Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/56

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32

THE LIFE OF TOLSTOY

not, and even did not know how to, ask. I thanked Him, but not with words or thoughts. In one feeling I united all—prayer and thankfulness. Every sense of fear had vanished. From this general feeling I could not distinguish faith, love, and hope. No; the feeling I experienced yesterday was love of God, the highest love, uniting in itself all that is good, rejecting all that is evil. How dreadful it was for me to consider the trivial, vicious side of life. I could not understand how it could have attracted me. With what a pure heart I prayed to God to accept me in his bosom. I did not feel my flesh, I was—no, the carnal, petty part again asserted itself, and in less than one hour I heard consciously the voice of sin, of vanity, and of the whole empty side of life. I knew whence this voice came, and that it had destroyed my bliss. I struggled, but yielded.

"I fell asleep dreaming of fame, of women; but that is not my fault—I could not help it.

"Eternal bliss is impossible on earth. Suffering is necessary. Why? I do not know. And how dare I say 'I do not know'? How dared I think that the ways of Providence were known? But Providence is the origin of reason, and reason tries to understand. Reason is losing itself in the depth of wisdom, whilst emotion is afraid of