• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I: In the big house
 Chapter II: In the small house
 Chapter III: The winter holida...
 Chapter IV: On different paths
 Chapter V: A dream in the...
 Chapter VI: A dream in the small...
 Chapter VII: A new life
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine














Title: The Big house and the little house
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078092/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Big house and the little house
Physical Description: 80, 16 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Publisher: The Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: [ca1890]
 Subjects
Subject: Generosity -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Scarlatina -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Selfishness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1890
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues.   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Summary: Through a near death experience with scarlet fever, a young girl learns that generosity and kindness lead to a more fulfilling life than vanity and selfishness.
General Note: Publisher's catalog, 16 pages following text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00078092
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002218856
notis - ALF9035
oclc - 176635072

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Page 1
    Title Page
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Chapter I: In the big house
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Chapter II: In the small house
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Chapter III: The winter holiday
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Chapter IV: On different paths
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    Chapter V: A dream in the big house
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Chapter VI: A dream in the small house
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    Chapter VII: A new life
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Advertising
        Page A-1
        Page A-2
        Page A-3
        Page A-4
        Page A-5
        Page A-6
        Page A-7
        Page A-8
        Page A-9
        Page A-10
        Page A-11
        Page A-12
        Page A-13
        Page A-14
        Page A-15
        Page A-16
        Page A-17
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text





















































A KINDLY GIFT.











THE BIG HOUSE

AND


THE LITTLE HOUSE.


THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY:
56, PATERNOSTER ROW; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD; AND
164, PICCADILLY.























CONTENTS.




CHAP. PAGE
I. IN THE BIG HOUSE 5

II. IN THE SMALL HOUSE 14

III. THE WINTER HOLIDAY 32

IV. ON DIFFERENT PATHS 43

V. A DREAM IN THE BIG HOUSE 54

VI. A DREAM IN THE SMALL HOUSE 65

VII. A NEW LIFE 72











THE BIG HOUSE
AND

THE LITTLE HOUSE.


CHAPTER I.
In the Big $ oustt
?.' iH house of Herr Balthasar
t Beltheim stood in the middle
Sof the wide market-place.
I it was a fine large house;
', and the shop on the ground
S floor was widely known, both
in the town itself and in the surrounding
neighbourhood. Behind the long row of
plate-glass windows, rich and brilliant silks
hung in artistic folds, attracting the eyes of
the passers-by; while above over the high
window frames was written in large gold
letters, B. BELTHEIM &I Co.








The Two Houses.


Inside the spacious shop, busy attendants
hurried to and fro, displaying before the
eyes of the customers the treasures con-
cealed in pasteboard boxes. On one of
the counters practised hands were unfolding
magnificent velvets; at another, the most
experienced salesman tested rich satins
between his fingers with the air of a judge;
while behind him a fine-looking young man
was recommending with fluent speech the
bright coloured ribbons, sashes, and such
like smaller articles of fashion,
Looking out into the courtyard at the
back lay the quiet counting-house, where
Herr Beltheim usually sat and overlooked
the accounts of his flourishing business.
He was a tall fine-looking man, with a
tranquil face, over which, however, lay a
slight cloud of sorrow, which not even the
most engrossing business seemed able to
dispel.
To-day his only daughter Mathilde sat
near him. She was eleven years old, and
was now looking eagerly through a book







In the Big House. 7
of patterns. "Father," she had said several
times, but Herr Beltheim had been too
much occupied with his writing to hear her.
When at length he stopped to light a
cigar, she seized the opportunity, and said
quickly, Father, look here, I want a dress
like this for Christmas; you will remember
it, won't you ?" At the same time she
laid the book on her father's knee, and
pointed to a strip of white silk beautifully
adorned with delicate rosebuds.
"Why, child, what are you thinking of ?"
replied Herr Beltheim, "that is one of out
expensive new silks which will only be
bought by the most fashionable ladies; for
a little girl like you it would not be at all
suitable. You had better let Fraulein
Brand make you a nice woollen frock."
Oh yes, father, do let me have it, won't
you ? You know I am invited to a large
children's party at Amalie Wellner's on the
day after Christmas ; and I should so like
to have a really pretty dress for that, as
only very well-dressed children will be there.








The Two Houses.


It won't cost you anything; you have only
got to have it cut off, without having to
pay."
We don't reckon like that, child," said
Herr Beltheim, smiling; "but at any rate
we will wait and see what Father Christ-
mas brings you. Now, do not disturb me
again, I am busy. You had better go up
to Alfred and play with him; he is always
so glad to have you."
Mathilde made a reluctant face: "Oh,
father, you don't know how tiresome it is
to play with him; he understands nothing,
and is so wilful, one must always give in to
him, and do what he likes."
Poor little fellow !" said Herr Beltheim,
sadly; "he is very dependent on love, and
the best of all, the love of a mother, has
been taken from him. You might do much
for him, Mathilde. It is not his fault that
he is not like other children; and it is
through no merit of your own that you
have a healthy brain and limbs. Do you
remember how your poor mother begged







In the Big House. 9
you to be loving and patient with your
brother, and always to be a true sister
to him ?"
Mathilde hung her head; she remem-
bered it all well, and the image of her sick
mother rose before her sometimes quite
clearly.
Fondly had the pale young mother
looked at the child from her dying bed as
she said, "You will love little Alfred
dearly, and be a good sister to him always,
will you not ?" and Mathilde, with burning
tears, had promised. That had happened
almost two years ago; but the remem-
brance moved the child's heart, and she
threw her little arms round her father
while he fondly stroked her curly hair.
Then she left the room, and mounted the
wide stone stairs which led to the cheerful
upper floors, where the dwelling-rooms of
the family lay.
Going into the large nursery, Mathilde
found her little brother sitting in his chair
before a low table, playing with wooden







The Two Houses.


animals. He was six years old, but could
neither walk nor stand, for he had no
strength in his feet.
In comparison with the puny body his
head looked unnaturally large, and in the
pale blue eyes lay an expression of help-
lessness which excited compassion. As
Mathilde entered, the little fellow laughed,
and held out his playthings towards her,
while he lisped some almost unintelligible
words. His sister sat down by him, and
set up the little cows and horses; at first
he was delighted, but suddenly throwing
them all on the ground he asked for some-
thing else.
"What a stupid little boy you are," said
Mathilde, impatiently; "now I must pick
up all those things again, or Fraulein
Brand will find fault with the untidy
room."
Tossing the toys quickly into their box,
she brought instead a picture book. Alfred
laid his little hands on the first page.
"The Apple, the Bird, the Cake," he







In tle Bzg House. II
stuttered, and pointed to the pictures.
Mathilde turned the leaves quickly; but he
only cared to look at the first one, while
she wanted to go on so as to read the little
stories at the end of the book. As soon,
therefore, as he turned to the first page,
fumbling the leaves with his little helpless
hands, she turned over again to the end,
so as to continue her reading. This made
the child at last so angry that he began to
cry, while Mathilde jumped up impatiently.
Then Fraulein Brand, the housekeeper,
hurried in, with an armful of linen, and sat
down beside the boy.
"I thought you must be with Alfred,"
she said, reproachfully; "I could have
finished something in the other room, but
there is no doing anything when you are
here."
Mathilde put on a cross face, and went
into the next room. Now she will have
to amuse him herself, that is all right," she
thought, and was glad to be released from
her duty. Her father's words rang in her








T/e Two Houses.


ears, and the face of her mother rose before
her; but she drove it back, for she would
not think of it then. She sat down at the
window to watch the passers-by, but she
soon tired of that also.
It was already getting dark, the sky was
overcast, and the streets were muddy;
there were no well-dressed, people to look
at. But at the shop door several carriages
were drawn up, below there must be more
to see. Quickly she ran down the stairs,
and passed through a door at the back
into the brilliantly-lighted shop; there she
sat down in a corner, and watched the
buying and selling. She heard evening
costumes spoken about, and beautiful ball
dresses. She saw the rich shining ma-
terials, and the fine airy gauzes spread out,
and her eyes sparkled with delight.
"Yes, when I am grown up," thought
she, I shall have things like that too. I
am certain not one of my friends will have
finer clothes, not even the two Wellners."
In imagination she already saw herself







In the Big House. 13
admired and envied; and falling into
dreams of beauty and splendour, she forgot
everything around her until somewhat
roughly awakened by Ricke, the nurse,
who came to call her to bed.














