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TWO LITTLE GIRLS.
"WHAT is your daughter's name?” said
THAT is your daughter's name?” said
Patty, the moment the door closed. " It is Martha Dandridge,” said Brittania, smiling ; "but we call her Matty."
* May I go and find her?” said Patty; and in a moment more she was running toward the barn.
"Matty! Matty !” cried Patty. And then, before anybody could answer, she saw a pretty sight.
Matty had carried out some of the warm gingerbread to the two boys. They were eating it with so much pleasure, that Patty thought they did not have it very often. Matty had not eaten her slice. She was feeding the donkey with it; and when Patty drew near, she saw that there were tears in the little girl's eyes.
" What is the matter?" she asked.
The little girl looked up with a smile. "It is only that I'm so silly,” she said. "This was my donkey; so mamma kept it to the very last, and it is to be sold to-morrow, because we cannot feed it.” " It's a beauty,” said Patty. "Where did
"General Lee gave it to me,” said the child; " it came from Spain. Mamma tried hard to keep it. I must not tell, but she even sold some silver to buy him food last winter. Now Lundy is going, and poor Frisky must be sold. Don't you like General Lee?”
F I will like him a little for that,” said Patty. e Is he a relation of yours?"
" He married mamma's cousin,” said the child, drying her tears ; "but I have not seen him for a long while.”
"I suppose I like him as well as you like General Grant,” said Patty, slowly; "but we can both like Washington.”
The little girl brightened at once. e Oh, yes !” she said ; "but I thought you didn't like him very much. Mamma always talks to us
about Washington. She staid at Mount Vernon with Judge Washington a long while ago."
"I should have been afraid of the General," said Patty, "he was so formal and stern. Only think of his never shaking hands with people when they came to see him!”
The little girl laughed. "Why, that was only when there was a crowd," she said. "He used to kiss grandmother; and as long as she lived she kept a little worked handkerchief, that he once used to wipe away her tears."
Patty stood silent, watching the donkey. She was not quite conquered; there was a good deal in her little heart that she was not willing to
"If I thought you would like it, I would show you something,” said the child.
"I am sure I should," said Patty. "I like to see every thing, even ugly things.”
Come away, then,” said Matty ; but the moment she started, the boys shouted, "Sister! sister !” and began to clamor for more gingerbread.
" Why don't those boys' call you Matty?” said Patty, when her little friend had divided the last slice of gingerbread between the two.
" They are my brothers,” the child said, astonished.
" But my brother calls me Patty,” persisted the little Yankee.
"That isn't our way,” said the child, drawing herself up.
"I am the only sister my brothers have; but if they had ever so many, I should always be "sister,” if I were the oldest. Perhaps they would call the rest by their names. I have heard mamma say it was an English fashion."
While Patty was wondering why little girls at the South should be any more English than little girls at the North, they drew near a ruined summer-house. Matty gave a proud look at Patty. "Now you will wish you were me,” said she, and stooped down to drag out a drawer that was under the rickety seat. When the drawer was out, she plunged her hand into the space behind it, and pulled out a rusty tin box.
Patty opened it, and inside she saw three little books bound in green leather.
" What are they?” said she, looking very much disappointed. "They were Washington's very own,” said
the child, her eyes sparkling; "he wrote them all himself.”
"But what did you hide them for?” persisted Patty. "What a strange place!”
" It was when we went away to papa before Richmond was taken,” said Matty. Mamma called us up to her chamber, and gave us each something that had been the General's. One of the boys had a seal, and the other a ring ; but I begged for these. I like to read over the pages, and think how nice it would have been to live at Mount Vernon, and be Washington's little girl! They were too heavy to carry; so I hid them here; for I told mamma if I did not die, I would surely come back.”
Patty stood looking at the books in a bewildered kind of way. "Sit down,” said her little friend, and let me show you all about it.” The two children sat down together on some dry leaves. The summer-house looked damp, and the leaves lay in the winter sun.
Matty opened her book, and showed Patty pages covered with writing, drawings, plans of buildings, ornamental letters, and so on.
The three little books were Washington's