Eugene is quite content to ‘laze about’ and think about things, philosophizing and not putting much effort into his work as a lawyer. He is very smart, and quickly learned all he needed to, to become a barrister, but has no aptitude for ambitious projects. He also is willing to use whatever advantage he can find, to solve the question of what happened to Lizzie Hexam. She draws him in through her quiet presence, and Eugene then employs immoral (according to his friend Mortimer) methods to find her—by bribing, intoxicating, and paying off her friend’s father, to obtain a letter from her bearing her return address. Eugene is quick to intuit things about her, including her potential and how he might improve her through giving her a better education, and also about Headstone being easily provoked into a temper. When his friend asks him what his intentions are toward Lizzie, Eugene admits that he isn’t quite sure—they could be pure, the might be impure, but he wants to explore a potential relationship and find out. He’s both highly insightful and short-sighted, since he quickly pegs Bradley Headston’s character… and vastly underestimates the danger of him at the same time. Eugene falls into behaviors deliberately construed to torment the other man who loves Lizzie… he leads him on endless walks around London, knowing full well Bradley is following him out of insane jealousy. He admits to Mortimer that he finds this ‘surprisingly delightful,’ to continue tormenting him, belittling him, and ignoring him, arousing his frustration and anger in the process. But Eugene is also foolish, in that he fails to realize these ‘mind games’ for his own amusement are pushing a mentally imbalanced man over the edge—and he is almost beaten to death as a result. It’s only through Lizzie’s forgiveness of his behavior and gentle treatment of him that Eugene strives to want to become a better man. His near-fatal beating happened because he used another person as a source of amusement, without true regard for his feelings (Fe immaturity).

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Eugene is, according to other people, ‘irresponsible, haphazard, short-sighted, lazy, careless, and un-ambitious,’ to the degree that he frequently draws attention to his own laziness. He has become a lawyer and not worked a single hour in his practice. His father is angry with him for being so passive and disinterested in doing anything remotely “hard.” The only thing that motivates Eugene out of his passivity and gives him some energy is Lizzie, and then he shows a surprising amount of ambitious pursuit of her. Though a troublemaker at times, Eugene also doesn’t like genuine conflict—times when Jenny Wren ruthlessly berates her father and shames him for being a wastrel make him deeply uncomfortable, and he’s quick to apologize and leave the room. Eugene is also 9ishly ignorant about danger, and blissfully unaware of creating a dangerous enemy. He also has a malicious streak in his 8 wing, because he enjoys ‘grinding down’ Headstone. He makes it one of his pleasures, to lord over him, to dismiss him, to treat him with disinterest, in order to ‘demean him.’ He also has no morals in how he obtains information, using leverage against people to get what he wants. He goes through a growth period after he almost dies, where he decides to become more ambitious and less lazy.