CHAPTER II.
In the Small 3jotse.
"-,)L ~ the further side of the court-.
_yard belonging to the house
of Herr Beltheim, was a build-
ing which contained the large
store rooms. It was built on
Sloping ground, and had above
S on the third floor a small flat,
which lay on the same level as a quiet
back lane. There for many years had
lived a clergyman's widow of the name of
Schroter.
After the death of her husband she
had been obliged to leave her quiet village
home among the hills, and for the sake of
her boys had moved into the great town,
where they could have the advantage of







In iZe Small House. 15
better schools, and still live with their
mother. Herr Beltheim had given her
this vacant dwelling at a very cheap rate;
and, as she very much wished for it, in-
cluded the garden adjoining, which at that
time looked like a little wilderness within
four walls. With tears in her eyes, but
brave in the thought that it was God's
will, the widow, with her five children,
arrived here one evening in spring, to take
possession of their new home.
In the course of a week it would have
been difficult to recognize the place, so
wisely had the widow's small means been
expended in its arrangement. The neigh-
bours were never tired of looking at the
clear low windows, where, behind curtains
white as blossoms in spring, wall-flowers
and geraniums stood in rows, while the
bright eyes of the children peeped between.
Four boys there were, the two elder
already growing tall, who went out every
morning with heavy school knapsacks on
their shoulders, and in the evening studied







The Two Houses.


their Latin primers. Then came two
smaller fellows; and as the last of the
brood, a pretty little fair-haired girl, who
at that time still clung to her mother's
apron, and followed her every step with
tottering feet.
After her little dwelling was arranged,
Frau Schroter turned her attention to the
garden; and when Herr Beltheim saw
how hard she worked, and what trouble
she was taking about it, he sent the gar-
dener from his place in the country, who
dug the little plot all over, brought good
new soil for it, and divided the beds from
the paths. After that he came every year
regularly, and did all the rough work,
leaving to Frau Schr6ter only the sowing
and planting, which she was well able to
manage. The boys had to help too as
well as they could; they pulled up the
weeds, and carried the water, more indeed
than they altogether cared for. And the
little garden richly repaid their trouble. It
lay now like a small paradise between its







In the Small House. 17
grey walls; the vegetables grew so juicy
and luxuriant, the flowers blossomed in
variegated abundance, and in autumn the
trees were bowed under their burdens of
plums and pears. Oh, what a pleasure
that garden was!
Several years had now passed since the
widow and her children had first arrived
in Herr Beltheim's house. The lads with
the Latin primers had become tall students,
the smaller boys had been promoted to the
higher school, and Hannchen, the little nest-
ling, was a big girl of about thirteen years,
who could now help her mother in all her
housekeeping. Besides her school work
she had all sorts of little duties in both
house and garden to attend to, and had
always to knit her brothers' stockings-
the more the better. A daughter who has
thus early been taught to care for and help
others, can be very useful. Hannchen's
mother knew this well. With a loving
heart she herself had always untiringly
endeavoured to serve others, and therefore
C








18 The 7lwo Houzses.
she very faithfully led her daughter in the
same way.
To-day, however, Hannchen need not
work at all,-she may do what she likes,
for it is her birthday, as well as a half-
holiday at school, and for a long time she
has been looking forward to it. When the
dinner-table had been cleared, and all the
things washed up, her mother sat down at
the work-table behind the big pot of ivy,
and placed a basket full of things to be
mended beside her; she had always plenty
of mending and patching to do, not having
enough spare cash to provide many new
clothes, or to hire a woman to do her
sewing.
"And you, child, what are you going to
do on your birthday?" said she. Hannchen
had not to think very long. Her god-
mother had made her a present of a
beautiful large story-book, full of pictures.
She brought it out now, and sitting down,
on this still grey afternoon, in the corner
of the window opposite to her mother, was








It t/he Smalld House.


soon far away, living in a world full of
bright visions. Around her in the com-
fortable little room, the deepest stillness
reigned; one could only hear the ticking
of the old Black Forest clock, or from time
to time the turning 'of the pages, and the
little sound of stitching as the busy mother
drew her thread through the linen.
Hannchen was just in the middle of a
most beautiful story when some one knocked
at the door, and a poorly-dressed woman
entered.
Oh, Frau Schr6ter, if you please, will
you be so good as to give me some of
your ointment for burns ? That child
Mineli has scalded her hand so badly with
some boiling milk; she is screaming so
that one can hear her three houses off, and
Barbel has just told me that you have such
a good ointment for things of this kind."
The widow hastened to fetch what was
wanted, and added some old linen, which
she gave to the woman with the neces-
sary directions. Hannchen had only half







The Two Houses.


listened to the conversation; her book was
so interesting that she could not tear her-
self away from it. Now, however, the
thoughts of Mineli with her burnt hand
would come in again and again. If this
had not been her own half-holiday to do
what she liked with, and if the book had
not been so delightful she would have
liked to run over to see after the child her-
self; only she grudged giving up her time
now. However, she only read half-a-page
more, then she shut up the book, and
going to her little box beside the stove, in
which all her greatest treasures were kept,
she cut a large slice off what remained
of her birthday cake, and wrapped it care-
fully in paper.
Mother, I am just going to see Mineli,
she must be in great pain." Then off she
hurried, and ran lightly along, so close
under the eaves that they sometimes
caught her hair, to the other end of the
lane, where the tall grey houses left only
a narrow way between. There she went








In the Small House.


quickly through a dark passage, and up
some still darker stairs: but she was sure
of the way; on each floor she was well-
known, and she knew who lived inside all
these doors.
When she had climbed to the fourth
floor, she heard the sound of Mineli's
crying; and on entering the close room
saw the little girl screaming and writhing
on the table, while her mother vainly en-
deavoured to bind up the burnt hand,
which the child absolutely refused to hold
still. The younger brother, who was lying
on a somewhat dingy bed close at hand,
had been awakened out of his sleep, and
now also broke into loud wailings in
another key, so that the poor woman
hardly knew what to do. On Hannchen's
appearance the small boy suddenly became
mute, and Mineli's crying took a milder
tone.
Poor Mineli," said Hannchen, "does it
hurt very much?"
"Oh, so much !" whined the little girl,







The Two Houses.


