Page:Rolland Life of Tolstoy.djvu/223

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CHAPTER XVII

OLD AGE

His face had taken on definite lines; had become as it will remain in the memory of men: the large countenance, crossed by the arch of a double furrow; the white, bristling eyebrows; the patriarchal beard, recalling that of the Moses of Dijon. The aged face was gentler and softer; it bore the traces of illness, of sorrow, of disappointment, and of affectionate kindness. What a change from the almost animal brutality of the same face at twenty, and the heavy rigidity of the soldier of Sebastopol! But the eyes have always the same profound fixity, the same look of loyalty, which hides nothing and from which nothing is hidden.

Nine years before his death, in his reply to the Holy Synod (April 17, 1901) Tolstoy had said:

“I owe it to my faith to live in peace and gladness, and to be able also, in peace and gladness, to travel on towards death.”

Reading this I am reminded of the ancient saying: “that we should call no man happy until he is dead.”