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THE LIFE OF TOLSTOY

"'Take life as it is,' they say. 'You have put yourself in that condition.' Well, I take life as I find it; but when man reaches the highest degree of development he sees that all is nonsense, fraud, and that truth, which he nevertheless loves above all, is terrible. When he comes to see this thoroughly and clearly, he starts up and exclaims with terror, like my brother: 'What is that?' Certainly while there exists the desire to know and speak the truth, one endeavours to do so. This is the only thing I preserved from all moral conceptions, and higher I cannot rise. This only I will do in future, but not in the form of your art. Art is a lie, and I can no longer love a beautiful lie."

Recovering somewhat from this heavy blow, Leo Tolstoy continued his foreign tour, studying the systems of elementary education in France, Germany, and England. In London he made the acquaintance of Herzen,[1] and spent with him a whole month in most friendly intimacy.

  1. Alexander Herzen, a brilliant political author and philosopher, was the first Russian political refugee in London, where he started the Russian Free Press. An intimate friend of Mazzini, Proudhon, Kossuth, and others, he was well known also in English political and literary circles. His influence on Russian life is unsurpassed.—Translator.