and was beginning to scream again, when
Hannchen quickly held up the paper
parcel, saying:
I have got something good here for
you, but you can't have it until your hand
is tied up. Don't cry like that; binding
your hand won't hurt it."
With eyes fixed on the tempting parcel,
Mineli now allowed her hand to be dressed
with the ointment, and the worst of the
pain was soon over.
"There, don't you see," said Hannchen,
cheerfully, "the binding up has done your
hand good; now I will divide the cake
between you."
Mineli got the larger half, and the
smaller bit was given to 'Fritz, who had
only four little teeth to eat it with. This
dried all the tears, and Hannchen turned
to go home; but she was not to get back
yet. As she reached the third floor, she
thought she would just look in and see
how old Barbel was getting on, who had
gouty hands and feet, and sat all day on a







It t/Zh' Smnall HousC.


worn, hard, armchair in her gloomy room,
counting the hours until her daughter came
home from the factory.
Good evening !" said Hannchen, in
her clear voice; I have only come in for
a minute to see how you are getting on."
The old woman was rather peevish from
being so helpless and so much alone, and
might have given a surly answer; but as
she looked at Hannchen's bright face, she
only grumbled a little and said :-
Oh, yes, when one can run about like
you do, it is easy enough to look pleasant;
but when people have to sit in one place
as if nailed to it, and can't even warm a
drop of coffee, they soon lose their spirits.
I thought Lisbeth would have run over
from the mill for a minute to warm some
for me, but she has not come."
Then, perhaps I can do it," said Hann-
chen, and looked about until she saw in a
corner a little pot with some coffee in it.
She did not mind, though the old woman
grumbled that that was not work for such







The Two Houses.


a child, but quickly raked up the coals in
the little stove, blew them into a flame, and
set the little pot on.
There, it will soon heat now," she said,
contentedly, and began to look round the
room to see if there were anything else she
could do. The thin straggling plants on the
window-sill looked far too dry ; she fetched
some water to refresh them, and washed
the dust off their leaves. Then she lifted
the pot off the fire, poured the hot coffee
into a cup, and took it to the old woman,
whose face had grown much more cheerful,
and who now looked quite kindly at the
little girl.
"When ? :ome again," said Hannchen,
"I will bring you a little plant of ivy. It
can do without any sunshine, and still is
pretty to look at;" then, without waiting
for more thanks, she hastened out of the
room and down the stairs. On the second
floor though lived the little invalid, Mari-
anne : she did not like to pass on without
going to see her too. Marianne lay, as







In the Small House.


she always did, in bed, and looked very
thin and white; she had something the
matter with her bones, and could hardly
ever sit up.
"How are you getting on with your
work ?" asked Hannchen, as she noticed
that the child's weak thin fingers were
occupied with some crochet.
Not at all well," replied Marianne, half
crying. "I am so glad you have come;
all that I have done to-day must be
undone again. I always forget how the
stitches go !"
Hannchen sat down beside her, and put
the work in order; then showed her exactly
how to go on, and promised to come again
soon.
"You are so good," said Marianne.
"Always when you come I feel quite
happy; and oh, how glad mother will be
when I can crochet properly. Perhaps.
then I shall be able to earn something too.
Don't you think so ? "
Hannchen nodded kindly, and went on








The Two Houses.


her way. Below, on the ground floor, a
troop of children were standing; they all
knew her well, and held out their dirty little
hands as she passed. For one she had
knitted warm stockings; for another had
contrived a warm petticoat out of remnants
of cloth ; and to a hungry one had given her
four o'clock bread. But one of the children
stood alone in a corner and cried bitterly.
"Who's little boy is this, and why is he
crying ?" asked Hannchen, drawing the
child towards her.
"His name is Franz Meier," was the
answer; "his father only moved in here
yesterday, and he has been out the whole
day, and Franz is crying because he is
hungry."
"So you are hungry, are you, poor little
fellow ? Wait a minute, I will get you
something," said Hannchen, as she ran out
of the house. It being her birthday, her
mother had just cut her a nice slice of
bread and butter with honey on it; that
would do splendidly.








-1 1.


ji-~
K- I-









\"-~


ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL.


- Q-a







In the Small House.


Please, mother," she cried, hastily,
"just cut me another slice of dry bread.
I want to take this to little Franz."
With the bread and honey in one hand,
and the remains of her birthday cake in the
other, she ran back the same way under
the eaves; and was delighted to see how
the eyes of little Franz sparkled as she
gave him the beautiful piece of bread and
honey; while all the other little hands
were eagerly held out for the fragments of
cake.
The short day was drawing to a close,
and Hannchen ran off with Franz to meet
her brothers coming from school.
I shall still have some hours to read,"
Hannchen said to herself, rejoicing in
the thought. As she crossed the landing,
she saw Fraulein Brand, who, with a
lantern in her hand, was coming down
from the garret, where she had been
looking at the linen which was drying up
there.
"Good evening, Hannchen," she cried;








The Two Houses.


" I am so glad that I happened to meet
you. Would you oblige me by going to
Alfred for a little. We have so much to
do this evening, as to-morrow is ironing
day. Mathilde has disappeared, as she
always does when she might be of some
use, and the little fellow is all alone, and
very dull."
Just at that time Hannchen would very
much rather not have gone; but she did
not hesitate long; only quickly fetched
some of her little dolls, and carried them
with her through the long passage into
the other house.
Hanne, Hanne," cried Alfred, clapping
his hands as she entered the room. His
delight made Hannchen quite forget her
beautiful story-book, and together they
played all sorts of games with the dolls
until it was time for him to go to bed.
There then remained only half-an-hour
for her reading before supper-time, but she
did not mind. She looked back on the
day that was past with so much pleasure








ii tlhe Small 7outse. 31
and satisfaction that it seemed as if none of
her birthdays had ever been so happy as
this one. Grateful and glad in the love of
the Saviour, she said her prayers that night,
and protected by His care she soon fell
peacefully asleep.


\~ ~,'.














CHAPTER III.
The Winter 3iolida.,

-- "jT was some days later, on a
"very cold wintry afternoon,
Mathilde stood at the sitting-
room window feeling half-
Sinclined to cry. She had
S invited two of her little friends
to spend the evening, and therefore had
put on her. pretty blue cashmere dress; but
now they had sent an excuse. Oh! what a
dull afternoon that was! Her father had
gone away, Fraulein Brand was visiting
some friends, so there were only the nurse
and little Alfred left at home.
"Ricke might take us sleighing, it
snowed the whole of last night," thought
Mathilde, looking out of the window; but







The Winter Holiday. 33
alas the sky was overcast, a few flakes
were falling, and soon a heavy snowstorm
came on which covered the passers-by with
white, and in a few minutes nearly emptied
the street.
Mathilde had now to think of some
other amusement; but suddenly her face
lightened as a thought struck her.
"I know what I will do," she said to
the nurse; "I will go up to Hannchen
Schr6ter ; it is sometimes very nice there,
when she has not got to work like a
grown-up person.
"Yes, and you might take the child up
with you," replied Ricke; "he likes being
there so much, and then I could go to see
my mother; she has been ill so often this
winter."
"Oh no, I don't care to take Alfred;
perhaps they would not like it," said
Mathilde, hastily; and ran off to Frau
Schr6ter's rooms.
When she knocked, several cheerful
voices bade her come in. At the large oak








The Two Houses.


