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day a fair and beautiful lady came in, and she walked around the beds, and spoke to the little sufferers words of love and sympathy ; and the children wondered when they knew that it was indeed the beloved Princess of Wales. Little Sarah treasured up the thought of the bright presence; but she had a brighter presence with her night and day, even Jesus, who never leaves those who trust in Him.
When little Sarah got better, the doctors said she must be sent home, and they sent to look for her mother. She was dead, and the father had gone away, no one knew where. One of the doctors very kindly bought some clothes for her, and he asked a place for her in the Birds' Nest; and she is one of the happiest children there, so thankful for the pleasant paths her Saviour has given her to walk in. This little girl is adopted by a little friend in India, just her own age ; and these two, so far away from each other, are sisters in Jesus, and daily pray for each other.
There are many very interesting children in the Nest, whom I should very much like to find special friends for. Amongst them is a blue-eyed, fair-haired boy, of
age. His father, a most respectable working-man, died some three years ago, leaving the poor mother with three children, one a little baby. She had no means of support, and gradually all her little possessions were sold to buy food. Her relations would do nothing for her, because she attended the Mission Church, and was trying to bring up her little ones in the Protestant faith, she being a convert. Application was made to get the boy into the Nest, but he was too young. We paid the rent of a room for the poor woman, and gave her needlework, but her baby hindered her working, and she became the picture of misery. In March she wrote: “I am very thankful for what
you for me, but it is utterly useless. It is very hard to be utterly destitute, in the four walls of a back garret, without furniture, friends, or any earthly comfort but my little ones. My brother gives me till the 9th to consider whether I will give up my boy to go to the convent, or give up the friendship of all belonging to me. really bewildered. Please, Madam, do not look on me as an impostor.”
The case was so urgent that the little
boy, though only just past six, was taken and put to lodgings for a few months. The mother got a good situation as nurse, and is able to pay for her other two children at nurse. At Christmas her mistress allowed her to have her boy for a few days' visit. And if
you had seen her coming into the Mission Church, looking like a model nurse, with her boy by the hand, you would have thanked God for such an institution as the Birds' Nest.
Two little girls of nine and ten years of age, both in the Infant School, would like to be adopted. I never shall forget my first interview with them.
Late one evening there came a note, written on an old leaf of a book, begging for a little relief for a sick child who attended one of the Mission Schools. I sent a shilling, and the next day went to the home of the poor child. It was a very small l'oom, at the top of a poor house, a bedstead and a chair the only furniture. An old woman sat near the fire, with a child on her knee very ill. Another little one stood beside her. When I entered, the little one looked up with a smile of welcome, and I knew her and the sick one as having been regular attendants at the school, but always
so neatly dressed, that we had never guessed their poverty. It was the little one who had brought the note the night before. Oh, ma'am,' said the old woman, “I never begged before ; but the children said the Lord would help us.
I had not a bit of fire or food ; and what was worse, not a bit of candle to watch my poor child through the night. I could not face a night of darkness. * The child had had fever, and was just beginning to recover ; all she wanted was nourishment and comfort, which we were able to provide.
They had been very respectable people ; the father, a good workman, earning large wages ; but he died suddenly, leaving 201. which he had saved for his wife, motherin-law, and children. They were induced to go to Manchester, and set up a lodginghouse, which at first succeeded ; but the cotton-famine came, and they lost all they had. They returned to Dublin; the mother went to service, where she earned 51. ayear, and 2s.6d. a-week to feed herself. This was all the support of the familyno wonder they suffered so much. We took the two children into the Nest, and the old woman went to the poor-house, where she soon after died. The mother is in very delicate health, but she is able to support herself, and comes sometimes to see the little ones. One of these little girls is adopted by our friends who form the Minories Association.
Some of the Associations have increased very much during the past year. Our friends at Maida-hill have adopted a third child, little Sarah C. She is one of a family of four, who for many months attended one of the Mission Schools, living on the one daily meal. The eldest girl was an applicant for admission, and when I went to seek for her, I found her in school. When I told her she was admitted, a beam of joy lighted up her face ; then looking sadly at the children, she said, "I shall have food and clothes, but these,they'll have nothing till to-morrow morning.” Their home was a cellar in Townsend-street—no fire, no food, no bed ; the only living the mother had was picking up bits of coal near the ships, and selling them. Three of the children are now in the Nest, and one with the mother ; it is getting quite fat; it gets all the mother can give, instead of sharing with four.
Some new Associations have been formed ; bands getting together for praying and working. Of the members of one, a loving mother writes :