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


L’ÉDUCATION D'ANNE A COMMENCÉ.


Pour des raisons connues d'elle seule, Marilla ne dit pas à Anne qu'elle allait rester à Green Gables avant le lendemain après-midi. Pendant la matinée, elle maintint l'enfant occupée par des tâches variées, et elle l'observa avec un regard aigu tandis qu'elle les faisait. À midi, elle avait conclu qu'Anne était intelligente et obéissante, pleine de bonne volonté et d'un esprit vif ; son défaut le plus sérieux paraissait être celui de sombrer dans des rêveries au beau milieu d'une besogne et de l'oublier complètement jusqu'au moment où elle était rappelée à la réalité par une réprimande ou une catastrophe.

Quand Anne eut fini de laver la vaisselle du dîner, elle fit face soudainement à Marilla avec l'apparence d'une personne désespérément déterminée à apprendre le pire. Son petit corps menu trembla de la tête aux pieds ; son visage rougit et ses pupilles se dilatèrent jusqu'à virer presqu' au noir ; elle joignit fermement ses mains et supplia d'une voix implorante : — Oh, s'il vous plaît, Mlle Cuthbert, ne voudriez-vous pas me dire si vous allez me renvoyer ou me garder ? Toute la matinée, j'ai essayé de faire preuve de patience, mais j'estime vraiment que je ne peux supporter, plus longtemps, de ne pas savoir. C'est un sentiment affreux. S'il vous plaît dites-moi.

— Tu n'as pas rincé le torchon de vaisselle dans de l'eau chaude et propre comme je t'ai dit de le faire, dit implacablement Marilla. — Vas-y et fais-le avant de poser davantage de questions, Anne.

Anne s'exécuta et s'occupa du torchon de vaisselle. Puis elle revint vers Marilla et, de son regard implorant, fixa le visage de cette dernière.

— Eh bien, dit Marilla, sans trouver d'excuse pour retarder son explication plus longtemps, je suppose que je pourrais aussi bien te le dire. Matthew et moi avons décidé de te garder... c'est à dire, si tu essaies d'être une bonne petite fille et de te montrer reconnaissante. Eh bien, mon enfant, que se passe-t-il

— Je pleure, dit Anne d'un ton confus. Je ne sais pas pourquoi. Je suis aussi contente qu'il est possible de l'être. Oh, contente ne semble pas être le mot adéquat, pas du tout. J'étais contente à propos du White Way et des fleurs du cerisier... mais ça ! Oh, c'est quelque chose plus que contente. Je suis tellement heureuse. J'essayerai d'être vraiment bonne. Ça sera une tâche ardue, j'imagine, parce que Mme Thomas me disait souvent que j'étais désespérément méchante. Cependant, je vais faire de mon mieux. Mais, pouvez-vous me dire pourquoi je pleure ?

— Je suppose que c'est parce que tu es toute surexcitée et exaltée, répondit Marilla d'un ton désapprobateur. Assieds-toi sur cette chaise et essaie de te calmer. J'ai bien peur que tu ne pleures et que tu ne ries trop facilement. Oui, tu peux rester ici et nous allons essayer de te traiter correctement. Tu dois aller à l'école ; mais il ne reste qu'une quinzaine de jours avant les vacances, ça ne vaut donc pas la peine de commencer avant qu'elle ne reprenne en septembre.

— Comment dois-je vous appeler ? demanda Anne. Dois-je toujours dire Mademoiselle Cuthbert ? Puis-je vous appeler Tante Marilla ?

— Non, tu m'appelleras simplement Marilla. Je n'ai pas l'habitude d'être appelée Mademoiselle Cuthbert, ça m'énerverait.

— Cela semble terriblement irrespectueux de dire simplement Marilla, protesta Anne.

— Je suppose que cela ne sera en rien irrespectueux, si tu prends soin de parler respectueusement. À Avonlea, tout le monde, les jeunes comme les vieux, m'appelle Marilla, sauf le pasteur. Il dit Mademoiselle Cuthbert... quand il y pense.

