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Anne 1

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Anne 2

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Anne 3

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Script: Part 1

SCENE: The woods surrounding the Hammond house.

ANNE: [reciting lines 10-18, 34-36, 37-45 from Lord Alfred Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott]

    Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
    Little breezes dusk and shiver
    Thro' the wave that runs forever
    By the island in the river
        Flowing down to Camelot.
    Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
    Overlook a space of flowers,
    And the silent isle imbowers
        The Lady of Shalott.

    Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
    Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy
        Lady of Shalott."

    There she weaves by night and day
    A magic web with colours gay.
    She has heard a whisper say
    A curse is on her if she stay
        To look down [on] Camelot.
    She knows not what the curse may be,
    And so she weaveth steadily,
    And little other care hath she,
        The Lady of Shalott.

MRS. HAMMOND: Anne! Anne!

ANNE: Coming Mrs. Hammond!

MRS. HAMMOND: Anne! Anne Shirley get in here this instant! [to child] It's alright honey. [to Anne] Go on, git, git! Watch it you sloppy girl, that comes right out of my babyies' mouthes.

ANNE: I'm sorry, Mrs. Hammond, but I was rushing so and it's quite heavy. That'll be my share so there won't be any less for the children.

MRS. HAMMOND: Oh, here, just take them and clean them up. Well, if you'd pay more attention to your chores instead of pouring over them fool books of yours.

ANNE: Please! I won't do it again. It was just so thrilling I couldn't put it down.

MRS. HAMMOND: Oh, you darn well won't do it again. And if I catch you reading any more of them books of yours while you're supposed to be looking after my youngens, they'll feed the fire too, missy. Well, don't just stand there looking daft! Finish changing Meg and Peter! Mr. Hammond and the men been waiting well nigh an hour for their lunch while you've been dawdling.

ANNE: I enjoy babies in moderation, Mrs. Hammond, but twins three times in succession is too much.


ANNE: I simply couldn't live here if I hadn't any imagination.

MRS. HAMMOND: I'll take none of your cheek, Anne Shirley. Believe you me, you'll be out on your backside if I get another word out of you. Oh, go on. Git going to the mill before Mr. Hammond takes a whipping for you. Git! [to children] Eat!

SCENE: The Hammond Mill.

MR. HAMMOND: Not those goll-darn planks!

TOM: What's the matter?

MR. HAMMOND: Not that junk, idiot!

TOM: Cut it out! [to others] Help! Get out here!

ANNE: What happened, Tom?

TOM: He's been in a temper over lunch. Screaming and swearing -- you know how he gets. He wouldn't stop.

ANNE: Someone take the wagon and go for the doctor.

TOM: He won't be needing no doctor.

SCENE: The Hammond house.

ANNE: Katie, I know you understand. If I hadn't lost myself in the beauty of the day, the only beauty which has now deceived me, poor Mr. Hammond might still be with us.

WOMAN: There, there Nora. He led a good life. You have to think about yourself and your youngens now. Sell the mill and come and live with me. And what about the girl? She's a home child, isn't she?


WOMAN: She'll have to go back to the orphanage.

ANNE: Mrs. Hammond, you must know how much I want to be of help to you in your time of trial. I consider it a burden I must bear.

MRS. HAMMOND: I was daft when I took you in. It's all your doing. None but yours.

ANNE: I blame myself entirely, Mrs. Hammond. To have to wait and extra hour for lunch is a terrible burden on any man. I shall never overcome my grief. But going back to an orphanage would be more than I can bear. I beg of you, Mrs. Hammond, please let me stay with you.

WOMAN: Orphan children are all the same -- trash.

MRS. HAMMOND: Trash. That's right, Anne Shirley. Poor, miserable trash that don't deserve no better.

SCENE: The Fairview Orphanage.

NURSE: Mrs. Hammond, Ma'am.

MRS. CADBURY: Mrs. Hammond. I sent a reply to your letter just this morning. I'm afraid we cannot take the girl. We're overcrowded as it is.

MRS. HAMMOND: But I've already had to divide my own sweet babies among my relatives, Ma'am. She ain't my responsibility no more. You have to take her.

MRS. CADBURY: Come here, child. Tell me what you know about yourself.

