Reminiscences of Leo Tolstoy
crying, too. Every one says he is like my eldest brother.
I am afraid to believe it. It is too good to be true. My brother's
chief characteristic was neither egotism nor self-renunciation, but a
strict mean between the two. He never sacrificed himself for any
one else; but not only always avoided injuring others, but also
interfering with them. He kept his happiness and his sufferings
entirely to himself.
Ilya, the third, has never been ill in his life; broad-boned, white
and pink, radiant, bad at lessons. Is always thinking about what he
is told not to think about. Invents his own games. Hot-tempered
and violent, wants to fight at once; but is also tender-hearted and
very sensitive. Sensuous; fond of eating and lying still doing
Tanya [Tatyana] is eight years old. Every one says that she is
like Sonya, and I believe them, although I am pleased about that,
too; I believe it only because it is obvious. If she had been Adam's
eldest daughter and he had had no other children afterward, she
would have passed a wretched childhood. The greatest pleasure
that she has is to look after children.
The fourth is Lyoff. Handsome, dexterous, good memory,
graceful. Any clothes fit him as if they had been made for him.
Everything that others do, he does very skilfully and well. Does
not understand much yet.
The fifth, Masha [Mary] is two years old, the one whose birth
nearly cost Sonya her life. A weak and sickly child. Body white as
milk, curly white hair; big, queer blue eyes, queer by reason of
their deep, serious expression. Very intelligent and ugly. She will
be one of the riddles; she will suffer, she will seek and find
nothing, will always be seeking what is least attainable.
The sixth, Peter, is a giant, a huge, delightful baby in a mob-cap,
turns out his elbows, strives eagerly after something. My wife falls
into an ecstasy of agitation and emotion when she holds him in her
arms; but I am completely at a loss to understand. I know that he