The Baldwin Library
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HI'UNGEkING; AND THIRSTiNG.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
"WILLIE AND LUCY AT THE SEA-SIDE." CHARITY'S BIRTHDAY
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY:
56, PATERNOSTER ROW; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD;
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
HUNGERING AND THIRSTING.
COLD autumn wind swept through the
streets of the city, and a small drizzling
rain fell at intervals. Even the higher and
better parts of the town looked dull and
muddy, while the narrow, crooked alley,
where lived little Kitty Swindon, wore its very
dreariest and most unpleasant aspect. At
the best it was not an attractive spot. The
houses were always tall, overhanging, and out
of repair; the pavement was always dirty;
the children were always ragged, noisy, and
4 Hungering and Thirsting.
Kitty Swindon and her two little brothers
were among them,-not a whit cleaner, or
more respectable, or less noisy than the other
children in the lane. Kitty was about nine
or ten years old. She wore a short, tattered
frock, from which all trace of colour had long
since disappeared, and her thick rough hair
hung damp and tangled over her shoulders.
There was nothing bright or promising about
her. She was thin and meagre, pinched and
wan. She had a wild, uncared-for look, poor
child-and what wonder? Her father was
dead. Her mother was out charming from early
morning till late at night, whenever she could
procure the work. Kitty's chief employment
was looking after her little brothers. She
never thought of such a thing as being taken
care of herself.
But Benjy and Tommy were now playing
very comfortably, with two or three other
little boys, in the great puddle of mud just
before the house in which they lived. So Kitty
had a few minutes to herself. She was not
sorry for it, and she did not lose the oppor-
tunity of stealing to the end of the lane, and
indulging herself with a look-out.
Not that there was much to be seen. Only
Hungering and Thirsting. 5
a few carts and one or two carriages passing
now and then, or a foot-passenger hurrying
on, as if anxious to reach home quickly. Pre-
sently a lamplighter came briskly along,
bearing his ladder; for though not yet dark,
the afternoon had begun to draw in. It was
quite a respectable thoroughfare-this cross-
road at the end of the little alley. Kitty
would have liked to walk in it, but she seldom
ventured there alone. It was too much the
region of well-dressed people and policemen.
Suddenly a gleam of something white on
the pavement attracted her eye. She stepped
forward and picked it up with her little dusky
hand. Only a piece of paper, torn on two
sides, with words printed on it in very large
letters. Kitty was not much of a reader, but
she had learned a little; and stealing a few
steps nearer to a lamp, she tried to make it
out-slowly, and spelling each syllable. They
were strange words. Kitty could hardly
believe her own eyesight.
"Blessed are they which do hunger and
Nothing more than that. What could it
mean ? Blessed to be hungry and thirsty!
If it had been, Blessed are they which do
6 Hungering and Thirsting.
not hunger and thirst," Kitty would have
agreed most heartily. She spelt it over a
second time, to be quite sure there was no
mistake. But no !-there were the words as
plainly as they could be printed. Folding up
the paper, she bestowed it in a safe corner of
her ragged dress, and leaned against the
corner house to think.
Kitty was very much perplexed. She was
not quite ignorant of the meaning of the word
" blessed." No doubt, if she had been asked
to explain it, she would have given but a
misty and uncertain answer. Still she knew
that it meant something good-something
nice-something to be desired. And how
could it be either good, or nice, or desirable
to be hungry and thirsty?
Kitty did not think that it was. She felt
quite sure that the author of those words
could never have known real hunger-sharp,
gnawing, pinching hunger, such as she felt at
that moment. She had had nothing to eat
since early morning, and nothing then but a
crust of bread. She would have given a great
deal, if she had had it, for another crust,
however small. And this bit of paper seemed
to make out that it was good to feel as she did
, L '
SItE SI ELT IT OVER A SECOND TIME.
8 Hungering and Thirsting.
then-that she would not be really any better
off if she had plenty to eat and drink.
No, Kitty could not agree to the little sen-
tence. And yet she could not help believing,
even while unable to understand it. The
words seemed to sink down deep into her
mind, and remain there. She would like to
be blessed, she thought. Was it possible that
being hungry and thirsty could make her so?
And what, after all, was the real meaning of
blessed? It must be something more than
she knew. No one could think it nice and
pleasant to be hungry or thirsty, if there
was nothing to eat or drink. It was very
Kitty gave up in despair the attempt to un-
derstand it, and walked back into the alley.
There was a quarrel going on between the
little boys, so she went up and roughly pulled
them apart. Then it began to rain heavily,
and she took Tommy's hand, and led him up
the dark, rickety staircase, followed by Benjy,
up three steep flights, until they reached the
room which formed their home.
Only one room, and that not a large one.
The roof sloped on two sides, and the window
was very small. There was a roughly-made
Hungering and Thirsting. 9
table in the middle, a broken chair near it,
another at a little distance, and a bed in one
corner which was little more than a heap of
rags. That was all the furniture. There was
a small cupboard, locked up, and Kitty
looked at it with longing eyes, for she knew
that there was a piece of bread inside. If
mother should not bring home anything else
to eat, they would have to divide it between
them all for their supper. Oh! how Kitty
longed to eat it all up now. If she could
have opened the door, she would hardly have
been able to restrain herself.
It was very dusky indoors, and little
Tommy soon made his way to the heap of
rags, where he fell asleep. Benjy cried, and
said he was hungry, and he "wanted mother."
Kitty thought of her paper, Blessed are they
which do hunger," and with unusual gentle-
ness she persuaded him to follow his brother's
example. It would pass the time," she said,
" till mother came." Benjy was only four
years old, and Tommy three.
In the silence that followed, a faint sobbing
sound fell on Kitty's ear. She wondered
what it was, and listened anxiously. Again
it came, plainly and distinctly through the
10 Hungering and Thirsting.
thin walls. Was it some one in the next
room ? Kitty was aware that a very cross
man had come to live there a few days before.
But she knew he was out working at this
time, and, besides, the sound she heard was
not like a man's voice. It was soft and plain-
tive, and very sad. Kitty listened until she
could bear it no longer, and, creeping out of
the room, she made her way to the door of
the next attic.
A SORROWFUL LOT.
S anybody here ?" Kitty asked at the
Door, much afraid lest by any chance
the cross man should be inside. But the
answer was in a child's voice.
"I'm here. Oh, please come in. I do
want a drink of water so very, very bad!"
Kitty pushed open the door and entered.
The room was smaller than the one in which
she lived, and almost bare of furniture. On
a little pile of straw and clothes in a corner,
lay a small, wasted form-so thin, so wan, so
puny, with its claw-like hands, its hollow,
pining face, its black, eager, longing eyes,
that at first Kitty could not tell whether it
were a boy or a girl. Only the somewhat
short hair, and the shape of the rags which
12 Hungering and Thirsting.
hung about the little figure, seemed to denote
the former. The child appeared to be about
the same age as herself.
Kitty walked up in silence to within a few
paces of him, and then stopped. Again the
plaintive voice said piteously, "I want a drink
of water so bad !"
"What's your name ?" asked Kitty.
"I'm Jamie. Father's out. He's out all
day. Nobody comes to me. And, oh! it
does hurt so dreadful."
"What hurts ?" asked Kitty.
"My leg was broke, and it's never got well.
The pain's so bad, and the thirst's awful. It
seems to burn me up like-here," and he
pressed his hands to his chest.
"Then you're blessed too," said Kitty,
thoughtfully. "I ain't thirsty, but I'm hun-
gry, and you're thirsty; so we're the same."
"I wish we was the same," said the sick
child mournfully. "I'd like to be up and
well, like you. But what d'ye mean?"
"It's a bit of paper I found," said Kitty,
pulling it out. That's what it says,-
'Blessed are they which do hunger and
Slowly she read the words, but this time
Hungering and Thirsting. 13
without spelling. Jamie's small, sunken face
"I can't make it out. What's blessed?
Father says, 'Bless me,' sometimes. Is that
"Somethin' like it, I s'pose," returned
Kitty. "It's bein' happy, ain't it?"
"I'm not happy," Jamie said decidedly
"If I was warm, and had plenty to drink,
and plenty to eat, and father was kind, and
I wasn't ill-I'd be happy then. Won't you
get me a drink o' water?" he added piti-
fully, recurring to his first request.
"Wouldn't you rather be blessed, as the
paper says ?" asked Kitty doubtfully.
