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Title: My Visit to Tolstoy - Five Discourses
Author: Krauskopf, Joseph
Language: English
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                         "My Visit to Tolstoy"

                            Five Discourses


                                  By


                     Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, D. D.


                            [Illustration]


                             Philadelphia
                                 1911



                         My Visit to Tolstoy.

                A DISCOURSE, AT TEMPLE KENESETH ISRAEL,

                                  BY

                     RABBI JOSEPH KRAUSKOPF, D. D.

                  Philadelphia, December 11th, 1910.


                                                  My visit to Russia
                                                  and its purpose.

In the summer of 1894 I visited Russia for the purpose of proposing
to the Czar a plan that might end or lessen the terrible persecution
of the Jews in his realm. The plan intended was a removal of the
persecuted Jews to unoccupied lands in the interior, there to be
colonized on farms, and to be maintained, until self-supporting, by
their correligionists of other parts of the world.


                                                  Refused admission by
                                                  Russian government.

Learning that, because a Jew, I would not be admitted into Russia,
I conferred with President Cleveland and Secretary Gresham, both
of whom heartily endorsed my plan and resolved to intervene. The
Russian Minister at Washington declaring his powerlessness to _visé_
my passport, our Secretary of State cabled to the American Minister
at St. Petersburg to obtain the desired permission from the foreign
office, only to receive as reply the words "_Russian government deeply
regrets its inability to accede to request in behalf of Reverend Jewish
divine_."


                                                  Determined to test my
                                                  citizenship right.

The injustice of the reply determined me more than ever to enter
Russia, if only to make a test case of my citizenship rights. The
treaty between the United States and Russia guarantees to every
American citizen the right of entry on Russian soil, and as an American
citizen that right was mine; my religion being my private affair and
no concern of Russia's. The determination to test the supremacy of
international law over national prejudice aroused a large part of the
American press to a vigorous endorsement of my position. A bill was
introduced in Congress to the effect that the treaty between the two
countries be declared abrogated if an American citizen be turned back
from the gates of Russia by reason of his religion.


                                                  Was admitted.

In the height of the agitation I departed for Russia, knocked at the
gates of St. Petersburg--and was admitted. Russia had evidently come to
the conclusion that it was better policy to admit me and to keep her
eyes on me than to allow the agitation and the indignation to continue
in our country.


                                                  Met distinguished
                                                  Russians.

While within the Russian borders, I was privileged to come in contact
with many prominent Russians, one of them M. Witte, who at that time
was Minister of Finance and practically at the head of the empire,
the Czar, Alexander III, being critically ill in the Crimea, where he
shortly after died.


                                                  Tolstoy most
                                                  distinguished of all.

But of all the men I met none made the impression that was left upon me
by my visit to Count Leo Tolstoy. It was made possible by Mr. Andrew
D. White, the distinguished scholar and statesman, who at that time
represented our country at St. Petersburg. He had written and asked
the count to meet me and to learn of the mission that brought me to
Russia. The count's daughter, Tatiana, replied that her father would
be pleased to have me visit him, adding that he was just then engaged
in hay-making, and, therefore, had not much leisure. To take as little
of his time as possible I arranged to arrive in the court-yard of his
manor-house at Yasnaya Polyana, late in the afternoon. Approaching a
group of peasants that stood at a well drinking water and mopping their
brows, my travelling-companion, a young Russian lawyer, asked them
where we might find the count. One of them stepped out of the group,
and, lifting his cap, said most courteously that he was Tolstoy, and,
learning my name, he bade me a hearty welcome.


                                                  Held me captive from
                                                  first meeting.

From the moment I first gazed upon him he held me captive, and, by
a strange psychic power, he has held me enthralled ever since. No
wish of mine has been more fondly cherished in the sixteen years that
have since passed by than that of some day visiting Russia again, and
only for the purpose of seeing once more that strangely fascinating
personality, of listening again to his marvelous flow of wisdom.


                                                  His personality.

I had often wondered how a Moses, an Isaiah, a Jeremiah, a Socrates,
looked and talked, denounced and dreamed, the moment I saw and heard
Tolstoy I knew. One hour's talk with him seemed equal to a whole
university course in political and social science; one walk with him on
his estate stored up in the listener more knowledge of moral philosophy
than could be crowded into a year's seminary instruction. Great as was
the power of his pen, immeasurably greater was the power of his living
word. In some mysterious way the flow of his speech seemed to exercise
an hypnotic spell upon the speaker as much as upon the listener. The
speaker seemed at times translated into a super-human being, seemed
inspired, seemed to speak words not his own, as one of the ancient
prophets of Israel must have spoken when he said the words: "Thus saith
the Lord," while the listener seemed scarcely capable of thought or
speech, felt his being almost lose its identity and become merged with
that of the speaker.

At times his voice would sound as Elijah's voice must have sounded
when he said to Ahab, the king, "Thou art he who troubleth Israel,"
and at times it would seem as sweet as the voice of one of Russia's
nightingales. At times his strong, rugged, bearded face would resemble
that of the pictured Jupiter in wrath, and then it would rival in
serenity one of Raphael's saints. At times he would seem to carry on
his shoulders all the woe of the world, resembling one of the mediaeval
pictures of the martyr of Nazareth, and then again he would seem as
care-free and happy as a little babe. He had never learned the art of
concealing his thoughts and emotions. His face and voice were as a
mirror that revealed with microscopic exactness his innermost self.
What he felt moved to speak he spoke; what he felt urged to do he did;
he never stopped to consider whether it will please or displease,
whether it will bring praise or censure upon him. Like a piece of
living, weather-beaten New England granite he looked in his home-spun
crash blouse, his jean trousers girded at the waist with a rope, his
coarse woolen shirt open at the neck, his well-worn bast shoes. He
seemed, indeed, a composite of the looks and traits and thoughts that
characterized the Puritans in the early history of the New England
states.

He lived his life according to his own light. Excepting God, he bowed
to no master. His conscience was his sole rule of right. His law was
his own. His creed was his own. His style of dress, his mode of living
were of his own choosing. His was above all else himself, not an echo
of another. He was the freest man in the most enslaved of lands. His
was the brightest mind in darkest Russia, the most democratic spirit
in the most autocratic of realms. His peasant garb could not hide the
noble man, ennobled by exalted thought and achievement and not by the
will of potentate. His peasant labor could not hide the man born to
command, not by means of knout or sword or prison but by the law of
love and right and truth.


                                                  As severe with the
                                                  world so gentle with
                                                  his own.

As fearless as he was in his denunciations of the wrong-doings of
government and church and society, and as bold as he was in his reform
propositions, so gentle and simple-minded was he at his family table.
I had read that two kinds of meals were served at his table, a frugal
one for himself and a sumptuous one for the rest of his family. The
meal of which I partook was a frugal one for all. I was, however,
little conscious of what I ate. I was held spell-bound by the count's
conversation which dominated the table, and which was carried on in
English, occasionally passing into German or French or Russian.


                                                  A table incident.

He was in an especially happy mood that evening. In the mail that
had been brought to the table there were a number of papers. Opening
one of these, the London _Standard_, I believe, he observed that an
article of his had been severely censored by the Russian government.
Large parts of it had been smeared over with black ink. What amused
him was that the parts that were left uncensored were worse than
those that had been blackened out, revealing the stupidity of the
censor. Turning to me, who sat at his right, he said that had the
article been a panegyric on the Czar, it would probably have received
the same treatment, for no matter what he writes, it is daubed over,
here and there, on the general principle that, having been written by
Tolstoy, it must of necessity be revolutionary. Continuing, he told
me that that particular article was one of a series on the subject
of "_Christianity and Patriotism_," which, not being permitted to be
published in Russia, appeared in translation in England. In it he
endeavored to show that Christianity and patriotism were incompatible,
that the latter was an artificial creation, skilfully nourished by
rulers for selfish purposes. On account of it wars are waged, evils are
wrought, sufferings are inflicted by Christians upon Christians, who
are _religiously_ taught to love one another, to forgive one another,
to do good to each other, and who are _patriotically_ trained to hate
and overreach each other. Humanity, he said, must be put in the place
of patriotism. The latter is both stupid and unmoral, _stupid_ because
it leads each nation to regard itself the superior of all others, and
_unmoral_ because it lures nations to possess themselves of advantages
at the cost of others, thus violating the fundamental law of morality,
that of not doing to others what they would not have others do to them.
Humanity makes the whole world every man's country, and every man each
man's brother.


                                                  His home over-run by
                                                  visitors.

When first introduced to the family I felt that their welcome was not
quite as hearty as was that of the count. I could easily understand the
reason. The presence of guests was almost a daily occurrence, and quite
a burden on the household. The count denied himself to none who had a
genuine purpose for seeking him. But he was out of patience with mere
curiosity seekers or newspaper writers, who sought to rob him of his
valuable time in order to fill a column or two with sensational matter.
One such writer, a lady journalist, came one day for the sole purpose
of having him give her the menu of his vegetarian diet, to tell her
whether his undergarments were of as coarse a fabric as were his outer
clothes, and whether an equally picturesque peasant-garb might not be
designed for women.


                                                  Special incident
                                                  wins for me family's
                                                  special welcome.

My first impression that I was classed with the other afflictions of
the count's universal popularity soon wore off, however, by reason of
a letter to the family which I brought with me from a distinguished
professor. This gentleman had, a short time before, been dismissed from
the university of St. Petersburg because he had published an essay on
_The Ethics of the Talmud_, in which he had endeavored to show the
lofty moral teachings of the Jews. I had made his acquaintance while
in St. Petersburg, and before leaving that city he called on me, and
asked me whether I would not take a letter from him, of an entirely
uncompromising nature, to Tolstoy, inasmuch, as at that particular
time, a letter mailed to the count did not, for easily accountable
reasons, always reach him. I readily consented, and that little
service, the professor having been a great favorite of the count, made
me a welcome guest also to the family.


