Page:Rolland Life of Tolstoy.djvu/54

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whose realisation I feel capable of devoting my whole life. This idea is the foundation of a new religion; the religion of the Christ, but purified of dogmas and mysteries. . . . To act with a clear conscience, in order to unite men by means of religion."[1]

This was to be the programme of his old age.

However, to distract himself from the spectacles which surrounded him, he began once more to write. How could he, amidst that hail of lead, find the necessary freedom of mind for the writing of the third part of his memories: Youth? The book is chaotic; and we may attribute to the conditions of its production a quality of disorder, and at times a certain dryness of abstract analysis, which is increased by divisions and subdivisions after the manner of Stendhal.[2] Yet we admire his calm penetration of the mist of dreams and inchoate ideas which crowd a young brain. His work is extraordinarily true to itself, and at moments what poetic freshness!—as in the vivid picture of springtime in the city, or the tale of the confession, and the journey to the convent, on

  1. Journal.
  2. We notice this manner also in The Woodcutters, which was completed at the same period. For example: "There are three kinds of love: 1. æsthetic love; 2. devoted love; 3. active love," &c. (Youth). "There are three kinds of soldiers: 1. the docile and subordinate; 2. the authoritative; 3. the boasters—who themselves are subdivided into: (a) The docile who are cool and lethargic; (b) those who are earnestly docile; (c') docile soldiers who drink," &c. (The Woodcutters).