en-fr  Anne of Green Gables /Chapter IV Medium
CHAPITRE IV.


Une matinée à Green Gables.


Il faisait grand jour quand Anne se réveilla et s'assit dans son lit ; elle regarda, d'un œil encore confus, la fenêtre à travers laquelle un flot de soleil joyeux se déversait et au-delà de laquelle une forme blanche et duveteuse ondulait sur un ciel bleu.

Pendant un moment, elle ne put se rappeler où elle se trouvait. D'abord un frisson délicieux monta en elle, quelque chose de très agréable, puis, ce fut un horrible souvenir. Elle se trouvait à Green Gables et on ne voulait pas d'elle parce qu'elle n'était pas un garçon !

Mais c'était le matin et... oui, c'était un cerisier en pleine floraison devant sa fenêtre. D'un bond elle fut hors du lit et elle traversa la chambre. Elle souleva le cadre de la fenêtre, qui coulissa difficilement en craquant, comme s'il n'avait pas été ouvert depuis longtemps — ce qui était le cas —, et il se trouva tellement coincé qu'il n'était pas nécessaire de l'empêcher de se rabattre..

Anne se mit à genoux et contempla ce matin de juin, les yeux brillants de joie. Oh, n'était-ce pas magnifique ? N'était-ce pas un endroit ravissant ? Quand bien même elle ne resterait pas beaucoup ici ! Elle pourrait imaginer qu'elle s'y trouvait. Il y avait de la place pour l'imagination ici.

Un immense cerisier poussait à l'extérieur, si près que ses branches frappaient contre la maison, et il était tellement chargé de fleurs qu'on apercevait difficilement une feuille. De part et d'autre de la maison s'étendait un vaste verger, sur la droite des pommiers et sur la gauche des cerisiers, tout aussi recouverts de fleurs ; et l'herbe était toute parsemée de pissenlits. Dans le jardin en contrebas, se trouvaient des lilas violets en fleurs, et leur doux parfum enivrant dérivait jusqu'à la fenêtre porté par le vent du matin.

En contrebas du jardin, une pré verdoyant de trèfles descendait vers le vallon dans lequel courait le ruisseau et où de nombreux bouleaux blancs s'élevaient doucement d'un sous-bois laissant imaginer d'exquises fougères, mousses et autre richesses sylvestres. Au-delà, s'élevait une colline verte et plumeuse d'épinettes et de sapins ; il y avait une trouée là où le pignon gris de la petite maison qu'elle avait vue de l'autre côté du lac des Eaux Brillantes se découpait.

Sur la gauche, se trouvaient les grandes granges et, au-delà des champs verts qui s'étendaient doucement jusqu'au bas de la pente, scintillait un éclat bleu de mer.

Les yeux d'Anne, épris de ces merveilles s'attardaient sur toutes, les dévorant toutes avec avidité. Elle avait vu tant d'endroits si laids dans sa vie — la pauvre petite —, mais ce qui s'offrait à sa vue était aussi beau que tout ce dont elle avait pu rêver.

Elle restait agenouillée là, coupée de tout excepté de la magnificence qui l'enveloppait, jusqu'à ce qu'une main se posant sur son épaule ne la fît sursauter. La petite rêveuse n'avait pas entendu entrer Marilla.

— Il est temps de t'habiler, dit-elle sans ménagement.

Marilla ne savait vraiment pas comment s'adresser à l'enfant, et sa méconnaissance gênante la rendait cassante et brusque quand elle ne voulait pas l'être.

Anne se leva et prit une longue inspiration.

— Oh, n'est-ce pas merveilleux ? dit-elle, agitant la main de manière globale au beau monde de dehors.

— C'est un grand arbre, dit Marilla, et il fleurit en abondance, mais les fruits ne valent jamais grand chose — petits et pleins de vers.

