on the Khodinka field, the reports of which pro-
duced a strong impression on Tolstoi.
In October of this same year, two Japanese
1 The compilation of facts concerning the important events in
Tolstoi's life were not only made from his Journal but from
letters to various individuals.
came to Tolstoi, whose visit was both interesting
and pleasant for him.
In February, 1897, several friends of Tolstoi
were subjected to governmental prosecution for
their intercession in behalf of the persecuted Duk-
hobors: P. I. Biriukov was exiled to the city of
Bausk in Courland, V. G. Chertkov was exiled
abroad and 1. M. Tregubov some time later was
exiled to Goldingen in Courland.
In February of that year there was the tragedy
of an acquaintance of Tolstoi; Miss M. F. Vietrov
burning herself, who had been imprisoned in the
Fortress of Peter and Paul.
In July of that year Tolstoi's daughter, Maria
Lvovna, who stood especially near to him, was
married to Prince N. L. Obolensky.
In September, P. A. Boulanger, a friend, was
exiled abroad for his activity in behalf of the Duk-
At the end of October the noted American
writer, Henry George, died, whose works and
whose personality Tolstoi valued very highly.
In November Dr. D. P. Makovitsky, a follower
of Tolstoi, came for a short visit from Hungary;
later becoming a close friend, he remained with
Tolstoi uninterruptedly until the latter's death.
In December, Tolstoi received several anony-
mous letters with threats of assassination.
In February, 1898, the Dukhobors received per-
mission to emigrate from Russia, which Tolstoi
for two years had worked hard to accomplish. In
April of that year the Moscow merchant, I. P.
Brashnin, a follower of Tolstoi, died.
In April and May there was famine in several
districts of Tula, and Tolstoi occupied himself
energetically for some time to aid the famine-
stricken. He established soup-kitchens, collected
In May of that year, the Russkia Viedomosti
was suppressed for collecting funds in behalf of
In July, Tolstoi decided to finish his novel, Res-
urrection, " so that it could be published for the
benefit of the Dukhobors."
In October, the Dukhobor, V. N. Pozdniakov,
visited Tolstoi, coming secretly from his exile in
Yakutsk to the Caucasus to see his co-religionists
before their emigration to America.
In this same month the peasant, T. M. Bon-
darev, died, who had lived many years in exile in
Siberia, for whose book on The Labor for" Bread
Tolstoi wrote a preface, and with whom he cor-
responded. Tolstoi only learned of his death in
In 1899 there were almost no external events.
In November of that year, Tolstoi's eldest
daughter, Tatiana Lvovna, was married to N. S.
THE PLACES THAT TOLSTOI LIVED IN AND VISITED
Between 1896-1899 Tolstoi lived principally in
Yasnaya Polyana. There he generally not only
spent most of the summer, but often all of autumn
and sometimes even up to January. In Moscow,
he generally spent the winter months from No-
vember or December until April and sometimes
until May. Besides this, for short periods, Tol-
stoi would go to other places. Thus, in August,
1896, he visited his sister, the nun, Countess M. N.
Tolstoi, living in the convent of Shamordino. At
times during these years he visited his brother,
Count S. N. Tolstoi, who lived on his estate in
Pirogovo in the province of Tula (in May, July
and October, 1896, in November, 1897, in August
anr November, 1898, and in May, 1899).
Besides this, from February to March, 1896,
and from February to March, 1897, he visited his
friends, the Olsuphievs, on their estate, Nichol-
skoe, near Moscow; once he spent two weeks with
them, another time a whole month with an inter-
ruption. The interruption was caused by his sud-
den trip to Petrograd (in February, 1897) to take
leave of his friends, Chertkov and Biriukov, who
v/ere being exiled.
At the end of 1897, Tolstoi visited the village
Dolgoe, and saw the house in which he was born
and in which he spent his childhood and boyhood
and which in the fifties was sold to be transferred
to this village.
The month of May of 1898, Tolstoi spent in
Grinevka, the estate of his son, Count I. L. Tolstoi.
While living there, he took charge of the aid to the
famine-stricken. From Grinevka he went by
horse to visit his friend, the landlord, Levitsky,
where he fell seriously ill and spent ten days.
WHAT TOLSTOI WROTE
From the period of November, 1895, to 1899
Tolstoi worked on the following manuscripts : l
1. The novel Resurrection (November, 1895-
February, 1896, January February, 1897, July-
December, 1898, and all of 1899).
