i t u a l c r i s i s i s i n d i c a t e d by another e n t r y i n h i s note book dated Nov.27, 1866:  7 The poet t a k e s the b e s t out of h i s l i f e and p u t s i t i n t o h i s c r e a t i v e work. That r s why h i s work i s b e a u t i f u l and h i s l i f e evil.155 The f a c t t h a t T o l s t o y should share w i t h Tanya these innermost thoughts, which he d i d n o t c o n f i d e t o h i s d i a r y , o r share w i t h h i s w i f e , i n d i c a t e s some v e r y s p e c i a l mental or s p i r i t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t i n g between him and h i s young s i s t e r - i n law.  H i s son, .: I l y a , throws some v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g l i g h t on t h i s  r e l a t i o n s h i p i n h i s Memoirs when he w r i t e s :  152  The e s t a t e of h i s b r o t h e r S e r g e i .  153 154 155  H i s H u n t i n g dog. C o l l e c t e d Works. V o l . 2 1 , p.177 Complete Works o f T o l s t o y , 1 9 5 2 , e d i t i o n . Moscow Vol.48,p.116.  117  L a t e r , when I was a l r e a d y grown up, I o f t e n asked myself the q u e s t i o n , Was f a t h e r i n l o v e w i t h Aunt Tanya? I t h i n k now t h a t he was. I ask the reader t o understand me, however, I"do not mean b e i n g v u l g a r l y i n l o v e ... the f e e l i n g which, as i t seems t o rae, f a t h e r e n t e r t a i n e d f o r Aunt Tanya, the F r e n c h c a l l , "Amitie amoureuse" ... To the q u e s t i o n whether T o l s t o y was j e a l o u s o f Aunt Tanya I s h a l l answer i f one can be j e a l ous of a dream, then o f course, y e s . Outwardly, however, the r e l a t i o n s h i p of f a t h e r and Aunt Tanya was. t h a t of b r o t h e r and s i s t e r . They always were t o each other "Lyovotchka" and "Tanya", and so they remained t i l l the end. The dream has w i l t e d but wasn't s h a t t e r e d } 56  It  i s i m p o s s i b l e t o doubt t h a t most of these  and r e b e l l i o n s and even a t times p e r i o d s of seemingly d e s p a i r d u r i n g T o l s t o y ' s f i r s t y e a r s of marriage  grumblings hopeless  can be  attrib-  u t e d mainly t o the exhausting p r o c e s s of i n n e r p r e p a r a t i o n f o r his  f i r s t t r u l y g r e a t l i t e r a r y work —  War  and Peace.  A work  which i n s p i t e of i t s . i n t e n s i t y o f t e n l e f t T o l s t o y completely m e n t a l l y exhausted bore no v i s i b l e f r u i t him.  A l r e a d y , on Nov.17, 1864,  and t h i s  he w r i t e s t o A.A.  exasperated Fet:  I am i n a .state of u t t e r d e j e c t i o n but w r i t e n o t h i n g . And y e t I work t i l l i t h u r t s . You can't imagine how hard I f i n d t h i s p r e l i m i n a r y work of deep p l o u g h i n g of the f i e l d I must sow.157 T o l s t o y must be exaggerating h i s l a c k o f p r o g r e s s f o r towards the end of the same month he w r i t e s again t o h i s f r i e n d :  156  j U l y a T o l s t o y , My  Reminiscences,  157  C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 2 1 ,  p.175  Moscow, 1933,  p.63.  118  I have w r i t t e n q u i t e a b i t o f my n o v e l t h i s autumn. 'Ars longa, v i t a b r e v i s , I say t o myself every day. I f one c o u l d succeed i n doing One hundredth o f t h a t which one conceives but a c t u a l l y only one ten-thousandth m a t e r i a l i z e s . Y e t the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t I can, — i s a source o f r e a l happiness t o the w r i t e r . You know t h i s f e e l i n g . T h i s y e a r I experienced i t with p a r t i c u l a r f o r c e . 1  And  i n another l e t t e r t o F e t , he w r i t e s t r i u m p h a l t l y on Jan.23,1865: You know, I have a s u r p r i s e f o r you: when a horse threw me and I broke my arm, upon r e g a i n i n g consciousness I s a i d t o myself, •I'm a w r i t e r ! And I am a w r i t e r . L i v i n g i s o l a t e d and q u i e t l y , b u t a w r i t e r . I n a few days, w i l l appear the f i r s t p a r t o f " 1805" (the f i r s t t i t l e o f War and Peace) Please l e t me know your o p i n i o n o f i t i n d e t a i l . Your o p i n i o n , as w e l l as the o p i n i o n o f a man I love l e s s and l e s s as I grow up, — i s dear t o me — Turgeniev. He w i l l understand. That which I have p r i n t e d p r i o r t o t h i s I c o n s i d e r now a. mere t r i a l o f pen.  Then, r a t h e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y he ends, " I am g l a d you l o v e my w i f e , although I l o v e h e r l e s s than my n o v e l .  Y e t she i s my w i f e , you  know." From a l l t h a t i s known o f T o l s t o y ' s past was married,  l i f e b e f o r e he  e s p e c i a l l y on the bases o f o b s e r v a t i o n s  made about  him by people who knew him c l o s e l y , p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s l i t e r a r y f r i e n d s such as Turgeniev, B o t k i n , Nekrasov -, i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o escape the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t T o l s t o y , as he was then, was u t t e r l y incapable  of sustained, unremitting  e f f o r t which t h i s b r e a k i n g o f  the v i r g i n l a n d c o s t him and which e v e n t u a l l y l e d t o War and Peace.  119  A l l t h a t he had produced and p u b l i s h e d h i t h e r t o were a c t u a l l y sketches, mere t r i f l e s  i n comparison t o t h i s work —  r e a l i z e d t h i s when he r e f e r r e d t o them as " t r i a l s .His  o n l y o t h e r work o f some l e n g t h , The C o s s a c k s ,  he h i m s e l f  of the 1 5 8  pen".  although  he worked on i t , on and o f f , f o r t e n y e a r s , remained u n f i n i s h e d till  a f t e r h i s marriage, although pledged as payment f o r a gambling  debt t o Katkov.  I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t h e c o m p l e t e l y reworked i t ;  d u r i n g the f i r s t w i n t e r of h i s m a r r i e d l i f e .  Nobody r e a l i z e d  t h i s change, t h i s r a p i d growth, b e t t e r than T o l s t o y , and f o r a l l his  lamentations f o r h i s l o s t idealism, h i s l o s t s e l f , f o r a l l  his  r e c r i m i n a t i o n s a g a i n s t h i s w i f e , he w e l l r e a l i z e d i t was  who  s u p p l i e d the atmosphere necessary f o r t h i s mental growing  and i t was h e r l o v i n g hands t h a t c a r e f u l l y and p e r s i s t e n t l y  she up,  pruned,  c l i p p e d , t i e d , and propped the r e b e l l i o u s apple t r e e .  158 In T o l s t o y ' s d i a r y , Dec.19, 1862, he w r i t e s : "Another month of happiness ... I am working s t e a d i l y and e v e r y t h i n g seems easy to me. F i n i s h e d the f i r s t p a r t of jhe Cossacks. (Leon T o l s t o y ' s J o u r n a l Intime — i n e d i t ) P a r i s , T r i a n o n , 1926,  CHAPTER On August  10,  1866,  VI Sophia T o l s t o y made a v e r y  signif-  i c a n t entry i n her diary: We had guests ... The f a t S o l o g u b ^ w i t h two'young sons. He kept t e l l i n g me t h a t I am sn i d e a l w i f e f o r a w r i t e r . That a w i f e must he a nurse o f t a l e n t . I am g r a t e f u l to him, and w i l l t r y my v e r y b e s t t o be a nurse t o Lyovochka's t a l e n t . 5 9  To what extent i s t h i s statement, made by Sologub, t r u e ? And t o what extent d i d T o l s t o y need a nurse?  What are the f a c t s ?  When Leo T o l s t o y began h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y c o u r t s h i p o f Sophia i n the l a t e summer of 1862, of  he was  mind, perhaps one c o u l d even say he was  nervous breakdown.  i n an o v e r - e x c i t e d s t a t e on the verge of a  The reasons f o r t h i s mental c o n d i t i o n are so  complex and i n v o l v e d t h a t they cannot a l l be d i s c u s s e d i n d e t a i l . However, the most s i g n i f i c a n t amongst them was undoubtedly i n t e n s e d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h h i m s e l f and h i s l i f e  an  r e s u l t i n g from  u t t e r i n a b i l i t y t o r e c o n c i l e h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y h i g h , and undoubtedly genuine, i d e a l s w i t h the l i f e he l e d — p a t h o l o g i c a l l y i n c a p a b l e of changing.  a l i f e he  was  Another of the reasons  was  h i s d i s t r e s s at the r e l a t i v e l a c k of p r o g r e s s i n h i s  ary  output, which was  of  h i s l a t e n t genius.  even i n t e n s i f i e d by an i n t u i t i v e  liter-  realization  The e f f e c t produced by these emotions  was  completely d i s t o r t e d and g r e a t l y m a g n i f i e d by h i s h a u n t i n g f e a r  159  A well-known w r i t e r (1813-82) who young man.  had known T o l s t o y as a  121  of d y i n g young — founded.  a f e a r which was, as a matter of f a c t , n o t un-  F o r i n the s h o r t space o f a few y e a r s two of h i s b r o t h e r s  d i e d o f T.B, and he was suspected by d o c t o r s o f h a v i n g i t i n c i p ient ly.  P r e c e d i n g h i s courtship.,he was l i v i n g under constant  dread of an e a r l y and p a i n f u l death which was made v i v i d by the r e c e n t death at Hyeres o f h i s f a v o u r i t e b r o t h e r , N i c h o l a s , 0 1 6  whom he nursed alone and who l i t e r a l l y d i e d i n h i s arms. d r i v e n t o the b r e a k i n g p o i n t of nervous f l i c t i n g mental  endurance by these  He was con-  s t r e s s e s : the r e a l i z a t i o n o f h i s g e n i u s , a des-  p e r a t e d e s i r e t o w r i t e , and f e a r t h a t he would d i e ^ l b e f o r e a c c o m p l i s h i n g anything.  H i s d i s t r e s s was i n c r e a s e d by h i s i n -  a b i l i t y t o s e t t l e down o r indeed t o f i n d an atmosphere  conducive  160  To what extent t h i s death a f f e c t e d him can be gathered from one o f t h e most b r i l l i a n t and poignant chapters i n Anna K a r e n i n a d e s c r i b i n g the death o f L e v i n ' s b r o t h e r N i c h o l a s . There are two significant details: T h i s i s the o n l y chapter, i n the l o n g n o v e l , t h a t b e a r s a t i t l e — "Death", and the name o f the man who d i e s i s " N i c h o l a s " . I t i s here, i n d e s c r i b i n g N i c h o l a s L e v i n ' s death, t h a t T o l s t o y drew on h i s memories o f the death o f both h i s b r o t h e r s , N i c h o l a s and D m i t r i . F o r i n s t a n c e , the death i n the n o v e l occurs i n a Russian p r o v i n c i a l h o t e l , as d i d D m i t r i ' s , and the b r i n g i n g of the m i r a c u l o u s i k o n i s a l s o a s s o c i a t e d w i t h D m i t r i ' s death. B u t i n s p i t e o f t h i s , i t cannot be doubted t h a t i n d e s c r i b i n g L e v i n ' s i n n e r emotions at the death o f h i s b r o t h e r , T o l s t o y i s d e s c r i b i n g hour by hour, day by day, h i s own f e a r f u l experience when alone at Hyeres w i t h h i s d y i n g b r o t h e r who was not o n l y h i s f a v o u r i t e b r o t h e r b u t had been an o b j e c t o f profoundest v e n e r a t i o n from h i s childhood. T  161  "I s t i l l l i v e and I s t i l l l o v e you. I d i d n ' t w r i t e t o you f o r so l o n g f o r the f o l l o w i n g reason: I passed a h a r d and bad summer. I cough and I thought — I was n e a r l y sure — t h a t I was g o i n g t o d i e soon.' I drag on my l a s t days, i t was no l i f e . " ( L e t t e r s o f T o l s t o y and H i s Cousin A l e x a n d r a T o l s t o y 1859-93 London, Methuen, 1929, p.59)  122  to work.  Xfc>  ^  A f t e r the death of N i c h o l a s , he p r a c t i c a l l y gave up  c r e a t i v e l i t e r a t u r e and threw h i m s e l f w i t h abandoned d e s p e r a t i o n i n t o t e a c h i n g c h i l d r e n at Yasnaya P o l y a n a and f o r m u l a t i n g e d u c a t i o n a l t h e o r i e s i n h i s magazine.  new  I t i s hard t o doubt t h a t  he gave up l i t e r a r y work only because, i n h i s s t a t e of mind, he found i t impossible t o c r e a t e . When t h i s i s remembered, h i s e n t i r e behaviour d u r i n g the c o u r t s h i p , h i s d i s t r a u g h t e n t r i e s i n h i s d i a r y , h i s i n t e n t i o n of s h o o t i n g h i m s e l f should she r e f u s e , the i n c r e d i b l e demand t h a t the wedding s h o u l d take p l a c e the v e r y next day, less  become more or  comprehensible. T h i s unseemly haste  to burn h i s b r i d g e s i s i n g r e a t  c o n t r a s t t o the e x t r a o r d i n a r y c a u t i o n and p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n that, he e x h i b i t e d d u r i n g h i s engagement t o V a l e r i a , and by h i s p h y s i c a l i n a b i l i t y t o endure l o n g e r the realized  can be  indecision.  t h a t had the marriage been delayed f o r any  time he would probably  He  length of  have broken o f f the engagement.  i n s t i n c t t o l d him he was  explained  Yet h i s  r i g h t i n marrying Sophia Behrs, and  that  i n t h i s marriage l a y h i s only escape from the h o r r o r of h i s present s i t u a t i o n which, i f allowed t o c o n t i n u e , might d e s t r o y  him.  Much has been s a i d and w r i t t e n , e s p e c i a l l y by s o - c a l l e d Tolstoyans,  __  about Sophia's u n s u i t a b i l i t y as a w i f e f o r T o l s t o y .  T o l s t o y ' s c o n d i t i o n was made'even more unbearable by f i n a n c i a l difficulties. He was s t i l l unable to cure h i m s e l f of a l i f e - l o n g h a b i t of gambling and only a few months b e f o r e h i s c o u r t s h i p of. Sophia, l o s t 1000 r o u b l e s . Unable to pay t h i s sum, he managed t o escape from t h i s embarrassing and d i s t a s t e f u l s i t u a t i o n , which was a g r e a t blow t o h i s p r i d e , by. s e l l i n g the as y e t u n f i n i s h e d Cossacks x>o Katkov.  123  T o l s t o y , h i m s e l f , helped t o c r e a t e t h i s impression  by r e p e a t e d l y  s t a t i n g i n h i s d i a r y and elsewhere t h a t he a c t u a l l y never l o v e d her and t h a t the marriage was i n the nature o f a c r o s s t o be borne patiently.  However,, t h i s was not the impression  produced on those  p r i v i l e g e d few who knew the T o l s t o y s ' i n t i m a t e l y at t h i s p e r i o d of t h e i r l i f e , the  and Sologubv. was not alone i n c o n s i d e r i n g Sophia  i d e a l w i f e f o r T o l s t o y , the w r i t e r .  H i s o p i n i o n was f u l l y  shared by the n o v e l i s t , Turgeniev, and t h e p o s t , F e t .  That they  were n o t mistaken i s f u l l y borne out by Sophia's behaviour from the v e r y b e g i n n i n g .  In s p i t e of h e r youth, she was n o t unaware  o f the d i s t u r b e d s t a t e o f T o l s t o y ' s mind and t h a t i n marrying him she was n o t u n d e r t a k i n g  an a l t o g e t h e r easy t a s k .  I n understanding  the man she may have been helped by h e r mother who knew T o l s t o y intimately i n her childhood  and knew t h a t he was capable o f most  extreme and v i o l e n t e m o t i o n s . I  63  S o p h i a from the v e r y  beginning  seemed t o r e a l i z e h e r r o l e v i s - a - v i s h e r husband, t h a t o f t h e nurse of h i s t a l e n t . ion  of a g i r l  grandfather's  How otherwise c o u l d be e x p l a i n e d the d e c i s -  o f 18, who had never t r a v e l l e d any f u r t h e r than h e r e s t a t e i n the p r o v i n c e  of T u l a , and who l i k e any  normal g i r l o f h e r age wanted t o enjoy h e r l i f e , t o forego moon abroad, (which T o l s t o y g a l l a n t l y o f f e r e d her)  ahoney-  and t o r e s o -  l u t e l y choose t o go t o Yasnaya Polyana immediately a f t e r the wedding ceremony?  1  6  3  T h i s was indeed  a s a c r i f i c e i n view o f the f a c t  :  When T o l s t o y was 9 and she 11, he had a v i o l e n t crush on h e r , q u i t e u n u s u a l l y i n t e n s e f o r a c h i l d o f t h a t age. I n a f i t o f mad j e a l o u s y he had v i o l e n t l y pushed h e r o f f t h e verandah. The f a l l r e s u l t e d i n q u i t e severe i n j u r y t o h e r ankle, making h e r lame f o r some time.  124,  t h a t Sophia had no i l l u s i o n s as t o the c o n d i t i o n s t h a t her.  awaited  B e f o r e marriage she, w i t h her mother and s i s t e r s , had  i t e d T o l s t o y and spent a n i g h t at Yasnaya Polyana.  vis-  In h e r remin-  i s c e n c e s she t e l l s o f the crude homemade f u r n i t u r e and the l a c k o f such simple amenities as beds, f o r she had t o s l e e p on a c h a i r . She, " h e r s e l f , was by no means s p o i l e d by any l u x u r y i n the K r e m l i n f l a t , y e t she commented on the c o n d i t i o n s at Yasnaya Polyana: We were g i v e n the l a r g e room w i t h the arched c e i l i n g , not o n l y simply but p o o r l y f u r n i s h e d . Round the room stood padded benches p a i n t e d white, w i t h hard cushions i n s t e a d o f backs and the same k i n d o f s e a t s , a l l covered i n b l u e and white s t r i p e d t i c k i n g . Here a l s o was a l a r g e l o n g white p a i n t e d armchair, padded t o match. The t a b l e was homemade of rough unpainted birch. I n the c e i l i n g were i r o n r i n g s , f o r m e r l y used f o r s a d d l e s , hams, e t c . when the room was used as a s t o r e house at the time o f Leo, N i k o l a e v i c h s g r a n d f a t h e r , P r i n c e Volkonsky We and Dunyasha ( Y e r g o l s k a y a s maid) began t o prepare f o r the n i g h t when suddenly Leo N i k o l a e v i c h entered and Dunyasha informed him she had made t h r e e beds on the padded benches but f o r the f o u r t h guest t h e r e was no bed. "What about the armchair?" s a i d Leo N i k o l a e v i c h pushing up the armchair and p l a c i n g a f o o t s t o o l by i t . " I w i l l s l e e p on the c h a i r . " I exclaimed. 1  1  164 As was p r e v i o u s l y mentioned, T o l s t o y had s o l d the o r i g i n a l manor house t o be wrecked w h i l e he was s e r v i n g at Sebastopol. A l l t h a t remained were two s m a l l annexes. T h i s room was a basement of one o f them. L a t e r t h i s room became w o r l d famous f o r , because o f i t s q u i e t n e s s and c o o l n e s s , T o l s t o y used i t as h i s summer study. There i s a famous p i c t u r e by Repin o f T o l s t o y w r i t i n g at h i s desk i n t h i s room with. his. scythe and spade l e a n i n g a g a i n s t the w a l l . I t shows the arched c e i l i n g and the p l a i n board f l o o r . 165 T o l s t o y , i n a l e t t e r t o Dr. Behrs, g i v e s h i s own p i c t u r e of Yasnaya P o l y a n a soon a f t e r the marriage, "the need t o count every penny, and to be a f r a i d that we w i l l not have enough money f o r t h i s or t h a t . The d e s i r e t o t r y and the i n a b i l i t y t o do so, and worst o f - a l l the f e e l i n g o f shame f o r e v e r y t h i n g i n our house i s shabby and run down." ( T o l s t o y and h i s Wife - Tikhon P o l n e r , New York, W.W. Norton & Co. 1945. p.73.  125  No  doubt t h i s r e a d i n e s s t o rough i t f a v o u r a b l y  as had,  impressed T o l s t o y  p r e v i o u s l y , Lyubov Behrs*: remarks about the  parsimony of her  second daughter, Sophia.  And  extraordinary  he was  completely  r i g h t ; f o r few Moscow s o c i e t y g i r l s would have been w i l l i n g to l i v e under c o n d i t i o n s e x i s t i n g at Yasnaya Polyana.  Tolstoy's  b r o t h e r S e r g e i c o u l d not even attend the wedding i n Moscow f o r he had t o dash o f f t o Yasnaya P o l y a n a t o clean up the almost i n c r e d i b l e mess there,and an: spite of h i s f r a n t i c e f f o r t s , o n l y succeeded in getting Tolstoy's the d e p l o r a b l e  .bedroom r e d e c o r a t e d .  L a t e r , Sophia d e s c r i b e d  s t a t e of the grounds surrounding  the house —  over-  grown w i t h weeds i n t o which servants threw household r e f u s e . There seems to e x i s t an impression s c h o l a r s t h a t t h e r e was  among T o l s t o y a n  a p e r i o d i n T o l s t o y ' s l i f e when he was  exemplary l a n d l o r d , d a t i n g from the time of h i s marriage i n t o roughly  1877,  an  1862  the y e a r which s i g n a l i z e d h i s i n t e n s e i n t e r e s t i n  r e l i g i o u s matters and h i s s h o r t - l i v e d r e t u r n to s t r i c t Orthodoxy. His biographers,  both Russian and f o r e i g n , are almost unanimous  i n t h i s r e s p e c t , and  i n f a i r n e s s i t must be s a i d t h a t h i s b r o t h e r -  in-law, Behrs, seemed t o share t h i s view.  But  a c a r e f u l study o f  source m a t e r i a l s d e a l i n g with t h i s p e r i o d , such as T o l s t o y ' s his  w i f e ' s d i a r i e s and t h e i r correspondence, as w e l l as the  testi-  mony o f some of h i s immediate neighbours, w i l l d i s p e l t h i s T h i s myth about T o l s t o y b e i n g  notion.  able t o f i n d time to a t t e n d to the  m i n u t e s t d e t a i l s of e s t a t e management at the time t h a t he g r a p p l i n g w i t h the  and  stupendous t a s k o f w r i t i n g War  Anna K a r e n i n a, p o s s i b l y stems from the  was  and Peace  and  extraordinary, enthusiastic  126  i m p u l s i v e n e s s w i t h which he plunged  i n t o new  p r o j e c t s such as the-  d i s t i l l e r y ; the establishment of a l a r g e a p i a r y ; the buying of  new  l i n e s of pure b r e d s t o c k , S u f f o l k sheep, Y o r k s h i r e and Japanese p i g s , or draught orchard.166 for  s t a l l i o n s , and the p l a n t i n g of an immense apple  He wrote numerous l e t t e r s b u b b l i n g w i t h  these p r o j e c t s .  enthusiasm  Even such an u n l i k e l y person as Dr. Behrs  was  e n l i s t e d i n t o p r o c u r i n g young p i g s o f a s p e c i a l Japanese breed from a p i g g e r y s i t u a t e d i n , of a l l u n l i k e l y p l a c e s , t h e town of Moscow.  