ANNE: Well, it really isn't worth telling, Mrs. Cadbury. But if you let me tell you what I imagine about myself, you'd find it a lot more interesting

. MRS. HAMMOND: Uh, she was, uh, twelve last March, Ma'am. Uh, born in Halifax. Both parents died of the fever when she was just three months. I took her in from a neighbor last year to help out with the youngens, but she's been in and out of orphanages ever since she was a wee thing, and she's not too proud for here.

MRS. CADBURY: And what were your parents' names?

ANNE: Walter and Bertha Shirley. Aren't they lovely names? I'm proud they had such nice names. It would be a disgrace to have a father called, well, Hezekiah.

MRS. CADBURY: Doesn't matter what a person's name is, as long as they behave themselves.

ANNE: Well, I don't know. I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I was never able to believe it. A rose just couldn't smell as sweet if it was a thistle or a skunk-cabbage.

MRS. HAMMOND: I don't know where she picks up them fool ideas, but she's a bright little thing, ain't she? And she won't be no trouble to you, I can promise you that. Well, this is a real Christian place you folks is running here and I sure am grateful to you for helping me out of this predicament.

MRS. CADBURY: Now, Mrs. Hammond, wait a minute. Mrs. Hammond! We can't take her for at least another month! There are papers to be signed!

MRS. HAMMOND: Lady, I got a train to catch.

SCENE: Bedroom in the orphanage.

ANNE: Katie, I'm glad we have each other. It's so difficult finding a kindred spirit these days.

MRS. CADBURY: Anne Shirley, get undressed at once. Have you no respect for rules and regulations.

ANNE: I'm sorry, Mrs. Cadbury, but I wasn't paying attention.

MRS. CADBURY: You haven't been paying attention for the past six months.

ANNE: Oh, I know I'll improve. It's just that my life is perfect graveyard of buried hopes, now. That's a sentence I read once and I say it over to comfort myself in these times that try the soul.

MRS. CADBURY: I've had a request for two of our girls to live with families in Prince Edward Island. And I've decided that you will be one of them.

ANNE: Oh, thank you, Mrs. Cadbury. Thank you with all my heart.

MRS. CADBURY: I've no wish to reward rebelliousness, but for good of discipline it seems that I must. Perhaps this new family of yours can shatter this dream world you that you live in. Now, get into your nightgown and go to bed.

SCENE: The Bright River train station.

STATION MASTER: Are you waiting for someone, Miss?

ANNE: I am, thank you.

STATION MASTER: Would you prefer to sit in the ladies' waiting room?

ANNE: No, I prefer to sit here. There's so much more scope for the imagination. Thank you just the same.

STATION MASTER: As you like, Miss.

SCENE: The Lynde house.

RACHEL: Thomas! Isn't that Matthew Cuthbert driving that buggy?

THOMAS LYNDE: Appears to be.

RACHEL: Well, he never goes to town this time of year, and he never wears a suit except in church.

THOMAS LYNDE: Maybe he's going courting.

RACHEL: Don't be so utterly ridiculous, Thomas. He's not going fast enough for a doctor. Oh, my afternoon is spoiled! I won't have a moments peace until I know what that man is up to. Wearing his suit. Marilla is simply going to have to explain all this.

SCENE: The Cuthbert kitchen.

RACHEL: You, who. Marilla.

MARILLA: Ah, Rachel, good morning. And how are all the Lyndes?

RACHEL: Oh, we're alright as rain, Marilla, but I was kind of worried about you when I saw your brother drive by just now.

MARILLA: Oh, I'm fine. Just fine. Appreciate the concern.

RACHEL: But he was in his suit and smoking his pipe.

MARILLA: Well, I don't mind so long as he smokes his pipe in the great outdoors and not in my kitchen.

RACHEL: He was in his suit.

MARILLA: Yes, Rachel.

RACHEL: Well, Matthew never goes to town this time of year.

MARILLA: Matthew wasn't going to town.

RACHEL: Oh, don't keep me in such suspense.

MARILLA: He was going to Bright River. We're getting a little boy from an orphanage in Nova Scotia, and he's coming in on the afternoon train.

RACHEL: A boy! You can't be serious. Well, you don't know anything about raising children. Whatever put such an idea into your head?

MARILLA: Well, Matthew's getting along in years. He's not as spry as he once was and his heart bothers him greatly. Mrs. Spencer was up here before Christmas and said she was getting a little girl from the Hopeton Asylum in the spring. Matthew and I gave it good consideration. So, we sent word to her by her niece, Roberta, tell her to bring us a boy home while she was at it.

