Listen to an Excerpt: Anne of Green Gables

In our ready-made Famous People lesson about Lucy Maud Montgomery, students are invited to listen to an excerpt from the first chapter of the author’s most famous novel, Anne of Green Gables, which is now in the public domain.

Listen to an Excerpt

In this scene from Chapter II of Anne of Green Gables, Matthew Cuthbert has just picked up Anne Shirley from the train station. Marilla’s orders were to pick up the orphan boy from Nova Scotia who would be waiting at the station. But when Matthew arrives, there is a girl waiting. Matthew is surprised, but he doesn’t know what else to do, so he takes her home. Matthew is surprised because he finds himself enjoying her company.

Chapter II: Matthew Cuthbert Is Surprised

This island is the bloomiest place. I just love it already, and I’m so glad I’m going to live here. I’ve always heard that Prince Edward Island was the prettiest place in the world, and I used to imagine I was living here, but I never really expected I would. It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it? But those red roads are so funny. When we got into the train at Charlottetown and the red roads began to flash past I asked Mrs. Spencer what made them red and she said she didn’t know and for pity’s sake not to ask her any more questions. She said I must have asked her a thousand already. I suppose I had, too, but how[‘re] you going to find out about things if you don’t ask questions? And what does make the roads red?”

“Well now, I dunno,” said Matthew.

“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? But am I talking too much? People are always telling me I do. Would you rather I didn’t talk? If you say so I’ll stop. I can stop when I make up my mind to it, although it’s difficult.”

Matthew, much to his own surprise, was enjoying himself. Like most quiet folks he liked talkative people when they were willing to do the talking themselves and did not expect him to keep up his end of it. But he had never expected to enjoy the society of a little girl.


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