The myth of h i s success as an e s t a t e manager was  further  strengthened by the f a c t t h a t the v a l u e of h i s e s t a t e rose t o over h a l f a m i l l i o n r o u b l e s by the time he d i v i d e d i t amongst h i s f a m i l y i n 1891. ment i n l a n d .  A c t u a l l y , t h i s was  l a r g e l y due. t o a l u c k y i n v e s t -  A t v a r i o u s t i m e s i n the  '70's he bought l a r g e  t r a c t s of v i r g i n l a n d i n the B a s h k i r steppes.  T h i s l a n d appre-  c i a t e d i n c r e d i b l y i n v a l u e , r i s i n g by 1000%  i n twenty y e a r s .  However, a f t e r T o l s t o y ' s marriage t h e r e was  a steady improvement  i n the management of h i s property, but t h i s was  undoubtedly  due t o  the keen eye, i n b o r n parsimony, and b u s i n e s s a p t i t u d e of the m i s t r e s s of Yasnaya Polyana. paid very l i t t l e  i s ample evidence t h a t T o l s t o y  a t t e n t i o n , not only to the main a d m i n i s t r a t i o n ,  but even t o the new In  There  new  p r o j e c t s he launched w i t h such  a l e t t e r dated May  16, 1865,  he w r i t e s t o P e t :  enthusiasm. 1 6 7  166 Supposed t o be the l a r g e s t i n Europe at the time. 167 F e t was not o n l y a l y r i c a l poet but an extremely l§Q§inessllke e s t a t e manager.  practical  127  The a f f a i r s on my e s t a t e are p r o g r e s s i n g f a v o u r a b l y i . e . they b o t h e r me v e r y l i t t l e and t h a t i s a l l I ask ... The s i t u a t i o n o f a l a n d l o r d these days i s v e r y l i k e t h a t o f a s h a r e h o l d e r whose shares have l o s t a l l v a l u e and are no l o n g e r quoted on the stock exchange. Yes, the whole b u s i n e s s i s bad. F o r my p a r t , I s e t t l e the whole b u s i n e s s i n such a way so i t w i l l r e q u i r e from me t h e l e a s t p a r t i c i p a t i o n and care and n o t d i s t u r b my peace o f mind. Again he w r i t e s t o F e t , Aug. 30, 1869, from Yasnaya Polyana, throwing an i n t e r e s t i n g l i g h t on h i s a c t i v i t i e s t h a t summer and l e a v i n g no doubt whatsoever as t o the i n t e r e s t s t h a t dominated h i s mind t o t h e e x c l u s i o n of a l l thoughts o f such mundane matters  as b r e e d i n g , crops, management i n g e n e r a l .  Further-  more, t h i s l e t t e r was w r i t t e n a t the height o f the h a r v e s t i n g f o l l o w i n g the i n t e n s e a c t i v i t y of haymaking.  F o r i t i s the two  months o f J u l y and August t h a t w i t n e s s the p e r i o d of a c t i v i t y most v i t a l t o the success of the e s t a t e : I have been making p l a n s t o pay you a v i s i t and s t i l l hope t o do so but the s i x t h volume which I hoped t o f i n i s h a month ago i s not y e t ready ... Can you imagine what t h i s summer brought me? — a boundless admiration f o r Schopenhauer and one s p i r i t u a l d e l i g h t a f t e r another, d e l i g h t s such as I had never p r e v i o u s l y experienced. I have ordered a l l h i s works and keep on r e a d i n g them (I have also r e a d Kant) and I can assure you t h a t not a s i n g l e U n i v e r s i t y student d u r i n g h i s course s t u d i e d as much, o r d i s c o v e r s as much, as I have done t h i s summer. I do n o t know whether I w i l l ever change my o p i n i o n b u t at present I am convinced Schopenhauer i s the g r e a t e s t o f g e n i u s e s . You say t h a t he i s so-so and has w r i t t e n something about p h i l o s o p h y . W r i t t e n something! I t i s a whole world i n i t s e l f i n  128  an amazingly c l e a r and b e a u t i f u l r e f l e c t i o n . I began t o t r a n s l a t e him.168 It  i s c u r i o u s t h a t Sophia T o l s t o y says v e r y l i t t l e i n  the f i r s t volume of her d i a r y o f her management of the  estate.  a c t i v i t i e s connected w i t h  Here, she r e c o r d s mostly her  experiences  i n connection  w i t h her somewhat uneven and  complicated  r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h her husband, and  o f her c h i l d r e n ' s and her own be no  end.  the  emotional always  a d e t a i l e d account  i l l n e s s e s , of which there  seems to  But h e r correspondence w i t h her husband c o n t a i n s  a  most i n t e r e s t i n g r e c o r d of her a c t i v i t i e s as a t i r e l e s s t r a n s c r i b e r of h i s works, as a sympathetic, though at a l l times thoughtful  and p e n e t r a t i n g c r i t i c , 169  f l a g g i n g b e l i e f i n h i s genius. g r a d u a l t a k i n g over of the his  sn  cL  a s  an i n s p i r e r of h i s o f t e n  I t a l s o contains  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the e s t a t e and  other a f f a i r s such as the p u b l i s h i n g of h i s work.  leave the reader  character  t h i s other a c t i v i t y was went she saw  letters  not the r e s u l t of a domineering  the household, and h i s l i t e r a r y works; but f o r c e d upon her for, no matter where  n e g l e c t , mismanagement, and  p r e v e n t the c o n d i t i o n s she  saw  was  This desire to  prompted by the f a c t t h a t  c o n s t a n t l y i n want of money f o r the  she  a p p a l l i n g waste a g a i n s t  which her o r d e r l y and m e t h o d i c a l nature r e b e l l e d .  168  of  or a l o v e of such work, f o r h e r r e a l i n t e r e s t l a y i n her  c h i l d r e n , the nursery,  ;  Her  her  i n no doubt whatsoever t h a t the t a k i n g over of  the management of h i s a f f a i r s was  was  evidence of  she  immediate needs of the  C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 2 1 , p.184.  169 As a r e s u l t of much of h e r c r i t i c i s m T o l s t o y a c t u a l l y r e wrote p o r t i o n s of War and Peace.  129  household end was always w o r r i e d being  about the f u t u r e m a t e r i a l w e l l -  and s e c u r i t y o f h e r r a p i d l y i n c r e a s i n g f a m i l y .  I t i s quite  obvious t h a t Sophia's m a t e r n a l i n s t i n c t was developed f a r above average, and at;no time c o u l d she separate her i n t e n s e l o v e f o r h e r c h i l d r e n from h e r e q u a l l y i n t e n s e d e s i r e t o see them w e l l provided f o r .  The f o l l o w i n g e n t r y i n h e r d i a r y i l l u s t r a t e s  this  point: . I l o v e my c h i l d r e n p a s s i o n a t e l y . I l o v e them u n t i l i t h u r t s . The s l i g h t e s t p a i n experienced by any o f them d r i v e s me i n t o d e s p a i r , " t h e i r s l i g h t e s t s m i l e , even a l o v i n g look from them b r i n g s t e a r s of j o y to my eyes ... what an e f f o r t i t c o s t s me to suckle them, i t o f t e n exhausts me. I f I l o v e d them l e s s how much e a s i e r would have been my l i f e . 1 7 0 In Sophia's t h i r d l e t t e r almost p a t h e t i c a l l y urgent  1 7 3  - to her husband we see h e r  d e s i r e t o h e l p her husband w i t h the  e s t a t e management: I t i s a p i t y you a r r i v e d l a t e f o r the hunt, i t would have been so j o l l y . I am f e e d i n g the pups a l l they can eat and the white one i s growing b i g g e r and b i g g e r . I t r i e d to do my v e r y best t o impress on Ivan I v a n o v i t c h the importance o f f i n i s h i n g seeding. He assured me he has a l r e a d y g i v e n a l l necessary o r d e r s and t h a t they are a l r e a d y s e e d i n g . He told, me p r o u d l y t h a t he was s h o r t of workers and t h a t he went d u r i n g the n i g h t t o c a t c h horses and then i n l i e u o f f i n e s l 7 2 he f o r c e d some men to b i n d the sheaves on one d e s i a t i n a and some on t w o . 1 7 3  170- D i a r y of Sophia T o l s t o y - Aug.27, 1866. She has already three children. 171 L e t t e r s o f S . T o l s t o y t o L . T o l s t o y 1862-1910, Aug.10, 1864. 172 What Sophia, meant was t h a t t h e i r steward, b e i n g s h o r t of labour, rounded up at n i g h t some o f the peasants' horses t h a t had s t r a y e d by a c c i d e n t o r d e s i g n i n t o t h e T o l s t o y meadows. Under Russian law,landl o r d s c o u l d impound t r e s p a s s i n g animals and impose f i n e s at t h e i r d i s c r e t i o n on the peasants. 173 A l i t t l e l e s s than t h r e e a c r e s .  130  On Nov.  22, 1864,  she w r i t e s a g a i n to T o l s t o y who  was  staying i n  Moscow w h i l e h i s arm, which had been i n j u r e d when he was and thrown from h i s horse, was  hunting  mending:  Today, I spent the whole day copying and I hope t o f i n i s h soon and I am t a k i n g advantage of every spare second to do what I can — I t ' s coming along. As soon as I f i n i s h I w i l l not f a i l to forward i t t o you. I would l i k e t o remind you what you, y o u r s e l f , t o l d me. Do not r e a d to anyone your n o v e l , e s p e c i a l l y n o t t o anyone who may c r i t i c i s e i t . Remember, i t i s not the f i r s t time you are confused and now what you w r i t e i s so f r i g h t f u l l y important. Somebody w i l l t e l l you something f o o l i s h and you w i l l take i t to h e a r t . Should you r e q u i r e some copying done g i v e i t t o mother — she i s an e x c e l l e n t c o p y i s t and would be d e l i g h t e d t o do i t f o r you. T h i s l e t t e r throws a most i n t e r e s t i n g l i g h t on S o p h i a l s i n t e n s e l y j e a l o u s nature —  j e a l o u s of her husband, j e a l o u s of  the wet-nurse f o r her f i r s t  c h i l d , and p a r t i c u l a r l y j e a l o u s of  his  works.  She f e l t  she had  his  t a l e n t , she c o u l d not bear the thought  h e r r o l e , even t e m p o r a r i l y .  an e x c l u s i v e r o l e as nursemaid t o of anyone u s u r p i n g  Three days l a t e r , a f t e r r e c o u n t i n g  the endless p e t t y t r o u b l e s w i t h c h i l d r e n , the steward, etc.,  the cook,  a l l the d r e a r y d e t a i l s of house and e s t a t e management, o f  which she, as y e t , knows so l i t t l e ,  she t e l l s him w i t h  iasm of the one t h i n g t h a t l i e s c l o s e to her h e a r t : How b e a u t i f u l i s e v e r y t h i n g you l e f t me to copy!., P r i n c e s s Mary, e s p e c i a l l y , appeals t o me. I t i s as i f I see her l i v ing b e f o r e my eyes. What a l o v a b l e , sympa t h e t i c c h a r a c t e r . However, I can't stop  enthus-  \ 131  c r i t i c i z i n g you — your P r i n c e A n d r e i i s , i n my o p i n i o n , s t i l l vague. One does not know what s o r t of man he i s . I f he s c l e v e r how i s i t he doesn't understand and cannot e x p l a i n to h i m s e l f h i s r e l a t i o n s to h i s wife? The o l d P r i n c e i s e x c e l l e n t . However, the f i r s t v e r s i o n , which you d i d not l i k e , I p r e f e r . A l r e a d y , 1 have formed an i d e a l which doesn't s u i t the present P r i n c e . The scene of P r i n c e A n d r e i ' s departure i s marvellous. A l s o P r i n c e s s Mary w i t h the l i t t l e i c o n i s charming. What ,a d e l i g h t i t was f o r me to copy a l l t h i s ! 1  Then o b v i o u s l y w o r r i e d t h a t Moscow d i s t r a c t i o n s may  prevent  husband from working on the n o v e l so dear t o her h e a r t , she f u l l y prods him, t u r n s to business  "do you w r i t e i n Moscow?"  Then she  her tact-  abruptly  and money m a t t e r s and becomes d i r e c t ,  explicit,  and almost peremptory i n her advice i n r e l a t i o n to the p u b l i c a t i o n of War  and Peace, which seems strange  20 and q u i t e i n e x p e r i e n c e d  i n such  c o n s i d e r i n g she was  barely  matters:  Have you seen Katkov? As f a r as money" matters are concerned l e t me t e l l you, do not p u b l i s h i n s e r i a l form. A l l those who s u b s c r i b e to the Russian Messenger won't buy the book, and most of these s u b s c r i b e r s are w e l l - t o - d o . Better wait. Perhaps you can p r i n t i t yours e l f ! 174 Suddenly r e a l i z i n g t h a t perhaps she has been too  forward  and f o r t h r i g h t , she t a c t f u l l y adds: "This i s , of course, none of my  b u s i n e s s , but  i t j u s t o c c u r r e d to  me."  174 F o r a l l h i s experience w i t h p u b l i s h i n g , T o l s t o y f o l l o w e d her a d v i c e , i n d i c a t i n g h i s a p p r e c i a t i o n of h e r b u s i n e s s acumen. He withdrew War and Peace from p u b l i c a t i o n i n s e r i a l form and publ i s h e d i t h i m s e l f . The f i n a n c i a l r e t u r n s from t h i s f i r s t venture exceeded t h e i r w i l d e s t hopes.  132  Her  l e t t e r of Dec.  6, 1864,  r e c o r d s her f i r s t  active ,  e n t r y i n t o the management of Yasnaya Polyana, but she i s d r i v e n i n t o i t by sheer n e c e s s i t y f o r T o l s t o y i s s t i l l i n Moscow and t h i n g s at Yasnaya have come t o such a pass t h a t something had t o be done.  There i s abundant evidence t h a t a f t e r h i s m a r r i a g e ^ T o l s t o y  made desperate  e f f o r t s t o improve h i s f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n by more  e f f i c i e n t management of h i s e s t a t e s and threw h i m s e l f o f t e n w i t h more enthusiasm  than c a u t i o n i n t o a l l s o r t s of p r o j e c t s which  ranged from the establishment of d i s t i l l e r i e s and the b r e e d i n g o f Japanese hogs t o such f a n t a s t i c p r o j e c t s as e s t a b l i s h i n g a c o f f e e p l a n t a t i o n at Yasnaya Polyana.  To complicate matters  he  suddenly d e c i d e d t h a t : managers, foremen, and o v e r s e e r s are merely burdens on the e s t a t e . You can prove t h i s by f i r i n g a l l the o v e r s e e r s and s l e e p i n g t i l l 10 o ' c l o c k . You w i l l see f o r y o u r s e l f t h e r e w i l l be no change f o r the worse. I have made t h i s experiment and am completely convinced. T o l s t o y proceeded and h i s w i f e .  t o d i v i d e the e s t a t e management between h i m s e l f  Sophia was  h o l d a f f a i r s , the c a t t l e  t o l o o k a f t e r the e s t a t e o f f i c e , houseand the payment of wages.  T o l s t o y was  to l o o k a f t e r f i e l d w o r k , v e g e t a b l e s , bees and f o r e s t s . experiment  was  a complete f a i l u r e .  Tikhon P o l n e r says:  The p l a n s seem sound b u t i n p r a c t i c e everyt h i n g went wrong. The Japanese hogs d i e d one a f t e r another, and the reason f o r t h i s came t o l i g h t much too l a t e . To look a f t e r the hogs, T o l s t o y had h i r e d an o l d overseer, who had l o s t h i s p r e v i o u s j o b on account of drunkenness. H i s new o c c u p a t i o n d i d not appeal t o him. L a t e r he confessed, 1 would 1  This  133  g i v e the hogs as l i t t l e f o o d as p o s s i b l e to make them weak. I t worked! I f the next time I saw them, they were s t i l l squeaking, I gave them j u s t a l i t t l e f o o d . Whenever they became q u i e t I knew the end had come! The hams they sent t o s e l l i n Moscow were n o t p r o p e r l y s a l t e d o r cured. In warm weather they s p o i l e d and had to be g i v e n away. The b u t t e r went bad, and green mold appeared around the edges of t h e wooden cask. The f i e l d work f a r e d no b e t t e r . A f o u r t e e n y e a r o l d boy could not see t h a t h i s master's o r d e r s were c&rried out on hundreds of a c r e s . Only the young o r c h a r d and the p i n e woods thrived.175  But what Sophia d i d was  done w i t h e f f i c i e n c y and f i r m n e s s ,  and  showed a degree o f p r a c t i c a l commonsense q u i t e remarkable conside r i n g h e r background.  A f t e r commenting on the e x c e l l e n t c o n d i -  t i o n o f sheep and Y o r k s h i r e p i g s under the care of a German o v e r s e e r , she t e l l s h e r husband: I t o l d the German t h a t he must try t o do h i s v e r y best and he answered me he was d o i n g h i s utmost to p l e a s e us, and i t does seem that everything i s i n splendid order. She then d e s c r i b e s her impressions  of the., c a t t l e barns:  There, the c o n d i t i o n s are f r i g h t f u l . The c a l v e s , e s p e c i a l l y , the t h r e e b u l l c a l v e s are so t h i n one can see t h e i r r i b s . The b u l l c a l v e s which should r e c e i v e n o t h i n g but m i l k are munching hay which i s s c a t t e r e d on the ground and trodden under f o o t . I blew h e r up and she was f e a r f u l l y embarrassed and l o s t her a b i l i t y t o t a l k f a s t . I ordered her to t i e up the b u l l c a l v e s and keep them away from the hay. I t o l d h e r t o g i v e them more m i l k and to p i c k up the hay. However, 175 Tikhon P o l n e r , T o l s t o y and H i s Wife New 1945, p.78 "~  York, W.W.Norton &  Co.  134  I f e a r the c a l v e s are s p o i l e d , t h e i r meat w i l l not be white and tender as i t should he. Then I i n s p e c t e d the p i g s . I t seems t o me they are w e l l f e d and f a t . However, I found no f e e d b e f o r e them. Anna Petrovna assured me she f e d them and s a i d i t was impossible t o have food always b e f o r e them. The young h u l l we bought from Kopyelov i s also i n poor shape. She gave him some oats while I was t h e r e but hay was s c a t t e r e d and tramped under hoof. I blew her up f o r t h a t . A f t e r f u r t h e r d e t a i l s about  a s i c k cow she adds:  The cows have had no " b a r d a " f o r f o u r days as the d i s t i l l e r y i s n o t working and Anna Petrovna assures me t h i s i s why the animals are so t h i n ... E v e r y t h i n g i s c l e a n i n the cow-shed except o a t straw was s c a t t e r e d about and I ordered i t raked t o g e t h e r . 1 7 6  Her p e r s p i c a c i t y , and r e a l i z a t i o n of the n e c e s s i t y o f  .  t h r i f t , would do c r e d i t t o an experienced farm woman, b u t c o n s i d ering t h i s i s her f i r s t remarkable.  attempt  a t p r a c t i c a l management, was t r u l y  Then, she p r o u d l y adds i n h e r l e t t e r :  A f t e r t h i s I went t o look a f t e r my p o u l t r y . T h i s , o f course, does not i n t e r e s t you: s t i l l I must t e l l you t h a t two of my hens have been already l a y i n g f o r a week. Gome home, t o e a t f r e s h eggs! G e n e r a l l y speaking, I can t e l l you I"have assumed the r o l e of, a t r u e m i s t r e s s and no l o n g e r f e e l myself shy or i n f l u e n c e d by the d o u b l e - t a l k of any Anna Petrovnas. I f o r g o t t o t e l l you t h a t Anna Petrovna assured me they were t h i n because they had d i a r r h o e a but t h a t i s h e r f a u l t . " 1 7 7 why should they 176 177  L i q u i d r e s i d u e from the d i s t i l l e r y which i s e x c e l l e n t c a t t l e f o o d .  Here Sophia seems t o be i n c o n s i s t e n t as almost every l e t t e r t o h e r husband informs him t h a t e i t h e r one o r a l l o f h e r c h i l d r e n have d i a r r hoea which l a s t s f o r weeks. T h i s e v i d e n t l y so impressed T o l s t o y t h a t he ended h i s epic War and Peace on a triumphant note of the happy a r r e s t o f a prolonged a t t a c k o f d i a r r h o e a s u f f e r e d by t h e f i r s t - b o r n son of P i e r r e . ' •  have d i a r r h o e a i f they are i n a warm p l a c e and f e d warm m i l k ? Anna Petrovna also t o l d me that the cows do not d r i n k water because i t i s taken from the pond and has an e v i l stench. I do not know whether I have done r i g h t or wrong but I have ordered water t o be c a r t e d from the Voronka (a r i v e r near the e s t a t e ) ... Probably on r e a d i n g t h i s c h a t t e r of mine about the management of the e s t a t e you w i l l laugh at me and say: "She i s making a show of a c t i v i t y . " I must confess t h a t I do p r i d e myself a l i t t l e on my importance as a m i s t r e s s . She  then r e t u r n s t o the  importance of h i s l i t e r a r y work:  Why don't you f e e l l i k e w r i t i n g ? What a pity. I t ' s a l l the f a u l t o f t h i s f o u l c h l o r oform. Your nerves were a l s o upset the other time. Do you remember? And then you too l o s t confidence i n y o u r s e l f and were at times morose and a s s a i l e d by doubts of your own a b i l i t y . - Do not g i v e i n to your n e r v e s , my d a r l i n g Lyovochka, they are f o o l i n g you. You are q u i t e incapable of a p p r e c i a t i n g your own t a l e n t . How c o u l d you p o s s i b l y t h i n k i t c o u l d d i s a p p e a r a i l of a sudden. I t ' s a l l the f a u l t o f t h i s chloroform. Have p a t i e n c e . I t w i l l a l l come r i g h t . And i f you don't f e e l l i k e w r i t i n g we w i l l look a f t e r our l i t t l e p i g s , sheep, cows and the Brahmapootra f o w l t h a t you are t h i n k i n g of g e t t i n g ; we w i l l walk over the f r e s h snow, enjoy n a t u r e , read aloud, and p l a y w i t h the c h i l d r e n . T h i s i s i n r e p l y to a very 1864. way  long l e t t e r from T o l s t o y dated Dec.17,  A f t e r g i v i n g news of the Behrs f a m i l y he  to despondency to which he was  so  suddenly g i v e s  subject:  I am always s u s c e p t i b l e to p r a i s e and your p r a i s e of the c h a r a c t e r of P r i n c e s s Mary gave me much j o y . But today I r e - r e a d e v e r y t h i n g you sent me ( f a i r copy) and i t a l l appeared to me v e r y d i s g u s t i n g and I f e l t the l a c k of my arm. I wanted t o do  136 some c o r r e c t i o n s , t o mess i t all.iup — and I c o u l d n ' t ; anyhow, I have l o s t f a i t h i n my t a l e n t so much more so because y e s t erday I d i c t a t e d t o L i z a f e a r f u l r u b b i s h . I know t h a t a l l t h i s i s the r e s u l t of a t r a n s i t o r y s t a t e of mind t h a t w i l l p a s s . Perhaps the c h l o r o f o r m a f f e c t e d my n e r v e s . P o s s i b l y a l l t h i s i s due t o the t i g h t bandage on my c h e s t . 178 Although T o l s t o y says he knows t h i s i s temporary and w i l l pass, Sophia hastens t o w r i t e t o r e a s s u r e much she b e l i e v e s i n h i s t a l e n t .  