en-es  Anne of Green Gables /Chapter VIII Medium
CHAPTER VIII.


ANNE'S BRINGING-UP IS BEGUN.


For reasons best known to herself, Marilla did not tell Anne that she was to stay at Green Gables until the next afternoon. During the forenoon she kept the child busy with various tasks and watched over her with a keen eye while she did them. By noon she had concluded that Anne was smart and obedient, willing to work and quick to learn; her most serious shortcoming seemed to be a tendency to fall into day-dreams in the middle of a task and forget all about it until such time as she was sharply recalled to earth by a reprimand or a catastrophe.

When Anne had finished washing the dinner dishes she suddenly confronted Marilla with the air and expression of one desperately determined to learn the worst. Her thin little body trembled from head to foot; her face flushed and her eyes dilated until they were almost black; she clasped her hands tightly and said in an imploring voice: "Oh, please, Miss Cuthbert, won't you tell me if you are going to send me away or not? I've tried to be patient all the morning, but I really feel that I cannot bear not knowing any longer. It's a dreadful feeling. Please tell me."

"You haven't scalded the dish-cloth in clean hot water as I told you to do," said Marilla immovably. "Just go and do it before you ask any more questions, Anne."

Anne went and attended to the dish-cloth. Then she returned to Marilla and fastened imploring eyes on the latter's face.

"Well," said Marilla, unable to find any excuse for deferring her explanation longer, "I suppose I might as well tell you. Matthew and I have decided to keep you—that is, if you will try to be a good little girl and show yourself grateful. Why, child, whatever is the matter?"

"I'm crying," said Anne in a tone of bewilderment. "I can't think why. I'm glad as glad can be. Oh, glad doesn't seem the right word at all. I was glad about the White Way and the cherry blossoms—but this! Oh, it's something more than glad. I'm so happy. I'll try to be so good. It will be up-hill work, I expect, for Mrs. Thomas often told me I was desperately wicked. However, I'll do my very best. But can you tell me why I'm crying?"

"I suppose it's because you're all excited and worked up," said Marilla disapprovingly. "Sit down on that chair and try to calm yourself. I'm afraid you both cry and laugh far too easily. Yes, you can stay here and we will try to do right by you. You must go to school; but it's only a fortnight till vacation so it isn't worth while for you to start before it opens again in September."

"What am I to call you?" asked Anne. "Shall I always say Miss Cuthbert? Can I call you Aunt Marilla?"

"No; you'll call me just plain Marilla. I'm not used to being called Miss Cuthbert and it would make me nervous."

"It sounds awfully disrespectful to say just Marilla," protested Anne.

"I guess there'll be nothing disrespectful in it if you're careful to speak respectfully. Everybody, young and old, in Avonlea calls me Marilla except the minister. He says Miss Cuthbert—when he thinks of it."

"I'd love to call you Aunt Marilla," said Anne wistfully. "I've never had an aunt or any relation at all—not even a grandmother. It would make me feel as if I really belonged to you. Can't I call you Aunt Marilla?"

"No. I'm not your aunt and I don't believe in calling people names that don't belong to them."

"But we could imagine you were my aunt."

"I couldn't," said Marilla grimly.

"Do you never imagine things different from what they really are?" asked Anne wide-eyed.

"No."

"Oh!" Anne drew a long breath. "Oh, Miss—Marilla, how much you miss!"

"I don't believe in imagining things different from what they really are," retorted Marilla. "When the Lord puts us in certain circumstances He doesn't mean for us to imagine them away. And that reminds me. Go into the sitting-room, Anne—be sure your feet are clean and don't let any flies in—and bring me out the illustrated card that's on the mantelpiece. The Lord's Prayer is on it and you'll devote your spare time this afternoon to learning it off by heart. There's to be no more of such praying as I heard last night."

"I suppose I was very awkward," said Anne apologetically, "but then, you see, I'd never had any practice. You couldn't really expect a person to pray very well the first time she tried, could you? I thought out a splendid prayer after I went to bed, just as I promised you I would. It was nearly as long as a minister's and so poetical. But would you believe it? I couldn't remember one word when I woke up this morning. And I'm afraid I'll never be able to think out another one as good. Somehow, things never are so good when they're thought out a second time. Have you ever noticed that?"

"Here is something for you to notice, Anne. When I tell you to do a thing I want you to obey me at once and not stand stock-still and discourse about it. Just you go and do as I bid you."

Anne promptly departed for the sitting-room across the hall; she failed to return; after waiting ten minutes Marilla laid down her knitting and marched after her with a grim expression. She found Anne standing motionless before a picture hanging on the wall between the two windows, with her hands clasped behind her, her face uplifted, and her eyes astar with dreams. The white and green light strained through apple-trees and clustering vines outside fell over the rapt little figure with a half-unearthly radiance.

"Anne, whatever are you thinking of?" demanded Marilla sharply.

Anne came back to earth with a start.

"That," she said, pointing to the picture—a rather vivid chromo entitled, "Christ Blessing Little Children"—"and I was just imagining I was one of them—that I was the little girl in the blue dress, standing off by herself in the corner as if she didn't belong to anybody, like me. She looks lonely and sad, don't you think? I guess she hadn't any father or mother of her own. But she wanted to be blessed, too, so she just crept shyly up on the outside of the crowd, hoping nobody would notice her—except Him. I'm sure I know just how she felt. Her heart must have beat and her hands must have got cold, like mine did when I asked you if I could stay. She was afraid He mightn't notice her. But it's likely He did, don't you think? I've been trying to imagine it all out—her edging a little nearer all the time until she was quite close to Him; and then He would look at her and put His hand on her hair and oh, such a thrill of joy as would run over her! But I wish the artist hadn't painted Him so sorrowful-looking. All His pictures are like that, if you've noticed. But I don't believe He could really have looked so sad or the children would have been afraid of Him."

"Anne," said Marilla, wondering why she had not broken into this speech long before, "you shouldn't talk that way. It's irreverent—positively irreverent."

Anne's eyes marvelled.

"Why, I felt just as reverent as could be. I'm sure I didn't mean to be irreverent."

"Well, I don't suppose you did—but it doesn't sound right to talk so familiarly about such things. And another thing, Anne, when I send you after something you're to bring it at once and not fall into mooning and imagining before pictures. Remember that. Take that card and come right to the kitchen. Now, sit down in the corner and learn that prayer off by heart."

Anne set the card up against the jugful of apple blossoms she had brought in to decorate the dinner-table—Marilla had eyed that decoration askance, but had said nothing—propped her chin on her hands, and fell to studying it intently for several silent minutes.

"I like this," she announced at length. "It's beautiful. I've heard it before—I heard the superintendent of the asylum Sunday-school say it over once. But I didn't like it then. He had such a cracked voice and he prayed it so mournfully. I really felt sure he thought praying was a disagreeable duty. This isn't poetry, but it makes me feel just the same way poetry does. 'Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.' That is just like a line of music. Oh, I'm so glad you thought of making me learn this, Miss—Marilla."

"Well, learn it and hold your tongue," said Marilla shortly.

Anne tipped the vase of apple blossoms near enough to bestow a soft kiss on a pink-cupped bud, and then studied diligently for some moments longer.

"Marilla," she demanded presently, "do you think that I shall ever have a bosom friend in Avonlea?"

"A—a what kind of a friend?"

"A bosom friend—an intimate friend, you know—a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I've dreamed of meeting her all my life. I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will, too. Do you think it's possible?"

"Diana Barry lives over at Orchard Slope and she's about your age. She's a very nice little girl, and perhaps she will be a playmate for you when she comes home. She's visiting her aunt over at Carmody just now. You'll have to be careful how you behave yourself, though. Mrs. Barry is a very particular woman. She won't let Diana play with any little girl who isn't nice and good."

Anne looked at Marilla through the apple blossoms, her eyes aglow with interest.

"What is Diana like? Her hair isn't red, is it? Oh, I hope not. It's bad enough to have red hair myself, but I positively couldn't endure it in a bosom friend."

"Diana is a very pretty little girl. She has black eyes and hair and rosy cheeks. And she is good and smart, which is better than being pretty."

Marilla was as fond of morals as the Duchess in Wonderland, and was firmly convinced that one should be tacked on to every remark made to a child who was being brought up.

But Anne waved the moral inconsequently aside and seized only on the delightful possibilities before it.