— J'aimerais vous appeller Tante Marilla, dit Anne d'un air pensif. Je n'ai jamais eu de tante, ni aucune famille du tout... pas même une grand-mère. Cela me donnerait l'impression de vraiment vous appartenir. Ne puis-je vous appeler Tante Marilla ?

— Non. Je ne suis pas ta tante et je ne crois pas qu'il faille gratifier les gens de noms qui ne leur reviennent pas.

— Mais on pourrait imaginer que vous êtes ma tante.

— Je ne le pourrais pas, dit Marilla la mine sévère.

— N'imaginez-vous jamais les choses différemment de ce qu'elles sont vraiment ? demanda Anne en écarquillant les yeux.

— Non.

— Oh ! Anne laissa échapper un profond soupir. — Oh, Mademoiselle... Marilla, vous passez à côté de tant de choses !

— Je ne crois pas qu'il faille imaginer des choses différentes de ce qu'elles sont en réalité, rétorqua Marilla. Quand le Seigneur nous met dans certaines situations, Il ne veut pas dire que nous devons les imaginer autrement. D'ailleurs une chose me revient. Va dans le salon, Anne, assure-toi que tes pieds sont propres et ne laisse entrer aucune mouche puis apporte-moi la carte illustrée qui est sur la cheminée. Le Notre Père est écrit dessus, tu vas consacrer ton temps libre, cet après-midi, à l'apprendre par cœur. Je ne veux plus entendre de prière comme celle de la nuit dernière.

— Je pense que j'ai été très maladroite, répondit Anne en s'excusant, c'est que, vous savez, je n'avais jamais eu l'habitude. On ne pas vraiment attendre d'une personne qu'elle prie à la perfection la première fois qu'elle essaie, n'est-ce pas ? Après m'être couchée, j'ai réfléchi à une splendide prière, exactement comme je vous l'avais promis. Elle était presque aussi longue que celle d'un pasteur et si poétique. Mais le croirez-vous ? Je ne me souvenais plus d'un traitre mot quand je me suis réveillée ce matin. Et j'ai peur de ne jamais pouvoir en trouver une aussi bonne. Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais les choses ne sont jamais aussi belles lorsqu'on y pense une seconde fois.. Aviez-vous déjà remarqué cela ?

— Voici quelque chose que tu dois observer, Anne. Quand je te dis de faire quelque chose, je veux que tu m'obéisses immédiatement et que tu ne restes pas plantée là à disserter. Tu fais simplement ce que je te demande.

Anne se rendit sur le champ dans le salon de l'autre côté du couloir, et ne revint pas. Après dix minutes d'attente, Marilla posa son tricot et la rejoignit, avec une expression sinistre. Elle trouva Anne immobile devant un dessin accroché au mur entre les deux fenêtres, les mains jointes derrière elle, le visage levé, les yeux brillants de rêverie. La lumière blanche et verte filtrant à travers les pommiers et les grappes de raisin auréolait la petite silhouette captivée d'un éclat quasi irréel.

— Anne, à quoi penses-tu ? demanda Marilla d'un ton sec.

Dans un sursaut, Anne redescendit sur terre.

— À ça, dit-elle en montrant le dessin, un chromo assez coloré intitulé, « le Christ bénissant les petits enfants », et j'imaginais que j'étais l'un d'eux, que j'étais la petite fille dans la robe bleue qui se tient seule à l'écart comme si elle n'appartenait à personne, tout comme moi. Elle a l'air abandonnée et triste, vous ne trouvez pas ? J'imagine qu'elle n'a ni père ni mère. Mais elle aussi voulait être bénie, alors elle s'est glissée timidement à l'écart de la foule en espérant que personne ne la remarquerait... sauf Lui. Je suis sûre de savoir exactement ce qu'elle ressentait. Son cœur a dû battre très fort et ses mains ont dû se glacer, comme les miennes quand je vous ai demandé si je pouvais rester. Elle a eu peur qu'Il ne la remarque pas. Mais il est très probable qu'Il l'ait remarquée, vous ne pensez pas ? J'ai essayé de tout imaginer... elle s'est rapprochée de plus en plus en prenant son temps jusqu'à ce qu'elle soit tout près de Lui ; et alors Il l'a regardée et a posé la main sur ses cheveux et oh... un tel frisson de joie a parcouru son corps ! Mais j'aurais souhaité que le peintre ne Lui ait pas donné un air aussi triste. Avez-vous remarqué que toutes Ses représentations sont comme ça. Mais je ne crois pas qu'Il aurait vraiment pu avoir l'air si triste ou les enfants auraient eu peur de Lui.

