Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/14

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viii

PREFACE

so magical a change in public opinion, especially among the numerous people who, though admiring Tolstoy, never took him quite seriously, thinking that he would be unable himself to carry out the message he preached to others.

The events following his leaving Yasnaya Polyana, and his illness at Astapovo, only increased the deep public interest. His death came as the inevitable epilogue of an act for the continuation of which his strength was not sufficient. It was a majestic conclusion to a great life, which had been one incessant struggle for truth, reason, and love.

This short biographical sketch is an attempt to give the reader a simple enumeration of the chief events of Tolstoy's wonderful life, and an indication of the inner, spiritual development of his great soul.

P. BIRUKOFF.

St. Petersburg, 1528 April, 1911.