stench, sores, insanity, etc., which are even more
difficult to bear when not in oneself. All this, or
at least something of this, will always be and to
bear them will be difficult for every one. But
that which ought to compensate: the care, satis-
The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1899
faction, aid, all these things are taken as a matter
of course; while all defects as if they were not a
matter of course, and the more one expected happi-
ness from marriage the more one suffers.
The principal cause of this suffering, is that one
expects that which does not happen, and does not
expect that which always happens. And there-
fore escape from this suffering is only by not ex-
pecting joys, but by expecting the bad, being pre-
pared to bear them. If you expect all that which
is described in the beginning of " The Thousand
and One Nights," if you expect drunkenness,
stench, disgusting diseases then obstinacy, un-
truthfulness, even drunkenness, can, if not exactly
be forgiven, at least be a matter of no suffering
and one can rejoice that there is absent that which
might have been, that which is described in " The
Thousand and One Nights " : that there is no
insanity, cancer, etc. And then everything that
is good will be appreciated.
But is it not in this, that the principal means of
happiness in general lie ? And is it not therefore
that people are so often unhappy, especially the
rich ones? Instead of recognising oneself in the
condition of a slave who has to labour for him-
self and for others, and to labour in the way that
the master wishes, people imagine that every kind
of pleasure awaits them, that their whole work
lies in enjoying them. How not be unhappy un-
OCTOBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi
der this circumstance? Then everything: work
and obstacles and illnesses the necessary con-
ditions of life appear as unexpected, terrible
calamities. The poor, therefore, are less often
unhappy: they know beforehand that before them
lie labour, struggle, obstacles, and therefore they
appreciate everything which gives them joy. But
the rich, expecting only joys, see a calamity in
every obstacle, and do not notice and do not ap-
preciate those goods which they are enjoying.
" Blessed be the poor, for they shall be comforted;
the hungry, for they shall be fed; and woe unto
ye, the rich."
Oct. 14. Y. P. If I live.
Oct. 27. Y. P.
We are living alone: . . . Olga, 389 Andrusha,
Julie 390 and Andrei Dmitrievich. 391 Everything
is all right, but I am often indisposed: there are
more ill days than healthy ones and therefore I
write little. Sent off 19 chapters, 392 very much
unfinished. I am working on the end.
I have thought much, and perhaps well:
i) About the freedom of the will, simply:
Man is free in everything spiritual, in love: he
can love or not love, more and less. In every-
thing remaining he is not free, consequently in
everything material. Man can direct and not di-
rect his strength towards the service of God. In
The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1899
this one thing (but it is an enormous thing), he
is free : he can pull or be driven.
2) ... of the workers, prostitution and many
other things, all this is a necessary, inevitable con-
sequence and condition of the pagan order of life
in which we live, and to change either one or many
of these, is impossible. What is to be done?
Change the very order of this life, that on which
it stands. How? By this, in the first place, by
not taking part in this order, in that which sup-
ports it ... etc. And, second, to do that in
which man alone is absolutely free : to change self-
ishness in his soul and everything which flows from
it: malice, greed, violence, and everything else by
love and by all that which flows from it: reason-
ableness, humility, kindness and the rest. It is
impossible to turn back the wheel of a machine by
force, they are all bound together with cogs and
other wheels but to let the steam go which
will move them or not let it go is easy; thus it
is terribly difficult to change the very outer con-
ditions of life, but to be good or bad is easy. But
this being good or evil changes all the outer con-
ditions of life.
3) Our life is the freeing of the enclosed the
expansion of the limits in which the illimitable
principle acts. This expansion of the limits ap-
pears to us as matter in motion. The limit of ex-
pansion in space appears to us as matter. That
NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi
part of matter which we recognise as ourselves we
call our body; the other part we call the world.
The limit of expansion in time we call motion.
That part of motion which we recognise as our-
selves we call our life; the other part we call the
life of the world. All of life is the expansion of
these limits, the being freed from them.
(All unclear, inexact.)
Nov. 20. Moscow.
Much I have not written out. I am in Mos-
cow. . . . For 70 years I have been lowering and
lowering my opinion of women and still it has to
be lowered more and more. The woman ques-
tion! How can there not be a woman question?
