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MILITARY SERVICE

33

offending Him. I thank Him for the moments of bliss which showed me my insignificance and my greatness. I want to pray, but do not know how. I want to understand, but dare not. I resign myself to Thy will.

"Why have I written all this? How flat, how faded, and even senseless, appear my feelings when expressed; and yet they were so exalted."

Such a moral awakening is described in "The Cossacks." Olenin, the hero of this novel, seated within a beautiful forest of the Caucasus, gives himself up to thoughts on the meaning of life.

"Suddenly it was as if a new world had opened before him. 'Happiness,' he said to himself, 'consists in living for others.' And that is clear. The longing for happiness is inborn in man. This means that it is legitimate. Trying to satisfy it in a selfish way, by seeking wealth, fame, comforts of life, and love—it may be that circumstances will so shape themselves as to make it impossible to satisfy these desires. Consequently these desires are illegitimate, but the desire for happiness is not illegitimate. Which desires may be satisfied regardless of circumstances? Which? Love, self-sacrifice. . . ."

Leo Tolstoy spent the whole summer with his brother, taking part as a volunteer in expeditions