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of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Stacy and Her Pupils Get Up a Concert
was October again when Anne was ready to go back to school--a glorious
October, all red and gold, with mellow mornings when the valleys were
filled with delicate mists as if the spirit of autumn had poured them in
for the sun to drain--amethyst, pearl, silver, rose, and smoke-blue. The dews were so heavy that the fields glistened like cloth
of silver and there were such heaps of rustling leaves in the hollows of
many-stemmed woods to run crisply through.
The Birch Path was a canopy of yellow and the ferns were sear and
brown all along it. There was
a tang in the very air that inspired the hearts of small maidens tripping,
unlike snails, swiftly and willingly to school; and it WAS jolly to be
back again at the little brown desk beside Diana, with Ruby Gillis nodding
across the aisle and Carrie Sloane sending up notes and Julia Bell passing
a "chew" of gum down from the back seat.
Anne drew a long breath of happiness as she sharpened her pencil
and arranged her picture cards in her desk.
Life was certainly very interesting.
the new teacher she found another true and helpful friend. Miss Stacy was
a bright, sympathetic young woman with the happy gift of winning and
holding the affections of her pupils and bringing out the best that was in
them mentally and morally. Anne expanded like a flower under this
wholesome influence and carried home to the admiring Matthew and the
critical Marilla glowing accounts of schoolwork and aims.
love Miss Stacy with my whole heart, Marilla.
She is so ladylike and she has such a sweet voice.
When she pronounces my name I feel INSTINCTIVELY that she's spelling
it with an E. We had recitations this afternoon.
I just wish you could have been there to hear me recite `Mary, Queen
of Scots.' I just put my whole
soul into it. Ruby Gillis told
me coming home that the way I said the line, `Now for my father's arm,' she
said, `my woman's heart farewell,' just made her blood run cold."
now, you might recite it for me some of these days, out in the barn,"
course I will," said Anne meditatively, "but I won't be able to do
it so well, I know. It won't be so exciting as it is when you have a whole
schoolful before you hanging breathlessly on your words.
I know I won't be able to make your blood run cold."
Lynde says it made HER blood run cold to see the boys climbing to the very
tops of those big trees on Bell's hill after crows' nests last Friday,"
said Marilla. "I wonder at
Miss Stacy for encouraging it."
we wanted a crow's nest for nature study," explained Anne. "That
was on our field afternoon. Field
afternoons are splendid, Marilla. And
Miss Stacy explains everything so beautifully.
We have to write compositions on our field afternoons and I write the
very vain of you to say so then. You'd
better let your teacher say it."
she DID say it, Marilla. And
indeed I'm not vain about it. How can I be, when I'm such a dunce at
geometry? Although I'm really
beginning to see through it a little, too. Miss Stacy makes it so clear.
Still, I'll never be good at it and I assure you it is a humbling
reflection. But I love writing
compositions. Mostly Miss Stacy
lets us choose our own subjects; but next week we are to write a composition
on some remarkable person. It's
hard to choose among so many remarkable people who have lived.
Mustn't it be splendid to be remarkable and have compositions written
about you after you're dead? Oh,
I would dearly love to be remarkable. I
think when I grow up I'll be a trained nurse and go with the Red Crosses to
the field of battle as a messenger of mercy.
That is, if I don't go out as a foreign missionary.
That would be very romantic, but one would have to be very good to be
a missionary, and that would be a stumbling block.
We have physical culture exercises every day, too.
They make you graceful and promote digestion."
fiddlesticks!" said Marilla, who honestly thought it was all nonsense.
all the field afternoons and recitation Fridays and physical culture
contortions paled before a project which Miss Stacy brought forward in
November. This was that the
scholars of Avonlea school should get up a concert and hold it in the hall
on Christmas Night, for the laudable purpose of helping to pay for a
schoolhouse flag. The pupils
one and all taking graciously to this plan, the preparations for a program
were begun at once. And of all the excited performers-elect none was so
excited as Anne Shirley, who threw herself into the undertaking heart and
soul, hampered as she was by Marilla's disapproval.
Marilla thought it all rank foolishness.
just filling your heads up with nonsense and taking time that ought to be
put on your lessons," she grumbled.
"I don't approve of children's getting up concerts and racing
about to practices. It makes
them vain and forward and fond of gadding."
think of the worthy object," pleaded Anne.
"A flag will cultivate a spirit of patriotism, Marilla."
There's precious little patriotism in the thoughts of any of you.
All you want is a good time."
when you can combine patriotism and fun, isn't it all right?
Of course it's real nice to be getting up a concert. We're going to
have six choruses and Diana is to sing a solo. I'm in two dialogues--`The
Society for the Suppression of Gossip' and `The Fairy Queen.'
The boys are going to have a dialogue too.
And I'm to have two recitations, Marilla.
I just tremble when I think of it, but it's a nice thrilly kind of
tremble. And we're to have a
tableau at the last--`Faith, Hope and Charity.' Diana and Ruby and I are to
be in it, all draped in white with flowing hair.
I'm to be Hope, with my hands clasped--so--and my eyes uplifted.
I'm going to practice my recitations in the garret.
Don't be alarmed if you hear me groaning.
I have to groan heartrendingly in one of them, and it's really hard
to get up a good artistic groan, Marilla.
Josie Pye is sulky because she didn't get the part she wanted in the
dialogue. She wanted to be the
fairy queen. That would have
been ridiculous, for who ever heard of a fairy queen as fat as Josie?
Fairy queens must be slender. Jane
Andrews is to be the queen and I am to be one of her maids of honor.
Josie says she thinks a red-haired fairy is just as ridiculous as a
fat one, but I do not let myself mind what Josie says.
I'm to have a wreath of white roses on my hair and Ruby Gillis is
going to lend me her slippers because I haven't any of my own.
It's necessary for fairies to have slippers, you know.
You couldn't imagine a fairy wearing boots, could you?
Especially with copper toes? We
are going to decorate the hall with creeping spruce and fir mottoes with
pink tissue-paper roses in them. And
we are all to march in two by two after the audience is seated, while Emma
White plays a march on the organ. Oh,
Marilla, I know you are not so enthusiastic about it as I am, but don't you
hope your little Anne will distinguish herself?"
I hope is that you'll behave yourself.
I'll be heartily glad when all this fuss is over and you'll be able
to settle down. You are simply
good for nothing just now with your head stuffed full of dialogues and
groans and tableaus. As for
your tongue, it's a marvel it's not clean worn out."
sighed and betook herself to the back yard, over which a young new moon was
shining through the leafless poplar boughs from an apple-green western sky,
and where Matthew was splitting wood. Anne
perched herself on a block and talked the concert over with him, sure of an
appreciative and sympathetic listener in this instance at least.
now, I reckon it's going to be a pretty good concert.
And I expect you'll do your part fine," he said, smiling down
into her eager, vivacious little face.
Anne smiled back at him. Those two were the best of friends and
Matthew thanked his stars many a time and oft that he had nothing to do with
bringing her up. That was Marilla's exclusive duty; if it had been his he
would have been worried over frequent conflicts between inclination and said
duty. As it was, he was free
to, "spoil Anne"--Marilla's phrasing--as much as he liked. But it was not such a bad arrangement after all; a little
"appreciation" sometimes does quite as much good as all the
conscientious "bringing up" in the world.
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