"PLEASE, ma'am, give me a penny?"  I mentally thought, "What a sweet voice," and turned quickly to see who my petitioner might be.  What a sight! A little girl scarce six years old, dressed in dirty rags, and with hair uncombed, and feet quite bare! Not a very interesting picture, surely; but under all this repulsiveness there was a degree of childish simplicity and sincerity that took away the first feeling of disgust, and filled my heart with pity.  Her thin, pale face and deformed body told more plainly than words, that, although a child, she was not a stranger to grief and suffering; and her pleading eyes had such an eager, hungry look that I could not refuse her request.  Wishing to learn something of her history, I said,

"Tell me why you stand here and beg? You have a home haven't you?  Why don't you go there?"

"If you please, ma'am, father is dead, and mother can't sew now; so we have nothing to eat."

"Where does your mother live" I asked.

"Down there," she replied, pointing to a dark alley; "will you go see her"

"if you will show me the way;" and following her, I soon found myself in a low, damp basement, with cold, bare walls.  In the farther corner of the room, on an old mattress, with a bundle of rags for a pillow, lay the poor, sick mother.  Going up to her, I told her how I had met her child on the street; and by a few kind words, I gradually won her confidence, and she began to talk to me.

"I have not always been, as you see me today, lady. The child of rich, indulgent parents, I was brought up without a care, or scarcely a sorrow.

Every whim was gratified; but I was willful, and did not follow the wishes of my parents, and so they turned me away from them.

"I do not need to tell you of the sorrow and misery of the years that have followed since then; the bitter results are before you. My husband is dead, and I have worked early and late to support my child, until I can work no longer.

"I have no wish to live now, but for my poor child; may God pity her! I don't know but she will have to die on the street."

As I sat and listened to a tale of sorrow such as my ears had never heard before, I thought that I would give worlds for the power to alleviate the poor woman's sufferings; but the most that I could do was to speak a few words of comfort, and to point her to the "Great Comforter." And there are many hundreds of just such cases as this, that one sees here in New York.

Hard indeed must be the heart of him who can pass through some of the streets of this city, and witness, unmoved, the tokens of sin and misery that are on every side.  Human beings are met that have sunk so low that all traces of the likeness of their Creator are effaced; and I am forced sometimes to ask myself, "Can it be that they have souls?"

Truly, the wages of sin is death, and we can hope for no better things than this until He shall come who will destroy sin, and restore the earth to its Eden purity.

If the children who read...could see some of the sights that we witness here every day, it would make them more grateful than ever for good homes, kind friends, and Christian influence.