The temporary peace of the first months of marriage has flown. Into the enchanted circle of love and art which Countess Tolstoy had drawn about him moral scruples begin to intrude.
Even in the early chapters of War and Peace, written one year after marriage, the confidences of Prince Andrei to Pierre upon the subject of marriage denote the disenchantment of the man who sees in the beloved woman the stranger, the innocent enemy, the involuntary obstacle to his moral development. Some letters of 1865 announce the coming return of religious troubles. As yet they are only passing threats, blotting out the joy of life. But during the months of 1869, when Tolstoy was finishing War and Peace, there fell a more serious blow.
He had left his home for a few days to visit a distant estate. One night he was lying in bed; it had just struck two:
"I was dreadfully tired; I was sleepy, and felt comfortable enough. All of a sudden I was seized by such anguish, such terror as I had never felt in all my life. I will tell you about it in detail; it was truly frightful. I leapt from the bed and told them to get the horses ready. While they were putting them in I fell asleep, and when I woke again I was completely recovered. Yesterday the same thing happened, but in a much less degree."
The palace of illusion, so laboriously raised by the love of the wife, was tottering. In the spiritual blank which followed the achievement of War