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DEATH OF HIS BROTHER NICOLAS

51

versts distance, as if my word could be of any help. . . . If he has not yet started, he never will. . . . That is how Fate breaks all of us."

At first Soden seemed to do Nicolas good, but later the news became less and less comforting. Then, in order to take the place of his brother Sergius, Tolstoy went to Soden with his married sister, Marie, and her two little daughters.

They travelled by steamer from St. Petersburg to Stettin, and from there by Berlin to Soden. The sister went straight to Soden, but Tolstoy stayed a few days in Berlin to see the town, and attended a few lectures of the famous professors Dubois-Raymond, Dreusen, and others. Afterwards he visited Dresden and the well-known novelist Auerbach, who was very much respected by Tolstoy for his sketches of popular life. But especially, wherever he got the chance, Tolstoy visited schools. The idea to start a school of his own had already taken deep root in his mind, and he never missed an opportunity in Europe to study elementary education and to visit schools. But German schools did not satisfy him. In his diary he gives the following impression of the Saxon schools:

"I was in a school. Awful. Prayer for the