Tolstoy demanded an explanation, his wife Sofya Andreevna was touched: “What do you want from a 53-year-old woman.” The hero of family misunderstanding, the composer Taneyev, sneered: “What have you all done: Tolstoy, Tolstoy! I saw your Tolstoy in the bath. Very bad. The great writer knew why all families are equally happy, but each is unhappy in his own way.
Tolstoy walked to the marriage for a long time, stayed up to 34 years old in the mares. At sixteen, Lev chooses a diplomatic career for himself and enters the Kazan University in the Eastern Faculty. Despite the ability to learn foreign languages, Tolstoy transferred to the Faculty of Law. After studying for three years, leaving the university, the nineteen-year-old Lev returns to Moscow. Where did he, at the age of 12, together with his three siblings and younger sister, after his father’s death, be brought to Kazan by his sister Yushkov’s sister.
Yushkov’s house was one of the most fun in Kazan; All family members highly appreciated the brilliance. “My good aunt,” says Tolstoy, “the purest being, always said that she would not want anything for me as if I had a connection with a married woman.” The grandson of the former governor of Kazan was a welcome guest in many noble houses. Row with passionate nature, he led the life of the “golden youth” – he went out into the light, smoked, danced, fenced, rode, often visited gypsies, whom he loved to sing. Even moved to the family estate, Yasnaya Polyana, a whole camp. Songs, romances, revels until the morning. Gypsies settled in the greenhouse, which his grandfather Volkonsky built, and with pleasure ate greenhouse peaches, intended for sale. The young count almost married a gypsy, even learned the gypsy language. Among the neighbors of landowners, he won the reputation of “frivolous small.” Tolstoy played a lot of cards and lost a lot. His condition was melting, sometimes card debts had nothing to pay. Hiding from debts, in 1851 he “expelled himself to the Caucasus”. He was taken with him by his elder brother Nikolai, an artillery officer.
In the Caucasus, Leo Tolstoy takes part in military operations against the Highlanders. For bravery presented to the St. George’s Cross, but gave it to a soldier – the award provided a lifetime pension.
However, you can’t run away from yourself: the secular booze changed to an officer with indispensable card games and billiards. Nevertheless, the war years dramatically changed the fate of Tolstoy.
In November 1855, a young officer who arrived in St. Petersburg from Sevastopol received extraordinary attention. The powerful of this world sought his acquaintance, invited to dinners. The success was caused not by military exploits, the public recognized the new rising star of Russian literature. The glory of Count Lev Tolstoy grew rapidly, as did the interest in the stories written in the Caucasus “Raid”, “Forest felling”, “Marker notes”, “Cossacks”, “Sevastopol stories”. The well-known novelist and playwright Pisemsky said: “This officer will eat all of us, even if you drop the pen. “.
Instead of wedding
At the end of 1856, Lev Nikolayevich took off his uniform and plunged into secular passions, even nearly getting married. Pushing into his estate, he often turned in neighboring Sudakovo to the young Valeria Arsenyeva. A governess who brought up an orphan had a plan to give Valery a young count. But then Tolstoy began to be filled with doubts, and he decided to experience the feeling of a two-month separation. Suddenly I went “instead of the church, to Petersburg”. At a distance, Tolstoy admitted to himself that he was not so much in love as he tried to arouse love for himself. This is the bride and wrote in Sudakovo. The rejected young lady did not suffer for long, soon married and had four children.
The young earl in 1857 went to Switzerland, where he was very busy. In the poetic atmosphere of the Swiss spring on the shores of Lake Geneva, he first met with distant relatives – Countess Elizabeth and Alexandra Tolstoy. Both served at the court of Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna. Alexandra had a pleasant appearance and gorgeous voice. Tolstoy flirted with pleasure, counting the pretty “grandmother” head and shoulders above all the women he had ever met. But this rapprochement did not go beyond simple friendship. The countess was older, on her face he noticed the first wrinkles and more than once in her diary, admiring her relative, exclaimed with sadness: “If she were ten years younger. “
Subsequently, they dispersed on the basis of religious disagreement. But even in the year of his death, Lev Nikolayevich, re-reading his long correspondence with Countess Tolstoy, told those around him: “As there is light in a dark corridor from under some door, so when I look back at my long, dark life, the memory of Alexandrine – always a bright streak. ”
In 1859, caring for several young ladies in the Moscow world, he finally decided to make one of them, Princess Lion, an offer, but was refused. Other girls he cared for found that it was “interesting but difficult” with him, and besides, the candidate for grooms was not very attractive. An ugly face with a wide nose and thick lips softened the look of light gray, deep-seated, kind, expressive eyes. The young earl noted the first signs of approaching old age, and had almost given up on family happiness. The girls with whom he met, he made high demands of the mind, simplicity, sincerity, beauty. At the same time, his wife should be the healthy mother of his children, look at everything through the eyes of her husband, in everything be his assistant. Possessing a secular gloss, she is obliged to forget the light, to live with her husband in the village and devote herself entirely to the family.