"Oh, I'm so glad she's pretty. Next to being beautiful oneself—and that's impossible in my case—it would be best to have a beautiful bosom friend. When I lived with Mrs. Thomas she had a bookcase in her sitting-room with glass doors. There weren't any books in it; Mrs. Thomas kept her best china and her preserves there—when she had any preserves to keep. One of the doors was broken. Mr. Thomas smashed it one night when he was slightly intoxicated. But the other was whole and I used to pretend that my reflection in it was another little girl who lived in it. I called her Katie Maurice, and we were very intimate. I used to talk to her by the hour, especially on Sunday, and tell her everything. Katie was the comfort and consolation of my life. We used to pretend that the bookcase was enchanted and that if I only knew the spell I could open the door and step right into the room where Katie Maurice lived, instead of into Mrs. Thomas' shelves of preserves and china. And then Katie Maurice would have taken me by the hand and led me out into a wonderful place, all flowers and sunshine and fairies, and we would have lived there happy for ever after. When I went to live with Mrs. Hammond it just broke my heart to leave Katie Maurice. She felt it dreadfully, too, I know she did, for she was crying when she kissed me good-bye through the bookcase door. There was no bookcase at Mrs. Hammond's. But just up the river a little way from the house there was a long green little valley, and the loveliest echo lived there. It echoed back every word you said, even if you didn't talk a bit loud. So I imagined that it was a little girl called Violetta and we were great friends and I loved her almost as well as I loved Katie Maurice—not quite, but almost, you know. The night before I went to the asylum I said good-bye to Violetta, and oh, her good-bye came back to me in such sad, sad tones. I had become so attached to her that I hadn't the heart to imagine a bosom friend at the asylum, even if there had been any scope for imagination there."

"I think it's just as well there wasn't," said Marilla drily. "I don't approve of such goings-on. You seem to half believe your own imaginations. It will be well for you to have a real live friend to put such nonsense out of your head. But don't let Mrs. Barry hear you talking about your Katie Maurices and your Violettas or she'll think you tell stories."

"Oh, I won't. I couldn't talk of them to everybody—their memories are too sacred for that. But I thought I'd like to have you know about them. Oh, look, here's a big bee just tumbled out of an apple blossom. Just think what a lovely place to live—in an apple blossom! Fancy going to sleep in it when the wind was rocking it. If I wasn't a human girl I think I'd like to be a bee and live among the flowers."

"Yesterday you wanted to be a sea-gull," sniffed Marilla. "I think you are very fickle-minded. I told you to learn that prayer and not talk. But it seems impossible for you to stop talking if you've got anybody that will listen to you. So go up to your room and learn it."

"Oh, I know it pretty nearly all now—all but just the last line."

"Well, never mind, do as I tell you. Go to your room and finish learning it well, and stay there until I call you down to help me get tea."

Can I take the apple blossoms with me for company?" pleaded Anne.

"No; you don't want your room cluttered up with flowers. You should have left them on the tree in the first place."

"I did feel a little that way, too," said Anne. "I kind of felt I shouldn't shorten their lovely lives by picking them—I wouldn't want to be picked if I were an apple blossom. But the temptation was irresistible. What do you do when you meet with an irresistible temptation?"

"Anne, did you hear me tell you to go to your room?"

Anne sighed, retreated to the east gable, and sat down in a chair by the window.

"There—I know this prayer. I learned that last sentence coming up-stairs. Now I'm going to imagine things into this room so that they'll always stay imagined. The floor is covered with a white velvet carpet with pink roses all over it and there are pink silk curtains at the windows. The walls are hung with gold and silver brocade tapestry. The furniture is mahogany. I never saw any mahogany, but it does sound so luxurious. This is a couch all heaped with gorgeous silken cushions, pink and blue and crimson and gold, and I am reclining gracefully on it. I can see my reflection in that splendid big mirror hanging on the wall. I am tall and regal, clad in a gown of trailing white lace, with a pearl cross on my breast and pearls in my hair. My hair is of midnight darkness and my skin is a clear ivory pallor. My name is the Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald. No, it isn't—I can't make that seem real."

She danced up to the little looking-glass and peered into it. Her pointed freckled face and solemn gray eyes peered back at her.