— Oh, je ne parle pas seulement de l'arbre ; bien sûr, il est superbe — oui, il est d'une beauté éclatante — il fleurit comme si c'était sa raison d'être — mais je parlais de tout, du jardin, du verger, du ruisseau et des bois, de tout ce cher grand monde. Ne vous sentez-vous pas comme si vous aimiez pleinement le monde, un matin comme celui-ci ? Et j'entends le rire du ruisseau cheminer d'en bas jusqu'ici. Avez-vous déjà remarqué combien les ruisseaux sont joyeux ? Ils rient toujours. Même en hiver je les ai entendus sous la glace. Je suis si contente qu'il y ait un ruisseau à coté de Green Gables. Sans doute pensez-vous que cela m'importe peu puisque vous n'allez pas me garder, mais au contraire. Je me souviendrai toujours avec plaisir qu'un ruisseau coule à Green Gables même si je ne dois jamais le revoir. S'il n'y avait pas eu un ruisseau, j'aurais toujours été hantée par le sentiment désagréable qu'il aurait dû y en avoir un. Je ne suis pas au fond du désespoir, ce matin. Cela ne m'arrive jamais le matin. N'est-ce pas une chose merveilleuse qu'il y ait des matins ? Mais je me sens très triste. J'étais juste en train d'imaginer que c'était vraiment moi que vous vouliez en fin de compte et que je resterais ici pour toujours. Cela m'a été d'un grand réconfort tant que ça a duré. Mais, quand on imagine des choses, le pire, c'est qu'à un moment il faut cesser et ça fait mal. "

— Tu ferais mieux de t'habiller, de descendre les escaliers et de ne plus te soucier de ton imagination, dit Marilla dès qu'elle put placer un mot. Le petit déjeuner attend. Débarbouille-toi et coiffe-toi. Laisse la fenêtre ouverte et replie tes draps et couvertures au pied du lit. Fais aussi vite que tu peux.

Anne pouvait évidemment se montrer vive parce qu'elle fut en bas en moins de dix minutes, vêtements bien arrangés, cheveux brossés et tressés, visage débarbouillé, l'âme emplie de la sereine conscience qu'elle avait rempli toutes les exigences de Marilla. Toutefois, pour être exact, elle avait oublié de replier les couvertures.

— Je suis affamée ce matin, déclara-t-elle, et elle se glissa sur la chaise que Marilla avait installée pour elle. Le monde ne semble pas aussi terriblement sauvage que la nuit dernière. Je suis si contente que cette matinée soit ensoleillée. Mais j'aime bien les matins pluvieux aussi. Chaque genre de matin est intéressant, vous ne trouvez pas ? On ignore ce qui se passera au cours de la journée, et il y a tant de place pour l'imagination. Mais je suis contente qu'il ne pleuve pas aujourd'hui, car il est plus facile d'être joyeux et de supporter l'affliction un jour ensoleillé. Je pense que j'ai pas mal à supporter. C'est très bien de lire des histoires tristes et de s'imaginer vivre à travers elles héroïquement, mais ce n'est pas si plaisant quand on en vient à les vivre, n'est-ce pas ?

Par pitié, retiens ta langue, dit Marilla. Tu parles décidément trop pour une petite fille.

Sur ce, Anne tint si docilement et si bien sa langue, que son silence prolongé rendit Marilla plutôt nerveuse, comme si elle était en présence de quelque chose qui n'était pas vraiment naturel. Matthew tenait aussi sa langue — mais en tout cas c'était naturel — de sorte que le repas était très silencieux.

Au fur et à mesure que le petit-déjeuner avançait, Anne devenait de plus en plus distraite, mangeait par automatisme, avec ses grands yeux immobiles rivés sur le ciel sans le voir à l'extérieur de la fenêtre. Cela rendit Marilla plus nerveuse que jamais; elle avait la désagréable impression que, pendant que le corps de cet étrange enfant était attablé, son esprit était loin, dans quelque lointain nuage aérien, porté sur les ailes de l'imagination. Qui voudrait d'une telle enfant dans ce lieu ?

Pourtant, pour toutes ces choses inexplicables, Matthew voulait la garder ! Marilla sentait qu'il le souhaitait autant ce matin qu'il l'avait fait la veille et qu'il continuerait à le vouloir. C'était bien la manière d'agir de Matthew — se mettre lubie en tête et s'y accrocher avec la plus incroyable persistance silencieuse — une persistance dix fois plus puissante et efficace par son silence que s'il l'avait exprimée.

Quand le repas fut fini, Anne sortit de sa rêverie et offrit de faire la vaisselle.

— Est-ce que tu sais faire la vaisselle comme il faut? demanda Marilla sceptique.

— Très bien. Mais je suis meilleure pour m'occuper des enfants. J'en ai tellement l'habitude. C'est vraiment dommage que vous n'en ayez aucun ici dont je puisse m'occuper.

