Citation
Jessica's first prayer

Material Information

Title:
Jessica's first prayer
Creator:
Stretton, Hesba, 1832-1911 ( Author, Primary )
Morgan, Walter Jenks, 1847-1924 ( Illustrator )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Spottiswoode & Co ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Religious Tract Society
Manufacturer:
Spottiswoode & Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
95, 16 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Intergenerational relations -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Alcoholism -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Runaway children -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Clergy -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Adoption -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1889 ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1889 ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1889
Genre:
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance) ( rbprov )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Date of publication from prize inscription.
General Note:
Illustrated by W.J. Morgan.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text and on endpapers.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Hesba Stretton.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026975089 ( ALEPH )
ALH8587 ( NOTIS )
70706928 ( OCLC )

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Full Text






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Fessica’s First

BY

HESBA STRETTON

AUTHOR OF
‘LITTLE SIEG'S CHILDREN’ ‘THE FISHERS OF DERBY HAVEN’
‘BEDE’S CHARITY’ ‘ALONE IN LONDON’ ‘CAROLA’
ETC,

LONDON
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY

56 PATERNOSTER Row, 65 St PauL’s CHURCHYARD
AND 164 PIccADILLY



PRINTED BY
SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE
LONDON





iiss

z ip
es 7 Gat 3 Rh

“THE COFFEE-STALL





























AND ITS KEEPER.

N a screened and secluded corner



of one of the many railway

bridges which span the streets of

\ London there could be seen, afew
years ago, from five o'clock every morning
until half-past eight, a tidily set-out coffee-
stall, consisting of a trestle and board, upon
which stood two large tin cans, with a small
fire of. charcoal burning under each, so as to

keep the coffee boiling during the early hours



6 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

of the morning when the workpeople were
thronging into the City on their way to their
daily toil. The coffee-stall was a favourite
one, for besides being under shelter, which
was of great consequenceupon rainy mornings :
it was also in so private a niche that the
customers taking their out-of-door breakfast
were not too much exposed to notice; and,
moreover, the coffee-stall keeper was a quiet
man, who cared only to serve the busy work-
men, without hindering them by any gossip.
He was a tall, spare, elderly man, with a singu-
larly solemn face, and a manner which was
grave and .secret. Nobody knew either his
name or dwelling-place ; unless it might be:
the policeman who strode past the coffee-stall |
every half-hour, and nodded familiarly to the
solemn man behind it. There were very few

who cared to make any inquiries about him ;



THE COFFEE-STALL AND ITS KEEPER 7

but those who did could only discover that
he kept the furniture of his stall ata neigh-
bouring coffee-house, whither he wheeled his
trestle and board and crockery every day, not
later than half-past eight in the morning;
after which he was wont to glide away with
a soft footstep and a mysterious and fugitive
air, with many backward and sidelong glances,
as if he dreaded observation, until he was lost
among the crowds which thronged the streets.
No one had ever had the persevering curiosity
to track him all the way to his house, or to
find out his other means of gaining a liveli-
hood; but in general his stall was surrounded
by customers, whom he served with silent
seriousness, and who did not grudge to pay
him his charge for the refreshing coffee he
supplied to them.

For several years the crowd of workpeople



8 JHSSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

had paused by the coffee-stall under the rail-
way arch, when one morning, in a partial lull
of his business, the owner became suddenly
aware of a pair of very bright dark eyes being
fastened upon him and the slices of bread and _
butter on his board, with a gaze as hungry as
that of a mouse which has been driven by
famine into a trap. A thin and meagre face
belonged to the eyes, which was half hidden
by a mass of matted hair hanging over the
forehead and down the neck—the only cover-
_ing which the head or neck had, for a tattered
frock, scarcely fastened together with broken
strings, was slipping down over the shivering
shoulders of the little girl. Stooping down |
to a basket behind his stall, hecaught sight of
two bare little feet. curling up from the damp
pavement, as the child lifted up first one and
then the other, and laid them one over another



THE COFFHH-STALL AND ITS KEEPER 9

to gain a momentary feeling of warmth.
Whoever the wretched child was, she did not
speak ; only at every steaming cupful which
he poured out of his can her dark eyes
eleamed hungrily, and he could hear her smack
her thin lips, as if in fancy she was tasting
the warm and fragrant coffee.

‘Oh, come, now!’ he said at last, when
only one boy was left taking his breakfast
leisurely, and he leaned over his stall to speak
in a low and quiet tone; ‘why don’t you go
away, little girl ? Come, come; you're stay-
ing too long, you know.’

‘T’m just going, sir,’ she answered, shrug-
ging her small shoulders to draw her frock up
higher about her neck ; ‘ only it’s raining cats
and dogs outside ; and mother’s been away all
night, and she took the key with her ; and it’s

so nice to smell the coffee ; and the police has



10 JESSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

left off worriting me while [ve been here.
He thinks I’m a customer taking my break-
fast.’ - And the child laughed a shrill little
laugh of mockery at herself and the police-
man.

‘You’ve had no breakfast, I suppose,’ said
the coffee-stall keeper, in the same low and
confidential voice, and leaning over his stall
till his face nearly touched the thin, sharp
features of the child.

‘No,’ she replied coolly, ‘and I shall want.
my dinner dreadful bad afore I get it, I know.
You don’t often feel dreadful hungry, do you,
sir? I’m not griped yet, you know; but
afore I taste my dinner it "Il be pretty bad, I
tell you. Ah! very bad indeed!’

She turned away with a knowing nod, as
much as to say she had one experience in life

to which he was quite a stranger; but before



THE COFFEE-STALL AND ITS KHEPER 11

she had gone half a dozen steps she heard the
quiet voice calling to her in rather louder
tones, and in an instant she was back at the
stall.

‘Slip in here,’ said the owner, in a cautious
whisper ; ‘here’s a little coffee left and a few
crusts. There, you must never come again,
you know. I never give to beggars ; and if
you'd begged, I'd have called the police.
There; put your poor feet towards the fire.
Now, aren’t you comfortable ?’

The child looked up with a face of intense
satisfaction. She was seated upon an empty
basket, with her feet near the pan of charcoal,
and a cup of steaming coffee on her lap ; but
her mouth was too full for her to reply, ex-
cept by a very deep nod, which expressed
unbounded delight. The man was busy for
awhile packing up his crockery; but every

‘



12 JESSICA'S FIRST. PRAYER

now and then he stopped to look down upon
her, and to shake his head gravely.

‘What’s your name?’ he asked at length ;
‘but there, never mind! I don’t care what it
is. What’s your name to do with me, I
wonder?’

‘It’s Jessica,’ said the girl ; ‘but mother
and everybody calls me Jess. You'd be tired
of being called Jess, if you was me. It’s Jess
here, and Jess there; and everybody wanting
me to go errands. And they think nothing
of giving me smacks, and kicks, and pinches.
Look here!’

Whether her arms were black and blue
from the cold, or from ill-usage, he could
not tell; but he shook his head again seri-
ously, and the child felt encouraged to
go on.

‘I wish I could stay here for ever and



THE COFFEE-STALL AND ITS KEEPER 13

ever, just as Tam!’ she cried. ‘But you're
going away now; and I’m never to come
again, or you'll set the police on me !’

‘Yes,’ said the coffee-stall keeper very
softly, and looking round to see if there were
any other ragged children within sight; ‘if
you'll promise not to come again for a whole
week, and not to tell anybody else, you may
come once more. Ill give you one other
treat. But you must be off now.’

‘T’m off, sir,’ she said sharply; ‘but if
you've a errand I could go on, I’d do it all
right, I would. Let me carry some of your
things.’

‘No, no,’ cried the man; ‘ you run away,
like a good girl; and mind! I’m not to see
you again for a whole week.’

‘All right,’ answered Jess, setting off

down the rainy street at a quick run, as if to



14 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

show her willing agreement to the bargain ;
while the coffee-stall keeper, with many a
cautious glance around him, removed his
stock-in-trade to the coffee-house near at
hand, and was seen no more for the rest of
the day in the neighbourhood of the railway

bridge.



(CHAPTERAL

JESSICA’S





TEMPTATION.



=

ESSICA kept her part
of the bargain faith-
fully ; and though the

solemn and silent man under
| 2 A the dark shadow of the bridge
looked out for her every morn-
ing as he served his customers, he
caught no glimpse of her wan face and thin
little frame. But when the appointed time
was finished she presented herself at the

stall, with her hungry eyes fastened again



16 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

upon the piles of buns and bread and
butter, which were fast disappearing before
the demands of the buyers. The business
was at its height, and the famished child stood
quietly on one side watching for the throng
to melt away. But as soon as the nearest
church clock had. chimed eight she drew a
little nearer to the stall, and at a signal from
its owner she slipped between the trestles of
his stand, and took up her former position on
the empty basket. To his eyes she seemed
even a little thinner, and certainly more
ragged, than before ; and he laid a whole bun,
a stale one which was left from yesterday’s
stock, upon her lap, as she lifted the cup of
coffee to her lips with both her benumbed
hands.

‘What's your name ?’ she asked, looking

up to him with her keen eyes.



JESSICA’S TEMPTATION 17

‘Why ?’ he answered hesitatingly, as if
he was reluctant to tell so much of himself;
‘my christened name is Daniel.’

‘And where do you live, Mr. Dan’el?’ she
inquired.

‘Oh, come now!’ he exclaimed, ‘ if you’re
_ going to be impudent, you’d better march off.
What business is it of yours where Ilive? I
don’t want to know where you live, I can tell
you.’

‘I didn’t mean no offence,’ said Jess
humbly, ‘only I thought Id like to know
where a good man like you lived. You're a
very good man, aren’t you, Mr. Dan’el?’

‘I don’t know,’ he answered uneasily ;
‘T’m afraid I’m not.’

‘Oh, but you are, you know,’ continued
Jess. ‘You make good coffee ; prime! and
buns too! And I’ve been watching you

B



18 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

hundieds of times afore you saw me; and the
police leaves you alone, and never tells you to
move on. Oh, yes! you must bea very good
man.’

Daniel sighed, and fidgeted about hig
crockery with a grave and occupied air, as’
if he were pondering over the child’s notion
of goodness. He made gcod coffee, and the
police left him alone! It was quite true ; yet
still, as he counted up the store of pence
which liad accumulated in his strong canvas
bag, he sighed again still more heavily. He
purposely let one of his pennies fall upon the
muddy pavement, and went on counting the
rest busily, while he furtively watched the
little girl sitting at his feet. Without a shade
of change upon her ‘small face, she covered
the penny with her foot, and drew it in care:

fully towards her, while. she continued to



JESSICA’S TEMPTATION 19

















chatter fluently
to him. For
a moment a
feeling of pain

shot a pang



Biren SNS eee through
ee SR. ‘i

Wid Morgan Daniel’s heart ;
Rawteye

and then he congratulated

= himself on having entrapped the
young thief It was time to be leaving

B2



20 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

now ; but before he went he would make her
move her bare foot, and disclose the penny
concealed beneath it, and then he would
warn her never to venture near his stall
again. This was her gratitude, he thought ;
he had given her two breakfasts, and more -
kindness than he had shown to any fellow-.
creature for many a long year; and at the
first chance the young jade turned upon
him and robbed him! He was brooding over |
it painfully in his mind, when’ Jessica’s
uplifted face changed suddenly, and a dark
flush crept over her pale cheeks, and the tears
started to her eyes. She stooped down, and
picking up the coin from amongst the mud,
she rubbed it bright and clean upon her rags,
and laid it upon the stall close to his hand,
but without speaking a word. Daniel looked

down upon her solemnly and searchingly.



JESSICA'S TEMPTATION |. 21

‘ What’s this?’ he asked. _

‘Please, Mr. Daniel,’ she answered, ‘ it
dropped, and you didn’t hear it.’

‘ Jess,’ he said sternly, ‘tell me all about
it.’

‘Oh, please,’ she sobbed, ‘I never had a
penny of my very own but once ; and it rolled
close to my foot ; and you didn’t see it; and
I hid it up sharp ; and then I thought how
kind you'd been, and how good the coffee and
buns are, and how you let me warm myself at
your fire ; and, please, I couldn’t keep the
penny any longer. You'll never let me come
again, I guess.’

_ Daniel turned away for a minute, busying
himself with putting his cups and saucers
into the basket, while Jessica stood by trem-
bling, with the large tears rolling slowly down
her cheeks. The snug, dark corner, with its



22 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

warm fire of charcoal and its fragrant smell
of coffee, had been a paradise to her for
these two brief spans of time; but she had
been guilty of the sin which would drive her
from it. All beyond the railway arch the
streets stretched away, cold and dreary, with |
no friendly faces to meet hers, and no warm
cups of coffee to refresh her; yet she was
only lingering sorrowfully to hear the words
spoken which should forbid her to return
to this pleasant spot. Mr. Daniel turned
round at last, and met her tearful gaze with
a look of strange emotion upon his own
solemn face.

‘ Jess,’ he said, ‘I could never have done
it myself. But you may come here every
Wednesday morning, as this is a Wednesday,
and there'll always be a cup of coffee for

you.’



JESSICA'S TEMPTATION 23

She thought he meant that he could not
have hidden the penny under his foot, and
she went away a little saddened and subdued,
notwithstanding her great delight in the ex-
pectation of such a treat every week ; while
Daniel, pondering over the struggle that
must have passed through her childish mind,
went on his way, from time to time shaking
his head, and muttering to himself, ‘I couldn’t
have done it myself ; I never could have done

it myself,



CHAPTER, UI.

AD A NEW DRESS. _
| Ni EEK after week,

through the three

last months of the year,



Jessica appeared every
Wednesday at the coffee-
, Stall, and after waiting
patiently till the close of
‘the breakfasting business,
received her pittance from the charity of her
new friend. After a while Daniel allowed
her to carry some of his load to the coffee-
house, but he never suffered her to follow

farther, and he was always particular to



AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS — 25

watch her out of sight before he turned off
through the intricate mazes of the streets in
the direction of his own home. Neither did
he encourage her to ask him any more ques-
tions; and often but very few words passed
between them during Jessica’s breakfast-
time.

As to Jessica’s home, she made no secret
of it, and Daniel might have followed her
any time he pleased. It was a single room,
which had once been a hayloft over’ the
stable of an old inn, now in use for two or
three donkeys, the property of costermongers
dwelling in the court about it. The mode
of entrance was by a wooden ladder, whose
rungs were crazy and broken, and which led
up through a trap-door in the floor of ‘the
loft. The interior of the home was as
desolate and comfortless as that of the stable



26 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

below, with only a litter of straw for the
bedding, and a few bricks and boards for the
furniture. Everything that could be pawned
had disappeared long ago, and Jessica’s mother
often lamented that she could not thus dispose
of her child. Yet Jessica was hardly a
burden to her. It was a long time since she
had taken any care to provide her with food
or clothing, and the girl had to earn or beg
for herself the meat which kept a scanty life
within her. Jess was the drudge and errand-
girl of the court ; and what with being cuffed
and beaten by her mother, and over-worked
and ill-used by her numerous employers, her
life was a hard one. But now there was
always Wednesday morning to count upon
and look forward to; and by-and-by a second
scene of amazed delight opened-upon her.

Jessica had wandered far away from home



AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS — 27

in the early darkness of a winter’s evening,
after a violent outbreak of her drunken
mother, and she was still sobbing now and
then, with long-drawn sobs of pain and weari-
ness, when she saw, a little way before her,
the tall, well-known figure of her friend Mr.
Daniel. He was dressed in a suit of black,
with a white neckcloth, and he was pacing
with brisk, yet measured steps along the
lighted streets. Jessica felt afraid of speak-
ing to him, but she followed at a little
distance, until presently he stopped before
the iron gates of a large building, and unlock-
ing them, passed on to the arched doorway,
and with a heavy key opened the folding-
doors and entered in. The child stole after
him, but paused for a few minutes, trembling
upon the threshold, until the gleam of a

light lit up within tempted her to venture a



28 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

few steps forward, and to push a little way
open an inner door, covered with crimson
baize, only so far as to enable her to peep
through at the inside. Then growing bolder
by degrees, she crept through herself, draw-
ing the door to noiselessly behind her. The
place was in partial gloom, but Daniel was
kindling every gaslight, and each minute lit
it up in more striking grandeur. She stood
in a carpeted aisle, with high oaken pews on
each side, almost as black as ebony. A
gallery of the same dark old oak ran round
the walls, resting upon massive pillars, behind
one of which she was partly concealed, gazing
with eager eyes at Daniel as he mounted the
pulpit steps and kindled the lights there,
disclosing to her curious delight the glitter-
ing pipes of an organ behind it. Before long

the slow and soft-footed chapel-keeper dis-



AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS — 29

appeared for a minute or tivo into a vestry ;
and Jessica, availing herself of his short
absence, stole silently up under the shelter of
the dark pews until she reached the steps of
the organ loft, with its golden show. But at
this moment Mr. Daniel appeared again,
arrayed in a long gown of black serge; and
as she stood spell-bound gazing at the strange
appearance of her patron, his eyes fell upon
_ her, and he also was struck speechless for a
minute, with an air of amazement and dismay .
upon his grave face.

‘Come, now,’ he exclaimed harshly, as
soon as he could recover his presence of mind,
‘you must take yourself out of this. This
isn’t any place for such as you. It’s for
ladies and gentlemen ; so you must run away
sharp before anybody comes. How ever did

you find your way here ?’































































































































































AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS 31

_ He had come very close to her and bent
down to whisper in her ear, looking nervously
round to the entrance all the time. Jessica's
eager tongue was loosened.

‘Mother beat me,’ she said, ‘and turned
me into the streets, and I see you there, so I
followed you up. Jl run away this minute,
Mr. Daniel ; but it’s a nice place. What do
the ladies and gentlemen do when they come
here? Tell me, and I'll be off sharp.’

‘They come here to pray,’ whispered
Daniel.

‘What is pray?’ asked Jessica.

‘Bless the child!’ cried Daniel in per-
plexity. ‘Why, they kneel down in those ~
pews; most of them sit, though; and the
minister up in the pulpit tells God what
they want.’ .

Jessica gazed into his face with such an



82 JESSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

air of bewilderment that a faint smile crept
over the sedate features of the pew-opener.

‘What is a minister and God?’. she said ;
‘and do ladies and gentlemen want anything?
I thought they’d everything they wanted,
Mr. Daniel.’

‘Oh!’ cried Daniel, ‘you must be off,
you know. They'll be coming in a minute,
and they’d be shocked to see a ragged little
heathen like you. This is the pulpit where
the minister stands and preaches to ’em ; and
there are the pews where they sit to listen to
him, or to go to sleep, may be ; and that’s the
organ to play music to their singing. ‘There,
I’ve told you everything, and you must never
come again, never.’

‘Mr. Daniel,’ said Jessica, ‘I don’t know
nothing about it. Isn’t there a dark little

corner somewhere that I could hide in ?’



AN OLD FRIEND IN 4 NEW DRESS 33

‘No, no,’ interrupted Daniel impatiently ;
‘we couldn’t do with such a little heathen,
with no shoesor bonnet on. Come, now, it’s
only a quarter to the time, and somebody will
be here in a minute. Run away, do!’

