For once, Anne is able to just enjoy herself!
“I am invited to tea at the manse tomorrow afternoon! Mrs. Allen left the letter for me at the post-office.[…]”
“Mrs. Allen told me she meant to have all the members of her Sunday school class to tea in turn,” said Marilla, regarding the wonderful event very coolly. “You needn’t get in such a fever over it. Do learn to take things calmly, child.”
For Anne to take things calmly would have been to change her nature. All “spirit and fire and dew,” as she was, the pleasures and pains of life came to her with trebled intensity. Marilla felt this and was vaguely troubled over it, realizing that the ups and downs of existence would probably bear hardly on this impulsive soul and not sufficiently understanding that the equally great capacity for delight might more than compensate.
If children are excitable, let them be! There’s time enough for the world to wear a soul down, and Anne has honestly had enough of that in her life already.
Before Anne heads out to tea, she worries about the minutiae of etiquette, fearing that she’ll embarrass herself, so Marilla provides some sound advice.
“The trouble with you, Anne, is that you’re thinking too much about yourself. You should just think about Mrs. Allen and what would be nicest and most agreeable to her.”
So Anne has a wonderful tea at the manse, and as usual tells Marilla all about it.
“Some people are naturally good, you know, and others are not. I’m one of the others. Mrs. Lynde says I’m full of original sin. No matter how hard I try to be good I can never make such a success as those who are naturally good. It’s a good deal like geometry, I expect.”
This is clearly an (understandable) misinterpretation of theology thanks to Mrs. Lynde. The very idea of “original sin” is that EVERYONE has it, but evidently Rachel prefers not to emphasize her own sin when such a wicked girl is before her eyes. The idea is that everyone is equally “bad”, not that some people are naturally bad and others are naturally good.
But Anne has a good long chat with Mrs. Allen, telling her whole backstory, right down to her struggles in school. It takes many kindred spirits (alongside some not-so-kindred spirits) to raise a child, and Mrs. Allen is bound to make Anne grow. Also, evidently the new schoolteacher is going to be a lady, so she’ll probably help her grow, too.
Until next time…