Je n'ai aucune envie de vouloir davantage d'enfants à élever que j'en ai à présent. En toute conscience, tu es un problème suffisant. Que va t-on faire de toi, je l'ignore. Matthew est le plus insensé des hommes.

— Je pense qu'il est adorable, dit Anne sur un ton de reproches. — Il est tellement si sympathique. - Ça ne le dérangeait pas à quel point je parlais trop - il semblait apprécier cela. Dès que je l'ai vu, j'ai senti que nous étions des âmes sœurs.

— Vous êtes tous les deux assez bizarres, si c'est ce que tu veux dire par « âmes sœurs », renifla Marilla. — Oui, tu peux faire la vaisselle. Prends beaucoup d'eau chaude et assure-toi de bien essuyer les assiettes. J'ai tout un tas de choses à faire ce matin car je devrai aller à White Sands dans l'après-midi pour voir Mme Spencer. Tu viendras avec moi et nous règlerons ce qui doit l'être en ce qui te concerne. Quand tu auras fini la vaisselle, tu monteras faire ton lit.

Anne lavait plutôt habilement la vaisselle, comme pu le constater Marilla qui surveillait la manœuvre d'un œil aiguisé. Plus tard, elle fit son lit avec moins de succès car elle n'avait jamais appris l'art d'en découdre avec un surmatelas en plume. Mais il fut finalement fait et lissé ; alors Marilla, pour se débarrasser d'elle, lui dit qu'elle pouvait sortir et s'amuser jusqu'à l'heure du déjeuner.

Anne s'élança jusqu'à la porte, le visage éclairé, le regard brillant. Sur le seuil même, elle s'arrêta net, fit volte-face, revint et s'assit près de la table, leur lumière et leur éclat aussi sûrement éteints que si quelqu'un avait déversé un extincteur sur elle.

— Qu'y a-t-il à présent ? demanda Marilla.

— Je n'ose pas sortir, dit Anne avec le ton d'un martyr renonçant à toutes joies terrestres. Si je ne peux pas rester ici, cela ne sert à rien que j'apprécie Green Gables. Et si je vais à l'extérieur et fais la connaissance avec tous ces arbres et fleurs et le verger et le ruisseau je n'arriverai pas à ne pas l'aimer. Maintenant c'est assez dur, donc je ne le ferais pas plus difficile. J'ai tellement envie de sortir ... il me semble que tout m'appelle 'Anne, Anne, viens nous rejoindre. Anne, Anne, nous voulons une copine' ... mais c'est mieux de ne pas le faire. Cela ne sert à rien d'aimer les choses si vous devez en être arraché, n'est-ce pas ? Et c'est si difficile de ne pas aimer les choses, n'est-ce pas ? C'est pourquoi j'étais si heureuse quand j'ai pensé que j'allais vivre ici. Je pensais que j'aurais tellement de choses à aimer et rien pour m'entraver. Mais ce ne fut qu'un rêve éphémère. Je suis résignée à mon sort maintenant, alors je ne pense pas que je vais sortir de peur que ma volonté ne vacille à nouveau.. Quel est le nom de ce géranium sur le rebord de la fenêtre, s'il vous plaît ?

— C'est le géranium qui sent la pomme.

— Oh, je ne veux pas dire ce genre de nom. Je veux dire le nom que vous lui avez donné personnellement. Vous ne lui avez pas donné de nom ! Puis-je lui en donner un alors ? Puis-je l'appeler... voyons... Bonny, ce serait bien... puis-je l'appeler Bonny, le temps que je reste ici ? Oh, permettez-le moi !

— Bonté divine, cela m'est égal. Mais, par tous les Saints, à quoi ça rime de donner un nom à un géranium ?

— Oh, j'aime que les choses aient un petit nom même s'il ne s'agit que de géraniums. Ainsi elles semblent plus humaines. Comment pouvez-vous savoir si cela ne blesse pas la sensibilité d'un géranium d'être simplement appelé géranium et rien de plus ? Vous n'aimeriez qu'on vous donne tout le temps et uniquement le nom de femme. — Oui, je vais l'appeler Bonny. Ce matin, j'ai donné un nom au cerisier devant la fenêtre de ma chambre. Je l'ai baptisé Snow Queen parce qu'il était si blanc. Bien sûr, il ne sera pas toujours en fleurs, mais on peut imaginer qu'il le soit, n'est-ce pas ?

