20. The next morning, as soon as she rose, she began to look over her wardrobe; and selecting three frocks which she had outgrown, she carried them to Betty, to alter for Mrs. Wilson’s children.
21. “I shall do no such thing,” said Betty; “Mrs. Wilson’s children are not suffering for clothes; the weather is warm, and they are as well clad as they will be the day after they are dressed up in your finery.
22. “Mrs. Wilson is an untidy, slovenly woman; and though your mother charged me to look after her sick baby, she did not tell me to furnish new clothes for the other dirty little brats!”
23. “Well, Betty, if you don’t choose to do it, I’ll try it myself.”—“Pretty work you’ll make of it, to be sure! you will just cut the frocks to pieces, and then they will fit nobody.”
24. “Well, I am determined to fix them for those poor little ragged children,” said Anna; “and if you will not help me, I will get Kitty the chambermaid to do it.”
The same subject, continued.
1. Anna found a very good assistant in the warm-hearted, thoughtless Irish girl. Kitty cut out the frocks, and Anna sat herself down to make them.
2. She found it rather tedious work, and, if she had not been afraid of Betty’s ridicule, she would have been tempted to throw her task aside; but as Kitty promised to help her, as soon as her household duties were completed, Anna determined to persevere.
3. When night came, she had finished one frock, and begun another; so she went to bed quite happy, forgetting that, in her benevolent zeal, she had neglected her studies and her music, as well as her mother’s plants and her own Canary-bird.
4. The next day, she again went to work at the frocks, and, with Kitty’s assistance, they were completed before tea-time. Never was a child happier than Anna, when she saw the three little frocks spread out upon the bed.
5. A degree of self-satisfaction was mingled with her benevolence, and she began to think how pleased her mother would be to learn how hard she had worked in the cause of charity. She ran off for Betty to take her down to Mrs. Wilson’s cottage; but she found Betty in no humor to gratify her.
6. “I’ll have nothing to do with it!” said the old woman. “Kitty helped you to spoil your pretty frocks, and she may help you dress the dirty children;—they will look fine, to be sure, in your French calico dresses!”
7. Anna was too happy to mind Betty’s scolding; so away she flew to find Kitty, and they set off together for Mrs. Wilson’s cottage. When they arrived there, they found the children by the edge of the pond making dirt pies, while their faces and hands bore testimony to their industry.
8. Kitty stripped and washed them, though nothing but the bribe of a new frock could have induced them to submit to so unusual an operation. Anna almost danced with pleasure, when she beheld their clean faces, well-combed locks, and new dresses.