"You're only Anne of Green Gables," she said earnestly, "and I see you, just as you are looking now, whenever I try to imagine I'm the Lady Cordelia. But it's a million times nicer to be Anne of Green Gables than Anne of nowhere in particular, isn't it?"

She bent forward, kissed her reflection affectionately, and betook herself to the open window.

"Dear Snow Queen, good afternoon. And good afternoon, dear birches down in the hollow. And good afternoon, dear gray house up on the hill. I wonder if Diana is to be my bosom friend. I hope she will, and I shall love her very much. But I must never quite forget Katie Maurice and Violetta. They would feel so hurt if I did and I'd hate to hurt anybody's feelings, even a little bookcase girl's or a little echo girl's. I must be careful to remember them and send them a kiss every day."

Anne blew a couple of airy kisses from her fingertips past the cherry blossoms and then, with her chin in her hands, drifted luxuriously out on a sea of daydreams.
unit 1
CHAPTER VIII.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 2
ANNE'S BRINGING-UP IS BEGUN.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 9
It's a dreadful feeling.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 10
Please tell me."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 12
"Just go and do it before you ask any more questions, Anne."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 13
Anne went and attended to the dish-cloth.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 17
Why, child, whatever is the matter?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 18
"I'm crying," said Anne in a tone of bewilderment.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 19
"I can't think why.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 20
I'm glad as glad can be.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 21
Oh, glad doesn't seem the right word at all.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 22
I was glad about the White Way and the cherry blossoms—but this!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 23
Oh, it's something more than glad.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 24
I'm so happy.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 25
I'll try to be so good.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 27
However, I'll do my very best.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 28
But can you tell me why I'm crying?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 30
"Sit down on that chair and try to calm yourself.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 31
I'm afraid you both cry and laugh far too easily.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 32
Yes, you can stay here and we will try to do right by you.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 34
"What am I to call you?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 35
asked Anne.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 36
"Shall I always say Miss Cuthbert?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 37
Can I call you Aunt Marilla?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 38
"No; you'll call me just plain Marilla.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 39
unit 40
"It sounds awfully disrespectful to say just Marilla," protested Anne.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 42
unit 43
He says Miss Cuthbert—when he thinks of it."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 44
"I'd love to call you Aunt Marilla," said Anne wistfully.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 45
"I've never had an aunt or any relation at all—not even a grandmother.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 46
It would make me feel as if I really belonged to you.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 47
Can't I call you Aunt Marilla?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 48
"No.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 50
"But we could imagine you were my aunt."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 51
"I couldn't," said Marilla grimly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 52
"Do you never imagine things different from what they really are?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 53
asked Anne wide-eyed.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 54
"No."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 55
"Oh!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 56
Anne drew a long breath.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 57
"Oh, Miss—Marilla, how much you miss!"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 60
And that reminds me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 63
There's to be no more of such praying as I heard last night."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 67
It was nearly as long as a minister's and so poetical.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 68
But would you believe it?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 69
I couldn't remember one word when I woke up this morning.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 70
And I'm afraid I'll never be able to think out another one as good.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 71
unit 72
Have you ever noticed that?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 73
"Here is something for you to notice, Anne.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 75
Just you go and do as I bid you."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 79
"Anne, whatever are you thinking of?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 80
demanded Marilla sharply.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 81
Anne came back to earth with a start.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 83
She looks lonely and sad, don't you think?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 84
I guess she hadn't any father or mother of her own.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 86
I'm sure I know just how she felt.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 88
She was afraid He mightn't notice her.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 89
But it's likely He did, don't you think?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 91
But I wish the artist hadn't painted Him so sorrowful-looking.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 92
All His pictures are like that, if you've noticed.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 95
It's irreverent—positively irreverent."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 96
Anne's eyes marvelled.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 97
"Why, I felt just as reverent as could be.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 98
I'm sure I didn't mean to be irreverent."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 101
Remember that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 102
Take that card and come right to the kitchen.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 103
Now, sit down in the corner and learn that prayer off by heart."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 105
"I like this," she announced at length.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 106
