● 大学の女友達たちと寄宿舎生活を過ごすアン。 フィリパやプリシラ、ステラなどの面白いキャラクターが出てきます。 アンにとって何物にも代え難い故郷のアボンリー。 その話をするとフィリパ(フィル)は…
アボンリーとそこで待つマリラやリンド夫人、双子たちの描写が秀逸。 このフィルって子もホント素直で可愛い! S&Gの「Homeward Bound」を思い出す。
I’m going home to an old country farmhouse, once green, rather faded now, set among leafless apple orchards. There is a brook below and a December fir wood beyond, where I’ve heard harps swept by the fingers of rain and wind. There is a pond nearby that will be gray and brooding now. There will be two oldish ladies in the house, one tall and thin, one short and fat; and there will be two twins, one a perfect model, the other what Mrs. Lynde calls a ‘holy terror.’ There will be a little room upstairs over the porch, where old dreams hang thick, and a big, fat, glorious feather bed which will almost seem the height of luxury after a boardinghouse mattress. How do you like my picture, Phil?”
“It seems a very dull one,” said Phil, with a grimace.
“Oh, but I’ve left out the transforming thing,” said Anne softly. “There’ll be love there, Phil—faithful, tender love, such as I’ll never find anywhere else in the world—love that’s waiting for me. That makes my picture a masterpiece, doesn’t it, even if the colors are not very brilliant?”
Phil silently got up, tossed her box of chocolates away, went up to Anne, and put her arms about her. “Anne, I wish I was like you,” she said soberly.
● アボンリー時代の同級生ルビー・ギリス。 美少女ルビーは恋に恋するタイプで、少し軽いところのある性格ですが、若くして不治の病にかかってしまいます。 お見舞いに行ったアンとルビーが交わす最期の言葉。 抗えない死について語るルビーが印象に残りました。
Ruby raised herself on her arm and lifted up her bright, beautiful blue eyes to the moonlit skies.
“I want to live,” she said, in a trembling voice. “I want to live like other girls. I—I want to be married, Anne—and—and—have little children. You know I always loved babies, Anne. I couldn’t say this to any one but you. I know you understand. And then poor Herb—he—he loves me and I love him, Anne. The others meant nothing to me, but he does—and if I could live I would be his wife and be so happy. Oh, Anne, it’s hard.”
Ruby sank back on her pillows and sobbed convulsively.
“Most of the trouble in life comes from misunderstanding, I think,” said Anne. “I must go now, Ruby. It’s getting late—and you shouldn’t be out in the damp.”
“You’ll come up soon again.”
“Yes, very soon. And if there’s anything I can do to help you I’ll be so glad.”
“I know. You have helped me already. Nothing seems quite so dreadful now. Good night, Anne.”
“Good night, dear.”
Anne walked home very slowly in the moonlight. The evening had changed something for her. Life held a different meaning, a deeper purpose. On the surface it would go on just the same; but the deeps had been stirred. It must not be with her as with poor butterfly Ruby. When she came to the end of one life it must not be to face the next with the shrinking terror of something wholly different—something for which accustomed thought and ideal and aspiration had unfitted her. The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be sought and followed; the life of heaven must be begun here on earth.
That good night in the garden was for all time. Anne never saw Ruby in life again.
● 妄想好きのアンは、彼女が幼い頃から憧れていたイメージ通りの憂いを帯びた王子様風の男性ロイと出会い「この人こそ運命の人! 」と思い込んでしまいます。 しかし、実は真の愛する人はすぐそばにいて自分を支えて一緒に歩き続けてくれていた人(ギルバート)だった事が、まだ大人になる前の彼女には分かりませんでした。 彼女の心はずっと前からこの本当の想いを指し示していたにも関わらず、頭の中ではそれが理解できていませんでした。 そしてアンは混乱したあげくに、愛の告白をしたギルバートに対して「お願いだからそんなことを言わないで。 私たち、良い友達のままでいたかったのに…」と思いもよらず別れを告げてしまいます…
“Never mind Phil and the violets just now, Anne,” said Gilbert quietly, taking her hand in a clasp from which she could not free it. “There is something I want to say to you.”
“Oh, don’t say it,” cried Anne, pleadingly. “Don’t—please, Gilbert.”
“I must. Things can’t go on like this any longer. Anne, I love you. You know I do. I—I can’t tell you how much. Will you promise me that some day you’ll be my wife?”
“I—I can’t,” said Anne miserably. “Oh, Gilbert—you—you’ve spoiled everything.”
“Don’t you care for me at all?” Gilbert asked after a very dreadful pause, during which Anne had not dared to look up.