RACHEL: I shall be surprised at nothing after this. Nothing.

MARILLA: We told her to fix us up with a little boy, eleven or twelve; old enough to do the chores, and young enough to be brought up properly.

RACHEL: You know I pride myself on speaking my mind. And let me tell you, I think you are doing a mighty risky thing. I wish you'd consulted me first. Well, it was just last week, I read in the paper where a couple took a boy from an orphan asylum and he set fire to their house at night, on purpose. Burnt them to a crisp in their beds.

MARILLA: Well, I won't say that I haven't had my qualms, Rachel. But Matthew was so terrible determined and it's so seldom that he sets his mind on anything that I felt I had to give in.

RACHEL: And there was another case, six months ago over in New Brunswick, where an asylum child put strychnine in the well and the entire family died, in agony. Only, it was a girl in that instance.

MARILLA: Well, we are not getting a girl.

SCENE: The Bright River train station.


STATION MASTER: Oh, how do, Matthew?

MATTHEW: Hello, Angus. Is the afternoon train due soon?

STATION MASTER: Well, been and gone a half an hour ago. There was a passenger dropped off for you. She's waiting for you on the platform.


STATION MASTER: Not to worry, Matthew. I don't think she bites.

MATTHEW: Well, it's a boy I've come for.

STATION MASTER: Oh, she won't have any trouble explaining. She has a tongue of her own.

ANNE: I suppose you're Mr. Matthew Cuthbert. My name is Anne Shirley. Anne is spelled with an "e." I was beginning to be afraid you weren't coming for me today, so I made up my mind to climb up that big, wild cherry tree and wait for you till morning. It would be lovely to sleep in a cherry tree all silvery in the moonshine, don't you think?

MATTHEW: Oh, yes it would. I mean, no. I mean, there's been a big mistake.

ANNE: Oh, no, there's no mistake; not if you're Mr. Matthew Cuthbert. You are Mr. Matthew Cuthbert, aren't you? Mrs. Spencer told me to wait right here for you, and so I've done, most pleasantly I must say. Oh, this is beautiful country you have here, Mr. Cuthbert.

MATTHEW: I'm sorry I was late.

ANNE: No, no, that's fine, thank you. It's very light and thin, like me. I better hold on to my bag. If it isn't carried in a certain way, the handle falls off. I mastered the trick of it on my journey. It's a very old carpet bag. Not at all the sort of luggage I imagine the Lady of Shallott would travel with, but of course hers would be suited to a horse-drawn pavilion and not a train. Oh, I'm very glad you've come, even if it would have been nice to sleep in a wild cherry tree. We've got a long piece to drive yet, haven't we. Oh, I'm glad, because I love driving. It seems so wonderful that I'm gonna live with you and belong to you. I've never really belonged to anyone before, and the asylum was the worst place I've lived in yet. Mrs. Spencer said it was wicked of me to talk like that, but I don't mean to be wicked. It's just so easy to be wicked without knowing it, isn't it? Am I talking too much? Oh, people are always telling me I do, and I can stop if I make up my mind to do it.

MATTHEW: You can talk all you like. I don't mind.

ANNE: Oh, I know you and I are going to get along just fine, Mr. Cuthbert. I love this place already. I always heard that Prince Edward Island was the most beautiful place in Canada, and I used to imagine I was living here. This is the first dream that has ever come true for me. It's always been one of my dreams to live by the sea. These red roads are so peculiar. 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 pity's sake not to ask her anymore questions. Dreams don't often come true, do they Mr. Cuthbert? Just now, I feel pretty nearly perfectly happy. I can't feel exactly perfectly happy because, what color would you call this?


ANNE: Red. That's why I can't ever be perfectly happy. I know I'm skinny and a little freckled and my eyes are green. I can imagine I have a beautiful rose-leaf complexion and lovely, starry violet eyes, but I cannot imagine my red hair away. It'll be my life-long sorrow. I read of a girl in a novel once who was divinely beautiful. Have you ever imagined what it must be like to be divinely beautiful? Oh, I have often. Which would you rather be? Divinely beautiful, or dazzlingly clever, or angelically good?

MATTHEW: Well, I don't know.

ANNE: Neither do I. I know I'll never be angelically good; Mrs. Spencer says I talk so much that... Mr. Cuthbert. Mr. Cuthbert, what is this place called?

