Historical Girls: Quote-tastic!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


As I'm coming to the end of this cycle of books, I'd like to leave with a (lengthy) selection of quotes I found interesting and entertaining.

I present the following for your consideration and amusement, without commentary.

I'm off to wash my brain out with something containing spaceships and explosions.  Enjoy!

On Dress:

Anne of Green Gables:
"Pretty!" Marilla sniffed. "I didn't trouble my head about getting pretty dresses for you. I don't believe in pampering vanity, Anne, I'll tell you that right off. Those dresses are good, sensible, serviceable dresses, without any frills or furbelows about them, and they're all you'll get this summer. The brown gingham and the blue print will do you for school when you begin to go. The sateen is for church and Sunday school. I'll expect you to keep them neat and clean and not to tear them. I should think you'd be grateful to get most anything after those skimpy wincey things you've been wearing."

"Oh, I AM grateful," protested Anne. "But I'd be ever so much gratefuller if—if you'd made just one of them with puffed sleeves. Puffed sleeves are so fashionable now. It would give me such a thrill, Marilla, just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves."


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:
Sissy went shopping with Francie and helped her buy a grown-up dress and her first pair of high-heeled pumps. When she tried on her new outfit, mama and Sissy swore that she looked sixteen except for her hair. Her braids made her look very kiddish.
"Mama, please let me get it bobbed," begged Francie.
"It took you fourteen years to grow that hair," said mama, "and I'll not let you have it cut off."
"Gee, Mama, you're way behind the time."
"Why do you want short hair like a boy?"
"It would be easier to care for."
"Taking care of her hair should be a woman's pleasure.....A woman's hair is her mystery. Daytimes, it's pinned up. But at night, alone with her man, the pins come out and it hangs loose like a shining cape."


Little Women:  
Amy suffered deeply at having to wear a red instead of a blue bonnet, unbecoming gowns, and fussy aprons that did not fit. Everything was good, well made, and little worn, but Amy's artistic eyes were much afflicted, especially this winter, when her school dress was a dull purple with yellow dots and no trimming.


On the Banks of Plum Creek: First day of school, the girls
"...put on their Sunday dresses. Mary's was a blue-sprigged calico, and Laura's was red-sprigged. Ma braided their hair very tightly and bound the ends with thread. They could not wear their Sunday hair ribbons because they might lose them. .... Laura wanted to sink down and hide her legs. Her dress was too short, it was much shorter than the town girls' dresses. So was Mary's. Before they came to Plum Creek, Ma had said they were outgrowing those dresses."
 [Side Note: Only one girl in town, whose family is wealthy, is described as wearing shoes]



Island of the Blue Dolphins:
During the time that I was taming the birds, I made another skirt. This one I also made of yucca fibers softened in water and braided into twine. I made it just like the others, with folds running lengthwise. It was open on both sides and fell to my knees. The belt I made of sealskin, which could be tied in a knot. I also made a pair of sandals from sealskin for walking over the duns when the sun was hot, or just to be dressed up when I wore my new skirt of yucca twine.


On Church:

On the Banks of Plum Creek: Sunday School begins:
"Now I'm going to tell you a story!" Laura was very pleased. But Mrs. Tower began, "It is all about a little baby, born long ago in Egypt. His name was Moses." So Laura did not listen any more. She knew all about Moses in the bullrushes. Even Carrie knew that...

After that everyone stood up. They all opened their mouths and tried to sing "Jerusalem, the Golden." Not many of them knew the words or the tune. Miserable squiggles went up Laura's backbone and the insides of her ears crinkled. She was glad when they all sat down again.


Anne of Green Gables:
"I went into the church, with a lot of other little girls, and I sat in the corner of a pew by the window while the opening exercises went on. Mr. Bell made an awfully long prayer. I would have been dreadfully tired before he got through if I hadn't been sitting by that window. But it looked right out on the Lake of Shining Waters, so I just gazed at that and imagined all sorts of splendid things."

"You shouldn't have done anything of the sort. You should have listened to Mr. Bell."

"But he wasn't talking to me," protested Anne. "He was talking to God and he didn't seem to be very much interested in it, either. I think he thought God was too far off though. "


Caddie Woodlawn: On the traveling minister:
Weddings and christenings were put off until his arrival, and sometimes he found new-made graves awaiting his benediction. The settlers always opened their homes to him, and it was a great occasion when they could entertain the circuit rider. Everyone stood in awe of him. He was not only a man of God who could wrestle in spiritual battle with angels and spirits of evil, but it was said that there was not a man on his circuit who could show a strength of muscle equal to his. When, in his deep voice, he spoke of punishment for sinners, the little schoolhouse seemed to be filled with the crackling roar of the fires of hell.


On Enemies:

On the Banks of Plum Creek:
"Don't you touch her!" Nellie screeched.  You keep your hands off my doll, Laura Ingalls!"
She snatched the doll against her and turned her back so Laura could not see her putting her back in the box.  Laura's face burned hot and the other girls did not know what to do...

When they were out of the store, Christy said to Laura, "I wish you'd slapped that mean Nellie Oleson."
"Oh no! I couldn't" Laura said.  "But I'm going to get even with her. Sh! Don't let Mary know I said that."


Anne of Green Gables:
As for Gilbert Blythe, she would not even look at him. She would NEVER look at him again! She would never speak to him!!

When school was dismissed Anne marched out with her red head held high. Gilbert Blythe tried to intercept her at the porch door.

"I'm awfully sorry I made fun of your hair, Anne," he whispered contritely. "Honest I am. Don't be mad for keeps, now."

Anne swept by disdainfully, without look or sign of hearing.


Little Women:
Jenny Snow, a satirical young lady, who had basely twitted Amy upon her limeless state, promptly buried the hatchet and offered to furnish answers to certain appalling sums. But Amy had not forgotten Miss Snow's cutting remarks about 'some persons whose noses were not too flat to smell other people's limes, and stuck-up people who were not too proud to ask for them', and she instantly crushed 'that Snow girl's' hopes by the withering telegram, "You needn't be so polite all of a sudden, for you won't get any."



On Heroism:

On the Banks of Plum Creek:
"We've got to bring in wood before the storm gets here," Laura told her. "Hurry!"
... The wind was colder than icicles. Laura ran to the woodpile, piled up a big armful of wood, and ran back...She could not open the door while she held the wood. Mary opened it for her. Then they did not know what to do. The cloud was coming swiftly, and they must bring in wood before the storm got there....Laura and Mary hurried fast, bringing in wood. Carrie opened the door when they came to it, and shut it behind them..."


Anne of Green Gables:
"Minnie May has croup all right; she's pretty bad, but I've seen them worse. First we must have lots of hot water. I declare, Diana, there isn't more than a cupful in the kettle! There, I've filled it up, and, Mary Joe, you may put some wood in the stove. I don't want to hurt your feelings but it seems to me you might have thought of this before if you'd any imagination. Now, I'll undress Minnie May and put her to bed and you try to find some soft flannel cloths, Diana. I'm going to give her a dose of ipecac first of all."


Caddie Woodlawn: Caddie overhears:
"Wipe the Indians out, is what I say. Don't wait for them to come and scalp us. Are you with me?"
White and trembling, Caddie slipped past them....to the barn and into the stalls....Caddie slipped a bridle over Betsy's head. She was trembling all over. There was something she must do now, and she was afraid. She must warn John and his Indians.


I enjoyed this blast from the past, but I'm done with girl's books for a while.

Expect a few short pieces on sci-fi novels soon, followed by my next thematic group: Anthropomorphic Animals.

Thanks for reading!

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