2. The drama The Light That Shines in Dark-
ness (December, 1895 planned it; January-
April, 1896; October, 1896, and July-August,
1 897 planned it) .
3. The novel Hadji Murad (September, 1896;
March April, 1897 planned it; September,
4. The story Father Sergius (June, 1898;
August, 1898 planned it). Besides this, there
are indications that he planned during this period :
5. The story Who is Right? (November,
6. Notes of a Madman (December, 1896, Jan-
7. The drama The Living Corpse (December,
8. The novel The Forged Coupon (June, 1898,
1 This list has been compiled not only from Tolstoi's Journal,
but from other sources. As far as can be judged from the
Journal, Tolstoi during some months, while busied with the
revision of some one of his manuscripts, would at the same time
not write but only consider some other bit of work; this kind
of creative work is noted in the list as " planned."
1. The Christian Doctrine (November-Decem-
ber, 1895, May- July, September-December,
2. Shameful (December, 1895).
3. A Letter to the Italians (About the Abyssin-
ians, unfinished, March- April, 1896).
4. What Is Art? (May- July, 1896 planned
it; November, i896-April, 1897, July, 1897-
5. How To Read the Gospels and in What Is
Their Essence (July, 1896).
6. The Beginning of the End (September-
7. On War (unfinished November-Decem-
8. The Appendix to The Appeal, by P. Biriu-
kov, I. Tregubov and V. G. Chertkov Help!
9. The Appeal (unfinished, January- April,
1897, September, i897-April, 1898 planned it;
May- July, 1898).
10. Preface to the essay by Edward Carpenter,
Contemporary Science (October, i897-February,
ii. Preface to the English edition of What Is
Art? (April, 1898).
12. Carthago delenda est (April, 1898).
13. Is There Famine or No Famine ? (May-
14. Two Wars (August, 1898).
(Those important according to volume and
1. To P. V. Verigin (on the harm and benefit
of printing). November 21, 1895.
2. John Mason ("Patriotism and Peace").
3. Ernest Crosby ("On Non-resistance").
December, i895~February, 1896.
4. To M. A. Sopotsko ("On the Church De-
ception"). March 16, 1896.
5. To the Ministers of Justice and the Interior
(on the subject of the arrest of Mme. M. N.
Kholevinsky) . April 20, 1896.
6. To Madame A. M. Kalmikov ("A Letter
to the Liberals "). August-September, 1896.
7. To E. Schmidt (" To the editor of a German
paper"). October 12, 1896.
8. To P. V. Verigin (an answer to the objec-
tions to printing). October 14, 1896.
9. To the commander of the Irkutsk Disci-
plinary Battalion (on the refusal of P. Olkhovik
and C. Sereda from military service). October
10. To the Commander of the Ekaterinograd
Disciplinary Battalion (on the refusal of the Duk-
hobors from military service). November i,
11. To the Countess S. A. Tolstoi (on leaving
Yasnaya Polyana). July 8, 1897.
1 All these letters have been printed, if not in Russia then
abroad ; in those instances where a letter has been printed under
a definite title, that title is enclosed in quotation marks.
12. To the Swedish papers (with the sugges-
tion that the Nobel prize be awarded to the Duk-
hobors). August-September, 1897.
13. To the Emperor (about the Molokans).
14. To the Peterburgskaia Vledomosti (about
the Molokans). October, 1897.
1 6. To the Russkia Viedomosti (about aid for
the famine-stricken). February 21, 1898.
1 6. To G. H. Gibson of the American
colony Georgia (on agricultural communities).
17. To the Russian papers (on the Dukho-
bors). March 20, 1898.
1 8. To the English papers (on the Dukho-
bors). March 18, 1898.
19. To N ( " A letter to an officer " ) . Decem-
ber, i898-January, 1899.
20. To the Swedish Group (on the means for
attaining universal peace). January-February,
21. To Prince G. M. Volkonsky ("On the
Transvaal War "). December 4, 1899.
22. To A. I. Dvoriansky (" On religious edu-
cation"). December 13, 1899.
(Mentioned in the Journal) 1
1. "On Religious Education" (February 13,
1896, in answer to a letter of V. S. Grinevich) .
2. " The story of what a man lives through in
1 In parentheses I have given the dates in which he mentions
the theme and the final title of the theme as it was developed.
this life who committed suicide in a past life "
(February 13, 1896).
