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TOLSTOY'S FORBEARS

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place at his country-seat; but this mode of life ended in the large property of his wife becoming so heavily mortgaged that the pair had nothing to live on, and Count Eliah was obliged to solicit the post of governor of the Kazan province, which he obtained. His wife, the grandmother of Leo Tolstoy, born Princess Pelagie Gorchakoff, had received only a superficial education, but nevertheless she spoke French better than Russian. She was generally a much-spoilt woman.

The ancestors on Tolstoy's mother's side, the Princes Volkonsky, trace their origin to Rurik. At the beginning of the fourteenth century Prince John, of the thirteenth generation from Rurik, received the fief of Volkonsky, situated on the River Volkonka, in the present province of Kaluga and Tula, and from him the family of Volkonsky is descended. Leo Tolstoy's maternal grandfather, Prince Nicolas Volkonsky, after an eventful career in the service of the State, resigned, married Princess Catherine Trubetskoy, and settled in Yasnaya Polyana, inherited from his father. In his memoirs Tolstoy says of him:

"Princess Catherine died early and left him an only daughter, Marie. With this much-loved daughter and her French companion, my grand-