                                                  Approves of stand
                                                  taken to gain
                                                  admission.

Supper over, the count invited my companion and myself to join him on
a walk and to tell him of what service he could be to me. I told him
of the mission that brought me to Russia and of the difficulties that
were placed in the way of my admission. He approved of the stand I had
taken, but asked me to blame the governments for it, mine as well as
his, and not the Russians, who are a kindly people.


                                                  If United States
                                                  would take bolder
                                                  stand Russia would
                                                  yield.

He entered at length upon an exposition showing that if the United
States would refuse to countenance discriminations between her citizens
on account of religious belief, Russia would be obliged to yield. I
told him of the audience which Mr. White and myself had had with M.
Witte, and that the latter had said that, the Czar being sick, nothing
could be done without his consent, that I should state my request
in the form of a petition, written in English and Russian, and that
he would present it to the Czar with his approval upon the latter's
return, and that I had complied with the advice given. The count
had little faith that my petition would ever reach the eyes of the
Czar--and it never did, for the Czar never returned alive. And he had
little faith in all official promises. The men in power at that time he
believed to be either fanatics or cowards. The former sought to secure
for themselves a soft berth in heaven, the latter sought it on earth.
These were afraid to speak out their honest thought and to deal an
honest blow for right and justice. They were afraid of losing caste or
position or of being condemned to penal servitude, as if better persons
than they had not suffered martyrdom before, or were not now paying in
Siberia the price for exercising their right to liberty of thought and
speech.


                                                  Approves of my
                                                  mission but has
                                                  little hope.

He warmly approved of my mission but saw no present possibility of
its realization. Even if the Czar were to feel kindly disposed toward
my plan, Pobiedonostzeff, the Procurator of the Holy Synod, would
interpose his objections to permitting Jews rooting themselves on
Russian soil.

The policy of the Procurator, he said, was to root out the Jews, to
drive them either into the Greek Catholic Church or into exile or
starvation, stupidly attributing the evils of Russia to her tolerance
of non-orthodox-Christian faiths and seeing relief only in their
extinction within the empire. And that miscreant considered himself the
official head of the Russian church, and the administrator of its creed
in the name of Jesus, of him who bade man to love even his enemy, to do
good even to those who do evil, to forgive even those who offend, to
bless even those who curse.


                                                  Asks my attitude
                                                  toward Jesus, and
                                                  defines his.

Stopping suddenly, and turning his face full upon me, he asked "What
is your belief respecting Jesus?" I answered that I regard the Rabbi
of Nazareth as one of the greatest of Israel's teachers and leaders
and reformers, not as a divine being who lived and taught humanly but
as a human being who lived and taught divinely. "Such is my belief,"
said he, and he continued "Your belief, however, is not that of the
Jews in Russia. Many of them have little knowledge of Jesus, and more
of them, I fear, have little love for him. And who can blame them?"
he continued, "they have been made to suffer so much in his name that
it would be little short of a miracle if they loved him. Mohamed was
more honest, he gave to people the choice between the Koran and the
sword. Christians profess love, and practice hatred." I told the count
that through the mediation of Mr. White, the Procurator had consented
to grant me an audience, but not till after the lapse of seven weeks,
after his return from some monastery to which he had retired for
prayer, penance and meditation. "Well may he meditate," said the count,
"on the wrongs he has committed, and even were he to do penance seven
times seven weeks or seven times seven months or seven years, he could
not blot out the guilt that stains his soul, and that has darkened and
cursed the lives of tens of thousands of innocent human beings."


                                                  Tells why he escaped
                                                  Siberia.

Amazed at the freedom with which he exposed his condemnation of the
most powerful officials of the realm, and convinced that as he spoke to
me he must have spoken often to others, and that the government could
not possibly be ignorant of it, I asked how it was that he had escaped
seizure, exile or imprisonment, to which he replied: "I am not yet
sure that I shall not end my days in Siberia. That I have escaped thus
far is due to the government's sensitiveness of the world's opinion.
It knows of the hold my publications have gained for me on civilized
people. It fears the cry of outrage that would be raised at the
banishment or imprisonment of a man as old as I."

He was at that time sixty-six years old. I have since read, that when
the Czar was one day approached by one of the grand dukes with a
request for the banishment of Tolstoy on the ground that he incited
rebellion against the government and the church, the Czar is said to
have replied, "_Je ne veux pas ajouter a sa gloire une couronne d' un
martyr_"--_I do not wish to add to his glory the martyr's crown_--words
used by Louis XIV of France, when a similar request was made of him.


                                                  Under the Poverty
                                                  Tree.

After that statement, he walked silently, lost in deep thought,
perhaps picturing to himself his declining days among fellow martyrs
in far-away Siberia, perhaps thinking of the agonies and tortures
and untimely deaths that had been inflicted by a cruel or misguided
government on thousands of Russia's noblest sons and daughters.

Silently he led the way toward a tree that stood near the house, upon a
slight eminence. It was the _Poverty Tree_ that was destined to afford
him beneath its wide spreading branches his last resting place. It
derived its name from the custom of poor peasants laying there their
troubles before the count. Seating himself on a bench beneath the tree
he beckoned to us to seat ourselves along side of him. He continued
silent for some time, while the setting sun bathed his lionine face and
hair in crimson and golden light, and gave him an appearance not unlike
one of the old Norse gods or vikings which the artist's brush has made
familiar to us. At last he resumed his speech.



                         My Visit to Tolstoy.

                            (_Continued._)

                A DISCOURSE, AT TEMPLE KENESETH ISRAEL,
                                  BY
                     RABBI JOSEPH KRAUSKOPF, D. D.

                  Philadelphia, December 18th, 1910.

  [Resumé--Discourse I: Reason for my visit to Russia and for my
  calling on Tolstoy. Description of his appearance and personality.
  Some of his views on Russia, its statesmen, its religion, its
  misgovernment. A pause under _Poverty Tree_ beneath which he now lies
  buried.]


                                                  Tolstoy recalled
                                                  aid sent from
                                                  Philadelphia to
                                                  famine-stricken in
                                                  Russia.

The first question count Tolstoy put to me, after his long silence,
was from what part of the United States I hailed. Upon my telling
him that Philadelphia was my home, he expressed himself as much
pleased. He recalled the two shiploads of food we sent from our port,
two years earlier, for the relief of the famine-stricken of Russia,
and of the distribution of which he had had personal charge, and he
spoke with pleasure and appreciation of Mr. Francis B. Reeves, our
fellow-townsman, who had accompanied the food-relief.


                                                  Said first aid came
                                                  from Sacramento
                                                  synagogue.

With even keener delight he recalled that the first aid received from
the United States was from the Jewish congregation of Sacramento,
California, which to him was all the more remarkable from the fact
that the district stricken was, through governmental restriction,
uninhabited by Jews. The expression of pleasure turned to one of
sorrow when he remarked that Russia had little deserved such generous
treatment at the hands of Jews,--and he lived to see the manner in
which it was repaid in Kishineff and other places.


                                                  Was fond of Quakers.

Reverting to our city, he said that the name of Philadelphia had always
had a pleasant sound for him, partly because of its meaning "_Brotherly
Love_," and partly because it was founded by William Penn. He expressed
a high admiration for Quakers, and asked how strong they were
numerically and whether they are still as opposed to war and resistance
as their founders were. Upon answering his question to the best of my
ability, he asked: "Why is it that war, which is the greatest curse
of mankind, has so many advocates, and peace, the greatest of all
blessings, so few?" After some discussion we both agreed that it was
due to that strange perversity of human nature that sees the right and
approves of it, and yet often willfully chooses the wrong.


                                                  Blamed school for
                                                  many of present-day
                                                  wrongs.

He blamed the schools for many of the errors that obtain in society,
and claimed that there was too much education of the wrong kind, and
too little of the right. In discussing this statement of his, I chanced
to mention that education in the lower grades was compulsory with us.
To this he strongly objected. All compulsion, he said, was wrong. Man
must be gotten to do right by the law of love and not by the rule of
force. Upon my telling him that but for compulsory education some
parents would never send their children to school, he said: "What of
it? The children would probably be no less moral and no less happy
than those of highest education. I have associated with the learned
and the ignorant, and I have found more honor and honesty, more fear
of the Lord and more true happiness, among the unlettered than among
the lettered. The more of education we cram into the heads of the
people the more of the fear of God is crowded out of them. The world
lives by the love of God and not by the primer or the multiplication
table." "What, if you had had no education?" I ventured to ask. Quickly
and feelingly came the answer "The world would have been none the
worse, and I would have been the happier." "What if Jesus and the other
prophets had had no schooling?" I asked. To which he replied "It was
not what they got out of their schools that made them the spiritual and
moral powers they became, but what they got out of their hearts. God
puts more education into the human heart than man has ever been able to
put into the head. Some of the wisest and best people hereabouts are
peasants who have never seen the inside of a school, and who do not
know one letter from another." "What of Paul," I asked, "who certainly
enjoyed the benefits of the Greek schools of his day?" To which he
replied "The schools made of Paul a theologian, and Christianity would
have been the better without the theology of Paul."


                                                  Warped by unfavorable
                                                  surroundings.

Other objections to some of his paradoxical views on education
suggested themselves to me, but I left them unsaid. I perceived that
while tolerant of objections, his opinions were fixed. He apparently
judged of world-conditions from the view-point of his limited and
unfavorable horizon. Under different conditions, some of his opinions
on education, and on a number of other subjects which we discussed,
would probably have been quite different.


                                                  Well informed of
                                                  political and social
                                                  conditions in United
                                                  States.