Only not in this, how women should begin to di-
rect life, but in this, how they should stop ruining
All morning I have not been writing and have
been thinking two things:
i ) We speak of the end of life although it
is true, not the one which we understand, but the
one which would be understood by the highest
reason. The purpose is just the same as the cause.
The cause is looking backward, the purpose is look-
ing forward, but the cause, the conception of the
cause (and therefore of an end) appears only
then when there is time, i.e., a being is limited in
his conceptions by time. And therefore for God,
The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1899
and for man living a Godly life, there is no pur-
pose. There is life in which consciousness grows
(? 393 ) and that is all.
2) A drop fusing with a great drop, a pool,
ceases to be and begins to be.
To-day December 18. Moscow.
Almost a month I have not written. Have
been severely ill. 394 Had acute pain for one day,
then a respite, and weakness. And death became
more than natural, almost desirable. And so it
has remained now, when I am getting well that
is a new, joyous step.
Finished Resurrection. Not good, uncorrected,
hurried; but it has fallen from me and I am no
longer interested. Serezha is here, Masha and
her husband, Maria Alexandrovna.
I am all right. Have not yet begun to write
anything. More than anything I am occupied
with , 395 but I have no desire for any-
thing very much, am resting. Wrote letters.
I am attempting to write out my notes :
1) (Trifles) about many-voiced music. It is
necessary that the voice say something, but here
there are many voices and each one says nothing.
2) One of the principal causes of evil in our
life is the faith cultivated in our Christian world,
the faith in the crude Hebrew personal God, when
the principal sign (if one can express it so) of
DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi
God is that he is not limited, by anything, conse-
quently not personal.
3 ) One should conquer death not death, but
the fear of death coming from a lack of under-
standing of life. If only you understand life and
its necessarily good purpose death then you
cease to fear it, to resist it. And when you cease
to fear it, you cease to serve yourself, a mortal,
and you will serve an immortal : God, from whom
you came and to whom you are going.
4) Matter is everything which is accessible to
our senses. Science forces us to suppose matter
inaccessible to our senses. In this realm, there
can be beings composed of that matter and per-
ceiving it, matter inaccessible to our senses. I do
not think that there are such beings; I only think
that our matter and our senses perceiving it, are
only one of innumerable 396 possibilities of life.
5 ) "I am a slave, I am a worm, I am a Czar, I
am a God." 397 Slave and worm true, but Czar
and God untrue. It is in vain that people attrib-
ute a special significance and greatness to his rea-
son. The limits of human reason are very narrow
and are seen at once. These limits are the infinity
of space and time. Man sees the final answers to
the questions he asks himself, recede and recede
in time and also in space, and in both these realms.
6) I read about Englehardt's book: Evolution,
the Progress of Cruelty. 598 I think that here
The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1899
there is a great deal of truth. Cruelty has in-
creased mainly because division of labour has been
brought to pass, which assists the increase of
the material wealth of man. Every one speaks
of the benefits of the division of labour, not see-
ing that the inevitable condition of the division of
labour, besides the mechanising of man, is also
the removing of those conditions which call forth
a human, moral communion between people. If
we are doing the same work, as agricultural labour-
ers, then naturally there would be established be-
tween us an exchange of service, a mutual aid, but
between the shepherd and the factory-weaver,
there can be no communion.
(This seems untrue; I shall think it over.)
7) What would God's attitude be towards
prayer, if there were such a God to whom one
could pray? Just the same as would be the atti-
tude of the owner of a house where water had been
introduced and to whom the inhabitants would
come to ask for water. The water has been intro-
duced. You have only to turn the tap. In the
same way everything has been prepared for men
which is necessary to them, and God is not at
fault that instead of making use of the clean
water which was there, some of the tenants carry
water from a stagnant pond, others fall into de-
spair from lack of water and beg for that which
had been given them in such abundance.
DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi
9) One can by personal experience verify the
truth, that God, a part of Whom is my own self,
is love, and by the experimental way convince one's
self of this truth. As soon as love is violated,
life ends. There is no desire to do anything,
everything is depressing, and on the contrary, as
soon as love is restored, as soon as you have made
peace with those whom you quarrelled, forgiven,
received forgiveness then you wish to live, to
act, everything seems easy and possible.
