Девочка со спичками

Mostterriblycolditwas;itsnowed,andwasnearlyquitedark,andevening—thelasteveningoftheyear.Inthiscoldanddarknesstherewentalongthestreetapoorlittlegirl,bareheaded,andwithnakedfeet.Whenshelefthomeshehadslipperson,itistrue;butwhatwasthegoodofthat?Theywereverylargeslippers,whichhermotherhadhithertoworn;solargewerethey;andthepoorlittlethinglostthemasshescuffledawayacrossthestreet,becauseoftwocarriagesthatrolledbydreadfullyfast.

Oneslipperwasnowheretobefound;theotherhadbeenlaidholdofbyanurchin,andoffheranwithit;hethoughtitwoulddocapitallyforacradlewhenhesomedayorothershouldhavechildrenhimself.Sothelittlemaidenwalkedonwithhertinynakedfeet,thatwerequiteredandbluefromcold.Shecarriedaquantityofmatchesinanoldapron,andsheheldabundleoftheminherhand.Nobodyhadboughtanythingofherthewholelivelongday;noonehadgivenherasinglefarthing.

Shecreptalongtremblingwithcoldandhunger—averypictureofsorrow,thepoorlittlething!

Theflakesofsnowcoveredherlongfairhair,whichfellinbeautifulcurlsaroundherneck;butofthat,ofcourse,sheneveroncenowthought.Fromallthewindowsthecandlesweregleaming,anditsmeltsodeliciouslyofroastgoose,foryouknowitwasNewYear’sEve;yes,ofthatshethought.

Inacornerformedbytwohouses,ofwhichoneadvancedmorethantheother,sheseatedherselfdownandcoweredtogether.

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