Translated by Isabel Florence Hapgood
urse, that he had proved to be a poor, even a downright worthless military man and soldier; but what I had not expected was, that he had displayed no special bravery; that in battle he wore a dejected and languid aspect, as though he were partly bored, partly daunted. All discipline oppressed him, inspired him with sadness; he was audacious to recklessness when it was a question of himself personally; there was no wager too crazy for him to accept; but do evil to others, kill, fight, he could not, perhaps because he had a good heart,--and perhaps because his "cotton-wool" education (as he expressed it) had enervated him. He was ready to exterminate himself in any sort of way at any time.... But others--no. "The devil only can make him out," his comrades said of him:--"he's puny, a rag---and what a reckless fellow he is--a regular dare-devil!"--I happened afterward to ask Mísha what evil spirit prompted him, made him indulge in drinking-bouts, risk his life, and so forth. He always had one answer: "Spleen."