10) It would be good to express even in ap-
proximate numbers and then graphically, that
quantity of labour, of working days, which rich
people use up in their lives. Approximately more
or less, this could be expressed by money. If I
spend 10 roubles a day, that means that 20 men
are working constantly for me. (Unclear, not
what I want to say.)
n) They generally say: "That is very deep,
and therefore not to be fully understood." This
is untrue. On the contrary. Everything that is
deep is clear to transparency. Just as water is
murky on top, but the deeper it is, the more trans-
12) One small part of people, about 20 per
cent., is insane by itself, possessed by a mania of
egoism, which reaches to the point of concentra-
tion of all spiritual strengths on oneself; another,
The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1899
the greater part, almost 80 per cent., is hypnotised
by the scientific, by the artistic . . . and princi-
pally . . . hypnotism, and also does not make use
of its reason. Therefore progress in the world is
always attained by the insane possessed by the
same kind of insanity by which the majority is pos-
13) I experience the feeling of peace, of satis-
faction, when I am ill, when there takes place in
me the destruction of the limits of my personality.
As soon as I get well I experience the opposite:
restlessness, dissatisfaction. Are these not obvi-
ous signs that the destruction of the limits of per-
sonality in this world, is the entrance of life into
I have finished.
December ig. Moscow. If I live.
To-day December 20. Moscow.
My health is not good. My spiritual condition
is good, ready for death. In the evenings there
are many people. I tire. In number 5i, 399
Resurrection did not appear and I was sorry.
This is bad.
I thought out a philosophic definition of life.
To-day I thought well about The Coupon. 400
Perhaps I shall write it out.
NOTES TO THE TEXT
BY V. G. CHERTKOV
I. With the words, " I continue," Tolstoi begins a new
note-book of the Journal; this note-book presupposes an-
other which the editors have only in separate fragments.
The previous note-book ended with the following note:
"October 8, 1895, Y. P.
" (I am beginning an entry to-day with just what I
finished two days ago.)
" I have only a short time left to live and I feel terribly
like saying so much: I feel like saying what we can and
must and cannot help believing about the cruelty of
deception which people impose upon themselves; the eco-
nomic, political and religious deception, and about the se-
duction of stupefying oneself wine, and tobacco con-
sidered so innocent; and about marriage and about educa-
tion and about the horrors. . . . Everything has ripened
and I want to speak about it. So that there is no time
for performing those artistic stupidities which I was pre-
pared to do in Resurrection.
" But just now I asked myself: but can I write, know-
ing that no one will read ? And I experienced something
of disappointment; but only for a time; that means that
there was some love of fame in it. But there was also
the principal thing in it the need before God.
" Father, help me to follow the same path of love.
And I thank Thee. From Thee flows everything."
2. In the original, merely the initials of the phrase are
used. Thus Tolstoi would often finish what he had
written during the day with I. I L. (If I live), marking
ahead in this fashion the date of the following day.
3. Countess Sophia Andreevna Tolstoi, born Behrs,
1844, wife of Tolstoi. In the Journal, Tolstoi calls her
S., S. A., or Sonya.
4. " Catechism " Tolstoi called that systematic exposi-
tion of his philosophy in the form of questions and answers
which he had begun about this time. In the text, he calls
this work, The Declaration of Faith, or simply, The Dec-
laration. (See entries December 23, '95, and further.)
In the following year, 1896, Tolstoi abandoning the cate-
chism form, continued and finished the work, which, in
1898, was published under the title Christian Doctrine
by The Free Press (Swobodnoe Slovo} issued by A. and
V. Ghertkov, England, and later in 1905, it appeared
also in Russia.
5. Tolstoi never returned to the continuation and re-
vision of the plot of the story Who is Right? which
had been begun by him about this time, and so it has re-
mained unfinished. The beginning of the story as it was
written by Tolstoi, is printed in his collected works (see
the full collection of works by Tolstoi, edited by P. Biriu-
kov, published by Sytin, 1913).
6. I.e., with Katiusha Maslov and not with Nekhliu-
dov, as the first form of the novel was begun.
7. John C. Kenworthy, an English Methodist minister,
a writer and lecturer, who shared at that time the opinions
of Tolstoi and who founded in England an agricultural
colony composed of his co-thinkers. The author of the
work, Tolstoi, His Life and Works, London, 1902.