Jessica retraced her steps slowly to the
crimson door, casting many a longing look
backwards ; but Mr. Daniel stood at the end
of the aisle, frowning upon her whenever she
glanced behind. She gained the lobby at last,
but already some one was approaching the
chapel door, and beneath the lamp at the gate
stood one of her natural enemies—a_police-
man. Her heart beat fast, but she was quick-
witted, and in another instant she spied a
place of concealment behind one of the doors,
into which she crept for safety until the path
should be clear, and the policeman passed on

-upon his beat. .



34 JHSSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

The congregation began to arrive quickly.
She heard the rustling of silk dresses, and
she could see the JJ

i

gentlemen and |i







ladies pass by the | /
niche between the }
door and the post. i}

Once she ventured |







































































































Wed Movaa tl,



AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS 35

to stretch out a thin little finger and touch a
velvet mantle as the wearer of it swept by,
but no one caught her in the act, or sus-
pected her presence behind the door. Mr,
Daniel, she could see, was very busy usher-
ing the people. to their seats; but there was
a startled look lingering upon his face, and
every now and then he peered anxiously
into the outer gloom and darkness, and even
once called to the policeman to ask if he

had seen a ragged child hanging about.
After a while the organ began to sound, and
Jessica, crouching down in her hiding-place,
listened entranced to the sweet music. She
could not tell what made her cry, but the
tears came so rapidly that it was of no use to
rub the corners of her eyes with her hard
knuckles ; so she lay down upon the ground,
and buried her face in her hands, and wept

ca

=



36 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

without restraint. When the singing was
over she could only catch a confused sound
of a voice speaking. The lobby was empty
now, and the crimson doors closed. The
policeman, also, had walked on. This was
the moment to escape. She raised herself
from the ground with a feeling of weariness
and sorrow ; and, thinking sadly of the light
and warmth and music that were within the
closed doors, she stepped out into the cold
and darkness of the streets, and loitered

homewards with a heavy heart.






A
eA

y\ PEEPS INTO FAIRY-LAND.

[‘T was not the last time that
| Jessica concealed herself be-
hind the baize-covered door.
She could not overcome the urgent desire to
enjoy again and again the secret and perilous
pleasure ; and Sunday after Sunday she watched
in the dark streets for the moment when she
could slip in unseen. She soon learned the
exact time when Daniel would be occupied in
lighting up, before the policeman would take
up his station at the entrance, and, again, the
very minute at which it would be wise and

safe to take her departure. Sometimes the



88 JESSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

child laughed noiselessly to herself, until she
shook with suppressed merriment, as she saw
Daniel standing unconsciously in the lobby,
with his solemn face and grave air, to receive
the congregation, much as he faced his
customers at the coffee-stall. She learned to
know the minister by sight—the tall, thin,
pale gentleman, who passed through a side
door, with his head bent as if in deep thought,
while two little girls, about her own age,
followed him, with sedate yet pleasant faces.
Jessica took a great interest in the minister’s
children. The younger one was fair, and
the elder was about as tall as herself, and
had eyes and hair as dark ; but oh, how cared
for, how plainly waited on by tender hands!
Sometimes, when they were gone by, she
would close her eyes, and wonder what they

would do in one of the high black pews inside,



PHEPS INTO FAIRY-LAND 39

where there was no place for a ragged, bare-
footed girl like her; and now and then her
wonderings almost ended in a sob, which she
was compelled to stifle.

Jt was an untold relief to Daniel that
Jessica did not ply him with questions, as he
feared, when she came for breakfast every
Wednesday morning ; but she was too shrewd
and cunning for that. She wished him to
forget that she had ever been there, and
by-and-by her wish was accomplished, and
Daniel was no longer uneasy, while he was
lighting the lamps, with the dread of seeing
the child’s wild face starting up before him.

But the light evenings of summer-time
were drawing near apace, and Jessica fore-
saw, with dismay, that her Sunday treats
would soon be over. The risk of discovery

increased every week, for the sun was later



“40 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

and later in setting, and there would be no
chance of creeping in and out unseen in the
broad daylight. Already it needed both
watchfulness and alertness to dart in at the
right moment in the grey twilight; but still
she could not give it up; and if it had not:
been for the fear of offending Mr. Daniel,
she would have resolved upon going until
she was found out. They could not punish
her very much for standing in the lobby of a
chapel. .

Jessica was found out, however, before the
dusky evenings were quite gone. It hap-
pened one night that the minister’s children,
coming early to the chapel, saw a small
tattered figure, bareheaded and barefooted,
dart swiftly up the steps before them and
disappear within the lobby. They paused

and looked at one another, and then, hand in



PHEPS INTO FAIRY-LAND 41

hand, their hearts beating quickly, and the
colour coming and going on their faces, they
followed this strange new member of their
father’s congregation. The pew-opener was
nowhere to be seen, but their quick eyes
detected the prints of the wet little feet which
had trodden the clean pavement before them,
and in an instant they discovered Jessica
crouching behind the door.

‘Let us call Daniel Standring,’ said
Winny, the younger child, clinging to her
sister ; but she had spoken aloud, and Jessica
overheard her, and before they could stir a
step she stood before them with an earnest
and imploring face.

‘Oh, don’t have me drove away,’ she
cried ; ‘I’m a very poor little girl, and it’s
all the pleasure I’ve got. I’ve seen you lots

of times with that tall gentleman as stoops,



42 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

and I didn’t think you’d have me drove away.
I don’t do any harm behind the door, and if
Mr. Daniel finds me out he won’t give me
any more coffee.’

‘Little girl,’ said the elder child, in a
composed and demure voice, ‘we don’t mean.
to be unkind to you ; but what do you come
here for, and why do you hide yourself behind
the door ?’

‘I like to hear the music,’ answered
Jessica, ‘and I want to find out what pray is,
and the minister, and God. I know it’s only
for ladies and gentlemen, and fine children
like you; but I’d like to go inside just for
once, and see what you do.’

‘You shall come with us into our pew,’
cried Winny, in an eager and impulsive tone ;
but Jane laid her hand upon her outstretched

arm, with a glance at Jessica’s ragged clothes



PEEPS INTO FAIRY-LAND 43

and matted hair. It was a question difficult
enough to perplex them. The little outcast
was plainly too dirty and neglected for them
to invite her to sit side by side with them in
their crimson-lined pew, and no poor people
attended the chapel with whom she could
have a seat, But Winny, with flushed cheeks
and indignant eyes, looked reproachfully at her
elder sister.

‘Jane,’ she said, opening her Testament,
and turning over the leaves hurriedly, ‘this
was papa’s text a little while ago:—* For if
there come into your assembly a man with a
gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come
in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye
have respect to him that weareth the gay
clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in
a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou
there, or sit here under my footstool; are ye



44 ' JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

not then partial in yourselves, and are become
judges of evil thoughts ?”’ If we don’t take
this little girl into our pew, we “have the
faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of -
glory, with respect of persons.””’

‘T don’t know what to do,’ answered Jane,
sighing ; ‘the Bible seems plain; but I’m
sure papa would not like it. Let us ask the
chapel-keeper.’

‘Oh, no, no!’ cried Jessica ; ‘don’t let
Mr. Daniel catch me here. I won’t come
again, indeed ; and I’ll promise not to try and
find out about God and the minister if you'll
only let me go.’ .

‘But, little girl,’ said Jane, in a sweet but
grave manner, ‘we ought to teach you about
God if you don’t know Him. Our papa is the
minister, and if you'll come with us we'll ask

him what we must do.’



PEEPS INTO FAIRY-LAND 45

‘Will Mr. Daniel see me ?’ asked Jessica.

‘Nobody but papa is in the vestry,’
answered Jane, ‘and he’ll tell us all, you and
us, what we ought to do. You'll not be
afraid of him, will you?’

‘No,’ said Jessica cheerfully, following the
minister’s children as they led her along the
side of the chapel towards the vestry.

‘ He is not such a terrible personage,’ said
Winny, looking round encouragingly, as Jane
tapped softly at the door, and they heard a

voice saying, ‘Come in.’








HE minister was sitting
in an easy chair before
a comfortable fire,
with a hymn-book
V2 in his hand, which

ee ne he closed as the
three children appeared in the open doorway.
Jessica had seen his pale and thoughtful face
many a time from her hiding-place, but she
had never met the keen, earnest, searching
gaze of his eyes, which seemed to pierce
through all her wretchedness and misery, and
to read at once the whole history of her deso-

late life. But before her eyelids could droop,



A NEW WORLD OPENS 47

or she could drop a reverential curtsey, the
minister’s face kindled with such a glow of
pitying tenderness and compassion as fastened
her eyes upon him, and gave her new heart
and courage. His children ran to him,
leaving Jessica upon the mat at the door, and
with eager voices and gestures told him the
difficulty they were in.

‘Come here, little girl,’ he said; and
Jessica walked across the carpeted floor till
she stood right before him, with folded hands
and eyes that looked frankly into his.

‘What is your name, my child?’ he
asked.

‘ Jessica,’ she answered.

‘Jessica,’ he repeated, with a smile ; ‘that
is a strange name.’

‘Mother used to play “Jessica” at the

theatre, sir,’ she said, ‘and I used to be a



JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

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A-NEW WORLD OPENS 49

‘ What is a minister ?’ she inquired.

‘A servant,’ he replied, looking away
thoughtfully into the red embers of the fire.

‘Papa!’ cried Jane and Winny, in tones
of astonishment; but Jessica gazed steadily
at the minister, who was now looking back
again into her bright eyes.

‘Please, sir, whose servant are you ?’ she
asked. .

‘The servant of God and of man,’ he
answered solemnly. ‘ Jessica, I am your
servant.’

The child shook her head, and laughed
shrilly as she gazed round the room, and at
the handsome clothing ‘of the minister's
daughters, while she drew her rags closer
about her, and shivered a little, as if she felt
a sting of the east wind, which was blowing
keenly through the streets. The sound of

D



50 JESSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

her shrill, childish laugh made the minister’s
heart ache and the tears burn under his
eyelids.

‘Who is God ?’ asked the child. ‘When
mother’s in a good temper, sometimes she
says, “God bless me!”? Do you know Him,
please, minister ?’

But before there was time to answer, the
door into the chapel was opened, and Daniel
stood upon the threshold. At first he stared
blandly forwards, but then his grave face grew
ghastly pale, and he laid his hand upon the
door to support himself until he could re-
cover his speech and senses. Jessica also
looked about her, scared and irresolute, as if
anxious to run away or to hide herself. The
minister was the first to speak.

Jessica,’ he said,‘ there is a place close

under my pulpit where you shall sit, and



A NEW WORLD OPENS 51

where I can see you all the time. Bea good
girl and listen, and you will hear something
about God. Standring, put this little one in
front of the pews by the pulpit steps.’ |

- But before she could believe it for very
gladness, Jessica found herself inside the
chapel, facing the glittering organ, from which
a sweet strain of music was sounding. Not
far from her Jane and Winny were peeping
over the front of their pew, with friendly
smiles and glances. It was evident that the
minister’s elder daughter was anxious about
her behaviour, and she made energetic signs
to her when to stand up and when to kneel ;
but Winny was content with smiling at her
whenever her head rose above the top of the
pew. Jessica was happy, but not in the least
abashed. The ladies and gentlemen were not
at all unlike those whom she had often seen

D2



52 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

when she was a fairy at the theatre ; and very
soon her attention was engrossed’ by the
minister, whose eyes often fell upon her as |
she gazed eagerly, with uplifted face, upon him.
She could scarcely understand a word of what
he said, but she liked the tones of his voice
and the tender pity of his face as he looked
down upon her. Daniel hovered about a good |
deal, with an air of uneasiness and displeasure,
but she was unconscious of his presence.
Jessica was intent upon finding out what a

minister and God were.





CHAPTERVE |

_. THE FIRST





PRAYER.

>

was ended, the
minister descended
the pulpit steps, just as
Daniel was about to
‘ = _ hurry Jessica away,
and, taking her by the

hand in the face of all the congrega-

tion, he led her into the vestry, whither Jane
and Winny quickly followed them. He was
fatigued with the services of the day, and his



54 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

pale face was paler than ever as he placed
Jessica before his chair, into which he threw
himself with an air of exhaustion; but bow-
ing his head upon his hands, he said in a low
but clear tone, ‘Lord, these are the lambs of
Thy flock. Help me to feed Thy lambs!’

‘ Children,’ he said, with a smile upon his
weary face, ‘it is no easy thing to know God. .
But this one thing we know, that He is our
Father—my Father and your Father, Jessica.
He loves you, and cares for you more than I
do for my little girls here.’

He smiled at them and they at him, with
an expression which Jessica felt and under-
stood, though it made her sad. She trembled
a little, and the minister’s ear caught the
sound of a faint though bitter sob. .

‘T never had any father,’ she said sorrow-
fully.



THH FIRST PRAYER 55

‘God is your Father,’ he answered very
gently ; ‘He knows all about you, because He
is present everywhere. We cannot see Him,
but we have only to speak, and He hears us, .
and we may ask Him for whatever we want.’

‘Will He let me speak to Him as well as
these fine children that are clean and have
got nice clothes?’ asked Jessica, glancing
anxiously at her muddy feet and her soiled
and tattered frock.

‘Yes,’ said the minister, smiling, yet sigh-
ing at the same time ; ‘you may ask Him ‘this
moment for what you want.’

Jessica gazed round the room with large
wide-open eyes, as if she were seeking to see
God; but then she shut- her eyelids tightly,
and bending her head upon her hands, as she
had seen the minister do, she said, ‘O God!

I want to know about You. And please pay



56 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

Mr. Dan’el for all the warm coffee hes give
me”

Jane and Winny listened with faces of
unutterable amazement; but the tears stood
in the minister’s eyes, and he added ‘Amen’

to Jessica’s first prayer.






——

_ CHAP TERI



@\ANIEL had no op-

portunity for speak-
ing to Jessica; for, after waiting until the
minister left the vestry, he found that she had
‘gone away by the side entrance. He had to
wait, therefore, until Wednesday morning, and
the sight of her pinched little face was welcome
to him when he saw it looking wistfully over
the coffee-stall. Yet he had made up his:
mind to forbid her to come again, and to

threaten her with the policeman if he ever



58 JESSICA'S FIRST’ PRAYER

caught her at the chapel, where for the future
he intended to keep a sharper look-out. But
before he could speak Jess had slipped under
the stall, and taken her old seat upon the
upturned basket.

‘Mr. Dan’el,’ she said, ‘has God paid you
for my sups of coffee yet?’

‘Paid me?’ he repeated ; ‘God? No.’

‘Well, He will,’ she answered, nodding |
her head sagely ; ‘don’t you be afraid of your
money, Mr. Dan’el; I’ve asked Him a many
times, and the minister says He’s sure to do
it.’

‘Jess,’ said Daniel sternly, ‘have you
been and told the minister about my coffee-
stall?’

‘No,’ she answered, with a beaming smile,
‘but I’ve told God lots and lots of times since

Sunday, and He’s sure to pay in a day or two.”



HARD QUESTIONS 59

‘Jess,’ continued Daniel more gently,
‘you're a sharp little girl, I see; and now,
mind, I’m going to trust you. You're never
to say a word about me or my coffee-stall ;
because the folks at our chapel are very grand,
and might think it low and mean of me to
keep a coffee-stall. Very likely they’d say
I mustn’t be chapel-keeper any longer, and
I should lose a deal of money.’

‘Why do you keep the stall, then?’ asked
Jessica, |

‘Don’t you see what a many pennies I
get every morning?’ he said, shaking his
canvas bag. ‘I get a good deal of money
that way in a year,’

‘ What do you want such a deal of money
for ?’? she inquired; ‘do you give it to
God ?’

Daniel did not answer, but the question



60 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

went to his heart like a sword-thrust. What
did he want so much money for? He thought
of his one bare solitary room, where he lodged
alone, a good way from the railway bridge,
with very few comforts in it, but containing
a desk, strongly and securely fastened, in
which was his savings-bank book and his
receipts for money put out at interest, and a
bag of sovereigns, for which he had been
toiling and slaving both on Sundays and
week-days. He could not remember giving
anything away, except the dregs of the coffee
and the stale buns, for which Jessica was
asking God to pay him. He coughed, and
cleared his throat, and rubbed his eyes; and
then, with nervous and hesitating fingers, he
took a penny from his bag, and slipped it
into Jessica’s hand.

‘No, no, Mr. Dan’el,’ she said; ‘I don’t



HARD QUESTIONS 61

want you to give me any of your pennies. I
want God to pay you.’

‘Ay, He'll pay me,’ muttered Daniel ;
‘ there'll be a day of reckoning by-and-by.’

‘Does God have reckoning days ?’ asked
Jessica, ‘I used to like reckoning days
when I was a fairy.’

‘Ay, ay,’ he answered ; ‘but there’s few
folks like God’s reckoning days.’
‘But youll be glad, won’t you?’ she
said.

Daniel bade her get on with her breakfast,
and then he turned over in his mind the
_ thoughts which her questions had awakened.
Conscience told him he would not be glad to
meet God’s reckoning day.

‘Mr. Dan’el,’ said Jessica when they
were about to separate, and he would not take

back his gift of a penny, ‘if you wouldn’t



62. : JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

mind, I'd like to come and buy a cup of coffee
to-morrow, like a customer, you know; and
I won't let out a word about the stall to the
minister next Sunday, don’t you be afraid.’
She tied the penny carefully into a corner
of her rags, and with a cheerful smile upon
her thin face she glided from under the
shadow of the bridge, and was soon lost to

Daniel’s sight.







AN UNEXPECTED

A (GaeTER VIL





VISITOR.
" | HEN Jessica came to

the street into which













the court where she lived
opened, she saw an un-
usual degree of excite-
ment among the inhabitants, a group of
whom were gathered about a tall gentleman,
whom she recognised in an instant to be the
minister. She elbowed her way through the
midst of them, and the minister’s face bright-
ened as she presented herself before him. He
followed her up the low entry, across the
squalid court, through the stable, empty of



64 “JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

the donkeys just then, up the creaking rounds
of the ladder, and into the miserable loft,
where the tiles were falling in, and the broken
‘window-panes were stuffed with rags and
paper. Near to the old rusty stove, which
served as a grate when there was any fire,
there: was a short board laid across some
bricks, and upon this the minister took his
seat, while Jessica sat upon the floor ‘before
him. of

© Jegsica,’ he said sadly, ‘is this where
you live ?’

‘Yes,’ she answered ; ‘but we'd a nicer
room than this when I was a fairy, and mother
played at the theatre; we shall be better. off
when I’m grown up, if I’m pretty enough to
play like her.’

‘My child,’ he said, ‘ ?m come to ask your

mother to let you go to school in a pleasant



AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR 65

place down in the country. Will she let
you go?’

‘No, answered Jessica; ‘mother says
she'll never let me learn to read, or go to
church ; she says it would make me good for
nothing. But please, sir, she doesn’t know
anything about your church, it’s such a long
way off, and she hasn’t found me out yet.
She always gets very drunk of a Sunday.’