Only a strong passion could make him believe that he met the personification of such an ideal. And it happened.
In the summer of 1861, returning to Russia from a second trip abroad, Tolstoy drove to the Beers family. The pretty daughters of the Kremlin doctor Bers fussed, setting the table. In the evening in Moscow, Tolstoy wrote in his diary: “What kind of cute, happy girls.” For five years, “cute girls” have grown into beautiful ladies. The two elders have already passed the exams, wore long dresses and hairstyles. Lev Nikolaevich became a frequent guest in their house. With the sentimental Sonya Tolstoy, he played four hands, sat with her at chess. Once he brought Turgenev’s story “First Love” with him, after reading it out loud, said cautiously: “The love of a sixteen-year-old son, a young man was real love that a person experiences only once in his life, and his father’s love is an abomination and debauchery.
Once, Tolstoy remarked to his sister: “If I marry, it’s like one of the Beers.”
“Well, here you are, marry Liza,” answered the countess, “a beautiful wife will be: solid, serious, well-bred.
These conversations reached the Beers family. Parents never dreamed of such a gift. Their daughter, a bespredent, could become a countess, the wife of a wealthy landowner, a famous writer.
Feeling the atmosphere created by Lev Nikolayevich, he began: “The day at the Beers is pleasant, but I don’t dare to marry Liza,” and later: “Lisa Beers tempts me; but this will not happen. One calculation is insufficient, there is no feeling. ”
Much more attracted to his younger sisters, full of life and enthusiasm. “Tatianchik” was still a child. But Sofia Andreevna is pretty every day. She passed the exams at Moscow University, began to travel to the world. A rosy girl with dark brown big eyes and a dark scythe, with a lively character, easily turned into sadness. She loved literature, painting, music, but she did not show any special talents. From the age of 11 she carefully kept a diary and even tried to write a story.
The first fan of Sophia was a student-teacher. Lively and fast, he wore glasses and shaggy thick hair. Once, helping Sonia to carry something, a desperate fellow grabbed her hand and kissed her.
– How dare you?! She cried, disdainfully wiping the place of the kiss with her handkerchief.
The nihilist was replaced by a senior cadet – Mitrofan Polivanov from a wealthy noble family with good connections. This time, Sophia did not take away her hands with disgust when the young man attached to them at the rehearsals of her home play. Leaving for Petersburg, to the academy, Polivanov made an offer, received consent.
Meanwhile, Professor Beal Popov appeared in the Beers family. Power, with slow movements and expressive gray eyes. He willingly spent time in Sonechka’s society, never taking his eyes off the graceful figure and the lively face of a young girl. Even removed not far from Pokrovsky cottage. Unexpectedly for himself, Tolstoy felt jealous. He began to appear in the family almost every day. Sonechka greeted him now merrily and joyfully, now sad and dreamy, now severely. Eighteen year old girl deftly manipulated a brilliant writer.
“. She said about Professor Popov and the blouse. Is it really all inadvertently? ”“ I am in love, as I did not believe, so that I could love. She is charming in every way. And I – disgusting. We had to beware before. Now I can not stop.
Tolstoy came to the Beurs in the evening. He was worried and then sat down at the piano, without completing what had begun, got up and walked around the room, approached Sophia, called to play four hands. She sat down dutifully. The excitement of Tolstoy embarrassed and fascinated her. Tolstoy, not daring to speak, handed Sofia a letter. “Sofia Andreevna! … The false view of your family on me is how it seems to me that I am in love with your sister Lisa. This is unfair … I would die of laughter, if a month ago I was told that you can suffer as I suffer, and happily suffer this time. Tell me, as an honest man, do you want to be my wife? … But if I never will be a husband, loved as I love, it will be terrible. “
– Give up! – With a sob in her voice groaned older sister.