"It's beautiful.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 108
But I didn't like it then.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 109
He had such a cracked voice and he prayed it so mournfully.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 110
I really felt sure he thought praying was a disagreeable duty.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 111
This isn't poetry, but it makes me feel just the same way poetry does.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 112
'Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 113
That is just like a line of music.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 114
Oh, I'm so glad you thought of making me learn this, Miss—Marilla."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 115
"Well, learn it and hold your tongue," said Marilla shortly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 118
"A—a what kind of a friend?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 120
I've dreamed of meeting her all my life.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 122
Do you think it's possible?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 123
"Diana Barry lives over at Orchard Slope and she's about your age.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 125
She's visiting her aunt over at Carmody just now.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 126
You'll have to be careful how you behave yourself, though.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 127
Mrs. Barry is a very particular woman.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 128
She won't let Diana play with any little girl who isn't nice and good."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 130
"What is Diana like?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 131
Her hair isn't red, is it?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 132
Oh, I hope not.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 134
"Diana is a very pretty little girl.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 135
She has black eyes and hair and rosy cheeks.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 136
And she is good and smart, which is better than being pretty."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 139
"Oh, I'm so glad she's pretty.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 143
One of the doors was broken.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 144
Mr. Thomas smashed it one night when he was slightly intoxicated.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 146
I called her Katie Maurice, and we were very intimate.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 148
Katie was the comfort and consolation of my life.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 153
There was no bookcase at Mrs. Hammond's.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 155
It echoed back every word you said, even if you didn't talk a bit loud.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 159
"I think it's just as well there wasn't," said Marilla drily.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 160
"I don't approve of such goings-on.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 161
You seem to half believe your own imaginations.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 164
"Oh, I won't.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 165
unit 166
But I thought I'd like to have you know about them.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 167
Oh, look, here's a big bee just tumbled out of an apple blossom.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 168
Just think what a lovely place to live—in an apple blossom!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 169
Fancy going to sleep in it when the wind was rocking it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 171
"Yesterday you wanted to be a sea-gull," sniffed Marilla.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 172
"I think you are very fickle-minded.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 173
I told you to learn that prayer and not talk.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 175
So go up to your room and learn it."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 176
"Oh, I know it pretty nearly all now—all but just the last line."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 177
"Well, never mind, do as I tell you.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 179
Can I take the apple blossoms with me for company?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 180
pleaded Anne.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 181
"No; you don't want your room cluttered up with flowers.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 182
You should have left them on the tree in the first place."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 183
"I did feel a little that way, too," said Anne.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 185
But the temptation was irresistible.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 186
What do you do when you meet with an irresistible temptation?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 187
"Anne, did you hear me tell you to go to your room?"
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 189
"There—I know this prayer.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 190
I learned that last sentence coming up-stairs.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 193
The walls are hung with gold and silver brocade tapestry.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 194
The furniture is mahogany.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 195
I never saw any mahogany, but it does sound so luxurious.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 197
I can see my reflection in that splendid big mirror hanging on the wall.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 199
My hair is of midnight darkness and my skin is a clear ivory pallor.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 200
My name is the Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 201
No, it isn't—I can't make that seem real."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 202
She danced up to the little looking-glass and peered into it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 203
Her pointed freckled face and solemn gray eyes peered back at her.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 207
"Dear Snow Queen, good afternoon.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 208
And good afternoon, dear birches down in the hollow.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 209
And good afternoon, dear gray house up on the hill.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 210
I wonder if Diana is to be my bosom friend.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 211
I hope she will, and I shall love her very much.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 212
But I must never quite forget Katie Maurice and Violetta.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 214
I must be careful to remember them and send them a kiss every day."
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None