— Anne, dit Marilla, se demandant pourquoi elle n'avait pas interrompu ce discours plus tôt, tu ne devrais pas parler de la sorte. C'est irrévérencieux... positivement irrévérencieux.

Les yeux d'Anne se remplirent d'étonnement.

— Mais, je me sentais aussi respectueuse que possible ! Je suis sûre de n'avoir pas voulu me montrer irrévérencieuse.

— Eh bien, je suppose que non... mais cela ne se fait pas de parler avec autant de familiarité de ces choses. Et encore ceci, Anne, quand je t'envoie chercher quelque chose, tu dois l'apporter tout de suite et ne pas sombrer dans des rêveries sans fin devant des dessins. Souviens-toi de ça. Prends la carte et reviens immédiatement dans la cuisine. Maintenant, assieds-toi dans ce coin et apprends cette prière par cœur.

Anne fixa la carte contre la carafe de fleurs de pommiers qu'elle avait apportées pour décorer la table. Marilla avait observé cette décoration, mais elle n'avait rien dit. Elle appuya son menton sur ses mains et se mit à l'étudier attentivement durant quelques minutes de silence.

— Ça me plaît, annonça-t-elle finalement. C'est joli. Je la connais déjà — j'ai entendu le directeur de l'école du dimanche la réciter une fois à l'orphelinat. Mais elle ne m'avait pas plu à ce moment là. Il avait une espèce de voix cassée et sa prière était tellement larmoyante . J'ai vraiment ressenti la certitude qu'il pensait que prier était une corvée désagréable. Ce n'est pas de la poésie, mais ça me fait le même effet. Notre Père qui es aux cieux, que Votre nom soit sanctifié. On dirait de la musique. Oh, je suis si contente que vous ayez pensé à me la faire apprendre, mademoiselle... Marilla.

— Eh bien, apprends-la et tais-toi, répondit sèchement Marilla.

Anne inclina suffisamment le vase avec les fleurs de pommier pour déposer un doux baiser sur un bouton de fleur rose et se remit sérieusement à étudier pendant quelques instants.

— Marilla, demanda-t-elle bientôt, pensez-vous que j'aurai un jour une amie intime à Avonlea ?

— Un... une amie de quelle sorte ?

— Une amie de cœur... une amie intime, vous savez... une âme sœur à qui je puisse confier le tréfonds de mes pensées. J'ai rêvé toute ma vie de la rencontrer. Je n'ai jamais vraiment cru que je le ferai mais tant de mes rêves les plus précieux se sont réalisés en même temps que peut-être que celui-là le sera aussi. Vous pensez que c'est possible ?

— Diana Barry vit à Orchard Slope et elle a environ ton âge. C'est une très gentille fille et peut-être qu'elle deviendra ta camarade de jeu lorsqu'elle rentrera à la maison. Elle est en visite chez sa tante à Carmody actuellement. Tu devras faire attention à la façon dont tu te comportes, cependant. Mme Barry est une femme très exigeante. Elle ne laisse Diana jouer avec aucune petite fille qui ne soit gentille et sage.

Anne observait Marilla à travers les fleurs de pommier, les yeux brillants d’intérêt.

— De quoi elle a l'air, Diana ? Ses cheveux ne sont pas roux, n'est-ce pas ? Oh, j'espère que non. C'est déjà suffisamment grave d'avoir moi-même les cheveux roux, mais je suis sûre de ne pas pouvoir les supporter chez une amie intime.

— Diana est une très jolie petite fille. Elle a les yeux et les cheveux noirs et les joues roses. Et elle est sage et intelligente, ce qui est mieux que d'être jolie.

