Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/61

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

MILITARY SERVICE

35

foretold him his future. A little later he writes in his diary:

"The man who strives only for his own happiness is bad; he who aims for the good opinions of others is weak; he who seeks the happiness of others is virtuous; he whose aim is God is great.

"Justice is the least measure of virtue, and is obligatory for everybody. Higher is the striving for perfection; anything lower is vice."

It would be difficult to find a better expression of the views of Tolstoy.

Naturally, such a man was not in his place in the artillery of the Caucasus. Those moments of spiritual elevation were only a few bright spots on the grey background of the dreary camp routine. And, indeed, he began to grow tired and weary of military life. Then, towards the end of 1853, the Crimean War broke out. Just before Leo Tolstoy had handed in his resignation, but it was delayed, and through his influential relatives he requested to be transferred on active service to the Russian army on the Danube, where the fighting had begun. His relations procured him a post on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Danube army, Prince Gorchakoff, who was also a relative.

Before his departure from the Caucasus,