him and t o say how  I n s p i t e of her d e s i r e t o cheer up  h e r husband, she has h e r hands f u l l w i t h the many d i f f i c u l t i e s o f the  e s t a t e management, to s o l v e which she has t o make d e c i s i o n s  of which she hopes h e r husband w i l l not d i s a p p r o v e , and which she t r i e s t o j u s t i f y t o him,and so she concludes w i t h almost a note of  desperation: LyovaJ A t present I am occupied a l l day w i t h g i v i n g day l a b o u r e r s orders f o r r a t i o n s of vodka.179 Tomorrow i s a h o l i d a y and I am going out to see.to the farm. I am p a y i n g out money. I borrowed 100 r o u b l e s from Mashenka.180 Where e l s e c o u l d I borrow i t ? I pay because I simply can't r e f u s e I After a l l i t doesn't matter t o whom we owe the money, your s i s t e r o r the workmen, s t i l l we owe i t .  T h i s c e r t a i n l y g i v e s an idea, o f h e r d i f f i c u l t i e s .  In neither of  h i s l e t t e r s does T o l s t o y even mention money, and does not seem to r e a l i z e the d i f f i c u l t p o s i t i o n i n which he p l a c e s h e r by  • • - ^ R e f e r r i n g t o the f a c t h i s arm was strapped  expecting  t i g h t t o h i s body.  179 A p p a r e n t l y T o l s t o y , l i k e most Russian l a n d l o r d s who had d i s t i l l e r i e s , f o l l o w e d the p r a c t i c e of p a y i n g p a r t o f the wages i n vodka. 180  T o l s t o y ' s s i s t e r who l i v e d near.  137 her t o run the e s t a t e w i t h none. temporary way  out o f the d i f f i c u l t y .  l e t t e r from him dated Dec. 6. despondency  She, ever r e s o u r c e f u l , found a And then she r e c e i v e d a  He i s once again i n a s t a t e o f  and w r i t e s :  I have another sorrow. I am b e g i n n i n g to l o s e i n t e r e s t i n my w r i t i n g . Can you imagine, you s t u p i d c r e a t u r e , w i t h your uni n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e r e s t s , you have t o l d me the r e a l t r u t h . Whenever I s t a r t w r i t i n g anything h i s t o r i c a l i t doesn't work, i t goes h a l t i n g l y . I t r y t o excuse myself by the c o n d i t i o n o f my arm which i s again s u b j e c t t o doubt ... I am your completely u s e l e s s husband when I am w i t h o u t you and the c h i l d r e n — now I know t h i s . 1 8 1  Eut i n s p i t e o f a l l her t r o u b l e s w i t h h e r c h i l d r e n , the farm, and the workers, she hastens t o w r i t e to him, and i s most repentant t h a t she wrote h e r l a s t l e t t e r i n an i l l humour ( f o r which T o l s t o y had chided h e r ) . I am n o t complaining, but o f t e n I have only f i v e hours sleep at n i g h t and sometimes l e s s . A l l day my head swims, especi a l l y when the c h i l d r e n have c h i c k e n pox and Seryozha d i a r r h o e a ... Lyova d a r l i n g , how sad I am about your n o v e l . How i s i t you have gone so completely t o p i e c e s ? Wherever you are, you are sad and n o t h i n g comes r i g h t . Why do you d e s p a i r ? Why do you l o s e courage? I s i t p o s s i b l e you l a c k moral s t r e n g t h t o r i s e above i t a l l ? Have you f o r g o t t e n how your n o v e l d e l i g h t e d you, how you used t o t h i n k i t a l l out? And now you don't l i k e i t any l o n g e r . Nonsense, Lyovochka! You w i l l see, when you come back to us and i n s t e a d o f the f i l t h y stone house i n the K r e m l i n you w i l l see our grove o f t r e e s l i t w i t h b r i g h t sun and the c u r r a n t bushes  181 L e t t e r s o f L. T o l s t o y t o h i s Wife, 1862-1910, p.33.  138  and r a s b e r r i e s , and w i l l remember a l l our happy l i f e and we w i l l walk t o g e t h e r on the f r e s h l y f a l l e n snow and f o n d l e our l i t t l e ones, and you again w i l l s t a r t t e l l i n g me, w i t h a happy f a c e , of y o u r l i t e r a r y p l a n s . You w i l l get r i d of your h y p o c h o n d r i a ... You w i l l s t a r t again d i c t a t i n g to me, y o u r thoughts w i l l come. A p p a r e n t l y T o l s t o y r e t u r n s t o Yasnaya P o l y a n a i n mid-winter but is  s t i l l despondent and unable to w r i t e .  s p i r i t s , he d e c i d e s the p r o v i n c e hut  to go  of O r e l .  He  Hoping to r e g a i n h i s  on a long h u n t i n g t r i p t h a t summer i n took Sophia and the  children with  l e f t them at Pokrovskoe, w i t h h i s s i s t e r Mary.  him,  Here Sophia  stayed under e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y p r i m i t i v e c o n d i t i o n s , f o r the main house was  not  l a r g e enough to accommodate them a l l .  i n , of a l l p l a c e s , a Russian bath-house. i n her  But  They  lived  Sophia t a k e s i t a l l  stride. On J u l y 29,  letter,  d i s t u r b e d by the c o n t e n t s of her husband's  w r i t t e n on h i s h u n t i n g t r i p ,  of i l l - h e a l t h dition —  and d e p r e s s i o n ,  she  i n which he  again  complains  senses the reasons f o r h i s con-  h i s desperate d e s i r e t o w r i t e but the l a c k of t h a t  atmosphere which would make i t p o s s i b l e . d i s t r a c t i o n of h u n t i n g i s no  She  r e a l i z e s that  cure f o r h i s malady.  the  T a c t f u l l y , she  writes: How n i c e i t would be i f you c o u l d r e t u r n sooner but I am a f r a i d to urge you. Perhaps i t i s more e n t e r t a i n i n g f o r you — I must not be an e g o i s t . Gently  she t r i e s  to rekindle/ h i s i n t e r e s t i n h i s work f o r she knows  i  139  t h a t only w r i t i n g w i l l r e l e a s e the t e n s i o n produced hy the unsati s f i e d gnawing, c r e a t i v e urge. Before b a t h i n g , I was copying, but i t i s p r o g r e s s i n g s l o w l y . I have h a r d l y begun when I am d i s t u r b e d by the c h i l d r e n or the f l i e s t h a t are b i t i n g f e a r f u l l y . Then I would become absorbed i n what you have w r i t t e n , I read ahead and b e g i n to t h i n k , to debate w i t h myself a l l your c h a r a c t e r s and the g e n e r a l p l o t of your n o v e l . I p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e Dolokhov. Y e t , a l a s , I can't h e l p f e e l i n g . I am but one of the vulgar reading p u b l i c . What o b l i q u e f l a t t e r y 1  What i n t e l l e c t u a l  coquetryJ  What an e f f o r t to seduce the r e l u c t a n t and despondent T o l s t o y back t o c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g , h i s r e a l l o v e , even at the c o s t of b e l i t t l i n g her own  c r i t i c a l a b i l i t i e s of which, not without  was  always so proud.  But  may  r e s e n t h e r g e n t l e prodding  good reason,  she  then, f e a r f u l t h a t her c o n t r a r y husband she  adds:  L i z a n k a i s amazed I can w r i t e so much to you. I f she c o u l d only read what nonsense I w r i t e she would laugh at me. But i t i s so hard f o r me t o end the l e t t e r , I h a r d l y t h i n k what I am w r i t i n g . But  she keeps r e t u r n i n g to the a t t a c k again and  On J u l y 31 she w r i t e s another l e t t e r i n the same v e i n : Today I was copying and read a b i t ahead the p a r t t h a t i s new t o me. You know the p a r t where the wretched bandaged-up o l d Mack! a r r i v e s almost sobbing to t e l l Ku.tuzov. • how he was d e f e a t e d ... I l i k e d i t immensely, t h a t ' s why I w r i t e to you.-*82  182 The Supreme Commander of the A u s t r i a n t r o o p s . 183 L e t t e r s of Sophia T o l s t o y t o Leo T o l s t o y , p.63  83  again.  140  T h i s p e r s i s t e n t hut g e n t l e prodding o b v i o u s l y produced the d e s i r e d r e s u l t s ,  f o r i n the autumn of 1366 we f i n d T o l s t o y i n  Moscow where he has gone t o arrange f o r h i s own i l l u s t r a t e d of the f i r s t  volume of h i s g r e a t n o v e l .  edition  He i s o b v i o u s l y so  absorbed w i t h h i s a f f a i r s t h a t he seems t o have f o r g o t t e n the v e r y e x i s t e n c e o f Yasnaya P o l y a n a where t h i n g s are g o i n g from bad to worse.  Sophia, overwhelmed by the day-to-day problem, both o f  e s t a t e and f a m i l y , sends an almost desperate l e t t e r l 3 4  to T o l s t o y :  Imagine, today, b e f o r e d i n n e r , without the s l i g h t e s t warning a r r i v e d the lanky E n g l i s h governess of t h e L V O V S G w i t h h e r s i s t e r who i s t o be our governess,135 j b e s i d e s mys e l f — even now a l l my thoughts are i n conf u s i o n and I have a f e a r f u l ..headache from excitement ... our t o t a l . ^ i n a b i l i t y t o understand each other i s t e r r i f y i n g . w  a  s  However, t h i s t r o u b l e w i t h the governess  i s minor compared t o the  d i f f i c u l t i e s she has t o cope w i t h i n t r y i n g  t o manage the e s t a t e .  P l e a s e do n o t laugh at me ... a l l I am going t o t e l l you i s a b s o l u t e l y t r u e . Lyovochka, I am a f r a i d what I w r i t e w i l l not p l e a s e you, h u t what am I t o do? The f a c t i s you l e f t me 50 r o u b l e s and i t i s almost a l l gone — ropes, s l e i g h s , wages, t r i p t o Moscow e t c . Everyone i s t e l l i n g me, 'The Count has ordered i t — i t must be g o t . ' So t h a t I have n o t h i n g to l i v e on. I am t o l d t h a t the Count has ordered the wheat to be shipped when new workmen a r r i v e , and none o f them, o f course, a r r i v e . I don't know how I can cope w i t h a l l t h i s . 1  184  L e t t e r s o f Sophia T o l s t o y t o Leo T o l s t o y , p.67  185 A p p a r e n t l y T o l s t o y had arranged t h i s but f o r g o t t e n t o inform h i s w i f e , who was always t e r r i b l y a g i t a t e d by anything unexpected. The governess a p p a r e n t l y knew not a word o f R u s s i a n .  141  Do p l e a s e t r y t o h u r r y and r e t u r n home as soon as p o s s i b l e . I am a l l mixed up — management, c h i l d r e n , t h e E n g l i s h governess and a l l the r e s t of i t . Lyovochka my d a r l i n g ! How are a l l o f you? What I would not g i v e t o t e a r myself away from these c a r e s and f l y t o the K r e m l i n . But  i n s p i t e o f a l l these t r o u b l e s t h a t would overwhelm a woman  w i t h s t r o n g e r nerves than Sophia, she does n o t n e g l e c t t o nurse h i s g e n i u s , f o r she adds: For sometime I have been g r e a t l y u p l i f t e d m o r a l l y by y o u r ' n o v e l . As soon as I s i t down to copy I am c a r r i e d away i n t o some p o e t i c world and I even imagine t h a t i t i s not because your n o v e l i s so good ( o f course i t i s o n l y imagination), but t h a t I am c l e v e r myself. Please don't laugh at me. My head i s s p l i t t i n g and because of t h i s I am i n capable of l y i n g . T o l s t o y ' s r e p l y t o t h i s c r y o f d e s p a i r i s very c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , and h i s equanimity  incredible:  I have r e c e i v e d a k i n d l e t t e r from you but i t was also d i s a p p o i n t i n g because I had t o blame myself, and w i t h reason. F i r s t l y , i t i s my f a u l t I d i d n o t w r i t e t o t h e governess or t o Lvov; secondly because I d i d n ' t l e a v e you enough money. But e v e r y t h i n g w i l l come r i g h t — I am sure i t w i l l come r i g h t ... I f e e l t h a t : while you were w r i t i n g you were t i r e d and i l l - h u m o u r e d , but I l i k e you most i n an i l l - h u m o u r ... E v e r y t h i n g w i l l s t r a i g h t e n out.1B6 :  The find.  reason f o r t h i s , s t a t e o f equanimity  i s hot hard t o  The f u t u r e of h i s n o v e l i s assured, even the shrewd Katkov  186 L e t t e r s o f Leo T o l s t o y t o Sophia h i s Wife 1862-1910, p.61  142  \  had been w i l l i n g t o pay him 300 r o u b l e s a sheet f o r s e r i a l p u b l i cation.  The t e n s i o n has gone t e m p o r a r i l y , f o r the f i r s t volume  i s complete,  and he c a n a f f o r d t o relax'.  up t e n s i o n i s immediately wife.  T h i s r e l e a s e from  pent-  r e f l e c t e d i n improved r e l a t i o n s w i t h h i s  On Nov. 12, 1866, she w r i t e s i n h e r d i a r y : We are t e r r i b l y happy i n e v e r y t h i n g — i n our mutual r e l a t i o n s , our c h i l d r e n , and a l l t h i n g s . I am c e a s e l e s s l y occupied w i t h copying (without t r e a d i n g ahead) Lyova's n o v e l . To me i t i s a source o f great d e l i g h t . I experience, inwardly, a whole world of impressions and thoughts ... n o t h i n g has a g r e a t e r e f f e c t on me than h i s thoughts and h i s t a l e n t ... We o f t e n t a l k about the n o v e l and he, f o r some reason or o t h e r b e l i e v e s i n the c o r r e c t n e s s o f my judgement and i n i n f l u e n c e d by i t . T h i s i s a source o f g r e a t p r i d e t o me.  Two days l a t e r she w r i t e s t o him i n Moscow: What are you doing i n Moscow? How are you spending your time? What have you d e c i d e d about our Holy of H o l i e s — your n o v e l . Now I am b e g i n n i n g to f e e l t h a t i t i s your, t h e r e f o r e my c h i l d , and when I sent away t h i s bundle of sheets t o Moscow I f e l t as i f I had sent away my own c h i l d . I am i n a p a n i c t h a t some harm may come t o i t . I have grown to l o v e your c r e a t i o n so much. I doubt t h a t I ever w i l l l o v e anything e l s e , you may w r i t e , as much as t h i s n o v e l . Anyone knowing T o l s t o y ' s methods o f w r i t i n g - w i l l r e a l i z e what she meant when Sophia s a i d the n o v e l was h e r c h i l d as w e l l as h i s . Sometimes, he d i c t a t e d d i r e c t l y t o her; t h i s was u s u a l l y done when he was w r i t i n g a p a r t t h a t flowed e a s i l y w i t h t h e l e a s t e f f o r t and when he consequently was i n a good mood.  These were the h a p p i e s t  j  143 moments i n h e r l i f e .  But such times were r a r e .  As a r u l e T o l s t o y  spent hours i n h i s study, l e a v i n g as he s a i d "a b i t o f h i s f l e s h i n the i n k - w e l l " and c r e a t i n g l i t e r a l l y out o f h i s own f l e s h and b l o o d the l i v i n g c h a r a c t e r s i n h i s n o v e l s , t r y i n g t o l i v e t h e i r thoughts  and emotions and r e c r e a t e t h e i r easy,  unconstrained n a t u r a l dialogue.  through  seemingly  T h i s work r e q u i r e d such tremend-  ous c o n c e n t r a t i o n t h a t he was unable  t o pay any a t t e n t i o n t o the  l e g i b i l i t y of h i s w r i t i n g , and when i d e a s came q u i c k l y , tumbling out o f h i s mind l i k e a c a t a r a c t , h i s pen c o u l d n o t keep up. A f r a i d t o i n t e r r u p t h i s t r a i n o f thoughts he l e f t many words un^ f i n i s h e d and had no time t o bother w i t h p u n c t u a t i o n .  To make  matters worse, when he ran out o f paper he wrote on any scraps available.  The decyphering  and p i e c i n g t o g e t h e r o f a l l t h i s  m a t e r i a l i n t h e raw was much e a s i e r f o r Sophia t o manage when he passed  i t d a i l y t o h e r and was at home t o h e l p .  other p e c u l i a r i t y .  But he had an-  He would w r i t e f o r weeks on end, s u f f e r i n g  from e x c r u c i a t i n g headaches, t i l l he was i n a s t a t e o f exhaustion and then leave Yasnaya Polyana and go h u n t i n g or v i s i t i n g i n Moscow. to  He would leave behind  a great p i l e of m a t e r i a l f o r her  copy and Sophia was l e f t t o h e r own d e v i c e s t o s t r a i g h t e n out  what he, h i m s e l f , c a l l e d " a l l t h i s mess".  How w e l l she a c q u i t t e d  h e r s e l f i n t h i s stupendous t a s k , comparable t o a g i g a n t i c p u z z l e , can be gathered from t h e f a c t t h a t from the v e r y  jig-saw beginning  of  t h e i r married l i f e  she and T o l s t o y had made a p a c t t o w r i t e  to  each o t h e r every day when e i t h e r was absent, a p a c t t h a t was,  w i t h r a r e and u s u a l l y j u s t i f i a b l e omissions, kept at t h i s  time;  and although a l l h e r l e t t e r s t o h e r husband are extant, t h e r e i s  I  144 not a s i n g l e one i n which she asks f o r c l a r i f i c a t i o n o r makes a complaint  about h e r d i f f i c u l t i e s i n copying.  Without f a i l , the  f a i r copy, made i n h e r neat, p r e c i s e , l e g i b l e hand, i s e i t h e r ready f o r him on r e t u r n o r sent o f f by m a i l . the b e g i n n i n g o f h e r h e r c u l e a n t a s k .  But t h i s was only  F o r T o l s t o y s hands were 1  again i t c h i n g , i n h i s own words, " t o mess i t a l l up". amounted t o c a n only be understood  What t h i s  by one who has seen t h e manu-  s c r i p t or a p h o t o s t a t i c copy o f i t .  Passage a f t e r passage, o f t e n  a whole page, i s c r o s s e d out and r e - w r i t t e n on the margin i n a s m a l l , cramped, impatient hand.  Few a r t i s t s were more d i s s a t i s -  f i e d w i t h t h e i r work o r more c r i t i c a l than T o l s t o y , who would r e p e a t t h i s p r o c e s s again and a g a i n .  H i s b r o t h e r - i n - l a w and  b i o g r a p h e r , S.A. Behrs,  speaks o f h i s s i s t e r having c o p i e d War  and Peace seven t i m e s .  T h i s i s , o f course, an exaggeration as  can be seen from a c a r e f u l examination kept.  o f the c o p i e s which she  However, many o f t h e most important  parts give  evidence  o f t h i s p a i n s t a k i n g and p a t i e n t r e v i s i o n which was made p o s s i b l e by the labour o f h i s devoted  and, what i s more important,  e n t h u s i a s t i c w i f e , who was p r o u d l y aware o f h e r important, s u b o r d i n a t e , r o l e i n t h i s c r e a t i v e work.  ever though  When t h e p r o o f s r e t u r n e d  from the p r i n t e r s , T o l s t o y once again s t a r t e d "messing up" and t h e whole p r o c e s s began again. Dec.  That the n o v e l f i n a l l y  appeared i n  1868 was due t o the f a c t t h a t the p r i n t e r F.F. R i c e , having  heard o f T o l s t o y ' s p r o p e n s i t i e s f o r "messing up", i n c l u d e d i n the c o n t r a c t a heavy f i n e f o r any d e l a y s t h a t might o c c u r a c t u a l p r i n t i n g had begun. Aug.  T h i s can be seen from a l e t t e r  12, 1867, i n which P.I. Bartenev,  wrote:  Tolstoy's business  after dated agent,  145  God only knows what you are d o i n g . I f you continue i n the seme f a s h i o n we w i l l never f i n i s h p r i n t i n g p r o o f s , a l l of which you return corrected. And I can t e l l you t h a t more than h a l f of your "messing up" i s t o t a l l y unnecessary. Anyone w i l l back me up on t h i s . In the mean time the c o s t of p r i n t i n g i s skyrocketing. I have t o l d the p r i n t e r s to send you a b i l l f o r p r o o f s ..• F o r God's sake stop your s c r a t c h i n g . 1 8 7 To t h i s T o l s t o y r e p l i e d : Not to "mess up" as I "mess up" I cannot, and I am f i r m l y convinced t h a t t h i s messi n g up i s of the g r e a t e s t p o s s i b l e v a l u e . F o r t h i s reason I am not a f r a i d of the p r i n t i n g b i l l s although I hope they w i l l n o t be too hard on me. And t h a t which you l i k e so much would be f a r i n f e r i o r i f i t had not been messed up f i v e times before.188 From these l e t t e r s i t can be gathered what Sophia's l a b o u r amounted t o , f o r she was f o r "messing up". t r i b u t i o n made by  i n no p o s i t i o n to impose f i n e s  From a l l t h i s one Sophia to War  some i d e a of the  and Peace, and the n o t  able amount of her f l e s h t h a t was played  can get  l e f t i n the  ink-well.  con-  inconsiderShe  a f a r more important r o l e i n t h i s tremendous c r e a t i v e drama  than t h a t o f a mere s c r i b e .  What a l l t h i s cost her i n nervous  e q u i l i b r i u m , can be r e a l i z e d from the f a c t t h a t , apart from  her  work of l o o k i n g a f t e r her household and t r y i n g to manage the e s t a t e she bore t h r e e i n a space of f i v e  l i v e c h i l d r e n (and had  M a t e r i a l , N.N.  188  Loc. c i t .  miscarriage)  years.  The p u b l i c a t i o n of War  187  one  and Peace can be c o n s i d e r e d  Gctiosev, p.674  the  146 most important m i l e s t o n e i n the T o l s t o y couple's l i f e . 189 success exceeded t h e i r w i l d e s t dreams.  The f i r s t  Its  edition,  which T o l s t o y p u b l i s h e d h i m s e l f , i n s p i t e o f the h i g h c o s t of p r i n t i n g and a l l h i s i n e x p e r i e n c e , n e t t e d them 30,000 r o u b l e s . From now of  how  on t h e i r f i n a n c i a l w o r r i e s are at an end and the problem  t o make the e s t a t e pay becomes o f secondary  importance.  G r a d u a l l y , t h e r e came a complete t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n l i f e Polyana.  They were able t o b u i l d a new  f u r n i t u r e , and arrange f o r governesses ren.  -  at Yasnaya  house, a c q u i r e s u i t a b l e and t u t o r s f o r t h e i r  child-  - However, although Sophia d i d not r e a l i z e i t at the time,  the n o v e l War  and Peace c o n t a i n e d evidence of a s l o w l y brewing  i n n e r r e b e l l i o n a g a i n s t the s t a i d c o n v e n t i o n a l and on the whole s e l f i s h l i f e which T o l s t o y l e d a f t e r h i s m a r r i a g e . t h i s , s t r a i n i n g was  1 9 0  b a r e l y p e r c e p t i b l e and passed u n n o t i c e d by  Sophia the "pruned, c l i p p e d , and t i e d apple t r e e " was his  bonds.  Although  tugging at  The p a t t e r n of the f u t u r e r e b e l l i o n i s completely d i s -  c e r n a b l e i n the c h a r a c t e r of P i e r r e Bezoukhov and i t i s v e r y n i f i c a n t t h a t P i e r r e , the seeker, g e t s a glimpse of what he  sigseeks,  and i s p a r t i a l l y redeemed through p h y s i c a l s u f f e r i n g and p r i v a t i o n 189 . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o r e c a l l t h a t when T o l s t o y went t o t h e t r o u b l e of c a l c u l a t i n g the combined income on which he and h i s f i a n c e e , V a l e r i a . j would have t o l i v e , he estimated h i s income from l i t e r a r y work at a maximum o f 1000 r o u b l e s a y e a r . 190 On Oct.15, 1862, T o l s t o y wrote i n h i s d i a r y : " A l l t h i s time I was p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h s o - c a l l e d p r a c t i c a l a f f a i r s . But t h i s i d l e ness b e g i n s t o oppress me. I can no l o n g e r r e s p e c t myself and thus I am d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h myself and u n c e r t a i n about my r e l a t i o n t o o t h e r s , d e c i d e d t o put an end t o the magazine. The same w i t h s c h o o l s . I f e e l contempt f o r my l i f e and even f o r h e r . I t i s imperative t h a t I should work."  147 d u r i n g h i s c a p t i v i t y and e s p e c i a l l y through h i s i n t i m a t e c o n t a c t w i t h the sublime  s o u l of the simple Russian people, as  by P l a t o n Karatayev War  —  symbolized  p o s s i b l y the most l o v a b l e c h a r a c t e r i n  and Peace, and c e r t a i n l y the c h a r a c t e r t h a t T o l s t o y d e s c r i b e d  w i t h the g r e a t e s t f e e l i n g and i n which he rose t o the g r e a t e s t h e i g h t s of a r t i s t i c Where War ially  simplicity. and Peace does not d e a l w i t h war,  a n o v e l of f a m i l y l i f e  and marriage  i t i s essent  relationships.  Tolstoy  d w e l l s m i n u t e l y and w i t h the g r e a t e s t p o s s i b l e care on h i s views on marriage  and the r o l e o f the f a m i l y , upon which u n i t r e s t s the  whole s t r u c t u r e of human s o c i e t y and which, i n the f i n a l develops the course of h i s t o r y . That t h i s was c e p t i o n of the a c t u a l moral purpose o f War  analysis,  T o l s t o y ' s own  con-  and Peace i s shown  i n the E p i l o g u e which g i v e s a lengthy and somewhat i n v o l v e d exposi t i o n of h i s views.  I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t the e p i c b e g i n s w i t h  the i n n e r f a m i l y l i f e o f the B o l k o n s k i s and the Rostovs,  and ends  on a note of e l a t i o n t h a t the w e l l b e i n g o f the c h i l d born o f the u n i o n o f these f a m i l i e s i s assured.  T o l s t o y d w e l l s on the essent-  i a l egoism of the f a m i l y u n i t which determines history.  the course of human  I n the E p i l o g u e he emphasises the p o s i t i o n o f the  Woman-mother as the c o r n e r stone of human s o c i e t y and i t s main propelling force.  The whole scene i s dominated by the image of  two mothers, Mary Rostov  and Natasha Bezukhov (who  completely from h i s w i f e Sophia) who the s p e c i e s " ("samka").  i s now  drawn  has become the "female  of  148  Natasha m a r r i e s i n 1813 and she had by 1820 three daughters and a son whom she had p a s s i o n a t e l y d e s i r e d and f e d h e r s e l f . She got f a t t e r and broadened so t h a t i t was hard to r e c o g n i z e i n t h i s p o w e r f u l mother the former svelte, l y t h e Natasha. The f e a t u r e s of her f a c e became more def i n e d and bore the e x p r e s s i o n of i n n e r s e r e n i t y and tenderness. One c o u l d no l o n g e r f i n d on her f a c e the f i r e of exc i t e d animation which had g i v e n her her charm. Now, one c o u l d o f t e n see, merely her f a c e and body, but her s o u l c o u l d not be seen at a l l . A l l t h a t one c o u l d see was a powerful, b e a u t i f u l , and fecund 'Samka'l ! 9  It  i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t , i n h i s l e t t e r ( a l r e a d y quoted) t o V a l e r i a  A r s e n i e v , T o l s t o y should have dwelt on the d i s t i n c t i o n between t h i s i d e a l mother and "samka", and t h a t he should have warned her t h a t he expected her t o be the former and not t h e l a t t e r . can conclude then t h a t Sophia f e l l  One  s h o r t of h i s i d e a l of mother-  hood which i n h i s o p i n i o n e v i d e n t l y c o n s i s t e d i n not only able t o g i v e b i r t h but t o guide, n u r t u r e  and i n s p i r e  being  spiritually.  Having f a i l e d to f i n d t h i s i d e a l i n h i s w i f e , T o l s t o y f a l l s back on the mother-image of h i s own c r e a t e d out o f the legend Polyana.  c h i l d h o o d , which he  of h i s mother which e x i s t e d at Yasnaya  With p a i n s t a k i n g accuracy,  t h i s legend  himself  he proceeds t o r e - c r e a t e  i n Countess Mary Rostov, complete, even t o the D i a r y  of L i t t l e N i c h o l a s ' Behaviour, kept i n a l i t t l e blue book.  I t i s the image of a mother capable  the p h y s i c a l man, the man  who  Green-Stick,  exercise  of c r e a t i n g , n o t merely  but, what i s more important,  the s p i r i t u a l  man,  w i l l resemble h i s b e l o v e d b r o t h e r N i c h o l a s of the who  d i e d e a r l y , so f u l l of promise.  191 C o l l e c t e d Works  r  V o l . V I I , p.214-15.  In s h o r t , a  man  149  c a p a b l e o f c r e a t i n g a human s o c i e t y f r e e from s u f f e r i n g , sorrow, and t e a r s .  I n t h i s c l a s h o f the two mothers, the samka and the  i d e a l mother-image, never t o be found, though always sought desp e r a t e l y by him,  l i e s the reason f o r h i s e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g  to the women he knew, e s p e c i a l l y h i s w i f e .  hostility  But p a r a d o x i c a l l y  enough, had he ever met t h e s i c k l y , u n a t t r a c t i v e P r i n c e s s Mary Bolkonsky, w i t h her b l o t c h e d  r e d f a c e and heavy awkward g a i t , who  can doubt t h a t he would have r e j e c t e d her w i t h scorn, as h i s f u t u r e wife? Sophia must have been deeply a f f e c t e d by the i d e a s i n the e p i c . t h a t h e r constant  underlying  I n f a c t , i t i s h a r d t o overemphasize the e f f e c t c a r e f u l reading  and copying o f War and Peace had  on her, whom T o l s t o y had c a r e f u l l y p i c k e d s t r o n g l y developed m a t e r n a l i n s t i n c t s .  especially f o r her  T o l s t o y , p o s s i b l y without  r e a l i z i n g i t , was working a t c r o s s purposes: he was sowing the seeds f o r h i s own l a t e r r e b e l l i o n , and a t the same time  equipping  h i s young w i f e w i t h the moral s t r e n g t h  t o defend  and d e t e r m i n a t i o n  her p o s i t i o n as a p r o t e c t i v e mother and t o f i g h t f o r the well-being  of h e r b r o o d .  1 9 2  material  I r o n i c a l l y i t was h e r defense of h i s  e a r l y t h e o r i e s which earned her T o l s t o y ' s b i t t e r condemnation i n later  life. I f marriage and f a m i l y i s the main u n d e r l y i n g  idea i n  192 T o l s t o y seems t o be vaguely aware o f t h i s f o r i n the E p i l o g u e he says: "Often d u r i n g moments o f i r r i t a t i o n i t happened t h a t husband and w i f e would engage i n an argument. Long a f t e r the argument P i e r r e would d i s c o v e r t o h i s j o y and amazement t h a t n o t only i n words, but i n the a c t i o n s o f h i s w i f e , the v e r y thought a g a i n s t which she argued. B u t he would d i s c o v e r i t p u r i f i e d o f e v e r y t h i n g extraneous r e s u l t i n g from h i s enthusiasm." ( C o l l e c t e d Works. V o l . V I I . p.218)  150  War  and Peace i t i s even more so i n r e s p e c t o f h i s o t h e r g r e a t  n o v e l , Anna K a r e n i n a , which i s completely dominated by the comp e l l i n g n e c e s s i t y f o r T o l s t o y t o express h i s views on t h i s , f o r him,  a l l important s u b j e c t .  I t r e s t s e s s e n t i a l l y on a p a i n s t a k -  i n g , p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s o f the mental,  and e s p e c i a l l y  spirit-  u a l p r o c e s s e s deteiTniriing the a c t i o n s of the c h a r a c t e r s mainly i n v o l v e d i n the l i f e  of t h r e e f a m i l i e s :  that of S t i v a  Alexey A l e x a n d r o v i c h K a r e n i n , and Constantine L e v i n . not the s l i g h t e s t doubt why  There i s  T o l s t o y chose these t h r e e , f a m i l i e s  t h e y enabled him to approach  —  and d i s c u s s the r e l a t i o n s between a  husband and w i f e from every p o i n t of view. Oblonsky,  Oblonsky,  I n the case of S t i v a  w i t h whom the n o v e l a c t u a l l y b e g i n s , T o l s t o y succeeds i n  e s t a b l i s h i n g h i s main t h e s i s : the a b s o l u t e sacredness o f the marriage, the s o l e purpose  o f which i s p r o p a g a t i o n of c h i l d r e n ,  must be m a i n t a i n e d at whatever the c o s t . albeit  at times l o v e a b l e , c h a r a c t e r who,  Oblonsky  i s a despicable,  while d i s s i p a t i n g h i s  w i f e ' s f o r t u n e , i s u n f a i t h f u l t o her a t every s t e p .  His wife,  D o l l y , once v i v a c i o u s and b e a u t i f u l , i s reduced to a s i c k l y  nervous  shadow o f her former s e l f by the c a r e s of her huge f a m i l y and w e l l grounded j e a l o u s y .  In the opening c h a p t e r , she, having d i s c o v e r e d  p r o o f o f another of h e r husband's p e c c a d i l l o s ; - , d e c i d e s t o leave him  and i s i n the p r o c e s s of p a c k i n g .  Anna K a r e n i n a , her  i n - l a w , comes from S t . P e t e r s b u r g t o p l e a d w i t h h e r .  sister-  She begs her  t o f o r g i v e h e r b r o t h e r f o r the sake of t h e i r c h i l d r e n and t o p r e s e r v e the f a m i l y i n t a c t .  Dolly f i n a l l y  knows t h a t her husband's repentence  agrees, (though  she  i s u t t e r l y i n s i n c e r e and t h a t  151 at the f i r s t  o p p o r t u n i t y he w i l l deceive h e r again) because i n  her h e a r t o f h e a r t s justify  she b e l i e v e s t h a t n o t h i n g whatsoever can  the d e s t r u c t i o n o f a f a m i l y u n i t which i s sacred. In choosing  Anna as t h e p l e a d e r f o r the p r e s e r v a t i o n  o f the marriage, whatever the p r o v o c a t i o n  and however g r e a t t h e  i n j u r y , T o l s t o y r i s e s t o e x t r a o r d i n a r y h e i g h t s o f i r o n y , f o r Anna, h e r s e l f married  t o a man whom she has t i l l now r e s p e c t e d but  never l o v e d , a man much o l d e r than h e r s e l f who i s completely f a i t h f u l t o h e r and the f a t h e r o f h e r son, i s soon t o he d r i v e n by an i l l i c i t p a s s i o n f o r Vronsky n o t only i n t o d e s t r o y i n g h e r own f a m i l y l i f e hut a l s o t h a t o f K i t t y Scherbatsky t o whom Vronsky is  engaged. Although T o l s t o y , t h e supreme a r t i s t , was i n c a p a b l e o f  w i t h h o l d i n g h i s own p i t y and sympathy i n d e p i c t i n g the s t a r k tragedy  o f Anna's l i f e , t h e r e a d e r  i s l e f t i n no doubt t h a t he  c o n s i d e r s h e r behaviour as the g r a v e s t epigraph,  o f moral crimes.  The very  "Vengeance i s mine, I w i l l repay", sounds Anna's inex-  o r a b l e doom provoked by God's vengeance.  The tragedy  of her fate  becomes even more poignant, f o r , even by h e r s e l f - i n f l i c t e d death, she  cannot expiate h e r s i n o r escape d i v i n e punishment.  F o r by  committing s u i c i d e and d e p r i v i n g h e r c h i l d o f h i s mother she comm i t s a g r e a t e r s i n even than a d u l t e r y .  When one r e a l i z e s t h a t  the whole p l o t o f the n o v e l i s based on the a c t u a l s u i c i d e o f t h e m i s t r e s s o f T o l s t o y ' s c l o s e s t neighbour, B i b i k o v ,  and t h a t T o l s t o y  knew i n t i m a t e l y the unhappy woman who, l i k e Anna, threw h e r s e l f  152 under a t r a i n , ic  and whose g h a s t l y autopsy T o l s t o y was  d r i v e n by  c u r i o s i t y t o attend, the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the whole n o v e l  artist-  be-  comes more p o i g n a n t . However, as u s u a l T o l s t o y , — having  the i n c o n s t a n t g e n i u s  c r e a t e d t h i s whole g r i p p i n g n o v e l to emphasize the  —  sacred-  ness o f marriage and the f a m i l y , takes an uncanny d e l i g h t i n , at the end of the n o v e l , shaking s t r u c t e d by him.  A f t e r having  of a happy m a r r i e d ous  the whole e d i f i c e so c a r e f u l l y conc r e a t e d the most i d y l l i c p i c t u r e  l i f e , T o l s t o y makes L e v i n ^ -  l a n d l o r d , happily married  93  who  is a  prosper-  t o an a d o r i n g w i f e , f a t h e r of  s e v e r a l c h i l d r e n but d r i v e n by a p a t h o l o g i c a l and  ever-pursuing  r e a l i z a t i o n of the t r a n s i t o r i n e s s of h i s happiness which, he a l l must end  feels  i n the s t a r k h o r r o r of d e a t h and d i s s o l u t i o n , t u r n  t o p e r s i s t e n t thoughts of s u i c i d e .  So near does he come t o put-  t i n g these thoughts i n t o e f f e c t , t h a t he does not dare wear braces or c a r r y a shot gun. Bezoukhov of War  L i k e h i s predecessor,  Pierre  and Peace, L e v i n f i n d s an escape from the  i n c r e a s i n g h o r r o r o f a n t i c i p a t i n g death i n the R u s s i a n peasant, who  t e l l s him  l i v i n g f o r one's s o u l —  ever  simple f a i t h of  a  t h a t r e l e a s e i s to be found i n  f o r God,  and n o t f o r the b e l l y .  Levin  muses: No, I understood him. I understood h i s meaning completely and more c l e a r l y than 193 L e v i n ' s l i f e i s i n almost every d e t a i l a r e p r o d u c t i o n of T o l s t o y ' s l i f e d u r i n g h i s p e r i o d of c o u r t s h i p and marriage. There are some minor embellishments s u d i as the ennoblement of the m i d d l e - c l a s s Behrs f a m i l y i n t o the highly/ a r i s t o c r a t i c Scherbatskys and there i s one major omission — L e v i n i s not an author.  153  ever I understood anything e l s e i n l i f e and never i n ray l i f e d i d I doubt i t and I cannot doubt i t now ... I t ' s bad t o l i v e f o r one's b e l l y . One must l i v e f o r t r u t h , f o r God. I understood him from h i s f i r s t hint.194  And  then t h i s f i n a l and i n e x o r a b l e I f good has a i f good has a longer good. out the c h a i n  c o n c l u s i o n dawns on L e v i n :  cause i t ceases t o be good; r e s u l t — reward, i t i s no T h e r e f o r e good must be w i t h o f causes and consequences.  Q  In n e i t h e r h e r d i a r y n o r her correspondence i s there any evidence t h a t Sophia a s c r i b e d any p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e t o the last  c h a p t e r o f Anna K a r e n i n a which she must have r e c o p i e d many  times, f o r T o l s t o y "messed i t up" a great d e a l before he was s a t i s f i e d w i t h the f i n a l d r a f t . a p a r t i c u l a r l y happy f i c t i o n a l  No doubt she looked upon L e v i n as c r e a t i o n o f h e r husband's g e n i u s .  A l t h o u g h she must have been aware o f t h e s t r i k i n g  resemblance  between h e r s e l f and K i t t y and h e r husband and L e v i n . heavy moods d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d  Tolstoy's  (1874-77) she probably a s c r i b e d t o  his  u s u a l mental t r a v a i l  which accompanied h i s a r t i s t i c  She  a l s o f e l t t h a t he was d e e p l y a f f e c t e d by the death o f Aunt  Tanya Y e r g o l s k i which o c c u r r e d was t h a t the s p i r i t u a l  i n 1874.  What she d i d not r e a l i z e  c r i s i s t h a t L e v i n experienced was m e t i c -  u l o u s l y drawn from l i f e .  A t every step T o l s t o y was merely des-  c r i b i n g h i s own e x p e r i e n c e s and emotions. the  creations.  She had no i d e a t h a t  once w i l d apple t r e e t h a t she had so s u c c e s s f u l l y c l i p p e d and  194  C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . I X , p.304  195  i b i d , p.305.  154  t i e d and which had borne such d e l e c t a b l e f r u i t and Anna K a r e n i n a was  outgrowing i t s bonds and was  them once and f o r a l l . not r e a l i z e what was g r e a t and occurred  as War  and Peace -  about to break  Perhaps i t i s j u s t as w e l l t h a t she d i d  going o n ^ f o r i t would have been a source  of  immediate worry t o h e r , f o r t h i s s p i r i t u a l c r i s i s t h a t i n her husband was  t o have f a r - r e a c h i n g e f f e c t s on  and her f a m i l y . . T o l s t o y ' s keen and  a n a l y t i c a l mind having  her once  reached the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t happiness and peace of mind i s not the l o t o f those who  l i v e f o r the b e l l y , c o u l d not l o n g d e l a y  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f l i v i n g " f o r the b e l l y " w i t h l i v i n g f o r the f a m i l y ( c o l l e c t i v e  (individual selfishness)  selfishness).  F o r t u n a t e l y f o r Sophia, her husband passed through a p e r i o d l a s t i n g roughly from 1877  to 1881  d u r i n g which h i s d e s i r e  to i d e n t i f y h i m s e l f s p i r i t u a l l y w i t h the deeply Orthodox peasantry  l e d to h i s r e t u r n to s t r i c t conformity  b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s .  Russian  t o Orthodox  T h i s r e t u r n to the Church, apart from h i s  complete u n w i l l i n g n e s s to continue h i s a r t i s t i c w r i t i n g , which had by now  become so p r o f i t a b l e , met  approval.  She  w i t h h o l y men  w i t h Sophia's complete  thought t h a t , i n h i s f a s t s and p i l g r i m a g e s , h i s t a l k s and r e c l u s e s , T o l s t o y would f i n d r e l e a s e from h i s  pent-up t e n s i o n s and she was  sure that.,after a w e l l - e a r n e d  he would r e t u r n again to h i s t r u e v o c a t i o n , l i t e r a t u r e . T o l s t o y , the seer of human h e a r t s , was  However,  soon t o d i s c o v e r t h a t the  Orthodox Church i t s e l f l i v e d f o r the b e l l y and not f o r God, t h a t he  restj  could not f i n d God's t r u t h w i t h i n the Church.  and  155  Abput t h i s time the whole t r e n d of T o l s t o y ' s t h i n k i n g r e c e i v e d a new Alexeyev, who  t u r n from c o n t a c t w i t h an e x t r a o r d i n a r y man, came t o Yasnaya Polyana i n the  a t u t o r i n mathematics and S e r g e i and Tatyana.  aitumn of 1877  as  science to Tolstoy's elder c h i l d r e n ,  T h i s remarkable man,  landowner, a f t e r b r i l l i a n t l y g r a d u a t i n g  son of a s m a l l Pskov from t h e physico-mathemat-  i c a l f a c u l t y of the U n i v e r s i t y o f S t . P e t e r s b u r g , c l u s i o n t h a t the happiness of man  came t o the  con-  c o u l d only he found i n the  complete r e j e c t i o n o f the p r i n e i p l e s o f p r i v a t e p r o p e r t y . f i f t e e n other  V.I.  i n t e l l e c t u a l s of s i m i l a r p e r s u a s i o n ,  he  With  attempted  to e s t a b l i s h i n Kansas, U.S.A., a communal farm on which a l l were t o work and  share e q u a l l y the f r u i t s o f t h e i r l a b o u r .  L i k e many  such p r o j e c t s , t h i s attempt at communal l i v i n g f a i l e d , Alexeyev r e t u r n e d  almost d e s t i t u t e t o R u s s i a and was  disowned by h i s f a t h e r .  and completely  Somehow he found temporary refuge  T o l s t o y ' s neighbour, B i b i k o v .  Hearing of h i s p l i g h t , Tolstoy  o f f e r e d him the p o s i t i o n of t u t o r .  T o l s t o y was  by the f a c t t h a t , though Alexeyev was  deeply  quarters  aroused and he  i n the v i l l a g e and  impressed  d e s t i t u t e , he r e f u s e d  p o s i t i o n because he d i d not care t o work f o r a Count. c u r i o s i t y was  suggested t h a t Alexeyev c o u l d f i n d come only t o t e a c h the c h i l d r e n so  agreed t o come.  From the  a f r i e n d s h i p grew up between T o l s t o y and the t u t o r . very  impressed by Alexeyev's a b i l i t y ,  and  c a b i n e t maker and  It  was  beginning Tolstoy  common to many people  have l i v e d i n America, to he J a c k - o f - a l l - t r a d e s . carpenter  the  Tolstoy's  t h a t he would not have t o l i v e or eat at the Manor house. on these c o n d i t i o n s t h a t he  with  He was  could even make h i s own  was who  a fair shoes.  156  T o l s t o y envied h i s handiness and r a t h e r than e x p l o i t o t h e r s .  a b i l i t y t o do t h i n g s f o r h i m s e l f  Another t h i n g t h a t i n f l u e n c e d T o l s t o y  was  Alexeyev's admission t h a t when he  l e f t R u s s i a f o r America he  was  an avowed a t h e i s t , but h i s experience w i t h the communal... farm  i n Kansas convinced him t h a t i t s u l t i m a t e f a i l u r e was  due  to  f a c t t h a t these i n t e l l e c t u a l s were not bound t o g e t h e r  by some  the  moral f o r c e or r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f which would g i v e them f a i t h to p e r s e v e r e i n the f a c e of a l l d i f f i c u l t i e s . on h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s by  He based t h i s  opinion  o f t h e s u c c e s s f u l communal f a r m i n g c a r r i e d on  sectarians, especially Hutterites. Although T o l s t o y l a t e r d e n i e d t h a t Alexeyev had had  p a r t i c u l a r i n f l u e n c e on him, was  the  Sophia, m a i n t a i n e d t h a t i t was  he  e v i l genius of her family, f o r he had. b e f u d d l e d the  any who  impract-  i c a l a r t i s t i c mind of her husband to such a degree t h a t he began to engage i n g r e a t e r  and g r e a t e r  e c c e n t r i c i t i e s which might have  reduced her c h i l d r e n to d e s t i t u t i o n , had to p r o t e c t them.  