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TOLSTOY'S FLIGHT AND DEATH

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like every religious old man desires to devote the last years of his life to God, and not to jokes, games, gossip, or tennis, so I, reaching my seventieth year, with all the strength of my soul am seeking rest, isolation, and, if not absolute harmony, at least not a crying contradiction of my life with my convictions and conscience. If I carried out this plan openly there would be entreaties, disapproval, disputes, complaints, and I might be shaken and not accomplish my end.

"So I pray you all forgive me if my act will grieve you—especially you, Sonya. Consent with good will to my going; do not search for me; do not complain; and do not condemn me.

"If I leave you, it is not a proof that I am dissatisfied with you. I know that you could not—literally could not and cannot—see and feel as I do, and consequently you could not and cannot change your life and make sacrifices for that which you cannot conceive. Therefore I do not blame you, but on the contrary gratefully and lovingly remember the thirty-five years of our life together especially the first part, when you, with your inborn mother's devotion, so energetically and steadfastly followed what you considered your vocation. You have given me and the world what you could give; you gave much motherly love and abnegation, and