“Not—not in that way. I do care a great deal for you as a friend. But I don’t love you, Gilbert.”
“But can’t you give me some hope that you will—yet?”
“No, I can’t,” exclaimed Anne desperately. “I never, never can love you—in that way—Gilbert. You must never speak of this to me again.”
There was another pause—so long and so dreadful that Anne was driven at last to look up. Gilbert’s face was white to the lips. And his eyes—but Anne shuddered and looked away. There was nothing romantic about this. Must proposals be either grotesque or—horrible? Could she ever forget Gilbert’s face?
● 混乱したアンに振られてしまったギルバート。 それ以来、プライドの高いブライス家の人であるギルバートはただの友人の一人としてアンに接するようになります。 今度はアンがそんなギルバートの態度を受け入れられない。 ギルバートから手紙が来ると飛び上がるほど喜ぶくせに、その内容があまりにも素っ気なく事務的だとヤキモキしたり。 女心は分かりにくい…
Anne had wandered down to the Dryad’s Bubble and was curled up among the ferns at the root of the big white birch where she and Gilbert had so often sat in summers gone by. He had gone into the newspaper office again when college closed, and Avonlea seemed very dull without him. He never wrote to her, and Anne missed the letters that never came. To be sure, Roy wrote twice a week; his letters were exquisite compositions which would have read beautifully in a memoir or biography. Anne felt herself more deeply in love with him than ever when she read them; but her heart never gave the queer, quick, painful bound at sight of his letters which it had given one day when Mrs. Hiram Sloane had handed her out an envelope addressed in Gilbert’s black, upright handwriting. Anne had hurried home to the east gable and opened it eagerly—to find a typewritten copy of some college society report—“only that and nothing more.” Anne flung the harmless screed across her room and sat down to write an especially nice epistle to Roy.
● アンが自分の本心にやっと気づいたのは、まさにギルバートが突然の病気で死の床に臥せっていると人づてに聞いた時でした。 電撃が走るようにアンはギルバートへの真実の愛を悟ります。
「なんと自分は愚かだったのか。 気づくのが遅すぎた。 自分も彼を愛していたのだと言うことを彼が知ることないまま逝ってしまうなんて。 それなのに自分は今さら彼の元に駆けつけることなどできないのだ。」アンは慟哭するのでした。
“Davy, hold your tongue,” said Mrs. Rachel angrily. “Anne, don’t look like that—don’t look like that! We didn’t mean to tell you so suddenly.”
“Is—it—true?” asked Anne in a voice that was not hers.
“Gilbert is very ill,” said Mrs. Lynde gravely. “He took down with typhoid fever just after you left for Echo Lodge. Did you never hear of it?”
No,” said that unknown voice.
Anne gently put Mrs. Lynde’s arms away from her, walked blindly across the kitchen, through the hall, up the stairs to her old room. At its window she knelt down, staring out unseeingly. It was very dark. The rain was beating down over the shivering fields. The Haunted Woods was full of the groans of mighty trees wrung in the tempest, and the air throbbed with the thunderous crash of billows on the distant shore. And Gilbert was dying!
There is a book of Revelation in every one’s life, as there is in the Bible. Anne read hers that bitter night, as she kept her agonized vigil through the hours of storm and darkness. She loved Gilbert—had always loved him! She knew that now. She knew that she could no more cast him out of her life without agony than she could have cut off her right hand and cast it from her. And the knowledge had come too late—too late even for the bitter solace of being with him at the last. If she had not been so blind—so foolish—she would have had the right to go to him now. But he would never know that she loved him—he would go away from this life thinking that she did not care.
● ギルバートの病が峠を越えた。 アンはその知らせだけでもう充分でした。 彼が生きていてくれるだけでそれ以上、何も望まない。そんな気持ちでした。 しかし病みあがりのギルバートは2年ぶりの想いを秘めてアンの元にまた現れます。
Gilbert was not to be thus sidetracked.
“I have a dream,” he said slowly. “I persist in dreaming it, although it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. I dream of a home with a hearth-fire in it, a cat and dog, the footsteps of friends—and you!
Anne wanted to speak but she could find no words. Happiness was breaking over her like a wave. It almost frightened her.
“I asked you a question over two years ago, Anne. If I ask it again today will you give me a different answer?”
Still Anne could not speak. But she lifted her eyes, shining with all the love-rapture of countless generations, and looked into his for a moment. He wanted no other answer.
実は親友のフィルがキューピッドとして、一役買っています。 このあたりの話もいい。 ぜひぜひ読んでみて下さい。 ホントにオススメです。