table, in front of the old leather sofa, sat
Hannchen and her two younger brothers,
Paul and Ludwig, all very busy with
sheets of pictures, brushes, and paste.
"What are you doing there ?" asked
Mathilde, wonderingly.
We are making picture-books," replied
Paul. Hannchen saved some of her
pocket-money to buy pictures, and these
old ledgers we got from your father; they
have such good paper and such strong
bindings, and as we cover up all the
writing from top to bottom they- make
capital picture-books."
"May I help too?" asked Mathilde;
"it must be so nice to stick them in like
that, and I should like to stay with you
all the afternoon, it is so dull downstairs.
Papa has gone away, and Fraulein Brand
is out."
Then you might have brought Alfred
with you," broke in Hannchen; "but we
can fetch him now, can't we."
Mathilde felt rather ashamed, but did








The Winter Holiday. 35
not reply, and silently followed her friend.
In the sitting-room below, Ricke, with a
melancholy face, was sitting beside Alfred,
who was very dull, and seemed discontented
also. Then Hannchen put her bright face
into the room, saying, "We have come to
fetch the little boy; and we will keep him
the whole afternoon, so you can go to your
mother, can't you, Ricke ?"
Ricke smiled broadly; and lifting the boy
in her strong arms, she carried him up the
stairs, while the little girls took his high
chair between them. When they got up
into the room, Alfred looked all round
with delight. Hannchen placed him near
her at the table, and amused him with the
pictures, while at the same time busily
cutting out and pasting them into the book.
The boys also played all sorts of games
with him, so that he was quite happy.
Mathilde, too, seemed to have got new
life. She worked industriously, thinking
all the while, I wonder why it is always
so pleasant at Hannchen's ? They haven't







The Two Houses.


nice rooms, and only old furniture, and she
wears clothes on Sundays that I should not
like to wear even on week-days, and every-
thing is so much meaner than with us; and
yet it is always much pleasanter and more
cheerful up here."
It really was comfortable in the room,
and the children all looked happy. Frau
Schrbter sat in the next room writing to
her elder sons; but from time to time she
looked in, and nodded kindly to little Alfred.
On the shelf of the stove, a long row of
apples were baking and steaming and
smelling very good; while outside, the
heavy snowflakes fell into the garden, or
rested on the tall fir trees, whose branches
sometimes struck the window gently.
But who is it that you are making these
picture-books for ? asked Mathilde, after
a time.
"You know that large grey house at the
end of the lane ?" answered Hannchen.
" Well, there are so many poor children in
it, and I should like to give them some







The Winter Holiday. 37
presents at Christmas. I have got all
sorts of things ready-socks and mittens,
-and mother is making little shirts and
jackets ; but they ought to have something
amusing as well. Of course I can't give
them much; but a picture-book like this
costs hardly anything, and I have some old
dolls besides which I can put new clothes
on."
The idea was quite new to Mathilde.
"Do people give poor children picture-
books and toys ? I always thought that
one only gave them money to buy what
they really need."
Of course," replied Hannchen; "and
you should just see how delighted they are
when they get a picture or a doll Perhaps
you may have some old toys which you
would give them for Christmas ?"
Mathilde began to think. She had a
boxful of things which she hardly ever
looked at now; these she was quite willing
to give away. People are generally very
liberal with the things that they don't want







The Two Ho ses.


for themselves. Hannchen was greatly
pleased at this discovery.
"Mathilde," she exclaimed, "do come
with me this afternoon to see Marianne,
will you ? She is such a nice girl, but she
is nearly always ill. I should so much
like to take her one of our baked apples,
and then you can see her."
Mathilde was willing; and the two girls
started, carrying the steaming apple care-
fully covered up in a basket. The gloomy
house made Mathilde feel quite nervous;
" If I had to live here," thought she, I
am sure I should die: how can Hannchen
bear to come here so often ?"
As they entered the small room on the
second floor, they found Marianne in tears.
Oh dear, what are you crying for?"
said Hannchen. Is the pain worse ?"
The girl shook her head. No, it isn't
that; but I was so glad to think that I
might earn some money, and now there is
no chance of it. Yesterday I gave my
crochet work to Susanne, who lives down-








The Witier Ho/lidy. 39
stairs, that she might take it to sell with
her own. But the woman in the shop told
her that my work is of no use. She can't
sell it."
But, Marianne," said Hannchen, sooth-
ingly, it will soon be better: you have only
just begun to crochet. By the spring, you
will be able to do it quite well."
"But then it will be too late," sobbed
Marianne-; I must have the money before
Christmas."
"What for?" asked Hannchen; "and
how much do you want ? "
Mother wants a warm shawl or jacket
so much, that she may be able to go to
church; but this winter she could not
manage to get one. Now Susanne has
told me that the old woman at the shop in
Fish Lane has a nice warm jacket, almost
as good as new, which she will sell for
eight francs. Eight francs is a good deal
of money; but I hoped I might earn it
before Christmas."
Yes, eight francs was a large sum:







The Two Houses.


Hannchen thought so too, and hardly knew
what to advise.
I can help you," said Mathilde; "yes-
terday I got five francs from my uncle, to
buy myself what I liked; and when father
comes home he will give me three francs
for pocket-money, that will make eight
altogether. I shall not want any money
before Christmas, so I will give you the
eight francs, and then you can buy the
jacket."
A flush of joy spread over Marianne's
pale face.
Really will you really do that ?" cried
she; "oh, how good and kind you are!
How can I ever thank you enough ?"
Hannchen looked with admiration at her
rich friend, who could promise eight francs
so easily ; and for the first time she thought,
" How delightful it must be to be rich If
I had money to give away like that, I
should know well what to do with it."
With a glad heart she followed Mathilde
home again. There another surprise







The Winter Holiday. 41
awaited her. Her godmother's servant
had brought a large parcel containing
patterns of beautiful stuffs from which
Hannchen herself was to choose, as her
godmother wished to get her a dress made
for Christmas.
Look at them well, and choose the one
that you like best," said the maid, eagerly,
" it is to be a really nice dress, well made,
and with a good deal of trimming."
The patterns were all so pretty, that
Hannchen could hardly decide, and her
mother was called to advise. Mathilde
also gave her opinion; and at last the choice
fell on a beautiful soft material of a dark
shade of crimson.; so the servant carried
the parcel away again.
I am so glad," said Mathilde to Hann
chen before going home, so very glad that
at last you will have a nice dress made in
the fashion, because I am going to have a
large children's party after the New Year,
and you shall come to it too."
Hannchen received the invitation gladly;








42 The Two Houscs.
but added directly after, You won't forget
the eight francs, will you ? "
Oh no," replied Mathilde, carelessly;
" you can have them to-morrow ;" and so
saying, she ran after Ricke, who had come
to fetch little Alfred.
More contented than she had been for a
long time she went to rest that night; and
Hannchen also felt so happy and thankful,
that it seemed to her as if no child in the
whole world could be better off than she
was.














