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There was a tallow candle burning on the table, and a pale woman sat by it. She was sewing on a piece of work which she had risen early in the day to accomplish. A little boy had crawled from his miserable bed in the corner, and was trying to light a fire of chips and cinders gathered in the street. He was crying silently from cold and hunger. And the pale mother lifted her eyes to heaven, and murmured over and over again, as if it were the only prayer she could remember, "Give us this day our daily bread.”

Theodosia had never heard of such misery. All her little troubles melted from her mind, and she thought, "Oh, why can I not do something to help these poor people!" She could not bear to wait until she could ask the king to help them.

Just then she looked down, and behold! the bag had opened a little way of itself. Within, she saw the gleam of silver money. In an instant, and before it shut altogether again, she scattered a handful of money in the room.

Wonderful to tell, the silver shower never struck the floor, but seemed to vanish in mid-air. And lo! a bright fire went leaping up the chimney, and on the table was food in plenty, and the little boy and his happy mother were thanking God, and blessing the

unknown benefactor.

As the angel led the happy

Theodosia away, she thought the Christmas bells were saying; "Naked, and ye clothed me; hungry, and ye gave me meat; verily I say unto you, ye did it unto me!"

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It was broad daylight now. Theodosia and the angel soon found themselves in an upper chamber, in another part of the city. There were a dozen little children in the room. They had scraps of newspapers and one or two tattered books from which they were learning to read and spell.

In the midst stood the teacher, a poor young factory girl. She taught the little ones of the neighborhood every morning at daybreak, before going to her work. She did this because she would not let them go ignorant for want of her help.

Theodosia heard her say: "Now let us go through our lesson quickly. Then we will all go and have a Christmas holiday, looking at the fine things in the stores and the pretty ladies in the street. Who knows?

Perhaps the king and the queen and the princess may

ride by."

When Theodosia heard that, she thought, "How I should like to help these little ones! They have no pleasure but in looking at the pleasure of other people." The bag opened halfway of itself, and she saw there was gold in it.

For a moment she hesitated.

"With this gold,"

she thought, "I could buy myself a necklace of pearls that I wish so much to have!"

Just then the bag began slowly to shut up again. Theodosia gave one look at the little children, and quickly drew from it all the gold, which she scattered in the room.

The room changed by magic into a beautiful schoolroom. The happy children were wreathing it in green. The teacher, no longer a poor factory girl, but a fair and gentle woman, was about to distribute to them their Christmas gifts.

her away.

Theodosia wished much to stay, but the angel drew When they were once more in the street, the angel said, "Do you know the secret now?" Theodosia said nothing, but the Christmas bells rang out:

"Not what we get, but what we give,

Makes up our treasure while we live!"

This time the angel lifted her from the earth, and carried her swiftly over the whole land, and over many other lands. She saw how many people there were who did not yet know what Christmas meant. Yes, many thousands of them had never heard of Christ who was born in Bethlehem. Her heart was now so warm with the Christmas love that she could not bear to think of so much sin and sorrow. This time she put her hand on the lock of the bag, saying to herself, "If there is any more of the magical money in it, I will throw it down upon this poor, unhappy, wicked world."

The bag opened very easily, but there was nothing in it save a magnificent necklace of pearls! In vain she looked for silver and gold. She must either give up the necklace of pearls or nothing.

So she took one more look at the beautiful gems, and then flung them down upon the earth. The necklace broke as it fell, scattering the pearls far and wide. Where every pearl fell, behold there arose by magic a church or a mission school, and in all languages were heard the songs of thanksgiving.

The angel said to her, "Now see, your bag is empty; are you not sorry?"

But Theodosia looked straight into his kind eyes,

and said, "I have found the secret now!" And the Christmas bells rang out," It is more blessed to give than to receive!"

Then the angel caught her to his bosom with great joy. Flying swiftly through the air, he brought her back to the palace of the king. Lo! in the great hall were all the gifts still piled, and the king and queen had not come.

He carried Theodosia to the place where her name was. Behold! there lay the black bag wide open and full of gifts innumerable. On each gift was some curious inscription. A beautiful bouquet of flowers bore the words, "These are the prayers of the poor." Upon a crystal goblet was inscribed, "The disciple's reward."

But most lovely of all was the necklace of pearls that hung from the tablet. Every pearl bore a name, like Patience, Gentleness, Truth, Innocence. Three pearls were larger than the rest. On the largest pearl, which was the very copy of the starry one upon the angel's brow, Theodosia read, "The greatest of these is Charity."

Thus she learned the true name of the Christmas angel; and he vanished away, and she saw him no

more.

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