uttered, as he lay at the halting-places, and smelt the increasing odour from the sick man. Pierre moved further away from him and did not think about him.

In captivity in the shed that had been his prison, Pierre had learned not through his intellect, but through his whole being, through life, that man is created for happiness, that happiness lies in himself, in the satisfaction of his natural, human cravings; that all unhappiness is due, not to lack of what is needful, but to superfluity. But now, during the last three weeks of the march, he had learned another new and consolatory truth—he had learned that there is nothing terrible to be dreaded in the world. He had learned that just as there is no position in the world in which a man can be happy and perfectly free, so too there is no position in which he need be unhappy and in bondage. He had found out that there is a limit to suffering and a limit to freedom, and that that limit is very soon reached; that the man who suffered from a crumpled petal in his bed of roses, suffered just as much as he suffered now, sleeping on the bare, damp earth, with one side getting chilled as the other side got warm; that when in former days he had put on his tight dancing-shoes, he had suffered in just the same way as now, when he walked quite barefoot (his foot-gear had long since fallen to pieces), with his feet covered with sores. He learned that when he had—by his own free-will, as he had fancied—married his wife, he had been no more free than now when he was locked up for the night in a stable. Of all that he did himself afterwards call sufferings, though at the time he hardly felt them so, the chief was the state of his bare, blistered, sore feet. The horse-flesh was savoury and nourishing, the saltpetre flavour given it by the gun-powder they used instead of salt was positively agreeable; there was no great degree of cold, it was always warm in the daytime on the march, and at night there were the camp-fires, and the lice that devoured him helped to keep him warm. One thing was painful in the earlier days— that was his feet.

On the second day of the march, as he examined his blisters by the camp-fire, Pierre thought he could not possibly walk on them; but when they all got up, he set off limping, and later on, when he got warm, he walked without pain, though his feet looked even more terrible that evening. But he did not look at them, and thought of something else.

Only now Pierre grasped all the force of vitality in man, and the saving power innate in man, of transferring his attention, like the safety-valve in steam-engines, that lets off the superfluous steam so soon as its pressure exceeds a certain point.

He did not see and did not hear how the prisoners that lagged behind were shot, though more than a hundred of them had perished in that way. He did not think about Karataev, who was getting weaker every day, and would obviously soon fall a victim to the same fate. Still less did Pierre think about himself. The harder his lot became, the more terrible his future, the more independent of his present plight were the glad and soothing thoughts, memories, and images that occurred to him.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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