The child spoke simply, and as if all
she said was a matter of course; but the
minister shuddered, and he looked through
the broken window to the little patch of
gloomy sky overhead.

‘What can I do?’ he cried mournfully, as
though speaking to himself.

‘ Nothing, please, sir,’ said Jessica ; ‘only
let me come to hear you of a Sunday, and

tell me about God. If you was to give me

E



66 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

fine clothes like your little girls, mother ’ud

only pawn them for gin. You can’t do any-

thing more for me.’











BAy)

‘Where is your mother ?’



he asked.
‘Out on a spree,’ said Jessica,
‘and she won't be home for a day or
two. She'd not hearken to you, sir. There’s
the missionary came, and she pushed him

down the ladder, till he was nearly killed.



AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR 67

They used to call mother the Vixen at the
theatre, and nobody durst say a word to her.’
The minister was silent for some minutes,
thinking painful thoughts, for his eyes seemed
to darken as he looked round the miserable
room, and his face wore an air of sorrow and
disappointment. At last he spoke again.

‘Who is Mr. Daniel, Jessica ?’ he in-
quired.

‘Oh,’ she said cunningly, ‘he’s only a
friend of mine as gives me sups of coffee.
You don’t know all the folks in London,
sir!’

No,’ he answered, smiling; ‘but does
he keep a coffee-stall?’

Jessica nodded her head, but did not trust
herself to speak.

‘How much does a cup of coffee cost ?’
asked the minister.

BQ



68 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

‘A full cup’s a penny,’ she answered
promptly; ‘but you can have half acup ; and
there are halfpenny and penny buns.’

‘Good coffee and buns?’ he said, with
another smile.

‘Prime,’ replied Jessica, smacking her
lips. :

‘Well,’ continued the minister, ‘tell your
friend to give you a full cup of coffee and
a penny bun every morning, and I'll pay for |
them as often as he chooses to come to me
for the money.’

Jessica’s face beamed with delight, but in
an instant it clouded over as she recollected
Daniel’s secret, and her lips quivered as she
spoke her disappointed reply.

‘Please, sir, she said, ‘I’m sure he
couldn’t come; oh! he couldn’t. It’s such

a long way, and Mr. Daniel has plenty of



. AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR 69

customers. No, he never would come to you
for the money.’

‘Jessica,’ he answered, ‘I will tell you
what I will do. I will trust you with a
shillmg every Sunday, if you’ll promise to
give it to your friend the very first time you
see him. I shall be sure to know if you
cheat me.” And the keen, piercing eyes of
the minister looked down into Jessica’s, and
once more the tender and pitying smile re-
turned to his face.

‘TI can do nothing else for you ?’ he said,
in a tone of mingled sorrow and questioning.

‘No, minister,’ answered Jessica ; ‘only
tell me about God.’

‘TI will tell you one thing about Him now,’
he replied. ‘If I took you to live in my
house with my little daughters, you would

have to be washed and clothed in new



70 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

clothing to make you fit for it... God wanted
us to go and live at home with Him in
heaven, but we were so sinful that we could
never have been fit for it. So He sent His
own Son to live amongst us, and die for us,
to wash us from our sins, and to give us new
clothing, and to make us ready to live in
God’s house. When you ask God for
anything, you must say, “For Ji esus Christ's
sake.” Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’
After these words the minister carefully
descended the ladder, followed by Jessica’s
bare and nimble feet, and she led him by the
nearest way into one of the great thorough-
fares of the city, where he said good-bye to
her, adding, ‘God bless you, my child,’ in a
tone which sank into Jessica’s heart. He
had put a silver sixpence into her hand to

provide for her breakfast the next three



AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR 71

mornings, and, with a feeling of being very
rich, she returned to her miserable home.

The next morning Jessica presented
herself proudly as a customer at Daniel’s
stall, and paid over the sixpence in advance.
He felt a little troubled as he heard her
story, lest the minister should endeavour to
find him out; but he could not refuse to
let the child come daily for her comfortable
breakfast. If he was detected, he would
promise to give up his coffee-stall rather than
offend the great people of the chapel; but
unless he was, it would be foolish of him to

lose the money it brought in weck after week.





JESSICA’S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED.

A} VERY Sunday evening the bare-
"footed and bareheaded child might
be seen advancing confidently up to the chapel
where rich and fashionable people worshipped
God ; but before taking her place she arrayed
herself in a little cloak and bonnet, which
had once belonged to the minister’s elder
daughter, and which was kept with Daniel’s
serge gown, so that she presented a some-

what more respectable appearance in the eyes



JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED 73

of the congregation. The minister had no
listener more attentive, and he would have
missed the pinched, earnest little face if it
were not to be seen in the seat just under the
pulpit. At the close of each service he spoke to
her for a minute or two in his vestry, often
saying no more than a single sentence, for the
day’s labour had wearied him. The shilling,
which was always lying upon the chimney-
piece, placed there by Jane and Winny in turns,
was immediately handed over, according to
promise, to Daniel as she left the chapel, and
so Jessica’s breakfast was provided for her
week after week.

But at last there came a Sunday evening
when the minister, going up into his pulpit,
did miss the wistful, hungry face, and the
shilling lay unclaimed upon the vestry chim-

ney-piece. Daniel looked out for her



74 JEHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

anxiously every morning, but no Jessica
glided into his secluded corner, to sit beside
him with her breakfast on her lap, and with
a number of strange questions to ask. He
felt her absence more keenly than he could
have expected. The child was nothing to
him, he kept saying to himself; and yet he
felt that she was something, and that he could
not help being uneasy and anxious about her.
Why had he never inquired where she lived ? |
The minister knew, and for a minute Daniel
thought he would go and ask him, but that
might awaken suspicion. How could he ac-
count for so much anxiety, when he was
supposed only to know of her absence from
chapel one Sunday evening ? It would be
running a risk, and, after all, Jessica was
nothing to him. So he went home and

looked over his savings-bank book, and



JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED 15

counted his money, and he found, to his
satisfaction, that he had gathered together
nearly four hundred pounds, and was adding
more every week.

But when upon the next Sunday Jessica’s
seat was again empty, the anxiety of the
solemn chapel-keeper overcame his prudence
and his fears. The minister had retired to
his vestry, and was standing with his arm
resting upon the chimney-piece, with his eyes
fixed upon the unclaimed shilling, which
Winny had laid there before the service,
when there was a tap at the door, and
Daniel entered with a respectful but hesi-
tating air.

‘Well, Standring ?’ said the minister
questioningly. .

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘I’m uncomfortable about

that little girl, and I know you've been once



76 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

to see after her ; she told me about it ;. and
so I make bold to ask you where she lives,
and [ll see what’s become of her.’

‘Right, Standring,’ answered the minister:
‘Tam troubled about the child, and so are
my little girls. I thought of going myself,
but my time is very much occupied just now.’

‘Tll go, sir, replied Daniel promptly ;
and, after receiving the necessary information
about Jessica’s home, he put out the lights,
locked the door, and turned towards his lonely
lodgings,

But though it was getting late upon
Sunday evening, and Jessica’s home was a
long way distant, Daniel found that his
anxiety would not suffer him to return to
his solitary room. It was of no use to reason
with himself, as he stood at the corner of

the street, feeling perplexed and troubled, and



JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED Ti

promising his conscience that he would go
the very first thing in the morning after he
shut up his coffee-stall. In the dim, dusky light,
as the summer evening drew to a close, he
fancied he could see Jessica’s thin figure and
wan face gliding on before him, and turning
round from time to time to see if he were
following. It was only fancy, and he laughed
a little at himself; but the laugh was husky,
and there was a choking sensation in his
throat, so he buttoned his Sunday coat over
his breast, where his silver watch and chain
hung temptingly, and started off at a rapid
pace for the centre of the city.

It was not quite dark when he reached .
the court, and stumbled up the narrow entry
leading to it; but Daniel did hesitate when
he opened the stable door, and looked into a

blank, black space, in which he could discern



78 JHUSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

nothing. He thought he had better retreat
while he could do so safely, but, as he still
stood with his hand upon the rusty latch, he
heard a faint, small voice through the nicks’
of the unceiled boarding above his head.

‘Our Father,’ said the little voice, ‘ please
to send somebody to me, for Jesus Christ’s
sake, Amen.’

‘I’m here, Jess,’ cried Daniel, with a
sudden bound of his heart, such as he had
not felt for years, and which almost took
away his breath as he peered into the dark-
ness, until at last he discerned dimly the
ladder which led up into the loft.

Very cautiously, but with an eagerness
which surprised himself, he climbed up the
creaking rounds of the ladder and entered
the dismal room, where the child was lying

in desolate darkness. Fortunately he had



JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED 179

put his box of matches into his pocket, and
the end of a wax candle with which ‘he
kindled the lamps, and in another minute a
gleam of light shone upon Jessica’s white.
features. She was stretched upon a scanty
litter of straw under the slanting roof where
the tiles had not fallen off, with her poor
rags for her only covering ; but as her eyes
looked up into Daniel’s face bending over her,
a bright smile of joy sparkled in them.

‘Oh!’ she cried gladly, but in a feeble
voice, ‘it’s Mr. Dan’el! Has God told you
to come here, Mr. Dan’el ?’

‘Yes,’ said Daniel, kneeling beside her,
taking her wasted hand in his, and parting
the matted hair upon her damp forehead.

‘What did He say to you, Mr. Dan’el ?’
said Jessica.

‘He told me I was a great sinner,’ replied



80 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

Daniel. ‘He told me I loved a little bit of
dirty money better than a poor, friendless,
helpless child, whom He had sent to me to
see if I would do her a little good for His
sake. He looked at me, or the minister did,
through and through ; and He said, “ Thou
fool, this night thy soul shall be required of
thee: then whose shall those things be which
thou hast provided ?” And I could answer
Him nothing, Jess. He was come to a
reckoning with me, and I could not say a
word to Him.’

‘Aren’t you a good man, Mr. Dan’el?’
whispered Jessica.

‘No, I’m a wicked sinner,’ he cried, while
the tears rolled down his solemn face. ‘I’ve
been constant at God’s house, but only to get
money ; I’ve been steady and industrious, but

only to get money ; and now God looks at



JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED 81

me, and He says, “Thou fool!” Oh, Jess,
Jess! youre more fit for heaven than I ever
was in my life.’

‘Why don’t you ask Him to make you
good for Jesus Christ’s sake ?’ asked the
child.

‘T can’t, he said. ‘I’ve been kneeling
down Sunday after Sunday when the minister’s
been praying, but all the time I was thinking
how rich some of the carriage people were.
TPve been loving money and worshipping
money all along, and I’ve nearly let you die
rather than run the risk of losing part of my
earnings. I’m a very sinful man.’

‘But you know what the minister often
says,’ murmured Jessica. ‘‘* Herein is love,
not that we loved God, but that He loved us,
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for

our sins,’’’



82 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

‘T’ve heard it so often that I don’t feel it,’
said Daniel. ‘I used to like to hear the
minister say it, but now it goes in at one ear
and out at the other. My heart is very hard,
Jessica.’

By the feeble glimmer of the candle Daniel
saw Jessica’s wistful eyes fixed upon him with
a sad and loving glance ;-and'then she lifted
up her weak hand to her face, and laid it
over her closed eyelids, and her feverish lips
moved slowly.

‘God,’ she said, ‘please to make Mr.
Daniel’s heart soft, for Jesus Christ’s sake.
Amen,’

She did not speak again, nor Daniel, for
some time. He took off his Sunday coat and
laid it over the tiny shivering frame, which
was shaking with cold even in the summer

evening ; and as he did so he remembered the



JHUSSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED 88

words which the Lord says He will pronounce
at the last day of reckoning: ‘ Forasmuch as
ye have done it unto one of the least of these
My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.’
Daniel Standring felt his heart turning with
love to the Saviour, and he bowed his head
upon his hands, and cried in the depths of his
contrite spirit, ‘God be merciful to me a

sinner !’



CHAPTER X

_ THE SHADOW OF







DEATH.

HERE was
no coffee-stall _
opened under

the railway arch the

following morning,
and Daniel’s regular
customers stood amazed as they drew near the
empty corner, where they were accustomed
to get their early breakfast. It would have
astonished them still more if they could have
seen how he was occupied in the miserable loft.

He had entrusted a friendly woman out of the



THE SHADOW OF DEATH 85

court to buy food and fuel, and all night long
he had watched beside Jessica, who was light-
headed and delirious, but in the wanderings
of her thoughts and words often spoke of God,
and prayed for her Mr. Dan’el. The neighbour
informed him that the child’s mother had gone
off some days before, fearing that she was ill
of some infectious fever, and that she, alone,
had taken a little care of her from time to
time. As soon as the morning came he sent
for a doctor, and, after receiving permission
from him, he wrapped the poor deserted
Jessica in his coat, and bearing her tenderly
in his arms down the ladder, he carried her
to a cab, which the neighbour brought to the
entrance of the court. It was to no other
than his own solitary home that he had
resolved to take her; and when the mistress

of the lodgings stood at her door, with her



- JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

86

arms a-kimbo, to forbid the admission of the

alf-
which °
slipped



etched
glected child,
tongue was
m of ah
eign,
hard hand.

8
aniel

e
er
into.the palm of

silenced by the
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By that after-



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mini





THH SHADOW OF DEATH 87

‘ REVEREND SIR,

‘If you will condescend to enter under
my humble roof, you will have the pleasure
of seeing little Jessica, who is at the point of
death, unless God in His mercy restores her.
Hoping you will excuse this liberty, as I
cannot leave the child, I remain, with duty,

‘ Your respectful Servant,

‘D, STANDRING.

‘P.S.—Jessica desires her best love and

duty to Miss Jane and Winny.’

The minister laid aside the book he was
reading, and without any delay started off for
his chapel-keeper’s dwelling. There was
Jessica lying restfully upon Daniel’s bed, but
the pinched features were deadly pale, and
the sunken eyes shone with a waning light.

She was too feeble to turn her head when



88 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

the door opened, and he paused for a minute,
looking at her and at Daniel, who, seated at
the head of the bed, was turning over the
papers in his desk, and reckoning up once
more the savings of his lifetime. But when
the minister advanced into the middle of the
room, Jessica’s white cheeks flushed into a
deep red.

‘Oh, minister!’ she cried, ‘ God has given
me everything I wanted except paying
Mr. Dan’el for the coffee he used to give
me.’

‘Ah! but God has paid me over and over
again,’ said Daniel, rising to receive the
minister. ‘He’s given me my own soul in
exchange for it. Let me make bold to speak
to you this once, sir. You're a very learned
man, and a great preacher, and many people

flock to hear you till ’'m hard put to it to



THE SHADOW OF DEATE 89

find seats for them at times; but all the
while, hearkening to you every blessed
Sabbath, I was losing my soul, and you never
once said to me, though you saw me scores
and scores of times, “Standring, are you a
saved man ?”’’

‘ Standring,’ said the minister, in a tone of
great distress and regret, ‘ I always took it for
granted that you were a Christian,’

‘Ah!’ continued Daniel thoughtfully,
‘but God wanted somebody to ask me that
question, and He did not find anybody in the
congregation, so He sent this poor little lass
tome. Well, I don’t mind telling now, even
if I lose the-place ; but for a long time, nigh
upon ten years, I’ve kept a coffee-stall on week
days in the city, and cleared, one week with
another, about ten shillings ; but I was afraid

the chapel-wardens wouldn’t approve of the



90 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

coffee business, as low, so I kept it a close
secret, and always shut up early of a morning.
It’s me that sold Jessica her cup of coffee
which you paid for, sir.’

‘ There’s no harm in it, my good fellow,’
‘said the minister kindly; ‘you need make
no secret of it.’ .

‘Well,’ resumed Daniel, ‘the questions
this poor little creature has asked me have
gone quicker and deeper down to my con-
science than all your sermons, if I may make so

_free as to say it. She’s come often and often
of a morning, and looked into my face with
those dear eyes of hers, and said, ‘ Don’t you
love Jesus Christ, Mr. Dan’el ?” “ Doesn’t
it make you very glad that God is your Father,
Mr. Dan’el ?” “ Are we getting nearer heaven
every day, Mr. Dan’el ?” And one day, says

she, “ Are you going to give all your money



THE SHADOW OF DEATH 91

to God, Mr. Dan’el?” Ah! that question
made me think indeed, and it’s never been
answered till this day. While I’ve been
sitting beside the bed here I’ve counted
up all my savings: 3971. 17s. it is; and
I’ve said, “Lord, it’s all Thine; and I’d
give every penny of it rather than lose the
child, if it be Thy blessed will to spare her
life.” ’

Daniel’s voice quavered at the last words,
and his face sank upon the pillow where
Jessica’s feeble and motionless head lay.
There was a very sweet, yet surprised smile
upon her face, and she lifted her wasted
fingers to rest upon the bowed head beside
her, while she shut her eyes and shaded them
with her other weak hand.

‘Our Father,’ she said in a faint whisper,

which still reached the ears of the minister



02 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

Z

and the beadle, ‘I asked You to let me come

home to heaven ; but if Mr. Dan’el wants me,






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please to let me





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stay a little longer,
for Jesus Christ’s
sake. Amen.’

For some min-
| utes after Jessica’s
prayer there was

a deep and unbroken silence in the room,



THE SHADOW OF DEATH 98

Daniel still hiding his face upon the pillow,
and the minister standing beside them with
bowed head and closed eyes, as if he also
were praying. When he looked up again at
the forsaken and desolate child, he saw that
her feeble hand had fallen from her face, which
looked full of rest and peace, while her breath
came faintly, but regularly, through her
parted lips. He took her little hand into his
own with a pang of fear and grief; but, in-
stead of the mortal chillness of death, he felt
the pleasant warmth and moisture of life. He
touched Daniel’s shoulder, and, as he lifted up
his head in sudden alarm, he whispered to
him, ‘The child is not dead, but is only
asleep.’ -

Before Jessica was fully recovered, Daniel
rented a little house for himself and his
adopted daughter to dwell in. He made



94 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

many inquiries after her mother, but she
never appeared again in her old haunts, and
he was well pleased that there was nobody to
interfere with his charge of Jessica. When
Jessica grew strong enough, many a cheerful
walk had they together in the early mornings,
as they wended their way to the railway bridge,
where the little girl took her place behind the
stall, and soon learned to serve the daily cus-
tomers ; and many a happy day was spent in
helping to sweep and dust the chapel, into
which she had crept so secretly at first, her
great delight being. to attend to the pulpit
and the vestry, and the pew where the
minister’s children sat, while Daniel and the
woman he employed cleaned the rest of the
building. Many a Sunday also the minister
in his pulpit, and his little daughters in their
pew, and Daniel treading softly about the



THE SHADOW OF DEATH 95

aisles, as their glance fell upon Jessica’s eager,
earnest, happy face, thought of the first
time they saw her sitting amongst the congre-

gation, and of Jessica’s first prayer.

THE END.

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Full Text








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FIRST PRAVER |




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FIVE SHILLINGS.

