Imagini ale paginilor

they may say I stole, if they've a mind to ! My Beauty's got as much right to oranges and lemons as the rich folks ;" and Chryssy angrily beat the unoffending, unconscious window-ledge with her fist.

“ There's children in the next room,” said Dick, with a sickly smile. “ Two of 'em."

I know it-moved in yesterday—and a woman.” “I hear 'em playing and talking just as plain as though they were in sight, Chryssy."

“I'll go and tell 'em to hush up if they plague you, my Beauty."

“But they don't. I like to hear 'em. I'm glad the other folks have moved out. Chryssy, is there many poor ones round here?"

Chryssy laughed bitterly. “There's nobody else in this street, from one end of it to t’other; but there's money enough somewhere, my Beauty, and we'll find it some day, see if we don't.”

Oh ! how Chryssy's needle flew then, and how the bitter, hard thoughts crowded on each other. She shut her mouth tight, lest she should break forth again in angry curses, and worry Dick. He lay still, listening to the gay prattle of his little neighbours, Teen and Lil, and almost forgot his pain.

Bye and bye, the daylight faded, even out of those rooms nearest the sky. The children's mother came home from her work, weary enough, but with a generous loaf of bread in her hand to fill their hungry mouths, and a candle to drive away the darkness that always frightened Lil.

Chryssy sewed by the fading light till she could no longer see to set her needle, then she lighted a lamp, and stood it on the foot of the bed, because Dick liked to see it burn, and, bringing her work from the window, sat down upon the floor to finish it.

“Bye and bye I'll get your supper my Beauty, and you


shall have something that a’n't bread; yes, you shall," she said. “Where'll you get it, Chryssy?That's


look out; don't you fret. Something that a’n’t bread, you see if I don't.” “ You mustn't, Chryssy.

It'll cost money.

O dear!" Dick turned wearily on his pillow, and searched her face with his dim eyes.

“ There now, just quit that,” snapped Chryssy. “I won't have it-so now. Look at the light instead of me.

You can't see nothing in my face worth a looking at, and it puts me out, my Beauty; it puts me out."

“ I don't know what it is,” said Dick.
" What what is ? "
“That that's in your face, Chryssy.

It looks like somebody else—somebody that's bad.”

There; hush up, hush up, or I'll take away the lamp, I will. I'm just myself, and that's bad enough.”

Dick was silenced, and Chryssy's needle flew, but her fingers ached, and her brain whirled, and her poor heart was full of bitterness and angry complainings.

In the next room there was a murmur of pleasant voices. Dick turned his face to the wall, away from the light, to listen. Teen and Lil had finished their supper, and were going to bed-two tired, sleepy little ones, their fears all forgotten, and happiness perfect, because motherly arms were around them like a shield. They knelt at her knee, and together repeated the prayer she had taught them, and Chryssy's ear caught the words. She had heard them before; she had repeated them, years and years ago, and she dropped her needle, and listened, with her cheek in her hand. “Give us this day our daily bread, aud forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” lisped the children's voices, and then there were good-night kisses as they rose

66 Did

from their knees, and bursts of subdued laughter, and then silence fell.

you hear it?" whispered Dick. Chryssy slowly lifted her face.

“ Hear what, my Beauty?"

" Them were little Ed's words that he used to say. I knew 'em the minute I heard · Our Father.' You remember little Ed, don't you, Chryssy ?

“ Guess I ha'nt forgot him yet,” muttered Chryssy, springing up from her seat on the floor, and seizing her old shawl that lay on the foot of the bed.

“ Where are you goin' now ?

“ I'm going to get your supper, my Beauty. Something that a'n't bread!"

“ Don't Chryssy, don't!But she was threading her way down the steep, dark staircase, and Dick's tearful beseeching fell only on the blank, black walls.

Down the street she hurried, groping in darkness, past the old houses packed from cellar to garret with misery and sin, past the dirty gutters and piles of decomposing garbage, past the slum and scum of the city, into the broad, rich thoroughfare, into light and beauty. Chryssy's hard face grew harder and more set as she shrunk into the shadows, and her bony fingers shook as they clutched the tattered shawl.

Something that a'n't bread!” She said it over and over again, gazing into the shop-windows where all manner of fruits were temptingly disposed. “ Here's plenty to satisfy every soul in the city. I'll watch my chance, and when nobody's looking, when nobody sees, I'll take what I want for my Beauty; it'll never be missed, and if it is—~." Chryssy shut her teeth tight together, and leant against the wall. The crowd hurried past, men and women seeking pleasure, with eager faces and merry voices. They jostled against her, but none turned again to pity or to save. Chryssy was only one of thousands that struggle with want

until the heart breaks, or oftener turns to stone, and what cares the gay world for them ?

At home Dick lay on his hard bed, suffering tortures of bodily pain, but wondrously cheered in soul.

Not even Chryssy's sudden departure, with the hard look on her face, troubled him much now, for "through the lips of Teen and Lil, little Ed's prayer had come to him again, and there was such comfort in it as he had never felt before. He fell asleep presently, whispering to 'himself, “Our Father," and angels rejoiced, as they hovered around his pillow, for the dwarfed soul that was unfolding to receive the Lord.

Thus Chryssy found him when she came in; but her heavy step on the creaking floor aroused him, and he opened his eyes, bright with inward joy, upon the white, stony face.

“I meant you should have it, my Beauty," she said, bending over him. “ I meant you should have it, There was oranges, and there was lemons, and there was grapes, my Beauty, but every time I tried to reach after 'em,

my fingers shook that awful that if I died,"I couldn't keep anything in ’em; so I'm back empty-handed, and there's nothing but bread.”

“But I've got it, Chryssy; I've got it! Just what I wanted.”

“Something that a'n't bread ?" she queried, casting a rapid glance around the garret.

· Yes; nor yet oranges nor lemons. It come before you went away, and it'll stay now, always.”

“ What is it, my Beauty?”

“What little Ed had, you know, Chryssy—what the little children said to-night. That was what I wanted,— Our Father !" ?- New York Methodist.

[ocr errors]

Scripture Lessons.

"OWN." Y Dear Young Friends,—Circumstan

ces have occurred which have prevented my sending you


paper before ; but I hope, though late, it will be none the less welcome. The following are the lessons which the word "own" teaches us.

That man was originally made in the moral and intellectual image of God.

Gen. i. 27; compared with Eph. v. 24; Col. iii. 10. Everyone is responsible for himself to God. Deut. xxiv. 16; 2 Kings xiv. 6; 2 Chron. xxv. 4; Rom. xiv. 4. All our blessings are the gift of God. 1 Chron, xxix. 14. That we should serve God willingly. Lev. i. 3. The duty of keeping holy the Sabbath day.

Ish. lviii. 13. God alone has a supreme right to our service. I Cor. vi.

19. That the Christian ought to make Christ supreme in his

life. Luke xiv. 26. Jesus has given us an example of complete submission to

God's will. John v. 30 ; vi. 38. The world has no sympathy with the true Christian, and

therefore is sure to persecute him in some way. John

xv. 19. The true Christian does not trust in his own righteousness

for salvation, but in Christ. Phil. iii. 9. God's gift of his Son is a proof of his willingness to give

all other necessary things. Rom. viii. 32. The devil is naturally a liar. John viii. 44. The danger of self-confidence and the duty of depending

on God for success. Jude vii. 2; compared with 'context; 1 Sam. xv. 17; Ps. xii. 4.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »