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46

THE LIFE OF TOLSTOY

of these contradictions. Only to thee, worthless worm, impudently, lawlessly trying to penetrate His laws. His intentions, only to thee they appear as contradictions. He tenderly looks down from His bright, immeasurable heights, and enjoys the endless harmony in which ye all in your contradictions are eternally moving. In your pride ye thought to evade the universal law. Nay, thou, with thy petty, vulgar contempt for the waiters, thou also respondest to the harmonious necessity of the eternal and endless."

From Lucerne Tolstoy returned to Russia through Germany, and in August he reached Yasnaya Polyana. There he intended to occupy himself with the estate and to open a school, but for that winter the whole family went to Moscow.

In December of the same year Tolstoy, with his friend, Fet, went bear-hunting on the estate of their mutual friend Gromeka, in the Tver province. This amusement nearly cost Tolstoy his life. When, on one occasion, a she-bear had been driven out of her lair and came towards Tolstoy, he fired and missed. The bear threw him to the ground, fell on top of him, and had her jaws already open to seize his head, when his friends, rushing forward, drove her away