THE LIFE OF TOLSTOY
consisted in reality of the desire to teach everybody and to hide that I did not know what to teach, that I felt ill rather morally than physically. I left everything and went to the steppes—to the Bashkirs—to breathe the air, to drink Kumiss, and to live an animal's life. Returning from there, I married."
Tolstoy's marriage took place in the most auspicious circumstances. He had already been a long time acquainted with the family of the Court physician Behrs, living in the Kremlin at Moscow. He had known his future wife and her sisters from their childhood, and they had grown up under his eyes.
Passionately in love with the younger sister Sophia, as if afraid of his already mature age, he hurried on the marriage. On 17th September, 1862, he proposed, and on the 23rd of that month was married. After the marriage the young couple went to Yasnaya Polyana, where they were welcomed by the loving aunt and Leo's brother, Sergius. From that date a new and serious period of life began for Tolstoy. He was thirty-four years of age, and his young wife eighteen.