Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tolstoy's Childhood

Above Photograph (n.d.) of Count Leo Tolstoy, from the George Grantham Bain Collection in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Public domain. The following is an excerpt from Tolstoy's autobiography, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929—

One day during dinner—I was six years old at the time—they [his parents] were discussing my looks and Mamma, trying to discover something nice about my face, said that I had intelligent eyes, and I pleasant smile, and then, yield to Papa's arguments and to the obvious, had been forced to admit that I was plain; and afterwards, when I was thanking her for the dinner, she patted my cheek and said: "Remember, my little Nikolai, that no one will love you for your face so you must try to be a sensible good boy."