3. "Pictures of Samara life: the steppe, the
struggle between the nomadic patriarchal prin-
ciple and the agricultural culture " (June 19,
4. "Hadji Murad" (July 19, 1896, under the
5. " Suicide of the old man, Persianinov " (Sep-
tember 14, 1896).
6. " The substitution of a child in an orphan
asylum" (September 14, 1896).
7. " A wife's deception of her passionate, jeal-
ous husband: his suffering, struggle and the enjoy-
ment of forgiveness " (November 22, 1896).
8. "A description of the oppression of the serfs
and later the same oppression through land owner-
ship, or rather, the being deprived of it " (Novem-
ber 22, 1896).
9. "Notes of a madman" (December 26,
10. " The theme : A passionate young man in
love with a mentally diseased woman " (July 16,
u. The theme " In pendant to Hadji Murad " :
" Another Russian outlaw, Grigori Nicholaev "
. . . (November 14, 1897).
12. " Sergius " (December 13, 1897, "Father
13. "Alexander I" (December 13, 1897,
" Posthumous notes of the monk, Fedor Kuz-
14. " Persianninov " (December 13, 1897).
15. "The story of Petrovich a man who
died a pilgrim" (December 13, 1897, " Korin
1 6. " The legend of the descent of Christ into
Hell and the resurrection of Hell " (December 13,
1897, "The resurrection of Hell and its destruc-
17. "The Forged Coupon" (December 13,
1897, under the same title).
18. "A substituted child" (December 13,
19. "The drama of the Christian resurrec-
tion" (December 13, 1897).
20. " Resurrection the trial of a prostitute "
(December 13, 1897, Resurrection).
21. "An outlaw killing the defenceless " (De-
cember 13, 1897.
22. "Mother" (December 13, 1897).
23. " An execution in Odessa " (December 13,
1897, Divine and human).
24. " A bit of fiction, in which would be clearly
expressed the flowing quality of man : that he, one
and the same man, is now an evil-doer, now an
angel, now a wise man, now an idiot, now a strong
man, now the most impotent being" (March 21,
25. " Everything depends, to what one directs,
one's consciousness " (November 14, 1898).
26. " On why the people are corrupted "
(November 25, 1898).
REFLECTIONS ON TOLSTOl's THOUGHTS IN THE
Besides the above mentioned literary labours of
Tolstoi, his thought life ought to be mentioned
which at first found expression in his note-book and
from which later he would transcribe those
thoughts into his Journal which appeared to him
valuable. These thoughts were sometimes, as we
say, absolutely accidental, sometimes they were
called forth by conversations with various people
and sometimes they were the responses to outer
events. The greater part of them came in connec-
tion with some work on hand or one which he was
planning, or were for some inner clarification or
spiritual discussion of problems which, above all,
agitated and interested him.
Of the thoughts which came in connection with
his works on hand from 1896 to 1899, a sufficiently
important number can be pointed out as auxiliary
thoughts for the thinking over and working out
of his " Catechism " (or the " Christian Doc-
trine") ; such were a number of thoughts about
faith, Christian doctrine, sin, etc. A great num-
ber of thoughts on art appeared in connection with
his contemplated work, What Is Art? On the
conclusion of this work there are almost no
thoughts on art in the Journal. Many thoughts
were entered for The Appeal, i. e., for the pur-
pose of including them in the contemplated manu-
script but which was never finished in that form.
Rarely, thoughts are met in the Journal which are
in connection with his work on some literary
Besides the thoughts which appeared in connec-
tion with his writings, one meets in the Journal, as
was said above, such thoughts which appeared dur-
ing the period of intense clarification of the various
problems of his personal and family life. In con-
nection with the observations which he lived
through and experienced, Tolstoi quite often
wrote down his own spiritual state, his personal
sufferings and the right attitude that he should
take towards them.
At one time, he was occupied especially with the
problem of the philosophic definition of time and
space and he wrote down his thoughts on this
theme quite often. At another time, he was in-
terested in the problem of error, of whether the
outer world was such as it appeared. Quite often
he noted his thoughts on the themes : On God, on
the meaning of life, on the difference between the
spiritual and the animal life, on reason, on prayer.
Quite often, at this time, thoughts came to him
about the given work of God, about service to
God, about love in general and about love towards
enemies in particular.
