by Leo Tolstoy
Translated by Mrs.Louise Maude
Opinions about Tolstoy and his work differ, but on one point
there surely might be unanimity. A writer of world-wide
reputation should be at least allowed to know how to spell his
own name. Why should any one insist on spelling it "Tolstoi"
(with one, two or three dots over the "i"), when he himself
writes it "Tolstoy"? The only reason I have ever heard suggested
is, that in England and America such outlandish views are
attributed to him, that an outlandish spelling is desirable to
match those views.
This novel, written in the rough by Tolstoy some years ago and
founded upon an actual occurrence, was completely rewritten by
him during the last year and a half, and all the proceeds have
been devoted by him to aiding the Doukhobors, a sect who were
persecuted in the Caucasus (especially from 1895 to 1898) for
refusing to learn war. About seven thousand three hundred of them
are settled in Canada, and about a hundred of the leaders are
exiled to the remote parts of Siberia.
Anything I may receive for my work in translating the book will
go to the same cause. "Prevention is better than cure," and I
would rather help people to abstain from killing and wounding
each other than devote the money to patch up their wounds after