Look How They Massacred My Boy

Day 281 of A Year of War and Peace

onny massacred himself. It was his own anger that shot him up at the causeway and then kicked him in his dead face. If only he could have tamed his rage and refrained from thoughtless action born of frustration then perhaps he could have reigned as Don. As it happened, however, his enemies were able to lure him out into the open by baiting his fury.

Today General Bagovut pulls a Sonny. He looks out at the disarray of the Russian campaign and loses his otherwise placid temperament. He cannot abide that none of the regiments are in place or that the Cossacks are pillaging the French rather than pursuing them. So his rage provokes him into needlessly attacking the French. He leads the way and he is the first to die.

Don’t be Sonny. Don’t be Bagovut.


Keep this thought handy when you feel a fit of rage coming on — it isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance — unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

This is the two hundred and eighty first 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.

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

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