Page:Rolland Life of Tolstoy.djvu/87

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CHAPTER VIII

MARRIAGE

At first he rejoiced in the new life, with the passion which he brought to everything.[1] The personal influence of Countess Tolstoy was a godsend to his art. Greatly gifted[2] in a literary sense, she was, as she says, “a true author's wife,” so keenly did she take her husband's work to heart. She worked with him worked to his dictation; re-copied his rough drafts.[3] She sought to protect him from his religious daemon, that formidable genie which was already, at moments, whispering words that meant the death of art. She tried to shut the door upon all social Utopias.[4] She requickened her husband's creative genius. She did more: she brought as an offering to that genius the wealth of a fresh feminine temperament. With the exception of the charming

  1. “Domestic happiness completely absorbs me” (January 5, 1863). “I am so happy I so happy! I love her so!” (February 8, 1863). See Vie et Œuvre.
  2. She had written several novels.
  3. It is said that she copied War and Peace seven times.
  4. Directly after his marriage Tolstoy suspended his work of teaching, his review, and his school.