Excerpt from The Defence of Plevna, 1877
Then followed easy and undeserved successes in another sphere of life, all-absorbing occupation, studies, travels, domestic cares; finally, adversity, sorrow, hard struggle, and overwork. In short, I do not exaggerate when I say that f... or sixteen years I have been unable to spare the time to write my book.
It is the unavoidable consequence of the rank I held (lieutenant) that the horizon of my experience was limited. I was in the position of an observer of a painting who is placed with his nose almost touching the canvas. He cannot take in the grand-total of the pictorial idea, but will see each phase in all its details thus he will probably perceive in the long run more than the man who confines himself to the broad outlines.
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