The conversation turned to social conditions in the United States, and
on these matters he displayed an amount of knowledge that was amazing.
The more I listened the more I wondered, till finally I could not
but ask him how he who wrote and worked so much could find time to
keep himself so well informed of a country so far away as the United
States. To which he replied "Your country has interested me even more
than mine. I have lost hope in mine; all my hope was, at one time,
centered in yours. But yours is a disappointment as much as mine. You
call yourselves a Republic; you are worse than an autocracy. I say
worse because you are ruled by gold, and gold is more conscienceless,
and therefore, more tyrannical than any human tyrant. Your intentions
are good; your execution is lamentable. Were yours the free and
representative government you pretend to have, you would not allow it
to be controlled by the money powers and their hirelings, the bosses
and machines, as you do. I have read _Progress and Poverty_ by Henry
George, and I know what Mr. Bryce says about you in his _The American
Commonwealth_, and I have read and heard even worse things about your
misgovernment than what they say."


                                                  Deplored rule of gold
                                                  and growth of cities.

We were all right, he continued, as long as we were an agricultural
people. Our modes of life, then, were simple, and our ideals were high.
Politics then was a religion with us and not a matter of barter and
sale. We became prosperous; prosperity brought luxury, and luxury, as
always, brings corruption. The thirst of gold is upon us, and, in our
eagerness to quench it and to gratify our lust of luxury, our one-time
lofty principles and aspirations are dragged down and trampled in
the mire. We build city upon city, and pride ourselves in making one
greater than the other, and, in the mean time, we wipe out village
after village, whence have come our strength and moral fibre. The price
of real estate in the cities is soaring to the skies, while farms are
deserted and farm-houses decay. We tempt the farmer's son and daughter
from field to factory, and when we have exhausted them of their
health and morals we think ourselves charitable when we prolong their
miserable existence in hospitals or reformatories. We forget that our
greatness lay in the pursuit of husbandry, and we seek our salvation in
commerce and in the industries.


                                                  Prophesied war of
                                                  classes.

With all our stupendous wealth, our slums are as bad, if not worse, as
those of European cities, and we are building up a proletariat class
which will some day prove our undoing. Our rich become degenerates,
and our poor become desperates, and in the struggle to come the
desperate will rise up and slay the degenerate. We keep things quiet
by throwing crumbs of charity to those who are in need of justice more
yet than they are in need of bread. Some day they will tire of crumbs,
and will ask their full share of what the rich eat and have, and, if
denied, they will make short work of it. Our origin and our destiny
should have warned us against repeating the fatal errors of the past.
But for our colossal resources, we would long since have been dashed
against the rocks. We may yet save ourselves by going back to the farm,
and taking up anew the life and labors of our fathers.


                                                  Disagreed, yet kept
                                                  silent.

In this strain he continued for quite awhile, and the longer he spoke
the sadder grew his speech and the more prophetic became his look. At
length he ceased speaking, and an oppressive quiet ensued. I recognized
that he was deeply moved, and I therefore did not care to contradict
some of his statements which were obviously based on error. In other
of his statements I fully agreed with him, yet, loyalty to my country
forbade my seconding the gloomy prospect he held out for us.


                                                  Description of his
                                                  relationship with
                                                  wife and family.

A fortunate interruption relieved the situation. His wife approached
with a letter or manuscript in hand. He arose, proceeded toward her,
and, for a while, the two conferred together. In all probability it
was a manuscript of his which she was translating or revising. I was
told that she was always doing something of that sort. She was his
consultant, his reviser, his translator, while his daughter, Tatiana,
was his correspondent in a number of different languages. It is said
that his wife copied twenty-one times the four large volumes of his
novel _War and Peace_, and that there has been no novel nor little else
of his writing, since their marriage in 1862, that did not pass through
her hands. He found in her, in the fullest sense of the word, his
help-mate, a woman of great culture as well of great practical sense,
who looked after his literary interests no less than after those of the
household, and who often found it no easy task to be, as has been well
said, "the patient wife of an impatient genius." She bore him thirteen
children, six of whom passed away in their early youth. She fairly
idolized him and skilfully managed to slip, unknown to him, those
little comforts into his life which he required for his well-being and
which he had renounced. Neither she nor the children shared his view
respecting the distribution among the peasantry of his estate and other
property, and keeping for himself no more than an equal share with all
the others. The family believed in availing themselves of the benefits
of civilization, and for that they required the income of the farm
and the royalty of his books. There was quite a wrangle, for a time,
between the family and its head, but it was amicably disposed of in the
end, the count agreeing to their living as they chose, on the condition
that they permitted him to live as he pleased. And so in his Moscow
home as well as in that at Yasnaya Polyana, while the family rooms are
said to be comfortably furnished, his own were poorly fitted out, and
while they have servants and butlers and footmen, he attended to his
own wants, fetched his own water, cobbled his own shoes, and, in summer
time, labored in the field, from morn to night, alongside the commonest
peasant.


                                                  Description of his
                                                  working room.

Stopping suddenly in his conversation with his wife, and begging us to
excuse him for leaving us, I asked him whether he knew where my bag
was put, as I wanted to get to my writing material for the purpose of
dropping a line to the American Minister. Mr. White had feared that,
not being wanted in Russia, I might get into trouble soon after leaving
the protection of our embassy in St. Petersburg, and he had enjoined
upon me that I keep in constant touch with him, as well as with the
American consuls, while in the interior. The count informing me that
my bag had been placed into his working-room, on the ground floor of
the house, I had a glimpse of the room in which some of the greatest
writings of our time, of all times, first saw the light of day. It
was a small room with an ordinary, bare floor somewhat the worse for
wear, with a vaulted ceiling, and with very thick walls that gave it
the aspect of a mediaeval cloister cell. I have since read that at
one time it was a storeroom, and that from the hooks in the ceiling
were formerly suspended the ham supply for the family. Besides a crude
writing-desk and a few chairs, there seemed to be no other furniture
in the room, and its only ornaments, as far as I can recall, were some
farm implements, tools, and seed bags. The desk was littered over with
books and papers, and showed the kind of disorder one would expect of a
genius like Tolstoy.


                                                  Favored suppression
                                                  of lawyers.

Upon my return to the tree, I found the count in conversation with my
companion, who told me later that upon Tolstoy's asking him what his
occupation was, and upon his replying that he had graduated from the
law-school of the University of Moscow, and that, owing to restrictive
laws against Jews, he was not permitted to practice, the count had
remarked that the government had done at least one good thing, it had
diminished the number of lawyers.


                                                  Amazed at the amount
                                                  of poverty in New
                                                  York.

Resuming my seat alongside of him, he asked me whether it was true
that New York expended as much as one hundred thousand dollars daily
in public charity. I told him that it probably was true. He then
returned to his discussion on the appalling contrast between the very
rich and the very poor of the large cities in Europe and America. The
rich, he said, would never be as rich as they are nor the poor as poor
if the latter were scattered as farmers over the land. It is their
congregating in large numbers in the cities, he said, that makes
possible the extensive industries and commercial enterprises which
enslave them, and which build up the great fortunes of the rich.


                                                  Belittled his own
                                                  novels.

"Have you read my book _What To Do_?" he suddenly asked me. I was
obliged to answer "No." I have read it since, and several times, and
profitably, too, but, though I had read quite a number of his books
before I met him, it was exceedingly embarrassing to be questioned
concerning the particular book which I had not read. Not to appear
altogether ignorant of his writings, I proceeded to tell him that I
had read his "War and Peace," "Anna Karénina," etc., etc., and started
telling him how much I admired them, when, with an impatient look and
gesture, he interrupted me, saying "These works are all chaff, chaff,
play-toys, amusing gilded youth and idle women. It is my serious
writings which I want the world to read. I have ceased publishing
novels because readers do not know the meaning of them. They look for
entertainment and not instruction, and even though I write only for the
uplift of man, for the purification of society, they, like the hawk,
seek out only the carrion. They neither recognize themselves under the
fictitious name I adopt, nor do they see their share in the wrongs and
vices and injustices depicted, neither do they perceive that it is for
their co-operation that the novelist appeals when he pleads for the
kingdom of heaven on earth."


                                                  Spoke of his book
                                                  _What To Do_.

Returning to his book _What To Do_, he said, "even if you have not
read it, you have read the Prophets, and having read them, you know
my teachings. The book is an appeal for pity for the submerged,
for justice for the wronged, for liberation of the oppressed and
persecuted, and for the application of the only remedy--a return to the
simple life and labor on the soil. As our subsistence comes from the
soil so can justice and right and happiness come from it alone. Help
can never come from wealth, for wealth is the creator of poverty and
inequality and injustice. It can not come from the government for that
exists largely for the purpose of keeping up inequality and injustice.
It cannot come from the church, for she fears the Czar more than she
fears God. It cannot even come from the schools which tend to train a
class of people who think themselves too good for manual labor."


                                                  Saw solution of
                                                  Jewish problem only
                                                  in agriculture.

"Your plan to lead your people back to the soil," he continued, "back
to the occupation which your fathers followed with honor in Palestinian
lands, is of some encouragement to me. It shows that the light is
dawning. It is the only solution of the Jewish problem. Persecution,
refusal of the right to own or to till the soil, exclusion from the
artisan guilds, made traders of the Jew. And the world hates the
trader. Make bread-producers of your people, and the world will honor
those who give it bread to it."


                                                  Made a request of me.

"There is little chance at present," he continued, "for a Jewish
colonization scheme in Russia. The government does not want to see the
Jews rooting themselves on Russian soil, and spreads the report that
they are unfit for agricultural labor, though I have been reliably
informed that in the few Jewish agricultural colonies that have been
tolerated on the steppes from the time of Alexander I they are as
successful farmers as are the best." And he asked me as a favor that
I make a special trip to those colonies and report to him, preferably
in person, the result of my observations. I was only too anxious to
consent to his request.

And yet another promise he asked of me, and which I gave no less
cheerfully. But of this I shall speak in my next discourse.



                         My Visit to Tolstoy.

                            (_Continued._)

                A DISCOURSE, AT TEMPLE KENESETH ISRAEL,
                                  BY
                     RABBI JOSEPH KRAUSKOPF, D. D.

                  Philadelphia, December 25th, 1910.

