Countess Bezukhova turned smiling to the newcomer, and Natasha, following the direction of that look, saw an exceptionally handsome adjutant approaching their box with a self-assured yet courteous bearing.
A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that anything can be known.
A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally, both in mind and body, as irresistibly attractive to men and women.
An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people.
Then he had been a brisk, cheerful, self-assured old man; now he seemed a pitiful, bewildered person.