A Just Vengeance


The great French nation has, like many nations before and since, been the author of some fairly horrible moral outrages. The Reign of Terror. The crimes of colonialism. The introduction of andouillette to the global menu. Today their unjust invasion of Russia is complete as two French soldiers, an officer and a private, quarter themselves in Bazdeev’s home where Pierre currently resides.

Let us quickly review the beef — du boeuf — Pierre has with the French at this particular moment. They have invaded his homeland. They have occupied his city. They have murdered his best friend and hundreds of thousands of his countrymen. Pierre has plenty to be upset about. By all accounts it’d be perfectly understandable if he were to loose a raging homicidal fury down upon these two usurpers.

But he doesn’t.

Far from it. In fact, Pierre betrays his plans of maintaining the secrecy of his identity and knowledge of the French language, a tactic in his mission to kill Napoleon. Pierre sacrifices his own plan in order to save the two French soldier’s lives as Makar Alexeevich, that drunken buffoon, comes barreling into the room firing off his pistol at them.

Pierre could have allowed Makar Alexeevich to have his way. It probably wouldn’t have been too difficult to let the two French soldiers die. Chances are they could have gotten away with it and no doubt they’re guilty of murdering Russians.

But that’s not Pierre Bezukhov, fat beautiful bastard that he is.


The best way of avenging yourself is not to become like the wrongdoer.

Marcus, Meditations

This is the two hundred and fifty third installment in a daily, yearlong, chapter-by-chapter reading devotional and meditation on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. For more information on this project please read the introduction to the series here.

If you’re enjoying A Year of War and Peace please share on your favorite social media and recommend here on Medium.

I’m also very interested in hearing what you have to say about the novel. So leave a comment and let me know.

If you like these essays and would like to support me please consider purchasing my eBook A Year of War and Peace. I also have a Patreon or you could make a one time donation to my PayPal account at brianedenton@gmail.com. Please use that email address if you want to contact me. Or you could follow me on Twitter.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Brian E. Denton

Brian E. Denton

For my friends and family, love. For my enemies, durian fruit.