A Sleigh Ride

“Does it ever happen to you,” said Natasha to her brother, when they settled down in the sitting room, “does it ever happen to you to feel as if there were nothing more to come—nothing; that everything good is past? And to feel not exactly dull, but sad?”

“I should think so!” he replied. “I have felt like that when everything was all right and everyone was cheerful. The thought has come into my mind that I was already tired of it all, and that we must all die. Once in the regiment I had not gone to some merrymaking where there was music . . . and suddenly I felt so depressed . . .”

“Oh yes, I know, I know, I know!” Natasha interrupted him. “When I was quite little that used to be so with me. Do you remember when I was punished once about some plums? You were all dancing, and I sat sobbing in the schoolroom? I shall never forget it: I felt sad and sorry for everyone, for myself, and for everyone. And I was innocent—that was the chief thing,” said Natasha. “Do you remember?”

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