— De toute ma vie je n'ai jamais rien vu de semblable marmonna Marilla, s'échappant dans la cave à la recherche de pommes de terre. Elle est intéressante, comme le dit Matthew. Je sens déjà que je me demande ce qu'elle va dire ensuite. Elle va lancer un sort sur moi aussi. Elle l'a jeté sur Matthew. Ce regard qu'il m'a jeté quand il est sorti soulignait tout ce qu'il a dit ou laissé sous-entendre hier soir encore. J'aurais souhaité qu'il soit comme les autres hommes et qu'il soit capable de s'exprimer. Pourrait-on lui répondre et lui faire entendre raison. Mais que faire avec un homme qui a seulement des regards ?

Anne était retombée dans sa rêverie, le menton dans les mains, les yeux levés vers le ciel, lorsque Marilla revint de son pèlerinage à la cave. Marilla la laissa ainsi jusqu’à ce que le dîner, servi tôt, fût sur la table.

— Je suppose que je peux disposer de la jument et de la calèche cet après-midi, Matthew ? questionna Marilla.

Matthew acquiesça et regarda Anne mélancoliquement. Marilla surprit son regard et dit d'un air sévère : Je vais aller jusqu'à White Sands et régler cette affaire. J'emmènerai Anne avec moi et Mme Spencer prendra surement des dispositions sur-le-champ pour la renvoyer en Nouvelle Écosse. Je préparerai le thé à ton intention et je serai de retour à temps à la maison pour traire les vaches.

Matthew ne pipait toujours pas mot et Marilla eut l'impression d'avoir gaspillé sa salive et son temps. Il n'y a rien de plus agaçant qu'un homme qui ne répond pas... si ce n'est une femme.

Matthew attela la jument au boghei à l'heure dite, et Marilla et Anne partirent. Matthew ouvrit pour elles le portail du jardin, et tandis qu'elles le franchissaient au pas, il dit, à l'intention de personne en particulier semblait-il : le petit Jerry Buote de Creek était là ce matin, et je lui ai dit que je songeais à l'embaucher pour l'été.