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The Children of Cloverley
Fern’s Hollow.

Fishers of Derby Haven,
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A Thorny Path.

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THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY.
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Fessica’s First

BY

HESBA STRETTON

AUTHOR OF
‘LITTLE SIEG'S CHILDREN’ ‘THE FISHERS OF DERBY HAVEN’
‘BEDE’S CHARITY’ ‘ALONE IN LONDON’ ‘CAROLA’
ETC,

LONDON
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY

56 PATERNOSTER Row, 65 St PauL’s CHURCHYARD
AND 164 PIccADILLY
PRINTED BY
SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE
LONDON


iiss

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“THE COFFEE-STALL





























AND ITS KEEPER.

N a screened and secluded corner



of one of the many railway

bridges which span the streets of

\ London there could be seen, afew
years ago, from five o'clock every morning
until half-past eight, a tidily set-out coffee-
stall, consisting of a trestle and board, upon
which stood two large tin cans, with a small
fire of. charcoal burning under each, so as to

keep the coffee boiling during the early hours
6 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

of the morning when the workpeople were
thronging into the City on their way to their
daily toil. The coffee-stall was a favourite
one, for besides being under shelter, which
was of great consequenceupon rainy mornings :
it was also in so private a niche that the
customers taking their out-of-door breakfast
were not too much exposed to notice; and,
moreover, the coffee-stall keeper was a quiet
man, who cared only to serve the busy work-
men, without hindering them by any gossip.
He was a tall, spare, elderly man, with a singu-
larly solemn face, and a manner which was
grave and .secret. Nobody knew either his
name or dwelling-place ; unless it might be:
the policeman who strode past the coffee-stall |
every half-hour, and nodded familiarly to the
solemn man behind it. There were very few

who cared to make any inquiries about him ;
THE COFFEE-STALL AND ITS KEEPER 7

but those who did could only discover that
he kept the furniture of his stall ata neigh-
bouring coffee-house, whither he wheeled his
trestle and board and crockery every day, not
later than half-past eight in the morning;
after which he was wont to glide away with
a soft footstep and a mysterious and fugitive
air, with many backward and sidelong glances,
as if he dreaded observation, until he was lost
among the crowds which thronged the streets.
No one had ever had the persevering curiosity
to track him all the way to his house, or to
find out his other means of gaining a liveli-
hood; but in general his stall was surrounded
by customers, whom he served with silent
seriousness, and who did not grudge to pay
him his charge for the refreshing coffee he
supplied to them.

For several years the crowd of workpeople
8 JHSSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

had paused by the coffee-stall under the rail-
way arch, when one morning, in a partial lull
of his business, the owner became suddenly
aware of a pair of very bright dark eyes being
fastened upon him and the slices of bread and _
butter on his board, with a gaze as hungry as
that of a mouse which has been driven by
famine into a trap. A thin and meagre face
belonged to the eyes, which was half hidden
by a mass of matted hair hanging over the
forehead and down the neck—the only cover-
_ing which the head or neck had, for a tattered
frock, scarcely fastened together with broken
strings, was slipping down over the shivering
shoulders of the little girl. Stooping down |
to a basket behind his stall, hecaught sight of
two bare little feet. curling up from the damp
pavement, as the child lifted up first one and
then the other, and laid them one over another
THE COFFHH-STALL AND ITS KEEPER 9

to gain a momentary feeling of warmth.
Whoever the wretched child was, she did not
speak ; only at every steaming cupful which
he poured out of his can her dark eyes
eleamed hungrily, and he could hear her smack
her thin lips, as if in fancy she was tasting
the warm and fragrant coffee.

‘Oh, come, now!’ he said at last, when
only one boy was left taking his breakfast
leisurely, and he leaned over his stall to speak
in a low and quiet tone; ‘why don’t you go
away, little girl ? Come, come; you're stay-
ing too long, you know.’

‘T’m just going, sir,’ she answered, shrug-
ging her small shoulders to draw her frock up
higher about her neck ; ‘ only it’s raining cats
and dogs outside ; and mother’s been away all
night, and she took the key with her ; and it’s

so nice to smell the coffee ; and the police has
10 JESSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

left off worriting me while [ve been here.
He thinks I’m a customer taking my break-
fast.’ - And the child laughed a shrill little
laugh of mockery at herself and the police-
man.

‘You’ve had no breakfast, I suppose,’ said
the coffee-stall keeper, in the same low and
confidential voice, and leaning over his stall
till his face nearly touched the thin, sharp
features of the child.

‘No,’ she replied coolly, ‘and I shall want.
my dinner dreadful bad afore I get it, I know.
You don’t often feel dreadful hungry, do you,
sir? I’m not griped yet, you know; but
afore I taste my dinner it "Il be pretty bad, I
tell you. Ah! very bad indeed!’

She turned away with a knowing nod, as
much as to say she had one experience in life

to which he was quite a stranger; but before
THE COFFEE-STALL AND ITS KHEPER 11

she had gone half a dozen steps she heard the
quiet voice calling to her in rather louder
tones, and in an instant she was back at the
stall.

‘Slip in here,’ said the owner, in a cautious
whisper ; ‘here’s a little coffee left and a few
crusts. There, you must never come again,
you know. I never give to beggars ; and if
you'd begged, I'd have called the police.
There; put your poor feet towards the fire.
Now, aren’t you comfortable ?’

The child looked up with a face of intense
satisfaction. She was seated upon an empty
basket, with her feet near the pan of charcoal,
and a cup of steaming coffee on her lap ; but
her mouth was too full for her to reply, ex-
cept by a very deep nod, which expressed
unbounded delight. The man was busy for
awhile packing up his crockery; but every

‘
12 JESSICA'S FIRST. PRAYER

now and then he stopped to look down upon
her, and to shake his head gravely.

‘What’s your name?’ he asked at length ;
‘but there, never mind! I don’t care what it
is. What’s your name to do with me, I
wonder?’

‘It’s Jessica,’ said the girl ; ‘but mother
and everybody calls me Jess. You'd be tired
of being called Jess, if you was me. It’s Jess
here, and Jess there; and everybody wanting
me to go errands. And they think nothing
of giving me smacks, and kicks, and pinches.
Look here!’

Whether her arms were black and blue
from the cold, or from ill-usage, he could
not tell; but he shook his head again seri-
ously, and the child felt encouraged to
go on.

‘I wish I could stay here for ever and
THE COFFEE-STALL AND ITS KEEPER 13

ever, just as Tam!’ she cried. ‘But you're
going away now; and I’m never to come
again, or you'll set the police on me !’

‘Yes,’ said the coffee-stall keeper very
softly, and looking round to see if there were
any other ragged children within sight; ‘if
you'll promise not to come again for a whole
week, and not to tell anybody else, you may
come once more. Ill give you one other
treat. But you must be off now.’

‘T’m off, sir,’ she said sharply; ‘but if
you've a errand I could go on, I’d do it all
right, I would. Let me carry some of your
things.’

‘No, no,’ cried the man; ‘ you run away,
like a good girl; and mind! I’m not to see
you again for a whole week.’

‘All right,’ answered Jess, setting off

down the rainy street at a quick run, as if to
14 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

show her willing agreement to the bargain ;
while the coffee-stall keeper, with many a
cautious glance around him, removed his
stock-in-trade to the coffee-house near at
hand, and was seen no more for the rest of
the day in the neighbourhood of the railway

bridge.
(CHAPTERAL

JESSICA’S





TEMPTATION.



=

ESSICA kept her part
of the bargain faith-
fully ; and though the

solemn and silent man under
| 2 A the dark shadow of the bridge
looked out for her every morn-
ing as he served his customers, he
caught no glimpse of her wan face and thin
little frame. But when the appointed time
was finished she presented herself at the

stall, with her hungry eyes fastened again
16 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

upon the piles of buns and bread and
butter, which were fast disappearing before
the demands of the buyers. The business
was at its height, and the famished child stood
quietly on one side watching for the throng
to melt away. But as soon as the nearest
church clock had. chimed eight she drew a
little nearer to the stall, and at a signal from
its owner she slipped between the trestles of
his stand, and took up her former position on
the empty basket. To his eyes she seemed
even a little thinner, and certainly more
ragged, than before ; and he laid a whole bun,
a stale one which was left from yesterday’s
stock, upon her lap, as she lifted the cup of
coffee to her lips with both her benumbed
hands.

‘What's your name ?’ she asked, looking

up to him with her keen eyes.
JESSICA’S TEMPTATION 17

‘Why ?’ he answered hesitatingly, as if
he was reluctant to tell so much of himself;
‘my christened name is Daniel.’

‘And where do you live, Mr. Dan’el?’ she
inquired.

‘Oh, come now!’ he exclaimed, ‘ if you’re
_ going to be impudent, you’d better march off.
What business is it of yours where Ilive? I
don’t want to know where you live, I can tell
you.’

‘I didn’t mean no offence,’ said Jess
humbly, ‘only I thought Id like to know
where a good man like you lived. You're a
very good man, aren’t you, Mr. Dan’el?’

‘I don’t know,’ he answered uneasily ;
‘T’m afraid I’m not.’

‘Oh, but you are, you know,’ continued
Jess. ‘You make good coffee ; prime! and
buns too! And I’ve been watching you

B
18 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

hundieds of times afore you saw me; and the
police leaves you alone, and never tells you to
move on. Oh, yes! you must bea very good
man.’

Daniel sighed, and fidgeted about hig
crockery with a grave and occupied air, as’
if he were pondering over the child’s notion
of goodness. He made gcod coffee, and the
police left him alone! It was quite true ; yet
still, as he counted up the store of pence
which liad accumulated in his strong canvas
bag, he sighed again still more heavily. He
purposely let one of his pennies fall upon the
muddy pavement, and went on counting the
rest busily, while he furtively watched the
little girl sitting at his feet. Without a shade
of change upon her ‘small face, she covered
the penny with her foot, and drew it in care:

fully towards her, while. she continued to
JESSICA’S TEMPTATION 19

















chatter fluently
to him. For
a moment a
feeling of pain

shot a pang



Biren SNS eee through
ee SR. ‘i

Wid Morgan Daniel’s heart ;
Rawteye

and then he congratulated

= himself on having entrapped the
young thief It was time to be leaving

B2
20 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

now ; but before he went he would make her
move her bare foot, and disclose the penny
concealed beneath it, and then he would
warn her never to venture near his stall
again. This was her gratitude, he thought ;
he had given her two breakfasts, and more -
kindness than he had shown to any fellow-.
creature for many a long year; and at the
first chance the young jade turned upon
him and robbed him! He was brooding over |
it painfully in his mind, when’ Jessica’s
uplifted face changed suddenly, and a dark
flush crept over her pale cheeks, and the tears
started to her eyes. She stooped down, and
picking up the coin from amongst the mud,
she rubbed it bright and clean upon her rags,
and laid it upon the stall close to his hand,
but without speaking a word. Daniel looked

down upon her solemnly and searchingly.
JESSICA'S TEMPTATION |. 21

‘ What’s this?’ he asked. _

‘Please, Mr. Daniel,’ she answered, ‘ it
dropped, and you didn’t hear it.’

‘ Jess,’ he said sternly, ‘tell me all about
it.’

‘Oh, please,’ she sobbed, ‘I never had a
penny of my very own but once ; and it rolled
close to my foot ; and you didn’t see it; and
I hid it up sharp ; and then I thought how
kind you'd been, and how good the coffee and
buns are, and how you let me warm myself at
your fire ; and, please, I couldn’t keep the
penny any longer. You'll never let me come
again, I guess.’

_ Daniel turned away for a minute, busying
himself with putting his cups and saucers
into the basket, while Jessica stood by trem-
bling, with the large tears rolling slowly down
her cheeks. The snug, dark corner, with its
22 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

warm fire of charcoal and its fragrant smell
of coffee, had been a paradise to her for
these two brief spans of time; but she had
been guilty of the sin which would drive her
from it. All beyond the railway arch the
streets stretched away, cold and dreary, with |
no friendly faces to meet hers, and no warm
cups of coffee to refresh her; yet she was
only lingering sorrowfully to hear the words
spoken which should forbid her to return
to this pleasant spot. Mr. Daniel turned
round at last, and met her tearful gaze with
a look of strange emotion upon his own
solemn face.

‘ Jess,’ he said, ‘I could never have done
it myself. But you may come here every
Wednesday morning, as this is a Wednesday,
and there'll always be a cup of coffee for

you.’
JESSICA'S TEMPTATION 23

She thought he meant that he could not
have hidden the penny under his foot, and
she went away a little saddened and subdued,
notwithstanding her great delight in the ex-
pectation of such a treat every week ; while
Daniel, pondering over the struggle that
must have passed through her childish mind,
went on his way, from time to time shaking
his head, and muttering to himself, ‘I couldn’t
have done it myself ; I never could have done

it myself,
CHAPTER, UI.

AD A NEW DRESS. _
| Ni EEK after week,

through the three

last months of the year,



Jessica appeared every
Wednesday at the coffee-
, Stall, and after waiting
patiently till the close of
‘the breakfasting business,
received her pittance from the charity of her
new friend. After a while Daniel allowed
her to carry some of his load to the coffee-
house, but he never suffered her to follow

farther, and he was always particular to
AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS — 25

watch her out of sight before he turned off
through the intricate mazes of the streets in
the direction of his own home. Neither did
he encourage her to ask him any more ques-
tions; and often but very few words passed
between them during Jessica’s breakfast-
time.

As to Jessica’s home, she made no secret
of it, and Daniel might have followed her
any time he pleased. It was a single room,
which had once been a hayloft over’ the
stable of an old inn, now in use for two or
three donkeys, the property of costermongers
dwelling in the court about it. The mode
of entrance was by a wooden ladder, whose
rungs were crazy and broken, and which led
up through a trap-door in the floor of ‘the
loft. The interior of the home was as
desolate and comfortless as that of the stable
26 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

below, with only a litter of straw for the
bedding, and a few bricks and boards for the
furniture. Everything that could be pawned
had disappeared long ago, and Jessica’s mother
often lamented that she could not thus dispose
of her child. Yet Jessica was hardly a
burden to her. It was a long time since she
had taken any care to provide her with food
or clothing, and the girl had to earn or beg
for herself the meat which kept a scanty life
within her. Jess was the drudge and errand-
girl of the court ; and what with being cuffed
and beaten by her mother, and over-worked
and ill-used by her numerous employers, her
life was a hard one. But now there was
always Wednesday morning to count upon
and look forward to; and by-and-by a second
scene of amazed delight opened-upon her.

Jessica had wandered far away from home
AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS — 27

in the early darkness of a winter’s evening,
after a violent outbreak of her drunken
mother, and she was still sobbing now and
then, with long-drawn sobs of pain and weari-
ness, when she saw, a little way before her,
the tall, well-known figure of her friend Mr.
Daniel. He was dressed in a suit of black,
with a white neckcloth, and he was pacing
with brisk, yet measured steps along the
lighted streets. Jessica felt afraid of speak-
ing to him, but she followed at a little
distance, until presently he stopped before
the iron gates of a large building, and unlock-
ing them, passed on to the arched doorway,
and with a heavy key opened the folding-
doors and entered in. The child stole after
him, but paused for a few minutes, trembling
upon the threshold, until the gleam of a

light lit up within tempted her to venture a
28 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

few steps forward, and to push a little way
open an inner door, covered with crimson
baize, only so far as to enable her to peep
through at the inside. Then growing bolder
by degrees, she crept through herself, draw-
ing the door to noiselessly behind her. The
place was in partial gloom, but Daniel was
kindling every gaslight, and each minute lit
it up in more striking grandeur. She stood
in a carpeted aisle, with high oaken pews on
each side, almost as black as ebony. A
gallery of the same dark old oak ran round
the walls, resting upon massive pillars, behind
one of which she was partly concealed, gazing
with eager eyes at Daniel as he mounted the
pulpit steps and kindled the lights there,
disclosing to her curious delight the glitter-
ing pipes of an organ behind it. Before long

the slow and soft-footed chapel-keeper dis-
AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS — 29

appeared for a minute or tivo into a vestry ;
and Jessica, availing herself of his short
absence, stole silently up under the shelter of
the dark pews until she reached the steps of
the organ loft, with its golden show. But at
this moment Mr. Daniel appeared again,
arrayed in a long gown of black serge; and
as she stood spell-bound gazing at the strange
appearance of her patron, his eyes fell upon
_ her, and he also was struck speechless for a
minute, with an air of amazement and dismay .
upon his grave face.

‘Come, now,’ he exclaimed harshly, as
soon as he could recover his presence of mind,
‘you must take yourself out of this. This
isn’t any place for such as you. It’s for
ladies and gentlemen ; so you must run away
sharp before anybody comes. How ever did

you find your way here ?’

























































































































































AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS 31

_ He had come very close to her and bent
down to whisper in her ear, looking nervously
round to the entrance all the time. Jessica's
eager tongue was loosened.

‘Mother beat me,’ she said, ‘and turned
me into the streets, and I see you there, so I
followed you up. Jl run away this minute,
Mr. Daniel ; but it’s a nice place. What do
the ladies and gentlemen do when they come
here? Tell me, and I'll be off sharp.’

‘They come here to pray,’ whispered
Daniel.

‘What is pray?’ asked Jessica.

‘Bless the child!’ cried Daniel in per-
plexity. ‘Why, they kneel down in those ~
pews; most of them sit, though; and the
minister up in the pulpit tells God what
they want.’ .

Jessica gazed into his face with such an
82 JESSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

air of bewilderment that a faint smile crept
over the sedate features of the pew-opener.

‘What is a minister and God?’. she said ;
‘and do ladies and gentlemen want anything?
I thought they’d everything they wanted,
Mr. Daniel.’

‘Oh!’ cried Daniel, ‘you must be off,
you know. They'll be coming in a minute,
and they’d be shocked to see a ragged little
heathen like you. This is the pulpit where
the minister stands and preaches to ’em ; and
there are the pews where they sit to listen to
him, or to go to sleep, may be ; and that’s the
organ to play music to their singing. ‘There,
I’ve told you everything, and you must never
come again, never.’

‘Mr. Daniel,’ said Jessica, ‘I don’t know
nothing about it. Isn’t there a dark little

corner somewhere that I could hide in ?’
AN OLD FRIEND IN 4 NEW DRESS 33

‘No, no,’ interrupted Daniel impatiently ;
‘we couldn’t do with such a little heathen,
with no shoesor bonnet on. Come, now, it’s
only a quarter to the time, and somebody will
be here in a minute. Run away, do!’

Jessica retraced her steps slowly to the
crimson door, casting many a longing look
backwards ; but Mr. Daniel stood at the end
of the aisle, frowning upon her whenever she
glanced behind. She gained the lobby at last,
but already some one was approaching the
chapel door, and beneath the lamp at the gate
stood one of her natural enemies—a_police-
man. Her heart beat fast, but she was quick-
witted, and in another instant she spied a
place of concealment behind one of the doors,
into which she crept for safety until the path
should be clear, and the policeman passed on

-upon his beat. .
34 JHSSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

The congregation began to arrive quickly.
She heard the rustling of silk dresses, and
she could see the JJ

i

gentlemen and |i







ladies pass by the | /
niche between the }
door and the post. i}

Once she ventured |







































































































Wed Movaa tl,
AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS 35

to stretch out a thin little finger and touch a
velvet mantle as the wearer of it swept by,
but no one caught her in the act, or sus-
pected her presence behind the door. Mr,
Daniel, she could see, was very busy usher-
ing the people. to their seats; but there was
a startled look lingering upon his face, and
every now and then he peered anxiously
into the outer gloom and darkness, and even
once called to the policeman to ask if he

had seen a ragged child hanging about.
After a while the organ began to sound, and
Jessica, crouching down in her hiding-place,
listened entranced to the sweet music. She
could not tell what made her cry, but the
tears came so rapidly that it was of no use to
rub the corners of her eyes with her hard
knuckles ; so she lay down upon the ground,
and buried her face in her hands, and wept

ca

=
36 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

without restraint. When the singing was
over she could only catch a confused sound
of a voice speaking. The lobby was empty
now, and the crimson doors closed. The
policeman, also, had walked on. This was
the moment to escape. She raised herself
from the ground with a feeling of weariness
and sorrow ; and, thinking sadly of the light
and warmth and music that were within the
closed doors, she stepped out into the cold
and darkness of the streets, and loitered

homewards with a heavy heart.



A
eA

y\ PEEPS INTO FAIRY-LAND.

[‘T was not the last time that
| Jessica concealed herself be-
hind the baize-covered door.
She could not overcome the urgent desire to
enjoy again and again the secret and perilous
pleasure ; and Sunday after Sunday she watched
in the dark streets for the moment when she
could slip in unseen. She soon learned the
exact time when Daniel would be occupied in
lighting up, before the policeman would take
up his station at the entrance, and, again, the
very minute at which it would be wise and

safe to take her departure. Sometimes the
88 JESSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

child laughed noiselessly to herself, until she
shook with suppressed merriment, as she saw
Daniel standing unconsciously in the lobby,
with his solemn face and grave air, to receive
the congregation, much as he faced his
customers at the coffee-stall. She learned to
know the minister by sight—the tall, thin,
pale gentleman, who passed through a side
door, with his head bent as if in deep thought,
while two little girls, about her own age,
followed him, with sedate yet pleasant faces.
Jessica took a great interest in the minister’s
children. The younger one was fair, and
the elder was about as tall as herself, and
had eyes and hair as dark ; but oh, how cared
for, how plainly waited on by tender hands!
Sometimes, when they were gone by, she
would close her eyes, and wonder what they

would do in one of the high black pews inside,
PHEPS INTO FAIRY-LAND 39

where there was no place for a ragged, bare-
footed girl like her; and now and then her
wonderings almost ended in a sob, which she
was compelled to stifle.

Jt was an untold relief to Daniel that
Jessica did not ply him with questions, as he
feared, when she came for breakfast every
Wednesday morning ; but she was too shrewd
and cunning for that. She wished him to
forget that she had ever been there, and
by-and-by her wish was accomplished, and
Daniel was no longer uneasy, while he was
lighting the lamps, with the dread of seeing
the child’s wild face starting up before him.

But the light evenings of summer-time
were drawing near apace, and Jessica fore-
saw, with dismay, that her Sunday treats
would soon be over. The risk of discovery

increased every week, for the sun was later
“40 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

and later in setting, and there would be no
chance of creeping in and out unseen in the
broad daylight. Already it needed both
watchfulness and alertness to dart in at the
right moment in the grey twilight; but still
she could not give it up; and if it had not:
been for the fear of offending Mr. Daniel,
she would have resolved upon going until
she was found out. They could not punish
her very much for standing in the lobby of a
chapel. .

Jessica was found out, however, before the
dusky evenings were quite gone. It hap-
pened one night that the minister’s children,
coming early to the chapel, saw a small
tattered figure, bareheaded and barefooted,
dart swiftly up the steps before them and
disappear within the lobby. They paused

and looked at one another, and then, hand in
PHEPS INTO FAIRY-LAND 41

hand, their hearts beating quickly, and the
colour coming and going on their faces, they
followed this strange new member of their
father’s congregation. The pew-opener was
nowhere to be seen, but their quick eyes
detected the prints of the wet little feet which
had trodden the clean pavement before them,
and in an instant they discovered Jessica
crouching behind the door.

‘Let us call Daniel Standring,’ said
Winny, the younger child, clinging to her
sister ; but she had spoken aloud, and Jessica
overheard her, and before they could stir a
step she stood before them with an earnest
and imploring face.

‘Oh, don’t have me drove away,’ she
cried ; ‘I’m a very poor little girl, and it’s
all the pleasure I’ve got. I’ve seen you lots

of times with that tall gentleman as stoops,
42 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

and I didn’t think you’d have me drove away.
I don’t do any harm behind the door, and if
Mr. Daniel finds me out he won’t give me
any more coffee.’

‘Little girl,’ said the elder child, in a
composed and demure voice, ‘we don’t mean.
to be unkind to you ; but what do you come
here for, and why do you hide yourself behind
the door ?’

‘I like to hear the music,’ answered
Jessica, ‘and I want to find out what pray is,
and the minister, and God. I know it’s only
for ladies and gentlemen, and fine children
like you; but I’d like to go inside just for
once, and see what you do.’

‘You shall come with us into our pew,’
cried Winny, in an eager and impulsive tone ;
but Jane laid her hand upon her outstretched

arm, with a glance at Jessica’s ragged clothes
PEEPS INTO FAIRY-LAND 43

and matted hair. It was a question difficult
enough to perplex them. The little outcast
was plainly too dirty and neglected for them
to invite her to sit side by side with them in
their crimson-lined pew, and no poor people
attended the chapel with whom she could
have a seat, But Winny, with flushed cheeks
and indignant eyes, looked reproachfully at her
elder sister.

‘Jane,’ she said, opening her Testament,
and turning over the leaves hurriedly, ‘this
was papa’s text a little while ago:—* For if
there come into your assembly a man with a
gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come
in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye
have respect to him that weareth the gay
clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in
a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou
there, or sit here under my footstool; are ye
44 ' JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

not then partial in yourselves, and are become
judges of evil thoughts ?”’ If we don’t take
this little girl into our pew, we “have the
faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of -
glory, with respect of persons.””’

‘T don’t know what to do,’ answered Jane,
sighing ; ‘the Bible seems plain; but I’m
sure papa would not like it. Let us ask the
chapel-keeper.’

‘Oh, no, no!’ cried Jessica ; ‘don’t let
Mr. Daniel catch me here. I won’t come
again, indeed ; and I’ll promise not to try and
find out about God and the minister if you'll
only let me go.’ .

‘But, little girl,’ said Jane, in a sweet but
grave manner, ‘we ought to teach you about
God if you don’t know Him. Our papa is the
minister, and if you'll come with us we'll ask

him what we must do.’
PEEPS INTO FAIRY-LAND 45

‘Will Mr. Daniel see me ?’ asked Jessica.

‘Nobody but papa is in the vestry,’
answered Jane, ‘and he’ll tell us all, you and
us, what we ought to do. You'll not be
afraid of him, will you?’

‘No,’ said Jessica cheerfully, following the
minister’s children as they led her along the
side of the chapel towards the vestry.

‘ He is not such a terrible personage,’ said
Winny, looking round encouragingly, as Jane
tapped softly at the door, and they heard a

voice saying, ‘Come in.’





HE minister was sitting
in an easy chair before
a comfortable fire,
with a hymn-book
V2 in his hand, which

ee ne he closed as the
three children appeared in the open doorway.
Jessica had seen his pale and thoughtful face
many a time from her hiding-place, but she
had never met the keen, earnest, searching
gaze of his eyes, which seemed to pierce
through all her wretchedness and misery, and
to read at once the whole history of her deso-

late life. But before her eyelids could droop,
A NEW WORLD OPENS 47

or she could drop a reverential curtsey, the
minister’s face kindled with such a glow of
pitying tenderness and compassion as fastened
her eyes upon him, and gave her new heart
and courage. His children ran to him,
leaving Jessica upon the mat at the door, and
with eager voices and gestures told him the
difficulty they were in.

‘Come here, little girl,’ he said; and
Jessica walked across the carpeted floor till
she stood right before him, with folded hands
and eyes that looked frankly into his.

‘What is your name, my child?’ he
asked.

‘ Jessica,’ she answered.

‘Jessica,’ he repeated, with a smile ; ‘that
is a strange name.’

‘Mother used to play “Jessica” at the

theatre, sir,’ she said, ‘and I used to be a
JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

48



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A-NEW WORLD OPENS 49

‘ What is a minister ?’ she inquired.

‘A servant,’ he replied, looking away
thoughtfully into the red embers of the fire.

‘Papa!’ cried Jane and Winny, in tones
of astonishment; but Jessica gazed steadily
at the minister, who was now looking back
again into her bright eyes.

‘Please, sir, whose servant are you ?’ she
asked. .

‘The servant of God and of man,’ he
answered solemnly. ‘ Jessica, I am your
servant.’

The child shook her head, and laughed
shrilly as she gazed round the room, and at
the handsome clothing ‘of the minister's
daughters, while she drew her rags closer
about her, and shivered a little, as if she felt
a sting of the east wind, which was blowing
keenly through the streets. The sound of

D
50 JESSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

her shrill, childish laugh made the minister’s
heart ache and the tears burn under his
eyelids.

‘Who is God ?’ asked the child. ‘When
mother’s in a good temper, sometimes she
says, “God bless me!”? Do you know Him,
please, minister ?’

But before there was time to answer, the
door into the chapel was opened, and Daniel
stood upon the threshold. At first he stared
blandly forwards, but then his grave face grew
ghastly pale, and he laid his hand upon the
door to support himself until he could re-
cover his speech and senses. Jessica also
looked about her, scared and irresolute, as if
anxious to run away or to hide herself. The
minister was the first to speak.

Jessica,’ he said,‘ there is a place close

under my pulpit where you shall sit, and
A NEW WORLD OPENS 51

where I can see you all the time. Bea good
girl and listen, and you will hear something
about God. Standring, put this little one in
front of the pews by the pulpit steps.’ |

- But before she could believe it for very
gladness, Jessica found herself inside the
chapel, facing the glittering organ, from which
a sweet strain of music was sounding. Not
far from her Jane and Winny were peeping
over the front of their pew, with friendly
smiles and glances. It was evident that the
minister’s elder daughter was anxious about
her behaviour, and she made energetic signs
to her when to stand up and when to kneel ;
but Winny was content with smiling at her
whenever her head rose above the top of the
pew. Jessica was happy, but not in the least
abashed. The ladies and gentlemen were not
at all unlike those whom she had often seen

D2
52 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

when she was a fairy at the theatre ; and very
soon her attention was engrossed’ by the
minister, whose eyes often fell upon her as |
she gazed eagerly, with uplifted face, upon him.
She could scarcely understand a word of what
he said, but she liked the tones of his voice
and the tender pity of his face as he looked
down upon her. Daniel hovered about a good |
deal, with an air of uneasiness and displeasure,
but she was unconscious of his presence.
Jessica was intent upon finding out what a

minister and God were.


CHAPTERVE |

_. THE FIRST





PRAYER.

>

was ended, the
minister descended
the pulpit steps, just as
Daniel was about to
‘ = _ hurry Jessica away,
and, taking her by the

hand in the face of all the congrega-

tion, he led her into the vestry, whither Jane
and Winny quickly followed them. He was
fatigued with the services of the day, and his
54 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

pale face was paler than ever as he placed
Jessica before his chair, into which he threw
himself with an air of exhaustion; but bow-
ing his head upon his hands, he said in a low
but clear tone, ‘Lord, these are the lambs of
Thy flock. Help me to feed Thy lambs!’

‘ Children,’ he said, with a smile upon his
weary face, ‘it is no easy thing to know God. .
But this one thing we know, that He is our
Father—my Father and your Father, Jessica.
He loves you, and cares for you more than I
do for my little girls here.’

He smiled at them and they at him, with
an expression which Jessica felt and under-
stood, though it made her sad. She trembled
a little, and the minister’s ear caught the
sound of a faint though bitter sob. .

‘T never had any father,’ she said sorrow-
fully.
THH FIRST PRAYER 55

‘God is your Father,’ he answered very
gently ; ‘He knows all about you, because He
is present everywhere. We cannot see Him,
but we have only to speak, and He hears us, .
and we may ask Him for whatever we want.’

‘Will He let me speak to Him as well as
these fine children that are clean and have
got nice clothes?’ asked Jessica, glancing
anxiously at her muddy feet and her soiled
and tattered frock.

‘Yes,’ said the minister, smiling, yet sigh-
ing at the same time ; ‘you may ask Him ‘this
moment for what you want.’

Jessica gazed round the room with large
wide-open eyes, as if she were seeking to see
God; but then she shut- her eyelids tightly,
and bending her head upon her hands, as she
had seen the minister do, she said, ‘O God!

I want to know about You. And please pay
56 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

Mr. Dan’el for all the warm coffee hes give
me”

Jane and Winny listened with faces of
unutterable amazement; but the tears stood
in the minister’s eyes, and he added ‘Amen’

to Jessica’s first prayer.



——

_ CHAP TERI



@\ANIEL had no op-

portunity for speak-
ing to Jessica; for, after waiting until the
minister left the vestry, he found that she had
‘gone away by the side entrance. He had to
wait, therefore, until Wednesday morning, and
the sight of her pinched little face was welcome
to him when he saw it looking wistfully over
the coffee-stall. Yet he had made up his:
mind to forbid her to come again, and to

threaten her with the policeman if he ever
58 JESSICA'S FIRST’ PRAYER

caught her at the chapel, where for the future
he intended to keep a sharper look-out. But
before he could speak Jess had slipped under
the stall, and taken her old seat upon the
upturned basket.

‘Mr. Dan’el,’ she said, ‘has God paid you
for my sups of coffee yet?’

‘Paid me?’ he repeated ; ‘God? No.’

‘Well, He will,’ she answered, nodding |
her head sagely ; ‘don’t you be afraid of your
money, Mr. Dan’el; I’ve asked Him a many
times, and the minister says He’s sure to do
it.’

‘Jess,’ said Daniel sternly, ‘have you
been and told the minister about my coffee-
stall?’

‘No,’ she answered, with a beaming smile,
‘but I’ve told God lots and lots of times since

Sunday, and He’s sure to pay in a day or two.”
HARD QUESTIONS 59

‘Jess,’ continued Daniel more gently,
‘you're a sharp little girl, I see; and now,
mind, I’m going to trust you. You're never
to say a word about me or my coffee-stall ;
because the folks at our chapel are very grand,
and might think it low and mean of me to
keep a coffee-stall. Very likely they’d say
I mustn’t be chapel-keeper any longer, and
I should lose a deal of money.’

‘Why do you keep the stall, then?’ asked
Jessica, |

‘Don’t you see what a many pennies I
get every morning?’ he said, shaking his
canvas bag. ‘I get a good deal of money
that way in a year,’

‘ What do you want such a deal of money
for ?’? she inquired; ‘do you give it to
God ?’

Daniel did not answer, but the question
60 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

went to his heart like a sword-thrust. What
did he want so much money for? He thought
of his one bare solitary room, where he lodged
alone, a good way from the railway bridge,
with very few comforts in it, but containing
a desk, strongly and securely fastened, in
which was his savings-bank book and his
receipts for money put out at interest, and a
bag of sovereigns, for which he had been
toiling and slaving both on Sundays and
week-days. He could not remember giving
anything away, except the dregs of the coffee
and the stale buns, for which Jessica was
asking God to pay him. He coughed, and
cleared his throat, and rubbed his eyes; and
then, with nervous and hesitating fingers, he
took a penny from his bag, and slipped it
into Jessica’s hand.

‘No, no, Mr. Dan’el,’ she said; ‘I don’t
HARD QUESTIONS 61

want you to give me any of your pennies. I
want God to pay you.’

‘Ay, He'll pay me,’ muttered Daniel ;
‘ there'll be a day of reckoning by-and-by.’

‘Does God have reckoning days ?’ asked
Jessica, ‘I used to like reckoning days
when I was a fairy.’

‘Ay, ay,’ he answered ; ‘but there’s few
folks like God’s reckoning days.’
‘But youll be glad, won’t you?’ she
said.

Daniel bade her get on with her breakfast,
and then he turned over in his mind the
_ thoughts which her questions had awakened.
Conscience told him he would not be glad to
meet God’s reckoning day.

‘Mr. Dan’el,’ said Jessica when they
were about to separate, and he would not take

back his gift of a penny, ‘if you wouldn’t
62. : JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

mind, I'd like to come and buy a cup of coffee
to-morrow, like a customer, you know; and
I won't let out a word about the stall to the
minister next Sunday, don’t you be afraid.’
She tied the penny carefully into a corner
of her rags, and with a cheerful smile upon
her thin face she glided from under the
shadow of the bridge, and was soon lost to

Daniel’s sight.




AN UNEXPECTED

A (GaeTER VIL





VISITOR.
" | HEN Jessica came to

the street into which













the court where she lived
opened, she saw an un-
usual degree of excite-
ment among the inhabitants, a group of
whom were gathered about a tall gentleman,
whom she recognised in an instant to be the
minister. She elbowed her way through the
midst of them, and the minister’s face bright-
ened as she presented herself before him. He
followed her up the low entry, across the
squalid court, through the stable, empty of
64 “JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

the donkeys just then, up the creaking rounds
of the ladder, and into the miserable loft,
where the tiles were falling in, and the broken
‘window-panes were stuffed with rags and
paper. Near to the old rusty stove, which
served as a grate when there was any fire,
there: was a short board laid across some
bricks, and upon this the minister took his
seat, while Jessica sat upon the floor ‘before
him. of

© Jegsica,’ he said sadly, ‘is this where
you live ?’

‘Yes,’ she answered ; ‘but we'd a nicer
room than this when I was a fairy, and mother
played at the theatre; we shall be better. off
when I’m grown up, if I’m pretty enough to
play like her.’

‘My child,’ he said, ‘ ?m come to ask your

mother to let you go to school in a pleasant
AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR 65

place down in the country. Will she let
you go?’

‘No, answered Jessica; ‘mother says
she'll never let me learn to read, or go to
church ; she says it would make me good for
nothing. But please, sir, she doesn’t know
anything about your church, it’s such a long
way off, and she hasn’t found me out yet.
She always gets very drunk of a Sunday.’

The child spoke simply, and as if all
she said was a matter of course; but the
minister shuddered, and he looked through
the broken window to the little patch of
gloomy sky overhead.

‘What can I do?’ he cried mournfully, as
though speaking to himself.

‘ Nothing, please, sir,’ said Jessica ; ‘only
let me come to hear you of a Sunday, and

tell me about God. If you was to give me

E
66 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

fine clothes like your little girls, mother ’ud

only pawn them for gin. You can’t do any-

thing more for me.’











