Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/204

This page has been validated.



letters, sometimes joked, and sometimes, impressed by the solemnity of the moment, uttered words of deep wisdom. His diary, kept till four days before his death, ends with the words:

"Also my plan, fais ce que doit, adv——[1] All is for the best, for others, and especially for myself."

During the last days he more than once repeated: "All is well . . . all is simple and well . . . well . . . yes, yes."

His death was so calm and peaceful that it actually had a tranquillising effect on those around him. After successive hours of heavy respiration, the breathing grew suddenly light and easy. A few minutes later this light breathing also ceased. There was an interval of absolute silence—no efforts, no struggle. Then two scarcely audible, deep, long-drawn sighs . . .

On November 22nd the body was conveyed to the Saseka railway station, where it was met by a group of relations and near friends and a large crowd—mostly peasants, students, and deputations from Moscow.

The imposing simplicity of the funeral made a touching and exalting impression. The chanting of the "De Profundis" by the many thousands following the rude coffin, which was borne by

  1. Fais ce que doit, advienne que pourra.