Besides this, there are scattered in the whole
Journal for the four mentioned years, various
thoughts on the sex-problem on falling in love,
on women, on marriage and also quite a number
of thoughts on illness, on death, on the unjust life
of the rich, on memory and on many other subjects.
Sometimes one finds thoughts in the Journal which
appear in connection with the books that he was
reading; for instance, there are several thoughts
called forth by the reading of the philosophic
works of Schopenhauer and Spier. The fact that
there are few notes in the Journal about the books
that had been read or were being read is, of course,
no sign that Tolstoi read little. It is sufficient
to open his book, What Is Art, to convince oneself
as to the enormous amount of books that were
read and studied by Tolstoi on the one theme of
art alone for this work; nevertheless, there are
very few of them mentioned in the Journal.
SOME FEATURES FROM THE SPIRITUAL DOMAIN OF
TOLSTOI'S LIFE 1
In due time, when absolutely all Tolstoi's Jour-
nals and letters and all his writings which have not
yet appeared will be printed, and also when all the
unused material about him, that literary inherit-
ance in all its enormous volume, will be made use
of, then it will be possible to carefully study the
great process of the growth of Tolstoi's soul. At
the present moment, when a great number of Tol-
stoi's writings and the reminiscences about him are
not yet published, it is impossible to really pene-
trate the whole depth and breadth of Tolstoi's
spirit. At present, it is only possible to throw
light on the general characteristics of several sepa-
1 1 consider it absolutely necessary to mention that this ex-
position has been carefully revised by V. _G. Chertkov, who, hav-
ing been connected with Tolstoi by a friendship of many years,
was closely acquainted with the home conditions of his outer
life, as well as with the most intimate characteristic of his
rate sides of his inner life, in one or several of its
Therefore, this short sketch of Tolstoi's life at
the end of the nineties, which deals not only with
his outer but with his inner life, does in no way in-
tend to give an exhaustive exposition of his varied
and complicated spiritual states. In the descrip-
tion which is here placed of several features of
Tolstoi's spiritual life, the principal attention is
given to that state, which for over three years al-
most constantly dominated Tolstoi, in connection
with one of the most lasting and torturing periods
of intense spiritual suffering in the domain of his
domestic life. Such periods happened to Tolstoi
even before, in the seventies and in the eighties and
in the very last years of his life.
Of course, the description of only one feature of
Tolstoi's inner life, cannot be an indication that
he had not other kinds of spiritual states, not con-
nected with his home life. The numerous and ex-
tensive entries in the Journal testify that Tolstoi
often experienced states of high religious exalta-
tion and of intimate spiritual union and fusion with
God, as well as states of the earnest seeking of the
path towards perfection, flowing from a sharp
discontent with himself and a repentance for his
errors and weaknesses (quite often the states were
called forth by spiritual suffering) . In this sketch
are emphasised and brought forth the logical con-
nection of at least one most torturing feature of
his inner life, which is reflected in disconnected
brilliant entries in his Journal features which
show the cross that he bore for the last thirty years
of his life. The time has not yet come for a full
description of all the sides and conditions of Tol-
stoi's life, and therefore the intimate places have
been omitted in the present edition of the Journal.
In consequence, the reader will not find an ex-
haustive description in these chapters of the per-
sonal life of Tolstoi which is connected with his
From 1895 to 1899 Tolstoi lived through much
spiritual suffering and struggle, and during this
time he was ill quite often. If one carefully fol-
lowed all the entries in the Journal, then it would
clearly be seen that almost all his severe illnesses
came after depressing inner experiences.
With the strength of his deep religiousness, Tol-
stoi invariably strove to use, in the best spiritual
sense, all the trials which were given to him as his
lot, physical as well as spiritual, and through in-
tense inner labour he generally at the end succeeded
in converting all his sufferings, to use his own lan-
guage, to the joy of fulfilling the will of God.
At the end of 1895, Tolstoi was earnestly occu-
pied with the plot of his drama, The Light that
Shines in Darkness; this plot agitated him so that
he even dreamed of it and he raved about it in
his sleep. This can be easily understood in view
of the fact that there are many autobiographic ele-
ments in this drama.
And so he wrote in the Journal that he " lived
through much," in reading over, at the request of
his wife, his journals for the past seven years. 1
1 November 5, 1895, page 5.
At the same time, Tolstoi complains several
times in his Journal of his general indisposition, of
his weakness, and of his lack of energy.
In the course of the three years, from 1896 to
1898, Tolstoi often experienced a fall of spirit,
strong attacks of sorrow and torturing agony.
