In "Childhood" Tolstoy apostrophises with feeling one of those "innocents," a man named Grisha, "whose faith was so strong that you felt the nearness of God, your love so ardent that the words flowed from your lips uncontrolled by your reason.
Once Egorka and Grisha, on being left by themselves, went strolling together through a little wood which was all permeated with light. The wood grew denser and denser. They came to two tall, straight trees. A bronze rod was suspended between them, and upon the rod, on rings, hung a dark red silk curtain. The light breeze caused the thin draperies to flutter.
Everything went happily at home too; but at lunch Grisha began whistling, and, what was worse, was disobedient to the English governess, and was forbidden to have any tart. Darya Alexandrovna would not have let things go so far on such a day had she been present; but she had to support the English governess's authority, and she upheld her decision that Grisha should have no tart.
Yet the tone of that voice was so heartrending, and his yellow, deformed face at times so sincere and pitiful in its expression, that, as one listened to him, it was impossible to repress a mingled sensation of pity, grief, and fear. This was the idiot Grisha. Whence he had come, or who were his parents, or what had induced him to choose the strange life which he led, no one ever knew.
"Because I don't know how to behave here. Besides, I am bored, disgusted. What is there amusing in it? If they were human beings but they are savages and animals. I am going; do as you like." "Come, Grisha, Grigory, darling..." said the artist in a tearful voice, hugging Vassilyev, "come along! Let's go to one more together and damnation take them!... Please do, Grisha!"
"Maybe I do know. Now tell me." "Would you like to know?" asked Grisha with a smile. It was a tranquil smile. Egorka was about to stick his tongue out in response, but changed his mind for some reason. They began to converse, to exchange whispers.
When Grisha woke in the night he heard his nurse and the cook whispering together in the nursery. Nurse was talking persuasively, while the cook alternately sobbed and giggled. When he fell asleep after this, Grisha dreamed of Pelageya being carried off by Tchernomor and a witch. Next day there was a calm. The life of the kitchen went on its accustomed way as though the cabman did not exist.
That done, he made the sign of the cross again, and turned the candle upside down, when it went out with a hissing noise. In the courtyard the watchman was tapping at intervals upon his brass alarm plate. For a while Grisha stood silently before the images and, with his large hands pressed to his breast and his head bent forward, gave occasional sighs.
"I know your secretary," he said, as he got into the cab. "A cunning rogue and a beast the kingdom of heaven be his such as you don't often come across." "Come, Grisha, it is not the thing to abuse the dead." "Of course not, aut mortuis nihil bene, but still he was a rascal." The friends overtook the funeral procession and joined it.
O truly Christian Grisha, your faith was so strong that you could feel the actual presence of God; your love so great that the words fell of themselves from your lips. You had no reason to prove them, for you did so with your earnest praises of His majesty as you fell to the ground speechless and in tears! Nevertheless the sense of awe with which I had listened to Grisha could not last for ever.