Marilla était aussi friande de morales que la duchesse au pays des merveilles, et elle était fermement convaincue qu'il fallait attacher de l'importance à chaque remarque faite à un enfant dont l'éducation était à faire..

Mais Anne balayait à la légère la morale et ne retenait que les délicieuses possibilités qui s'offraient à elle.

— Oh, je suis tellement contente qu'elle soit jolie. À défaut d'être belle soi-même — et dans mon cas, c'est impossible —, il vaut mieux avoir une amie intime qui le soit. Quand je vivais chez Mme Thomas, il y avait une bibliothèque dans son salon avec des portes vitrées. Il n'y avait pas de livres à l'intérieur, Mme Thomas y rangeait sa meilleure porcelaine et ses conserves... quand elle avait des conserves à entreposer. Une des portes était cassée. Monsieur Thomas l'avait brisée une nuit qu'il était légèrement éméché. Mais la seconde était intacte et j'avais l'habitude de prétendre que mon reflet était une petite fille qui vivait de l'autre côté. Je l'appelais Katie Maurice et nous étions très intimes. Je lui parlais pendant des heures, surtout le dimanche, et je lui racontais tout. Katie était le réconfort et la consolation de mon existence. Nous avions l'habitude de faire comme si la bibliothèque était enchantée et que si seulement je connaissais le sort, je pourrais ouvrir la porte et entrer directement dans la pièce où vivait Katie Maurice, au lieu de l'étagère de conserves et de porcelaine de Mme Thomas. Et puis Katie Maurice m'aurait prise par la main et m'aurait conduite dans un endroit merveilleux, rempli de fleurs, de soleil et de fées, et nous y aurions vécu heureuses pour toujours. Quand je suis allée vivre chez Mme Hammond, ça m'a brisé le cœur de quitter Katie Maurice. Elle le ressentait atrocement aussi, je le sais, car elle pleurait quand elle m'a embrassée pour me dire au revoir à travers la porte de la bibliothèque Il n'y avait pas de bibliothèque chez Mme Hammond. Mais juste en amont de la rivière, non loin de la maison, se trouvait une longue vallée verdoyante, et l'on entendait le plus délicieux des échos. Il renvoyait chaque mot que vous prononciez, même si vous ne parliez pas fort. Alors j'ai imaginé que c'était une petite fille qui s'appelait Violetta, que nous étions de grandes amies et je l'aimais presque autant que j'aimais Katie Maurice — pas tout à fait, mais presque, vous savez. La veille de mon départ pour l'orphelinat, j'ai dit adieu à Violetta, et oh, ses adieux me sont revenus sur un ton si triste. Je m'étais tellement attachée à elle que je n'avais pas le cœur d'imaginer avoir une amie intime à l'orphelinat, même s'il y avait eu un peu de place pour l'imagination là-bas.

— Je pense que c'est aussi bien qu'il n'y en ait pas eu, déclara sèchement Marilla. Je n'approuve pas de telles choses. Tu sembles croire à moitié à tes élucubrations. Il serait bon que tu aies une vraie amie, bien réelle, pour sortir toutes ces inepties de ta tête. Mais ne parle pas à Mme Barry de ta Katie Maurice ou de ta Violetta, sinon elle pensera que tu lui racontes des histoires.

— Oh, je ne le ferai pas. Je ne parlerai d'elles à personne... leur souvenir est trop sacré pour cela. Mais j'ai pensé que ce serait bien que je vous en parle. Oh, regardez, une grosse abeille qui s'envole d'une fleur de pommier. Songez donc, quel bel endroit pour vivre... une fleur de pommier ! Elle avait envie de s'y endormir, bercée par le vent. Si je n'étais pas un être humain, j'aimerais être une abeille et vivre parmi les fleurs.

— Hier, tu voulais être une mouette, grimaça Marilla. Je pense que tu es très inconstante. Je t'ai demandé d'apprendre cette prière et de ne pas parler. Mais il semble impossible que tu arrêtes tes bavardages si tu as quelqu'un pour t'écouter. Alors grimpe dans ta chambre et apprends-la.

