On Christmas day there is a great feast in Dublin. This, you know, is

the chief city of Ireland. The feast is made for the children. There

are in that city a great many little ones who are very very poor.

There are kind people there, also, who look after these poor children.

They have what they call "ragged schools," where many of them are

taught to read, and to sew, and other useful things.

Dr. Nelaton is a famous minister in Dublin, and every year he, with

other good people, gets up this great feast for the children.

About eight hundred of them came last year. Some of these were only

half-clad, and all were very ragged. They were seated at long, narrow

tables, which were covered with a white cloth, The children from the

ragged schools wore aprons in bright colors, to hide their rags. Each

school had a color of its own. These aprons were only lent them for

the day, and the children felt very fine in them. But there were two

long rows without any aprons. These were little ones who had been

picked up along the streets. Each ragged scholar had permission to

bring all the children he could find. And, oh, how ragged and dirty

these two rows were!

But they brightened up, just like the children with aprons, when they

saw the feast. A huge mug of steaming tea and an immense bun to each

child! Rarely did they have such a treat as this. And how they did

eat! Each child had all he wanted. It would have done you good to see

their poor, pinched faces beam with delight. During the meal a large

throng of orphan children in the gallery sung some sweet songs. Then,

after the feast, there were small gifts, and little speeches and

prayers, and more songs. The little ragged ones seemed like new beings

in this atmosphere of love. Such a glad day as that Christmas was a

rare event in their sad lives. Children who live in happy homes know

little about the sufferings of the poor. Perhaps, if they knew more,

such little ones would try harder, by gifts and kind acts, to carry

sunshine to sorrowful hearts.

A PSALM OF LIFE A RED, RED ROSE facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail