Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/160

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116

THE LIFE OF TOLSTOY

Russian Stundis community, in which the texts of the gospels had been quoted from Tolstoy's edition, and the whole catechism was in accordance with his conception of Christianity. Thus the light he had kindled began to shine over a world thirsting for love and truth.

Towards the end of the 'eighties, the bitterness of Tolstoy's relations with his family and surroundings, and especially with his former aristocratic friends, gradually lessened, and his spiritual life began to be serene and tranquil. On October 5th, 1887, he celebrated his silver wedding in the seclusion of his family circle.

His works were always highly appreciated by the best of the Russian painters. As early as 1873, Kramskoy had painted his portrait, which may be considered the best for its resemblance and expression. In 1882, the radical painter, N. Gay, first visited Tolstoy and became his friend and follower. This passionate, impressionable, and at the same time kind and ingenuous, man was whole-heartedly attached to the great Russian reformer, and remained so till his death. He often stayed at the latter's house, and Tolstoy in his turn frequently visited Gay on his small estate in the Chernigov province; besides which they maintained a steady correspondence. In 1884