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THE LIFE OF TOLSTOY

non-existence of which there will be no remembrance expressible in words? . . . From a five-year-old child to my present self is only a step; from a new-born infant to a five-year-old child the distance is enormous; from an embryo to a newborn it is immeasurable; but between non-existence and the embryonic state the distance is not only immeasurable but also inconceivable."

In Leo Tolstoy's first clear recollections he saw himself playing with his nurse, Yeremeëvna, and the German male nurse, Theodore Ressel, described in "Childhood" under the name of Carl Mauer. Further, there was Tatiana Yergolsky, a distant relative of the family, but called by them "Auntie," and to Tolstoy the dearest person in the world. According to his own words, after his father and mother, she had the greatest influence on his life.

She was a gentle, loving woman, but at the same time of a strong, decisive character. To Leo Tolstoy she was a second mother. With the exception of a few years which he spent in Kazan and in the Caucasus, they passed their lives together under the same roof of Yasnaya Polyana, where she died in 1875. Tolstoy describes her beneficent power over him in the following words:

"Aunt Tatiana had the greatest influence on my life. It was she who taught me while yet in