t, and the rich light of its gems was obscurer, but its form and proportions seemed to have expanded--perhaps because he had worn his eyes reading by the firelight--and the outstretched figure looked large as humanity, and the cross lofty and real, as that which it was made to commemorate. He hid it beneath his garment, and walked forth into the gray dawn of Christmas. One star remained in mid-heaven, whiter than the day. It poised over the hovel of the dead like something new-born in the sky, and unacquainted with its fellow orbs.
"Christmas gift!" shouted a party of lads and women, rushing upon the Jew. "Christmas gift! You are caught, Issachar. Give us a present, old miser!"
It was the custom in that old settled country that whoever should be earliest up, and say "Christmas gift!" to others, should receive some little token in farthings or kind.
"Bah!" answered the Jew. "Look in yonder, where the best of your religion lie, perished by your inhumanity, and behold your Christmas gift to