I shall be thirsty still," pleaded the child.
"I'm always, always thirsty. Please get me
Kitty gave way without further remon-
strance. She took a small broken jug from
the table, filled it from one of larger size,
but in much the same condition, in her own
room, and then returned to the suffering
child. The welcome gift was received with
a tight grasp of the thin hands, and a long
draught taken. Jamie gave it back at
length, and sank back with a gasp of relief.
14 Hungering and Thirsting.
"Oh, it's so good! It's awful good!"
"It seems nice for you," remarked Kitty,
in a puzzled tone. "I wonder vwhy it's
blessed to be thirsty."
"It isn't. I don't believe it," said Jamie
warmly. "Give it me again; just a drop
Again he drank eagerly and feverishly. A
new feeling of tender, womanly pity dawned
into Kitty's little rough, untamed heart, as
she looked on.
"I'll fill it again for you," she said. "I
can get some more easy for ourselves."
The hollow eyes looked eager assent, and
she went away a second time, again return-
ing to place the re-filled jug carefully on the
floor by his side. She lingered still for a
"'Ain't you tired of lyin' here all day?
Don't you never go out ?"
"I can't walk," said Jamie sadly. I'm
dreadful tired of it. And the pain's so bad
to bear 'times, when I'm alone."
Don't your father ever be with you ?"
He don't come home, 'cept to sleep. He
don't never stay."
"You haven't been here long?"
Hungering and Thirsting. 15
"Not in this room. Father cored here
last week. We was in t'other house, over the
way, ever so long. We was on the second
floor there. And afore that we had two
rooms," he added with some pride. "But
father drinks more now, and he couldn't pay
the rent, so we had to turn out. I don't
mind bein' here, if you'll come in 'times."
"I'll come," said Kitty, nodding her head,
"when I can leave Benjy and Tommy. May-
be I'll bring 'em in with me."
"Does your father leave you all day?"
"Father's dead. He died just when Tom-
my was born. Mother goes out charming, an'
I take care of the little ones."
"Must you go?" Jamie asked wistfully,
as she moved.
"They'll wake, maybe, and get into mis-
chief. But I won't forget you. Are you
Not now. Sometimes it's most as bad
as thirst. But I think I'll sleep now. The
water's so good."
He turned away his head as he spoke, and
Kitty went back to her own room. The
little boys were still asleep, so she sat down
16 Hungering and Thirsting.
near the door, and waited impatiently for her
mother's arrival. The delay was long. She
could hear the church clock striking six, and
seven, and eight, but still Mrs. Swindon did
not come. The children were awake now,
and crying for their food, but Kitty had none
to give them.
Not till nearly nine o'clock did they hear
a slow, tired step on the stairs, and a pale,
haggard, anxious-looking woman entered.
"Mother, have you got anything?" Kitty
asked hungrily ; and oh! how her eyes
brightened at the sight of a loaf under her
mother's ragged shawl.
"Yes, they paid me at last for my three
days' work," said Mrs. Swindon wearily.
"And the lady's goin' from home, so I shan't
be wanted there again for six weeks. She
says she'll speak of me to a friend of hers,
Mrs. Howard, and I may get work there once
a week, maybe. If more don't come in soon,
we'll have to starve."
"But you've got money now, mother," re-
marked Kitty. Oh, I'm so hungry."
Mrs. Swindon threw off her shawl and her
bonnet. Then she unlocked the cupboard,
brought out a plate and knife, and distributed
Hungering and Thirsting. 17
large pieces of bread all round. Kitty won-
dered much while eating whether she were
less "blessed" now than before she began.
But there was little fear-or hope-of her
hunger being entirely satisfied. The loaf
must be carefully used. And long before
Kitty felt inclined to stop, Mrs. Swindon put
away the remainder, and locked up the cup-
board again. Tommy began to cry for
" more," but Mrs. Swindon sent Benjy and
him to bed, then sat down to mend a rent
in her faded cotton gown.
I'm going to bed now," Kitty said sleepily.
"Mother, I went into the next room to-day,
and there's a poor little boy there, so dreadful
ill. His father's away all day."
"Likely enough," said Mrs. Swindon bit-
terly. Poor folks like us hasn't much money
to spend on bread to eat, if we stays with our
children all day."
"I told him I'd go and see him some-
times," said Kitty.
Mrs. Swindon made no answer. Poor
woman! she was almost too weary to talk,
after her hard day's work and long walk.
Kitty said nothing about her piece of paper.
She felt that she was not likely to meet with
18 Hungering and Thirsling.
much sympathy on the subject. Constant
toil and fretting trouble had not a little
soured and hardened a not naturally unplea-
sant temperament; and though no doubt
Mrs. Swindon really loved her children, she
rarely gave evidence of the same. Kitty
never knew what it was to receive a tender
word or look from her.
KITTY SEEKS AN EXPLANATION.
HE next day Mrs. Swindon was absent.
It was fine and clear, though cold.
Kitty would not have minded the latter, had
she been well fed and warmly clad. As it
was, she always dreaded the approach of
winter, with its sharp frosts and piercing
winds, and longed for the mild days of spring
to come again.
There was one great boy in the lane who
had sometimes been very kind, in a rough
good-tempered way, to Kitty. His name was
Dick West, and he lived in two small rooms,
with his old and paralytic mother. He had
a large basket, which he used to carry to the
market, fill there with fruit and vegetables,
and then take about the town, trying to sell
20 Hungering and Thirsting.
its contents.. It was a poor way of living at
times, but Dick was a good son to his mother,
and did all he could for her.
On the afternoon of this day, Kitty saw
him coming home earlier than usual, with an
empty basket, and a sudden thought darted
into her mind. He was so kind and good-
natured-was it possible that he could tell her
what the little piece of paper meant ? It did
not seem unlikely, for he was seven or eight
years older than she was.
"You're back in good time to-day, Dick,"
she said by way of commencement.
Business good to-day," said Dick, nodding
his head. Sold everything off, and lots o'
money in hand, Kitty. Came home quick to
tell mother the good news."
Dick, I want to ask you something. Are
you in a great hurry ?"
"I can wait," said Dick, leaning against the
wall, with his basket at his feet. "What is
it, little un ?"
"You won't laugh at me?" said Kitty,
I'll try not."
"I want you to tell me what something
means. Yesterday I found a bit of printed
Hungering and Thirsting. 21
paper, and, Dick, it says, 'Blessed are they
which do hunger and thirst.'"
It's a very common kind o' blessedness
then-seems to me."
But, Dick, you said you wouldn't laugh."
Well, I don't know what you wants me to
do then, Kitty."
"I want to know what it means. Can't
you tell me ?"
Maybe," said Dick doubtfully. It's
just half a text o' the Bible you've got hold
The Bible," repeated Kitty. "That's
what they reads in church-leastways mother
once said so."
"Ay, an' that's a bit of it. I went to a
Sunday-school once, an' I learnt the text."
Oh, do tell me more," cried Kitty eagerly.
Dick's honest face looked rather perplexed,
and he rubbed his cheek.
"Well-I don't know as I can remember
it," he said slowly. "Let's see. 'Blessed-
blessed is-' ah, that's it,-' Blessed is them
as hungers and thirsts after righteousness.'"
"' Blessed are they which do hunger and
thirst,'" corrected Kitty, with a rather
superior air. And then she repeated-
.2 Hungering and Thirsting.
"'After righteousness.' What's rightcous-
"There you're past me, Kitty. Teacher
used to tell us, but I never took it in rightly.
I wasn't at school more 'n three Sundays-
more's the pity maybe."
Kitty stood lost. in thought. Righteous-
ness righteousness !" she repeated. "Oh, I
wish I knowed what it was."
It's bein' good, I s'pose," said Dick at
"But hunger and thirst-oh dear, I can't
make it out at all, Dick."
"'Tain't so very hard," said Dick, driven to
attempt an explanation. "I s'pose it's just
wantin' to be good."
"Then I'm sure Iwant to be good," said
Kitty. Does that make me 'blessed ?'"
Maybe. I don't know nothing' about it,
Kitty. You'd best ask some one else."
I've no one to ask," said Kitty sorrowfully.
" Mother don't like bein' bothered. And any-
body else'd laugh. Oh dear! I wish I could
go to Sunday-school."
So ye can," said Dick in a consoling tone.
" The folks there 'd be very glad to see you
come in. They wants little uns to teach."
