Trotty Veck, the licensed messenger, reconsiders his promise to allow the marriage of his daughter Meg to Richard, after being advised by Alderman Cute that it is a sin for the poor to wed. After his day's labors, he meets William Fern with his infant daughter Lillian seeking shelter from the authorities, who have threatened to hang him. The kind-hearted little man takes them to his humble home for the night. Far after midnight, Trotty, seated by the fireside and soothed by the chimes, falls asleep and dreams. His dream first takes him to the belfry of the old church, where the spirit of the chimes chides him for having done something he should not, and endeavors to show that the consequences might be, by picturing the future. In this vision, Trotty sees his daughter Meg living in poverty and acting as mother to Fern's daughter Lil, now grown to girlhood, Fern, in prison for his demonstration against the rich, and Richard, a drunkard from disappointment. Sir Joseph Bowley visits the ...
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