CHAPTER VIII.

ANNE'S BRINGING-UP IS BEGUN.

For reasons best known to herself, Marilla did not tell Anne that she was to stay at Green Gables until the next afternoon. During the forenoon she kept the child busy with various tasks and watched over her with a keen eye while she did them. By noon she had concluded that Anne was smart and obedient, willing to work and quick to learn; her most serious shortcoming seemed to be a tendency to fall into day-dreams in the middle of a task and forget all about it until such time as she was sharply recalled to earth by a reprimand or a catastrophe.

When Anne had finished washing the dinner dishes she suddenly confronted Marilla with the air and expression of one desperately determined to learn the worst. Her thin little body trembled from head to foot; her face flushed and her eyes dilated until they were almost black; she clasped her hands tightly and said in an imploring voice:

"Oh, please, Miss Cuthbert, won't you tell me if you are going to send me away or not? I've tried to be patient all the morning, but I really feel that I cannot bear not knowing any longer. It's a dreadful feeling. Please tell me."

"You haven't scalded the dish-cloth in clean hot water as I told you to do," said Marilla immovably. "Just go and do it before you ask any more questions, Anne."

Anne went and attended to the dish-cloth. Then she returned to Marilla and fastened imploring eyes on the latter's face.

"Well," said Marilla, unable to find any excuse for deferring her explanation longer, "I suppose I might as well tell you. Matthew and I have decided to keep you—that is, if you will try to be a good little girl and show yourself grateful. Why, child, whatever is the matter?"

"I'm crying," said Anne in a tone of bewilderment. "I can't think why. I'm glad as glad can be. Oh, glad doesn't seem the right word at all. I was glad about the White Way and the cherry blossoms—but this! Oh, it's something more than glad. I'm so happy. I'll try to be so good. It will be up-hill work, I expect, for Mrs. Thomas often told me I was desperately wicked. However, I'll do my very best. But can you tell me why I'm crying?"

"I suppose it's because you're all excited and worked up," said Marilla disapprovingly. "Sit down on that chair and try to calm yourself. I'm afraid you both cry and laugh far too easily. Yes, you can stay here and we will try to do right by you. You must go to school; but it's only a fortnight till vacation so it isn't worth while for you to start before it opens again in September."

"What am I to call you?" asked Anne. "Shall I always say Miss Cuthbert? Can I call you Aunt Marilla?"

"No; you'll call me just plain Marilla. I'm not used to being called Miss Cuthbert and it would make me nervous."

"It sounds awfully disrespectful to say just Marilla," protested Anne.

"I guess there'll be nothing disrespectful in it if you're careful to speak respectfully. Everybody, young and old, in Avonlea calls me Marilla except the minister. He says Miss Cuthbert—when he thinks of it."

"I'd love to call you Aunt Marilla," said Anne wistfully. "I've never had an aunt or any relation at all—not even a grandmother. It would make me feel as if I really belonged to you. Can't I call you Aunt Marilla?"

"No. I'm not your aunt and I don't believe in calling people names that don't belong to them."

"But we could imagine you were my aunt."

"I couldn't," said Marilla grimly.

"Do you never imagine things different from what they really are?" asked Anne wide-eyed.

"No."

"Oh!" Anne drew a long breath. "Oh, Miss—Marilla, how much you miss!"

"I don't believe in imagining things different from what they really are," retorted Marilla. "When the Lord puts us in certain circumstances He doesn't mean for us to imagine them away. And that reminds me. Go into the sitting-room, Anne—be sure your feet are clean and don't let any flies in—and bring me out the illustrated card that's on the mantelpiece. The Lord's Prayer is on it and you'll devote your spare time this afternoon to learning it off by heart. There's to be no more of such praying as I heard last night."

"I suppose I was very awkward," said Anne apologetically, "but then, you see, I'd never had any practice. You couldn't really expect a person to pray very well the first time she tried, could you? I thought out a splendid prayer after I went to bed, just as I promised you I would. It was nearly as long as a minister's and so poetical. But would you believe it? I couldn't remember one word when I woke up this morning. And I'm afraid I'll never be able to think out another one as good. Somehow, things never are so good when they're thought out a second time. Have you ever noticed that?"

"Here is something for you to notice, Anne. When I tell you to do a thing I want you to obey me at once and not stand stock-still and discourse about it. Just you go and do as I bid you."

Anne promptly departed for the sitting-room across the hall; she failed to return; after waiting ten minutes Marilla laid down her knitting and marched after her with a grim expression. She found Anne standing motionless before a picture hanging on the wall between the two windows, with her hands clasped behind her, her face uplifted, and her eyes astar with dreams. The white and green light strained through apple-trees and clustering vines outside fell over the rapt little figure with a half-unearthly radiance.

"Anne, whatever are you thinking of?" demanded Marilla sharply.

Anne came back to earth with a start.