  RESUMÉ--_Discourse I_: Reasons for my visit to Russia and for my
  calling on Tolstoy. His appearance and personality. Some of his views
  on Russia, its statesmen, religion, misgovernment. A pause under the
  Poverty Tree--his burial place.

  _Discourse II_: Recalled food-relief for famine-stricken in Russia
  from Philadelphia and from Jewish congregation in California. Admired
  Quakers for their opposition to war. Blamed schools for many social
  wrongs. Severely criticised political and economical evils of our
  country. Ascribed them to growth of cities and to farm-desertions.
  His relationship with wife and family. His working-room. Against
  lawyers. Belittled his novels. Spoke of his book _What To Do?_ Saw
  solution of Jewish problem in agriculture only.


                                                  Tolstoy suggests
                                                  school for training
                                                  American lads in
                                                  agriculture.

At the conclusion of my last discourse I made mention of yet another
request count Tolstoy made of me. It was in connection with his
prediction that the Russian government would not look favorably upon
my proposition to colonize Russian Jews upon unoccupied farm-lands in
the interior. "If the plan cannot be entered upon in Russia," he asked,
"why can it not be made successful in the United States? What are you,
Americans, doing to prevent a Jewish problem in your own country? How
long before the evils that are harrowing your people in the old world
may be harrowing them in the new? Your people are crowding into your
large cities by the thousands and tens of thousands. You have built
up Ghettoes worse than those of Europe. There is excuse for it in
Russia; there is no excuse for it in the United States. Yours is the
right to own land and the best of it, and to till as much of it as you
please. Granted that ages of enforced abstention from agricultural
labor have weaned the elder generation from a love of country life and
farm-labor, why may not a love for it be instilled in the young? Lead
your young people to the country and to the farm. Start agricultural
schools for them. Teach them to exchange the yard-stick for the hoe,
the peddler's pack for the seed-bag, and you will solve the problem
while it may yet be solved. You will see the lands tilled by them
overflow, as of old, with milk and honey. You will see them give of
their plenty to the people of the land, and receive in return goodly
profit and esteem. And once again there will arise from among Jewish
husbandmen prophets, lawgivers, inspired bards and teachers to whom the
civilized world will do homage."

At yet greater length he spoke on this subject, and the more he spoke
the more he quickened within me the resolve to do as he wished it to be
done.


                                                  Founding of Farm
                                                  School promised.

And there, under _The Poverty Tree_, it was where I gave Tolstoy the
solemn promise that upon my return home the earliest task I would enter
upon would be the establishment of an agricultural school for Jewish
lads, and other lads. And the existence of the _National Farm School_,
near Doylestown in this state, is testimony that I kept my promise. I
had gone to Russia to see the Czar, and I saw a greater man instead.
I had gone with a plan for colonizing Russian Jews in Russia, and I
returned with a plan for teaching agriculture chiefly to Russian Jewish
lads in the United States. Verily, "man proposes and God disposes." And
the hundreds of young men who have received their agricultural training
at the National Farm School, and the hundreds of others, young and
old, who, directly and indirectly, have been encouraged by that school
to forsake the congested cities and to take up the farmer's life, owe
their escape from the miseries of the Ghetto, and their enjoyment of
health and happiness, to the promise asked of me by that noblest of all
farmers, count Tolstoy.


                                                  Promise kept under
                                                  difficulties.

The establishment of the school was not an easy task, nor is its
maintenance easy even now, notwithstanding the excellent record it has
made. The bulk of our people have not yet acquired that profound grasp
of the seriousness of our problem, and of its only possible solution,
that Tolstoy had, sixteen years ago. Therefore is the support of that
school still so meagre. Therefore has it still less than a hundred
students in attendance when it easily could have a thousand, and more,
if it had the means. And, therefore, are our Ghettoes more crowded than
ever, and a greater drain than ever on our charities. That despite
indifference and even hostility the school has persevered is due, to
a very large extent, to the determination to keep sacred a promise
solemnly given to one of the best of men.


                                                  Parting from Tolstoy.

It was late that night when I took leave of the count and of some of
the members of his family. Before departing, it was agreed that I
enter at once upon my journey to the Jewish agricultural colonies in
the interior, that I might see them at work during the height of their
harvesting, and a peasant and his wagon were engaged to take me on that
trip. The count bade me a hearty God-speed, and repeatedly urged me to
make my report personally to him, and I promised that I would avail
myself a second time of his proffered hospitality, if my way should
lead me back again to Moscow or St. Petersburg.


                                                  Never heard from him
                                                  again.

Unfortunately, after my inspection of the Jewish agricultural colonies,
which fully confirmed the favorable reports the count had received of
them, my investigations led me to the Southern and Polish provinces,
and consumed so much of my limited time that a return North was
impossible. And so I never got to see the count again. And I never
heard from him. Neither my report, which I sent to him in writing, nor
my other communications to him, written in Russia and outside of it,
have brought from him a reply. Never a line from him even in answer to
the information sent him that the National Farm School, which he had so
strongly urged, had been founded. Never an acknowledgment from him of
the early annual reports of the School that were sent him to show the
headway it was making.


                                                  Probable reason of
                                                  silence.

The heartiness of his reception of me, his almost affectionate
farewell, his deep interest in my mission and his earnest invitation
that I repeat my visit to him, preclude the thought that I was
forgotten by him or became indifferent to him after my departure.
There is but one explanation--an explanation strengthened by similar
experiences of others in connection with him--none of my communications
ever reached him. I was not wanted in Russia. I was a _persona non
grata_ to the government; my name was blacklisted, and my mail fell
under the ban of the censor.


                                                  With him in spirit
                                                  under Poverty Tree.

But, if my mail has never reached him, my thoughts have been with him
often. Many a time have I sat with him, in spirit, under that _Poverty
Tree_. And yet more often will I sit with him there in the future, now
that that site has become _Holy Ground_.


                                                  Has become his grave.

Gladly do I forgive the church of Russia many an outrage or blunder
she has perpetrated or permitted to be perpetrated, for the one good
act she has performed--that of refusing Tolstoy sepulture in what
she is pleased to call "consecrated ground." She thus obliged him to
designate as his last resting-place a spot that was one of the dearest
on earth to him, a spot that was intimately associated with his life's
philosophy, a spot located within a confine wherein he ruled more
mightily and more exaltedly than any Czar that ever wielded scepter
in vast Russia, where he wrote those epochal books of his which are
destined some day to become of the basal elements of the religion of
the future.


                                                  No Czarian funeral
                                                  more solemn than
                                                  Tolstoy's.

And even though no priest was nigh when the last rites over his remains
were performed, there were present, besides his family, those who were
more sacred in his eyes than priests or metropolitan, more honorable
than even the Procurator of the Holy Synod--his dearly beloved
peasants. It was these who followed him to his last resting place.
It was these who sang the mortuary hymn _Everlasting Memory_, at his
open grave. It was these, the "orphaned peasantry," as they called
themselves because of his death, who gave his burial a distinction such
as no Czarian funeral procession had ever enjoyed, notwithstanding
ecclesiastical pomp or military display. It was these whose labors and
outlook he had sought to soften and to brighten, who delivered the
briefest and most eloquent eulogy that has, perhaps, ever been spoken:
"_His heart has burst because of his unbounded love for humanity. The
light of the world is extinguished._"


                                                  In spite of herself
                                                  church has made a
                                                  saint of him.

In refusing religious sepulture to the holiest man in Russia, the
Greek orthodox church performed the crowning feat in her long series
of stupidities. And yet, by that act she did, in despite of herself,
the very thing she did not wish to see done. Like Mephistopheles in
Goethe's _Faust_ who, in response to the question who he is, says:
"_Ich bin ein Theil von jener Kraft, die stets das Böse will, und stets
das Gute schafft_," so did she prove herself the power that sought the
evil and yet performed the good. By her act of intolerance she gave
a new saint to Russia, and perhaps the only one she has. By it she
furnished a sanctuary to that country, one that may be destined to make
a Mecca of Yasnaya Polyana, one that may be more piously sought in the
future, and by larger numbers, than any shrine or sanctuary of her own
creation. By that act she shed a halo of immortal glory around the head
of him whom she sought to cover with infamy.


                                                  Has two ways of
                                                  making saints.

The church has two ways of conferring saintships, a lesser and a
higher one. The lesser distinction she confers upon lesser luminaries,
generally upon those made famous by myth or legend for great endurance
in fasting or penance, or for conquering imaginary devils, for working
fancied miracles, or for displaying fiendish cruelty in persecuting and
exterminating heretics. The higher distinction she confers generally
at the stake or on the gallows, within prison walls or in the torture
chamber, upon men of great minds or great hearts, upon lovers of truth
and fearless enunciators of it, upon men who because of their love of
humanity defy the power that interdicts God's greatest gift to man: the
right to think and the right to believe and speak in accordance with
the canons of reason and with the dictates of conscience.


                                                  Still makes of
                                                  intolerance an act of
                                                  piety.

In asking me the difference between reform and orthodox Judaism in
America, and between American Reform Jews and Russian Karaitic Jews,
and in replying that the difference exists mainly in the synagogue,
that outside of it there is little or no difference in life and in
social relationship, Tolstoy replied: "Our church has not yet arrived
at the stage of tolerance of different religious beliefs. That is the
reason why such people as the Jews and Doukhobors and Stundists are
persecuted, and such men as I are in ill repute. Our church still makes
of religious hatred an act of piety. It still measures God by the
passions of man. Had the church the power in our days which it at one
time had, and were the age of martyrdom not past, she would long since
have silenced me for rebelling against her irrational teaching and for
denouncing her craven supineness in the midst of outrageous wrongs
and injustices, as now they silence men in our country for rebelling
against unjust enactments of the government."


                                                  Tolstoy hoped for the
                                                  reign of universal
                                                  good-will.