— Oh, je la sais presque entièrement maintenant... il ne me reste plus que la dernière ligne.

— Eh bien, peu importe, fais ce que je te dis. Va dans ta chambre et finis de l'apprendre correctement, et reste là-haut jusqu'à ce que je t'appelle pour m'aider à préparer le thé.

— Puis-je emporter les fleurs de pommier avec moi pour me tenir compagnie ? implora Anne.

— Non, ta chambre n'a pas besoin d'être encombrée par des fleurs. Tu aurais dû commencer par les laisser sur l'arbre.

— C'est un peu ce que j'ai ressenti, dit Anne. J'ai senti que je n'aurais pas dû abréger leur existence en les cueillant : je ne voudrais pas être cueillie si j'étais une fleur de pommier. Mais la tentation a été irrésistible. Que faites-vous quand vous vous trouvez face à une irrésistible tentation ?

— Anne, m'as-tu entendue te demander d'aller dans ta chambre ?

Anne soupira, se retira dans la chambre du pignon est et s'assit sur une chaise près de la fenêtre.

— Voilà... je sais cette prière. J'ai appris cette dernière phrase en montant les marches. Maintenant, je vais imaginer des choses dans cette pièce ainsi elles le resteront à jamais.. Le sol est recouvert d'un tapis de velours blanc avec des roses roses partout et il y a des rideaux de soie rose aux fenêtres. Les murs sont tapissés de brocart doré et argenté. Le mobilier est en acajou. Je n'ai jamais vu d'acajou, mais ça semble tellement luxueux. Il y a un canapé entièrement bombé de somptueux coussins de soie, roses, bleus, cramoisis et dorés, et je m'y allonge avec grace. Je peux apercevoir mon reflet dans ce splendide grand miroir accroché au mur. Je suis grande et majestueuse, vêtue d'une longue robe de dentelle blanche, avec une croix nacrée sur la poitrine et des perles dans les cheveux. Mes cheveux ont la couleur de l'obscurité de minuit et ma peau a la claire pâleur de l'ivoire. Je m'appelle Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald. Non, ce n'est pas cela... je ne peux pas imaginer cela comme réel.

Elle dansa jusqu'au petit miroir et regarda dedans. Son visage étroit et couvert de taches de rousseur, et ses yeux gris et graves la regardèrent fixement.

— Tu n'es qu'Anne de Green Gables, dit-elle sérieusement, et je te vois, comme tu as l'air en ce moment, chaque fois que j'essaie d'imaginer que je suis Lady Cordelia. Mais c'est un million de fois mieux d'être Anne de Green Gables qu'Anne de nulle part en particulier, n'est-ce pas ?

Elle s'inclina, embrassa affectueusement son reflet, et se plaça devant la fenêtre ouverte.

— Chère Snow Queen, bon après-midi. Et bon après-midi, chers bouleaux dans le vallon. Et bon après-midi, chère maison grise sur la colline. Je me demande si Diana sera mon amie intime. J'espère qu'elle le sera, et que je l'aimerai beaucoup. Mais je ne dois jamais complètement oublier Katie Maurice et Violetta. Elles se sentiraient si meurtries si je le faisais et je détesterais meurtrir les sentiments de qui que ce soit, fût-ce ceux d'une petite fille dans une bibliothèque ou d'une petite fille dans un écho. Je dois veiller à me souvenir d'elles et à leur envoyer un baiser chaque jour.