"That," she said, pointing to the picture—a rather vivid chromo entitled, "Christ Blessing Little Children"—"and I was just imagining I was one of them—that I was the little girl in the blue dress, standing off by herself in the corner as if she didn't belong to anybody, like me. She looks lonely and sad, don't you think? I guess she hadn't any father or mother of her own. But she wanted to be blessed, too, so she just crept shyly up on the outside of the crowd, hoping nobody would notice her—except Him. I'm sure I know just how she felt. Her heart must have beat and her hands must have got cold, like mine did when I asked you if I could stay. She was afraid He mightn't notice her. But it's likely He did, don't you think? I've been trying to imagine it all out—her edging a little nearer all the time until she was quite close to Him; and then He would look at her and put His hand on her hair and oh, such a thrill of joy as would run over her! But I wish the artist hadn't painted Him so sorrowful-looking. All His pictures are like that, if you've noticed. But I don't believe He could really have looked so sad or the children would have been afraid of Him."

"Anne," said Marilla, wondering why she had not broken into this speech long before, "you shouldn't talk that way. It's irreverent—positively irreverent."

Anne's eyes marvelled.

"Why, I felt just as reverent as could be. I'm sure I didn't mean to be irreverent."

"Well, I don't suppose you did—but it doesn't sound right to talk so familiarly about such things. And another thing, Anne, when I send you after something you're to bring it at once and not fall into mooning and imagining before pictures. Remember that. Take that card and come right to the kitchen. Now, sit down in the corner and learn that prayer off by heart."

Anne set the card up against the jugful of apple blossoms she had brought in to decorate the dinner-table—Marilla had eyed that decoration askance, but had said nothing—propped her chin on her hands, and fell to studying it intently for several silent minutes.

"I like this," she announced at length. "It's beautiful. I've heard it before—I heard the superintendent of the asylum Sunday-school say it over once. But I didn't like it then. He had such a cracked voice and he prayed it so mournfully. I really felt sure he thought praying was a disagreeable duty. This isn't poetry, but it makes me feel just the same way poetry does. 'Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.' That is just like a line of music. Oh, I'm so glad you thought of making me learn this, Miss—Marilla."

"Well, learn it and hold your tongue," said Marilla shortly.

Anne tipped the vase of apple blossoms near enough to bestow a soft kiss on a pink-cupped bud, and then studied diligently for some moments longer.

"Marilla," she demanded presently, "do you think that I shall ever have a bosom friend in Avonlea?"

"A—a what kind of a friend?"

"A bosom friend—an intimate friend, you know—a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I've dreamed of meeting her all my life. I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will, too. Do you think it's possible?"

"Diana Barry lives over at Orchard Slope and she's about your age. She's a very nice little girl, and perhaps she will be a playmate for you when she comes home. She's visiting her aunt over at Carmody just now. You'll have to be careful how you behave yourself, though. Mrs. Barry is a very particular woman. She won't let Diana play with any little girl who isn't nice and good."

Anne looked at Marilla through the apple blossoms, her eyes aglow with interest.

"What is Diana like? Her hair isn't red, is it? Oh, I hope not. It's bad enough to have red hair myself, but I positively couldn't endure it in a bosom friend."

"Diana is a very pretty little girl. She has black eyes and hair and rosy cheeks. And she is good and smart, which is better than being pretty."

Marilla was as fond of morals as the Duchess in Wonderland, and was firmly convinced that one should be tacked on to every remark made to a child who was being brought up.

But Anne waved the moral inconsequently aside and seized only on the delightful possibilities before it.

"Oh, I'm so glad she's pretty. Next to being beautiful oneself—and that's impossible in my case—it would be best to have a beautiful bosom friend. When I lived with Mrs. Thomas she had a bookcase in her sitting-room with glass doors. There weren't any books in it; Mrs. Thomas kept her best china and her preserves there—when she had any preserves to keep. One of the doors was broken. Mr. Thomas smashed it one night when he was slightly intoxicated. But the other was whole and I used to pretend that my reflection in it was another little girl who lived in it. I called her Katie Maurice, and we were very intimate. I used to talk to her by the hour, especially on Sunday, and tell her everything. Katie was the comfort and consolation of my life. We used to pretend that the bookcase was enchanted and that if I only knew the spell I could open the door and step right into the room where Katie Maurice lived, instead of into Mrs. Thomas' shelves of preserves and china. And then Katie Maurice would have taken me by the hand and led me out into a wonderful place, all flowers and sunshine and fairies, and we would have lived there happy for ever after. When I went to live with Mrs. Hammond it just broke my heart to leave Katie Maurice. She felt it dreadfully, too, I know she did, for she was crying when she kissed me good-bye through the bookcase door. There was no bookcase at Mrs. Hammond's. But just up the river a little way from the house there was a long green little valley, and the loveliest echo lived there. It echoed back every word you said, even if you didn't talk a bit loud. So I imagined that it was a little girl called Violetta and we were great friends and I loved her almost as well as I loved Katie Maurice—not quite, but almost, you know. The night before I went to the asylum I said good-bye to Violetta, and oh, her good-bye came back to me in such sad, sad tones. I had become so attached to her that I hadn't the heart to imagine a bosom friend at the asylum, even if there had been any scope for imagination there."