Hungt ing and Thirsting. 23
But the fact of any one wanting to
teach her-little, wild, ragged Kitty Swindon
-was so unheard of an idea, that Kitty
I mean it," said Dick, half affronted.
"Didn't they ask me to go,-and teacher,
didn't he come after me when I stayed away,
and 'most made me promise I'd go again ?
I'd ha' done it too, only father said I shouldn't.
I'm too big now; but you ain't."
Kitty shook her head sorrowfully. She
felt that she could as easily have walked into
a lion's den as have put her face unasked
within the walls of the neighboring Sunday-
"Well, well, I wouldn't worry about it,"
said Dick, lifting his basket and marching on.
"Some day, I dare say, you'll know all you
Kitty felt that no further information was
to be gained from him. She looked to see
that her little brothers were safely and hap-
pily engaged with their favourite mud puddle,
and then, running into the house, she hastened
upstairs to Jamie's room. He was alone as
usual, and greeted her with one of his wan,
24 Hungering and Thirsting.
"I'm glad to see ye," he muttered feebly.
"My jug's empty."
"I'll get some more water," said Kitty.
"But, Jamie, I've just heard more of the text.
It's 'Blessed are they which do hunger and
thirst after righteousness." It's Dick as says
it's a text, and he told me the rest. And
he says it means wantin' to be good-not
bein' hungry and thirsty, just for bread an'
water. So you needn't mind drinking' all you
Jamie looked half bewildered.
"What's the word ?" he asked.
"Righteousness. I've been sayin' it over
an' over to myself. I shan't forget it now,
Jamie. Dick says it means bein' good. So
won't we be very good now ?"
"I can't," Jamie said sadly. "I can't do
Kitty looked doubtful.
"Maybe you can," she said at length.
"And it don't say folks is blessed when they
be good, Jamie, but when they wants to be
"I want it," said Jamie. "I want lots o'
"Dick says he was once in a Sunday-
Hungering and Thirsting. 25
school," said Kitty, still full of the past con-
versation. "And he says I could go. But
I'd be afraid."
"I don't know what it is," Jamie said.
"It's a great room where ladies and gentle-
men sit, every Sunday, and teaches children.
I'd like to go. But that ain't likely. Nobody
'd want me."
"I couldn't go if I was asked," said Jamie
with a sigh; and Kitty inquired-
"Is the pain bad to-day?"
"It's better now, but it was awful in the
night. I could ha' screeched, but father 'd
ha' beat me, if I'd woke him."
"Well, I'll get you a little water," said
Kitty, taking the jug. I mustn't stay, for
mother don't like me to leave Benjy and
Tommy long, but by-'n-by I'll bring 'em
here, and stay a little."
She ran away, and soon returned as before
with the jug full, which she placed by his
side. Jamie lay after her departure thinking
over the words that Kitty had repeated to
him-" Blessed are they which do hunger and
thirst after righteousness."
"Oh, I'd like to know what righteousness
is !" he sighed to himself. "If it's bein' good,
26 Hulgering and T/irsting.
I'm sure I wish ever so much to be good.
But there's no one to tell me how."
Patience, poor little neglected child Your
hunger and thirst shall not long remain un-
THE TEXT AGAIN.
a ITTY," said her mother one day, "I
told Mrs. Howard I'd send you to
her house this evening. She hadn't her purse
at hand yesterday, or couldn't get change, or
something so she said I'd better call again. I
told her I'd come nigh to my last penny, and
she said I'd best send you round to-day."
"All right, mother. I know where she
lives. It's the house where you go every
Thursday, to do washing."
"And mind you go steady, Kitty, and
bring back the money safe. I ain't got no
more work this week, as I know of, an' if I
don't hear of no more, that's all the money
we'll have to live on to-morrow and Sunday
and Monday. So mind you're steady."
28 Hungering and Thirsting.
Thus admonished, Kitty set off. It was
by no means her first errand of a similar
nature, but it was the first time she had been
to this particular house, where her mother
had only lately begun to work. A quarter
of an hour's walk brought her to the row of
pretty neat villas, where lived Mrs. Howard.
Kitty rang the bell timidly, and was admitted
into the hall, there to wait till Mrs. Howard
could attend to her, as she was just then
Kitty did not mind waiting. The hall was
nice and warm, and she was cold with her
walk. Her ragged, worn boots did not suit
well with the bright fresh oil-cloth upon the
floor; but her attention was soon drawn away
from herself by something on the hall table.
It was a piece of cardboard, leaning against
the wall, and there was printing upon it, as
large as that of the text which she had picked
up in the street. Kitty did not venture to
go any nearer, and the table was at a little
distance, but she managed slowly to make
out the first three words,-
But at this moment a young lady came
downstairs, and passed along the hall. Kitty's
Hungering and Thirstzng. 29
eyes forsook the text at once, and fastened
upon her. She was very gentle and kind-
looking. At the sight of Kitty's earnest gaze
she stopped short, and came towards her.
"Little girl, do you want anything?"
Kitty dropped a curtsey. Please, ma'am
-it's only the money-for mother."
"Who is your mother, little girl?"
"I'm Kitty Swindon, please, ma'am."
"Mrs. Swindon, the charwoman ? Are you
her little girl? Ah, I remember now. You
shall have the money directly." The young
lady seemed about to go on, but she stepped
back, and added, with a gentle smile, "I saw
you reading this text, little Kitty."
Kitty felt very much abashed at having
taken such a liberty. But the young lady
did not seem displeased, so she ventured to
say, "Please, ma'am, I was trying. "
"Come nearer, and read it to me."
Kitty obeyed, and read the first part
fluently, the latter slowly-
"Blessed are they which do hunger and
thirst after righteousness; for they shall be
"That is right. I am glad you can read
so well. This text is to be taken to the
30 Hungering and Thirsting.
room of a poor sick girl, but it has been left
here for a few minutes. Have you ever
heard it before?"
Kitty hesitated a moment, and then, en-
couraged by the kind tone, she pulled out
her piece of paper.
"Please, ma'am, I found this," she said
The young lady took it, dirty and muddy
thoughwit was, and read it aloud.
"Yes; you have only half of it there," she
said. "Do you know what it means, little
"Dick says it means wanting to be good,"
observed Kitty timidly.
"Dick is not so very far wrong. I should
like to tell you all about it, Kitty, but I have
not time just now. Only you see this pro-
mise, that all who do wish to be righteous
shall have their wish. What Sunday-school
do you go to ?"
"I don't go nowhere, ma'am; I mind the
children all day."
"I will speak to your mother about it.
She is not coming to us again for a week, is
she? I must try to find you in your home
then. Now I will go for your money."
Hungering and Thirsting. 31
She went away, leaving Kitty in speechless
amazement at the idea of the promised visit
-amazement too intense at first to leave
much room for delight; but delight was not
long in coming. By the time the young lady
returned with the money, her face was beam-
ing with pleasure.
Here it is, Kitty. I think you will find it
all right. And here is a copy of your text-
the whole of it, like that one on cardboard.
You may have it for your own."
Kitty's "Thank you" spoke little of her
real feelings. The young lady folded up the
large sheet of paper quite small, and Kitty
tucked it safely away as she left the house.
But when once outside she relieved her feel-
ings by racing along the pavement like a
wild creature, till want of breath obliged her
to slacken her pace.
"Well you've been long enough," was her
mother's greeting. "I hope you haven't lost
No, it's here, all safe. And oh, mother,
I've seen the kindest, beautifulest young
"Miss Howard, I suppose," said Mrs.
Swindon. "Yes, she's kind-spoken. She
32 Hungering and Tzirsting.
don't treat one as if one was worse than
"I'm sure that she doesn't, mother. And
she says she's coming to see me-to see us."
Mrs. Swindon shook her head. "She
won't. It's easy for ladies to promise. Don't
you go an' set your heart on that, Kitty.
She won't come."
Kitty felt as if a sudden cloud had crept
over her bright horizon. Was she after all
to know no more respecting that strange and
perplexing text? But no, she did not believe
it. She recalled again the young lady's
sweet, compassionate face, and grave, truth-
ful eyes, and her trust revived. She would
not say anything more to her mother, but
she resolved to look out day after day until
Miss Howard came.
Meantime she did not forget to find her
way to Jamie, and to tell him all her news.
He and she were fast friends, and a day
rarely if ever passed that she did not creep
in two or three times to fill his jug with
water, and to while away a few minutes by
cheerful, childish chat.