Marilla ne répondit pas, mais elle frappa l'infortunée alezane d'un si méchant coup de fouet que la grosse jument, qui n'était pas habituée à un tel traitement, fusa avec indignation dans l'allée à une vitesse effrayante . Marilla lança un seul regard en arrière tandis que le boghei poursuivait en cahotant et vit cet agaçant de Matthew penché sur le portail, qui les observait avec mélancolie.
unit 1
CHAPTER IV.
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MORNING AT GREEN GABLES.
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For a moment she could not remember where she was.
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This was Green Gables and they didn't want her because she wasn't a boy!
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With a bound she was out of bed and across the floor.
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Oh, wasn't it beautiful?
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Wasn't it a lovely place?
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Suppose she wasn't really going to stay here!
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She would imagine she was.
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There was scope for imagination here.
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Marilla had come in unheard by the small dreamer.
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"It's time you were dressed," she said curtly.
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Anne stood up and drew a long breath.
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"Oh, isn't it wonderful?"
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she said, waving her hand comprehensively at the good world outside.
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Don't you feel as if you just loved the world on a morning like this?
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And I can hear the brook laughing all the way up here.
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Have you ever noticed what cheerful things brooks are?
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They're always laughing.
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Even in winter-time I've heard them under the ice.
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I'm so glad there's a brook near Green Gables.
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I'm not in the depths of despair this morning.
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I never can be in the morning.
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Isn't it a splendid thing that there are mornings?
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But I feel very sad.
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It was a great comfort while it lasted.
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"Breakfast is waiting.
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Wash your face and comb your hair.
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Leave the window up and turn your bedclothes back over the foot of the bed.
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Be as smart as you can."
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As a matter of fact, however, she had forgotten to turn back the bedclothes.
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"The world doesn't seem such a howling wilderness as it did last night.
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I'm so glad it's a sunshiny morning.
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But I like rainy mornings real well, too.
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All sorts of mornings are interesting, don't you think?
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I feel that I have a good deal to bear up under.
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"For pity's sake hold your tongue," said Marilla.
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"You talk entirely too much for a little girl."
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Who would want such a child about the place?
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Yet Matthew wished to keep her, of all unaccountable things!
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"Can you wash dishes right?"
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asked Marilla distrustfully.
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"Pretty well.
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I'm better at looking after children, though.
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I've had so much experience at that.
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It's such a pity you haven't any here for me to look after."
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You're problem enough in all conscience.
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What's to be done with you I don't know.
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Matthew is a most ridiculous man."
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"I think he's lovely," said Anne reproachfully.
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"He is so very sympathetic.
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He didn't mind how much I talked—he seemed to like it.
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I felt that he was a kindred spirit as soon as ever I saw him."
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"Yes, you may wash the dishes.
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Take plenty of hot water, and be sure you dry them well.
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You'll come with me and we'll settle what's to be done with you.
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After you've finished the dishes go up-stairs and make your bed."
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Anne flew to the door, face alight, eyes glowing.
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"What's the matter now?"
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demanded Marilla.
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"If I can't stay here there is no use in my loving Green Gables.
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It's hard enough now, so I won't make it any harder.
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Anne, Anne, we want a playmate'—but it's better not.
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There is no use in loving things if you have to be torn from them, is there?
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And it's so hard to keep from loving things, isn't it?
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That was why I was so glad when I thought I was going to live here.
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I thought I'd have so many things to love and nothing to hinder me.
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But that brief dream is over.
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What is the name of that geranium on the window-sill, please?"
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"That's the apple-scented geranium."
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"Oh, I don't mean that sort of a name.
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I mean just a name you gave it yourself.
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Didn't you give it a name?
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May I give it one then?
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May I call it—let me see—Bonny would do—may I call it Bonny while I'm here?
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Oh, do let me!"
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"Goodness, I don't care.
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But where on earth is the sense of naming a geranium?"
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"Oh, I like things to have handles even if they are only geraniums.
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It makes them seem more like people.
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You wouldn't like to be called nothing but a woman all the time.
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Yes, I shall call it Bonny.
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I named that cherry-tree outside my bedroom window this morning.
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I called it Snow Queen because it was so white.
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"She is kind of interesting, as Matthew says.
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I can feel already that I'm wondering what on earth she'll say next.
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She'll be casting a spell over me, too.
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She's cast it over Matthew.
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I wish he was like other men and would talk things out.
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A body could answer back then and argue him into reason.
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But what's to be done with a man who just looks?"
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There Marilla left her until the early dinner was on the table.
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"I suppose I can have the mare and buggy this afternoon, Matthew?"
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said Marilla.
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Matthew nodded and looked wistfully at Anne.
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I'll set your tea out for you and I'll be home in time to milk the cows."
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Anne of Green Gables (1908)

Written for all ages, it has been considered a children's novel since the mid-twentieth century. It recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who had intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in Prince Edward Island. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town. Since publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. It has been adapted as film, made-for-television movies, and animated and live-action television series. — Excerpted from Anne of Green Gables (1908) on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Anne_of_Green_Gables_(1908)

by gaelle044 1 year ago

CHAPTER IV.

MORNING AT GREEN GABLES.

It was broad daylight when Anne awoke and sat up in bed, staring confusedly at the window through which a flood of cheery sunshine was pouring and outside of which something white and feathery waved across glimpses of blue sky.

For a moment she could not remember where she was. First came a delightful thrill, as of something very pleasant; then a horrible remembrance. This was Green Gables and they didn't want her because she wasn't a boy!

But it was morning and, yes, it was a cherry-tree in full bloom outside of her window. With a bound she was out of bed and across the floor. She pushed up the sash—it went up stiffly and creakily, as if it hadn't been opened for a long time, which was the case; and it stuck so tight that nothing was needed to hold it up.

Anne dropped on her knees and gazed out into the June morning, her eyes glistening with delight. Oh, wasn't it beautiful? Wasn't it a lovely place? Suppose she wasn't really going to stay here! She would imagine she was. There was scope for imagination here.

A huge cherry-tree grew outside, so close that its boughs tapped against the house, and it was so thick-set with blossoms that hardly a leaf was to be seen. On both sides of the house was a big orchard, one of apple-trees and one of cherry-trees, also showered over with blossoms; and their grass was all sprinkled with dandelions. In the garden below were lilac-trees purple with flowers, and their dizzily sweet fragrance drifted up to the window on the morning wind.

Below the garden a green field lush with clover sloped down to the hollow where the brook ran and where scores of white birches grew, upspringing airily out of an undergrowth suggestive of delightful possibilities in ferns and mosses and woodsy things generally. Beyond it was a hill, green and feathery with spruce and fir; there was a gap in it where the gray gable end of the little house she had seen from the other side of the Lake of Shining Waters was visible.