Anne souffla quelques baisers aériens du bout des doigts vers les fleurs de cerisier, puis, le menton dans les mains, elle se laissa dériver avec volupté sur une mer de rêveries.
unit 1
CHAPTER VIII.
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ANNE'S BRINGING-UP IS BEGUN.
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It's a dreadful feeling.
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Please tell me."
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"Just go and do it before you ask any more questions, Anne."
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Anne went and attended to the dish-cloth.
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Then she returned to Marilla and fastened imploring eyes on the latter's face.
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Why, child, whatever is the matter?"
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"I'm crying," said Anne in a tone of bewilderment.
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"I can't think why.
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I'm glad as glad can be.
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Oh, glad doesn't seem the right word at all.
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I was glad about the White Way and the cherry blossoms—but this!
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Oh, it's something more than glad.
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I'm so happy.
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I'll try to be so good.
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However, I'll do my very best.
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But can you tell me why I'm crying?"
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"I suppose it's because you're all excited and worked up," said Marilla disapprovingly.
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"Sit down on that chair and try to calm yourself.
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I'm afraid you both cry and laugh far too easily.
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Yes, you can stay here and we will try to do right by you.
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"What am I to call you?"
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asked Anne.
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"Shall I always say Miss Cuthbert?
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Can I call you Aunt Marilla?"
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"No; you'll call me just plain Marilla.
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I'm not used to being called Miss Cuthbert and it would make me nervous."
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"It sounds awfully disrespectful to say just Marilla," protested Anne.
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Everybody, young and old, in Avonlea calls me Marilla except the minister.
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He says Miss Cuthbert—when he thinks of it."
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"I'd love to call you Aunt Marilla," said Anne wistfully.
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"I've never had an aunt or any relation at all—not even a grandmother.
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It would make me feel as if I really belonged to you.
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Can't I call you Aunt Marilla?"
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"No.
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"But we could imagine you were my aunt."
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"I couldn't," said Marilla grimly.
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"Do you never imagine things different from what they really are?"
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asked Anne wide-eyed.
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"No."
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"Oh!"
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Anne drew a long breath.
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"Oh, Miss—Marilla, how much you miss!"
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And that reminds me.
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There's to be no more of such praying as I heard last night."
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You couldn't really expect a person to pray very well the first time she tried, could you?
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I thought out a splendid prayer after I went to bed, just as I promised you I would.
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It was nearly as long as a minister's and so poetical.
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But would you believe it?
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I couldn't remember one word when I woke up this morning.
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And I'm afraid I'll never be able to think out another one as good.
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Somehow, things never are so good when they're thought out a second time.
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Have you ever noticed that?"
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"Here is something for you to notice, Anne.
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Just you go and do as I bid you."
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"Anne, whatever are you thinking of?"
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demanded Marilla sharply.
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Anne came back to earth with a start.
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She looks lonely and sad, don't you think?
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I guess she hadn't any father or mother of her own.
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I'm sure I know just how she felt.
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She was afraid He mightn't notice her.
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But it's likely He did, don't you think?
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unit 91
But I wish the artist hadn't painted Him so sorrowful-looking.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 92
All His pictures are like that, if you've noticed.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 95
It's irreverent—positively irreverent."
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 96
Anne's eyes marvelled.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 97
"Why, I felt just as reverent as could be.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 98
I'm sure I didn't mean to be irreverent."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 101
Remember that.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 102
Take that card and come right to the kitchen.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 103
Now, sit down in the corner and learn that prayer off by heart."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 105
"I like this," she announced at length.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 106
"It's beautiful.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 108
But I didn't like it then.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 109
He had such a cracked voice and he prayed it so mournfully.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 110
I really felt sure he thought praying was a disagreeable duty.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 111
This isn't poetry, but it makes me feel just the same way poetry does.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 112
'Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.'
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 113
That is just like a line of music.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 114
Oh, I'm so glad you thought of making me learn this, Miss—Marilla."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 115
"Well, learn it and hold your tongue," said Marilla shortly.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 118
"A—a what kind of a friend?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 120
I've dreamed of meeting her all my life.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 122