Whether he r e a l l y was  Alexeyev i s d o u b t f u l , but to h i s shocked and  decisively influenced  the f a c t remains t h a t T o l s t o y  e s p e c i a l l y landed p r o p e r t y ,  He  was  owners.  consid-  lands of Yasnaya P o l y a n a and h i s  e s t a t e s were s t o l e n from the peasants by h i s ancestors he now  considered  as immoral  i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , a b l a t a n t form of t h e f t .  ered, t h e r e f o r e , t h a t the  by  announced  almas t u n b e l i e v i n g w i f e t h a t he now  a l l forms o f p r o p e r t y , and,  she not taken measures  and  other that  resolved to return a l l t h i s loot to i t s r i g h t f u l  But worse was  nor :N.ikolskoe,  nor  t o come.  even the  A f t e r a l l , n e i t h e r Yasnaya Polyana,  Samara e s t a t e , r e t u r n e d  any  profit  157  t o speak o f , but when he announced t h a t i t was  e q u a l l y immoral f o r  him t o d e r i v e any p r o f i t from h i s w r i t i n g which was h i s t a l e n t , a f r e e g i f t of God,  ( t h e r e f o r e the f r u i t o f h i s t a l e n t  must he g i v e n f r e e l y to a l l t o e n j o y ) , Sophia was husband was  the r e s u l t of  c e r t a i n that her  out of h i s senses, and she t o l d him b l u n t l y t h a t i f he  p e r s i s t e d she would n o t h e s i t a t e to ask the Emperor t o appoint a t r u s t e e s h i p over h i s a f f a i r s t o prevent her c h i l d r e n and grandc h i l d r e n from b e i n g d e p r i v e d of t h e i r d a i l y bread. T o l s t o y has thrown a very i n t e r e s t i n g l i g h t on t h i s period i n his l i f e  and on h i s r e l a t i o n s w i t h h i s f a m i l y , p a r t i c u -  l a r l y w i t h h i s w i f e , i n h i s C o n f e s s i o n and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n h i s a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l Notes of a Madman and h i s p l a y The L i g h t t h a t S h i n e t h i n Darkness. B o t h these l a t t e r works remained  unfinished,  f o r the s t r u g g l e between h i m s e l f and h i s f a m i l y , mainly r e p r e s e n t e d by h i s sons and h i s w i f e , c o n t i n u e d t i l l h i s f l i g h t from Yasnaya E d l y a n a and death. Sophia T o l s t o y on the Whole emerged from t h i s  struggle  i n a v e r y unfavourable l i g h t w i t h the unenviable r e p u t a t i o n of a Xanthippe t o the new  sage, T o l s t o y .  This reputation i s largely  due t o the f a c t t h a t towards the end of h i s l i f e > T o l s t o y  surrounded  h i m s e l f more and more w i t h h i s d i s c i p l e s , the s o - c a l l e d T o l s t o y a n s . There was  a s t r o n g a n t i p a t h y between these and Sophia, an a n t i p a t h y  which, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the case of Chertkov, reached almost patho l o g i c a l hatred.  I t was  q u i t e n a t u r a l f o r most of these people,  many o f whom kept d i a r i e s , t o c r e a t e an impression t h a t Sophia a m i l l - s t o n e round T o l s t o y ' s neck —  a heavy c r o s s t h a t he bore  was  158  almost to the v e r y end, and from which he f i n a l l y t r i e d t o f r e e h i m s e l f by f l e e i n g i n the autumn of 1910.  Sophia T o l s t o y , h e r s e l f ,  was p a i n f u l l y aware t h a t p o s t e r i t y might t h i n k o f h e r as an Xanthippe on the b a s i s o f evidence  e x i s t i n g against her —  evid-  ence t o which T o l s t o y h i m s e l f c o n t r i b u t e d n o t a l i t t l e , and evidence  t h a t h e r d e t r a c t o r s , even d u r i n g h e r l i f e , d e l i b e r a t e l y  d i s t o r t e d and m a g n i f i e d .  She made desperate  e f f o r t s t o present  her own case and t o p l e a d her own defence by p u b l i s h i n g h e r correspondence w i t h her husband and e s p e c i a l l y by p r e p a r i n g h e r d i a r i e s forpo.sthumous p u b l i c a t i o n .  I t i s indeed  extraordinary  t h a t out o f h e r seven c h i l d r e n , f o r the sake o f whose m a t e r i a l well-being much care  she fought  so d e s p e r a t e l y  and on whom she l a v i s h e d so  (though o f t e n misguided) prompted by her s t r o n g maternal  l o v e , n o t one, w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f Leo,  came t o her defence,  and he d i d i t i n such a clumsy way i n h i s book The T r u t h About My F a t h e r t h a t he d i d h e r cause more harm than good.  I t i s true  t h a t S e r g e i and Tatyana a f t e r S o p h i a s death d i d express some 1  o b l i q u e c r i t i c i s m o f Chertkov, but these v o i c e s were t o o weak and u n c e r t a i n o f themselves t o change the g e n e r a l impression in  implanted  the minds o f p o s t e r i t y . But-what were the f a c t s ?  I t i s true that Sophia reso-  l u t e l y r e f u s e d t o f o l l o w h e r husband as he h i m s e l f so f r e q u e n t l y expressed  it.  But what d i d he a c t u a l l y mean by f o l l o w i n g him?  t h e r e any evidence  t h a t T o l s t o y h i m s e l f knew w i t h any degree o f  c e r t a i n t y where he wished t o go?  Was he ready t o implement  Is  159 l i t e r a l l y the i n j u n c t i o n of t h e Master, poor and f o l l o w me"? of  this injunction?  practice?  Did.he Was  "Give a l l thou h a s t t o the  c l e a r l y understand the  implications  he, h i m s e l f , capable of p u t t i n g i t i n t o  I t i s d i f f i c u l t to answer these q u e s t i o n s w i t h any  de-  gree of c e r t a i n t y but c o n s i d e r i n g the f a c t t h a t even d u r i n g the much d i s c u s s e d f l i g h t  from Yasnaya Polyana, h i s s o - c a l l e d "going  away", he departed i n h i s own the way w i t h a t o r c h and,  at f i r s t , was  p h y s i c i a n , Dushan Makovitsky, daughter  c a r r i a g e w i t h an o u t r i d e r l i g h t i n g accompanied by h i s p r i v a t e  and l a t e r , was  j o i n e d by h i s younger  and l i t e r a r y h e i r e s s Alexandra, both of whom were amply  p r o v i d e d w i t h ready cash.  H i s f i r s t d e s t i n a t i o n was no more  s t a r t l i n g a p l a c e than the h o t e l f o r gentry at O p t i n a P u s t i n where he had o f t e n stayed b e f o r e . Astapovo, he was  on h i s way  When he f e l l i l l i n the t r a i n at to v i s i t h i s r e l a t i v e s - a t  Rostov.  Since he h i m s e l f had n o t the vaguest n o t i o n o f what he wanted to do, how  c o u l d he p o s s i b l y expect h i s w i f e t o understand?  Had  he  not c a r e f u l l y , and p a i n s t a k i n g l y s e l e c t e d h e r f o r q u a l i t i e s o f s e n s i b i l i t y and t h r i f t , q u a l i t i e s so n e c e s s a r y i n a woman t o enable her t o f u l f i l the t r u e m i s s i o n of motherhood as he, at t h a t time, c o n c e i v e d i t and which he made such g r e a t e f f o r t s t o s t r e n g t h e n and develop over the f i r s t f i f t e e n y e a r s of t h e i r m a r r i e d l i f e ? I r o n i c a l l y enough, when he had f i r s t spoken t o her, i n the e a r l y y e a r s of t h e i r m a r r i e d l i f e , i t was  she who  more vodka was  was  of h i s p l a n t o s t a r t a d i s t i l l e r y ,  h o r r i f i e d and thought that the i d e a of p r o d u c i n g  sinful —  vodka which would undoubtedly  a l r e a d y a p p a l l i n g drunkeness  of the p e a s a n t r y .  i n c r e a s e the  After a l l , Tolstoy  160  f r e e l y admits i n h i s c o n f e s s i o n t h a t he wrote b o t h War  end Peace  and Anna K a r e n i n a mainly f o r money: I t a s t e d the tempting f r u i t o f a u t h o r s h i p , the hope of a g i g a n t i c monetary reward and applause f o r my i n s i g n i f i c a n t l a b o u r and I c o n t i n u e d w r i t i n g as a means of improving my m a t e r i a l s i t u a t i o n and o f t h e s t i f l i n g i n my s o u l of q u e s t i o n s d e a l i n g w i t h l i f e , mine and l i f e i n general.196 T h i s i s of course an e x a g g e r a t i o n , t y p i c a l of T o l s t o y , f o r i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o admit t h a t g r e a t a r t , such as War and Anna K a r e n i n a undoubtedly t o make money.  and Peace  are, can r e s u l t from a mere d e s i r e  I t i s even more r i d i c u l o u s f o r T o l s t o y t o speak of  h i s l a b o u r i n w r i t i n g these works as t r i f l i n g .  However, i t i s  e q u a l l y i m p o s s i b l e t o deny t h a t throughout h i s l i t e r a r y c a r e e r T o l s t o y had an eye on the monetary rewards. annoyed at Nekrasov's  He was  .extremely  r e f u s a l to pay him f o r h i s f i r s t p u b l i s h e d  work, Childhood, and one cannot e a s i l y f o r g e t T o l s t o y ' s e n d l e s s h a g g l i n g w i t h Katkov 1805,  over the p r i c e to he p a i d f o r each sheet of  as w e l l as h i s t i r e l e s s e f f o r t s t o undertake h i s own  c a t i o n o f War  and Peace so as t o make more p r o f i t s .  publi-  Extremely  s i g n i f i c a n t i s the c r y p t i c entry he made i n h i s d i a r y j u s t b e f o r e h i s wedding, "My  wedding day —  f e a r , doubt, d e s i r e f o r r i c h e s ' . '  197  There were also the almost f r a n t i c e f f o r t s to make the e s t a t e s pay, e f f o r t s w i t h which h i s w i f e , a t h i s own associated.  d e s i r e , was  actively  A g a i n , t h e r e i s f u r t h e r evidence of h i s constant  s e a r c h f o r p r o f i t a b l e investments f o r the s u r p l u s money r e a l i z e d  196  C o l l e c t e d Works, Vol.TV,  p.12  197  Leon T o l s t o y - J o u r n a l Intime. Sept.19,  1862  I  from h i s p u b l i c a t i o n s .  I r o n i c a l l y enough, h i s f i r s t  e x p l i c a b l e d e s p a i r , which at the time drove him occurred he was  i n 1869  a t t a c k of i n -  almost  insane,  i n the remote p r o v i n c i a l town o f Arzamas, where  spending the n i g h t , while  on the way  i n the p r o v i n c e of Penza, which was  going  to look at an e s t a t e  at a b a r g a i n .  While  un-  able t o s l e e p i n the wretched room of a p r o v i n c i a l h o t e l , T o l s t o y was  suddenly overcome by the f o l l y of i t a l l ,  why  should he, who  already had  and  s e v e r a l e s t a t e s he was  manage, drag h i m s e l f i n t o the remote w i l d e r n e s s property  simply because i t wa.s  even more f u t i l e  cheap.  unable to  of Penza to  buy  The whole p r o j e c t seemed  as t h a t n i g h t T o l s t o y had  o f imminent death.  asked h i m s e l f  a violent  premonition  He d e s c r i b e s t h i s v i v i d l y i n an undated l e t t e r  t o h i s wife:198 The other day I spent the n i g h t at Arzamas and something q u i t e e x t r a o r d i n a r y happened t o me. I t was two o ' c l o c k i n the morning. I was f e a r f u l l y t i r e d and very sleepy and n o t h i n g h u r t me, but suddenly I was a s s a i l e d by such sadness, f e a r , and t e r r o r the l i k e o f which I have never experienced. I will d e s c r i b e t o you the f e e l i n g i n d e t a i l l a t e r ; but such t o r t u r e I have never experienced and God p r e s e r v e anyone e l s e from experiencing i t . E v i d e n t l y he d i d d e s c r i b e t h i s n i g h t l a t e r and  so v i v i d l y  t h a t "Arzamas" became a by-word i n the T o l s t o y household — y i n g extreme d e p r e s s i o n . i n The  He  Notes of A Madman:  signif-  again r e t u r n s to t h i s t e r r i b l e n i g h t  199  198 In a l e t t e r t o h i s w i f e (undated) he v i v i d l y d e s c r i b e s t h i s t e r r i b l e n i g h t 1896 ( L e t t e r s of Count T o l s t o y to h i s Wife, Text i n R u s s i a n , l e t t e r 63, p.74 199  C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 20,  p.8.  162 N e a t l y whitewashed l i t t l e square room. I remember t h a t t h i s v e r y f a c t , t h a t i t was square, was.a source of t o r t u r e to me. One window w i t h a 'red c u r t a i n . A t a b l e of K a r e l i a n b i r c h . A settee with bent arms. We entered. Sergei f i x e d up the Samovar and made t e a . I. took a p i l l o w fend l a y down on the s e t t e e , I wasn't a s l e e p . I heard S e r g e i d r i n k t e a and o f f e r i t to me. I was a f r a i d t o get up and wake myself, completely, to s i t i n t h a t room t e r r i f i e d me. I d i d n ' t get up and began to doze, probably I f e l l asleep f o r when I woke t h e r e was no-one i n the room and i t was dark. I was wide awake ... I knew i t was i m p o s s i b l e to s l e e p again. Why have I come here? Where am I dragging myself? From what am I f l e e i n g ? Where? I am f l e e i n g from something t e r r i f y i n g and I cannot escape. I am always w i t h myself and i t i s I who t o r t u r e s m y s e l f . I — there he i s — In h i s e n t i r e t y . N e i t h e r Penza e s t a t e nor any o t h e r can add a n y t h i n g to me or take a n y t h i n g away from myself. I t i s I who am b o r i n g , i n s u p p o r t a b l e , annoying to myself. I went i n t o the c o r r i d o r . S e r g e i was s l e e p i n g on a narrow bench w i t h h i s hand hanging down. The watchman w i t h the r e d spot on h i s f a c e was a l s o s l e e p i n g . I went i n t o the c o r r i d o r t h i n k i n g I might escape from t h a t which t o r t u r e d me b u t i t f o l l o w e d me l i k e a dark c l o u d . I became even more t e r r i f i e d ! What nonsense! I s a i d to myself 'Why am I upset? What am I a f r a i d of — ? ' Me — almost inaudi b l y answered the v o i c e of Death — I am here. F o r another page T o l s t o y goes on w i t h t h i s s o u l - s e a r i n g d e s c r i p t ion  o f t h e harrowing  experience.. The f a c t t h a t he wrote d e s c r i b -  ing  t h i s t o h i s w i f e proves t h a t i t was  the t u r n i n g p o i n t i n h i s l i f e . ive  real.  Arzamas s i g n a l i z e d  Y e t , so s t r o n g was  h i s acquisit-  i n s t i n c t t h a t f o r y e a r s a f t e r t h i s he continued t o a c q u i r e  landed p r o p e r t y , i n c l u d i n g t h e huge t r a c t s of l a n d t h a t he bought at  a b a r g a i n i n the B a s h k i r steppes of Samara p r o v i n c e and which  163  he w e l l knew were v i r t u a l l y s t o l e n by the r a p a c i o u s c o u r t i e r s from t h e h a p l e s s BashkirSOO nomads, whom he  so admired.  F r . o y l e t t e r ' ' o f T o l s t o y s, June 23, 1871, 1  m  a  i s c l e a r t h a t even two y e a r s a f t e r Arzamas he was  to h i s wife, i t still  hunting  f o r good b a r g a i n s , and w h i l e d r i n k i n g koumiss w i t h the B a s h k i r s he w r i t e s : I am c o n s t a n t l y i n q u i r i n g about l a n d . I was o f f e r e d some at 15 r o u b l e s per d e s i a t i n a (about #3 an acre) which would b r i n g i n 6% without any care on our p a r t ; b u t today I r e c e i v e d a l e t t e r from a p r i e s t who t e l l s me t h e r e are 2700 d e s i a t i n a f o r s a l e at 7 r o u b l e s per d e s i a t i n a . (about #1.25 an a c r e ) . T h i s seems t o be a good b a r g a i n . Tomorrow I am going to l o o k at i t . Since i t i s more than l i k e l y I s h a l l buy t h i s l a n d or some o t h e r , p l e a s e send me a d r a f t on the Merchant's bank so I can make a deposit.201  200 The whole q u e s t i o n of the d i s p o s s e s s i o n of these nomads o f f t h e i r p o t e n t i a l l y f e r t i l e t r i b a l lands became a n o t o r i o u s s c a n d a l i n R u s s i a and i s p a r a l l e l to the a c q u i s i t i o n of I n d i a n lands i n U.S.A. or Canada. In 1871 T o l s t o y bought from the A d j u t a n t t o the Emperor, C o l o n e l N.P. Touchkov, about 6500 acres at #1.25 an acre, t h i s was s i t u a t e d i n the Bouzoulouk County of Samara p r o v i n c e . In 1878 he bought over 10,000 acres at #3.50 an acre i n the same county from A d j u t a n t General t o the Emperor Baron Rodrigue B i s t r o m . I t should be noted t h i s l a s t purchase was made one y e a r a f t e r h i s s o - c a l l e d conversion. 201 T h i s i n d i c a t e s t h a t as e a r l y as 1871, Sophia was a l r e a d y t a k i n g an a c t i v e p a r t i n T o l s t o y ' s f i n a n c i a l a f f a i r s , and t h e i r s u r p l u s cash was h e l d e i t h e r i n h e r name or she had a power of a t t o r n e y from T o l s t o y . T h i s f a c t i s v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g , f o r i t suggests t h a t T o l s t o y , l o n g b e f o r e h i s " c o n v e r s i o n " was g r a d u a l l y r e l i n q u i s h i n g c o n t r o l of h i s a f f a i r s t o h i s w i f e . H i s f i n a l withdrawal from a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of a l l h i s a f f a i r s i n 1883 was only a l e g a l i z a t i o n of what had been i n a c t u a l e f f e c t f o r some time.  164  I f T o l s t o y , who, in/spite o f the f a c t t h a t a l l h i s l i f e he had had a g u i l t y conscience as a l a n d l o r d , and who, as a young man expressed i n h i s note-book  complete  agreement w i t h Proudhon  t h a t p r i v a t e p r o p e r t y i s t h e f t , and who l i v e d through the experi e n c e o f Arzamas, c o u l d be d r i v e n by h i s c u p i d i t y and a c q u i s i t i v e i n s t i n c t t o e n r i c h h i m s e l f by b u y i n g l a n d , v i r t u a l l y s t o l e n from the  B a s h k i r s , how c o u l d he expect h i s w i f e , o n l y a few y e a r s l a t e r  ( c i r c a 1878) without g o i n g through the inward s t r u g g l e he had undergone, and burdened w i t h a f a m i l y o f 7 growing c h i l d r e n , 2 0 2 feeing accustomed  t o l u x u r y and extravagance, to suddenly f o l l o w him by  renouncing a l l the f a m i l y p r o p e r t y r i g h t s ? T o l s t o y t o make such a request?  But what prompted  From the v e r y b e g i n n i n g he had  b e l i e v e d the o n l y purpose o f marriage was the p r o p a g a t i o n of the s p e c i e s , t h e r a i s i n g o f t h e f a m i l y which i n i t s e l f s t a y o f s o c i e t y and c i v i l i z a t i o n .  i s the main-  H i s e n t i r e behaviour a f t e r h i s  marriage demonstrates t h a t he possessed t o a v e r y s t r o n g degree the  sense o f h i s economic r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s f a m i l y , which he  intended t o be l a r g e . terrific  H i s w i f e , knowing v e r y l i t t l e about the  inner struggle —  punctuated by p e r i o d i c c r i s e s —  was g o i n g on i n h i s s o u l , and which  abated but never  which  actually  ceased even d u r i n g the f i r s t busy y e a r s o f h i s marriage, was completely unprepared f o r h i s s o - c a l l e d "sudden c o n v e r s i o n " . F o r her,  i t seemed a form o f mental derangement.  That she a c t u a l l y  c o n s i d e r e d him deranged i s c l e a r , n o t o n l y from h e r l e t t e r s t o h e r s i s t e r , Tatyana, b u t i t i s i n d i c a t e d i n T o l s t o y ' s  autobiographical  202 Sophia had every reason to expect many more c h i l d r e n as she was o n l y 34 and h e r husband remarkably v i r i l e .  '• 165  works, Notes of a Madman and L i g h t That S h i n e t h I n Darkness.  The  former a c t u a l l y b e g i n s : Oct.20, 1883. Today, I was taken i n t o the c h a n c e l l e r y of the P r o v i n c i a l Governor. There was much d i s p u t a t i o n but they f i n a l l y d e c i d e d t h a t I am not mad. But they came to t h i s d e c i s i o n o n l y because I made every e f f o r t t o c o n t r o l myself d u r i n g p s y c h i a t r i c examination, and not t o say a l l t h a t was on my mind. I d i d n ' t t e l l a l l , simply because I am a f r a i d of the mad-house, I am a f r a i d that t h e r e they would prevent me from c a r r y ing on my insane work. They d e c i d e d t h a t I was s u b j e c t t o a b e r r a t i o n s and something or o t h e r , but a c t u a l l y i n my r i g h t mind. The d o c t o r p r e s c r i b e d a treatment, a s s u r i n g me that i f I f a i t h f u l l y f o l l o w h i s cure i t w i l l soon p a s s . A l l t h a t b o t h e r s me w i l l pass! OhI What would I not g i v e t h a t i t might pass — the t o r t u r e i s u n b e a r a b l e . 2 0 3  A l t h o u g h n e i t h e r Sophia nor the d o c t o r s c o u l d p o s s i b l y the r e a l source of h i s mental cover:  imagine  c r i s i s , i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to d i s -  the phenomenal success of War  and Peace f o l l o w e d by the  e q u a l success of Anna K a r e n i n a coupled w i t h the f a c t t h a t  Sophia  soon saw to i t t h a t these works were r e - p u b l i s h e d on ever more f a v o u r a b l e terms, produced life.  a complete  r e v o l u t i o n i n t h e i r way  of  From p o v e r t y - s t r i k e n l a n d l o r d s commanding a t b e s t an  extremely s m a l l and u n c e r t a i n income from t h e i r down-at-heel e s t a t e s , and b e i n g d e p r i v e d of such simple amenities o f l i f e comfortable f u r n i t u r e or spare beds f o r t h e i r g u e s t s , they  as  suddenly  203 C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 2 0 , p.5. There i s a b s o l u t e l y no evidence, as he suggests, t h a t T o l s t o y was ever f o r c i b l y s u b j e c t e d t o t h i s examination, but t h e r e i s evidence t h a t Sophia was d e s p e r a t e l y w o r r i e d about h i s s t a t e of mind and f e a r e d r e a l i n s a n i t y . There i s no doubt t h a t she arranged f o r h i s examination under some p r e t e x t of i l l n e s s .  1  166  became one of the w e a l t h i e s t , i f not the w e a l t h i e s t f a m i l y i n the p r o v i n c e , w i t h the added d i s t i n c t i o n t h a t t h e i r income was n o t a f f e c t e d by the v a g a r i e s o f nature o r f l u c t u a t i n g p r i c e s f o r a g r i c u l t u r a l products, balling.  