By Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy
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The wind was lifting the blue handkerchief from her head as, bent forward and her face buried in her hands, she moved slowly up the steps. Foka was supporting her. Papa said nothing as he sat beside me. I felt breathless with tears—felt a sensation in my throat as though I were going to choke, just as we came out on to the open road I saw a white handkerchief waving from the terrace. I waved mine in return, and the action of so doing calmed me a little. I still went on crying. but the thought that my tears were a proof of my affection helped to soothe and comfort me.
61 Gradually the other guests dispersed, and with them Papa and Woloda. Thus only Grandmamma, the Prince, and myself were left in the drawing-room. "Why has our dear Natalia Nicolaevna not come to-day" asked the Prince after a silence. "Ah, my friend," replied Grandmamma, lowering her voice and laying a hand upon the sleeve of his uniform, "she would certainly have come if she had been at liberty to do what she likes. " "True, it is good for the boys to be here," went on Grandmamma, yet in a tone which showed clearly that she did not think it was so very good, "since it was more than time that they should be sent to Moscow to study, as well as to learn how to comport themselves in society.
It was at the request and entreaties of her father, the clarionet player Savi, that my grandfather had "taken her upstairs"—that is to say, made her one of his wife's female servants. As chamber-maid, Natashka so distinguished herself by her zeal and amiable temper that when Mamma arrived as a baby and required a nurse Natashka was honoured with the charge of her. In this new office the girl earned still further praises and rewards for her activity, trustworthiness, and devotion to her young mistress.