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Page:A Garland for Girls (1893).djvu/60

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Maggie blushed and hesitated, as she put down the delicate muslin cap-strings she was hemming with such care. Then, looking about her with a face in which both humility and pride contended, she said with an effort, "After the other lively experiences, mine will sound very flat. In fact, I have no story to tell, for my charity began at home, and stopped there."

"Tell it, dear. I know it is interesting, and will do us all good," said Anna, quickly; and, thus supported, Maggie went on.

"I planned great things, and talked about what I meant to do, till Papa said one day, when things were in a mess, as they often are at our house, 'If the little girls who want to help the world along would remember that charity begins at home, they would soon find enough to do.'

"I was rather taken aback, and said no more, but after Papa had gone to the office, I began to think, and looked round to see what there was to be done at that particular moment. I found enough for that day, and took hold at once; for poor Mamma had one of her bad headaches, the children could not go out because it rained, and so were howling in the nursery, cook was on a rampage, and Maria had the toothache. Well, I began by making Mamma lie down for a good long sleep. I kept the children quiet by giving them my ribbon box and jewelry to dress up with, put a poultice on Maria's face, and offered to wash the glass and silver for her, to appease cook, who was as cross as two sticks over extra work washing-day. It was n't much fun, as you may imagine, but I got through the after-