Upon my saying that it was fortunate for us of the present day that all
churches have been deprived of their one-time all-controlling power,
since no church has yet been known to have possessed power and not
to have abused it, he replied: "That is true of all power, temporal
as well as of ecclesiastic, and it would be more fortunate still if
governments were as restricted in their power as is the church, if
all power, all authority, were to cease, if the good that is inherent
in every human being were to be given a chance to germinate and to
flourish, and every man learn to live in complete harmony with the
highest of all laws, the law of peace and good-will, which God has
written into the human heart. There would then be no need of armies
and armaments, of courts and police, of prisons and jails, no need of
impoverishing the masses through heavy taxation for the support of
millions of soldiers and officers in idleness, who ought to raise their
own bread by their own handiwork."


                                                  Believed that the
                                                  Messiah is still to
                                                  come.

"On that day," said I, "the Messianic Age, for which the Jews have
hoped and prayed, will surely have dawned." To which he answered: "You,
Jews, are right, the Messiah is still to come, or, if he has come, his
message has not yet entered the hearts of men."

Recalling this remark of Tolstoy, on this Christmas morn, suggests
the question: How many Christmas days will yet have to come and go
before its gospel of peace and good-will will govern the hearts of
all who call themselves Christians as it governed that of the Russian
peasant-saint.


                                                  Lessening of church
                                                  power shown by
                                                  failure of Tolstoy's
                                                  excommunication.

And vividly I recalled his remarks on the shorn power of the church,
when, six years later, the papers brought the news that Tolstoy had
been excommunicated by the Russian church. I could picture to myself
the expression of sorrow or disgust on his face when that church decree
was conveyed to him. Its ecclesiastical wrath, could have meant only
hollow sounds to him. None knew better than he that the metropolitans
who issued this excommunication merely grasped at a shadow, that
the substance was gone, that that age was happily passed when the
pronouncement of the ecclesiastical _anathema_ deprived its victim
of all association with friend or foe, deprived him of intercourse
even with the closest members of his family, prevented them, under
the penalty of like punishment, from providing him even with food,
shelter and raiment. When during his flight from home, shortly before
his death, he knocked at the doors of a monastery, and said "I am
the excommunicated and anathematized Leo Tolstoy," the reply was "It
is a duty and a pleasure to offer you shelter." The life of Tolstoy
passed on as serenely, in the midst of his family and friends, after
his excommunication as before. And the world's esteem of him grew even
greater than it had been, by reason of the charges upon which the
excommunication was based, namely:

  "In his writings on religious questions he clearly shows himself
  an enemy of the Russian Orthodox Church. He does not recognize God
  in three persons (or three persons in one God), and he calls the
  Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, a mortal human being.
  He scoffs at the idea of Incarnation. He perverts the text of the
  Gospel. He censures the Holy Church and calls it a human institution.
  He denies the Church Hierarchy and ridicules the Holy Sacraments and
  the rites of the Holy Orthodox Church. Therefore, the Holy Synod
  has decreed that no priest is to absolve Count Tolstoy, or give
  him communion. Nor is he to be given burial ground, unless, before
  departing this life he shall repent, acknowledge the Orthodox Church,
  believe in it, and return to it."


                                                  Died unreconciled
                                                  with church.

He never recanted. He never changed his attitude towards the errors
and wrongs of the Russian orthodox church. And no one who ever stood
and talked with him, face to face, could ever have believed that
that modern Prometheus, that stern and fearless personality, that
re-incarnation of Mattathias of old, and of his valiant sons, the
Maccabees, could ever swerve from a position once taken by him.
When upon his death-bed, he was frequently importuned to return as
a penitent to the mother-church; he spurned every mention of it. He
was still in the possession of his senses, he said, he still knew
and believed that twice two equals four, and as long as he knew and
believed this so long would he continue to know and to believe that
what he had said and written concerning the errors and wrongs of the
church was the truth.


                                                  Never a truer
                                                  follower of Jesus
                                                  than he.

It is noteworthy, and quite in keeping with the general tenor of the
Russian orthodox church, that no cognizance was taken by the church
of the many noble things Tolstoy had said and written and done; no
cognizance of the self-sacrificing efforts he had made to live the
life which Jesus had lived and had enjoined upon his followers; no
cognizance of his having conscientiously endeavored to square his life
with the teachings of the _Sermon on the Mount_; no cognizance of his
having brought light to those in darkness and comfort to those in
sorrow, of his having consorted and labored with the poor and lightened
their burden, of his having thirsted and hungered after righteousness,
of his having sought peace and protested against war, and preached the
gospel of the wrongfulness of all physical resistance, of his having,
though of the oldest nobility, spurned luxury and ease and even money,
having regarded these the source of corruption and the root of many of
the evils in society.


                                                  Yet refused Christian
                                                  burial.

Such a person, and one even but half as good as this, should have been
entitled to sepulture in the most sacred of Christian cemeteries, and
the most eminent of priests should have deemed it a privilege to have
been permitted to perform the last rites over his mortal remains. So
would it have happened among rational people, but so could it not have
happened in Russia. There, because he could not subscribe to doctrines
and rites and ceremonies for which he found neither scriptural nor
rational warrant, priests felt themselves disgraced, and in danger of
eternal damnation, even when their names were associated with that of
Tolstoy.


                                                  Priest objected
                                                  to his name being
                                                  associated with
                                                  Tolstoy's.

A striking illustration of this was given, seven years ago, at the
university of Dorpat, at the occasion of the celebration of its
hundredth anniversary. In commemoration of that event the institution
elected as honorary members of the corporation a number of Russians
distinguished in literature, science and art, one of these was Tolstoy,
another was Ivan, the miracle-working priest of Cronstadt, elected to
allay the church's indignation at the choice of Tolstoy. Ivan, the
priest, refused the honor, and in the following letter to the Rector of
the University:

  "YOUR EXCELLENCY--I have read your estimable and respectful letter
  to me, which is so full of subtle delicacy--I decline absolutely
  the honor of the membership to which I have been elected. I do not
  wish to become connected, in any way, with a corporation--however
  respectable and learned--which, by some lamentable misunderstanding,
  has put me side by side with that atheist Leo Tolstoy--the most
  malignant heretic of our unfortunate age--who, in presumption and
  arrogance, surpasses all previous heretics of any age. I do not wish
  to stand beside Antichrist. I am surprised furthermore, to see with
  what indifference the University Council regards that satanic author,
  and with what slavishness it burns incense to him."

       IVAN SERGEIEF, _Prior and Archpriest of the Cronstadt Cathedral_.

This letter tells of the attitude of the church towards Tolstoy better
than any words of mine can tell. And this same Ivan, it is said,
approved of the massacre of the petitioners of St. Petersburg on that
memorable White Sunday, and when petitioned to protect the Jews against
threatening massacres, treated the appeal with silent contempt.


                                                  Government hatred
                                                  back of that of the
                                                  church.

It is to be remembered, however, that over and back of the Church of
Russia stands the government. The Czar is the head of the church. Whom
the government favors the church favors; whom the government hates, the
church hates. The church hated Tolstoy because the government hated
him, and why it hated him we shall be told in the next discourse of
this series.



                         My Visit to Tolstoy.

                            (_Continued._)

                A DISCOURSE, AT TEMPLE KENESETH ISRAEL,
                                  BY
                     RABBI JOSEPH KRAUSKOPF, D. D.

                   Philadelphia, January 1st, 1911.


                                                  Government used
                                                  church for
                                                  discrediting Tolstoy.

Speaking in our last discourse of the church's excommunication of
Tolstoy, and of its refusing a resting place to his remains in what she
calls "consecrated ground," we said that the Czar is the spiritual as
well as the temporal head of the Church of Russia, and that the hated
of the church is yet more the hated of the government. This statement
explains what otherwise is difficult to understand, namely, how so good
a man as Tolstoy, who, for more than two score years, strove to square
his life with the teachings of the _Sermon on the Mount_, could have
incurred the hatred of the Russian orthodox Church. The government
had far more reason to hate Tolstoy than had the church. Finding it
impolitic to proceed directly against him, it availed itself of the
church for discrediting Tolstoy in the eyes of the credulous populace.


                                                  Before giving reason
                                                  why.

Before entering upon a discussion as to why the government feared
Tolstoy, we must first have a glimpse of his earlier years, and
briefly follow his heroic self-extrication from the corruption of the
aristocratic society into which he was born, and his gradual rise to
the exalted station of greatest reformer in the history of Russia.


                                                  Must hear story of
                                                  his life.

He was born eighty-two years ago of an ancient noble family. His
childhood years were spent in the midst of the gay military life of
Moscow. Yet more gay and more corrupt was the society that surrounded
him during his university life. Experiencing a revulsion of feeling
against the kind of life he was leading, he fled from the university
before graduation, returned to his family estate at Yasnaya Polyana and
took up the life of a farmer.

This impetuous flight, and a later one of which we shall hear
presently, may throw some light upon his last flight, a few weeks ago,
which came to a pathetic end, and of which we shall speak in our next
discourse.


                                                  His early glory and
                                                  shame.

Five years long he lived the life of a peasant, when a call to arms
landed him on the battlefields of the Crimea, where he soon won
distinction for heroic service. But the dissoluteness of campaign-life
soon disclosed that the Tartar in him was not yet dead. He returned
to the debaucheries of his former years, and, according to his own
confession, with all the greater zest, because of the double glory that
had come to him, that of a distinguished soldier and of a brilliant
author. He had taken to story-writing, and displayed in it a talent
that made success instantaneous. He became the lion of his day, and
was courted by high and low. And the greater his glory the more
unrestrained grew his libertinism.[1]

       [1] See his book "_My Confession_."


                                                  His reform.

But there were lucid intervals, now and then, during which he held up
to himself the lofty ideals of his former peasant life, and bitterly
he denounced himself, and even portrayed himself unsparingly in the
character-sketches of some of his novels. His better self acquired
mastery at last; he threw off the yoke that had held him fast to the
corrupt society of his day, and for the second time he fled to his
estate.