CHAPTER IV.
On Different iaths.
S'::i .- E next day Herr Beltheim
came home, and Mathilde re-
ceived her pocket-money. She
looked at the eight francs and
thought, It was not exactly
necessary to promise the whole
eight francs; four would have done. I
daresay the girl could have got the rest
somewhere else. It was really very stupid
of me."
As she went into school that afternoon
all the girls were gathered round Amalie
and Laura Wellner, and were admiring the
pretty new agate necklaces which they
wore. Mathilde also thought them charm-
ing: the shades of dark and light red were







The Two Houses.


so particularly pretty, and would suit her
dark green winter frock so well. She
must have a necklace like that too, and as
quickly as possible: it would be delightful
to be so admired. The Wellners had bought
theirs at the annual fair, which was then
going on. They had cost seven francs
each. It was really too stupid that she
had already promised all her money; but
most likely the poor girl would be helped
by some one else. At any rate, she might
as well go and look at the necklaces even
if she had not decided to buy one.
When school was over Mathilde went
round by the fair: there were only a few
of the necklaces left, one of an especially
good colour. She then asked the price.
"Seven francs and a half," was the answer.
At once she laid the money on the counter,
and put the necklace in her pocket. She
could not give poor Marianne the last
half-franc, that would be of no use to her;
so she bought some ginger-bread with it,
and walked slowly home, where she went







On Different Pat/s. 45
down to the shop at once, that she might
not see Hannchen if she came.
In the meantime Hannchen was feeling
very impatient. She could not understand
why Mathilde had let the whole day pass
without coming. At last, when it was
nearly bedtime, she hurried over to the
other house, and asked in the kitchen if
Mathilde were at home.
So far as I know, she is," said the
cook; most likely she has gone into the
shop. Go down there and look for her,
you need not be afraid."
Lightly Hannchen ran down the stairs,
and opened the door leading into the back
of the shop ; there sat Mathilde in a corner,
looking with great satisfaction at her neck-
lace as she held it up to the light of the
gas. She started as Hannchen's hand was
laid on her shoulder, and quickly dropped
the necklace into her pocket.
Have you got the eight francs you
promised Marianne?" asked Hatinchen,
shyly. Mathilde turned away.








The Two Houses.


"I can't give them now," she said; I
have had to use them for something else."
But what shall I say to poor Marianne ?
She counts upon them as certain, and is so
happy. Oh, Mathilde, can you. really not
give them ?"
No, I can't," replied the other, rudely;
"and why need you have taken me to see
the girl, I never go among poor people.
It is horrid in that dirty old house, and
certainly I shall never go there any more,
you may be sure of that; and I can't think
how you can go there so often."
But only think, Mathilde," said Hann-
chen, gravely, "how would they get on if
no one ever went near them ? And you
know that the Lord Jesus was poor Him-
self, and always sought out the poor, and
loved and helped them."
Oh yes, of course," said Mathilde,
carelessly; but that was so long ago;
and at that tirae perhaps it was nicer and
cleaner among poor people, and not so
disagreeable as it is now. Besides, there







On Different Pat/s. 47
are such a lot of poor people in the world
that one can't help them all.
With a heavy heart Hannchen went up
the stairs again. What was to be done
now ? She could not make up her mind
to carry such sad news to the little sick
girl, and yet she knew that she must go
to her the next day. If she could only
manage to get the money in some other
way; but how ? When she went to bed
she whispered this petition in her evening
prayer; and when she awoke in the
morning, long before daybreak, it was
her first thought. At last an idea came
into her head, but whether it was practic-
able or not she did not know. However,
she arranged her plan carefully; and when
she got up she knew exactly what she had
to do, and felt quite comforted. Before
going to school she confided her plan to
her mother, and was glad to find that it
was heartily approved of.
At eleven o'clock, when school was over,
she did not hurry home as usual, but







The Two Houses.


choosing the way which led to a suburb
of the town she stopped before a nice-
looking house with windows full of flowers.
This was the home of her widowed god-
mother, the Frau Professor Stein. Trem-
blingly she pulled the bell, and with a
beating heart climbed the stairs and
followed the maid into a room, where she
was kindly received by the Frau Professor.
She was a tall old lady, for whom Hann-
chen had a great respect, so that she hardly
knew now how to commence her request.
"I suppose you have come about your
frock," began her godmother; "perhaps
you have thought of some other way in
which you would like to have it made ?"
"Oh, yes, please," said Hannchen, much
relieved; but instead of speaking about
the dress she began to tell about Marianne
and the jacket, and the eight francs which
were wanted; and lastly begged her god-
mother to allow her to have the promised
dress quite plainly made without any trim-
ming, and to let her give the money which








On Different Paths. 49
it otherwise would have cost to Marianne,
so that she might buy the jacket with it.
"And," she added, if that money won't
be enough, I would much rather have a
dress of less expensive stuff; and that
would be quite eight francs cheaper,
wouldn't it ?"
The old lady listened attentively, and
then said with a kind smile, "Very well,
child, we will arrange it so; I will give
you eight francs, and have the dress quite
plainly made; really very plainly, you
understand ?"
Oh yes," exclaimed Hannchen, grate-
fully, and her eyes sparkled with joy.
Then her godmother laid a golden ten
franc piece in her hand, and said, "With
what is over you can buy the little girl a
Christmas present."
With light feet Hannchen hurried home,
and then ran to take Marianne the money;
and when she saw the flush of joy mount
into the pale face, she felt as rich as if she
had received the most beautiful gift herself.
E








The Two Houses.


The next day the two girls met at the
Scripture class; but Mathilde took care
not to look at her friend. She was heed-
less and inattentive, and the kind old
pastor had several times to call her to
order. When it came to her turn to read,
the good man said, Now, Mathilde, read
these beautiful words to us, slowly and
distinctly, and think of what you are
saying; for remember, this was written for
you as well as for others.
Mathilde read in the twenty-fifth chapter
of St. Matthew: "' Then shall the King
say unto them on His right hand, Come ye
blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom
prepared for you from the foundation of
the world. For I was an hungered, and ye
gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave
Me drink : I was a stranger, and ye took
Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was
sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison,
and ye came unto Me.' "
At first she read without thinking; but
little by little the words found their way







On Dferent Patls. 51
into her heart, and gave her an uncom-
fortable feeling. She listened while the
other girls read to the end of the chapter.
"Then shall He answer them, saying,
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did
it not to one of the least of these, ye did it
not to Me. And these shall go away into
everlasting punishment; but the righteous
into life eternal."
Still more uneasy did she become when
the pastor, in his kind benevolent manner,
tried to touch the children's hearts by
showing them how blessed it is to serve
the Saviour by tending His poor brethren
here on earth. She regretted having
bought the necklace, and resolved another
time to be more willing to give; for indeed
she wished at the last day to be among
those to whom the Lord spoke so lovingly.
But afterwards, when she had left the
quiet class room, and again met her
companions outside, the matter appeared
to her less serious and important. She
felt as if that day must be so far off that it








Tke Two Houses.


hardly seemed necessary to think about
it yet.
At any rate she would learn the portion
of Scripture given for the next lesson by
heart, in that way she would perhaps re-
member it better; but more than that she
need not do at present.
From this time the friendship between
Mathilde and Hannchen cooled consider-
ably: the two girls hardly ever saw each
other. Mathilde became more and more
engrossed with her wealthy friends, and at
length was almost a stranger in her father's
house. She never troubled herself about
her little brother now, as she found him
too tiresome. She lived only for self, and
thought of nothing but how to get every-
thing nice and pretty for herself, falling
more and more into vain and selfish ways.
Hannchen, on the contrary, was as lively
and busy as a bee over her many prepara-
tions for Christmas. But at the same time
she often visited her friends in the grey
house; and by all of them, from the old








On Deffernt Pathls. 53

woman crouching beside her stove, to the
little screamer in the cradle, her bright
face was welcomed, like the sunshine
which warms and cheers so many gloomy
places and sad hearts.
In the meanwhile, one dark December
day after another passed away : the hours
of daylight became shorter, and the nights
longer; but the glory of the Advent lay
on all, and in the hearts of those who
wait for their Redeemer, the hopeful words
ranp:
"A little while, and He appears
In all His splendour bright,
To turn our misery and tears
For ever to delight.
'Tis He the weak can stay-
Then trim your lamps, nor sleep,
But watchful vigil keep,
E'en now He's on the way."