There was printed abroad in the Russian Language in the
journal of The Free Press (1899, No. 2, England) his
The Anatomy of Poverty. They were lectures to the
English workingmen on political economy, which struck
Tolstoi favourably and which he included in the manu-
script which was then being issued under the title of
Archives of L. N. Tolstoi, No. II, and to which he even
wrote an introduction. In later life, Kenworthy fell
ill of nervous prostration and was taken to a sanatorium.
8. Albert Shkarvan, a Slav, who shared Tolstoi's
opinions. An army surgeon in the hospital in Kashai
(Hungary), he resigned from this service in February,
1895, for religious reasons, for which he was imprisoned
for four months.
9. The Russian sect of Dukhobors, living in the Cau-
casus in 1895, to the number of several thousand souls,
upon the suggestion of their leader, Peter Vasilevich
Verigin, who was at that time in exile, gave notice to the
authorities that they would no longer take the oath or
serve in military service, and, in a word, would no longer
take any part in governmental violence, and in the night
from the 28th to the 29th of June of that year, burned all
their weapons. Cossacks were sent against them and after
some executions, two hundred were put in prison, many
were exiled from their native land and forced to live
in Armenian, Georgian and Tartar villages in the
Province of Tiflis; about two or three families in a vil-
lage, without land and with the prohibition against inter-
course among themselves. Those Dukhobors who re-
mained in active service and refused to serve, were sent
away to disciplinary regiments. (See Dukhobors, by
P. Biriukov, 1908, publishers, Posrednik; besides there is
much material pertaining to the history and the move-
ment of the Dukhobors printed in various issues of
The Free Press.)
10. The manager of the Moscow Little Theatre, Walts,
used to call on Tolstoi for the purpose of receiving infor-
mation about the staging of his drama, The Power of
11. Ivan Ivanovich Bochkarev (died 1915), former
revolutionary Slavophile who suffered much for his con-
victions. He became acquainted with the group of people
around Tolstoi because of his belief in vegetarianism, to
which he arrived independently of any one. In his per-
sonal conversations with Tolstoi, Bochkarev disputed his
religious convictions, heatedly denying all his religious
metaphysics. At this time he lived near the village of
Ovsiannikovo, six versts from Yasnaya Polyana, on the
estate of Tolstoi's daughter, T. L. Sukhotin.
12. Prince Nicholai Leonidovich Obolensky, the grand-
nephew of Tolstoi later married to Tolstoi's daughter,
13. Maria Alexandrovna Schmidt, an old friend, who
shared Tolstoi's opinions and whose personality and
whole life, Tolstoi esteemed very highly. In the Journal
of February 18, 1909, he wrote, " I never knew and do not
know any woman spiritually higher than Maria Alexan-
drovna." In the eighties, when class-teacher in the Nich-
olaievsky Orphan Asylum in Moscow, Mme. Schmidt
made the acquaintance of the forbidden works of Tolstoi,
upon which she left the asylum and went to live on the
land, and up to her death supported herself by the labours
of her own hand. The last ten years of her life she lived
near the village of Ovsiannikovo, on the estate of T. L.
Sukhotin, procuring her livelihood by the sale of the ber-
ries and vegetables from her own garden and the dairy
products from her cows. She died October 18, 1911.
14. With Bochkarev.
15. Alexander Nikiphorovich Dunaev, an old friend of
the Tolstoi family, later one of the directors of the Mos-
cow Commercial Bank.
1 6. Constantin Nicholaievich Zyabrev, nick-named
" Bieli " (White), a peasant from Yasnaya Polyana, who
was also called by the villagers, " the Blessed." Tolstoi
liked to speak with him. He lived in the greatest pov-
erty and never bothered about the next day. At the time
of the visit, mentioned in the Journal, he was already near
death and soon passed away. Some years before this, Tol-
stoi helped him to rebuild his cabin.
17. Dr. Ivan Romanovich Bazhenov, who lived at this
time in Vladivostok, sent Tolstoi his manuscript essay on
the necessity of calling an ecumenical council and asked his
opinion on this question. In the copy of the Journal at
the disposal of the editors, and perhaps in the original of
the Journal, it was written Bozhanov.
1 8. A letter from G. F. Van-Duyl from Amsterdam.