but was n o t only a b s o l u t e l y assured but snow-  Sophia, who only a few y e a r s  e a r l i e r had been thrown  i n t o a panic by the a r r i v a l o f an E n g l i s h governess when she c o u l d not  even f i n d money t o pay the p i t i f u l wages of the day l a b o u r e r s ,  was now able t o engage the most h i g h l y q u a l i f i e d and expensive t u t o r s , governesses, i n s t r u c t o r s , 2 0 4  e  t  c  .  Whatever f a u l t s may be a s c r i b e d t o T o l s t o y , and i n j u s t i c e t o him i t must be s a i d he was the f i r s t he  t o acknowledge them,  could never, at any p e r i o d o f h i s l i f e , be accused o f l a c k o f  perspicacity.  T h i s g i f t he possessed i n an e x t r a o r d i n a r y measure.  Even as a youth he was a keen observer  of human c h a r a c t e r .  Not a  s i n g l e emotion, n o t a f o i b l e , not an impulse c o u l d escape h i s keen p e n e t r a t i n g eye. T h i s q u a l i t y o f o b s e r v a t i o n became so developed, through continued  p r a c t i c e , t h a t many people, who came i n t o con-  t a c t with him, amongst them some who, themselves, l i k e Chekhov and G o r k i , had t h i s q u a l i t y , were made uncomfortablet o the l o n g p e n e t r a t i n g gaze of h i s d e e p l y - s e t  when exposed 205  s t e e l gray eyes. I s  i t p o s s i b l e then t h a t t h i s s e e r f a i l e d t o s u b j e c t h i s own f a m i l y , 204 Tatyana t e l l s i n h e r Memoirs o f as many as f i v e t u t o r s l i v i n g i n t h e i r Moscow home, and f i v e o t h e r s coming to the house t o g i v e l e s s o n s . 205  Tchaikovsky admitted t o h i s b r o t h e r t h a t he f e a r e d t o meet T o l s t o y , l e s t by merely l o o k i n g a t him, the seer would d i s c o v e r h i s dread s e c r e t .  167  p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s c h i l d r e n , t o t h i s same s c r u t i n y ?  A t t h i s time  ( c i r c a 1879) h i s f a m i l y was b e g i n n i n g t o grow up ( S e r g e i was 16, Tatyana, 15)  and T o l s t o y , who had f u l l y  the b e s t p o s s i b l e education  agreed w i t h h i s wife  that  t h a t money c o u l d buy should be g i v e n  t h e i r c h i l d r e n , and who took an a c t i v e p a r t i n s e l e c t i n g the most s u i t a b l e t u t o r s , governesses and pedagogs f o r t h i s work, and who, l i k e h i s w i f e , had been anxious t o p r o v i d e  the very best f o r h i s  c h i l d r e n i n s p o r t s , music, c u l t u r a l entertainment, companionship e t c . would by now be keenly a n t i c i p a t i n g t h e r e s u l t s o f a l l these m a t e r i a l advantages.  I t i s only n a t u r a l t h a t he expected h i s  c h i l d r e n , who had had a l l these advantages together q u i t e unique h e r e d i t a r y  with t h e i r  i n t e l l e c t u a l background, t o be at l e a s t  above average, both m o r a l l y  ana i n t e l l e c t u a l l y .  That t h i s was  not the case i s c l e a r l y borne out, not only by e n t r i e s i n h i s , but Sophia's d i a r y and correspondence as w e l l .  She makes numerous  p a t h e t i c and o f t e n b i t t e r complaints about the b e h a v i o u r o f h e r sons and more p a r t i c u l a r l y about t h e i r g e n e r a l  attitude to l i f e .  In the l i g h t o f a l l t h i s , i s i t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t T o l s t o y , who was not  only a seer but "a d i g g e r " f o r u l t i m a t e  f e r r e d t o h i s passion for"grubeln) these e x t r a o r d i n a r y m a t e r i a l  should  causes (he o f t e n r e -  t r y t o d i s c o v e r why a l l  advantages, which h i s numerous c h i l d -  ren had enjoyed, f a i l e d to produce the d e s i r e d r e s u l t s ?  Tolstoy  was staggered by t h i s c o n c l u s i o n .  He makes numerous e n t r i e s i n  his diary, e s p e c i a l l y i n reference  t o h i s e l d e s t son, S e r g e i ,  which were so o f f e n s i v e t o the l a t t e r t h a t T o l s t o y l a t e r requested Chertkov t o d e l e t e them. the f a c t t h a t as t h e other  H i s request  was p o s s i b l y prompted by  sons began to grow up t h e i r p r o f l i g a c y ,  168 drunkenness, gambling p r o p e n s i t i e s , l e c h e r y , c u p i d i t y , and  selfish-  ness so overshadowed the f a u l t s of S e r g e i , which were mainly those o f i d l e n e s s and weakness of c h a r a c t e r ,  t h a t the l a t t e r a c t u a l l y  became h i s f a v o u r i t e son.  He  the more money t h a t he was  able t o expend on h i s f a m i l y , the more  did  t h e i r moral and  c o u l d not  escape the c o n c l u s i o n  intellectual qualities deteriorate.  that,  Tolstoy  might have drawn an imaginary graph of the p r e c i p i t o u s downward d e t e r i o r a t i o n of h i s c h i l d r e n , from the e l e d e s t to the youngest, c o n t r a s t e d w i t h the r i s i n g graph of the m a t e r i a l advantages they enjoyed, and which he p r o v i d e d good he had done them harm. a t i o n i n h i s w i f e , who agents and  He  f o r them.  In t r y i n g to do them  a l s o n o t i c e d the same d e t e r i o r -  became ever more absorbed w i t h b u s i n e s s  i n h a g g l i n g w i t h book s e l l e r s , and her l i f e  c e n t r e more and more on the m a t e r i a l advantages she for  her  craved  so much  family. And  who  seemed to  so he  e x p e r i e n c e d a sense of i n t e n s e g u i l t .  a l l h i s l i f e was  Tolstoy,  accustomed t o p r o j e c t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s  from  the i n d i v i d u a l to the g e n e r a l , began g r a d u a l l y to r e a l i z e t h a t o n l y landed p r o p e r t y it  and  If  the d e s i r e f o r money and  t o the  i t s possession  i s e v i l , but  a l s o money.  i n d i v i d u a l , he reasoned, i t must he  t r u c t i v e t o human b e i n g s c o l l e c t i v e l y . murder f o r the his  B o t h the d e s i r e f o r  b r i n g n o t h i n g but m i s f o r t u n e and a l l t h a t i t can buy  An  i s so  unhappiness. detrimental  even more e v i l and i n d i v i d u a l may  crime, i t would p a l e i n t o i n s i g n i f i c a n c e before  the  des-  commit  sake of a c q u i r i n g money but, no matter how  crimes committed by human s o c i e t y organized  not  atrocious collective  into nations.  As  a  169  young man  he had witnessed  murder at S e h a s t o p o l . to  him.  t h i s u s e l e s s , s e n s e l e s s , e v i l , mass  Now,  suddenly,  e v e r y t h i n g seemed c r y s t a l  clear  Money, or r a t h e r the d e s i r e t o a p p r o p r i a t e i t f o r p e r s o n a l  use, t h a t i s r e s t r i c t e d use,  e i t h e r by an i n d i v i d u a l o r a n a t i o n ,  i s the source of a l l e v i l , of unhappiness, of s t r i f e , a d i v i n e m i s s i o n t o expose t h i s v i l e  of war.  He  now  f e l t he had  for  what i t i s , to save not only i n d i v i d u a l s from unhappiness but  mankind from s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n .  t h i n g money  With a l l the impetuous  enthusiasm  of h i s y o u t h he threw h i m s e l f i n t o t h i s self-imposed t a s k to make o t h e r s see what to him was cal.  so c l e a r , so s e l f - e v i d e n t , and so  He n a t u r a l l y expected h i s own  j o y o u s l y f o l l o w him  f a m i l y t o agree w i t h him  on t h i s newly d i s c o v e r e d road to  logiand  happiness.  H e n c e f o r t h he would n o t w r i t e a s i n g l e l i n e which d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y would not propagate t h i s profoundest But, i n order to be c o n v i n c i n g , t h e f i r s t and r a d i c a l change not only i n h i s own  of a l l t r u t h s .  step must be  a complete  l i f e but i n t h a t of h i s  family. In f a i r n e s s to T o l s t o y i t must be s t a t e d t h a t he d i d n o t ask h i s w i f e or f a m i l y t o l i t e r a l l y  accept C h r i s t ' s i n j u n c t i o n  to  He d i d n o t ask them to  g i v e a l l to the poor and f o l l o w me.  d i v e s t themselves of a l l t h e i r p o s s e s s i o n s and take the beggar's s t a f f and bowl, although he d i d c o n s i d e r t h i s the u l t i m a t e i d e a l . He  r e a l i z e d t h i s was  impossible f o r e i t h e r h i s w i f e o r c h i l d r e n .  P o s s i b l y he, h i m s e l f , was to  n o t prepared f o r t h i s .  He was  compromise, and c o n f r o n t e d h i s w i f e and e l d e r c h i l d r e n  1883)  w i t h a p l a n f o r t h e i r f u t u r e common l i f e .  prepared (about  T h i s p l a n he  170 incorporated p l a n was  i n t o the p l a y , L i g h t t h a t Shineth  f o r him  i n Darkness.  and h i s f a m i l y to keep the house of Yasnaya  Polyana, p a r t of the orchard  and  enough l a n d f o r h i m s e l f  f u t u r e f a m i l i e s of h i s c h i l d r e n to work w i t h t h e i r own the  and  hands.  What h o r r i f i e d Sophia even more was  All  Tolstoy's  avowed i n t e n t i o n to renounce a l l h i s l i t e r a r y r i g h t s to w r i t t e n i n the p a s t As  or t h a t might he w r i t t e n i n the  plans f o r t h e i r future. t h a t she had  future.  o r the p r a c t i c a l i t y of h i s  In f a i r n e s s t o Sophia i t must be  considerable  farm manager and not  anything  i s w e l l known, T o l s t o y f a i l e d t o convince Sophia or  h i s sons of the v a l i d i t y of h i s theory  she was  f i r m l y convinced t h a t h i s t r u e  w i t h c r e a t i v e a r t i s t i c work.  important from her  own  to her husband was  t h a t when she m a r r i e d him  artistic  more  sons who  l e v e l o f peasants.  "Counts you were born  and  d i e Counts."  c o n f l i c t between husband and wife became almost i t was  Her  under t h e i r f a t h e r ' s i n f l u e n c e began  t o e f f e c t bad manners i s w e l l k n o w n — I w i l l see to i t t h a t you  she m a r r i e d a g e n t l e -  a muzhik, and t h a t she would r a t h e r  d i e than see her c h i l d r e n reduced t o the e j a c u l a t i o n t o her  What was  p o i n t of view and what she made q u i t e c l e a r  i n f a c t a Count and not  endurable t i l l  calling  Prom experience she knew he c o u l d never be happy  except when occupied  The  said,  knowledge of T o l s t o y ' s weaknesses as a  the c u l t i v a t i o n of the l a n d but w r i t i n g , whether  or p h i l o s o p h i c .  man,  the  r e s t of t h e i r lands must he g i v e n to the peasants to whom i t  r i g h t f u l l y belonged.  was  The  f i n a l l y r e s o l v e d by  a compromise.  un-  Tolstoy  171  simply washed h i s hands o f the whole matter and r e f u s e d to have anything he dom  to do w i t h h i s p r o p e r t y  renounced.  He  gave h i s w i f e  which, as f a r as he was  complete power of attorney  t o make a l l d e c i s i o n s r e g a r d i n g  however, he remained adamant.  The  t h i s property.  be not  2 0  f u t u r e she would be e d i t i n g anything  to and  Sophia announced t h a t i n  To the  made v e r b a l l y and waa  by  accident  For  T o l s t o y t o g i v e her K r e u t z e r  or  had  a l l h i s a r t i s t i c works i n c l u d -  This question  and what was  i l l feeling.  she  end of h i s l i f e Sophia i n s i s t e d she  those w r i t t e n a f t e r 1881. artistic  to  t o do w i t h h i s " d i d a c t i c r e l i g i o u s  T h i s agreement was  t r o v e r s y and  206  allowed h i s w i f e  he might w r i t e of an a r t i s t i c n a t u r e , but  a r i g h t to p u b l i s h under c o p y r i g h t  what was  he  o n l y too happy to continue t r a n s c r i b i n g ; and  v... would have a b s o l u t e l y n o t h i n g  i n t e n t i o n vague.  free  point,  and f r e e f o r anyone to p u b l i s h  i n the case of p l a y s ^ t o p e r f o r m . ^  ing  one  e x p l o i t , b u t e v e r y t h i n g w r i t t e n a f t e r t h a t date was  subject to copyright,  rubbish."  On  and  p u b l i s h i n g r i g h t s to a l l h i s  a r t i s t i c w r i t i n g s p u b l i s h e d p r i o r to 1881 enjoy and  concerned,  of d e f i n i t i o n as to  d i d a c t i c gave r i s e to endless instance  she  Sonata and The  con-  l i t e r a l l y forced Death of Ivan I l l y c h ,  T o l s t o y d i d not announce h i s r e n u n c i a t i o n of the c o p y r i g h t s of h i s works openly t i l l 1891 when he put n o t i c e s i n the p r e s s t o the e f f e c t t h a t anyone who wished might p u b l i s h i n R u s s i a or abroad h i s works or perform any of h i s p l a y s which were w r i t t e n a f t e r 1881. T o l s t o y h i m s e l f was confused on t h i s s u b j e c t f o r when he decided t o g i v e a l l t h e proceeds of the sale of h i s n o v e l . R e s u r r e c t i o n t o the Doukhobors i t never occurred t o him t h a t he had m o r a l l y no r i g h t to s e l l the book to Marx i n 1901 when he was n e g o t i a t i n g the s a l e . E v i d e n t l y , n e i t h e r T o l s t o y nor, what i s more s i g n i f i c a n t , , Marx c o n s i d e r e d h i s r e n u n c i a t i o n of h i s r i g h t s as l e g a l l y binding. What i s even more c o n f u s i n g was t h a t i n 1910 he l e f t a l l the c o p y r i g h t s f o r anything he ever wrote, by a l e g a l w i l l t o h i s youngest daughter, A l e x a n d r a .  172 which^although h i g h l y a r t i s t i c ^ h a d undoubtedly deep moral s i g n i f - • icance.  T h i s constant  w r a n g l i n g became so d i s t a s t e f u l t h a t ,  Tolstoy did write  some p u r e l y  snd- The  r e f u s e d to p u b l i s h them d u r i n g h i s  D e v i l , he  although  a r t i s t i c works such as Hadjy Murad life-time.  P a r a d o x i c a l l y enough a l l these e f f o r t s of T o l s t o y to save h i s f a m i l y , and  e s p e c i a l l y h i s sons, from the f e a r f u l  evil  of h a v i n g too much money, were f r u s t r a t e d , b y f a t e which seemed to mock him.  From the f a t a l y e a r 1883  the g r e a t e s t  and  onward, he became not  l i t e r a r y f i g u r e i n R u s s i a but  What i s more, he became both at home and one  t a l k e d about him.  f a c t o r i n the  T h i s new  a c q u i r e d w o r l d w i d e fame. T  abroad a c u r i o s i t y .  s a l e s appeal of h i s works.  p u b l i s h e r of a l l h i s a r t i s t i c works. than i t was  s o l d out "and  the most expensive l u x u r y  A steady stream o f g o l d  A new  e d i t i o n was  a r e p r i n t had  no'sooner  e d i t i o n s were q u i c k l y s o l d out.  In the meantime Sophia was  sole  to be made.  c o n t r o v e r s i a l he became,the more people wanted t o read t h a t he had w r i t t e n .  Every-  n o t o r i e t y proved a tremendous  flowed i n t o the voluminous pockets o f Sophia T o l s t o y , the  published  only  Even  The more  everything  indefatigable i n  d i s c o v e r i n g b e t t e r , more economical ways of p u b l i c a t i o n and more p r o f i t a b l e ways of d i s t r i b u t i o n . had gone to beg Kreutzer  While at S t . P e t e r s b u r g  the Emperor f o r p e r m i s s i o n  Sonata, she wrote, Feb.24, 1885,  she  to p u b l i s h the banned to Tolstoy:  I went on b u s i n e s s t o Mrs. D o s t o i e v s k y ... She was d e l i g h t e d t o see me f o r some reason or other but I came to see h e r only because she p r i n t s h e r s e l f her husband's books and i n two y e a r s had c l e a r e d 67,000 roubles. She gave me most u s e f u l advice and amazed me by t e l l i n g me she g i v e s only 5% to r e t a i l booksellers.207 207  where  L e t t e r s of S.A.Tolstov to L ^ . T o l stoy.  173 It  i s q u i t e c e r t a i n t h a t the p r a c t i c a l Sophia acted promptly  on t h  i n f o r m a t i o n and even more g o l d streamed i n t o h e r pockets which had such l a r g e h o l e s t h a t they emptied q u i c k l y so t h a t she had t o e x e r c i s e g r e a t e r and g r e a t e r i n g e n u i t y to keep the stream f l o w i n g ! A few  e x c e r p t s from her l e t t e r s and d i a r i e s w i l l e x p l a i n the h o l e s  through which the money disappeared: March 27, 1891. I am w a l k i n g along K i e v s t r e e t and suddenly meet ."Ilya (her son) ... , he came t o i n q u i r e about an e s t a t e which i s f o r s a l e at a u c t i o n . He asked me to g i v e him 35,000 r o u b l e s . I r e f u s e d . F o r a time t h e r e was an unpleasant atmosphere ... suddenly !;Ilya t e l l s me: " I won't g i v e you mares t o make koumiss from." I f l u s h e d and s a i d , " I won't ask you, I w i l l ask the manager." He also f l u s h e d and shouted, " I am the manager" — " I am m i s t r e s s " ' ... I was f e a r f u l l y angry and s a i d "Is t h i s how low you have sunk, you grudge mares t o make koumiss f o r your f a t h e r . Why do you come here? Go to the d e v i l ..." p a i n f u l , shameful, shocking — g e n e r a l l y speaking d i s g u s t i n g . J u l y 30, 1897. No, I can no longer bear the whole r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of b r i n g i n g up weak bad sons, they t o r t u r e me. I was a l s o upset by the behaviour of Sasha ( A l e x a n d r a ) . She s t u d i e s b a d l y , I ordered her to r e - s t u d y the l e s s o n . Again she knew n o t h i n g . I wouldn't l e t her go r i d i n g w i t h Tanya. I hate t o punish c h i l d r e n but a l l the governesses have l o s t p a t i e n c e w i t h Sasha. Aug. 31, 1897. j I l y u s h a came to see me. There was a f i r e on h i s e s t a t e . He o b v i o u s l y exp e c t e d me to h e l p him but I am overwhelmed w i t h payments. J u s t r e c e n t l y I p a i d 1300 to the bank f o r h i s mortgage and i n the w i n t e r , I w i l l have t o pay the same amount again. He d i d n ' t a c t u a l l y ask f o r money b u t c o n t i n u o u s l y h i n t e d he was i n a bad way. He s a i d to Lyova, "I asked Mama f o r 1000 r o u b l e s ( d u r i n g the w i n t e r I gave him 2500 r o u b l e s ) She d i d n ' t g i v e i t me and I c o u l d n ' t i n s u r e and now everyt h i n g i s burnt down and I can get n o t h i n g . "  To which Lyova r e t o r t e d , "You had a had f i r e hut why blame mother — t h a t ' s unf a i r " ... I t ' s so shameful, so p a i n f u l , so sad t o q u a r r e l about money which I do not grudge b u t at p r e s e n t do not have. Nov.18, 1897. Misha d i d n ' t r e t u r n t i l l 3 A.M. I waited f o r him and afterwards c o u l d n ' t s l e e p f o r worry ... I went t o see the p r i n c i p a l o f h i s s c h o o l and begged him t o take him as a hoarder. "Nous jouons gros jeu ™, he r e p l i e d , meaning i n t h a t case Misha would then d i s a p p e a r a l t o g e t h e r . 4  Nov. 22, 1897. I f t h i s d i a r y were capable of r e c o r d i n g groans, i t would repeat groans, groans. Misha (youngest son) the o t h e r day s t a y e d out a l l n i g h t hanging around w i t h g i p s i e s , and d i d n ' t r e t u r n t i l l 7 A.M. ... today he has gone a g a i n . Where i s he? With whom? I can f i n d out n o t h i n g . Dec. 19, 1897. I l y u s h a and Andryusha a r r i v e d . Andryusha v e r y subdued. In the summer i n the Caucasus he t h o u g h t l e s s l y proposed t o P r i n c e s s G u r y e l y , and then wrote a l e t t e r r e t r a c t i n g i t . The P r i n c e s s shot h e r s e l f and now the r e l a t i v e s have taken up her cause, and Andryusha i s i n t e r r o r o f a d u e l o r b e i n g murdered. I have n o t h i n g but misery from my sons'. Dec. 10, 1898. Went t o the hank w i t h Andryusha ... gave him a f u r coat and 2000 r o u b l e s . Ordered a dozen s i l v e r c u t l e r y f o r the b r i d e . - - F o r a l l these t r o u b l e s and g i f t s he not o n l y d i d not thank me, hut a c t u a l l y appeared d i s s a t i s f i e d . Jan. 8, 1899. ftll morning i n a room at the P e t e r s b u r g h o t e l at T u l a ... I am sad and upset about Andryusha's m a r r i a g e . Sons a r r i v e d . Wretchedly t h i n Lyova. A r t i f i c i a l l y gay I l y a . E x c i t e d Andryusha and t o t a l l y w i l d Misha ...he i s s e n s e l e s s , n o i s y and e g o i s t i c a l . I and I l y a b l e s s e d the b r i d a l p a i r r i g h t here i n t h i s h o t e l room. Andryusha appears l i k e a s l e e p - w a l k e r . He i s moved but doesn't understand why he i s  175 g e t t i n g m a r r i e d and what w i l l happen l a t e r ... A l l the time I was on the verge of t e a r s . 2 0 8  A l l these  sad e x c e r p t s  are taken from Sophia's d i a r y ,  hut the same t r a g i c note i s found throughout her  letters*  Oct. 28, 1898. My t r i p was u n e v e n t f u l h u t at home I was at once plunged i n t o a heavy atmosphere — m o r a l l y . Andryusha was f e a r f u l l y rude because I r e f u s e d him 1000 r o u b l e s which I haven't got. He s a i d , " I was b o r n from a m o n s t r o s i t y end t h a t ' s why I am a m o n s t r o s i t y . " Mis£ha s t a r e d at me g u i l t i l y end then made h i m s e l f scarce ... Oh! my God! — t h a t ' s a l l I can say. Nov. 25, 1897. They (the boys) have d i s appeared f o r the whole n i g h t and d i d n ' t r e t u r n t i l l 8.30 A.M. I sat up a l l n i g h t w a i t i n g f o r them, anxious and i n d i g n a n t , end then a f t e r a scene w i t h them I was s i c k i n bed a l l day. T h i s undermined my remaini n g s t r e n g t h end n e r v e s . 2 0 9  The M i c h a e l , who  boys i n q u e s t i o n are h e r younger sons, A n d r e i were both a t t e n d i n g the Gymnasium.  t o what a pass t h i n g s had  come i n Moscow.  Her  and  l e t t e r shows  Since the d e c i s i o n f o r  the whole f a m i l y t o spend the w i n t e r s i n Moscow so as t o g i v e c h i l d r e n en o p p o r t u n i t y t o continue e n t e r i n g U n i v e r s i t y ) , was  t h e i r education  made p r i m a r i l y by Sophia,  Tolstoy/vehemently opposed i t ,  (Sergei and  the  was  since  she f e l t v e r y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the  f a c t t h a t her sons, f a r from b e n e f i t i n g from b e t t e r e d u c a t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s , were running 208  amuck.  