Sophia approached the agitated Tolstoy, his face seemed paler than pale, and said:
Old Dr. Bers, upsetting the eldest daughter, did not want to give consent in the first minutes. But Sonia’s tears solved the matter. At the insistence of Tolstoy decided to get married in a week. In his diary he writes: “It is not clear how the week went. I remember nothing; just a kiss at the piano … Doubts about her love and the thought that she is deceiving herself. ” Lev Nikolaevich dedicates it to his diary. Sophia read about his hobbies and wept bitterly over these “terrible” notebooks. They had everything: card debts, drunken parties, a gypsy with whom her fiancé intended to live, girls to whom he went with friends, a Yasnaya Polyana peasant woman Aksinya with whom he spent summer nights and became pregnant by him, a little girl Valeria Arsenyeva with whom he did not marry, his aunt’s maid, the peasant woman Glasha, who had become pregnant from him, and Tolstoy’s promise: “In my village not to have a single woman, except in some cases that I will not look for, but I will not even miss it.”
On the wedding day, Lev Nikolayevich unexpectedly arrived in the morning, breaking the tradition: the bridegroom was not supposed to come to the bride. But Tolstoy needs a “last drop of truth”, he is trying to find out from Sonya, whether she loves him, whether her memories of Polivanov are embarrassing, whether it is more honest to disperse.
The wedding took place in the court of the Kremlin church. The face of the bride was in tears, one of her best men was Polivanov.
After congratulations, champagne, ceremonial tea from Dr. Bers, Sofia Andreevna changed into a dark blue traveling dress for a trip to Yasnaya Polyana. There, on two floors of the outbuilding, the young ones settled down. Not the slightest trace of luxury. Table setting is more than modest. The husband immediately changed his magnificent Shmermer’s dress to a warm blouse, which later became his costume.
His habits surprised the young wife. For example, he slept on a dark red morocco pillow that resembled a crew seat, and did not even cover it with a pillowcase. In the garden – not a single flower, around the house – mugs, on which a small servant threw litter.
From the first day, Sophia Andreevna tried to “help her husband.” But she liked to ride threesomes more. Joined the fun and Tolstoy. And then the two of them, like little children, amused themselves with each other – and were happy.
Love as we can
Three and a half months after the wedding (January 5, 1863), Tolstoy writes in his diary: “Happiness marries me all. “. “I love her when I wake up at night or in the morning and see: she looks at me and loves me. And no one – the main thing – I do not interfere with her love, as she knows, in her own way. I love when she sits close to me, and we know that we love each other as much as we can; and she will say: “Levochka!”. and stop: “why are the chimneys in the fireplace held straight?” or “why don’t the horses die for long?” “… I love it when I see its head thrown back, and serious, and scared, and childish, and passionate face; love when “.
Everybody admired the idyll of Tolstoy. But the fits of jealousy began. They were jealous and both suffered deeply. Sofya Andreevna refused even to submit herself in writing to Countess Alexandra Tolstoy, since she was jealous of her husband for the “sweet grandmother”. In Moscow, Sophia does not want to go to the princess Obolenskaya, who was once fond of Tolstoy. Later, she notes in her diary: “We also went to see the princess
It would seem that in the backwoods of the village there is no one to be jealous. But it cost her cousin, Olga Islenieva, who was visiting Yasnaya Polyana, to play four hands with Lev Nikolayevich, and Sophia was already jealous and hated by the guest.
The husband was even more jealous. Polivanov’s presence in Moscow in January 1863 is “unpleasant” to him. He is jealous of the teacher of the Yasnaya Polyana school or the almost unfamiliar young guest.
Dreams Come True
“I often dream about how to have an apartment in Moscow on Sivtsev Vrazhka. On the winter route to send a convoy and live 3 – 4 months in Moscow. Your world, theater, music, books, library and sometimes exciting conversation with a new intelligent person, here are our hardships in Yasnaya. But the deprivation, which is much stronger, is to count every penny, to be afraid that I do not have enough money. Wish to buy something and not be able to. Therefore, as long as I will not be able to postpone so much for a trip to Moscow, until then this dream will be a dream, ”he wrote to Sofia’s father. And Tolstoy rolls up his sleeves. The office, calculations with hired workers, a household, barns, cattle breeding are assigned to Sofia. Until the last days of pregnancy, she ran around the manor with a large bunch of keys at the waist, wore two miles away for a beekeeper, either in a field or a vegetable garden. Tolstoy was happy. He is starting work on War and Peace. Roman took from Tolstoy five years of hard work, but brought fame and money to the writer.