CHAPTER V.
Pr- iem in thf 1io g ittuso,

.,.. ... T was just ten days before
Christmas when Fraulein
--C'. Brand went to the Schri5ters
S to ask Hannchen to come
'-.-. and spend the evening with
--_' little Alfred, as he seemed
to long so much to see her. Quite con-
trary to her usual custom, Hannchen was
sitting quietly in a corner, looking tired;
she hardly knew what was the matter with
her; but to-day she did not care to talk or
to work, and would have liked to remain
sitting still the whole evening. Still, she
did not like to refuse the housekeeper's
request, and stood up at once to follow her.
Wrapping a warm shawl round her, Frau







A Dream in the Big HoIuse. 55
Schroter bid her remember to come back
early.
The little boy was alone in the room;
but through the door leading to the nursery
came the dim glimmer of a night-light, to
which Alfred pointed saying: Mathilde
sick." Then Ricke entered, shutting the
door softly behind her.
"Is Mathilde in bed already? Is she
ill ?" asked Hannchen.
"Yes," whispered the maid; "we don't
know what it is : she has a sore throat, and
her head is so hot."
As she spoke Hannchen became aware
that she felt the same. Silently she sat
beside the child, and turned over the
leaves of a picture-book, for he seemed
quite contented without having a story
told to him.
After an hour Frau Schroter came to
fetch her, being anxious about her little
girl. Fraulein Brand, entering the room
at the same time, begged her to come and
see Mathilde, who was very feverish. The







The Two Houses.


widow examined the moaning girl: she
was experienced in children's complaints.
I think it is scarlet fever," she said,
looking shocked; "you had better send
for a doctor, and move the child into
another room."
Then she wrapped Hannchen in the
warm shawl, and with an anxious heart
took her quickly home, where she at once
put her to bed. Two days later, the
scarlet fever declared itself on her too,
and the anxious mother left her side no
more by day or by night.
Thus a very different Christmas was
prepared for the two little neighbours from
the one which they had been looking for-
ward to. Instead of listening to Christ-
mas music, they now lay like flowers
broken in a storm, tossing in fever and
tortured with pain.
On Christmas Eve, Mathilde partially
recovered consciousness; but too weary
to open her eyes, she lay motionless,
perceiving only as in a dream what took
























































CHRISTMAS MUSIC.


F-A'4







A Dream in the Big House. 59
place around her. She heard the bell ring,
and saw Fraulein Brand, who, with the
sick nurse, had been watching beside her,
go out of the room, but soon return.
Oh dear," she whispered to her com-
panion, "the dressmaker has just brought
home a lovely frock for the child: soft
white silk, with rosebuds. She gave her
father no peace until he promised it to her
for Christmas. I put it away at once, it
was too painful even to look at such a
thing; it seems to me that she is not likely
to want such a dress for many a day, if
at all."
The sick nurse laid her finger on her lip
as if to silence her; but Fraulein Brand
shook her head, saying softly, She does
not hear; she lies there all day like one
dead, and knows nothing of what goes on
around her."
But, in spite of her stupor, Mathilde had
heard every word, and an unspeakable
terror overcame her. Although she was
hardly able to think, of one thing she felt







The Two Houses.


sure-that she did not want to die yet.
But again consciousness left her, and heavy
dreams held her fast; while again and
again the terrible words about her life
being in great danger surged through her
brain, combined with the wildest fancies
of delirium.
At intervals she could hear from a
distance the solemn ringing of bells, which
were proclaiming the holy eve from every
church tower in the town. Like soothing
voices they mingle with her feverish dreams.
Would she go to heaven if she died ?
She folded her hands, and tried to pray;
but again a heavy sleep overcame her,
seeming to carry her down into some
fearful depth. More and more faintly the
peaceful ringing reached her ear, while she
felt as though borne on a rushing torrent
out into endless space. Then suddenly
she seemed to be awakened out of a deep
sleep, and felt as if carried by unseen hands
on high. The ringing of the bells sounded
again from all sides, and mingling with it







A Dream in the Big" Houzse. 61
a wonderful song as from thousands of
angelic voices. Around her the light
grew ever clearer and brighter : it was
more glorious than the most brilliant sun-
shine, and still it did not dazzle the eyes.
An infinite longing seized her, and drove
her on; she wanted to press forward to the
very place from whence the light shone,
and from whence also the wondrously
beautiful harmony came. That must be
heaven itself, where her dear mother had
gone before. There she too would gladly
enter,-where everything was so glorious,
and where the hosts of angels and of the
redeemed rejoiced in answering chorus.
But when she tried to run forward, she felt
as though her feet were bound by a chain;
and while painfully endeavouring to free
them, she saw go by her a troop of shining
figures, in raiment streaming with light, as
if woven from heavenly sunbeams.
As she looked at them more closely she
recognized, with great surprise, many a
face from the old grey house in the lane,







62 The Two Houses.
and with them other poor children whom
she recollected having seen somewhere
before.
"Are all of them going to heaven?"
thought she, and where did they get those
wonderful clothes ?" With that she looked
at her own garment; and saw, with horror,
that her new white silk frock, with its
beautifully wrought rosebuds, looked so
dreadfully coarse and soiled, that she was
ashamed of herself beside the other children.
At the same time she discovered that the
red agate necklace had bound itself like a
chain round her feet, and prevented her
from going forwards.
With infinite effort she dragged herself
after the white-robed children, until they
suddenly disappeared from before her, and
were received into the abode of the blessed.
Hurriedly she tried to follow them ; but a
heavy door closed in front of her, and by
it stood an angel who said sadly, Oh,
child! with such a garment you cannot
enter into the kingdom of heaven."







A Dream in the Big House. 63
I have no other," said Mathilde, while
tears streamed from her eyes; "can you
not give me one ? "
"No," answered the angel; "the Lord
only gives them to those whom He knows.
But you He knows not, because you would
not know Him. For see, when He was
hungry, you did not give Him of your
bread; when He suffered in the bitter
winter cold, you did not clothe Him; and
when He was sick and sorrowing, you
never visited Him, or ever gave Him kind-
ness or help."
Astonished and bewildered, Mathilde
looked up: Oh," cried she, "how could I
do that ? I never saw Him poor or sick,
hungry or cold, that I might have helped
Him. Is He not the great God to whom
everything in heaven and on earth be-
longs ? "
Then the angel pointed down towards
the earth, and Mathilde saw first her
little helpless brother sitting sadly in his
chair; near him stood her father, who







she Two Houses.


looked at her with such melancholy and
reproachful eyes, that she was cut to the
heart. Then the angel pointed again, and
showed a group of pale children, looking
famished and cold in a damp narrow lane.
Mathilde knew them all: they were the
same whom she had already seen in
heavenly raiment, and whom on earth she
had often passed hardly and carelessly by.
See," said the angel, "what you have
not done to these, you have not done to
the Lord; and all the love and help which
you have denied to these, you have denied
to Him: for these are His brothers. How
then can He know you ?"
A deadly pain shot through Mathilde's
heart: she was rejected, banished, and
forsaken, solitary and alone in unspeakable
grief. Deepest darkness surrounded her;
and again she felt herself carried along
on the dark stream of death, as if on
a wild awful sea without a shore.