Off to the left were the big barns and beyond them, away down over green, low-sloping fields, was a sparkling blue glimpse of sea.

Anne's beauty-loving eyes lingered on it all, taking everything greedily in; she had looked on so many unlovely places in her life, poor child; but this was as lovely as anything she had ever dreamed.

She knelt there, lost to everything but the loveliness around her, until she was startled by a hand on her shoulder. Marilla had come in unheard by the small dreamer.

"It's time you were dressed," she said curtly.

Marilla really did not know how to talk to the child, and her uncomfortable ignorance made her crisp and curt when she did not mean to be.

Anne stood up and drew a long breath.

"Oh, isn't it wonderful?" she said, waving her hand comprehensively at the good world outside.

"It's a big tree," said Marilla, "and it blooms great, but the fruit don't amount to much never—small and wormy."

"Oh, I don't mean just the tree; of course it's lovely—yes, it's radiantly lovely—it blooms as if it meant it—but I meant everything, the garden and the orchard and the brook and the woods, the whole big dear world. Don't you feel as if you just loved the world on a morning like this? And I can hear the brook laughing all the way up here. Have you ever noticed what cheerful things brooks are? They're always laughing. Even in winter-time I've heard them under the ice. I'm so glad there's a brook near Green Gables. Perhaps you think it doesn't make any difference to me when you're not going to keep me, but it does. I shall always like to remember that there is a brook at Green Gables even if I never see it again. If there wasn't a brook I'd be haunted by the uncomfortable feeling that there ought to be one. I'm not in the depths of despair this morning. I never can be in the morning. Isn't it a splendid thing that there are mornings? But I feel very sad. I've just been imagining that it was really me you wanted after all and that I was to stay here for ever and ever. It was a great comfort while it lasted. But the worst of imagining things is that the time comes when you have to stop and that hurts."

"You'd better get dressed and come down-stairs and never mind your imaginings," said Marilla as soon as she could get a word in edgewise. "Breakfast is waiting. Wash your face and comb your hair. Leave the window up and turn your bedclothes back over the foot of the bed. Be as smart as you can."

Anne could evidently be smart to some purpose for she was down-stairs in ten minutes' time, with her clothes neatly on, her hair brushed and braided, her face washed, and a comfortable consciousness pervading her soul that she had fulfilled all Marilla's requirements. As a matter of fact, however, she had forgotten to turn back the bedclothes.

"I'm pretty hungry this morning," she announced, as she slipped into the chair Marilla placed for her. "The world doesn't seem such a howling wilderness as it did last night. I'm so glad it's a sunshiny morning. But I like rainy mornings real well, too. All sorts of mornings are interesting, don't you think? You don't know what's going to happen through the day, and there's so much scope for imagination. But I'm glad it's not rainy to-day because it's easier to be cheerful and bear up under affliction on a sunshiny day. I feel that I have a good deal to bear up under. It's all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it's not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?"

"For pity's sake hold your tongue," said Marilla. "You talk entirely too much for a little girl."

Thereupon Anne held her tongue so obediently and thoroughly that her continued silence made Marilla rather nervous, as if in the presence of something not exactly natural. Matthew also held his tongue,—but this at least was natural,—so that the meal was a very silent one.

As it progressed Anne became more and more abstracted, eating mechanically, with her big eyes fixed unswervingly and unseeingly on the sky outside the window. This made Marilla more nervous than ever; she had an uncomfortable feeling that while this odd child's body might be there at the table her spirit was far away in some remote airy cloudland, borne aloft on the wings of imagination. Who would want such a child about the place?

Yet Matthew wished to keep her, of all unaccountable things! Marilla felt that he wanted it just as much this morning as he had the night before, and that he would go on wanting it. That was Matthew's way—take a whim into his head and cling to it with the most amazing silent persistency—a persistency ten times more potent and effectual in its very silence than if he had talked it out.

When the meal was ended Anne came out of her reverie and offered to wash the dishes.

"Can you wash dishes right?" asked Marilla distrustfully.

"Pretty well. I'm better at looking after children, though. I've had so much experience at that. It's such a pity you haven't any here for me to look after."

"I don't feel as if I wanted any more children to look after than I've got at present. You're problem enough in all conscience. What's to be done with you I don't know. Matthew is a most ridiculous man."