By the end of the seventies, Tolstoy was completely secure. With his literary work, he greatly increased his fortune. In the early 80s, he estimated it at 600 thousand rubles. All the elements of “good, honest happiness,” as Tolstoy understood him at that time, were present. Glory, which did not use during the life of any Russian writer; funds – more than sufficient; family – friendly, cheerful.
The first child was born to Tolstoy on June 28, 1863. Childbirth proceeded hard. Tolstoy was near – he was wiping his forehead with his wife, kissing his hands. A premature, weak boy, the count wanted to call Nicholas. But Sophia Andreevna was scared. This name did not bring happiness to anyone in the family: Tolstoy’s grandfather, father, brother, and even his nephew, who bore it, all died early. In the end, stopped at Sergei. “Sergulevich”, – Lev Nikolayevich called him.
Sonya could not feed – her chest was very sore and the doctors did not allow it. Tolstoy was angry. “The pain bends me into three deaths. Leva is deadly. Nothing is cute. Like a dog, I was accustomed to his caresses – he lost interest. I’m bored, I’m alone, all alone. I am satisfaction, I am a nurse, I am familiar furniture, I am a woman, ”she writes. “… Sonya, darling, I’m to blame, but I’m disgusting. I have a great person who sometimes sleeps. You love him and do not reproach him, ”he replies.
The family absorbed him. At the end of 1865, he interrupted the diary for 13 years. Happy spouses have no secrets.
Lev Nikolayevich demanded underlined simplicity: the boy must walk in a canvas shirt. He treated his little daughter cordially, but he could not tolerate kisses, caresses and tenderness. From newborns kept at a decent distance.
“Something like cramps is being done with me, so I’m afraid to take small children in my arms.”
Ten years after the marriage, the Tolstoys had six children. Sergey, Tatiana, Ilya, Leo, Masha, Peter. Parents took an active part in their upbringing. Sofya Andreevna taught them Russian literacy, French and German, and dance. Lev Nikolaevich taught mathematics. Later, when the eldest son needed to learn the Greek language, and there was no suitable teacher, Tolstoy gave up everything and began to work for the Greeks. Not even knowing the alphabet, he quickly overcame difficulties and read Xenophon freely in six weeks.
The father also taught the children to swim, trained them in horse riding, arranged a skating rink on the pond and ice slides. In leaping, running, gymnastics, Lev Nikolayevich did not know his rivals and infecting not only children but also all those present. Although he himself almost did not remember maternal love. His mother from the old Volkonsky family died when the boy was not even two years old.
In the first fifteen years of family life, Tolstoy devoted much of his strength to raising children. He brought a lot of humor to their lives. For example, “running of the Numidian cavalry”: Lev Nikolayevich tore off his chair, raised his hand up and, waving it over his head, jumped at a gallop around the table; all were caught up with him, repeating his movements. Having walked around the room several times and out of breath, everyone sat down in their places merry, boredom and tears forgotten.
Cuts of love
Quarrels are in every family. “You know, Sonya,” Tolstoy once said, “it seems to me that husband and wife are like two halves of a blank sheet of paper. Quarrels are like cuts. Start this sheet from the top and cut. Soon the two halves will separate completely. “
Over the years, when the number of children increased, Sofia Andreevna rarely played the piano with four hands with her husband. Nevertheless, the wife became attached to the creativity of her husband. Having bent down to the paper and gazing at Tolstoy with myopic eyes, sat like that until late at night. Sofya Andreevna rewrote the huge novel “War and Peace” seven times.
Even after 12 years of married life, she and Tolstoy were one.
In 1871, Lev Nikolayevich felt bad and went to Kumys for treatment in the Samara province. For six weeks, he wrote his wife 14 letters full of “more than love.”