He himself told of the circumstance that led to that flight. He had
attended a ball at the home of a prominent nobleman, and passed the
night in dancing and feasting, leaving his peasant-coachman waiting for
him outside, in an open sleigh, in a bitter cold night. When at four in
the morning he wished to return home, he found the coachman seemingly
frozen dead, and it required several hours of strenuous effort to
restore him to consciousness and to save his life. "Why," he asked
himself, "should I, a rich, young aristocrat, who has done nothing for
society, spend the night amid warmth and luxuries and feastings, while
this peasant who represents the class that has built our cities, given
us our food and clothing and other necessities, be kept outside to
freeze?" He resolved, then and there, to dedicate the remainder of his
life to the righting of this and other wrongs. And he kept his promise.

How strong an impression this incident made upon him may be gathered
from an indirect allusion to it, in his novel "_Master and Man_,"
published some two score years later.


                                                  Consecrates life to
                                                  peasant.

It was discouraging work at first. The people whom he desired to
benefit had no faith in him. They could not conceive of an aristocrat,
to whom the serfs had been no more than worms to be trod upon, becoming
suddenly interested in their welfare. There were long spells of utter
disheartenment. A number of times he found himself at the brink of
suicide. He sought relief and diversion in travel, but returned more
convinced than ever of the corruptions and evils of society, of the
tyranny of the classes and of the sufferings of the masses.

Marriage opened at last a new vista of life to him. Aided and
stimulated by his cultured and companionable wife he entered upon his
reform work by directing a powerful search-light on the goings-on among
the high and the low, in a series of novels that secured for him at
once rank among the greatest novelists of his age.


                                                  Aided by his writings.

In the second discourse of this series, I spoke of his having
deprecated his novels, and of his having expressed his preference for
his ethical and religious and sociological and economical and political
writings. I ventured to say to him that but for his novels he would
have gotten but comparatively few people to look into his other
writings, that his fiction had secured a world-wide audience, that they
contained many of the teachings of his other books, and that the public
swallows a moral pill easiest when offered in the form of a novel. To
which he replied "Most readers swallow the sugar-coating and leave the
pill untouched, or, if they swallow it, it remains unassimilated."


                                                  His novels criticized.

And he was right. I have heard much criticism of Tolstoy's novels.
Some find him too realistic, too plain spoken, even coarse. A certain
magazine that had begun publishing his "_Resurrection_" was obliged to
discontinue the story, because of complaints by many of its readers. It
was a sad commentary, not on the morals of the writer but on the lack
of morals, or on the false modesty, of the readers, for that novel has
been declared by eminent critics to be "the greatest and most moral
novel ever written." Others again value his realism for whatever spice
they might find therein, little heeding the serious purpose for which
the story was written.


                                                  Few know meaning of
                                                  novel in Russia.

At best, few people understand the meaning of a novel in such a
country as Russia, where free press, free pulpit, free platform and
free speech are unknown, where the novelist attempts to do the work of
all of these, under the guise of fiction, the only form of literature
that has a chance to pass the eye of the censor. Whole systems of
political and social and moral reform are crowded between the covers
of a novel, which, if published in any other form of literature, would
condemn the author to life-long imprisonment in the Siberian mines. The
novelist in Russia does not look upon himself as an entertainer nor as
a money-maker, neither is he looked upon as such. He is the prophet,
the leader, the teacher, the tribune of the people, the liberator--the
emancipation of the Russian serfs, for instance, was entirely due to
the novel. He has serious work to do, and he does it seriously. His
eye is not upon rhetoric nor upon aesthetics, but upon the evil he has
to uproot, on the corruption he has to expose, on the reform he has to
institute, on the philosophy of life he has to unfold, and to do that
means the production of a novel like "_Anna Karénina_" or of a play
like "_The Power of Darkness_." He speaks not to English or American
puritans, but to Russians, whose receptivity of strong, plain speech is
healthier than ours.


                                                  Spoke as a prophet
                                                  and reformer.

Such a novelist was Tolstoy. His fiction is as powerful as is the art
of the Pre-Raphaelites. It is all sincerity. Nothing escapes him. What
the X-Ray does in the physical world that his penetrating eye does
in the field of morals. He sees the sin through a thousand layers of
pretense and hypocrisy, and he describes it as he sees it. Disagreeable
as are some of the subjects of which he treats, there is not a line
that may not be read without a blush by the pure-minded. Like a
surgeon, who cuts into the sore for the purpose of letting out the
poison, he lays bare the wrongs and rottenness of church and government
for the purpose of affecting the needed cure. As a prophet he speaks
the language of prophets. As a reformer he tells the truth as reformers
tell it, unvarnished and ungarnished. He spares others as little as he
spared himself in his book "_My Confession_." He wants others to do as
he has done, to subject the lusts and appetites and greeds to the rule
of conscience, if the kingdom of God is ever to be established on earth.


                                                  Opposed by government.

Radical in his reform propositions from the first, he attracted
attention at once. The world was amazed at the daring of his thought
and at the plainness of his speech, and hailed him as a new prophet.
The government, however, looked upon him as a revolutionist, and gave
him clearly to understand that he would be silenced if he did not
change his views and style of writing. Instead of complying with its
wish, he became all the more daring in thought and all the plainer
in speech. The humblest peasant could understand as clearly as the
shrewdest diplomat what he was after. And it was not long before the
government was after him. The publication and sale of certain of his
books were prohibited. They were read all the more outside of Russia,
and by the thousands of copies within Russia. And the more they were
read the larger loomed his world-fame, till he became too large for
banishment or prison, for fortress or Siberian mine.


                                                  Challenged government
                                                  to do its worst.

With all the fiery zeal of an ancient Jewish prophet, he challenged the
government to do its worst, "to tighten the well-soaped noose about his
throat" as it tightened it about the throats of thousands of better men
than any that are in the service of the autocrat or of his hirelings,
the bureaucrats. Theirs was a government, he said, by might not by
right, by gallows and knout, not by law.


                                                  His political demands.

He demanded the abolition of the throne and of capital punishment,
the disbanding of the army, and the discontinuance of trial by
court-martial. He demanded liberty of speech and freedom of conscience.
He demanded the surrender to the people of lands and rights that
justly belonged to them, and scathingly he denounced those who wasted
in riotousness what had been painfully gotten together with the
heart's blood of the laboring-people. He denounced the government for
its cruelty toward the Jews, and charged it with having instigated
the massacres of them. He held the government responsible for every
misfortune that befell the country--war, famine, pestilence, intense
poverty, hopeless misery, appalling ignorance. In burning words he
charged the slaughter of tens of thousands of husbands and fathers and
sons, in the Japanese war, to the greed of the mighty. He depicted
the Duma as the laughing stock of the world, as composed of people
so stupid as not even to recognize what fools they were making of
themselves. In his "_Resurrection_" he held up to the view of the world
Russia's courts of law, and her iniquitous prison-system, the blocking
of justice, the shocking judicial indifference and laxities in cases
involving life-long sentences to penal servitude, the "lives that are
shed like water upon the ground" during the transport to Siberia, and
the crimes and rebellions that are systematically bred by such crying
injustice.

Little wonder that the government had no love for Tolstoy, and that
it suppressed publication after publication of his, and maintained a
special corps of censors and spies to watch him. Little wonder that it
prohibited demonstrations of sorrow at the announcement of his death,
and made use of the church as a cat's paw for holding him up as the
Anti-Christ, and arch-fiend, as the enemy of the Czar, Church and
people.[2]

       [2] See his essay "_Church and State_."

                                                  His demands of the
                                                  people.

Plain and fearless as was his speech to the government it was yet more
so to the people. Not a wrong in society, public or private, which he
did not know, and which he did not castigate as only he knew how to
castigate. Louder and louder, as he grew older, he preached the Law of
God against the law of degenerate society. Art and science, commerce
and industry were to him as nothing in comparison with the Moral Law,
without which he saw no future for mankind.


                                                  His views respecting
                                                  marriage and society.

The sanctity of the marriage tie, the sobriety and industry of the
husband, the domesticity of the wife, were among the most constant of
his themes. He loathed the self-exhibiting society woman; in his eyes
she was no better than the street-woman. Great to him was the womanly
woman, greater the domestic wife, greatest of all the mother, and so
many more times greater the more times she was mother.[3]

       [3] See his essays "_Man and Woman, Their Respective
       Functions_;" and "_The Mother_," and his book "_What To Do?_"


                                                  His views respecting
                                                  labor and capital.

The sad lot of the poor and the riotous extravagances of the rich were
constantly recurrent subjects of discussion with him. "We speak of the
abolition of slavery," said he, "but we have abolished only the word,
the poor are enslaved as much as ever. We need a new emancipation,
the emancipation of the rich from the tyranny of their money, from
the thraldom of the false view of themselves and of society. With
what right do men speak of the abolition of slavery, when every time
they look into the mirror they see a slave-driver, when they live in
idleness, and fatten on the heart's blood of the down-trodden, when
they indulge their stomachs with the choicest of dainties, and wrap
their bodies in silks and broad cloths and furs, while those, whose
slavish toil provides these luxuries and comforts, have not enough food
to keep body and soul together, nor enough of raiment and shelter to
keep from freezing?"