CHAPTER VI.
Vr pram in thbe mall oiuse+
JiT [iL.E in the big house the
Ssick girl lay in burning
---}.,. fever, wrestling with death,
1:- i"n the quiet rooms at the
'i' 'ick, long days and nights
were also passing over the
other sick bed.
Scorched with fever, Hannchen lay in
the dark room, unconsciously taking cooling
drinks from her mother's hand. For many
days her life hung in the balance. Shall
I have to give her to the Lord, or shall I
be allowed to keep her still ?" was her
mother's one thought; and her frequent
prayers begged for submission to God's
will.








66 The Two Houses.
On the day before Christmas, Hannchen
awoke from her delirium.
Mother, how long I have slept; isn't
it nearly time to dress the Christmas-tree ?"
said she, with a feeble voice.
Don't trouble yourself, child," replied
her mother; we will arrange everything
when you are well again."
"I am really very ill, am I not," con-
tinued Hannchen; am I going to die ?"
Her mother forced the tears back, and
said softly, Oh, my dear, I don't know
yet. We will pray that God may make
you well again; but if it is not His will, we
know that He understands better what is
good for us than we do ourselves. Do not
be afraid, dear child : in life and in death
you belong to the Saviour."
Then perhaps I may spend my Christ-
mas in heaven," said Hannchen, after a
pause. I should have a far more beau-
tiful one there than we can imagine. If
you could only come too, and the boys;
and all the children that I invited to come








A Dream izn /he Small House. 67
here. You know they were all looking
forward to it so much, and now I cannot
give them anything; and poor little Mari-
anne, what Christmas presents will she
get now ?"
You must not talk any more, Hannchen;
your throat is still sore, and your head is
so hot. Keep quiet for a little; then,
perhaps, you will get a nice sleep, which
will make my child well again."
Hannchen obeyed, and closed her weary
eyes; only sometimes they partly opened
again, as if in half sleep. She saw her
mother light the night-lamp, and put a
screen before it, on which was represented
the first Christmas night. Rays of light
shone from the Child in the manger, and
illuminated all the dark stall. Of how
many night-watches could this screen have
told For years it had taken its place with
the mother beside the sick beds; and in
her anxious vigils she had found comfort
in the contemplation of that most blessed
night, on which God's love and mercy were








The Two Houses.


so gloriously manifested, bringing hope and
salvation to men,-a night, indeed, whose
consoling light can cheer and illumine the
darkest hours on earth.
Half waking, half dreaming, Hannchen
gazed at the picture, until it seemed as if
the light drew larger and brighter, and as
if she were being drawn within the circle
of its rays, and carried up into a bright
and happy place.
Can this be Christmas Eve in heaven,
and am I to be there ? thought she; and
an irresistible longing drew her higher and
higher up towards the light. Then she saw
a splendid tree of immense size, whose
boughs spread quite out of sight. The
stars of heaven shone like brilliant lights
on the branches, while all around rang the
angel chorus "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, goodwill towards men!"
As Hannchen drew nearer, she saw
under the tree a multitude of the redeemed
in white clothing; and among them many
well-known faces: her mother and brothers,







A Dream in the Small House. 69
:little Marianne arid Alfred, old Barbel too,
as well as many of her little friends from
-the grey house. They all looked so holy
,and happy, and smiled at her, beckoning
her to join them. But Hannchen stood
timidly apart, arid. did not :dare: to go
nearer; for the dress she wore, which was
the one that her godmother had given her,
seemed too poor for her to venture amongst
those clad in heavenly raiment.
Then an angel drew near her, and said,
",Come, Hannchen, you too have a'place
here."
-" May I come in these clothes?" she
asked, trembling.
But as she looked down at them again;
she saw that they had been changed into
raiment of light, and the angel said, See,
the Saviour has given you a new garment:
-He gives it to every one that He knows,
and you are known of Him; for when
on earth He suffered from cold, you have
given Him clothes; when He was hungry,
you have shared your bread with Him;








The Two Houses.


and when He was sick and alone, you
have visited and been kind to Him."
Surprised, Hannchen looked up : Oh,"
she cried, "how gladly I would have done
all this for Him! But how could I ? I
never saw Him either hungry, or sick, or
forsaken. Is He not the great God of
heaven and earth ? and I a poor weak
child."
Then the angel smiled, and pointing
with his hand towards all Hannchen's
friends, said: What you have done to
these you have done to the Lord, for they
are His brothers ; and every little service,
every kind word, He has regarded as
though given to Himself."
Then an unutterable happiness filled
Hannchen's breast; tears of joy fell from
her eyes, and her heart overflowed with
love and gratitude to her Saviour.
"Oh, why did I not do more?" she
cried aloud ; "all that I am and have would
I lay at His feet for His infinite love; my
whole life should belong to Him."








A Dream in the Small House. 71
"You can do it yet," said the angel,
laying his hand in blessing upon her.
Then it seemed as if everything faded
away before her, and only from afar could
she hear the angel's song; while ever
more and more distinctly sounded the
solemn ringing of the bells.
Then suddenly Hannchen opened her
eyes, and saw her mother bending over
the bed, looking at her with a. loving and
hopeful smile.
Christmas day had dawned, and the
bells of the town were announcing the
glorious message, "To you is born a
Saviour!"
* Han'nchen threw her weak arms round
her mother, and said, with joyful eyes,
" Oh, mother, I have seen the child Christ
in heaven; and now I know better how
much I can love the Saviour."














CHAPTER VII.


,!HILE Hannchen was slowly
,"- and gradually regaining health,
-'.,' Mathilde still lay chained to
. ^ her bed by dangerous illness.
Strange frightful figures seemed
sometimes to stand beside her;
and when she tried to drive them away,
others would rise in their place. Between
whiles she saw the kind face of her faithful
nurse ; and sometimes another, still kinder
and dearer, which bent over her, and re-
called the face of her lost mother: This
could surely be no feverish fancy, for it-
did not change like the others. Could it
really be Aunt Johanna, their dear aunt,
who came sometimes on a visit ? But so








A New Life. 73
often as Mathilde thought of this, or tried
to ask the question, everything passed
away again as if in a dream.
But when more peaceful days and nights
came, Mathilde could at last look round
her again with full consciousness. Aunt
Johanna was coming into the room with a
cup of soup, and smiled at the child, whose
eyes were now clear and free from fever.
"Auntie," whispered Mathilde, while
taking a few spoonfuls of the soup, "are
you going to stay some time here ? Do
say yes, won't you ?"
Her aunt nodded. "Yes; your father
wrote to me saying how ill you were; so
I came, and am going to stay until you
are well again."
"I am so glad," said Mathilde, leaning
wearily upon her aunt; I get so frightened
when I am alone. Am I going to die?
or shall I get well again ? Oh dear, I
have had such a dreadful dream, that I
can't get it out of my head. Shall I tell it
to you ?"