“Every day that I am apart from you,” he wrote, “I am stronger and more anxious, and I think more passionately about you, and everything is harder for me. About this you can not talk. “. “I could not read your letters without tears, and I was trembling all over, and my heart was beating. “
In the midst of this happiness, sometimes sad thoughts about death seize upon Tolstoy. Over time, they appear more and more. He is attracted to people who stand on the very edge of life. About this he writes “Notes of a Madman.” The ghost of death cut the happy life of Tolstoy. Petya, the 18-month-old son, died. Sophia Andreyevna was seriously ill. Tolstoy thinks about suicide. He stopped walking with a gun to hunt, so as not to be tempted too easy way of ridding himself of life. Seizures of depression caused not only the fear of death, but also the horror of the nonsense of life ending in death. So he suffered for three years.
By the beginning of the mental crisis of Lev Nikolaevich Sofya Andreevna was already over thirty. With his disappointments, Tolstoy became dull, gloomy, irritable, often quarreled with his wife because of the little things and turned from a former cheerful and cheerful head of the family into a strict preacher and exposer. He creates a society of sobriety, becomes a vegetarian, quits smoking.
Two people converge to interfere with each other.
In the summer of 1881 Sofia Andreevna was caring for the last months of the eleventh pregnancy. The eldest son went to university, it was time to take out his daughter to the light. In 1882 Tolstoy buys in Moscow the famous house in Khamovnichesky Lane. At the same time he notices about life in the capital: “Unhappy! No life. Stench, stones, luxury, misery, debauchery. The villains who robbed the people gathered, recruited soldiers, judges to protect their orgies, and – feasting. The people have nothing more to do, how, using the passions of these people, to lure the loot back from them. Guys on this more agile. The women of the house, the men rub the floors and bodies in the baths and drive cab drivers. ”
When the bearded men of the family (father and sons) played screw, Sofia Andreevna gave birth to Alexander, the twelfth child.
The older Tolstoy becomes, the more often he expresses his opinion about women. “Women only know husbands (when it’s too late). Only husbands see them backstage. … They pretend so skillfully that no one sees them, what they really are, especially when they are young. ” The views of Tolstoy on women did not prevent his sons from marrying; the last of them was married in 1901. And the daughters, when their time came, married: Maria Lvovna in 1897 for Prince Obolensky, and Tatyana Lvovna in 1899 for landowner Sukhotin.
Tolstoy stayed with his wife and youngest daughter. On March 31, 1888, at the age of forty-four, Sofya Andreevna gave birth to her last child, Vanya, who died six years later. To endure this, she could not.
– You stopped being my wife! Shouted the count. – Who are you? Mother? You do not want to have children anymore! A friend of my nights? Even from this you make a toy to take power over me!
In his diary at the end of 1899, he wrote: “Lust is attracted to marriage by sexual desire, which takes the form of promise, hope for happiness, which is supported by public opinion and literature; but marriage is … the suffering that a person pays for a satisfied sexual desire. The main reason for this suffering is that it expects something that does not happen, and it does not expect something that always happens. ” “Marriage is rather the intersection of two lines: as soon as they crossed, they went in different directions.”
So they destroyed each other’s last remnants of love. Sofia Andreevna in her autobiography is perplexed: “When exactly we parted with him, I cannot keep track of it. And in what. “. “I felt powerless to follow his teachings. The relationship between us was personal and the same: we also loved each other, and it was just as difficult to separate. ” These comments are sincere. In the nineties, for example, Tolstoy wrote about 300 letters to his wife. They are full of friendliness, caring, anxiety. “With your arrival you left such a strong, vigorous, good impression, too good for me, because you lack me more. My awakening and your appearance is one of the strongest joyful impressions I have experienced, and this is 69 years old from a 53-year-old woman. “.
A little later, Tolstoy declares to his wife that he wants to divorce her and go to Paris or America. “I found a tetanus on me, neither to talk, nor to cry, I still wanted to talk nonsense, and I am afraid of that and I am silent, and I am silent for three hours, even if I kill me – I can’t speak. Melancholy, grief, rupture, a painful state of alienation – all that is left in me. For what?”.
Sofia Andreevna was saved by music – and especially by Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, the composer, professor. The relationship between the countess and Taneyev was platonic, but Tolstoy’s spiritual betrayal of the wife caused immense suffering. He spoke and wrote to her about it repeatedly, but she only took offense: “I am an honest woman!”. And she continued to take Taneyeva or went to him herself. To questions about what is happening between the spouses, Sofia Andreevna answered with a grin:
– Yes, absolutely nothing! Even ashamed to talk about jealousy of a 53-year old woman.