BAy)

‘Where is your mother ?’



he asked.
‘Out on a spree,’ said Jessica,
‘and she won't be home for a day or
two. She'd not hearken to you, sir. There’s
the missionary came, and she pushed him

down the ladder, till he was nearly killed.
AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR 67

They used to call mother the Vixen at the
theatre, and nobody durst say a word to her.’
The minister was silent for some minutes,
thinking painful thoughts, for his eyes seemed
to darken as he looked round the miserable
room, and his face wore an air of sorrow and
disappointment. At last he spoke again.

‘Who is Mr. Daniel, Jessica ?’ he in-
quired.

‘Oh,’ she said cunningly, ‘he’s only a
friend of mine as gives me sups of coffee.
You don’t know all the folks in London,
sir!’

No,’ he answered, smiling; ‘but does
he keep a coffee-stall?’

Jessica nodded her head, but did not trust
herself to speak.

‘How much does a cup of coffee cost ?’
asked the minister.

BQ
68 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

‘A full cup’s a penny,’ she answered
promptly; ‘but you can have half acup ; and
there are halfpenny and penny buns.’

‘Good coffee and buns?’ he said, with
another smile.

‘Prime,’ replied Jessica, smacking her
lips. :

‘Well,’ continued the minister, ‘tell your
friend to give you a full cup of coffee and
a penny bun every morning, and I'll pay for |
them as often as he chooses to come to me
for the money.’

Jessica’s face beamed with delight, but in
an instant it clouded over as she recollected
Daniel’s secret, and her lips quivered as she
spoke her disappointed reply.

‘Please, sir, she said, ‘I’m sure he
couldn’t come; oh! he couldn’t. It’s such

a long way, and Mr. Daniel has plenty of
. AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR 69

customers. No, he never would come to you
for the money.’

‘Jessica,’ he answered, ‘I will tell you
what I will do. I will trust you with a
shillmg every Sunday, if you’ll promise to
give it to your friend the very first time you
see him. I shall be sure to know if you
cheat me.” And the keen, piercing eyes of
the minister looked down into Jessica’s, and
once more the tender and pitying smile re-
turned to his face.

‘TI can do nothing else for you ?’ he said,
in a tone of mingled sorrow and questioning.

‘No, minister,’ answered Jessica ; ‘only
tell me about God.’

‘TI will tell you one thing about Him now,’
he replied. ‘If I took you to live in my
house with my little daughters, you would

have to be washed and clothed in new
70 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

clothing to make you fit for it... God wanted
us to go and live at home with Him in
heaven, but we were so sinful that we could
never have been fit for it. So He sent His
own Son to live amongst us, and die for us,
to wash us from our sins, and to give us new
clothing, and to make us ready to live in
God’s house. When you ask God for
anything, you must say, “For Ji esus Christ's
sake.” Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’
After these words the minister carefully
descended the ladder, followed by Jessica’s
bare and nimble feet, and she led him by the
nearest way into one of the great thorough-
fares of the city, where he said good-bye to
her, adding, ‘God bless you, my child,’ in a
tone which sank into Jessica’s heart. He
had put a silver sixpence into her hand to

provide for her breakfast the next three
AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR 71

mornings, and, with a feeling of being very
rich, she returned to her miserable home.

The next morning Jessica presented
herself proudly as a customer at Daniel’s
stall, and paid over the sixpence in advance.
He felt a little troubled as he heard her
story, lest the minister should endeavour to
find him out; but he could not refuse to
let the child come daily for her comfortable
breakfast. If he was detected, he would
promise to give up his coffee-stall rather than
offend the great people of the chapel; but
unless he was, it would be foolish of him to

lose the money it brought in weck after week.


JESSICA’S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED.

A} VERY Sunday evening the bare-
"footed and bareheaded child might
be seen advancing confidently up to the chapel
where rich and fashionable people worshipped
God ; but before taking her place she arrayed
herself in a little cloak and bonnet, which
had once belonged to the minister’s elder
daughter, and which was kept with Daniel’s
serge gown, so that she presented a some-

what more respectable appearance in the eyes
JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED 73

of the congregation. The minister had no
listener more attentive, and he would have
missed the pinched, earnest little face if it
were not to be seen in the seat just under the
pulpit. At the close of each service he spoke to
her for a minute or two in his vestry, often
saying no more than a single sentence, for the
day’s labour had wearied him. The shilling,
which was always lying upon the chimney-
piece, placed there by Jane and Winny in turns,
was immediately handed over, according to
promise, to Daniel as she left the chapel, and
so Jessica’s breakfast was provided for her
week after week.

But at last there came a Sunday evening
when the minister, going up into his pulpit,
did miss the wistful, hungry face, and the
shilling lay unclaimed upon the vestry chim-

ney-piece. Daniel looked out for her
74 JEHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

anxiously every morning, but no Jessica
glided into his secluded corner, to sit beside
him with her breakfast on her lap, and with
a number of strange questions to ask. He
felt her absence more keenly than he could
have expected. The child was nothing to
him, he kept saying to himself; and yet he
felt that she was something, and that he could
not help being uneasy and anxious about her.
Why had he never inquired where she lived ? |
The minister knew, and for a minute Daniel
thought he would go and ask him, but that
might awaken suspicion. How could he ac-
count for so much anxiety, when he was
supposed only to know of her absence from
chapel one Sunday evening ? It would be
running a risk, and, after all, Jessica was
nothing to him. So he went home and

looked over his savings-bank book, and
JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED 15

counted his money, and he found, to his
satisfaction, that he had gathered together
nearly four hundred pounds, and was adding
more every week.

But when upon the next Sunday Jessica’s
seat was again empty, the anxiety of the
solemn chapel-keeper overcame his prudence
and his fears. The minister had retired to
his vestry, and was standing with his arm
resting upon the chimney-piece, with his eyes
fixed upon the unclaimed shilling, which
Winny had laid there before the service,
when there was a tap at the door, and
Daniel entered with a respectful but hesi-
tating air.

‘Well, Standring ?’ said the minister
questioningly. .

‘Sir,’ he said, ‘I’m uncomfortable about

that little girl, and I know you've been once
76 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

to see after her ; she told me about it ;. and
so I make bold to ask you where she lives,
and [ll see what’s become of her.’

‘Right, Standring,’ answered the minister:
‘Tam troubled about the child, and so are
my little girls. I thought of going myself,
but my time is very much occupied just now.’

‘Tll go, sir, replied Daniel promptly ;
and, after receiving the necessary information
about Jessica’s home, he put out the lights,
locked the door, and turned towards his lonely
lodgings,

But though it was getting late upon
Sunday evening, and Jessica’s home was a
long way distant, Daniel found that his
anxiety would not suffer him to return to
his solitary room. It was of no use to reason
with himself, as he stood at the corner of

the street, feeling perplexed and troubled, and
JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED Ti

promising his conscience that he would go
the very first thing in the morning after he
shut up his coffee-stall. In the dim, dusky light,
as the summer evening drew to a close, he
fancied he could see Jessica’s thin figure and
wan face gliding on before him, and turning
round from time to time to see if he were
following. It was only fancy, and he laughed
a little at himself; but the laugh was husky,
and there was a choking sensation in his
throat, so he buttoned his Sunday coat over
his breast, where his silver watch and chain
hung temptingly, and started off at a rapid
pace for the centre of the city.

It was not quite dark when he reached .
the court, and stumbled up the narrow entry
leading to it; but Daniel did hesitate when
he opened the stable door, and looked into a

blank, black space, in which he could discern
78 JHUSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

nothing. He thought he had better retreat
while he could do so safely, but, as he still
stood with his hand upon the rusty latch, he
heard a faint, small voice through the nicks’
of the unceiled boarding above his head.

‘Our Father,’ said the little voice, ‘ please
to send somebody to me, for Jesus Christ’s
sake, Amen.’

‘I’m here, Jess,’ cried Daniel, with a
sudden bound of his heart, such as he had
not felt for years, and which almost took
away his breath as he peered into the dark-
ness, until at last he discerned dimly the
ladder which led up into the loft.

Very cautiously, but with an eagerness
which surprised himself, he climbed up the
creaking rounds of the ladder and entered
the dismal room, where the child was lying

in desolate darkness. Fortunately he had
JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED 179

put his box of matches into his pocket, and
the end of a wax candle with which ‘he
kindled the lamps, and in another minute a
gleam of light shone upon Jessica’s white.
features. She was stretched upon a scanty
litter of straw under the slanting roof where
the tiles had not fallen off, with her poor
rags for her only covering ; but as her eyes
looked up into Daniel’s face bending over her,
a bright smile of joy sparkled in them.

‘Oh!’ she cried gladly, but in a feeble
voice, ‘it’s Mr. Dan’el! Has God told you
to come here, Mr. Dan’el ?’

‘Yes,’ said Daniel, kneeling beside her,
taking her wasted hand in his, and parting
the matted hair upon her damp forehead.

‘What did He say to you, Mr. Dan’el ?’
said Jessica.

‘He told me I was a great sinner,’ replied
80 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

Daniel. ‘He told me I loved a little bit of
dirty money better than a poor, friendless,
helpless child, whom He had sent to me to
see if I would do her a little good for His
sake. He looked at me, or the minister did,
through and through ; and He said, “ Thou
fool, this night thy soul shall be required of
thee: then whose shall those things be which
thou hast provided ?” And I could answer
Him nothing, Jess. He was come to a
reckoning with me, and I could not say a
word to Him.’

‘Aren’t you a good man, Mr. Dan’el?’
whispered Jessica.

‘No, I’m a wicked sinner,’ he cried, while
the tears rolled down his solemn face. ‘I’ve
been constant at God’s house, but only to get
money ; I’ve been steady and industrious, but

only to get money ; and now God looks at
JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED 81

me, and He says, “Thou fool!” Oh, Jess,
Jess! youre more fit for heaven than I ever
was in my life.’

‘Why don’t you ask Him to make you
good for Jesus Christ’s sake ?’ asked the
child.

‘T can’t, he said. ‘I’ve been kneeling
down Sunday after Sunday when the minister’s
been praying, but all the time I was thinking
how rich some of the carriage people were.
TPve been loving money and worshipping
money all along, and I’ve nearly let you die
rather than run the risk of losing part of my
earnings. I’m a very sinful man.’

‘But you know what the minister often
says,’ murmured Jessica. ‘‘* Herein is love,
not that we loved God, but that He loved us,
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for

our sins,’’’
82 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

‘T’ve heard it so often that I don’t feel it,’
said Daniel. ‘I used to like to hear the
minister say it, but now it goes in at one ear
and out at the other. My heart is very hard,
Jessica.’

By the feeble glimmer of the candle Daniel
saw Jessica’s wistful eyes fixed upon him with
a sad and loving glance ;-and'then she lifted
up her weak hand to her face, and laid it
over her closed eyelids, and her feverish lips
moved slowly.

‘God,’ she said, ‘please to make Mr.
Daniel’s heart soft, for Jesus Christ’s sake.
Amen,’

She did not speak again, nor Daniel, for
some time. He took off his Sunday coat and
laid it over the tiny shivering frame, which
was shaking with cold even in the summer

evening ; and as he did so he remembered the
JHUSSICA'S FIRST PRAYER ANSWERED 88

words which the Lord says He will pronounce
at the last day of reckoning: ‘ Forasmuch as
ye have done it unto one of the least of these
My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.’
Daniel Standring felt his heart turning with
love to the Saviour, and he bowed his head
upon his hands, and cried in the depths of his
contrite spirit, ‘God be merciful to me a

sinner !’
CHAPTER X

_ THE SHADOW OF







DEATH.

HERE was
no coffee-stall _
opened under

the railway arch the

following morning,
and Daniel’s regular
customers stood amazed as they drew near the
empty corner, where they were accustomed
to get their early breakfast. It would have
astonished them still more if they could have
seen how he was occupied in the miserable loft.

He had entrusted a friendly woman out of the
THE SHADOW OF DEATH 85

court to buy food and fuel, and all night long
he had watched beside Jessica, who was light-
headed and delirious, but in the wanderings
of her thoughts and words often spoke of God,
and prayed for her Mr. Dan’el. The neighbour
informed him that the child’s mother had gone
off some days before, fearing that she was ill
of some infectious fever, and that she, alone,
had taken a little care of her from time to
time. As soon as the morning came he sent
for a doctor, and, after receiving permission
from him, he wrapped the poor deserted
Jessica in his coat, and bearing her tenderly
in his arms down the ladder, he carried her
to a cab, which the neighbour brought to the
entrance of the court. It was to no other
than his own solitary home that he had
resolved to take her; and when the mistress

of the lodgings stood at her door, with her
- JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

86

arms a-kimbo, to forbid the admission of the

alf-
which °
slipped



etched
glected child,
tongue was
m of ah
eign,
hard hand.

8
aniel

e
er
into.the palm of

silenced by the
her

ee
n

h

gle
sover
D



SS = =~
SS SSSR

SS Sa SS SSSR SRS
SSS
SSS SSS =< SoS =<

aa



SSaet



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By that after-



s post the

’

hoon

ster received the following letter

mini


THH SHADOW OF DEATH 87

‘ REVEREND SIR,

‘If you will condescend to enter under
my humble roof, you will have the pleasure
of seeing little Jessica, who is at the point of
death, unless God in His mercy restores her.
Hoping you will excuse this liberty, as I
cannot leave the child, I remain, with duty,

‘ Your respectful Servant,

‘D, STANDRING.

‘P.S.—Jessica desires her best love and

duty to Miss Jane and Winny.’

The minister laid aside the book he was
reading, and without any delay started off for
his chapel-keeper’s dwelling. There was
Jessica lying restfully upon Daniel’s bed, but
the pinched features were deadly pale, and
the sunken eyes shone with a waning light.

She was too feeble to turn her head when
88 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

the door opened, and he paused for a minute,
looking at her and at Daniel, who, seated at
the head of the bed, was turning over the
papers in his desk, and reckoning up once
more the savings of his lifetime. But when
the minister advanced into the middle of the
room, Jessica’s white cheeks flushed into a
deep red.

‘Oh, minister!’ she cried, ‘ God has given
me everything I wanted except paying
Mr. Dan’el for the coffee he used to give
me.’

‘Ah! but God has paid me over and over
again,’ said Daniel, rising to receive the
minister. ‘He’s given me my own soul in
exchange for it. Let me make bold to speak
to you this once, sir. You're a very learned
man, and a great preacher, and many people

flock to hear you till ’'m hard put to it to
THE SHADOW OF DEATE 89

find seats for them at times; but all the
while, hearkening to you every blessed
Sabbath, I was losing my soul, and you never
once said to me, though you saw me scores
and scores of times, “Standring, are you a
saved man ?”’’

‘ Standring,’ said the minister, in a tone of
great distress and regret, ‘ I always took it for
granted that you were a Christian,’

‘Ah!’ continued Daniel thoughtfully,
‘but God wanted somebody to ask me that
question, and He did not find anybody in the
congregation, so He sent this poor little lass
tome. Well, I don’t mind telling now, even
if I lose the-place ; but for a long time, nigh
upon ten years, I’ve kept a coffee-stall on week
days in the city, and cleared, one week with
another, about ten shillings ; but I was afraid

the chapel-wardens wouldn’t approve of the
90 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

coffee business, as low, so I kept it a close
secret, and always shut up early of a morning.
It’s me that sold Jessica her cup of coffee
which you paid for, sir.’

‘ There’s no harm in it, my good fellow,’
‘said the minister kindly; ‘you need make
no secret of it.’ .

‘Well,’ resumed Daniel, ‘the questions
this poor little creature has asked me have
gone quicker and deeper down to my con-
science than all your sermons, if I may make so

_free as to say it. She’s come often and often
of a morning, and looked into my face with
those dear eyes of hers, and said, ‘ Don’t you
love Jesus Christ, Mr. Dan’el ?” “ Doesn’t
it make you very glad that God is your Father,
Mr. Dan’el ?” “ Are we getting nearer heaven
every day, Mr. Dan’el ?” And one day, says

she, “ Are you going to give all your money
THE SHADOW OF DEATH 91

to God, Mr. Dan’el?” Ah! that question
made me think indeed, and it’s never been
answered till this day. While I’ve been
sitting beside the bed here I’ve counted
up all my savings: 3971. 17s. it is; and
I’ve said, “Lord, it’s all Thine; and I’d
give every penny of it rather than lose the
child, if it be Thy blessed will to spare her
life.” ’

Daniel’s voice quavered at the last words,
and his face sank upon the pillow where
Jessica’s feeble and motionless head lay.
There was a very sweet, yet surprised smile
upon her face, and she lifted her wasted
fingers to rest upon the bowed head beside
her, while she shut her eyes and shaded them
with her other weak hand.

‘Our Father,’ she said in a faint whisper,

which still reached the ears of the minister
02 JHSSICA’S FIRST PRAYER

Z

and the beadle, ‘I asked You to let me come

home to heaven ; but if Mr. Dan’el wants me,






i



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3 LLL,










Yo

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it
HA

i Wy, oH)

a as

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LEE
LE

A Gn, LL,



s , Ui
EG

i
I

please to let me





y



stay a little longer,
for Jesus Christ’s
sake. Amen.’

For some min-
| utes after Jessica’s
prayer there was

a deep and unbroken silence in the room,
THE SHADOW OF DEATH 98

Daniel still hiding his face upon the pillow,
and the minister standing beside them with
bowed head and closed eyes, as if he also
were praying. When he looked up again at
the forsaken and desolate child, he saw that
her feeble hand had fallen from her face, which
looked full of rest and peace, while her breath
came faintly, but regularly, through her
parted lips. He took her little hand into his
own with a pang of fear and grief; but, in-
stead of the mortal chillness of death, he felt
the pleasant warmth and moisture of life. He
touched Daniel’s shoulder, and, as he lifted up
his head in sudden alarm, he whispered to
him, ‘The child is not dead, but is only
asleep.’ -

Before Jessica was fully recovered, Daniel
rented a little house for himself and his
adopted daughter to dwell in. He made
94 JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER

many inquiries after her mother, but she
never appeared again in her old haunts, and
he was well pleased that there was nobody to
interfere with his charge of Jessica. When
Jessica grew strong enough, many a cheerful
walk had they together in the early mornings,
as they wended their way to the railway bridge,
where the little girl took her place behind the
stall, and soon learned to serve the daily cus-
tomers ; and many a happy day was spent in
helping to sweep and dust the chapel, into
which she had crept so secretly at first, her
great delight being. to attend to the pulpit
and the vestry, and the pew where the
minister’s children sat, while Daniel and the
woman he employed cleaned the rest of the
building. Many a Sunday also the minister
in his pulpit, and his little daughters in their
pew, and Daniel treading softly about the
THE SHADOW OF DEATH 95

aisles, as their glance fell upon Jessica’s eager,
earnest, happy face, thought of the first
time they saw her sitting amongst the congre-

gation, and of Jessica’s first prayer.

THE END.

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rortAce AT JOPPA-

AY
on paorgenaPHs
[uc usTRATE? ms Cecil VSHAP

JUST PUBLISHED.

WALKS IN PALESTINE.

