Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/97

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Although he appeared quite absorbed by educational work, this sphere of activity could not fully satisfy Tolstoy. He was seeking truth—the highest truth—which he could not find. From time to time this struggle for truth became a great, nervous strain. In his "Confession" Tolstoy characterised his state of mind at that time in the following words:

"In the year of the peasants' emancipation I returned to Russia, and taking the post of 'Mediator,' I began to teach illiterate people in the schools and the educated people in the review which I began to publish. The work seemed to go well, but I felt that my mind was not in a normal state, and that a change had to come. Probably already at that time I would have reached that despair in which I was plunged fifteen years later, if there had not existed yet one side of life which hitherto I had never tried, and which promised me salvation—family life.

"During a whole year I was busy as Mediator, with my schools and review, and I was so terribly exhausted, especially because my work had become much invoked. My work as a Mediator was one continuous struggle; my educational activity had become more and more vague; my shifts in my own review were so odious, as they