The greatest part of his suffering was caused by
the lack of understanding of several people near to
him, either for his point of view or for his inner
life, 1 and because of the " emptiness of his sur-
rounding life." 2
He even felt " hatred " for himself 3 and he was
burdened by his part in the " unjust, idle, luxuri-
ous 4 life." But here the thought would come to
him that he had to suffer humiliation, 5 and at
times he created supplementary thoughts, which in
fun he called " prescriptions " for his spiritual suf-
On December 2, 1896, Tolstoi wrote in his Jour-
nal: " This is my condition . . . oh, this luxury,
this richness, this absence of care about the mate-
rial life! . . ."
The thought that this indeed was his task, given
to him, had a calming effect. He tried to look on
the conditions in which he was placed as upon a test
of humbleness, " humiliation." But " in chains,
in a prison, one can pride oneself on one's humilia-
tion " he wrote " but here it is only painful,
1 May 17, 1896, page 46.
2 May 28, 1896, page 52.
3 June 26, 1896, page 60.
4 June 19, 1896, page 58.
5 July 31, 1896, page 69.
6 October 20, 1896, page 83; November 5, page 88, and Novem-
ber 20, 1897, page 171.
unless one accepts it as a trial sent by God." l
The calm state which was created through the in-
fluence of these thoughts was only short-lived.
His heart began soon again to pain and he " wants
to cry over himself, over the remnant of his life
which is being futilely ruined." 2
His surrounding life 3 which tortured him
called forth long periods of agony, dejection and
fall of spirits. But with the thoughts about love
towards enemies, 4 there came to him the urge to
look upon his work, as the work of love which was
given to him, and again peace possessed him, " be-
cause a loving one." 5 But soon again this peace
became principally an outer one, and within him-
self he again wavered. 6 Again he is " ashamed
and depressed because of the consciousness of the
lawlessness of his life." 7
After a month, he makes an entry in his Journal,
but tears it out, putting only the words, " A bad
and sterile month " and adds, " Have torn out,
burned, what I have written in heat." 8 Then for
a long time he wrote nothing, and during this time
he " lived through much that was difficult and
good." 9 On the 8th of July he wrote his
very famous letter to his wife, which she received
after his death, 10 which began with the words, " It
'December 20, 1896, page 108.
2 December 21, 1896, page 108.
'January 18, 1897, page 117.
4 March i, 1897, page 135.
5 March 9, 1897, page 404.
6 April 4 and 9, 1897, page 137.
'April 4, 1897, page 137.
8 May 3, 1897, page 139-
8 July 16, 1897, page 140.
10 This letter was published in many editions among others in
is already a long time that I am tortured by the
lack of harmony between my life and my beliefs "
and in which further on he wrote about his de-
cision to do that which " he had wanted to do for
a long time: to go away." But no matter how
difficult the conditions of his family life were at
this time, they were not yet sufficiently ripe to bring
him over to a definite decision to leave his family,
and to fulfil his ancient dream of life in more sim-
ple conditions among working people. And in
view of the fact that he decided to change his de-
cision, he gave the above-mentioned letter for safe-
keeping to his son-in-law, Prince N. L. Obolensky,
with the request to give it to the one designated,
when he was no longer among the living. Al-
though Tolstoi remained this time in Yasnaya
Polyana, his life among master-class conditions did
not cease to burden him even for a short time,
and he felt himself alone, 1 he often experienced
sorrow as before, and in spirit he felt " solemn,"
" gloomy." 2
At the end of that year (1897), he wrote the
thought in his Journal, of the tragedy of the situa-
tion of " a man kindly disposed wishing only the
good " but who in return meets only " hissing mal-
ice and the hatred of people." 3 And soon again
he writes in his Journal that he is in an agonised,
sad, crushed state, 4 which, however, he is trying to
the Letters of Tolstoi to his Wife, Moscow, 1913, pages 524-526.
1 July 1 6, 1897, page 140.
2 July 17, page 142; October 22, page 162; November 28,
page 176, and further.
3 November 28, 1897, page 177.
4 December 2, 1897, page 177.
fight off with all his strength. (" The house is de-
pressing but I want to and will be joyous." 1 )
But this inner struggle in spiritual isolation was of
course not easy, and demanded great spiritual
strength before it could be fully successful. He
was constantly tortured by the injustice of his sur-
rounding life and his own almost futile situation