Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/47

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CHILDHOOD, BOYHOOD, YOUTH

25

"I am living like a beast, though not entirely depraved; my studies are nearly all abandoned, and spiritually I am very low."

A part of that period Tolstoy spent in Moscow, but there also his life was no better.

During these stormy, worldly pleasures—gambling, attacks of sensuality, passion for hunting—suddenly a period of religious humility akin to asceticism set in. And in this dark background shone, like glittering sparks, the first attempts at artistic creation.

An end came to this changeable, dangerous period of his life upon his unexpected journey to the Caucasus.