A beautiful set of nine stories. THEY were coming up everywhere in their sheltered corner on the wall-border, between the laurustinus and the yew hedge. She had always loved to watch their manner of emerging from the wintry ground: neck first, arched and stubborn; heads bent down as if with held breath and thrusting effort; the pale, bowed, folded flower, when finally it rose, still earthy, still part, as it were, of the cold and dark from which it came; so that to find them, as on this morning, clear, white, triumphant, all open to the wind and sw, was to renew the sense of the miraculous that, more than any other flower, they always gave her. More than any other flower, they seemed to _mean_ to come, to will and compass it by the force of their own mysterious life. More than any other flower, winter piled upon their heads, unallured by spring and the promise of sunlight, they seemed to come from the pressure of a gift to bring rather than a life to seek. She thought always, when she saw them, of Christmas bells over swy fields, in bygone centuries; of the Star in the East, and of the manger at Bethlehem. They were as ancient as that tradition, austere and immaculate witnesses in an unresponsive world; yet they were young and new, always; always a surprise, and even to her, old as she was, bereft and sorrowful, a reminder that life was forever a thing of births, of gifts, of miracles.