THE LIFE OF TOLSTOY
as if—Nature and the moon and I—we all were one."
Dissatisfied with university studies, Tolstoy, taking advantage of the first opportunity that presented itself—the completion of his brother Nicolas' university career—threw up his own studies and went with him to Yasnaya Polyana.
There he did not remain long. The cruel conditions surrounding serfdom, which Tolstoy already felt deeply in his soul, did not permit him to show his sincere sympathy. He was not in circumstances to become a philanthropist for slaves. He described such an unsuccessful attempt in a novelette, entitled, "A Morning of a Landowner." Then he went to St. Petersburg, one may say, to seek happiness. This was the stormiest and the most passionate period of his life. At one moment he intended to travel abroad, at another prepared himself for the university examination, then again proposed to enter on a military career. He played at cards, made debts, was attracted by gipsy singers, and generally was leading an irregular life. And all this was interrupted by gloomy, but very beneficent, moments of consciousness of his moral degradation.
In his diary of that time we find the following lines: