"Beile is a kalle; she will marry to-morrow." "Has anybody fallen in love with her?" asked the mother. "No; but she will marry all the same." "Well, speak out, man! You kill one with suspense." "Do you know Reb Bensef, our parnas?" "Yes; but what has he to do with our Beile?"
One morning Itzig ran as fast as his shuffling legs would bear him, up the dirty lane that led to his abode, and fell rather than walked into the low door that led into his hut. His wife was engaged in washing a baby the seventh and Beile, an ill-favored, sallow-complexioned girl, sat at the window sewing. "Jentele," cried Itzig, sinking into a chair, "God has been good to us!"
Beile was unattractive and uninteresting, and Itzig did not conceal from himself the fact that without a dowry it might prove difficult to bring her under the chuppe. Of late Itzig had had little time to think of his family.
"Can you not earn anything?" "How can I? I must cook for my little ones and watch my ailing child." "Are your children of no service to you?" "My oldest girl, Beile, is but seven years old. She does all she can to help me, but it is not much," answered Jentele, irritably. Hirsch sighed heavily and drawing out his purse, he placed a gold coin in the woman's hand.
"Have you just found that out?" asked his wife, petulantly. "What is the matter? Have you come into a fortune?" "Beile, leave the room," said Itzig. "Why, father?" "Leave the room! I want to talk to your mother." Beile put away her work and walked out into the lane. "Rejoice with me, Jentele," said the delighted husband, as he rubbed his shrivelled hands.
Thanks to the generosity of Bensef, Beile was richly attired, and the groom in spite of his poverty was neatly clad. They walked hand in hand, happy in the consciousness that they were performing a service to humanity. As the grotesque train entered the burial-ground the lamentations became louder at the sight of the scores of newly-made graves.