Do you think it's possible?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 123
"Diana Barry lives over at Orchard Slope and she's about your age.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 125
She's visiting her aunt over at Carmody just now.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 126
You'll have to be careful how you behave yourself, though.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 127
Mrs. Barry is a very particular woman.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 128
She won't let Diana play with any little girl who isn't nice and good."
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 129
Anne looked at Marilla through the apple blossoms, her eyes aglow with interest.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 130
"What is Diana like?
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 131
Her hair isn't red, is it?
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 132
Oh, I hope not.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 133
It's bad enough to have red hair myself, but I positively couldn't endure it in a bosom friend."
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 134
"Diana is a very pretty little girl.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 135
She has black eyes and hair and rosy cheeks.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 136
And she is good and smart, which is better than being pretty."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months ago
unit 139
"Oh, I'm so glad she's pretty.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 141
When I lived with Mrs. Thomas she had a bookcase in her sitting-room with glass doors.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 143
One of the doors was broken.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 144
Mr. Thomas smashed it one night when he was slightly intoxicated.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 146
I called her Katie Maurice, and we were very intimate.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 147
I used to talk to her by the hour, especially on Sunday, and tell her everything.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 148
Katie was the comfort and consolation of my life.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 151
When I went to live with Mrs. Hammond it just broke my heart to leave Katie Maurice.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 153
There was no bookcase at Mrs. Hammond's.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 155
It echoed back every word you said, even if you didn't talk a bit loud.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 159
"I think it's just as well there wasn't," said Marilla drily.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 160
"I don't approve of such goings-on.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 161
You seem to half believe your own imaginations.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 162
It will be well for you to have a real live friend to put such nonsense out of your head.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 164
"Oh, I won't.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 165
I couldn't talk of them to everybody—their memories are too sacred for that.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 166
But I thought I'd like to have you know about them.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 167
Oh, look, here's a big bee just tumbled out of an apple blossom.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 168
Just think what a lovely place to live—in an apple blossom!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 169
Fancy going to sleep in it when the wind was rocking it.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 170
If I wasn't a human girl I think I'd like to be a bee and live among the flowers."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 171
"Yesterday you wanted to be a sea-gull," sniffed Marilla.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 172
"I think you are very fickle-minded.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 173
I told you to learn that prayer and not talk.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 174
But it seems impossible for you to stop talking if you've got anybody that will listen to you.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 175
So go up to your room and learn it."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 176
"Oh, I know it pretty nearly all now—all but just the last line."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 177
"Well, never mind, do as I tell you.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 178
Go to your room and finish learning it well, and stay there until I call you down to help me get tea."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 179
Can I take the apple blossoms with me for company?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 180
pleaded Anne.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 181
"No; you don't want your room cluttered up with flowers.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 182
You should have left them on the tree in the first place."
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 183
"I did feel a little that way, too," said Anne.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 185
But the temptation was irresistible.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 186
What do you do when you meet with an irresistible temptation?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 187
"Anne, did you hear me tell you to go to your room?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 188
Anne sighed, retreated to the east gable, and sat down in a chair by the window.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 189
"There—I know this prayer.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 190
I learned that last sentence coming up-stairs.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 191
Now I'm going to imagine things into this room so that they'll always stay imagined.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 193
The walls are hung with gold and silver brocade tapestry.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 194
The furniture is mahogany.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 195
I never saw any mahogany, but it does sound so luxurious.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 197
I can see my reflection in that splendid big mirror hanging on the wall.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 199
My hair is of midnight darkness and my skin is a clear ivory pallor.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 200
My name is the Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 201
No, it isn't—I can't make that seem real."
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 202
She danced up to the little looking-glass and peered into it.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 203
Her pointed freckled face and solemn gray eyes peered back at her.
3 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 205
unit 206
She bent forward, kissed her reflection affectionately, and betook herself to the open window.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 207
"Dear Snow Queen, good afternoon.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 208
And good afternoon, dear birches down in the hollow.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 209
And good afternoon, dear gray house up on the hill.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 210
I wonder if Diana is to be my bosom friend.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 211
I hope she will, and I shall love her very much.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 212
But I must never quite forget Katie Maurice and Violetta.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 214
I must be careful to remember them and send them a kiss every day."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 10 months, 3 weeks ago
Oplusse • 14042  commented on  unit 182  10 months, 4 weeks ago
Gabrielle • 13975  commented on  unit 153  10 months, 4 weeks ago
Gabrielle • 13975  commented on  unit 147  10 months, 4 weeks ago
gaelle044 • 5157  commented  11 months, 1 week ago

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 11 months, 1 week ago

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.