Poor little Jamie! Every day he seemed
to grow more wan and weak and wasted, and
Hungering and Thirsting. 33
the terrible pain in his leg to become worse.
He rarely slept at night, and all appetite for
the rough, coarse food supplied by his father,
had forsaken him. But for the occasional
attentions of an old woman living on the floor
below, of Mrs. Swindon, and of Kitty, he was
utterly neglected. His father, though not a
confirmed drunkard, was always either at the
public-house with his companions, or at work.
He was a rough, harsh man, and Jamie dreaded
his presence far more than he dreaded even
solitude. Before him, however severe the pain
might he, he dared not utter a cry or a moan.
It was always a relief when the long night
was over, and his father had again left him.
"I don't believe that man Scott has the very
least bit of feeling for the child," Mrs. Swindon
remarked indignantly one day. "Always
going off to the public-house, and leaving
him to lie there and die by inches. It is next
door to m-irderin' him with his own hands."
A chill crept over Kitty's heart.
Oh, mother, Jamie won't die!"
"Maybe not. Folks can be mistaken.
But if I ain't very much so, he won't live
many more weeks. He's just wastin' away."
Hot tears came into Kitty's eyes, and she
34 Hungering and 7 hirs/ing.
moved away that her mother might not see
them. She had not known till then how she
loved the poor little sick boy-how much of
her interest and affection were centred in her
short visits to his room. Oh, if only Miss
Howard would come! Perhaps she could
do something for him. But it was three
days since Kitty had been to her house, and
as yet she had not appeared. Kitty's hopes
of seeing her were beginning to sink very
THE OLD, OLD STORY.
Th EDNESDAY came. On the following
", day Mrs. Swindon would go again
to Mrs. Howard's house. And the young
lady had never yet been.
Kitty scarcely dared hope to see her now.
Once she remarked upon her disappointment
to her mother, but the dry answer, "I told
you so!" did not encourage her to pursue
the subject. So she only waited in silence,
and looked out still, but with a sinking
Mrs. Swindon was out, and the little boys
playing about as usual. Kitty stood listlessly
leaning against the wall of a house, with the
end of her pinafore in her mouth. Suddenly,
round the corner of the alley, appeared the
36 Hungering and Thirsting.
wearer of a pretty grey dress, and a straw
hat with quiet blue ribbons. Kitty's heart
almost stopped beating. Could it be Miss
Howard ? She moved slowly forward, and in
another minute recognized the kind, gentle
face that she had longed to see. Would she
herself be remembered ? Kitty hesitated a
moment whether to advance or not, and just
then the young lady paused to ask a little
boy "if he could tell her where Mrs. Swindon
I'm here, ma'am," Kitty said, going a little
nearer, and Miss Howard turned to her at
"How do you do, little Kitty? Did you
think I had quite forgotten about coming to
see you ?"
Kitty hung her head.
No, ma'am," she said, faintly.
"Is your mother at home to-day?"
No, she's out charming "
"Will you show me where you live, then ?
Which is the house ?"
"It ain't fit for you, ma'am," said Kitty,
summoning up courage. "It's up in the
attics-only one room."
Never mind. One room will do to sit in.
Hungering and Thirsting. 37
I want to have a little talk with you. Who
are these little boys ?" as Tommy seized
Kitty's ragged frock, rather alarmed at the
sight of a stranger.
They're my brothers, ma'am. I have to
take care of 'em always when mother's away."
"Perhaps you would like to bring them
upstairs with you, and I will give them some
pretty pictures to amuse them "
Kitty gladly obeyed. Up the rickety,
creaking staircase she led the way to their
own room. Benjy and Tommy were there
made quiet and happy by the present of a
few small, brightly coloured pictures from
Miss Howard's pocket.
Would you like to have one or two as
Kitty's face lighted up.
Oh, ma'am, may I give one of 'em to poor
Jamie ? He can't read, but he do love a
"You may give them to anyone that you
like. Who is Jamie?"
"He's in the next room, ma'am. He's
dreadful bad. Mother don't think he'll live
much longer;" and Kitty brushed the back
of her hand across her eyes.
38 H1-ungering and Thirsting.
"Do you think he would like to see me,
Oh !" and Kitty's face said more than
words could do. "But the room's shocking
"Never mind the room. Would you like
me to tell you both together about the text,
Kitty? Can you leave the little boys here
safely, or shall they come too?"
"I'll leave 'em, ma'am. The room's so
near I'll hear every sound, and they'll be
happy with their pictures. I often goes in
for a few minutes."
Miss Howard rose from the broken chair
on which she had taken her seat. Kitty
again led the way, and opened the door of
the adjoining room.
"Jamie, here's a lady come to see
Jamie raised himself a little, his bright,
feverish eyes glittering with excitement.
There was no chair in the room, only a three-
legged stool, but on this the lady seemed
quite contented to sit.
I am sorry to see you so ill, little Jamie,"
she said. How long have you been like
hIungering and Thirsting. 39
Jamie looked doubtful. It's ever so long,"
"Poor little boy! It is very sad to have
pain and sickness, is it not ? Do you know
who sent it to you ?"
Jamie nodded his head. "Yes, it was
Gibbs as knocked me over, and made me
break my leg. He said it was all a accident.
But it wasn't. He did it all o' purpose."
I hope not, Jamie. I should be sorry
to think anyone could hurt you on pur-
"Father said he did," responded Jamie.
"Be you a-going' to tell us about Kitty's
"Yes, I wish to do so. Can you tell me
the text, either of you ?"
Kitty repeated it at once-
"Blessed are they which do hunger and
thirst after righteousness; for they shall be
Can you tell me what hunger and thirst
A moment's pause, and the children looked
at one another-quick, significant glances,
which made the lady's heart ache. Then
40 Hungering and Thirsting.
"It's longin' awful for something' to eat,
when you ain't got it."
"And it's bein' dreadful thirsty-burnin' up
like, here," said Jamie, pressing his hand to
You are both right. Then hungering and
thirsting means longing for something very
much, does it not ?"
They nodded in silence. There was no
want of comprehension as yet.
"What does the text say we must long for,
Righteousness," said Kitty readily.
"And what is righteousness ? "
"Bein' good," replied Kitty.
"And who is good, Kitty ?"
"You are, ma'am," was again Kitty's ready
"No, I am not, Kitty; not in the way that
you mean. I am naturally just as naughty
and sinful as you are."
Jamie lay listening silently on his heap
of straw. Kitty's eyes opened, and her lips
parted in an incredulous smile.
If you ain't good, ma'am, I just don't
know who is."
"I am not good, Kitty, and you are not
Hungering and Thirsting. 41
good, and Jamie is not good. That is to say,
we are none of us without sin. You know
what sin is ? "
"Bein' bad," said Kitty.
"Yes, sin is being bad. And everyone in
the world is bad. Everyone in the world has
sinned against the great God in heaven.
God's own book, the Bible, tells us so. It
says, There is none that doeth good, no, not
"I've heard say as bad folks don't go to
heaven," remarked Kitty.
No bad people can go there, Kitty. And
yet we may all go. How do you think that
Kitty did not answer. She was getting
out of her depth.
"I told you just now that there was no
good person in the world, and it is quite true.
There is no person in the world without sin-
no person who has never done, or thought, or
wished a single wrong thing. But once,
Kitty, there was One living in the world who
was truly good. He was holy, pure, without
sin. Do you know whom I am speaking
Perhaps there was a misty idea of the
42 Hungering and Thirsting.
truth in Kitty's mind, but if so she did
not give it utterance. She only shook her
It was the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of
God. He came down from heaven, not to
please Himself, not because He was obliged,
but because He loved you, and Jamie, and me,
and all the world, so much that He wanted us
to go to heaven. If He had not come into
the world, and been punished for us, we must
all have gone to hell for ever. None of us
could have gone to heaven. But now that
He has borne our punishment for us, we may
all go to heaven when we die. If we are
sorry for our sins, and go to the Lord Jesus,
and pray for forgiveness in His name, God
will pardon us all our sins-all our naughti-
nesses-and we shall be His children. Can
you understand me?"
"How was He punished?" asked Kitty.
He lived upon the earth for many years,
and had a great deal of sorrow and trouble
to bear, and at last men put Him to a cruel
and painful death. He was hung up upon
a great wooden cross, and sharp nails were
driven through His hands and feet, and there
He was left till He died. And He suffered
Hungering and Thirsting. 43
all this out of love-out of His great, deep,
pitying love for poor sinners."