The Two Houses.


"Not now, dear child; another time,
when you are stronger. With God's help
you will get well again; and when you
feel afraid, pray silently, O Lord, deliver
me from evil, and help me."
The child repeated the words softly
after her, and soon sank into a quiet and
peaceful sleep.
The worst time was passed, and now
Mathilde also advanced slowly towards
convalescence. When she was not sleeping,
she would lie tired and still on her bed,
while many thoughts passed through her
mind. Not such as occupied her before
her illness. Now she cared no more for
fine clothes or vain frivolous pleasures.
That awful dream had left her in an
earnest and sometimes anxious frame of
mind. It was certainly only a dream,"
thought she ; and for this time death had
spared her. But some day, sooner or later,
it would all be real; and what then ? As
she had been until now, she could not
enter heaven, that was clear. But could







A New Life. 75
she become a different girl ? Could she
grow like Hannchen ? It seemed hardly
possible; but every time that these thoughts
made her afraid, the words rose to her
lips, 0 Lord, deliver me from evil, and
help me."


It was on a bright afternoon, some weeks
after the New Year had begun its course.
The cold light of January sun hardly
thawed the frosty patterns on the window-
panes, and outside the hard snow crackled
under the feet of the passers-by.
For the first time, Mathilde lay warmly
wrapped up on the sofa in the sitting-room,
near her Aunt Johanna. She had been
relating the dreadful dream, which had
followed her all through her illness, and
now looked up in anxious inquiry.
You can't imagine, auntie, how terrible
it was to be so rejected and driven away.
I felt as if all alone in horrible darkness;
and as if there were no one, either in







The Two Houses.


heaven or on earth, who knew or cared for
me. Oh, auntie, if only it will never really
happen to me."
No, dear child," said her aunt, lovingly;
" we will believe and trust in God that it
will never be like that with you. Do you
not see that just because God loves you,
He has led you in sickness to the very gate
of death, and has allowed you to experience
this bitter fear. But as He has saved you
from death now, so will He rescue you from
the death eternal, and will help you to grow
up in His service. Always remember that
you are His child, and belong to Him in
life and in death; and pray to Him every
day, that He will give you the Holy
Spirit to help you to overcome your vain
and selfish heart, and teach you to serve
Him to the utmost of your power."
I should be so glad to do that," said
Mathilde, earnestly; "but it seems so
difficult. If you could only stay here with
us, I should get on so much better. Oh,
auntie, do stay always."







A New Life. 77
Tears filled Aunt Johanna's eyes, as
putting her arms round the child, she said,
" I have promised your father to stay and
try as well as I can to fill your mother's
place."
Oh, that is delightful! everything will
go right now. Oh, dear auntie, how happy
I am!" said Mathilde, throwing her arms
round her aunt, while a flood of tears
relieved her full heart.
Aunt Johanna let her have her cry out,
then gently laid the tired child back on her
pillow. Now you must lie still and rest;
we must not do too much yet. And in the
meantime, I will go and see about our
presents. In an hour the children can
come in."
Aunt Johanna had prepared a good
many things lately, so that everything was
in readiness. The tree was already de-
corated; only the little cakes and ginger-
bread had to be hung on it, and the
presents put all ready on the table.
Languidly Mathilde's eyes followed her







T/e Two Houses.


aunt, but her heart was full of unspeakable
happiness.
As the evening drew on, Hannchen and
her mother arrived with a troop of children,
who were taken first into the dining-room
,o be warmed and cheered with hot coffee
and rolls.
In the meanwhile, Mathilde called to
Hannchen, and giving her a large parcel,
said: Do you remember, Hannchen, how
badly I behaved to you and Marianne
about the money that I promised ? Indeed,
I am ashamed when I think of it, and
would be so glad to make up for it now.
In the last few weeks I have so longed to
be able to sell my stupid silk frock, but I
did not know how to do it. But now my
aunt has managed it for me, and has
bought with the money a warm shawl for
Marianne, and a winter gown for her
mother." A little sob stopped her speaking
for a while, but soon she said,
"Will you please give this to them;
and when I am able to go out again,







A New Life. 79
you will take me to the grey house, won't
you ?"
"Oh, Mathilde, how good you are!"
cried Hannchen, with a beaming face, as
she took the parcel.
From this time a newer and stronger
bond of friendship was knit between the
two girls, which became a joy and blessing
to their whole after lives.
The tree shone and glistened, and a
happy group encircled it. Mathilde looked
from one to the other; near her sat Aunt
Johanna, with little Alfred on her knee;
while beside her stood Herr Beltheim,
smiling gladly at the child restored to him.
Beyond them were Hannchen and her
mother, and the circle of children, who
gazed at the tree with sparkling eyes.
They are all His brothers and sisters,"
thought Mathilde, "so they are mine, too;
I will never forget that."
And when the old Christmas hymns
rang out from the children's lips, Mathilde's
voice weakly chimed in; and surrounded








80 The Two Houses.

by all her loved ones, she sang out of a
happy and thankful heart-

"Beside Thy lowly manger see
Jesu, my life, I stand :
Laden I come to bear to Thee
The gifts of Thine own hand.
Accept them, Lord; my spirit and my mind,
My heart, my soul, my being, may they find
Before Thy presence grace."


LONDON: KNIGHT, PRINTER, MIDDLE STREET, M.C.













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the interest and insuring the attention of even ordinarily careless readers.
-The Mail.

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MIODEBN IDEAS OF EYOLUTION
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By Sir J. W. DAWSON, C.M.G., LL.D., F.R.S., Author of "The
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THE SUNFLOWERS SERIES.
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HALF-CROWN BOOKS.
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33. The Days of Queen Mlarfy; 17. Her Own Choice. By RUTH
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Nobody Loves Me. Is. cloth.


WaslRight? Illustrated. 3s.6d.
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Our Gracious Queen: Pictures
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is. cloth.
Taken or Left. Cr. 8vo. Is. cloth.
A Peep Behind the Scenes.
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Poppie's Presents. Crown 8vo.
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is. cloth boards.
Shadows. Scenes in the Life of
an Old Arm Chair. Illustrated.
3S. 6d. cloth, gilt edges.


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MRGHZINES

FPR EBYBY HeFRE.
Sixpence Monthly. One Penny New Series. Sixpence Monthly.
Weekly.
THE THE
SUNDAY LEISURE
AT HOME. HOUR.
A FAMILY MAGAZINE A MAGAZINE FOR
FOR SABBATH READING. FAMILY & GENERAL READING
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Weekly. Weekly.
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GIRL'S OWN BOY'S OWN
PAPER. PAPER.
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Plate.
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CHILD'S COTTAGER
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The Los-~t Babbr'.
Squirrel.
flesciuei from the Burning
Sbili.
lai ton',n IP1,-ure

Beunie, ibhe Little Siu~rei.
Iktruben ?iiii flU servioe.
Heartsease.
The Broken Strap.
Alkq~ionat-Y Itabbits.
H I(Ia.
lally, the Hop-1iicker.
Utps and Llowuiz.
Jefly's Little-. IBlack Friend
Irne'rs Biirthdax' Tnt-aL.
Bertie I)Danli. -Trainifl_
Led by a Little Child.




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