Careful nursing gradually restored him to health, and on his convalescence he resolutely maintained his decision to remain in Africa, and, if possible, to work there in future on behalf of the German government.
He did not recover his health for more than a year, and as soon as convalescence set in he was seized by so profound a melancholy at the disaster which had thus overtaken him, that he threw himself into the Seine.
It was only gradually during his convalescence that Pierre lost the impressions he had become accustomed to during the last few months and got used to the idea that no one would oblige him to go anywhere tomorrow, that no one would deprive him of his warm bed, and that he would be sure to get his dinner, tea, and supper.
Dolokhov himself during his convalescence spoke to Rostov in a way no one would have expected of him.
But now that he had apparently made every preparation for death; now that his coffin was proved a good fit, Queequeg suddenly rallied; soon there seemed no need of the carpenter's box: and thereupon, when some expressed their delighted surprise, he, in substance, said, that the cause of his sudden convalescence was this;--at a critical moment, he had just recalled a little duty ashore, which he was leaving undone; and therefore had changed his mind about dying: he could not die yet, he averred.
During convalescence two books that were to influence his life were brought to him.
In October 1623 he suffered from a dangerous attack of illness, and during a long convalescence wrote his Devotions, a volume published in 1624.
During the whole time of his convalescence in Orel Pierre had experienced a feeling of joy, freedom, and life; but when during his journey he found himself in the open world and saw hundreds of new faces, that feeling was intensified.
During Mrs Grote's slow convalescence at Hampstead, he wrote his first published work, the Statement of the Question of Parliamentary Reform (1821), in reply to Sir James Mackintosh's article in the Edinburgh Review, advocating popular representation, vote by ballot and short parliaments.