It sounds very like some of John Ruskin's sayings, does it not? The lightening of the Atlas burden of labour, the right and the human need of happiness, and the alleviation of the trouble of life and the bitterness of death by the faith in God — these are the cardinal articles of Tolstoi's creed. In trying to give a new and proverbial expression of them in essential forms of art which all could understand, he gave up the secondary complicate modes of fiction in which he had shown himself a master, and took the primary modes instead. He returned for his model to the folk tale and the fable. The result is that he has added some new words to the spiritual vocabulary of man, and added some new fables to the world's stock. Such are those in the pages that follow, tales told poignantly and with the force of simple and universal utterances spoken from the heart and with the whole heart and mind, so as to sink at once into the memory of a child, or to touch the very springs of thought in men and women. Some of Tolstoi's critics have regretted that he gave up being a novelist. But he did so in order to become a new fabulist and maker of parable, and as the true fabulists are few, comparatively, surely ours is the gain?