Jamie's hollow eyes were full of'tears.
It must have been sad pain," he muttered;
" worse than I have in my leg."
"Worse than either you or I can even
fancy, Jamie," said the lady gently.
Kitty was standing by Miss Howard's side,
unconsciously pressing nearer and nearer in
her rapt attention.
Is He in heaven now ?" she half whispered.
"When He was taken down from the
cross, Kitty, He was buried. And in three
days He rose out of the grave, and stayed
on earth forty days. Then He went up into
heaven. But He is here as well as in heaven.
He has promised to be with us always. He
hears every word we speak, and knows every
thought. The very faintest prayer will reach
Him. If you only say from your heart, 'Lord
Jesus, teach me and forgive me,' He will hear
you at once. Will you try, Kitty and Jamie?"
I'll try," Jamie said at once. "Will He
hear if I ask Him to make my leg well?"
He will hear you, Jamie; and if it is
good for you He will do what you wish.
Sometimes He sees that it is best for us to
44 Hungering and Thirsting.
have pain and weakness, and then He does
not take it away, even if we ask Him. If
it is so with you, then you must try to bear
it patiently, and to believe that it is best for
I don't know what righteousness is yet,"
Kitty remarked, half to herself.
"No, I was just going to tell you, Kitty.
You understand now that none of us are
good or righteous in ourselves. None of us
are holy or without sin."
"I know," said Kitty.
"But the Lord Jesus Christ is good, and
righteous, and holy. When He died for us,
He bore our sins and punishment. And when
we seek for pardon through His blood, and
are saved through Him, then, Kitty, we bear
His righteousness. It is like putting on a
beautiful white dress to hide our blackness
and sinfulness. All our sins are washed
away; and when God looks upon us, instead
of seeing us as we are, He sees us in our
Kitty nodded, with a satisfied look.
"You see the end of the verse too, Kitty
-'for they shall be filled.' What does it
Hungering and Thirsting. 45
"I know," Jamie said, but he waited for
It means that all who truly long to be
made righteous shall have their wish. If we
really want it we shall pray for it; and God
always answers prayer, if it is offered humbly
in the name of His dear Son. I hope to ex-
plain more to you another day. If you have
anything to ask me now, you need not be
afraid to do so."
Neither of them spoke ; so she said, You
have never been to a Sunday-school yet,
No; I'd like it," said Kitty, "but mother
wants me to look after the children."
I will speak to your mother to-morrow,
and ask if it cannot be arranged. You would
not be afraid, Kitty. You should be in my
class, and then you could come home and
tell Jamie all you have heard. Little Jamie,
will you try and remember what I have told
you to-day ?"
I won't forget," said Jamie, quietly.
I am going to ask a doctor to come and
see you," said the lady, rising. Perhaps he
will tell us of something that will do your leg
good. What is your name? Jamie what ?"
46 Hungering and Thirsting.
"Jamie Scott," Kitty answered for him.
"I will not forget. Are you hungry,
"I'm thirsty," said Jamie. "There ain't
much to eat-only a bit of bread. Father
don't give me nothing' else."
"Has your father work to do ?"
"Yes, but he don't bring any money home.
I don't mind, so's I've plenty of water to
drink. I ain't often hungry."
Tears stood in the lady's eyes.
"There is a baker round the corner," she
said. "If you can come with me, Kitty, I
will buy some bread for you and Jamie, and
you can bring it home."
Kitty agreed willingly. The two little
boys were brought into Jamie's room, and
left there to show him their new pictures.
Kitty walked along by the lady's side, hardly
knowing herself in her new position. They
went into the shop, and Kitty's pinafore was
soon full of neat paper packets, containing
nice French rolls, twists, and plain buns,
besides a whole large loaf, all to be divided
between themselves and Jamie. Miss Howard
felt that she could trust Kitty to do this
faithfully, and she was not mistaken.
THE DOCTOR'S PRAYER.
ITTY said nothing to her mother about
the Sunday-school. But on the evening
of the following day, when Mrs. Swindon
came home from her work, she remarked
Miss Howard's been asking me to let
you go to the Sunday-school, Kitty."
"Oh, mother, mayn't I go ?" Kitty
I'm sure I don't know how I'm to spare
you. But if you don't, I s'pose Miss Howard
'11 be offended. I wish ladies 'ud keep them-
selves to themselves, and not come inter-
Then I may go, mother? "
"That's all you care about," said Mrs.
Swindon, peevishly. "Seems to me I've
48 Hungering and Thirsting.
enough of work, work, all the week round,
without havin' to take care of the children
It won't be all Sunday," said Kitty; "I'll
be home most of the day."
"Well, you'll have to wash yourself, then,
and make yourself fit to be seen. I told
Miss Howard you hadn't no dress to go in;
but, says she, 'I'll send you round a little
print frock I have by me, which will just fit
her,' says she."
Kitty could scarcely believe her own ears.
A new frock for her!
"Oh, mother! Did she really mean it?"
I s'pose so. She says if you goes regular
she'll give you a bonnet some day. So it's
worth trying' for."
"Mother-" and Kitty made a long pause.
"Mother, ain't you glad I should go?"
"I don't care, if you like it, child."
"Don't you want me to learn all about the
Bible and about heaven, mother ?"
A strange look passed over Mrs. Swindon's
face, as though the words had touched some
long-silent chord. But it was only for a
Hungering and Thirsting. 49
"We poor folks hasn't much to do with
that," she said bitterly.
"Oh, mother, but Miss Howard says we
may all go to heaven. And my text says
so," added Kitty, warming with her subject,
now that she had once broken the ice. "It
says 'Blessed are they which do hunger and
thirst after righteousness; for they shall be
filled.' It don't say only the rich shall be
filled. And Jamie and I hunger and thirst
after righteousness, mother, I am sure we
do. And we shall be filled. Miss Howard
To Kitty's surprise Mrs. Swindon threw
down her work, covered her face, and burst
"Are you angry, mother?" she asked.
No, no," and for a minute Mrs. Swindon
sobbed aloud. "Only you do remind me
of my old country home, and the Sunday-
school, and the words I used to hear. Many's
the time I've repeated that text."
"Oh, mother!" and there was an accent
of surprise ahd reproach in Kitty's voice.
"You knew it, and didn't tell me."
Mrs. Swindon sobbed again, then dashed
aside her tears and resumed her work.
50 Hungering and Tiirsting.
"I couldn't, child, I couldn't speak to you
of such things. But I'm glad you should
hear them. Yes, you shall go to the Sunday-
school. Only don't go on about it now. I
can't bear it."
And Kitty was silent. But a strange
thrill of something very like pleasure had
been awakened by her mother's unwonted
display of feeling. What if Mrs. Swindon too
should learn in time to hunger and thirst after
righteousness, like herself and little Jamie!
Next day a gentleman appeared in the
lane, inquiring for Jamie Scott. Kitty was at
home with her mother just then, but plenty
of children were at hand to direct him, and
her first sight of him was through the open
door of the room-a grey-haired, elderly man,
with a kind face and a slight stoop, slowly
mounting the stairs. Gentlemen in that part
were so rare that Kitty started up, exclaim-
ing, "Oh, mother, can it be the doctor?"
Mrs. Swindon stepped into the passage.
He turned to her with the question, "Can
you tell me where to find little Jamie Scott ?"
He's in here, sir. My name's Swindon,
and Miss Howard told us, sir, she would ask
a doctor to come."
lHungering and Thirsting. 51
"Very true, and I am the doctor. Perhaps
you can direct me now to my patient."
"It's this way, sir. Will you come in
here?" and Mrs. Swindon opened the door,
while Kitty crept in after them, longing to
hear what he would say.
"Poor little fellow! so you are Jamie
Scott," and a pitying look came into the
doctor's face, as he saw the small, stricken
form, stretched on the heap of straw and
rags. "Do you undertake the care of him,
I'm only a poor charwoman, sir, and I'm
out mostly every day. It's hard work I have
to find bread for my own children. Some-
times I goes in to straighten the room up
a bit for him, but that's all; only Kitty
there has taken a fancy to him, so she just
runs in an' out."
Perhaps the doctor wondered how anyone
could take a fancy to such a poor little
ragged, forlorn, sickly, unwashed boy. But
the pitying look came again into his face,
as he met the gaze of the eager black eyes,
so strangely large and bright in that small,
white, thin, face.