"I think it's just as well there wasn't," said Marilla drily. "I don't approve of such goings-on. You seem to half believe your own imaginations. It will be well for you to have a real live friend to put such nonsense out of your head. But don't let Mrs. Barry hear you talking about your Katie Maurices and your Violettas or she'll think you tell stories."

"Oh, I won't. I couldn't talk of them to everybody—their memories are too sacred for that. But I thought I'd like to have you know about them. Oh, look, here's a big bee just tumbled out of an apple blossom. Just think what a lovely place to live—in an apple blossom! Fancy going to sleep in it when the wind was rocking it. If I wasn't a human girl I think I'd like to be a bee and live among the flowers."

"Yesterday you wanted to be a sea-gull," sniffed Marilla. "I think you are very fickle-minded. I told you to learn that prayer and not talk. But it seems impossible for you to stop talking if you've got anybody that will listen to you. So go up to your room and learn it."

"Oh, I know it pretty nearly all now—all but just the last line."

"Well, never mind, do as I tell you. Go to your room and finish learning it well, and stay there until I call you down to help me get tea."

Can I take the apple blossoms with me for company?" pleaded Anne.

"No; you don't want your room cluttered up with flowers. You should have left them on the tree in the first place."

"I did feel a little that way, too," said Anne. "I kind of felt I shouldn't shorten their lovely lives by picking them—I wouldn't want to be picked if I were an apple blossom. But the temptation was irresistible. What do you do when you meet with an irresistible temptation?"

"Anne, did you hear me tell you to go to your room?"

Anne sighed, retreated to the east gable, and sat down in a chair by the window.

"There—I know this prayer. I learned that last sentence coming up-stairs. Now I'm going to imagine things into this room so that they'll always stay imagined. The floor is covered with a white velvet carpet with pink roses all over it and there are pink silk curtains at the windows. The walls are hung with gold and silver brocade tapestry. The furniture is mahogany. I never saw any mahogany, but it does sound so luxurious. This is a couch all heaped with gorgeous silken cushions, pink and blue and crimson and gold, and I am reclining gracefully on it. I can see my reflection in that splendid big mirror hanging on the wall. I am tall and regal, clad in a gown of trailing white lace, with a pearl cross on my breast and pearls in my hair. My hair is of midnight darkness and my skin is a clear ivory pallor. My name is the Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald. No, it isn't—I can't make that seem real."

She danced up to the little looking-glass and peered into it. Her pointed freckled face and solemn gray eyes peered back at her.

"You're only Anne of Green Gables," she said earnestly, "and I see you, just as you are looking now, whenever I try to imagine I'm the Lady Cordelia. But it's a million times nicer to be Anne of Green Gables than Anne of nowhere in particular, isn't it?"

She bent forward, kissed her reflection affectionately, and betook herself to the open window.

"Dear Snow Queen, good afternoon. And good afternoon, dear birches down in the hollow. And good afternoon, dear gray house up on the hill. I wonder if Diana is to be my bosom friend. I hope she will, and I shall love her very much. But I must never quite forget Katie Maurice and Violetta. They would feel so hurt if I did and I'd hate to hurt anybody's feelings, even a little bookcase girl's or a little echo girl's. I must be careful to remember them and send them a kiss every day."

Anne blew a couple of airy kisses from her fingertips past the cherry blossoms and then, with her chin in her hands, drifted luxuriously out on a sea of daydreams.