The letterpress by HENRY A. Harper, author of “Illustrated
Letters to my Children from the Holy Land,” etc. Illustrated by twenty-
four photogravures from photographs taken by C. V. SuHApzoit, Esq.
Royal Quarto. 25s. bevelled boards, gilt edges.

N.B.—Of this book there is also an edition ‘de luxe, limited to 100 copies. The
plates are on India paper, the letterpress on hand-made paper, and the volume
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This volume forms a superb gift-book and souvenrt of the Holy Land. Mr.
Shadbolt’s photographs are of the highest merit, and they have been most beauti-
fully reproduced by Messrs. Annan and Swan. The letterpress is from the pen of
Mr. Harper, who has lived in Palestine, and is familiar with every spot shown inthe
illustrations.

THE LANDS OF SCRIPTURE.
Illustrated by Pen and Pencil. Containing “Those Holy Fields”

and ‘*The Land of the Pharaohs,” by Samuven Manyine, Lu.p.; and
“Pictures from Bible Lands,?? by S. G. Green, p.p. Imperial 8vo. 21s
handsomely bound in cloth gilt.

This elegantly bound and profusely illustrated volume forms a very suitable
Presentation Book to a Minister, Sunday-school Superintendent, or Teacher. It
gives, in a concise and interesting form, a large amount of information about the
places mentioned in Scripture, such as would prove of great service to every Bible
student.


[8
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ILLUSTRATED TABLE BOOKS.

Imperial 8vo0 pp. (size of page, 11 by Th inches), beautifully Illustrated,
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By RICHARD LOVETT, M.A.

Author of “ Norwegian Pic-
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over one hundred Tilustrations
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Italian Pictures. Drawn with Pen and Pencil. By SAMUEL
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Profusely Illustrated. New Edition. 8s. handsome cloth gilt; or 25s. in
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French Pictures. Drawn with Pen and Pencil. By Dr.
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or 24s. in morocco elegant. ‘5

5 “ Gives a graphic notion of the general aspeet of France and its inhabitants,””—

Standard.

Pictures from the German Fatherland. Drawn with Pen
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“We can recommend the work asa capital and cheap present.” —Art Journal

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4)

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English Pictures. Drawn with Pen and Pencil. By SAMUEL
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numerous Wood Engravings. 8s, handsome cloth, or 25s. in morocco.

“Next to seeing the beautiful places of the earth comes the delight of reading of them: and
many a one who is doomed to begin and end his days within a ‘ cribbed, cabined, and confined
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streams, or over the breezy moorlands,”—Z'tines, E



Beige 3 es g
Senko 2 Beg PRES
SVEao § Sabeohcat
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AS ba Qgewsi a
So Et ko og eck
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Canadian Pictures. Drawn with
Pen and Pencil. By the Marquis or
Lorne. With numerous fine engravings
by E. Whymper, from Sketches by the
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$s, extra cloth boards gilt; or 25s. bound in
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“Most int fing —an extremely pleasant
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Australian Pictures, Drawn with
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of the Melbourne Argus.’ Witha large
Map and Mlustrations from Photographs
and Sketches, engraved by E. Whymper
and others, Tmperial 8vo, §s., handsome
cloth, gilt edges Ss. Morocen clegant.

“These pictures are real, vivid, and life-like.

They are written by a man who belongs to the

scenes and the people. The book, therefore,

will be a fitting memorial to tourists of what
they have seen, and will at the same time be in-
structive to untravelled people.”-d ustralasian,







Indian Pictures. Drawn with Pen
and Pencil. By the Rey. Wir1iam Ur-
Profusely [lustrated. Ss,

oth gilt: 25s. moroe:
“he Sue i ir execllent
Viecures’ (¥ as included mw
siderable part of the world), has not given to
the public a better excented or more interesting

volume than this.’ Spectator,



handsome








|



Sea Pictures. By Dr. Macaurnay,
Editor of the Leigure Hour, &e. Contain-
ing the Sea in Poetry, Ph g
of the Sea, the Sea in History, and the
Harvest of the Sea. 8s,,in handsome cloth ;
or 243. in morocco elegant.

Mr. Ruskin says:—‘This beautiful book is
by far the best I have ever seen on the subject,
aad will be a most precious gift-book for me.”

“Those Holy Fields.” Palestine
Illustrated by Pen and Pencil. By the

B MUEL Manning. LL.D. With
Bneravings. $3., handsome cloth
58, morocco.

Pictures from Bible Lands.
Drawn with Pen and Pencil. Edited by
the Rev. S.G, Green, DD. The Engra-
vings by Edward Whymper and others,
8s., handsome cloth gilt ; 25s. morocco,

New Edition. Just Published.

The Land of the Pharaohs.
Egypt and Sinai. Dlustrated by Pen and
Pencil. By the Inte Rev. SamuKL Man-
NING, LL.D. With numerous fine En-
gravings 8s, handsome cloth gilt; or 25s.
in morocco, :

Swiss Pictures.
and Pencil, By Saxe
With numerous MWustrations.
some cloth gilt; 25s, morocco,






Drawn with Pen
Ine, LL.D,
&s., hand-








Her
Life

and

——,» Reign.




e

By Dr. Macaunay, Author of “Sea Pictures,” “Luther Aneedotes,” “Gordon

Anecdotes,’’ ete.
by Edward Whymper and others.

With Five Portraits of the Queen, and Sixty Engravings
Small Quarto,

10s. 6d., cloth, gilt edges.

“The author's endeavour has been to recall those qualities in the personal character of
the Queen and the incidents in her life which have most endeared her to her peopie.”—

illustrated London Newa,

* It is a beautifully printed an very prettily illustrated volume, and is admir able in tone

and feeling.”-—A then@u%.

“A very acceptable gift-book.”—Stamfard Mercury.

By Poet and Artist.

4to., 6s., cloth boards gilt.

2 |
33s
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An elegant book, most appropriate for Seasonable

Presentation.
WHYMPER.

£
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Winter Pictures.
editor, whose choice
Illustrated London

accoraanee

The Harvest of a Quiet
Evyx; or, Leisure Thoughts for
Busy Lives. By the Rev. J. RB.
Vernon, M.A. With numerous En-
gravings. New Edit:on. 6s. 6d.
cloth, gilt edges,

“never saw anything more gracefully or
anore rightly done—more harmoniously

leasant in text and illustration.” ~ Mfr.
uskin, :

Ingleside and Wayside
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“The Harvest of a Quiet Eye.”
6s. cloth gilt.

Random Truths in Common
Turnes. Occasional Papers from mv
Study Chair. By the Rev. J. RB.
VERNON, M.A., author of ‘ The
Harvest of a Quiet. Eye.’ Tlustra-
tio s, 7s. clotn gilt.

“ It seems even -better than ‘The Harvest
of a Quiet Rye.” ’—Mr. Ruskin.
“Should be t to Wordswortii on










dunoé 0} quesord
UB YOO SUEY,»
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“a

The Life of Jesus Christ the
Saviour. ByMrs.S. Warson. With
many fine Engravings. 5s, cloth.

‘' For young people to read, or to helpa teacher
in lighting up a narrative of the one perfect life,
and interesting young people in all its parts and
details, we have seen no better volume of the
kind than this.”—Methodist Recorder.

Dr. Stoughton’s Reformation Books,

The Spanish Reformers,
their Memoriesand Dwelling Places.
By Dr. Sroucuron. Finely Mlus-
trated. 8. handsome cloth gilt,

“ A most interesting and instructive volume.’
Spectator. :
Footprints of Italian Re-

Formers. By Dr. Strovearon. Finely
Ulustrated. 8s, handsome cloth gilf,

“A very charming and useful gift-book.”—
Conyregaiionalixt.

Homes and Haunts of
Lurmer. By Dr. sroverton.
Finely Hiustrated, 8s. handsome


6]

RB USEFUL SET FOR PRESENTATION

To a Minister or Sunday School Teacher.

IGHT FROM MONUMENTS
EGYPT AND SYR!
ASSYRIA
DWELLERS on
DISEASES OF BIBLE
-REES OF BIBLE.
ANIMALS OF RIBLE.

BABYLONIAN LIF
GALILEE IN TIME OF CHRIST.

“TEMPLE HILL ATJERUSALEM SS

wi
a
ut
lil
—
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o
q
a
oO
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a
Ls)



By-Paths of Bible Rnotuledge.

“The volumes which the Tract Society is issuing under the above title fully
deserve success. They have been entrusted to scholars who have a special
acquaintance with the sbi ects about which they severally treat.”’— The Atheneum.

1. Cleopatra’s Needle. By the Rev. J. Kine, Lecturer for the
Palestine Exploration Fund, ‘With Ilustrations. 2s. "ed.
2. Fresh Light from the Ancient Monuments. By A. H.

Saycr, LL.p., Deputy Professor of Comparative Philology, Seti, ete.
With Facsimiles from Photographs... 3s.

Recent Discoveries on the Temple Hill at Jerusalem.
By the Rev. J. Kine, u.a., Lecturer for the Palestine Exploration Fund.
With Maps, Plans, and Iustrations. 2s, 6d.

. Babylonian Life and History. By E. A. Wauuis Bupes,
au.a., Cambridge, Assistant in the Department of Oriental ‘Antiquities,
British Museum. 3s.

oo

ie

a

Galilee in the Time of Christ. By SmLan MprRiLu, D.D.,
Author of “East of the Jordan.” With a Map. 2s, Gd.

6. Egypt and Syria. Their Physical Features in Relation
to Bible History. By Sir J. W. Dawson, r.a.s., rns, With many Illustra~
tions. 3s.

7. Assyria: Its Princes, Priests, and People. By A. H.
Saycn, M.a., LL.D. Illustrated. 3s.

8. The Dwellers on the Nile, Chapters on the Life, Literature,

History, and Customs of Ancient Egypt. By E, A. Waniis Bupex, M.a., of
the British Museum. Illustrated, 3s.

The Diseases of the Bible. By Sir J, Rrspon BEnnett,
M.D., P.R.S., Ex-President of the Royal College of Physicians. 2s. 6d.

10. Trees and Plants of the Bible. By W. H. Grosmr, B.Sc.

Illustrated. Crown 8vo. 3s. cloth.

11. Animals of the Bible. By H. Cuicuusrmr Hart, B.A,
Naturalist to Sir G. Nares’ Arctic Expedition and Professor Hull’s Palestine
Expedition, Illustrated. Crown 8vo. 3s.

oe
at

[
HANDSOME GIFT-BOOKS

Â¥F

Poung Men and Maidens.

Girl’s Own Indoor Book.
Edited by Cartes Perrers.
528 pages, 84 X 64, With over one
hundred and fifty illustrations, 8s.
cloth, gilt edges.

Containing practical helps to Girls
in all matters relating to their
material comfort and moral well-
being. By the Author of ‘‘ How to
be Happy though Married,’ Dora
de Blaquiere, Dora Hope, Marie
Karger, Lady Macfarren, Lady
Lindsay, Ernst Pauer, Sir John
Stainer, the Hon. Victoria Gros-
venor, John C. Staples, Canon
Fleming, ‘‘ Medicus,”? Ruth Lamb,
Sophia Caulfeild, and many others.



Indoor Games and Recrea-
tions. A popular Encyclopedia
for Boys. Edited by G A.
Hurtcuison. Including chapters by
J. N. Masxutyne, Lieut.- Col.
Curnent, Dr. Gorpon SraBizs,
RN. Rev. A. N. Manan, ma.,
C. © Stawsrigtp - Hicks, Dr.
SrrapuinG, and others. “ Boy’s
Own Bookshelf.” Vol, VIII.
With many Engravings. Quarto.
8s. cloth boards, gilt edges. A
splendid Gift-Book or Prize for
Boys. 528 pages, 8} X 64.



The Handy Natural His-
tory. By the Rev. J. G. Woop,
author of “Homes without
Hands,” etc., etc. 368 pages, 8 X 64
With 224 Engravings, 8s. cloth
boards, gilt edges.

* A delightful book, and will make
a very handsome and enviable
high-class prize or present.”—
Schoot Board Chronicle.

‘*A handsome volume, in which the
author, a well-known naturalist,
tells his readers in simple, un-
technical language the habits and
nature of birds, beasts, and rep-
tiles, Mr, Wood’s style is excel~
lently adapted for attracting the
interest and insuring the attention
of even ordinarily careless rea-
ders.’— Dail.


i 8

THE SUNFLOWERS SERIES

OF STORIES FOR ALL READERS.



This is a Series of Books intended for adults rather than children. Large num-
bers of young people, as well as readers of older growth, give up much of their
time to fiction. This Series supplies books which not only interest as well-written
Stories that afford studies of character and descriptions of events and- scenes likely
to rivet the attention, but which also stimulate the serious thought, and develop
the better nature of those into whose hands they fall, t

The Manse of Glen Clunie. By
Ecranron Txornse, author of “The Old
Worcester Jug,” “The Two Crowns,”
etc. Illustrated by Cuartes WuYMrER,
Crown 8vo, 3s. 6d. cloth.

Two Enthusiasts. By E.

Everrertr Green, Illustrated by
Epwarp Wuyarrer, Crown 8vo. 5s.
cloth boards.

Barbara’s Brothers. By E.
Evrererr Green, Author of ‘‘ Lenore
Annandale’s Story,” ‘* Joint Guardians,”
etc. Illustrated by R, and E. Tavior.
Crown 8vo, 4s, cloth boards.

Joint Guardians. By E.
Everert Green. Illustrated. 5s. cloth.

Joyce Graham’s History ; or,
Overcoming Evil with Good. By H. A.
Gowrtne. INustrated. Crown 8vo. 3s.6d.

Another King. By Janer EDEN.
Illustrated by E,. Wayurrer. Crown 8vo.
3s. 6d. cloth.

The Head of the House. A Story of Victory over Passion and
Pride. By E. E. Green. Illustrated. Crown 8vo, 5s.

Ida Nicolari. By Eezanton Tuorns. Illustrated. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d.

The Old Manuscript ; or, Anaise Robineau’s History. A Tale
of the Huguenots of La Vendée. By Buancne M. Moceripcr. Illustrated
by E. Wuymprr. Crown 8vo. 5s. cloth,

Young Sir Richard. By H.
Freperick Coaruns. Illustrated. Crown
8vo. 5s. eloth, :

Maddalena, the Waldensian
MaipEn AND HER Peorie. Translated by
Juiz Surrer. Mlustrated. Crown 8vo.
3s. 6d. cloth.

Turning Points; or, Two Years
in Maud Vernon’s Life, By L. C. Siuke.
Illustrated. Crown 8vo, 38s. 6d. cloth.

Reaping the Whirlwind. A Story
of Three Lives. Illustrated. Crown 8vo.
3s. 6d. cloth, .

One Day at aTime. By BLANCHE
E.M.Greve. Tlustrated by E. Waymurer.
Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. cloth,

The Mistress of Lydgate
Priory; or, the Story of a Long Life.
By Evetry E. Green. Crown 8yo. is.

The Two Crowns. By Eeuanton
Tuorns. With Illustrations. Crown 8vo.
8s. 6d. cloth,

Lenore Annandale’s Story. By Everyn E. Green. With
Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 5s. cloth, ,

Carola. By HesBA STRETTON. With Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d,

Sunflowers. A Story of To-day. By G.C.Gupex. Illustrated,
Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. cloth. :




[9

ILLUSTRATED ANNUALS

FOR PRESENTATION.

ar ly BW py ery | rr
Goe Leisure Hour.
Annual Volume for 1888.
“ Benold in these what Jeisure hours demand Amuse-
ment and true knowledge hand in hand.”?

Tur VorvmME ror 1888 of this Monthly Maga-
zine fur Family and ‘General Reading contains 856
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with numerous Illustracions by Eminent Artists.
It forms a handsome Book for Presentation,
and an appropriate and instructive volume for
a School or College Prize. Price 7s. in cloth
boards ; 8s. 6d. extra boards, gilt edges; 10s. 6d.
hali-bound in calf.




he Sunday at Home.
Annual Volume for 1888.

AN ILLUSTRATED FAMILY MAGAZINE FOR
SABBATH READING.

Tris VonumME For 1888 forms a very suitable
Look for Presentation. It contains 828 pages,
imperial 8vo (11 X 74), with a great variety of

. Interesting and Instructive Sabbath ‘Reading for
every Member of the Family. It is profusely
illustrated by Coloured and Wood Engravings,
Price 7s. cloth boards; 8s. 6d. extra boards,
gilt edges; -10s. 6d. half-bound in calf.



oo ly rel? A a Ayana
Che Grl’s Own Annual.

The Ninth Volume of “ The Girl’s Own Paper,”
—containing 848 Demy 4to (11 X 8}) pages of
interesting and useful reading. Stories by popu-
lar writers; Music by eminent composers ; Prac-
tical Papers for Young Housekeepers; Medical
Papers by a well-known practitioner; Needle-
work, plain and fancy; Helpful Papers for
Christian Girls; Papers on Rousonable and Sea-
sonable Dress, etc., ete. Profusely illustrated.
Price 8s. in handsome cloth; 9s. 6d, with gilt
edges; 12s,'6d. half-morocco,

FOR 1888.

The Tenth Annual Volume of the “ Boy’s Own
Paper.” Containing 848 large pages (112 x 84)
of Tates of Schoolboy Lite, and of Adventure on
Land and Sea; Outdoor and Indoor Games for
every Season: Perilous Adventures at Home and
Abroad; Amusements for Summer and Winter;
and Instructive Papers written so as to be read by
‘boys and youths, With many Coloured and Wood

’ Hngravings. Price $s. handsome cloth; 9s. 6d,
gilt edees: 19s 6d. halfemoroero.


10 ]
NEW EDITIONS OF STORIES

FSS A. pe DP aT TOwN.

The Children of Cloverley. Illustrated. ©
2s. cloth.

Little Meg's Children. Illustrated. 1s, 6d.
cloth,

Alone in London. Illustrated. 1s. 6d. cloth.
Bede’s Charity. Illustrated. 4s, 6d. cloth.
Carola. Ulustrated. 3s. 6d. cloth.

Cassy. Mlustrated, 1s. 6d. cloth.

Cobwebs and Cables. Hlustrated. 5s. cloth-

gilt.

The Crew ‘of the Dolphin. Ilustrated.
1s. 6d. cloth:

Enoch Roden's Training. Illustrated, 2s.
cLotn.

Fern’s Hollow. Illustrated. 2s, cloth.

Fishers ar Derby Haven. WUlustrated. 2s.
cloth.

Friends Till Death. Illustrated, 6d. cloth.

J essica’s First Prayer. Illustrated. ist
cloth.

Pilgrim Street. A Story of Manchester Life.

a; 2s. cloth.

The King’s Servants. Mlustrated. 1s. 6d.

Lost Gip. Mlustrated. 1s. 6d. cloth.

Max Kromer. AS8tory of the Siege of Stras-
bourg. 1s. 6d. cloth.

No Place Like Home. Illustrated. 1s.
eloth.



The Storm of Life. Ilustrated. 1s. 6d.
cloth.

