"Stiva says it's much better to give money." Dolly took up
meanwhile the weighty subject under discussion, what presents
should be made to servants. "But..."
"Money's out of the question!" the princess and Kitty exclaimed
with one voice. "They appreciate a present..."
"Well, last year, for instance, I bought our Matrona Semyenovna,
not a poplin, but something of that sort," said the princess.
"I remember she was wearing it on your nameday."
"A charming pattern--so simple and refined,--I should have liked
it myself, if she hadn't had it. Something like Varenka's. So
pretty and inexpensive."
"Well, now I think it's done," said Dolly, dropping the syrup
from the spoon.
"When it sets as it drops, it's ready. Cook it a little longer,
"The flies!" said Agafea Mihalovna angrily. "It'll be just the
same," she added.
"Ah! how sweet it is! don't frighten it!" Kitty said suddenly,
looking at a sparrow that had settled on the step and was pecking
at the center of a raspberry.
"Yes, but you keep a little further from the stove," said her
"A propos de Varenka," said Kitty, speaking in French, as they
had been doing all the while, so that Agafea Mihalovna should not
understand them, "you know, mamma, I somehow expect things to be
settled today. You know what I mean. How splendid it would be!"
"But what a famous matchmaker she is!" said Dolly. "How
carefully and cleverly she throws them together!..."
"No; tell me, mamma, what do you think?"