Now we come to dear Matthew and Anne. The very illustration on the front of my beat-up paperback is such a sweet part of this chapter. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, however.
Montgomery shares some of her lovely nature-aware writing here…
“It was a pretty road, running along between snug farmsteads, with now and again a bit of balsamy fir wood to drive through or a hollow where wild plums hung out their filmy bloom. The air was sweet with the breath of many apple orchards and the meadows sloped away in the distance to horizon mists of pearl and purple; while
The little birds sang as if it were
The one day of summer in all the year.” pg 9
I adore “farmstead” and “balsamy”.
I find Matthew’s shyness around women to be endearing and slightly humorous. Perhaps having Marilla for a sister and how long has Rachel Lynde been his neighbor I wonder, may not have helped his shyness? He dare not have any opinion or maybe never could get a word in edgewise. Remember even a disorderly stream straightens at the sight of Mrs. Rachel!
And now we are introduced to our Dear Friend of the Ages…
“A child of about eleven, garbed in a very short, very tight, very ugly dress of yellowish gray wincey. She wore a faded brown sailor hat and beneath the hat, extending down her back, were two braids of very thick, decidedly red hair. Her face was small, white and thin, also much freckled; her mouth was large and so were her eyes, that looked green in some lights and moods and gray in others.” pg 11
I love this…
“…our discerning extraordinary observer might have concluded that no commonplace soul inhabited the body of this stray woman-child of whom shy Matthew Cuthbert was so ludicrously afraid.” pg 11
I hope I can be a discerning observer with people, especially children. Even just a good observer, not even extraordinary. 😉 Caring about each person as unique and special.
Oh, Anne, you and your cheery tree!
“It’s so easy to be wicked without knowing it, isn’t it? They were good, you know – the asylum people. But there is so little scope for the imagination in an asylum – only just in the other orphans.” pg 12
I love how Anne immediately sees a friend in Matthew and really starts sharing pretty deep thoughts and feelings. She is so open. She tries to see good in people…I love this,
“A merchant in Hopeton last winter donated three hundred yards of wincey to the asylum. Some people said it was because he couldn’t sell it, but I’d rather believe that it was out of the kindness of his heart, wouldn’t you?” pg 14
I love how she calls the Island the “bloomiest place”. Sigh.
And after Matthew telling he doesn’t know what makes the roads red,
“Well, that is one of the things to find out sometime. Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive – it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?” pg 15
That above quote reminds me of the British educator Charlotte Mason’s quote, “Not what we have learned, but what we are waiting to know is the delectable part of knowledge.” School Education, pg 273
Scope for the imagination. ❤
“…people laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?” pg 15
“Yes, it’s red,” she said resignedly. “Now you see why I can’t be perfectly 🙂 happy. Nobody could who had red hair. I don’t mind the other things so much – the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness. I can imagine them away. I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I cannot imagine that red hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, ‘Now my hair is a glorious raven black, black as the raven’s wing.’ But all the time I know it is just plain red, and it breaks my heart. It will be my life long sorrow.” 🙂 pg 16
Oh my! There are so many good lines and parts in this chapter! How she asks Matthew if he would rather be “divinely beautiful” or “dazzinglingly clever”. pg 17
How she is struck deeply by the beauty of the Avenue and insists on renaming it “the White Way of Delight”. pg 18
Barry’s Pond + Anne = The Lake of Shining Waters.
“Isn’t it splendid there are so many things to like in this world?” pg 20
She catches her first glimpse of Green Gables, Matthew growing a bit uneasy about the coming storm.
” Listen to the trees talking in their sleep ,” she whispered, as he lifted her to the ground. “What nice dreams they must have!” pg 22
What lovely trip home to Green Gables! What did you enjoy about this chapter?