"Boris read Poor Liza aloud to her"
Public DomainKaramzin

 This is a short story by Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin (1766-1826). Karamzin was a Russian writer and historian, most famous for his twelve volume history of Russia. He published Poor Liza in 1792; it concerns a village girl who commits suicide after she is parted from her lover. Although his style is considered too cloyingly sentimental for modern tastes, he was admired by Pushkin and Nabokov.