December 3.—I waked up late, read the Scripture, but was unmoved by it. Afterwards I went down and walked up and down the big hall. I tried to meditate; but instead of that my imagination brought before me an incident which occurred four years ago. Dolohov, meeting me after my duel in Moscow, said to me that he hoped I was now enjoying complete mental peace in spite of my wife’s absence. At the time I made him no answer. Now I recalled all the details of that interview, and in my mind made him the most vindictive and biting retorts. I recovered myself and drove away that idea, only when I had caught myself in a passion of anger; but I did not repent of it sufficiently. Afterwards Boris Drubetskoy came and began describing various incidents. The moment he came in I felt amazed at his visit and said something horrid to him. He retorted. I got hot, and said a great deal to him that was disagreeable and even rude. He did not reply, and I checked myself only when it was too late. My God, I cannot get on with him at all. It is myself too that is to blame for it. I set myself above him, and so I become far inferior to him, for he is lenient to my rudeness, while I nourish a contempt for him. My God, grant me that in his presence I may see more clearly my own vileness and act so that it may be profitable to him too. After dinner I went to sleep, and just as I was falling asleep, I distinctly heard a voice saying in my left ear: ‘Thy day.’

“I dreamed I was walking along in the dark and was all of a sudden surrounded by dogs, but I went on undismayed; all at once one small dog seized me by the thigh with its teeth and would not let go. I tried to strangle it with my hands. And as soon as I tore it off, another, a bigger one, began to bite me. I lifted it up, and the more I lifted it up, the bigger and heavier it became. And suddenly brother A. came up, and taking me by the arm, led me away with him and brought me into a building, to enter which we had to pass over a narrow plank. I stepped on it, and the plank bent and gave way, and I began clambering on the fence, which I just managed to get hold of with my hands. After great efforts I dragged my body up, so that my legs were hanging over on one side and my body on the other. I looked round and saw brother A. standing on the fence and pointing out to me a great avenue and garden, and in the garden a great and beautiful building. I waked up. Lord, Great Architect of Nature, help me to tear away these dogs—my evil passions and especially the last—that unites in itself the violence of all the former ones, and aid me to enter that temple of virtue, of which I was vouchsafed a vision in my sleep.”

December 7.—I dreamed that Osip Alexyevitch was sitting in my house, and I was very glad to see him and eager to entertain him. But in my dream I kept chattering away incessantly with other people, and all at once I bethought myself that this could not be to his liking and I wanted to come close to him and to embrace him. But as soon as I approached him, I saw that his face was transformed, and had grown young, and he said something to me softly, some doctrine of our order, but so softly that I could not catch it. Then we all seemed to go out of the room, and something strange happened. We were sitting or lying on the floor. He was telling me something. But in my dream I longed to show him my devotional feeling, and, not listening to his words, I began picturing to myself the state of my own inner man, and the grace of God sanctifying me. And tears came into my eyes, and I was glad that he noticed it. But he glanced at me with vexation, and jumped up, breaking off his conversation with me. I was abashed and asked him whether what he had been saying did not concern me. But he made no reply, but gave me a friendly look, and then all of a sudden we found ourselves in my bedroom, where stood a big double bed. He lay down on the edge of it, and I seemed to be filled with a desire to embrace him and to lie down too. And in my dream he asked me, ‘Tell me the truth, what is your chief temptation? Do you know it? I believe that you do know it.’ Abashed at this question, I answered that sloth was my besetting temptation. He shook his head incredulously. And even more abashed, I told him that though I was living here with my wife, I was not living with her as a husband. To this he replied that I had no right to deprive my wife of my embraces, and gave me to understand that this was my duty. But I answered that I should be ashamed of it, and suddenly everything vanished. And I waked up, and in my mind there was the text of scripture: ‘And the life was the light of man, and the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.’

“The face of Osip Alexyevitch had been youthful and bright-looking. That day I received a letter from my benefactor, in which he wrote to me of my conjugal duties.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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