Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/205

This page has been validated.



peasants, heightened the impression. At the head of the cortege were two peasants, bearing an improvised banner of coarse linen, attached to two birch poles, with the inscription:

The Memory of your Good Deeds will not
die amongst us.

Orphaned Peasants of Yasnaya Polyana.

The coffin was brought home to Yasnaya Polyana, and placed in a room on the ground floor. It was left open, and a vast number of people filed past to gaze once again, and for the last time, on the great teacher's beloved features.

To the singing of funeral hymns the body was carried out by Tolstoy's sons. The assembled people knelt as it passed. Through the garden, through the wood, the coffin was carried, to the small ravine at the edge of the wood where, near the road, the grave had been prepared. On this spot, according to Leo Tolstoy, his brother Nicolas had buried the imaginary green wand on which was inscribed the way to make men happy. With contented, happy thoughts the great teacher of life had passed into eternity, and beside that symbol of universal happiness he had desired to be buried.