All guessed about the love of Sophia Andreevny, except for Taneyev himself. They never became lovers. In her diary, Sophia Andreevna wrote: “I know this painful feeling, when love is not illuminated, but God’s world fades, when it is bad, it is impossible – but there is no power to change.” Before her death, she told her daughter Tatiana: “I loved one of your father.”
At the end of his life Tolstoy survived the collapse. His ideas about family happiness have collapsed. Lev Nikolaevich could not change the life of his family in accordance with his views. He wrote “Kreutzer Sonata”, “Family Happiness” and “Anna Karenina” based on the experience of his own family life.
In accordance with his teachings, Tolstoy tried to get rid of attachment to loved ones, tried to be even and friendly to all. He asked Sophia Andreevna to dispose of the property – the house, the land, the writings. “Inexperienced, without a penny of money,” she recalled, “I energetically began to study the business of publishing books, and then selling and subscribing to the works of Tolstoy. “. She consulted with numerous friends and even met the widow of Dostoevsky, who, during her husband’s lifetime, took the edition of his writings into her own hands. Things went brilliantly. Sofya Andreevna has been publishing herself since 1886. Successfully things went with the management of estates. Intimacy and mutual understanding between the spouses was gone. Sofia Andreevna took care of the material support of children. While in the house of Tolstoy did not appear Vladimir Chertkov.
The son of the governor-general, a handsome, brilliant officer who had driven the ladies, Chertkov led a tumultuous life, he smoked, played cards. Having learned about the new philosophy of the writer, “a sample of all Tolstoyan virtues” came to him. Having entrusted himself with trust, the head of the Mediator publishing house, Chertkov, little by little became the complete master of Tolstoy’s works. Sofia Andreevna could not accept the fact that family capital went to enrich a stranger. Near the decrepit Tolstoy, two belligerent camps were formed, which tore him apart.
The family that Sofia Andreevna loved most in the world already consisted (with all the grandchildren) of 28 people. The moment came when the countess’s health could not stand the excitement. On June 22, 1910, Tolstoy, who was visiting Chertkov, received a disturbing telegram and returned to Yasnaya Polyana. He found his wife in a terrible state. She was nervously ill. Sofia Andreevna was sixty sixth year. Behind were 48 years of married life and thirteen deliveries.
In the house of Tolstoy began hell. The unhappy woman lost all power over herself. She overheard, spied, tried not to let her husband out of sight for a minute, rummaged in his papers, looking for a will or notes about herself and Chertkov. Tolstoy was more and more persistently thinking about leaving this “home of the insane”, from the people who had exchanged it for rubles. Sofya Andreevna strongly promised her husband to commit suicide on the day he left.
Loved to the end
Tolstoy miserable, weak, staggering hit the run. He drove to Shamordino to his sister, a nun, and from there went on foot to Optina desert, but he did not dare to enter the skete where the old men lived, fearing that they would not want to talk to him. He got on the train and got sick there. Head station Astapovo gave the patient his apartment. Tolstoy died after 7 days.
“They sent me doctors to him,” Sophia Andreevna recalled, “when he barely breathed, lying motionless on his back, with his eyes already closed. I quietly in his ear spoke to him with tenderness, hoping that he still hears – that I was there all the time in Astapov, that I loved him to the end. I do not remember what I told him yet, but two deep sighs, as if caused by a terrible effort, answered my words, and then everything calmed down. ”
Sofya Andreevna wrote in her diary: “Intolerable melancholy, remorse of conscience, weakness, pity for suffering to the late husband … I can not live.” She wanted to commit suicide.
It’s been 8 years. Sofia Andreevna turned 74 years old. Tall, slightly stooped, she had become much thinner every day, she walked a mile to the tomb of her husband and changed flowers on her. Lev Nikolayevich was buried in Yasnaya Polyana on the edge of a ravine in the forest, where as a child he and his brother were looking for a “green wand” that kept a “secret” how to make all people happy. At the end of her life, Sofia Andreevna confessed to her daughter: “Yes, I lived with forty-eight years with Lev Nikolayevich, but I never knew what kind of person he was. “