« PreviousContinue »
wrote a note to Mr. Payne, asking him to meet him. When Payne came into the room, Washington put out his hand, and said, 'I was wrong yesterday; I want to be right to-day.”
" I like that,” said Patty.
" That was not all,” said her mother. "Some years after, when everybody loved Washington, Payne had a matter on trial in Fairfax Court House. The lawyer on the other side tried to attack Payne's character, and, among other things, began to tell how he had treated Washington. The General was in the Court House. As soon as the lawyer had done speaking, he rose, spoke to the court, and took all the blame on himself. After the war was over, Payne wanted to see him again. When he drew near Mount Vernon, he began to tremble; but Washington came to meet him with a smile, and carried him to his wife. 'Here' is a little man,' said he, 'that I think a good deal of, for he once had the courage to knock me down!'
" That is a good story,” said Patty ; "but, mamma, what is that shed over there, and all those benches?”
"That is the market," said her mother. e It
is all over for to-day, and the people have gone away. When Washington lived at Mount Vernon, Alexandria was only a little village, and for a long time it went by the name of Bellhaven. The people of Bellhaven raised tobacco, but it was almost impossible to get anything nice to eat in the town. There were a few rich people who had fruit, vegetables, eggs, and chickens; but they thought it beneath them to sell such things, and all the rest had to go without. Soon after Washington was married, he sent in a market-cart twice a week, loaded with all the nice things on his farm. The little cart used to drive up to this very market, and as soon as it came in sight, everybody hurried to get something good. The people thought it very kind, because it was a good deal of trouble to Washington, and very little profit. Other gentlemen soon followed his example, and the people of Bellhaven had enough to eat.”.
They were passing the Marshall House at this moment, and Mrs. Gray asked Patty if she recollected what had happened there.
Patty shuddered. She remembered very well how Colonel Ellsworth hurried up those stairs to
plant the Union flag on the roof, where rebel colors floated. As he came down the master of the house shot him. The place where Ellsworth fell is shown to strangers, but Patty did not want to see it. She went into the Museum with her mother for a moment, and saw some beautiful china which had once belonged to Washington, and the collar and apron which had been sent to him from Nantes. She saw also the bier on which his coffin had once rested; but these things seemed like toys.' She could not think of them as belonging to the great man whom everybody loved.
Soon after they came out of the Museum, mamma showed her a small building, which she called the Academy. This is a charity school, founded by Washington. He gave four thousand dollars to it, and by the income of this sum fifteen boys are educated. Washington left some money in his will to found a university in the capital. He did not like to see boys sent abroad to be educated, if they were to live in America. The money which he left in this way had been given to him by the State of Virginia, but he refused to receive it for his own
Patty was too tired to walk far, and Tony led the way to Newton's Hotel. The room that he had engaged for Mrs. Gray was in the part called the Carey House.
" Look at it before we go in,” said Mrs. Gray to Patty. "It is the house in which Washington met General Braddock. At that time it stood in a noble garden, which sloped down to the river, and it was shaded by lofty oaks. All the royal governors came here to meet Braddock."
Patty looked up at the old-fashioned house. It had a wide stoop before the door, nicely railed in, and a broad balustrade ran round the roof. It looked very much like some of the old houses in Cambridge ; and when Patty said so, mamma replied that "the house in which the poet Longfellow lived was very much like it, , and built about the same time.” Patty wondered where the round paving-stones came from, that made the streets of Alexandria look so much like Boston.
THE ENTRANCE GATES.
ATT had a good sound sleep in the old
fashioned bed at the Carey House. She ate her breakfast in a panelled room, where, it is said, Washington once sat, with all the royal governors. When it was over, she found a covered wagon waiting at the door to carry her to Mount Vernon.
Tony drove, and Patty sat on the front seat beside him. It was so chilly that Mrs. Gray was glad to wrap her fur cloak around her, and tuck up her feet in the bear-skin.
Patty asked Tony where he was going, and he said, "Over the Winchester turnpike.”
When they had gone a little way, they overtook some heavy wagons, and some women, who had been to Alexandria to market.
Patty thought the wagons looked like big covered boats.