18 June 2008

More of Montgomery's literary allusions

This went up yesterday at Blogging Anne of Green Gables.

Here are the wealth of references found between Chapters 7 and 19 (from Anne's prayers to the Debating Club concert):

~ Marilla determines to "send to the manse tomorrow and borrow the Peep of Day series". (The copyright of the edition linked to here says 1925, but I imagine it was around in other forms years before that.)

~ Anne learns the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4).

~ Enough to make Lewis Carroll smile:
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.
~ Anne on Sunday school:
"Then all the other little girls recited a paraphrase. She asked me if I knew any. I told her I didn't, but I could recite, 'The Dog at His Master's Grave' if she liked. [This is the best I could do.] That's in the Third Royal Reader. It isn't a really truly religious piece of poetry, but it's so sad and melancholy that it might as well be. She said it wouldn't do and she told me to learn the nineteenth paraphrase for next Sunday. I read it over in church afterwards and it's splendid. There are two lines in particular that just thrill me.
Quick as the slaughtered squadrons fell
In Midian's evil day.
I don't know what 'squadrons' means nor 'Midian,' either, but it sounds so tragical. I can hardly wait until next Sunday to recite it."
These lines seem to be from an old Christmas carol, "The Race that Long in Darkness Pined." (I can just hear her.)

~ "I sat just as still as I could and the text was Revelations, third chapter, second and third verses. It was a very long text. If I was a minister I'd pick the short, snappy ones."

~ After meeting Diana for the first time:
"Don't you think Diana has got very soulful eyes? I wish I had soulful eyes. Diana is going to teach me to sing a song called 'Nelly in the Hazel Dell.'"
Later, when Marilla goes to ask her about the infamous amethyst brooch, Anne is
shelling peas by the spotless table and singing "Nelly of the Hazel Dell" with a vigour and expression that did credit to Diana's teaching [...].
And here it is (as well as some additional background history):
In the Hazel Dell my Nelly's sleeping,
Nelly lov'd so long!
And my lonely watch I'm nightly keeping,
Nelly, lost and gone.
Here in moonlight often we have wander'd
Thro' the silent glade;
Now where leafy branches all point downward;
Little Nelly's laid.
All alone my watch I'm keeping
In the Hazel Dell,
For my darling Nelly's near me sleeping.
Nelly, dear, farewell.
~ Anne quotes Rachel Lynde quoting...Benjamin Franklin?:
"Mrs. Lynde says, 'Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.' But I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to be disappointed."
I first encountered this line in Poor Richard's Almanack, but I've also seen it attributed to Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. Many (most?) of Franklin's quotations were lifted from other sources, so Mrs. Lynde would be relieved to know that she isn't actually quoting a "Yank."

~ Amid the amethyst brooch tragedy, Marilla remembers Luke 9:62:
"Oh dear, I'm afraid Rachel was right from the first. But I've put my hand to the plough and I won't look back."
~ In Diana's list of reasons why Anne shouldn't leave school:
"and Alice Andrews is going to bring a new Pansy book next week and we're all going to read it out loud, chapter about, down by the brook. And you know how you are so fond of reading out loud, Anne."
~ I think Proverbs 25:21-22 was a favorite passage of Montgomery's--it's mentioned many times in her work (and probably comforted her amid the trials of her living situation). It's certainly a favorite of Anne's. After confessing the truth of the mouse-drowned pudding sauce, Anne tells how Marilla
"just carried that sauce and pudding out and brought in some strawberry preserves. She even offered me some, but I couldn't swallow a mouthful. It was like heaping coals of fire on my head."
And when Anne accepts Mrs. Barry's apology,
"I felt fearfully embarrassed, Marilla, but I just said as politely as I could, 'I have no hard feelings for you, Mrs. Barry. I assure you once for all that I did not mean to intoxicate Diana and henceforth I shall cover the past with the mantle of oblivion.' That was a pretty dignified way of speaking, wasn't it, Marilla? I felt that I was heaping coals of fire on Mrs. Barry's head."
~ When Mrs. Barry first separates them, Anne states,
"My heart is broken. The stars in their courses fight against me, Marilla."
This is from the story of Deborah in Judges 5:20.

~ Anne misses Diana's welcome when she goes back to school, inspiring Montgomery to quote from the fourth canto of Byron's "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage":
The Caesar's pageant shorn of Brutus' bust
Did but of Rome's best son remind her more
Then Psalm 139:14 is invoked as
"the next morning a note, most fearfully and wonderfully twisted and folded, and a small parcel, were passed across to Anne."
~ Anne's pronouncement,
"But really, Marilla, one can't stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?"
foretells the penchant of Montgomery's 1929 titular heroine in Magic for Marigold:
She had picked it up from Aunt Marigold and from then to the end of life things would be for Marigold interesting or uninteresting. Some people might demand of life that it be happy or untroubled or successful. Marigold Lesley would only ask that it be interesting.
~ Numbers in the Avonlea Debating Club Concert: Prissy Andrews "climbed the slimy ladder, dark without one ray of light" in "Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight" by Rose Hartwick Thorpe.

~ Sam Sloane recites "How Sockery Set a Hen" [scroll down for passage].

~ Mr. Phillips "gave Mark Antony's oration over the dead body of Caesar".

~ And the aforementioned moment when Gilbert recites "Bingen on the Rhine" (while Anne stonily ignores him by reading "Rhoda Murray's library book"). Diana says,
"Oh, Anne, how could you pretend not to listen to him? When he came to the line,
There's another, not a sister
he looked right down at you."
It probably rankled all the more since it had been a favorite of hers.

~ This Japanese site has a good collection of the primary sources listed in the novel.


Anonymous said...

here are the allusions for all of the novels: http://www.lmm-anne.net/archives/library

Clarina said...

Thank you, you've done a great job on this, it must have been time consuming and I really appreciate it.
Thanks, Clarina