Sally is the laundress, and every
She sends our clean clothes up from the wash, and Nurse puts them away.
Sometimes Sally is very kind, but sometimes she’s as cross as a Turk;
When she’s good-humoured we like to go and watch her at work.
She has tubs and a copper in the wash-house, and a great big fire and
plenty of soap;
And outside is the drying-ground with tall posts, and pegs bought from
the gipsies, and long lines of rope.
The laundry is indoors with another big fire, and long tables, and a
lot of irons, and a crimping-machine;
And horses (not live ones with tails, but clothes-horses) and the same
starch that is used by the Queen.
Sally wears pattens in the wash-house, and turns up her sleeves, and
splashes, and rubs,
And makes beautiful white lather which foams over the tops of the tubs,
Like waves at the seaside dashing against the rocks, only not so
If I were Sally I should sit and blow soap-bubbles all the day long.
Sally is angry sometimes because of the way we dirty our frocks,
Making mud pies, and rolling down the lawn, and climbing trees, and
scrambling over the rocks.
She says we do it on purpose, and never try to take care;
But if things have got to go to the wash, what can it matter how
dirty they are?
Last week Mary and I got a lot of kingcups from the bog, and I
carried them home in my skirt;
It was the end of the week, and our frocks were done, so we didn’t
mind about the dirt.
But Sally was as cross as two sticks, and won’t wash our dolls’
clothes any more—so she said,—
But never mind, for we’ll ask Mamma if we may have a real Dolls’
Wash of our own instead.
* * * * *
Mamma says we may on one condition,
to which we agree;
We’re to really wash the dolls’ clothes, and make them just
what clean clothes should be.
She says we must wash them thoroughly, which of course we intend to do,
We mean to rub, wring, dry, mangle, starch, iron, and air them too.
A regular wash must be splendid fun, and everybody knows
That any one in the world can wash out a few dirty clothes.
* * * * *
Well, we’ve had the Dolls’
Wash, but it’s only pretty good fun.
We’re glad we’ve had it, you know, but we’re gladder still that
As we wanted to have as big a wash as we could, we collected
everything we could muster,
From the dolls’ bed dimity hangings to Victoria’s dress, which I’d
used as a duster.
It was going to the wash, and Mary and I were house-maids—fancy
house-maids, I mean—
And I took it to dust the bookshelf, for I knew it would come back
Well, we washed in the wash-hand-basin, which holds a good deal, as
the things are small;
We made a glorious lather, and splashed half over the floor; but the