Anne of Green Gables (Chapter 3, page 2 of 5)


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Chapter 3

The child hesitated for a moment.

"Will you please call me Cordelia?" she said eagerly.

"CALL you Cordelia? Is that your name?"

"No-o-o, it's not exactly my name, but I would love to be
called Cordelia. It's such a perfectly elegant name."

"I don't know what on earth you mean. If Cordelia isn't
your name, what is?"

"Anne Shirley," reluctantly faltered forth the owner of that
name, "but, oh, please do call me Cordelia. It can't matter
much to you what you call me if I'm only going to be here a
little while, can it? And Anne is such an unromantic name."

"Unromantic fiddlesticks!" said the unsympathetic Marilla.
"Anne is a real good plain sensible name. You've no need to
be ashamed of it."

"Oh, I'm not ashamed of it," explained Anne, "only I like
Cordelia better. I've always imagined that my name was
Cordelia--at least, I always have of late years. When I was
young I used to imagine it was Geraldine, but I like
Cordelia better now. But if you call me Anne please call me
Anne spelled with an E."

"What difference does it make how it's spelled?" asked Marilla
with another rusty smile as she picked up the teapot.

"Oh, it makes SUCH a difference. It LOOKS so much nicer.
When you hear a name pronounced can't you always see it in
your mind, just as if it was printed out? I can; and A-n-n
looks dreadful, but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished.
If you'll only call me Anne spelled with an E I shall try to
reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia."

"Very well, then, Anne spelled with an E, can you tell us how
this mistake came to be made? We sent word to Mrs. Spencer
to bring us a boy. Were there no boys at the asylum?"

"Oh, yes, there was an abundance of them. But Mrs. Spencer
said DISTINCTLY that you wanted a girl about eleven years
old. And the matron said she thought I would do. You don't
know how delighted I was. I couldn't sleep all last night
for joy. Oh," she added reproachfully, turning to Matthew,
"why didn't you tell me at the station that you didn't want
me and leave me there? If I hadn't seen the White Way of
Delight and the Lake of Shining Waters it wouldn't be so hard."

"What on earth does she mean?" demanded Marilla, staring
at Matthew.

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