Has the boy been long ill?" he asked.
52 Hungering and Thirsting.
"He says so, sir. Months, I fancy. They
haven't been here long. But it's no wonder
he don't get better. His father don't hardly
give him enough food to keep body and soul
together. He's just dyin' of starvation."
"My good woman, the boy is not deaf,"
said the doctor in a mild aside. Then,
turning his attention to the little invalid,
he examined his leg, felt his pulse, and
asked numerous questions. Once he took
off his spectacles, wiped them, and put them
on again. Kitty could restrain herself no
"Please, sir, will Jamie soon be well
The doctor shook his head slowly, as he
sat on the three-legged stool.
"Do you want very much to be about
again, my little man?"
"I'd like it," said Jamie. "Won't I soon
"You are very ill, my poor child. The
pain in your leg is caused by an abscess
which has formed there. I will send you
some medicine to make you feel quieter and
less restless. And Miss Howard-she is my
niece-will see that you have all you want in
Hungering and Thirsting. 53
the way of food. But we cannot do much
for you, poor Jamie."
There was a perplexed, bewildered look
on Jamie's face. He stretched out one hand
towards Kitty, with a frightened, beseeching
Oh, Kitty! what does he mean? Must
I never be well ?"
"Jamie," said the kind doctor, bending
forward, and leaning with both hands on his
stick, "would you be afraid if I told you
you could never be well ?"
"I don't know," Jamie said tremulously.
"Shall I always have pain ?-always be
"Not if you love and trust in the Lord
Jesus Christ, little Jamie. Not if you hunger
and thirst after righteousness."
"Did the lady tell you that, please ?"
Kitty could not help inquiring.
"Yes; Miss Howard told me of a little
boy and girl who were hungering and thirst-
ing up in these garrets. Jamie, you will not
have to lie here much longer in pain and
thirst. Will you be afraid to die, when you
know that the Lord Jesus died that you
might go to heaven ?"
54 Hungering and T/irsting.
A little shudder passed over Jamie.
Must I go now ?" he asked, while a low
sob was audible from Mrs. Swindon, caused
by memories of her youthful days, called up
by the doctor's words.
"Not for a little while. I think you may
yet live some weeks, perhaps even longer.
But you will never be strong and well again I
am afraid, little Jamie."
Jamie's eyes roved about distressfully. I
wish the lady was here," he murmured. It
If she were here, I think she would only
tell you about the loving Lord Jesus Christ,
and say that you must pray to Him. Shall
I ask Him now to teach you about Himself,
before I go?"
Kitty scarcely understood the proposal, but
Jamie's look was one of eager assent, and the
doctor knelt down upon the dusty, unswept
floor, beside the heap of straw. Mrs. Swindon
leaned against the wall, hiding her face.
Kitty sank timidly on her knees. The doc-
tor's prayer was very short and simple.
Jamie and Kitty could understand every
God, we beseech Thee to look down
Hungering and 7diirsting. 55
upon poor little Jamie, in his pain and weak-
ness, and to make him Thine own child. We
beseech Thee to forgive him all his sins, and
to give him a new heart, and to make him
love Thee. Thou seest, O Lord, all who
truly hunger and thirst after righteousness,
and Thou hast promised that they shall be
filled. We pray that all who are present
may be led to know and love Thee. And we
ask all this in the name and through the
death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."
There was a moment's pause, and then the
doctor rose from his knees, and Kitty rose,
and Mrs. Swindon went out of the room,
sobbing too much to stay any longer. Jamie
lay quite still and peaceful-no longer anxious
and frightened. The doctor did not say much
more, and he was obliged to go, as he had
many other visits to pay that afternoon.
When the children were again alone, Kitty
crept up to Jamie's side.
Oh, Jamie!" she began, and then
the tears rose to her eyes, and she could
hardly speak. But Jamie looked still quite
Don't you cry for me, Kitty. I won't be
so frightened now. Maybe I shall be glad
56 Hungering and Thirsting.
in a little bit. Sure the lady said we'd be
answered if we prayed."
Was not the promise already being ful-
filled, that all who "hunger and thirst after
righteousness shall be filled ?
AT SUNDAY SCHOOL.
UNDAY morning came, and Kitty made
her first appearance in the Sunday-
school. She wore the neat dark print dress
which had been sent to her by Miss Howard.
Her face and hands were well washed, and
her long rough hair had been brushed as
smoothly as possible beneath her ragged
straw hat. Even the latter was improved by
mending. Kitty had never known her mother
bestow so much attention on the personal
appearance of any of her children as she had
done on hers the last two or three days.
Altogether Mrs. Swindon had been gentler
and more affectionate. Those softening me-
mories of by-gone days, awakened by the
words of Kitty and of the doctor, were not
easily laid to rest again.
58 Hungering and Thiirsting.
It required rather an effort to enter alone
the large school-room ; but almost before
Kitty had time to be afraid she found herself
placed in a class of little girls, all about her
own age, with Miss Howard in a chair in
front of them. She smiled and nodded
kindly to Kitty, and told her to sit down.
In a minute or two a hymn was sung, and
then they all knelt down, while the wife of
the clergyman prayed. Kitty had never heard
anything like the singing before, and she
could hardly restrain her tears as she listened
to it. The prayer brought back to her mind
the kind doctor kneeling by Jamie's side.
Then they all took their seats, and the
teaching began. Miss Howard's explanations
were very simple and easy, and though some
of them were beyond Kitty, yet much of
what was said she quite understood, and
treasured up in her mind for Jamie's sake.
Sometimes Miss Howard asked her a ques-
tion, and she tried to answer, but most of the
time she only sat still and listened.
After school Kitty found that she was to
go with the other girls to church. Mrs.
Swindon had given her leave beforehand to
go, if it were expected of her All the girls
Hungering and Thirsting. 59
sat together in the gallery, and Kitty was
very glad that Miss Howard remained close
to them, for she felt strange and half afraid.
She had never been in a place of worship
before in her life. If the singing of the girls
in the schoolroom had appeared wonderful,
how much more so did it appear with the
organ and the congregation joining in. Oh,
how Kitty wished that Jamie could hear it-
and her mother! Why should not her
mother come? Why should not Kitty try
to persuade her? Kitty was not long in
resolving to make the attempt.
Very rarely in her life had she so long
remained quiet and silent, and but for the
strangeness of all she saw and heard she
would, no doubt, have been tired much
sooner. A great deal was read and prayed
that she could not even attempt to follow;
but here and there came a few words which
she could understand. And though much of
the sermon was quite beyond her, the clergy-
man did not forget the poor children in the
gallery, but towards the close he addressed to
them a few words on the love of Jesus to
little ones, which Kitty heard and treasured
in her heart.
60 Hungering and Thirsting.
When the service was over Kitty walked
home very soberly; but she quickened her
steps as she entered the alley where she lived,
and she ran up into the room with flushed
"Oh, mother, I wish you had been there
I'm too old for schools and learning, child."
But you're not too old' for church, mother.
Won't you go there ? "
Mrs. Swindon shook her head.
"Mother, there's free seats, and I saw poor
folks-quite as poor as we. You needn't
"Maybe not," said Mrs. Swindon, listlessly.
"I don't feel that I've the heart to go. It's
very different from old days."
Did you always go then ?" asked Kitty.
"Didn't I ? I should just think so. Never
missed my twice a day. To think I should
have come down to this! Ah, I lived in a
nice cottage then, and my mother had a pig
and a cow of her own." Mrs. Swindon sighed
as she spoke.
Wouldn't it seem more like what it was
then, if you'd go to church again, mother ?"
Hungering and Thirsting. 61
"Nothin' can make me what I was then.
That'll do, Kitty; you needn't talk any more,
I've letyou go, and you needn't grumble."
Kitty was far enough from intending to
grumble. A sharp answer rose to her lips,
but something, she hardly knew what, with-
held her from uttering it. There was a good
dinner of bread and cheese awaiting them,
thanks to a present from Miss Howard the
day before. When it was finished Kitty went
to see Jamie. He, too, was faring well. Miss
Howard knew from inquiries that Mrs. Swin-
don was thoroughly honest and trustworthy,
and she had placed in her hands a small
supply of jelly and other delicacies, to be
taken to the sick child when he needed them.
