rooks crying out of Moscow across the fields, and when flashes of light suddenly gleamed out of the east and the sun’s rim floated triumphantly up from behind a cloud, and cupolas and crosses and hoar frost and the horizon and the river were all sparkling in the glad light, Pierre felt a new feeling of joy and vigour in life such as he had never experienced before.

And that feeling had not left him during the whole period of his imprisonment, but on the contrary had gone on growing in him as the hardships of his position increased.

That feeling—of being ready for anything, of moral alertness—was strengthened in Pierre by the high opinion in which he began to be held by his companions very soon after he entered the shed. His knowledge of languages, the respect shown him by the French, the good-nature with which he gave away anything he was asked for (he received the allowance of three roubles a week, given to officers among the prisoners), the strength he showed in driving nails into the wall, the gentleness of his behaviour to his companions, and his capacity—which seemed to him mysterious—of sitting stockstill doing nothing and plunged in thought, all made him seem to the soldiers a rather mysterious creature of a higher order. The very peculiarities that in the society he had previously lived in had been a source of embarrassment, if not of annoyance—his strength, his disdain for the comforts of life, his absent-mindedness, his good-nature—here among these men gave him the prestige almost of a hero. And Pierre felt that their view of him brought its duties.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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