It was one of the coldest days felt in New-York, during the winter of 182–, that a baker's cart made its accustomed halt before a door in Church-street. It was driven by Charles Lovett, the baker's son, whose ruddy cheeks, quick movement, and beaming eye bespoke health, industry, and a happy temper. This latter attribute seemed somewhat too severely tested by the tardiness of his customer, for in vain had he whistled, clapped his hands, stamped, and repeated his usual cry of "Hurry! hurry!" He at last leaped from his cart on to the broken step of the wretched dwelling, when the upper half of the door was slowly opened, and a thinly-clad girl appeared, who, in answer to his prepared question, "Why, what ails you? are you all asleep?" replied, "Mother does not wish any bread this morning."
"Don't wish any! then she's easily served;" and, thus huffily answering, he was turning away, when another look at the girl touched his kind heart. "Tell me honestly," he added, "what is the reason your mother don't wish the bread."