Had they been left in his room, his father
would have made away with them at once.
When Kitty went to see him, she carried
some of the jelly with her in a cracked mug.
Ain't it good ?" Jamie said, smiling as he
ate it. Kitty, you'll take a taste ?"
Kitty shook her head. "Mother says it
don't belong to us. And we're not hungry
now, Jamie. Miss Howard sent us a beauti-
ful large loaf and piece of cheese."
But you must taste it," repeated Jamie.
62 Hungering and 7Thirsting.
"One little bit-" and the offer was too
tempting to be refused.
It's very good. I never ate anything like
it before," Kitty remarked. "But I won't
take any more, Jamie; I ain't ill, and Miss
Howard says it's for sick folks."
Jamie finished it in silence, then remarked-
I don't hardly seem to know you to-day,
Kitty. You look grand in your new frock."
I never had a frock like it afore," said
Kitty proudly. "And all a present from
Miss Howard! Oh, Jamie, I've lots to tell
you about school an' church.
What did they tell you ?" asked Jamie.
Kitty sat down on the straw by his side,
tucking up her dress carefully all round to
keep it clean.
I can't remember it all," she said. "I
mustn't stay more than five minutes neither.
There was lots I couldn't understand. But
some things I could, and I did think of you,
Did they say our text ?" asked Jamie.
It wasn't in the reading. But Miss
Howard spoke about it once. She was speaking'
about the Lord Jesus, and she looked at me,
and said it was He as said those words,
- ,--.-----=__ -_ __
SHE CARRIED SOME OF T1HE JELLY WITH 1ER.
64 Hungering and Thirsting.
' Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst.'
And she made me say the text. The other
girls said a many texts, but I don't know only
this one. But I'm to learn another afore next
Sunday. It's on this card." And Kitty slowly
read aloud, "' Him that cometh to me I will
in no wise cast out.' She told us it's the Lord
Jesus as says it, and it means just the same
as t'other text. If we wants to be His
children, and asks Him, He'll hear us, and
He'll just forgive us all."
I think he will," said Jamie, slowly, as
Kitty paused for breath. I'm not so fright-
ened now, Kitty. Tell me all the lady said."
Kitty could not remember all, but she
could a little more, so she stayed yet a few
minutes, telling him what he wished to hear
-no less eager to speak than he to listen.
Would that all little boys and girls in happy
homes, with Bibles ever within their reach,
would value and hunger after spiritual food
as much as poor Jamie and Kitty.
A LAMB FOLDED.
JS the cold winter came on, little Jamie
grew rapidly worse. It was no wonder.
Miss Howard and the kind doctor did all in
their power for him, but that was not much.
He was always now kept supplied with
good food and cooling drinks, through the
medium of Mrs. Swindon, but beyond this
they could do little. He suffered much from
the piercing cold; but what was the use of
giving him blankets or warm clothing, if it
was to be taken away the next day by his
father, and carried to the pawnshop ? Both
Jamie and Mrs. Swindon said it was utterly
useless. Miss Howard feared the same. But
one day when she came to see Jamie, and for
the first time found the father at home, she did
not shrink from speaking to him on the subject.
66 Hungering and Thirsting.
He was a large-made, rough-looking man,
and when she came in he brushed past her
out of the room, with scarcely a sign of re-
spect. Miss Howard turned and followed
him into the passage.
"I am glad to find you in to-day," she
said quietly. "May I speak to you for a
He could not for very shame refuse to hear
that gentle, lady-like voice, and he stood
silent, as she added-" I will not take you
back again into the room. I would rather
speak to you away from your little boy.
Do you know how ill he is?"
"He's always been a sickly, ailin', good-
for-nothing little chap," was the gruff answer.
He is worse now than merely sickly or
ailing," said Miss Howard. He will never
be better. My uncle, who is a doctor, has
been two or three times to see him, and he
says there is not the slightest hope. He has
suffered very sadly, and now grows weaker
every day. He cannot last more than a few
There was some feeling in the man's face
for a moment, but it did not last. He stood
Hungering and Thirsting. 67
"I cannot believe you are not grieved to
hear this, though I am afraid you have not
cared much for your poor little boy. Will
you not show him a little kindness the last
few weeks of his life ? Must he die without
knowing anything of a father's love ?"
Again Scott's features worked slightly, but
he still made no response.
"I must not keep you waiting here," said
Miss Howard. There is only one thing I
wish to say. Jamie suffers much from cold,
and we are anxious to give him something
to keep him warm. If we bring him a
blanket, will you promise that it shall not
be taken from him?"
"What makes ye trouble yourself about
him ?" muttered Scott.
"Because he is in trouble and suffering,
and we wish to help him. It is our Saviour's
command that we should give to them that
need. Will you promise ?" she repeated.
I s'pose ye must have yer way," said the
man, rather sulkily. "I promise "-for she
still stood calmly waiting. Then with a
quiet "Thank you," she returned to the room
she had left.
The blanket was procured at once, and
68 rHurngering and Thirsting.
great was the comfort it gave to the tiny,
wasted frame. Not that it could do any real
good. Jamie was too far gone for that. He
lingered on from day to day, growing weaker
almost every hour. But for the jelly and
oranges supplied by his kind friends, he must
have sunk long before.
Kitty could not bear to think that he was
dying. She loved him very dearly; almost
more than she had ever loved anyone before.
His very helplessness and her own power of
helping him in little ways increased the feel-
ing. She thought of him all day long. At
the Sunday-school and at church she listened
for him rather than for herself, and every text
that she learned to say to Miss Howard was
taught by her to him.
Not that she had lost or forgotten her own
"hungering and thirsting after righteousness."
She often thought of it, often, as she would
have said, "wanted to be good." And if the
promise that all who hunger and thirst shall
be filled was fulfilled with her less speedily
than with Jamie, yet the good work was
going on within her heart, not the less surely
and steadily because slowly.
But with Jamie the answer to prayer had
Hungering and Thirsting. 69
already come. With the calm trust of a little
child he had received salvation, resting for
safety on his Saviour's grace, and laying aside
all doubts and fears. Kitty wondered at him.
She thought that if she had been in his place
she must have been afraid. Sometimes she
said so to him.
"No, you wouldn't, Kitty," he quietly
answered. "It's the Lord Jesus Christ makes
me happy. He's goin' to take me to live
with Him. And if you was goin' too, He'd
make you happy."
"But I don't know as I'm His child,"
Kitty murmured. "Miss Howard says only
His children are happy to die, Jamie."
"Then you're hungering and thirsting, an'
if you go on praying you'll be His child
afore you have to die," confidently responded
Jamie. "Don't the text say, 'Him that
cometh to me I will in no wise cast out'?
An' if you hunger and thirst you will be filled."
Thus did the little dying boy encourage
his companion. And before long there came
an answer to their prayers, and Kitty too
was able to see that her sins were washed
away in her Saviour's blood, and to feel that
she was one of His lambs.
70 H1ungering andt Thhisting.
Miss Howard's words to John Scott did
not seem to have taken much effect. He
did not indeed touch the blanket, but he
remained away as much as ever, and still no
word or look of kindness was shown to his
child. The poor little fellow longed for it
sometimes, though not as he would have
done had he ever known anything of a
parent's affection. It often troubled him to
think how his father was going on in his own
way, without a thought of heaven or of God.
Once he tried in his weak, trembling voice to
plead with him to read the Bible; but the
harsh, coarse rebuff prevented his ever at-
tempting it again. He could only pray that
some day his father might be led to know
himself, and to seek his Saviour. And though
little Jamie did not live to see the answer to
his prayer, yet surely that answer would not
At length there came a cold, frosty De-
cember day, a little before Christmas, when
Jamie was evidently worse. He could not
lift his head from the straw which formed
his pillow, and his voice had sunk to a
whisper. Mrs. Swindon almost always now
went in to see him before she started for her
Hungering and Thirsting. 71
work; and though this day she was not
going out, she came in as usual, early in the
morning. Scott had already gone, and Jamie
lay alone, but there was a manifest change in
his face. Mrs. Swindon knew what it meant.
She did not say much, but all that day she
and Kitty took turns to stay with the little
boy, while he lay and slept, sometimes mur-
muring a few words, but usually silent and
In the afternoon came Miss Howard. Her
uncle had been the day before, and had told
her he thought Jamie could not last more
than another day or two. The clergyman of
the parish too, though in delicate health and
unable to visit much, had been to see Jamie
the previous evening, and had knelt and
prayed beside him-a suitable prayer that
had made Jamie feel very happy.
