Heady stuff on the subject of genius and chance coming from Leo Tolstoy here:
In renouncing knowledge of the final purpose, we will clearly understand that, just as it is impossible to invent for any plant a flower and seed that correspond to it more than those it produces, so it is impossible to invent two other persons, with all their past, who would correspond to such a degree, in such minute detail, to the purpose they were meant to fulfill.
-p.1132 (referring to Napolean and Alexander)
from page 647-548, volume 2 of original text
collage, ribbon, copper leaf, ink
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1131-1132