"I think he's lovely," said Anne reproachfully. "He is so very sympathetic. He didn't mind how much I talked—he seemed to like it. I felt that he was a kindred spirit as soon as ever I saw him."

"You're both queer enough, if that's what you mean by kindred spirits," said Marilla with a sniff. "Yes, you may wash the dishes. Take plenty of hot water, and be sure you dry them well. I've got enough to attend to this morning for I'll have to drive over to White Sands in the afternoon and see Mrs. Spencer. You'll come with me and we'll settle what's to be done with you. After you've finished the dishes go up-stairs and make your bed."

Anne washed the dishes deftly enough, as Marilla, who kept a sharp eye on the process, discerned. Later on she made her bed less successfully, for she had never learned the art of wrestling with a feather tick. But it was done somehow and smoothed down; and then Marilla, to get rid of her, told her she might go out-of-doors and amuse herself until dinner-time.

Anne flew to the door, face alight, eyes glowing. On the very threshold she stopped short, wheeled about, came back and sat down by the table, light and glow as effectually blotted out as if some one had clapped an extinguisher on her.

"What's the matter now?" demanded Marilla.

"I don't dare go out," said Anne, in the tone of a martyr relinquishing all earthly joys. "If I can't stay here there is no use in my loving Green Gables. And if I go out there and get acquainted with all those trees and flowers and the orchard and the brook I'll not be able to help loving it. It's hard enough now, so I won't make it any harder. I want to go out so much—everything seems to be calling to me, 'Anne, Anne, come out to us. Anne, Anne, we want a playmate'—but it's better not. There is no use in loving things if you have to be torn from them, is there? And it's so hard to keep from loving things, isn't it? That was why I was so glad when I thought I was going to live here. I thought I'd have so many things to love and nothing to hinder me. But that brief dream is over. I am resigned to my fate now, so I don't think I'll go out for fear I'll get unresigned again. What is the name of that geranium on the window-sill, please?"

"That's the apple-scented geranium."

"Oh, I don't mean that sort of a name. I mean just a name you gave it yourself. Didn't you give it a name? May I give it one then? May I call it—let me see—Bonny would do—may I call it Bonny while I'm here? Oh, do let me!"

"Goodness, I don't care. But where on earth is the sense of naming a geranium?"

"Oh, I like things to have handles even if they are only geraniums. It makes them seem more like people. How do you know but that it hurts a geranium's feelings just to be called a geranium and nothing else? You wouldn't like to be called nothing but a woman all the time. Yes, I shall call it Bonny. I named that cherry-tree outside my bedroom window this morning. I called it Snow Queen because it was so white. Of course, it won't always be in blossom, but one can imagine that it is, can't one?"

"I never in all my life saw or heard anything to equal her," muttered Marilla, beating a retreat down cellar after potatoes. "She is kind of interesting, as Matthew says. I can feel already that I'm wondering what on earth she'll say next. She'll be casting a spell over me, too. She's cast it over Matthew. That look he gave me when he went out said everything he said or hinted last night over again. I wish he was like other men and would talk things out. A body could answer back then and argue him into reason. But what's to be done with a man who just looks?"

Anne had relapsed into reverie, with her chin in her hands and her eyes on the sky, when Marilla returned from her cellar pilgrimage. There Marilla left her until the early dinner was on the table.

"I suppose I can have the mare and buggy this afternoon, Matthew?" said Marilla.

Matthew nodded and looked wistfully at Anne. Marilla intercepted the look and said grimly:

"I'm going to drive over to White Sands and settle this thing. I'll take Anne with me and Mrs. Spencer will probably make arrangements to send her back to Nova Scotia at once. I'll set your tea out for you and I'll be home in time to milk the cows."

Still Matthew said nothing and Marilla had a sense of having wasted words and breath. There is nothing more aggravating than a man who won't talk back—unless it is a woman who won't.

Matthew hitched the sorrel into the buggy in due time and Marilla and Anne set off. Matthew opened the yard gate for them, and as they drove slowly through, he said, to nobody in particular as it seemed:

"Little Jerry Buote from the Creek was here this morning, and I told him I guessed I'd hire him for the summer."

Marilla made no reply, but she hit the unlucky sorrel such a vicious clip with the whip that the fat mare, unused to such treatment, whizzed indignantly down the lane at an alarming pace. Marilla looked back once as the buggy bounced along and saw that aggravating Matthew leaning over the gate, looking wistfully after them.