But when Miss Howard came in, and saw
the look of the little face, she sat down on
the old stool and whispered to Kitty that she
would stay for a little while.
They did not speak much. Miss Howard
sometimes moistened his lips and brow, and
sometimes she said softly the verse of a hymn
or a short text. He usually looked up and
72 Hungering and Thirsting.
smiled softly, but seemed quite content, and
almost too peaceful to talk.
It don't seem to me that he can last much
longer," Mrs. Swindon whispered once, when
she had come into the room. "And I don't
know as any one would wish it for him," she
added with a sigh.
Miss Howard thought the same, as she
looked at the little pain-worn face. She bent
over him, and said gently-
"Jamie, do you know us all ?"
The eyes opened slowly.
I know ye," he said, softly. "You're the
kind lady as says, Blessed are they which
do hunger and thirst."'
"No, Jamie, it is not I who say that,"
returned Miss Howard, and a gleam of
intelligence crossed his face.
No, it wasn't you," he said, more quietly.
"It was the Lord Jesus. And he promised-"
"Promised what, Jamie ?" for the voice
I can't rightly remember," and the now
glazing eyes looked up again. Wasn't it as
how them that was thirsty should drink ?"
Yes, those that thirst after righteousness
shall be filled."
Hungering and Thirsting. 73
"That's it!" and he looked satisfied.
"Kitty'll be filled too."
Every one may that will go to the Lord
Jesus," said the lady. And then she added,
"Jamie, you are very ill to-day."
I know ;" and he smiled again. Doctor
said it wouldn't be much longer. I'm 'most
"Almost where?" Miss Howard asked,
drawing out his answers for the sake of the
silently listening Mrs. Swindon, and the sob.
Up with Him ;" and the wan, sunken
face was lighted up almost brightly for a
moment. "Where He's promised."
"Up in heaven, Jamie ?"
That's it," he said quickly.
"Kitty'll come too. And father."
"The Lord Jesus can bring them all,
"I know He can." Jamie shut his eyes as
he spoke. "I've asked Him."
Are you tired, little Jamie ? Shall I say
a hymn to you ?"
I'm sleepy. I'd like a hymn. About the
Lord Jesus," he added.
Yes, and about Jamie too. Little Jamie,
74 Hungering and Tihirsting.
as a poor, lost, wandering lamb, and the Lord
Jesus as a kind shepherd, finding him again."
Then Miss Howard slowly repeated-
"A giddy lamb one afternoon
Had from the fold departed;
The tender shepherd missed it soon,
And sought it broken-hearted.
Not all the flock that shared his love
Could from the search delay him,
Nor clouds of midnight darkness move,
Nor fear of suffering stay him.
But night and day he went his way
In sorrow till he found it;
And when he saw it fainting lie,
He clasp'd his arms around it.
There safely sheltered on his breast,
From every ill to save it,
He brought it to his home of rest,
And pitied and forgave it."
Miss Howard paused there, and did not
repeat the last verse. Once or twice her
voice had almost failed her. There was a
long silence. Kitty sat with her face hidden
in her frock. She heard one low sigh from
the bed, and then all sounds were stilled.
There was a whisper from Miss Howard to
her mother, and a soft hand touched hers.
Hungering and Thirsting. 75
"Come, little Kitty, come into the next
room with me."
Kitty looked up. Jamie lay with closed
eyes, so white and calm and peaceful that
Kitty thought he was asleep.
"Oh, no; let me stay. He will want me
when he wakes," she said earnestly.
"He will never wake again," said Miss
Howard. Kitty, little Jamie is in heaven."
CHANGES FOR THE BETTER.
[ ELL, Kitty, seems to me you've been
uncommon grave lately, and uncom-
It was about ten days after little Jamie's
death. Kitty had not seen much lately of
Dick. She had often longed to tell him the
true meaning of her text, but had never been
able to summon up courage.
"I don't think I'm smart, Dick. But I
want to be neat."
Well, you don't look none the worse for
it," said Dick, surveying her with a satisfied
air. "And I say, be it a fact that you're
changing' your room ?"
"Yes, we're goin' to be on second floor,
'stead of top," replied Kitty rather proudly.
Hungering and Thirsting. 77
"It's Miss Howard's doin'. She gets mother
work regular. And I'm to go to school, Dick."
"School! well, you're grand an' no mistake.
What's to become o' the little chaps?"
"They're to go to the infant-school, and
I'll be in the girls' school, only next room to
'em, Miss Howard says. I'm goin' to learn
writing working and all sorts of things,
"You'll beat me soon, I expect. Don't
know as I'd like to be shut up all day in a
school-house. But if you likes it, I'm glad."
"I do like it," Kitty said, warmly; and
then tears came into her eyes, as she thought
how little Jamie would have liked to go too;
and how, if he had not been able, she would
have enjoyed coming home to tell him all
that she had learned or heard. Dick noticed
the change in her face.
"What's wrong, little un ?"
"Nothing," Kitty said, hanging her head.
"At least, I was only thinking' of Jamie."
"What, Scott's little boy, as died last
week ? Ah, poor little chap!"
He ain't poor," said Kitty, quickly. "It's
we that's poor, Dick. Jamie's happy."
Dick was silent for a minute, leaning with
78 Hungering and Thirsting.
folded arms against the door of the house
in which he lived.
"How do you know that ?"
"I know," Kitty said, decidedly.
How ?" repeated Dick.
"Why, because he loved the Lord Jesus
Christ, and so he's gone to heaven," Kitty
Dick made no answer to that, and after a
minute Kitty asked-
"Do you mind a bit o' paper I once
showed you, Dick, and you couldn't tell me
what it meant ?"
"Well, maybe I ain't forgotten," said Dick,
not caring to tell her how often the words
had recurred to his mind, and "bothered
him," as he would have said. "What about it ?"
"I know what it means now," said Kitty.
"I know the whole text."
"Well?" said Dick, not unwilling to hear
it, but not choosing to ask for it.
It's 'Blessed are they which do hunger
and thirst after righteousness; for they shall
be filled,'" said Kitty.
Dick nodded. "Ay, that's it."
"Miss Howard told me all about it. Do
you know what it means, Dick?"
Hungering and T/hirsting. 79
Dick shook his head. "I'm a regular
heathen, Kitty. Couldn't try to explain to
a clever little un like you."
"But you mustn't laugh about it," said
Kitty, looking up at him gravely. It means
that we're all wicked and sinful, and if we
really wants to be made holy, and to be God's
children, we shall be-I mean if we pray to
the Lord Jesus. I can't tell you rightly, but
I know what it is; and Jamie knew, and
that's what made him so happy."
Dick wished that he knew too. The words
sank into his honest heart, and there re-
mained. The seed sown by little Kitty's
hand did not spring up at once. But it was
no long time before Dick, too, knew what it
was to "hunger and thirst after righteousness,"
and to be satisfied according to the promise.
Kitty missed Jamie sorely for a long while.
She would have done so still more if they
had not so soon removed to another room in
a different part of the house, where there was
less to recall him to mind. It was a much
better room, with a large window, no sloping
roof, and a small closet opening into it, where
Kitty slept. With careful saving, and some
help from Miss Howard, two or three cheap
80 Hungering and Thirsting.
second-hand chairs, two beds, and a piece of
carpet were bought in the course of some
weeks. Other purchases followed. Work
came regularly in. Mrs. Swindon began once
again to hold up her head, as she expressed
it, and to take pleasure in seeing her children
neatly and cleanly dressed. She no longer
felt utterly hopeless and downhearted.
Kitty too had at length the joy of seeing
her mother go to church. Mrs. Swindon was
not a woman to talk about her inmost and
deepest feelings, but ere long it became
evident to all around that a great change had
taken place in her. Not only the change
owing to regular work, helping friends, better
food, and neater clothes. No; it was a far
greater change than that, even the change
worked in a weary, heavy-laden soul, which
has hungered and thirsted after righteousness,
and has been filled.
Who was happier then than little Kitty?
Not that her life was without shade or sorrow.
She still knew at times what it was to suffer
from cold and want. She still felt the loss of
her little friend. But through all she was
happy-happy in the loving care of her hea-
venly Father and Friend.
Pardon & Sons. Printers, Paternoster Row,, and IWine O/ice Cour,. E.C.