In an article, published a few years ago in the _North American
Review_, Tolstoy spoke of a group of peasants standing aside to let
a picknicking party of rich folks drive by. One of the ladies' hats
"has cost more than the horse with which the peasant plows the field,"
and for the gentleman's riding stick has been paid a week's wages of
an underground workman. "Everywhere, two or three men in a thousand
live so that, doing nothing for themselves, they eat and drink in
one week what would have fed hundreds for a year; they wear garments
costing thousands of dollars; they live in palaces, where thousands of
workmen could have been housed; and they spend upon their caprices the
fruits of thousands and tens of thousands of working days. The others,
sleepless and unfed, labor beyond their strength, ruining their moral
and physical health for the benefit of these few chosen ones." It is
natural that the rich should not object to this arrangement, said
he, the surprising thing is that the poor take it so complacently.
"Why do all these men, strong in physical vigor, and in the habit of
labor--the enormous majority of humanity--why do they submit to and
obey a handful of feeble men, generally incapable of anything?" Tolstoy
finds the answer very simple. It is because the minority have money,
and the workingmen need the money to feed their families. Millions of
workingmen submit "because one man has usurped the factory, another
the land, and a third the taxes collected from the workmen." Were the
millions, who now slave for the rich, to get their food from the soil,
the rich, to keep alive, would be obliged to raise their own food,
and the double redemption would have begun. It is because the number
of workers who produce the prime necessities of life is diminishing
that the number of those who use luxuries is increasing. Under such
conditions, the health of society, wrote he, is as little possible as
is the health of that person, whose body is continually growing heavier
in weight, and his legs are continually growing thinner and weaker.
When the support vanishes the body must fall.[4]

       [4] See also his book "_What To Do?_" and his essay "_The
       Russian Revolution_."


                                                  His Remedy.

As a bitter opponent of violent measures, he saw but one way for
righting the wrongs of society, and that is in the well-to-do
descending to the lowly and starting life anew with them on a common
level, and rising with them step by step to the higher planes. And
to prevent a relapse to the old iniquitous state, he advocated the
eradication of capital, which he held responsible for many of the
inequalities and tyrannies and miseries of society. Let the rich, said
he, convert their money into land and parcel it out among the poor,
and claim for themselves no more than an equal share with the others.
Merely wishing the poor well, and yet continuing the old state of
affairs, is like sitting on a man's neck and crushing him down, yet all
the time assuring him and others that we are sorry for him, and wish
to ease his condition by every means in our power except by getting
off his back. Or it is like entering an orchard, and barring the door
behind, and gathering its fruit for ourselves, and wishing others might
have as much yet continuing to keep the door barred and gathering for
ourselves alone.[5]

       [5] See his book "_What To Do?_" and his essay "_Money_."

If we really wish to see the lot of the poor improved, said he, we
must not look for a miracle to effect it nor trust to some future age
to bring it about. We must do it ourselves, and we must do it now. And
we must do it at the cost of self-sacrifice. If people really wish to
improve the condition of their brother men, and not merely their own,
they must be ready not only to alter the way of life to which they
are accustomed, but they must be ready for an intense struggle with
themselves and their families.[6]

       [6] "_The Slavery of Our Times._"

Society will never be at peace, said he, until man will have learned
the service of sacrifice. And man will never be happy until he will
have learned to find his happiness in making others happy.[7]

       [7] "_Cossacks._" "_Christ's Christianity._"



                          My Visit to Tolstoy

                            (_Concluded._)

                A DISCOURSE, AT TEMPLE KENESETH ISRAEL,
                                  BY
                     RABBI JOSEPH KRAUSKOPF, D. D.

                   Philadelphia, January 8th, 1911.


                                                  Tolstoy's fatal
                                                  flight.

The world was amazed, a few weeks ago, at the news that Tolstoy had
fled from his family and home, with the resolve to retire to some
wilderness, there to await his end. Guesses as to the cause were many,
and the opinion was quite general that extreme old age had affected his
reason.


                                                  Explained in light of
                                                  last article of his.

I could not subscribe to this conclusion, neither could I see anything
strange in his sudden departure. I knew of a number of similar flights
in his life, and the reasons for them, and, therefore, I was little
surprised. And as to suspecting him of failing mentality, I had but a
short time before read the latest of his writings, entitled "_Three
Days in a Village_," in which I had seen no sign of a lessening of his
power of mind and heart and soul. And it is obvious that the Russian
government, likewise, saw no lessening of his mentality, for it
promptly suppressed the publication of it. An enterprising newspaper
man, however, succeeded in forwarding a copy to our country, which
enterprise not only rescued for us the last of Tolstoy's writings but
also furnished us an explanation of his sudden and fatal flight.


                                                  Divided into three
                                                  parts.

The article, a comparatively short one, was divided into three parts,
each a heart-rending recital of miseries in villages neighboring the
count's estate.


                                                  First part described
                                                  peasant poverty.

The first part deals with wayfaring men. From six to twelve of them
visit these villages daily in search of bread and clothes, of work and
shelter. Some are blind or lame, some sick or feeble, some are very
old or very young, some are maimed or crippled, dragging with them
hideous memories of the recent Japanese war. Many of them are ignorant
and filthy, but some of them are intelligent and revolutionary, who
look upon the prosperous as thieves, and ask for their share of the
coined blood pressed from the hearts of the poor and down-trodden.
To keep these unceasing streams of wayfaring paupers from becoming a
government charge, they are parcelled out by the authorities among the
poor and helpless peasantry, good care being taken that they are not
loaded upon the landlords, merchants or priests. The wickedness of this
course is fully intelligible only to those who have some conception
of the indescribable poverty and misery of Russian peasants. Stripped
of almost all by taxation and by landlord oppression and by priest
and constable extortion, many of them have scarcely food and room
enough for themselves and cattle, scarcely clothes enough to cover
their nakedness, no money with which to buy the absolutely necessary
farming-implements, or to keep their wretched hovels from toppling
over their heads. And yet, notwithstanding their appalling misery,
Tolstoy saw their hearts go out in pity to these wandering paupers,
and religiously dividing their crust with those yet more unfortunate
than they, not knowing how soon they themselves might be in a similarly
wretched plight.


                                                  Second part described
                                                  peasant misery.

The second part of the article bears the sub-title "_Living and
Dying_." Upon entering the village accompanied by his physician, the
count was entreated for aid by a woman. Upon inquiry he learned that
her husband had been drafted into the army, and that the family was
starving. Upon asking the village authority why the law had been
violated in taking from a family its sole supporter, he was told that
the husband's brother was quite capable of supporting the family. Next
he met a little orphan girl twelve years old, who was the head of a
family of five children. Her father had been killed in a mine; her
mother had dropped dead from exhaustion, a few weeks after; poor but
kind-hearted neighbors kept their eyes on the children, whilst the
oldest went about begging the means for their support. In another hovel
he found a man in his death-throes with pneumonia. The room was damp
and cold; there was no fuel for the stove; no food, no medicine, no
mattress, no pillow, for the dying man.


                                                  Contrasted with
                                                  extravagance in his
                                                  own family.

Saddened by what he had seen and heard the count drove home. In front
of his house he saw a carpeted sleigh, drawn by magnificent horses,
driven by a coachman attired in heavy fur-coat and cap. It was the
conveyance of the count's son, who had come on a visit to his father.
There were ten at the table, who partook of a dinner of four courses,
spiced by two kinds of wine. Two butlers were in attendance, and costly
flowers were on the table. "Whence came these orchids?" asked the
son, to which the mother replied that they had come all the way from
St. Petersburg. "They cost a ruble and a half a piece," said the son,
adding that at a recent concert the whole stage was smothered with
orchids. Another at the table talked of a little recreation trip to
Italy, but thought it troublesome to be obliged to spend thirty-nine
hours in an express train, and regretted that aviation had not
proceeded far enough to make possible a trip to Italy in shorter time.
The count contrasted these table sights and sounds with those he had
seen and heard in the village in the course of the day, and he left the
table even sadder than he was when he came to it.


                                                  Third part described
                                                  peasant oppression.

The third part of the article deals with the taxation of the villagers.
From one old peasant the tax collectors took his samovar--the brass
kettle for making tea--as indispensable to a Russian as a stove is to
us. From another, a widow, they took a sheep; from another they took
a cow, and so on. One poor woman offered him some linen at the price
of two rubles, the amount she needed for taxes, saying that, if she
failed to make the sale, they will seize not only the linen but also
her chickens, her only means of support. That women play so large a
part in these taxations is due to so many of the men having been killed
in the Japanese war, or serving in the army. Upon remonstrating with
the village authorities, he was told that they were sorry for the
poor people, but helpless, that they had received instructions from
headquarters to be unsparing in the discharge of their duty. Upon
visiting the district chief he was made clearly to recognize that back
of his severity lay his ambition for promotion as a reliable, immovable
government official.


                                                  Felt that all his
                                                  labors had been in
                                                  vain.

Little wonder, that the government suppressed the publication of this
last of Tolstoy's writings. Little wonder, that the three days spent
amid the miseries of the villagers saddened his heart beyond endurance.
And still less wonder, that the government's responsibility for it, and
the world's indifference to it, even his own family's, drove him to
despair, ripened in him the resolve to retire to some wilderness, where
the soul would no longer be harrowed by the sight of human outrages and
sufferings.

In the midst of such miseries as he saw, he must have felt that the
more than half a century of unceasing labors in behalf of the poor
and down-trodden, all his renunciations and sacrifices had all been
in vain. He must have felt that the lot of the peasant was as bad
as ever, that the government was as cruel as before, that all his
writings and all his pleadings for a more equitable division of God's
gifts had failed to make the slightest impression upon the people,
judging by the extravagances within his own family, seeing four
courses of delicacies on his own table, at a single meal, two kinds
of wine, costly orchids, when, at but a short distance away, men and
women, even children, working infinitely harder than any of his own
family, deserving infinitely more than any who lord it over them, were
literally starving for the want of the necessities of life, were dying
in agony for the want of medical care and ordinary comforts, had their
last possession taken from them by pitiless tax-collectors for the
support of a vast army of soldiers and officials, for the maintenance
of a costly and an oppressive autocracy.


                                                  Noted his discontent
                                                  when in conversation
                                                  with him.

Even as far back as 1894, when he was sixteen years younger than he was
at the time of his flight, even then I noted in my conversations with
him an undercurrent of deep sorrow when dwelling on the sufferings of
the people, an occasional outburst of impatience at the slowness of
progress, and now and then a cry of despair, an utter hopelessness of
ever seeing a state of society different from what it was.


                                                  Those responsible for
                                                  wrongs charged him
                                                  with irreligion.

