In a corner formed by two houses, one of which projected beyond the other, she sat down, draw
ing her little feet close under her, but in vain-she could not warm them. She dared not go home; she had sold no matches, earned not a single penny, and perhaps her father would beat her. Besides, her home was almos
t as cold as the street, for it was an attic; and although the larger of the many chinks in the roof were stopped up with straw and rags, the wind and snow often penetrated through.
Her hands were nearly dead with c
old; one little match from her bundle would warm them, perhaps, if she dared light it. She drew one out, and struck it against the wall. Bravo! it was a bright, warm flame, and she held her hands over it. It was quite an illumination for that poor little girl; nay, call it rather a magic taper, for it seemed to her as if she were sitting before a large iron stove with brass ornaments, so beautifully blazed the fire within! The chi
ld stretched out her feet to warm them also. Alas! in an instant the flame had died away; the stove vanished; the little girl sat cold and comfortless, with the burnt match in her hand.
A second ma
tch was struck against the wall; it kindled and blazed, and, wherever its light fell, the wall became transparent as a veil: the little girl could see into the room within. She saw the table spread with a snow-like damask cloth, on whi
ch were ranged shining china dishes.
小女孩坐在两间房子交错而成的屋檐角落下，其中一个房子的影子投射在另一间房子的墙上，小女孩缩起小脚紧挨着身体，但是一点帮助也没有，她仍无法使双脚暖和起来。 她不敢回家，因为她没卖掉火柴，甚至连一分钱也没赚到，也许父亲会痛打她一顿。 而且她家几乎像街上一样的冷，因为她家只是一间阁楼，虽然屋顶上的许多破洞已经用稻草和破布填塞起来，可是风雪还是不时地穿透进来。
她的双手就快冻僵了，如果她把火柴点着，或许能使她的双手借着火柴暖和一些。 于是她抽出一根火柴，在墙上划了一下。 噗嗤！它带来了明亮，燃烧得温暖起来，她便把手放在火焰上面。 这对可怜的小女孩而言，真像是个灯饰，而且还可以称它为魔术蜡烛，因为此时她好象坐在一个有铜饰的大铁炉前面，看着炉子里燃烧着艳丽的火焰。 小女孩伸出脚想让它们暖和一些。 哎呀！才一瞬间，火焰就熄灭了，炉子也不见了，小女孩手里拿着烧剩的火柴棒又冷又不舒服地坐在那里。