Keep it Up We’re in the Final Stretch Now
Tolstoy continues his search for that fugitive first mover of history today. His analysis contemplates the work of three different styles of historian: the biographical, the universal and the cultural historian. If that sounds boring to you you are not alone in your assessment. There are quite a few common criticisms of the second epilogue of War and Peace. That it’s boring is one of them. That it’s unnecessary and totally out of keeping with the rest of the novel and, frankly, that there is never any reason at all for a book to have two epilogues is yet another. Stay strong though. We’re nearly at the finish line. Remember why you’ve come this far.
Now of the powers residing in human beings we shall find that intelligence leads all the rest and that philosophy alone is capable of educating this rightly and training it. In this study I think you ought to participate, and not balk at or flee from the labours involved in it, reflecting that through idleness and indolence even quite superficial things become difficult, while through persistence and diligence none of the worth-while things is unattainable.
Demosthenes, The Erotic Essay