Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/66

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Turgenef, who quite changed his usual order of life to give greater comfort to his beloved guest, and even would speak in a subdued voice so as not to awaken the sleeping Tolstoy. Soon he discovered that this infant whom he had taken in charge had long ago outgrown its swaddling-clothes, stood on its own legs, and even began to attack. Turgenef then regretfully, but kindly, withdrew to a certain respectful distance, and at that distance he continued, during his whole life, to admire Tolstoy's talents and to criticise what he used to call his "eccentricities."

Of all the members of the staff of the Sovremennik Tolstoy entered into intimate friendly connections with the poet Fet only—an intimacy which lasted many years.

Tolstoy had resigned his commission in order to get out of military circles, which did not suit him. The resignation was accepted in November, 1856, and he immediately prepared for a foreign tour. Before his departure he went to Yasnaya Polyana, where he had some romantic entanglement. From letters to his relatives, it is clear that Tolstoy had for some time been preoccupied by the thought of his lonely, unsettled life. He was longing for the quiet harbour of family happiness, and suddenly he began to feel a tender attachment to Valérie