What made her f e e l even more  • Sophia's unhappiness proved j u s t i f i e d , f o r A n d r e i abandoned young w i f e , Olga, w i t h two c h i l d r e n , t o elope w i t h the w i f e of Vice-Governor of T u l a who abandoned h e r s i x c h i l d r e n . I t was t o Sophia t o l o o k a f t e r O l g a T o l s t o y and the two c h i l d r e n . 209 „ . •• Correspondence, S . T o l s t o y t o L. T o l s t o y , p.690.  . his the left  176 desperate was t h a t h e r husband seemed t o he completely unconcerned and a t every o p p o r t u n i t y assumed the a t t i t u d e o f " I t o l d you so". He seemed t o have washed h i s hands o f h i s c h i l d r e n , j u s t as he had of h i s b u s i n e s s a f f a i r s i n 1883. However, i n r e a l i t y h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e whole f i a s c o cannot be denied, and the b e h a v i o u r o f h i s c h i l d r e n at s c h o o l can he t r a c e d t o h i s c o n t i n u e d e x p r e s s i o n s o f comtempt f o r formal education.  What e f f e c t h i s i l l - u n d e r s t o o d views had on h i s  c h i l d r e n can he seen from the Reminiscences  of h i s daughter,  Alex-  andra, c o v e r i n g t h i s p e r i o d : Mother b e l i e v e d t h a t c h i l d r e n must be t a u g h t . F o r t h i s reason we l i v e d i n Moscow. F a t h e r i n s i s t e d t h a t c h i l d r e n must not he f o r c e d to study, h u t must he brought up t o a l i f e of simple l a b o u r , and t h a t i f the c h i l d r e n want t o a c q u i r e knowledge, they c o u l d do i t themselves. Huge sums o f money were spent on t e a c h e r s and s c h o o l i n g , b u t nobody wanted to study. The youngsters f e l t t h e d i s a g r e e ment between t h e i r p a r e n t s and took from each what was most p l e a s a n t f o r them. That f a t h e r c o n s i d e r e d e d u c a t i o n e s s e n t i a l and t h a t he,himself, a l l h i s l i f e continued t o l e a r n , was l o s t on u s . A l l we remembered was what he s a i d a g a i n s t s c h o o l i n g . What mother t o l d us about the n e c e s s i t y o f havi n g much money i n o r d e r t o d r e s s w e l l , h o l d r e c e p t i o n s , have h o r s e s , g i v e b a l l s , and eat t a s t y f o o d appealed t o u s . But we hated h e r i n s i s t e n c e on t h e n e c e s s i t y o f working and g r a d u a t i n g from Gymnasium. 210  Apart from h e r t r o u b l e s w i t h h e r d i f f i c u l t  and r a p a c i o u s  sons, who never h e s i t a t e d t o demand more and more money, h e r second daughter, Mary, ever s i n c e h e r marriage  t o P r i n c e Obolensky, was  210 A.L. T o l s t o y .  G l e a n i n g s from R e c o l l e c t i o n s  p.10-11, Sovremennye Z a p i s k i , P a r i s 1931.  177  not o n l y the cause of c o n s t a n t a n x i e t y hut of never-ending expense. Sophia's d e t r a c t o r s , who  never ceased a c c u s i n g her of e x c e s s i v e  l o v e o f money and m i s e r l i n e s s , should hear i n mind t h a t although the p a t i e n t s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g Masha kept a l l her t r o u b l e s t o hers e l f and never asked h e r mother f o r h e l p , Sophia always seemed t o know the t r u e s t a t e of a f f a i r s i n M a r y ' s l l wretched home, and 2  c o n s t a n t l y gave h e r f i n a n c i a l h e l p . J u l y 12, 1898. Paid v i s i t s . The f i r s t t o Masha. My h e a r t b l e d when I looked at her, bent over, weak, t h i n l i k e a s k e l e t o n . Nervous, always ready t o b u r s t i n t o t e a r s . L i v i n g i n extreme p o v e r t y . Food abominable. Dec. 23, 1898. A t home, Masha. I t makes me c r y t o l o o k at h e r . her, a l s o wretched.  T h i n , weak. Kolya with  In the l i g h t o f a l l these t r o u b l e s w i t h her c h i l d r e n , i t would be d i f f i c u l t t o condemn Sophia f o r r e f u s i n g t o acquiesce t o T o l s t o y ' s d e s i r e s t o r e l i n q u i s h a l l p r o p e r t y and c o p y r i g h t s , even i f h e r c h i l d r e n were her sole l i a b i l i t i e s ; b u t what of her husband?  Was  T o l s t o y h i m s e l f c a p a b l e , e i t h e r p h y s i c a l l y or  p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y , o f a d j u s t i n g h i m s e l f to a t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t o f l i f e , which becoming a peasant would i n v o l v e — d a i l y - b r e a d i n the-sweat 211  way  earning h i s  of h i s brow ( t h i s i s a c t u a l l y what he  She was the o n l y daughter who c o n s c i o u s l y t r i e d t o f o l l o w T o l s t o y . When the f a m i l y p r o p e r t y was d i v i d e d i n 1891, she r e f u s e d t o take h e r share. Over strenuous o b j e c t i o n s o f h e r sons, Sophia kept Masha's share i n t r u s t , i n case she m a r r i e d and would then change h e r mind. She m a r r i e d P r i n c e O b o l e n s k i , a pennyless n e ' e i v d o - w e l l , who,although he had a degree i n law, s t a t e d he had no i n t e n t i o n of working. Mary accepted her share of the p r o p e r t y on h e r marriage, but i t was soon spent and i t was Sophia who l o o k e d a f t e r h e r unhappy daughter.  178  proposed) and producing  by h i s own  is  Sophia had no i l l u s i o n s on t h a t s c o r e .  extremely d o u b t f u l .  She was  convinced  l a b o u r everything  required? I t  t h a t e i t h e r "going peasant", or "going away"  (by which T o l s t o y probably meant becoming a homeless wanderer) would end  i n h i s death, and c e r t a i n l y put  imposed m i s s i o n o f s a v i n g mankind. T o l s t o y ' s biographers.and  an end t o h i s s e l f -  So much has been s a i d  by h i m s e l f about, h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y  p h y s i c a l endurance, s t r e n g t h , and a g i l i t y even i n o l d age, at One  first  glance these  by  that  apprehensions of Sophia's seem unfounded.  might even o b j e c t t h a t s u r e l y a man  and horse-hack r i d i n g at the age c o u l d , a c c o r d i n g t o h i s own  capable  of l o n g walks,  of 8J. and one who  c l a i m s , out-scythe  i n h i s prime  a most  expert  peasant, c o u l d have taken a l l the changes i n h i s s t r i d e .  Had  he not, on s e v e r a l o c c a s i o n s , walked from Moscow t o Yasnaya Polyana, and from Yasnaya Polyana t o O p t i n a P u s t i n ? t r u e , but c a r e f u l l y c o n s i d e r i n g the b i o g r a p h i c  A l l this i s  sources  and  parti-  c u l a r l y h i s and h i s w i f e ' s d i a r i e s , one must conclude t h a t not \only d i d he n o t enjoy robust h e a l t h , but throughout h i s l i f e h i s h e a l t h was,  at b e s t , p r e c a r i o u s .  Caucasus are f u l l of complaints  Even h i s e a r l i e s t l e t t e r s from about p e r p e t u a l  sickness:  B e s i d e s p l e a s u r e t h i s s p o r t (hunting) i s v e r y good f o r my h e a l t h which, i n s p i t e o f the water cure, i s not i n a very good s t a t e . Wot t h a t I am a c t u a l l y i l l hut I o f t e n s u f f e r from c h i l l s , sore t h r o a t s , ... which drag on. On top of t h a t my rheumatism t r o u b l e s me, and on the whole I am c o n f i n e d to my room on an average at l e a s t two days a week. Do not t h i n k t h a t I am h i d i n g anything from you. I have always been s t r o n g l y b u i l t but o f  179 weak h e a l t h . Next summer I s h a l l again take the waters. I f they have not cured me t h e y have at l e a s t h e l p e d me.212 T h i s state of a f f a i r s i s r e f l e c t e d p e r p e t u a l l y i n h i s diaries.  Throughout  h i s l i f e he had t r o u b l e w i t h l i v e r complaints,  s e v e r a l a t t a c k s o f j a u n d i c e , c h r o n i c c o n s t i p a t i o n which p r o g r e s s i v e l y became more acute n e c e s s i t a t i n g s p e c i a l d i e t , massage, l a x i t i v e s , and enemas.  D u r i n g h i s l i f e h i s lungs caused t r o u b l e , on  s e v e r a l o c c a s i o n s T.B. was  f e a r e d , and T o l s t o y o f t e n took Koumiss  oures before,and e s p e c i a l l y a f t e r , h i s m a r r i a g e . e r a l severe i l l n e s s e s and was When he was specialists. of  He underwent sev-  on more than one o c c a s i o n near death.  i n the Crimea, 1901-2, he was under the care o f s e v e r a l From 1904  on, he was under the constant supervision  h i s p r i v a t e p h y s i c i a n , Doushan Makovitsky, and h i s h e a l t h  c o n s i d e r e d so p r e c a r i o u s t h a t a d o c t o r accompanied or  1  was  him on h i s walks  when he went r i d i n g . Almost from the f i r s t  day o f her marriage Sophia was  c o n s c i o u s of a s p e c i a l m i s s i o n : t h a t o f d e v o t i n g h e r s e l f to the care o f h e r husband's h e a l t h and w e l l - b e i n g . From her d i a r y h e r correspondence, we e a r l y death.  l e a r n t h a t she was  Her f e a r was  and  i n constant f e a r o f h i s  i n t e n s i f i e d t o a s t a t e o f p a n i c by  T o l s t o y ' s hypochondria, f o r i n the s l i g h t e s t i l l n e s s , even a b o i l , he would see s i g n s o f h i s impending  death:  He has a b o i l on h i s cheek. He i s so wretched, t i e d up w i t h a k e r c h i e f . He i s t e r r i b l y s u b j e c t t o hypochondria.  C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . 2 1 , p.126. from the Caucasus, Oct.20, 1852.  L e t t e r t o Tatyana Y e r g o l s k a y a  180 D u r i n g my absence he went t w i c e t o see a d o c t o r , and the t h i r d time the d o c t o r came h e r e . He keeps on s a y i n g he has cancer and soon he w i l l d i e . He was morose and s l e p t b a d l y . Now he f e e l s b e t t e r . How I p i t y him. How h a r d i t w i l l be f o r him t o p a r t w i t h h i s l i f e and t o stand s u f f e r i n g . God h e l p h i m ' . F i v e months l a t e r , Feb. 8, 1897,  213  there i s the following entry:  A g a i n L.N. i s complaining o f i l l - h e a l t h . His back h u r t s from h i s neck down. A l l day he f e e l s nausea. What good he e a t s , i t ' s horrible I Today he was e a t i n g s a l t mushrooms and p i c k l e d mushrooms and d r i e d f r u i t t w i c e - b o i l e d . A l l t h i s produces f e r m e n t a t i o n i n h i s stomach but g i v e s no nourishment. He i s growing t h i n n e r . In the evening he asked me t o g i v e him some mint t e a , and he took a l i t t l e . A l l t h i s made him f r i g h t f u l l y depressed. He kept s a y i n g h i s l i f e was coming t o an end, t h a t the machine i s worn out, t h a t i t i s time: and y e t I can see he h a t e s the thought of death; today he somewhat reminded me of h i s Aunt P e l a g e a Yushkov who d i e d at bur home. She a l s o d i d not want t o d i e , and l o o k e d on death w i t h desperate h o s t i l i t y . ... The thought of death oppresses him..214 A g a i n on June 11, o f the same y e a r , Sophia w r i t e s : L.N. can't shake o f f h i s s i c k n e s s . He i s a p a t h e t i c , l e t h a r g i c , and i s v e r y q u i e t ... t h i s l a s t s i c k n e s s f r i g h t e n e d him and he, h a v i n g r e a l i z e d the p o s s i b i l i t y of d y i n g , is terrified.215 On June 17 she r e c o r d s :  213 D i a r y of S o p h i a T o l s t o y 1860-97. V o l . 1 1 , 214  Ibid,  p.27  215  Ibid,  p.60  p.176  l/  181  Again, today and y e s t e r d a y enemas, fermenta t i o n s , compresses, c a r r y i n g out of n i g h t p o t s and care of s i c k L.N. ... the whole day he has r e f u s e d t o eat and has groaned f o r the l a s t 24 hours. He i s v e r y i m p a t i e n t . 2 1 6  Sophia, l a t e r i n the month, on the 27th, w r i t e s : He complains of p a i n i n the p i t o f h i s stomach. He keeps me informed c o n s t a n t l y about the q u a l i t y o f h i s e x c r e t a . OH my Godi Help me not to complain and to h e l p me do my duty w o r t h i l y and p a t i e n t l y . The  e n t i r e d i a r y of Sophia T o l s t o y i s f i l l e d w i t h  cons-  t a n t r e f e r e n c e s t o care o f an a i l i n g husband and the h a u n t i n g f e a r o f h i s death.  Her problems were l a t e r complicated by T o l s t o y ' s  complete v e g e t a r i a n i s m , f o r he r e f u s e d to eat even eggs or m i l k products.  B u t . v e g e t a r i a n f o o d eaten i n l a r g e q u a n t i t i e s , f o r  T o l s t o y had a tremendous a p p e t i t e , r e s u l t e d i n excess gases which caused him to groan f o r hours from p a i n . was  To what extent  Sophia  p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h the care of h e r husband and h i s d i e t can  seen from My  Reminiscences by A l e x a n d r a T o l s t o y :  Mother always f u s s e d t h a t f a t h e r ' s food should be l i g h t , and e l e v a t e d the q u e s t i o n of h i s nourishment t o the l e v e l of a c u l t . Every evening our cook, Semyon Nikbl.aB.vlch; would come to her and they would e n d l e s s l y d i s c u s s and c o n s i d e r the next day's menus ... determined by t h e condition._of L.N's stomach ... I f he, f o r some reason or o t h e r , f e l t weak, mother and Semyon Mikolae.vi.eh:: , assumi n g the r o l e of c o n s p i r a t o r s , would decide s e c r e t l y t o add some b r o t h t o the mushroom soup. When mother was too busy, she would leave w r i t t e n i n s t r u c t i o n s , f o r example: cook some t h i n Smolensk g r u e l in- mushroom  D i a r y of Sophia T o l s t o y 1897-1909  p.62  be  V  182  b r o t h f o r L.N.'s l u n c h , he i s complaining of p a i n i n h i s stomach.217 Sophia cared f o r h e r husband's h e a l t h i n c o u n t l e s s ways.  other  When the whole f a m i l y had t o move t o Moscow, so as o s t e n s i b l y t o  o b t a i n the best  education  f o r the c h i l d r e n , she r e a l i z e d t h a t  T o l s t o y ' s c o n s t i p a t i o n was aggravated by the absence of h i s d a i l y r i d e , so she arranged f o r a saddle-horse t o be brought from Yasnaya Polyana t o Moscow.  Though T o l s t o y accused h e r o f extravagance, he  made use o f t h e horse and h i s c o n d i t i o n improved. t h i s , i t i s hard t o d i s p u t e was u t t e r l y incapable  I n view o f a l l  Sophia's a s s e r t i o n t h a t h e r husband  o f standing  the h a r d s h i p s o f peasant l i f e o r ,  even l e s s so, t h a t o f a wanderer.  She was t h e o n l y person who  knew how t o care f o r him p r o p e r l y .  The f a c t s hear her out.  can imagine how sad i t was f o r h e r t o hear, and f r e q u e n t l y  One read  i n s i n u a t i o n s , o f t e n i n t h e p r e s s , t h a t she was d r i v i n g h e r famous husband i n t o the grave.  These i n s i n u a t i o n s were doubly h i t t e r f o r  her when they were made by T o l s t o y h i m s e l f , n o t o n l y i n h i s d i a r y , hut  i n h i s l e t t e r s and c o n v e r s a t i o n s .  How h u r t she was can be  seen from h e r l e t t e r from Moscow t o h e r husband, Nov.25, 1897; I thought, Lyovochka, t h a t you would come w i t h Tanya, h u t i t appears t o me you are so r e l u c t a n t t o come t h a t y o u are d e l a y i n g your a r r i v a l as much as p o s s i b l e . Tanya even t o l d me t h a t you supposedly s a i d t o her t h a t your l i f e i n Moscow ."amounts t o s u i c i d e . As you a l s o s t a t e t h a t you are coming s o l e l y ' f o r my sake, i t f o l l o w s t h a t i t i s n o t s u i c i d e hut t h a t I am k i l l i n g y o u .  A.L.  Tolstoy —  Gleanings from R e c o l l e c t i o n s , Vol.XLV, p.8 & 9.  k  183  T h e r e f o r e , I hasten to w r i t e t o you and to beg you f o r God's sake do not come. Your t o r t u r e as a r e s u l t oi" coming w i l l d e p r i v e b o t h of us o f peace o f mind and freedom. You w i l l f e e l you are b e i n g s l o w l y k i l l e d , and I w i l l f e e l a murderess. What a b e a u t i f u l l i f e , s o l e l y d e d i c a t e d t o love!218 What a t r a g i c c r y of d e s p a i r coming from a t o r t u r e d s o u l ! It  i s g e n e r a l l y assumed t h a t t h i s move t o Moscow was  d i s t a s t e f u l t o T o l s t o y , and t h s t the d e c i s i o n was strong objections.  particularly  made over h i s  T h i s assumption seems j u s t i f i e d by the innumer-  a b l e r e f e r e n c e s i n T o l s t o y ' s d i a r y and correspondence t o h i s p o s i t i v e d e t e s t a t i o n o f Moscow l i f e . town l i f e was  That h i s i n t e n s e d i s l i k e f o r  not j u s t a p a s s i n g whim i s shown by the f a c t t h a t  a f t e r a s e r i e s of s i c k n e s s e s i n Crimea t h a t almost c o s t T o l s t o y his  life,  h i s d o c t o r s a d v i s e d S o p h i a t h a t continued  Moscow would a f f e c t h i s f r a i l  health.  life  Since Moscow i s o n l y a  s h o r t d i s t a n c e from Yasnaya Polyana, and has much the and  s i n c e i t was  not, i n those  d o c t o r s must have had  same c l i m a t e ,  days, a smoky i n d u s t r i a l town, the  i n mind the moral and p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s .  What a c t u a l l y prompted Sophia to i n s i s t so vehemently on move? for  b o t h S e r g e i and T a t y a n a had been w e l l - e d u c a t e d  at Yasnaya,  b e s t educated of the c h i l d r e n ( S e r g e i  the o n l y c h i l d t o complete h i s U n i v e r s i t y c o u r s e ) .  h e r s e l f , g i v e s another reason. to  this  S u r e l y , n o t s o l e l y the problem of educating the c h i l d r e n ,  i n f a c t these were the two was  in  She  s a i d she was  take a more a c t i v e p a r t i n s o c i a l l i f e .  hored and wanted  I t i s doubtful i f  218 Correspondence, S . T o l s t o y  Sophia,  t o L . T o l s t o y , p.690.  184  t h i s c o u l d have been a d e c i s i v e f a c t o r , f o r t h e r e was c o n s i d e r a b l e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r s o c i a l l i f e i n T u l a , ( a p r o v i n c i a l c a p i t a l o f some s i z e ) i n which, in s p i t e o f i t s p r o x i m i t y t o Yasnaya Polyana, she h a r d l y took any p a r t d u r i n g h e r e i g h t e e n y e a r s 1  country.  s o j o u r n i n the  She was t o o devoted and l o y a l a w i f e t o r i s k  provoking  resentment from h e r husband, which t h i s d e c i s i o n t o move t o Moscow undoubtedly produced, without  having  some good and weighty  reason.  I t i s a l s o n o t a t a l l l i k e l y t h a t Sophia, who as a young g i r l o f 18 was w i l l i n g t o bury,  h e r s e l f i n Yasnaya P o l y a n a (she h a r d l y  ever l e f t home f o r 18 years), would now r i s k a r i f t w i t h h e r husband f o r such t r i v i a l reasons.  The i n i t i a l move c o s t h e r a f e a r f u l  e f f o r t , and she c o u l d h a r d l y expect any a s s i s t a n c e from h e r r e l u c t a n t and r e s e n t f u l husband. One o f h e r l e t t e r s t o T o l s t o y , w r i t t e n from Moscow while she was s e a r c h i n g f o r a s u i t a b l e p l a c e t o r e n t o r buy, w i l l show her  difficulties: J u l y 2, 1881. I w r i t e t o you, dear Lyovochka, exhausted a f t e r running about l o o k i n g at houses and f l a t s . I can't describe everything i n d e t a i l . I lost courage and hope t o f i n d something ... I found two s u i t a b l e houses ... T h i s one can be bought f u r n i s h e d f o r 26,000 r o u b l e s which i s f a b u l o u s l y cheap, f o r i t has e v e r y t h i n g we need ... n o t h i n g b e t t e r c o u l d be imagined ... B u t I am sure t h e r e i s something wrong. I t s p r i c e i s much t o o low ... Tomorrow I w i l l t r y t o f i n d out about i t from s m a l l l o c a l s t o r e s , from t e n a n t s , and o t h e r round-a-bout ways ... How I would l o v e t o t a l k i t over w i t h you, I f e e l so h e l p l e s s and am a f r a i d t o make d e c i s i o n s alone ... I f e e l v e r y sad, b u t I am t a k i n g every p o s s i b l e care o f myself.219  219  She i s r e f e r r i n g t o the f a c t t h a t she i s pregnant.  185  J u l y 3, 1881. Today I found i n Prechisten.sk, i n Money Lane, a house b e l o n g i n g t o P r i n c e Volkonsky. I t i s i n my o p i n i o n most comf o r t a b l e and w e l l s i t u a t e d . . I went t o e v e r y t h i n g so I can have tomorrow evening. I g e t v e r y t i r e d and am a f r a i d because o f my pregnancy. 2 2 0  I s i t p o s s i b l e t o a s c r i b e a l l these t r o u b l e s and r i s k s to a d e s i r e t o shine at Moscow h a l l s , o r even t o educate h e r c h i l d r e n who c o u l d be q u i t e w e l l educated  at Yasnaya?  There i s  a v e r y weighty and important reason, and from Sophia's p o i n t - o f view a v e r y p r e s s i n g one, which l i e s i n t h e f a c t t h a t n o t o n l y had T o l s t o y w r i t t e n n o t h i n g a r t i s t i c hut he was going through  a f t e r Anna K a r e n i n a i n 1877,  an acute phase o f d e p r e s s i o n b o r d e r i n g  on m e l a n c h o l i a (with s u i c i d a l t e n d e n c i e s ) , and t h a t he was beginning to search f o r some r e l e a s e from h i s t e n s i o n i n occupations t o those he had g i v e n up on marriage.  He was a c t u a l l y  similar  proposing  t o e s t a b l i s h a t e a c h e r ' s seminary at Yasnaya Polyana and was w r i t i n g a r t i c l e s on p e d a g o g i c a l methods, and on p u r e l y r e l i g i o u s subjects. talent.  A l l such she c o n s i d e r e d a w a s t e f u l expenditure o f h i s She was a l s o w o r r i e d by h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y , almost  path-  o l o g i c a l , study o f Greek and Hebrew .which he undertook so i n t e n s e l y t h a t he impaired h i s h e a l t h and had t o go, at her s u g g e s t i o n , t o Samara f o r a Koumiss cure.  