Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/72

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44

THE LIFE OF TOLSTOY

tically on its azure surface; and the outspread sails, scattered about the lake, appeared motionless.

"It is wonderful! I lived in Clarens two full months, and every time at morning, but especially towards evening, that I opened the shutters of my windows, then already in the shade, looking on the lake and on the distant mountains reflected in the water, the beauty blinded me and acted instantly on me with unexpected strength. I felt a sudden desire to love, even myself. I regretted the past, was hopeful for the future. Life appeared joyous, and I wished to live long, very long; and the idea of death began to assume a childish, poetic terror. Sometimes, sitting alone in the little, shady garden, and gazing, gazing on the lake and its shores, I seemed to feel the physical sensation as of beauty pouring through my eyes into my soul."

Having fully enjoyed the loveliness of the Lake of Geneva, Tolstoy set forth to see more of the country. At first he walked through the mountains; afterwards he crossed the Oberland on horseback to Lucerne, that wonderful corner of Switzerland, establishing himself at the best hotel, the Schweizerhof, then crowded with tourists, mostly English.

Full of charming impressions of the Swiss mountains and nature, he could not bear the