A Thorny Path. Illustrated. 2s. cloth.
Under the Old Roof. ITlustrated. 1s. cloth
A Night and a Day. 9d. cloth.

Left Alone. 6d. cloth.

A Miserable Christmas and a Happy
New Yrar. 9d. cloth.

The Worth of a Baby. 6d, cloth.
Sam Franklin’s Savings Bank. 64. cloth.
‘Michel Lorio’s Cross. Illustrated. 6d. cloth.

By Mrs. O. F. WALTON.

Christie’s Old Organ; or, Home, { Our Gracious Queen: Pictures and



Sweet Home. 1s. cloth. Stories from “Her Majesty’s Life.
Angel’s Christmas. 16mo. 6d.cloth. With many Pictures. New and
Launch the Lifeboat. With 44 Revised Edition. Ils. cloth.

Coloured Pictures or Vignettes. 4to. A Peep Behind the Scenes. Imp.

. 3s. coloured cover. A lémo. 3s. 6d. cloth, gilt edges.
Little Dot. Coloured Frontispiece. Poppie’s Presents. Crown 8vo.
6d. cloth. Ts. cloth.
Little Faith; or, The Child of the Saved at Sea. A Lighthouse Story.

Toy-Stall. ‘1s. cloth, New and cheaper Edition. 1s.
Nobody Loves Me. Royal lémo. cloth.

_1s. cloth. . Shadows. Scenes in the Life of an
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clitfe. 2s. 6d. cloth, gilt edges. cloth, gilt edges.

Was I Right? Fine Engravings. | Taken or Left. Crown 8y0. Is.
lmp. 1é6mo. 3s. 6d. cloth, gilt edges. cloth.


[11

BOYS. STORY BOOKS.

Ernest Hepburn; or, Revenge and For-
giveness, By H.C. Apams, o.4., Viear of Old
Shoreham. Wlustrated by E. Wuymper. Crown
8yo. 4s. cloth beards.

Drake and the Dons; 0r, Stirring Tales
of Armada Times, Edited and Arranged by
RicwarRD Lovett, MA. With Portraits, Maps.
and Illustrations, Crown 8vo. 3s, 6d. cloth
boards, gilt edges.

What to Read at Winter Entertain-
ments. Part I.— Verse. Part ITI.— Prose.
Edited and arranged by Rey. Freperick Lanc-
BRIDGE. M.A. Author of “Sent Back by the
Angels,” © Poor Folk’s Lives)’ ete. Each Is. 6d.
cloth boards.

The Latch Key; By T. 8. Mitrinsroyx,
Author of “A Great Mistake.” ‘Through Fire
and through Water,” etc. Tlusirated. Crown
8vo. 2s. cloth boards.

More than Conqueror; or, A Boy’s
Temptations. By Harrirrre EK. Burcu, Author
of * The Heroines of Haarlem,” ete. Tllustrated.
Crown $vo0. 2s. cloth.



Untrue to his Trust. A a ; ‘
Story of Life and Adventure in Marching Orders; or, Soldier Bobbie.

Charles the Second’s Time. By By Lucy Taytor, Author of “ Led into Light.””
Henry Jounson. Tllusirated. 4s, “Sundial Court,” ete. Ilustrated. Crown 8yo.
eloth gilt. 2s. 64. cloth boards.

The Doctor’ eriment. :
By the Aine 2 ©"Under ‘fre? Geoffrey Heywood ; oo The Right Way:
With Tiustrations, Imperiall6mo. By Mrs. Coorer, Author of ‘* Nearly in Port,” etc.
as, cloth. gilt edges. Illustrated, Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. cloth beards.

The Captain’s Story of Sailor Jack.
LIFE IN JAMAICA, Witn Tius- By Constance Cross, Author of “ After Twenty

trations by Joun GILBERT, Im- Years,” etc. With Tlnstrations, Crown 8vo.

perie lémo. 5s. cloth beards, gilt 1s. 6d. cloth beards.

edges. ‘
Once upon a Time; or, The All for Number One; or, Charlie Rus-

Boy’s Book;jf Adventures. With sell’s Ups and Downs. A Story for Boys and Girls.

Tlustrutions. 3s. cloth. By Hexny J. OHNEONS san eon oe “True to His

ories-of ¢ m: " Vow, “etc. Uilustrated hy E. Wuymprr. Crown
St B a s. {the Old Romans. 8vo, : 3s. 6d. cloth boards, gilt cdges.

pelobite. = Hindered and Help. A Story for Boys.
Historic Landmarks in the Illustrated. Crown ye 2s. cloth boards, "



CHRISTIAN CENT
Ricuarp H
four Tllustr:
some cloth gilt.

Ghe Boos On Bookshelf.

‘Adventures of a Three- Guinea
WATCH, By Tatpor Bawnes Reep. With Ilus-
trations, Crown $vo. 3s. 6d. cloth boards.

Football. A Popular Handbook of the
Game. By Dr. Irving, C. W. Aucock, and other
recognised authorities. With Ilinstrations.
Grown 8vo. Is. 6d. cloth. A,

Gricket. A Popular Handbook of the Game.
By Dr. W. G@ Grace, Rey. J. Pycrorr, Lord
CHanes Rossen, F. Gare, oud others. 2s. cloth

A Great Mistake: A Tale of Adventure.
By fe S.Mintinerun. With Dlustrations. 3s. 6d
cloth.

The Fifth Form at St. Dominic’s. A
School Story. By aLpor Barnes Reep. With
Illustrations. 4s, cloth.

Through Fire and Through Water.
A. Story of Adventure and Peril, By T. 8, Mani-
INGTON. Illustrated. 3s, 6d. cloth.

Harold, the Boy Barl. A Story of Old
England. By J. F. Hopaerrs, Author of *‘ Eric
the Norseman.” 3s, 60. cloth,



IES. By
h Eighty-
4te. 10s. hand-










12]

]
BOOKS FOR GIRLS.

Grace Trevelyan; or, Led into Light.
By Mrs. Coore. Author of “*The Sure Harvest,’
* The First Gift," cte. Dlustrated by E, Wiympen
Crown 8yo. 3s. 6d. cloth boards, gilt edges.

May, “a Succourer of Many.” By Miss
A. G. Gray-Jones. With Tllastrations. Crown
Syo. 2s. cloth he Se

Dorothy -Tresilis. A Cornish Tale. By
M.M. Potnarp. Author of *‘ Lilla’s Experiment,”
“Only Me,” ete. Dlustrated. Crown 8yvo, 1s: 6d.
cloth boards.

Miss Elsie. A Story of Single-hearted
Service. By H. Mary Winson. Illustrated.
Crown 8yvo. 2s. 6d. cloth boards.

“Therefore,” or Nessie’s Ideal. A Story
for Girls, By Fuorence E. Brnes, author of
“Joseph Adams,” etc. Illustrated. Crown Svo.
2s. cloth boards.

John Richmond's Mistake. By Janzr
EDEN, author of “ Hester’s Home.” “ Another

King,” ete. TWustrated. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d.
cloth boards.

In a Jesuit Net. ByeA. C. Coarr, | Higher Up. By Nerium HH:













LIS.
Author of “The Chateau de Louard,” ete. Author of » Three Little Fidd) * Roy-
Tustrated by Epwarp Wuxursr, Crown ing Robin,” “ Gipsy Jan,” ete. ete, IWus--
8vo. 5s. cloth boards. 2 trated. Crown Svo. 26. cloth boards.

: , %a TT %
‘Mrs. Morse’s Girls. A Story of | Hope Reed’s Upper Windows..
ut ie: Sunday School Life, Tllustrated. By HOWE BENNING. $s. 6d. cloth gilt.

Crown 8yo. 3s. 6% cloth boards, gilt edges. Dolly A Quiet Story for Quiet People.

‘| y MF. W. IMustrated. Crown Svo
e Heroines of Haarlem. Adapt- y O.
EPS. from the French of Madame de Witt. , eloth boards.

|

By Hannerrs FB. Buarow, Author of | Every Day._ A Story. for Sunday
i
|





*Uount Renneberg’s Treason,” ete. With Afternoons, By Everyn BR. Farrar.
Tuetrations. Crown 8vo, 3s, éd. cloth, Mustrated. Crown 8vo. 1s. 64, cloth
gilt edges. boards.



Ghe Girls Own Bookshelf.

Aunt Diana. By Rosa Novcuerrr Carey, Author of “ Not Like Other Girls,’”
~ Rsther Cameron's Story,” etc. Dlustrated. Imperial 16mo; 2s. 6d. bevelled boards.
Miss Carey is well known as au able and graceful writer of stories for girls.
Hlustrates the working of duty founded upon Christian principle.

Gora; or, Three Years of a Girl’s Life. ,

Illustrated. Imperial 16mo. 28+ 6d. cloth.

The Girl’s Own Cookery Book. By

PHiriis BRowNE. Feap. 8vo, Is, cloth.

The Queen o’ the May. By Anya
Beate. IThustrated. Imperial 16mo. 2s. 6d.
cloth,

The Master’s Service. A Practical
Guide for Girls, Tustrated, Imperial 16mo.
2s. Gd. cloth.

How to Play the Pianoforte. Feap.

8yo. Is. 6d. cloth,

Her Object in Life. By Isanen.. Fyvim
Mayo. Jllustrated. Imperial l6mo, 2s. 6d, cloth.

The Sunbeam of the Factory, and
ovher Stories. Dlustrated. Hmperial ~16mo.
2s. 6. cloth.

Esther. By Rosa Novcuerrn Carry. Ilns-
trated, Imperial I6mo. 8s. 6d. cloth.

The Shepherd’s Fairy. By Danrzy
Dae, Author of * Lhe treat Auk’s Eggs.” Ins-
trated, 2s. Gd. cloth.

Servants and Service. By Ruru Lams,
Author of * Comfortable Mrs. Crook,” etc. Is. 6d.
eloth boar








[13
THE NEW SERIES OF

WALP-CROWN BOOKS
FOR ALL READERS.
Each with 384 Pages, 72x 5, Illustrated. Cloth, Gilt Edges.

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‘

Chroniclés of an Old Manor House. By the late G. E.
Sarcenr, author of “The Story of 4 Pocket Bible,” ete. 2s. 6d.

A Race for Life, and other Tales. 2s. 6d. cloth, gilt edges.

Strange Tales of Peril and Adventure. Illustrated. 2s. 6d.
cloth gilt.

Remarkable Adventures from Real Life. Illustrated.
2s. 6d, cloth gilt

The Black Troopers, and other Stories. Illustrated. 2s. 6d.
eloth gilt, ey *

Adventures Ashore and Afloat. Illustrated. 2s. 6d. cloth gilt.

Finding Her Place. By Hower Bennie, Author of ‘ Quiet
Corners,” ‘‘Ursula’s Beginnings,” ete. Tlustrated. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d.
cloth gilt, .

The Mountain Path. By Liny Watson. Author of “ Within
Sight of the Snow,” etc. Illustrated. Crown 8vo0. 2s. 6d cloth gilt,
Among the Mongols. By Rev. J. Giumour. Tlustrated.

Qs. Gd. cloth gilt. a
Within Sea Walls; or, How the Dutch kept the Faith. By
G. E. dancenr. Ulustrated. 2s. 6d. cloth gilt.
The Story of a City Arab. With Portrait and Memoir of the
Author, the late G, E, Sarcenr, 2s, 6d. cloth gilt.



A PRETTY PRESENT.

Morving and Evening. Keble’s Morning and Evening Hymns.
Beautifully illustrated from sketches by J. Crank, J. H. Hirszey, Davinson
Kyowres, Jamus N. Ler, C.J. Svaninanp, J. R. Weiss, and C.M. Winrrris
Printed in colour by Aurrep Cooxr. In a handsome coloured cover, tied
with ribbon, Square lémo. 1s,

COLOURED BOOKLETS.
Signals for the Voyage of Life arid Heavenly Graces.

With Verses by Mary KF. Korrs,

Two attractive little coloured books, each consisting of twenty-four pages, with
acover. The Texts are given in illuminated letters. and the Verses are from the
practised pen of Miss Ropes. The booklets are finisued with gilt edges, rounded
eorners, and tied with ribbon. d. each.
qa

j
BOOKS FER CfILORED

The Happiest Half-Hour; or, Sunday
Talks with Children. By Freprrick Uanc-
BRIDGH, a.A. With many Dlustrations. Small
quarto. 3s. 6d. cloth boards, gilt edges. ~

The Sweet Story of Old. A Sunday
Book for the Little Ones. By Hrspa Sruerron.
Author of “ Jessica’s First Prayer" ‘ Bede’s
Charity.” ete. With Twelve Coloured Pictures by
B W. Mappox. 4to. 33.6d-. cloth boards, coloured
edger, :

Watts’s Divine and Moral Songs.
Now Edition. With many fine Coloured Iustra-
tions by Ronrrr Barnes, Gorpon Brownn, RB.
W. Mappox,and J. R, Lex, 2s, 6d. cloth boards.

My Holiday Picture-Book.. Com-
prising : Holiday Time in the Country—Contented
Jobnnie—Lhe Children of the Bible—The Busy
Farm: or, a Visit to our Country Friends—Amy's |
Birthday Present—The Bible Picture Alphabet.
With Coloured Pictures, 9s. 6d, cloth.

My Coloured Picture Story -Book.
With Twenty-four full-coloured page Pictures
and Forty Vignettes. Comprising: Our Pretty
Village—Little Antoine and the Bear—Rosa, the
Little Cousin from India—The Blackbird’s Nest.
4s. handsome cloth gilt.

Bible Stories and Pictures. With Twenty-four Coloured page Pictures
and Forty Vignettes. With simple letterpress inJarge type. 4a. haudsomely bound, cloth

gilt.

Harrison Weir’s Pictures of Birds and other Family Pets. With
24 large Coloured Pictures. 5s. handsomely bound, with side iv Gold and Colowrs.

Storyland. By Swxry Grey. With Thirty-two INustrations by Roverr
BARNES, Engraved and Printed in Colour by EDMUND EVANS. 68s. handsomely bound in
coloured paper boards,

Our Pets and Companions: Pictures and Stories Illustrative of Kindness to
Animals By Many K. Marvin, Author of “Fruits of Bible Lands.” ete. Profusely Ius-
trated by Wer, Stacey, Wuymeen, M. EB, Bpwanps, LG. Brivracy, and others, Small 4to.
2s, cloth boards.

Talkative Friends in Field, Farm, and Forest. By Mary E. Kores,
Author of “'Lom’s Bennie,” “fill the Sugar Melts,” cic. Profuseiy Mlustrated. A similar
Volume to “Our Pets and Companions.” Simalldto. 28. cloth boards,

Little Dot and Her Friends. With
Twenty-four Coloured Pictures and Forty Vig-
nettes. 48. cloth boards gtit,

Launch the Lifeboat! By Mrs. 0. F.
Warron, Author of ‘Christies Old Organ,” cte.
With Coloured Picturcs and Vignettes, from
Drawings by H. J. Ruobe Beautifully printed
in Colours. 4to. 3s. in attractive bourds.

Sunday Afternoons at Rose Cottage.
Bible ‘Latkes with Mamma. By Mrs. WATERWORTH,
Author of ‘ Blessings for the Little Ones.” ete.
In very large type. With Hinstrations, Is. 6d,
cloth gile.

Listening to Jesus. A Sunday Book for
the Little Ones. By E.M. Warerworra. With
Illustrations by W.S.Sracey, Small dto. 1sa.6d.
cloth boards, gilt edges.

Children’s Daily Bread. A Picture,
Text. avd Verse for Every Day of the Year.
2s. 6d. cloth,

Bible Tales for Children. With Forty
full-page Dlnstrations, Small dto, 3s, 6d. cloth
bevelled boards, gilt edges,

Stories of Bible Children. A New Sun-
day Book for very Little Children, By Mrs. E,
M. Warerworry. To very large type. Vith
Tilustrations, Small dio, Is. 6d. cloth boards, gilt
edges.














16

POPULAR ANNUALS.

ogee UE : Our Hittle Dot's
Child's Companion Annual for 1888.

AND
: 192 s. Si by 6f.
Juvenile Instructor Annual Peetey BEARS
FOR 1888. The Yearly Volume of

“OUR LITTLE
DOTS.”

192 pages. 83 by 64.
Contains a Story

in twelve chapters
by Mrs. 0. F. Wat-
TON, uthor of
“Christic’s Old Or-
gan,” &c, and a
variety of intere:
ing reading for
young folks, with a
Coloured _Frontis-
piece and man
Hustrations. 1s. 6.
attractive coloured
boards; 28. — neat
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some cloth full gilt.








Fall of Pretty Pic-
tures and Little Siories
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attractive coloured
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2s 6d. handsome cloth
gilt.

* Just what children,
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Sunday School Mayu-
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OURLITTLE 20







The @ottager and Artisan Annual.

THE VOLUME £0OBR_,1888.

It contains 144 pages of
interesting reading and illus-
rations. A most suitable
hook to present to the Work-
men’s Institute, Club, or
Reading Room, and for the
Home Reading of Work-
ing People in Town and
Country. Many Large Pie-
tures, forming quitea family
scrap-hook. Much of the
letterpress is in Jarge type.
Is. 6d. in preity coloured
cover; 2s. 6d. cloth boards
gilt,

Size of page 13} by 10.



“Telling picturesand prac-
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“A welcome addition to
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Che Gract Magazine | Friendly Greetings.
ILLUSTRATED READINGS FOR
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THE TRACT MAGAE/ VE.

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B. POWER, LA,
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M.A. M. E. Brock,
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SPURGEON, JAMES
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others, With nume-
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n. â„¢

ap Te RATS





208 pages. 102 by 73.

This Dlusirated
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Volume conmenced with
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New



sy youth,
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mo even for boys of manurer age.’

November



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AT HOME

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New Volume commenced with
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of Det ts ibe Celden Reva “ae | rem
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Sixvence Monty
THE

LEISURE
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A Monthly Magazine for Famity and
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“The Leisure Hour is, if possil

better than it used to be, and certainly

its literary and artistic in: wre Unsure

passed in the dor rof gueap and good
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‘A New Volume commenced with the

January Part,

New Serres.

ple.











Fort OB--Sepuaciver, MAS, CONTAICRU tie AuMeEAS FO8 AUGUST. Ene bet



comrerre nt
Lap stirene teeraattenvcoiine me mT ew

rout sari
Seiten tetanus Aad ae”
SO hia Raven Wey Laat race soar oaer ai



LEAL HOUR" OPPICE. 1h PATEXOSTIR POW, KE


THEJHESBA STRETTON SERIES.

an, Wis <3
RUM So

ONE SHILLING
al pt AND SIXPENCE.











Alone in London.
Cassy.

The Crew of the Dolphin.
The King’s Servants.
Little Megs Children.
Lost Gip.

Max Krémer.

The Storm of life.

ONE SHILLING.

Jessica's First Prayer.
No Place Like Home.
Under the Old Roof. -

NINEPENCE.

A Night and a Day.

A Miserable Christmas
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Friends till Death.





THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY.
56, PATERNOSTER ROW. LONDON.
ff)
a

ASh)7T305