What seemed to vex him most was seeing the very people who were
responsible for these wrongs and outrages considering themselves
religious, and branding as infamous such a man as he whose sole cry
was for justice and right. "Because they mumble so many prayers a
day," said he to me, when speaking of Pobdiedonostzief, "and cross
themselves so many times, and fast so many days in the year, they
consider themselves Christian, as for the rest of their conduct, one
finds it difficult to believe that they had ever heard of the _Sermon
on the Mount_, of the _Golden Rule_ or of the _Mosaic command" "Thou
shall love thy neighbor as thyself."_ Asking me for an explanation of
Reform Judaism, and telling him that is was founded upon an emphasis on
the spirit of religion rather than on its forms, he replied that it
would not be tolerated in Russia, that the mere words Reform and Spirit
were quite sufficient to condemn it. The government knows that they who
seek the Spirit also seek the Truth, and it is afraid that Truth will
overthrow autocracy and hierarchy, blind obedience and stupid ceremony,
and will set men free.


                                                  Few men had studied
                                                  religion as much as
                                                  he.

There are many things in connection with Tolstoy which Russia of
the future will wish to see expunged from the pages of its history,
and chief of these will be its having branded him as infamously
irreligious. Few men have been as genuinely religious as he. Few men
have given religion as much thought as he. Few men have written on
religious subjects as much as he.


                                                  Rebelled against
                                                  adulteration of
                                                  religion.

He studied the Scriptures in the original languages, and carefully he
read Church doctrine and dogmatic theology, and the more he read the
firmer became his conviction that _Christ's Christianity_ was quite a
different thing from _Church Christianity_. He rejected the latter,
and fervently he espoused the former. Three-fourth of what passes for
Christianity, he said, has no historical nor logical nor spiritual
warrant. He saw how its fundamental principle, the equality of all men
as sons of God, had been perverted to give the classes the right to
enslave the masses. He saw how a divine being had been made of Jesus,
and how this enabled the church to say that living the life he lived,
and practicing the precepts he preached was impossible for human
beings. He had read in the Scriptures not to resist evil, and yet had
been taught the soldier's trade, the art of killing. The army to which
he had belonged was called "The Christophile Army," and it was sent
forth with a Christian benediction. One day, he said, he was reading in
Hebrew, with a Rabbi, the fifth chapter of Matthew. After nearly every
verse the Rabbi said "This is in the Old Testament or in the Talmud,"
and showed me the corresponding passages. When we reached the words
"Resist no evil," the Rabbi did not say "This is in the Talmud," but
he asked "Do the Christians obey this command? Do they turn the other
cheek?" "I had nothing to say in reply," said Tolstoy, "for at that
particular time, Christians, far from turning the other cheek, were
smiting the Jews upon both cheeks. I saw the support the church gave to
persecutions and to the death penalty, and my soul cried out against
it."

And his mind rebelled, he said and wrote, against the mythology which
was paraded as theology, such teachings as the immaculate conception,
the heaven opening and the angels singing, Christ's flying through the
air and into the sky, and seating himself at the right hand of God. He
denounced as blasphemous such teachings as that by partaking of the
Sacrament God's body becomes assimilated with that of man, or that of
God being three Gods in one, being still angry at man for the sin of
Adam, and sending His only son on earth to be crucified so that by the
son's blood the father's wrath may be appeased. He regarded as unworthy
even of heathens such teachings as that salvation for sin depended on
being baptized, and that God will visit eternal punishment on those who
do not believe in His divinely begotten son. He professed a sincere
belief in God as the author of all existence, and as the source of all
love. He believed that death meant a new and higher birth. He believed
that God's will was most clearly expressed in the teachings of the man
Jesus, whom to consider and pray to as God he regarded as blasphemous.


                                                  Compressed
                                                  religion into five
                                                  commandments.

He compressed the teachings of Jesus into the following commandments:
I. "Do not be angry. II. Do not lust. III. Do not give away the control
of your future actions by taking oaths. IV. Do not resist evil. V. Do
not withhold love from any one." These five commandments he developed
into a comprehensive moral philosophy, and by it he conscientiously
endeavored to guide his life and thought.[8]

       [8] See his books "_My Confession_," "_My Religion_," and Aylmer
       Maude's _The Life of Tolstoy_.


                                                  Was indebted for his
                                                  faith to peasants.

And for that strong and simple faith of his, which is destined, in the
not distant future, to inaugurate an era in the religious world similar
to that which Luther inaugurated four centuries earlier in Germany, he
was indebted to the peasants. During the libertine life of his early
years, he had lost the little faith that had been taught him in his
childhood. He had returned to his estate an avowed atheist, and as such
had he continued for some time, until, one day, he inquired into what
it was that made the wretchedly poor and ignorant and hard-working
peasants contented with their lot, resigned to their fate, bearing
hardships and sufferings unmurmuringly, and looking happily forward
to the end. He found it in their faith. "Surely," said he, "a state
of mind that can do so much for the poor is worth having by all." And
he devoted himself to a diligent study of their religion. He found
it burdened with foreign accretions, contaminated with a putrid mass
that had been gathered during centuries of darkness and superstition,
adulterated with all kinds of conscious and unconscious inventions.
Stripping away the foreign and putrid and false, he alighted upon a
rational, satisfying faith, the faith which he believed to have been
that of the Rabbi of Nazareth, and, henceforth, consecrated his life to
the propagation of it.


                                                  Gave them his life
                                                  and labor in return.

And more yet than what the peasants gave to him he gave to them in
return. He gave them himself, and, in the end, he sacrificed even his
life for them. He found them down-trodden serfs, he endeavored to make
free men of them. He found them cowed and bowed, he taught them to
walk and stand erect. He found them unbefriended, he became a brother
to them. He found them wretchedly poor, he renounced pleasure and
treasure, luxury and ease, to lessen as much as he could the distance
between them and himself. He dressed as they dressed, and labored as
they labored, and, as far as permitted, ate the kind of food they
ate. He found them stalking in darkness, he brightened their way for
them. He found them ignorant and at the mercy of priest and government
official, he became their advocate, dared to brave an all-powerful
autocracy in the defense of their rights. He started schools for them.
He gave up writing for the thousands of select readers that he might
write for the millions of illiterate peasants and other laborers. He
wrote special booklets for them, and sold them at a loss, at one-half
cent a copy, stories, legends, symbolical tales, moral plays and
religious tracts, all fitted for their minds and stations, and intended
to deepen in them the law of love and right.


                                                  Died believing he had
                                                  failed.

To have sacrificed and renounced and dared as much and as long as
he had, and, in the end, to find what he found, in his three days
observation of village miseries and outrages, was more than his great
heart could stand. It broke. He was eighty-two years old. He could no
longer continue the fight. He could no longer look upon the suffering
of the unfortunates, nor upon the wrongs of the world, nor upon the
extravagances even within his own family. He regarded his whole
life-work a dismal failure. He knew of no other balm for his bleeding
heart than flight from the world to some secluded spot, there, as a
hermit, to await the end, which he knew was not far distant. Truly
pathetic were his farewell lines to his wife:

  "I cannot continue longer to live a life of ease and luxury while
  others starve and suffer. Like many other old men, I retire from the
  world to await my end in solitude. I ask that you do not seek my
  place of sojourn, and that you do not come to it if it be discovered.
  I beg forgiveness for the grief that I may cause you."


                                                  Characteristic of
                                                  great reformers.

He was not the first of the world's great reformers and lovers of
humanity to lose heart and to experience spells of despair. Moses and
Elijah and Jesus and others had their hours of agony, and prayed that
the end might come, and deliver them from their hopeless labors. And
many who, like Tolstoy, closed their eyes in the belief that they had
utterly failed loomed large in subsequent ages among the greatest of
the world's benefactors.


                                                  Succeeded better than
                                                  he knew.

Tolstoy has not failed. He succeeded better than he knew. His pathetic
death revealed the vast number of followers he had in his own country
and in all parts of the world. And had he cared to inquire, he might
have known it before his death. He could have seen it from the fact
that more books of his were sold than of all other Russian authors
combined. He could have seen it in the vast crowds that gathered all
along the line, to catch a glimpse of him, when on his journey, a few
years ago, to the Crimea, in search of health. He could have seen it
in the deputations of sympathizers that waited upon him, and in the
streams of congratulatory letters and telegrams that rushed in upon
him--till suppressed--after his excommunication. He could have seen it
in the Tolstoyan societies among the students of almost all the Russian
universities and among other bodies. He could have seen it among the
considerable number of landlords, who made conscientious efforts at
following his life, and at adopting his mode of dealing with peasants
and laborers. Were the yoke of autocracy removed, there would arise
in Russia an army of Tolstoyans as vast and mighty as the host which
Ezekiel in his vision saw in the valley of dry bones.


                                                  Religion of future
                                                  will be largely
                                                  Tolstoyan.

The religion of Russia of the future will be largely that which Tolstoy
lived and taught, and it will be the religion of a large part of the
rest of the world. Time's sifting process will eliminate whatever is
untenable in his system of moral and social and economic philosophy,
which sprang more from a flaming heart than from a cool, calculating
mind. He had neither the time nor the inclination to work out a
synthetic philosophy. He wrote as the spirit moved him, and whenever it
moved him, the keynote of all his writing having been, as he said to
me, "the hastening of the day when men will dwell together in the bonds
of love, and sin and suffering will be no more."

There are in the Tolstoyan system of religion the elements of the
long-dreamed of universal creed. It will take time for the rooting of
it. Mormonism and Dowieism spring up, like Jonah's gourd, and pass away
as speedily as they came. A system as rational and radical as that of
Tolstoy requires an age for germination. But, once it takes root, it
takes root forever; once it blossoms, it blossoms for eternity.



Publications of Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, D. D.


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  =_Prejudice, its Genesis and Exodus._=--Eight
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  =_My Visit to Tolstoy._=--Five Discourses            .35     .05

  =_The Service Manual._=--A book of _Prayers_,
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