MATTHEW: The Avenue. Pretty, ain't it?

ANNE: Pretty doesn't seem the right word to use. Nor beautiful either; it don't go far enough. It is wonderful. Wonderful. They shouldn't call this lovely place, "The Avenue"! There's no meaning in a name like that. They should call it, "White Way of Delight." It's far more glorious than I could ever have imagined.

MATTHEW: That's Barry's pond.

ANNE: Oh, no. This is the Lake of Shining Waters. That's its rightful name. Do things like this ever give you a thrill, Mr. Cuthbert?

MATTHEW: Well, picking up them ugly white grubs in the cucumber bed.

ANNE: Yes, I can see how that could be very thrilling.

MATTHEW: Woap. Green Gables, yonder.

ANNE: I've pinched myself so many times today to make sure that this was real. But it is real and we're nearly home.

MATTHEW: Gid'yup!

SCENE: The Cuthbert house.

ANNE: I'm overwhelmed.

MARILLA: Matthew Cuthbert, who is that?

MATTHEW: It's a girl.

MARILLA: I can see that. Where's the boy?

MATTHEW: There weren't any. Just her. I figured we just couldn't leave her no matter what the mistake was.

MARILLA: You figured? Oh, this is a fine kettle of fish. This is what comes of sending word, instead of going ourselves, Matthew.

ANNE: You don't want me? You don't want me because I'm not a boy? Nobody ever did want me. I might have known this was all too beautiful to be true.

MARILLA: Come, come, now. Don't cry. It is not your fault.

ANNE: This is just the most tragical thing that has ever happened to me.

MARILLA: Well, what's your name?

ANNE: Would you please call me Cordelia?

MARILLA: Call you Cordelia?

ANNE: Don't you think it's a pretty name?

MARILLA: Is that your name?

ANNE: Well, no, it's not exactly my name, though I would love to be called Cordelia.

MARILLA: I don't understand what you mean.

ANNE: Cordelia is a perfectly elegant name.

MARILLA: What is your name child, and no more nonsense?

ANNE: Anne Shirley. Plain, old, unromantic Anne Shirley.

MARILLA: Anne Shirley is a fine and sensible name, and hardly one to be ashamed of.

ANNE: Oh, I'm not ashamed, but if you are going to call me Anne, would you please be sure to spell it with an "e".

MARILLA: What difference does it make how it is spelled?

ANNE: It makes a lot of difference. Print out "A-n-n" and it looks absolutely dreadful, but Anne with an "e" is quite distinguished. So if you'll only call me Anne with an "e", I'll try and reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia.

MARILLA: Very well then, Anne, with an "e", how is it that you happened to be brought and not a boy?

ANNE: If I were very beautiful and had nut-brown hair, would you keep me?

MARILLA: No. We have absolutely no use for a girl. Well, don't stand there gaping. Come along; bring your bag. Now that you're here, I suppose we'll have to put you somewhere tonight. Take off your hat. You must be hungry.

ANNE: I can't eat. I can never eat when I'm in the depths of despair.

MARILLA: The depths of despair?

ANNE: Can you eat when you're that way?

MARILLA: I've never been that way.

ANNE: Can't you even imagine you're in the depths of despair?

MARILLA: No, I can not. To despair is to turn your back on God. This is your room for the night. Wash up and then come down for supper.

ANNE: Yes, Miss Cuthbert.

SCENE: The Cuthbert kitchen.

MARILLA: I'm taking her straight over to that Spencer woman in the morning. This girl has to go straight back to the asylum.

MATTHEW: I suppose.

MARILLA: You suppose, don't you know it?

MATTHEW: She's a nice little thing, Marilla. Seems a pity to send her back; she's so set on staying.

MARILLA: Matthew Cuthbert, I believe this child has bewitched you. I can see plain is plain you want to keep her.

MATTHEW: We could hire a boy, and she can be company for you.

MARILLA: I'm not suffering for company, particularly a girl who prattles on without stopping for breath. She's no good for us. She has to go straight back where she came from.

MATTHEW: Well, we might be of some good to her.

SCENE: Anne's room.

MARILLA: Good night, Anne with an "e".

ANNE: You don't have to say goodnight. It's the worst night I've ever known.

MARILLA: Good night, just the same, child.

ANNE: Goodnight. Miss Cuthbert.

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