The narrator yearns for times when “Russians were Russian”, and Moscow beauties wore sarafans, and did not flaunt themselves in Gallo-Saxon dresses. To resurrect these glorious times, the narrator decided to retell the story he had heard from his grandmother’s grandmother.
Once upon a time in Moscow a rich boyar, Matvei Andreev, lived in Moscow, the right hand and conscience of the tsar, hospitable and a very generous man. The boyar had already passed sixty years, his wife had died long ago, and the only joy of Matvei was Natalya’s daughter. Nobody could compare with Natalia neither beauty, nor meek disposition. Not knowing the reading and writing, she grew like a flower, “had a lovely soul, was as gentle as a turtledove, innocent as a lamb, sweet as
Natalia led such a life until the “seventeenth spring of her life” came. One day the girl noticed that all the creatures of the earth have a couple, and in her heart the need to love has awakened. Natalya became sad and thoughtful, for she could not understand the vague desires of her heart. One winter time, when she came to mass, the girl noticed a beautiful young man in a blue caftan with golden buttons in the temple, and immediately realized that it was him. The next three days the young man did not appear in the church, and on the fourth day Natalia saw him again.
For several days he accompanied the girl to the gate of her house, not daring to speak, and then came to her house. Nurse allowed the lovers to meet. The young man, whose name Alexei, confessed to Natalia in love and persuaded her to marry him secretly. Alex was afraid that the boyar would not accept him as his son-in-law, and promised Natalia that they would rush into Matvei’s feet after the wedding.
Nurse was bribed, and the same evening Alexey brought Natalia to a dilapidated church where
In the meantime the boyar Matvey discovered the loss. He showed a farewell letter written by Alexei, the Tsar, and the Emperor ordered to find the daughter of his faithful servant. The search continued until the summer, but did not succeed. All this time, Natalia lived in the wilderness with her beloved husband and nanny.
Despite the cloudless happiness, the daughter did not forget about her father. A faithful man brought them news about the boyar. Once he brought another message – about the war with the Lithuanians. Alex decided to go to war, in order to restore the honor of a kind. He decided to take Natalia to her father, but she refused to part with her husband and went with him to the war, dressed in a man’s dress and introduced himself as Alexei’s younger brother.
After a while, the messenger brought the king’s message of victory. The generals described the battle to the sovereign in detail and told of the brave brothers who first rushed to the enemy and carried away the others. Having affectionately met the hero, the tsar learned that this was the son of the boyar Luboslavsky. The Emperor already knew about the unfair denunciation from the recently deceased rebel. Boyarin Matvey with joy recognized in the younger brother of the hero Natalia. Both the tsar and the old boyar forgave the young spouses for arbitrariness. They moved to the city and got married again. Alexei became an approximate king, and Boyar Matvey lived to a very old age and died surrounded by his beloved grandchildren.
Through the centuries the narrator found a gravestone with the names of the couple of Luboslavsky, located on the site of a dilapidated church, where the lovers were married for the first time.
Once upon a time, Matvei Andreev, a wealthy noble boyar, the right hand of the tsar himself, lived in Moscow. He was a widower and father of the beautiful girl Natalia. The beauty was not literate, but she had a fine and kind soul. Natalia was engaged in needlework, and in the evening she met with friends. Her mother was a nice and faithful nurse – a servant of the deceased. At the age of seventeen, Natalia thought about the great feeling of love. She could not understand what was happening to her, somehow sad and melancholy was on her heart.
One winter in the temple the girl met a young man and a man and immediately realized that this was her betrothed. The young man began to accompany Natalia to the gate of the house, without saying a word. And one day I went to her house. Nurse gave permission to meet. His name was Alex. He confessed his love for Natalia and began to persuade the girl to marry him secretly, because he was afraid that his father would not give his daughter to marry him. And after the wedding he promised to throw himself at the boyar’s feet and ask to forgive the young. The girl agreed and on the same day the lovers went to the church to perform the rite. Then, together with the nanny, the young went to the thicket of the forest where Alexei lived in a small hut.
Nurse was very frightened, thinking that the guy was a robber. But Alexey told her that he was the son of the disgraced boyar Luboslavsky, who had been illegally arrested many years ago because of the rebellious boyars, but fled from captivity, and then died in the arms of his son. Alexei came to the city to restore his father’s honest name and settled in the forest. And then he met Natalia and fell in love.
Father Matvey, after learning about the loss, complained to the king and he ordered to start looking for a girl. Until the summer, the girl could not find, and she lived safely in the forest with her nanny and husband. But from time to time her daughter missed her mother. She regularly received from the faithful a message about him. But one day the news came of a war with the Lithuanians. Alex decided to go to war and prove his honest name. Natalia also wanted to send her home, but she flatly refused to throw a darling, and went to war with him. She had to change into a man’s outfit and be called Alexey’s younger brother.
After some time, the army of the king won. The king proudly hosted the most brave heroes, among whom was Alexei. It was already known about the unfair punishment of his father. The king and boyar forgave the young. Soon they moved to the city and were married again. Alexei received a high post at the court of the tsar, and the boyar Matvey lived to the end of his days surrounded by his family and grandchildren.