Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/33

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my childhood the moral joy of love. Not by words, but by her whole being she imbued me with love. I saw, I felt, how happy she was in loving, and I understood the joy of love. That was the first lesson. The second is that she taught me the beauty of a quiet, lonely life."

Another person who had a strong and good influence on his childhood was his elder brother, Nicolas. In the following words Tolstoy speaks of this elder brother and the childish games he was in the habit of inventing for his younger brothers:

"Nicolas was six years older than I. He must have been between ten and eleven years, and I between four and five, when he was leading us to 'Fanfaron Hill.' I do not know how it happened, but we children used to address him with: 'you.'[1] He was a remarkable boy and, later, a remarkable man. Turgenef quite correctly observed that he only lacked the imperfections necessary for the making of an author. He did not possess the principal and necessary defect—vanity; he was not at all interested in what people thought of him. But the qualities of an author which he did possess were a refined,

  1. In Russian, as in French, in familiar language "thou" is used.—Translator.