In the letter of November i8th, Tolstoi answered his let-
ter as follows:
" Once a man has understood and is permeated with the
consciousness that his true happiness, the happiness of his
eternal life, that which is not limited by this world, con-
sists in the fulfilment of the will of God and that against
this will . . . then no consideration can force this man
to act against his true happiness. And if there is an inner
struggle and if, as in that case about which you spoke,
family considerations come out on top, it only serves as
a proof that the true teaching of Christ was not under-
stood and was accepted by him who could not follow it;
this only proves that he wanted to appear as a Christian,
but he was not so in reality."
19. Paul Ivanovich Biriukov, one of Tolstoi's nearest
friends and followers, who later wrote his biography (two
volumes, published by Posrednik, Moscow). Tolstoi
often calls him Posha in the Journal.
20. The editors were unable to discover the title of
21. Maria Vasilievna Siaskov, an amanuensis, who was
employed for many years in the publishing house of Pos-
22. Tatiana Andreevna Kuzminsky (born Behrs), a
sister-in-law of Tolstoi, wife of Senator A. M. Kuzminsky.
23. Konevski, this is the way Tolstoi called the
novel, Resurrection, which he had begun then, the sub-
ject of which he adopted at the end of the eighties from
stories told by the well-known Court-worker, A. Th.
24. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), the great Ger-
man philosopher. Tolstoi evidently read the translation
by Ph. O. Chernigovitz, Aphorisms and Maxims, in two
parts, 1891-1892. Tolstoi, as early as 1869, wrote to A.
A. Fet: " Do you know what the present summer meant
to me? Continual enthusiasm over Schopenhauer and a
pile of spiritual pleasures which I never have experienced
before. . . . Schopenhauer is one of the grestest geniuses
25. That which was noted down in his pocket note-
book Tolstoi had the habit of putting down thoughts
which came to him and which seemed to him important in
a pocket note-book which never left him. Later he copied
the most valuable thoughts into his Journal, revising,
more or less, as he went along. In rewriting from the
note-book Tolstoi often began the entry with these words,
" I have been thinking " or " I have it noted."
26. See Note 4.
27. This essay, entitled Shameful, pointing out the
cruelty and senselessness of corporal punishment which the
law at that time applied to the peasants, was printed with
omissions and alterations in the Russian newspapers and
later abroad in full in Leaflets of The Free Press, No.
IV, England, 1899; later it was printed in The Full
Collected Works of L. N. Tolstoi, published by Sytin,
subscribed and popular editions, volume XVIII.
28. In the Moscow Little Theatre.
29. N, a young artist living in the home of the Tolstois,
after refusing military service on account of religious con-
victions, was placed in the military hosptial in Moscow
in the ward for the diseases of the heart, where he was
visited by Tolstoi. Later, various difficult experiences
and spiritual changes led him to agree to military serv-
ice. . . .
30. Nicholai Alexeievitch Philosophov, father of Count-
ess S. N. Tolstoi, wife of Count I. L. Tolstoi.
31. A. A. Shkarvan sent Tolstoi his letter entitled
" Why It Is Impossible to Serve as a Military Doctor."
Later this letter, in revised form, appeared in his book,
My Resignation from Military Service. Notes of a
Military Doctor. (Published by The Free Press, Eng-
land, 1898, Chapter IV.)
32. Maria Lvovna Tolstoi (1872-1906), second
daughter of Tolstoi, afterwards married to Count N. L.
33. Count Ilya Lvovich Tolstoi (born 1866), second
son of Tolstoi. Has written a book, My Recollections
34. Vladimar Grigorevich Chertkov and his wife, Anna
Constantinovna (born Dieterichs). V. G. Chertkov made
the acquaintance of Tolstoi in 1883. For biographical in-
formation about him see under " Biography of L. N. Tol-
stoy " by P. Biriukov (Volume II, 1913) and also in the
pamphlet, Tolstoi and Chertkov, by P. A. Boulanger
(Moscow, 1911) and in the essay of A. M. Khiriakov:
"Who Is Chertkov?" (Kievski Mysl, 1910, No. 333,
35. Soon Tolstoi began this drama (see entry of Janu-
ary 23, 1896), which he called And Light Lights Up
Darkness. This drama, having to a great extent a bio-
graphic character, portrays the torturing condition of a
man who has gone through an inner religious crisis, and
who lives with his family which, not understanding him,
interferes with his attempts to change his life according
to the truth revealed to him. This was first printed with