Sophia, b e i n g unaware o f the depth  o f s p i r i t u a l c r i s i s through which T o l s t o y was p a s s i n g , a s c r i b e d a l l h i s moods t o h i s i n a b i l i t y , ih; s p i t e o f a l l e f f o r t s , t o w r i t e artistic literature.  S e a r c h i n g f o r the cause o f h i s i n a b i l i t y ,  T h i s house they r e n t e d f o r two y e a r s .  186 Sophia, very much aware o f h e r husband's tendency t o w r i t e from life  and h i s i n a b i l i t y t o produce f i c t i o n i n the t r u e sense o f the  word, must have come t o the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t he had w r i t t e n hims e l f out, had run out o f i m p r e s s i o n s .  2 2 1  What he needed was a  change o f atmosphere, new i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n t a c t s , new —  impressions  new m a t e r i a l s so t h a t he c o u l d w r i t e from l i f e . However t h i s may be, the f a c t remains t h a t h i s f i r s t  a r t i s t i c work, i n every sense a masterpiece, w i n t e r o f 1881-82 -- the f i r s t w i n t e r  was w r i t t e n i n the  i n Moscow.  I t i s v e r y un-  u s u a l t h a t T o l s t o y dates t h i s work, The Death o f Ivan I l y i c h , i n the v e r y  beginning: A b l a c k - b o r d e r e d o b i t u a r y n o t i c e read, 'Praskovia Fyodorowna G o l o v i n ' r e g r e t f u l l y announces t o a l l r e l a t i v e s and f r i e n d s , the death o f h e r b e l o v e d husband, a judge o f the A s s i z e Court, Ivan I l y i c h G o l o v i n , which o c c u r r e d Feb.4, 1882. 2  2  2  T h i s y e a r must have had some s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r T o l s t o y . gem was f o l l o w e d by Power o f Darkness, 1886, K r e u t z e r R e s u r r e c t i o n 1883-9, and H a d j i Murad 1896.  :  This  Sonata,1887-9,  In a l l j u s t i c e t o Sophia  i t must be s a i d t h a t f a r from k i l l i n g h e r famous husband, she was able t o k i n d l e a r e b i r t h o f h i s a r t i s t i c  activity.  But apart from  221 T o l s t o y had o f t e n attempted t o w r i t e a l o n g n o v e l i n t h e p e r i o d of P e t e r the Great. The f o u n d e r o f h i s f a m i l y , the head o f P e t e r ' s s e c r e t p o l i c e , P e t e r T o l s t o y , was t o p l a y a b i g r o l e . In s p i t e o f much p r e l i m i n a r y work, he c o u l d not continue, and t o l d Sophia he could n o t imagine the people o r s i t u a t i o n s i n t h a t remote p e r i o d t h a t he d i d not know. 222 C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . X, p.3.  187 h i s a r t i s t i c w r i t i n g s , even h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l and r e l i g i o u s works received a new t u r n and a powerful impetus from T o l s t o y ' s intimate contact w i t h urban l i f e , and the wealth of new impressions he gathered i n Moscow.  I t i s undeniable that the beginning of h i s  world-wide fame as a m o r a l i s t and r e l i g i o u s reformer i s hound up w i t h What Then Must We Do? which he s t a r t e d i n Feb. 1382. Those who are i n c l i n e d t o accuse Sophia of having ruined h i s l i f e and i n t e r f e r e d w i t h h i s m i s s i o n to such a p o i n t that she became a stone round his.neck, must he reminded that had he not, at her i n s i s t e n c e , come t o l i v e i n Moscow i n the autumn of 1881 he would never have p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the t a k i n g of the census that w i n t e r , and would not have come face t o face w i t h t h e g h a s t l y poverty and degrada t i o n r e s u l t i n g from urban l i f e .  I t was these t e r r i b l e new  impressions that gave r i s e t o What Then Must We Do?  Had he not  come t o Moscow he might never have been i r r e v o c a b l y launched on the  r e b e l l i o n against not only autocracy and Orthodoxy, but also  against western c i v i l i z a t i o n i t s e l f .  He might never have developed  h i s personal sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , provoked by the obvious cont r a s t between the way i n which h i s own f a m i l y l i v e d i n Moscow and the  t e r r i b l e degradation and poverty he saw i n the slums — the  l i k e of which he had never encountered i n Yasnaya Polyana. This t h e s i s has p r i m a r i l y t o do w i t h the i n f l u e n c e of Sophia on her husband's genius, and any thought of d i r e c t i n g him i n t o the sphere of s o c i a l and moral s p e c u l a t i o n was f a r from her d e s i r e s .  What she was mainly concerned w i t h was t o b r i n g her  beloved Lyovochka hack t o the only work that could make him happy  188  ~  h i s w r i t i n g of l i t e r a t u r e .  I t i s t o her c r e d i t t h a t she  was  p r e p a r e d t o a s s i s t him t o the b e s t of h e r a b i l i t y , even when she found h e r s e l f the p r o t o t y p e f o r some o f h i s more unpleasant characters. daughters  T h i s i s t r u e of Ivan I l y i c h , where the w i f e  and  are d e p i c t e d as u t t e r l y h e a r t l e s s c r e a t u r e s , i n t e r e s t e d  only i n b a l l s ,  s o c i a l events, and money.223  C r e a t u r e s unable, or  p o s s i b l y u n w i l l i n g , t o g i v e sympathy or even understanding t o Ivan, who  f i n d s i t i n a young moujik,  speaks f o r i t s e l f ,  Gerasim.  Death of Ivan  and g i v e s a p i c t u r e o f h i s s t r a i n e d or even  h o s t i l e a t t i t u d e t o h i s immediate f a m i l y . imagine  any man  Ilyich  But i t i s h a r d t o  w h o . a c t u a l l y r e c e i v e d more tender and  solicitous  care from h i s w i f e and daughters t h a t d i d T o l s t o y d u r i n g h i s many illnesses.  I f The Death of Ivan I l y i c h r e f l e c t e d h o s t i l i t y ,  the  K r e u t z e r Sonata breathes a c t i v e h a t r e d , and T o l s t o y i n j u d i c i o u s l y drew Mrs. Poznyeshov so r e a l i s t i c a l l y from h i s w i f e as model, t h a t all  Moscow, s o c i e t y i n s t a n t l y r e c o g n i z e d her and the book became  the t a l k o f the town even b e f o r e i t was  published, f o r Tolstoy  many times read i t t o g a t h e r i n g s o f f r i e n d s . 2 2 4 M a l i c i o u s tongues wagged so hard t h a t a joke was  g o i n g the rounds of Moscow salons i n  a n t i c i p a t i o n o f Sophia's next i n e v i t a b l e pregnancy — v r a i f i n a l e de K r e u t z e r Sonata."  "Voila le  T h i s epigram became more s t i n g i n g  The w i f e i s based on Sophia, the daughter bridegroom p o s s i b l y M i c h a e l S t a k h o v i c h .  i s Tatyana, and the  T o l s t o y even endowed Mrs. Poznyeshov w i t h Sophia's mannerisms: e a t i n g soup r a t h e r l o u d l y , drumming w i t h her f o o t , e t c .  189  i n the l i g h t o f T o l s t o y ' s e x t r a o r d i n a r y views on sex, o r r a t h e r abstinence from i t , i n the e p i l o g u e .  expressed  n o t o n l y i n the n o v e l b u t e s p e c i a l l y  In s p i t e o f the unkind p i c t u r e o f her,  worked t i r e l e s s l y t r a n s c r i b i n g t h e manuscript  Sophia  and c o r r e c t i n g g a l l e y -  p r o o f s , brooding on i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s a f f e c t i n g her,  particularly  as the w i f e of the author: Jan.25, 1891. C o r r e c t e d Kreutzer Sonata ( g a l l e y - p r o o f ) . I n the evening i t o c c u r r e d t o me t h a t a woman l o v e s from t h e depths o f her h e a r t when she i s young and g l a d l y g i v e s h e r s e l f t o t h e man she l o v e s , f o r she sees what d e l i g h t he f i n d s i n t h i s . A mature woman i s suddenly d r i v e n t o r e a l i z e by h e r past experience t h a t the man l o v e s h e r always only when he needed her, and suddenly changed h i s a t t i t u d e from kindness t o moroseness o r even t o t h a t o f a v e r s i o n , immediately after h i s passion i s s a t i s f i e d . There can he no doubt t h a t Sophia was f u l l y was Mrs.  aware t h a t she  Poznyeshov, f o r she w r i t e s i n h e r d i a r y : Feb.11, 1891. I know how and why everyone has connected Kreutzer Sonata w i t h my m a r r i e d l i f e , b u t t h i s i s a f a c t and everyone, b e g i n n i n g w i t h the Emperor and ending w i t h L.N.'s b r o t h e r and h i s best f r i e n d Dyakov were a l l s o r r y f o r me. And why must I look f o r conf i r m a t i o n o f t h i s view i n o t h e r s — I , mys e l f , i n the depth o f my h e a r t f e l t t h a t t h i s n o v e l e t t e i s an a t t a c k a g a i n s t me, f o r i t wounded me, d i s g r a c e d me i n t h e eyes o f the whole world and d e s t r o y e d the l a s t v e s t i g e s of love between u s . And a l l t h i s without ever b e i n g g u i l t y o f a f a u l t towards him, n o t even by the s l i g h t e s t movement, not even by a look at anyone d u r i n g our e n t i r e m a r r i e d life!  ISO.  But, i n view o f h e r f e e l i n g s , i t i s amazing t h a t l e f t not a stone unturned i n h e r e f f o r t s on Kreutzer Sonata l i f t e d . a l l y to p e t i t i o n  Sophia  t o g e t the censor's ban  She even went to S t . P e t e r s b u r g person-  the Emperor t o l i f t the ban.  I s i t possible that  she would l a b o u r so t i r e l e s s l y t o have a work p u b l i s h e d t h a t would o n l y h u m i l i a t e h e r f u r t h e r i n the eyes o f s o c i e t y , f o r the sake o f money only?  Or was she p r i m a r i l y devoted t o f u r t h e r i n g by every  means whatsoever  the development o f h e r husband's l i t e r a r y genius?  From t h e very b e g i n n i n g she knew t h a t the book was a m a s t e r p i e c e ; March 12. Received i n f o r m a t i o n from Moscow censor's o f f i c e t h a t Volume X I I I banned. I am g o i n g t o S t . P e t e r s b u r g t o see what I can do. A l l t h i s has t e r r i b l y upset me. I f e e l t h a t I w i l l not succeed. I f e e l t h a t I have l o s t both b e l i e f i n mys e l f and f a i t h i n my powers. However, perhaps God w i l l h e l p me ... 2 2 5  Mar. 20. Nothing whatsoever i n t e r e s t s me and I can t h i n k o f n o t h i n g u n t i l the f a t e of V o l . X I I I i s d e c i d e d . I keep compos-. i n g l e t t e r s and speeches t o the Emperor. I ponder and weigh e v e r y t h i n g i n my mind. I o n l y await a l e t t e r from A.A. T o l s t o y (Alexandra) who w i l l inform me, and, i f so, when. I t i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e t h a t , owing t o the e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g need f o r money to s a t i s f y are  the demands o f her growing f a m i l y ( t h e r e  many g r a n d c h i l d r e n now) money was o f some c o n s i d e r a t i o n , b u t  undoubtedly  she was a c t u a t e d by o t h e r motives, the most important  b e i n g h e r f e a r t h a t the banning o f Kreutzer Sonata might h e r husband from c o n t i n u i n g to w r i t e l i t e r a r y works.  225  C o n t a i n i n g Kreutzer Sonata.  discourage  She  realized  191 t h a t , i n h i s present would l e a d him  mood, any discouragement of h i s l i t e r a r y works  t o say,  "What i s the use  w i l l not be p r i n t e d i n R u s s i a . "  I t was  of w r i t i n g l i t e r a t u r e ? I t t h i s argument t h a t  she  used w i t h such success when p l e a d i n g w i t h the Emperor t o l i f t ban.  What a note of anguish i n the  the  following!  Lyovochka keeps on c o r r e c t i n g h i s Non R e s i s t a n c e to E v i l , Masha i s t r a n s c r i b i n g f o r him. These heavy a r t i c l e s come h a r d to the a r t i s t and h i s t r u l y a r t i s t i c work he n e g l e c t s . 2 2 6 That i t was  not money alone t h a t prompted S o p h i a t o  f i g h t f o r Kreutzer Sonata i s shown by the f a c t t h a t she T o l s t o y i n every way  with Resurrection.  She not  the n o v e l , to a s s i s t the overworked Masha, hut  only  assisted transcribed  she keenly and  some-  times m e r c i l e s s l y c r i t i c i z e d i t . I t i s remarkable t h a t in §p;ite of h i s i n c r e a s i n g l y s t r a i n e d r e l a t i o n s with h i s wife, y i e l d e d t o her c r i t i c i s m and n o v e l , although he g i n g him How  Tolstoy  a c t u a l l y a l t e r e d the p l o t - o f  the  s t e a d f a s t l y r e f u s e d t o l i s t e n t o her p l e a s beg-  to moderate h i s blasphemous a t t a c k s on the Orthodox Church.  c r i t i c a l Sophia was  of h i s l a t e s t n o v e l ,  D i a r y of Sophia T o l s t o y , Mar.10,  and how  distasteful  1891.  i n the o r i g i n a l v e r s i o n , T o l s t o y intended t h a t Nekhlyudov should marry Katyusha Maslova. Sophia was v e r y c r i t i c a l of t h i s p l a n , c o n s i d e r i n g i t f o r c e d , s t r a i n e d and i n a r t i s t i c . Tolstoy changed the p l o t . "Oct.27, 1897. Our r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h each other i s again f r i e n d l y and simple. I asked many questions about R e s u r r e c t i o n and welcomed changes at the end of the n o v e l and i n other p l a c e s . It i s becoming l e s s f a l s e . ( D i a r y of Sophia T o l s t o y ) 2  2  7  I,  192 t h i s work was t o h e r p e r s o n a l l y , can he gathered her d i a r y —  from an e n t r y i n  a f t e r d e s c r i b i n g the wonderful soothing e f f e c t t h a t  music has on h e r nerves,  she w r i t e s : -  Sept. 13, 1897. Quite a d i f f e r e n t impress i o n i s made upon me by the r e a d i n g o f L.N.'s n o v e l . E v e r y t h i n g i n i t r u f f l e s me and c r e a t e s d i s c o r d ... I a n d i s t r e s s e d t h a t L.N., an o l d man o f 70, d e s c r i b e s with gusto, savouring as a gastronome t a s t e s d e l e c t a b l e food, scenes o f f o r n i c a t i o n between an o f f i c e r and.a maid. I know, f o r he h i m s e l f t o l d me t h i s , t h a t L.N. i n t h i s scene d e p i c t s h i s liaison w i t h a maid o f h i s s i s t e r ' s at Pirogovo. I have seen t h i s Gasha who i s now almost 70. He h i m s e l f p o i n t e d h e r out t o me, to my deepest d e s p a i r and d i s g u s t . I am a l s o t o r t u r e d by the thought t h a t the hero, Nekhludov., i s d e s c r i b e d as one p a s s i n g from moral d e g r a d a t i o n t o s p i r i t u a l e l e v a t i o n . I see i n him Lyev ...-Nikolaevich h i m s e l f , who t h i n k s p r e c i s e l y i n t h i s way o f h i m s e l f , b u t who c o u l d alway d e s c r i b e so w e l l i n books these s p i r i t u a l upsurges, b u t who c o u l d never put them i n t o p r a c t i c e . I n d e p i c t i n g these s p l e n d i d f e e l i n g s he becomes sentimental about h i m s e l f , y e t continues h i s own way o f l i f e . , l o v i n g good f o o d , h i s b i c y c l e , h i s saddle horse, h i s s e x u a l a c t i v i t i e s ... G e n e r a l l y speaking, t h i s n o v e l c o n t a i n s , as I have always thought, passages and some d e t a i l s t h a t r e v e a l the hand of a genius, and y e t the s i t u a t i o n o f the hero and heroine i s f u l l o f f a l s e sentiment — soured. This n o v e l brought upon me a most p a i n f u l mood, and I suddenly d e c i d e d t o l e a v e Moscow f o r even t h i s work o f my husband I can no l o n g e r l o v e . Between us t h e r e i s l e s s and l e s s i n common. He n o t i c e d my mood and began t o r e proach me, s a y i n g t h a t I l o v e n o t h i n g t h a t he l o v e s o r t h a t i n t e r e s t s him. I r e p l i e d that I love h i s a r t , that h i s Father Sergius moved me t o e c s t a s y , t h a t I take keen i n t e r e s t i n H a d j i Murad, t h a t I g r e a t l y admired Master and Workman, t h a t I always c r y when r e - r e a d i n g Childhood, b u t t h a t R e s u r r e c t i o n d i s g u s t s me.  193 R e s u r r e c t i o n was d e s c r i b e d as a r t . i t was  a source  The  the l a s t work by T o l s t o y t h a t can  be  f a c t t h a t Sophia could not enjoy or l o v e  of anguish f o r h e r .  I t was,  so t o speak, a sad  swan song t o her l i f e - l o n g m i s s i o n as l i t e r a r y h e l p e r t o her husband.  Although on many o c c a s i o n s T o l s t o y expressed  d i a r y and  l e t t e r s a desperate  did.  i n his  d e s i r e t o r e t u r n to a r t , he never  Even i n the l a s t y e a r of h i s l i f e he w r i t e s w i t h n o s t a l g i a  of h i s d e s i r e t o r e t u r n t o a r t , which h i s r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s comp e l l e d him t o condemn and abandon. A p r i l 14, 1910. D u r i n g the n i g h t I f e l t p h y s i c a l l y i l l , the c o n d i t i o n which always a f f e c t s my s p i r i t u a l w e l l b e i n g . Re-read some of my books. I must not w r i t e any more. I t h i n k I have w r i t t e n a l l I c o u l d i n t h i s f i e l d , but I have such a d e s i r e , such a t e r r i b l e desire.228 A.B.  Goldenweiser, i n h i s book, W i t h T o l s t o y , quotes T o l s t o y  s a y i n g t o him  on A p r i l 13,  1910:  I f I were young I would w r i t e a b e a u t i f u l n o v e l which I "would c a l l , There Are No G u i l t y Ones i n T h i s World ... How I would l o v e t o w r i t e a p u r e l y a r t i s t i c work! I f e e l t h a t my i n a b i l i t y to w r i t e i s only temporary. A t p r e s e n t I haven't the necessary s t r e n g t h , but I hope t h a t t h i s w i l l pass.229 On Oct. 2, 1910,  T o l s t o y again w r i t e s i n h i s d i a r y :  I got up i l l . Went f o r a walk. A d i s agreeable n o r t h wind. Nothing of note, but d u r i n g the n i g h t I thought so w e l l and so c l e a r l y . How good i t would be t o  228  Journauxlntimes  229  loc. c i t .  1910  Paris,  G a l l i m a r d , 1940,  p.37  as  194^ w r i t e an a r t i s t i c n o v e l about the t r i v i a l i t i e s o f l i f e of the p r o p e r t i e d c l a s s , of b u r e a u c r a t s , as w e l l as of peasants and workers — and i n each group t h e r e should be one man s p i r i t u a l l y a l i v e . Once c o u l d choose a woman and a man. Ohl How beaut i f u l i t c o u l d be! And how i t a l l u r e s me! What a great work t h i s c o u l d become. Yes, how b e a u t i f u l i t c o u l d be ... Perhaps I may even c a r r y t h i s out. But ing  there was  t h i s out, f o r by now  deprived  not the remotest p o s s i b i l i t y of h i s c a r r y he was  s i c k and worn out and  completely  of peace of mind and the atmosphere which enabled him  w r i t e h i s great works of a r t , War  and Peace, and Anna K a r e n i n a  Sophia, the nurse o f h i s genius, was  now  to t  h e r s e l f i n desperate need  o f n u r s i n g f o r she had been brought t o the b r i n k o f i n s a n i t y by a t r a g i c and  sordid struggle f o r Tolstoy's l i t e r a r y inheritance,  t h a t raged i n her f a m i l y f o r the l a s t two ing  b i t t e r n e s s and  i n t o two  intensity.  h o s t i l e camps.  The  years with  ever-increas-  A s t r u g g l e t h a t d i v i d e d the f a m i l y  t e n s i o n b u i l t up by t h i s s o r d i d  s t r u g g l e t h a t had been r a g i n g at Yasnaya P o l y a n a f o r y e a r s has become unendurable. at Astapovo. the guardian  The  now  drama i s moving t o i t s i n e v i t a b l e c l o s e  What supreme i r o n y !  Sophia, the nurse o f h i s  of h i s f r a i l h e a l t h , d e s o l a t e , i s standing on  genius, tip-  t o e , hour a f t e r hour, p e e r i n g through the window, hoping f o r a glimpse o f her d y i n g husband.  195  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Source M a t e r i a l s - Primary. K  1.  Gusev, N.N.  (Editor)  *  2.  Tolstoy,  L.N.  A g a i n s t State and Church. B e r l i n , Ladyschnikow, (undated)  *  3.  Tolstoy,  L.N.  C o l l e c t e d Works, e d i t e d by P.E. B i r y u k o v , Moscow, I.D. S y t i n , 1913.  M a t e r i a l s , 1865 - 69 Moscow, Akademya Nauk, 1957.  Vol. 1 " 2 " 4-7 8,9 " 10 11  *  4.  Tolstoy,  L.N.  **  5.  Tolstoi,  Leon.  " " .i  11 15  " "  18 20  "  21  " " "  22 23 24  1 7  C h i l d h o o d and Youth. Cossacks. War and Peace. Anna K a r e n i n a . Death of Ivan I l y i c h . K r e u t z e r Sonata. Master and Workman. Power o f Darkness. Resurrection. Confession. Census i n Moscow. What Now Must Be Done. On R e l a t i o n Between the Sexes. Notes o f a Madman. Posthumous Notes o f S t a r e t s Fyodor Kuzmich. Love. Green S t i c k . Letters. Letters. Letters. Correspondence. Moscow, State P u b l i s h i n g House, J o u r n a l Intime I n e d i t , P a r i s , T r i a n o n , 1926.  1940.  6.  T o l s t o y , L.N.  L e t t e r s o f T o l s t o y and h i s Cousin Countess A l e x a n d r a T o l s t o y 1857-1903. London, Methuen & Co. 1929.  x 7.  T o l s t o y , L.N.  L e t t e r s 1848 - 1910. Moscow, K n i g a , 1910.  8.  T o l s t o y , L.N.  L e t t e r s , 1862 - 1910. Moscow, Levenson, 1913.  T o l s t o y , L.N., & T o l s t o y , S.A.  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New York, D u f f i e l d & Co., 1918.  G.R.  28. P o l n e r , T i k h o n .  T o l s t o y and H i s Wife. New Yorfc, D.W. Norton,. 1945.  198  X K  *  29. Porche, F. 30.  Leo T o l s t o y . Dusseldorf, Droste-Verlag.  Simmons, E . J .  31. Simonson,  Leo T o l s t o y , Vol.1 & 2. New York, V i n t a g e Books,  S.J.  32.  Sukhotin-Tolstoy,  33.  Zweig,  1954. 1960.  Leo T o l s t o y . Boston, L i t t l e , Brown & Co. T.  1946.  The T o l s t o y Home. London, A l l a n Brown. Adepts i n S e l f - P o r t r a i t u r e . New York, V i k i n g P r e s s , 1928.  S.  34. T o l s t o y , A l e x a n d r a L.  Father. London, Y a l e P r e s s ,  35. T o l s t o y , Alexandra L.  Tolstoy. London, V i c t o r G o l l a n c z ,  1933. 1953.  36. T o l s t o y , A l e x a n d r a L.  The Tragedy o f T o l s t o y . London, Y a l e Press, 1933.  37. T o l s t o y , I l y a L.  Reminiscences of T o l s t o y . New York, Century Co., 1914.  * 38. T o l s t o y , S e r g e i  L.  39. 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