Anne of Green Gables
XXII. Anne is Invited Out to Tea
"And what are your eyes popping out of your head about. Now?" asked Marilla, when
Anne had just come in from a run to the post office. "Have you discovered another
kindred spirit?" Excitement hung around Anne like a garment, shone in her eyes,
kindled in every feature. She had come dancing up the lane, like a wind-blown sprite,
through the mellow sunshine and lazy shadows of the August evening.
"No, Marilla, but oh, what do you think? I am invited to tea at the manse tomorrow
afternoon! Mrs. Allan left the letter for me at the post office. Just look at it, Marilla. `Miss
Anne Shirley, Green Gables.' That is the first time I was ever called `Miss.' Such a thrill
as it gave me! I shall cherish it forever among my choicest treasures."
"Mrs. Allan 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.
Therefore Marilla conceived it to be her duty to drill Anne into a tranquil uniformity of
disposition as impossible and alien to her as to a dancing sunbeam in one of the brook
shallows. She did not make much headway, as she sorrowfully admitted to herself. The
downfall of some dear hope or plan plunged Anne into "deeps of affliction." The
fulfillment thereof exalted her to dizzy realms of delight. Marilla had almost begun to
despair of ever fashioning this waif of the world into her model little girl of demure
manners and prim deportment. Neither would she have believed that she really liked
Anne much better as she was.
Anne went to bed that night speechless with misery because Matthew had said the wind
was round northeast and he feared it would be a rainy day tomorrow. The rustle of the
poplar leaves about the house worried her, it sounded so like pattering raindrops, and
the full, faraway roar of the gulf, to which she listened delightedly at other times, loving
its strange, sonorous, haunting rhythm, now seemed like a prophecy of storm and
disaster to a small maiden who particularly wanted a fine day. Anne thought that the
morning would never come.
But all things have an end, even nights before the day on which you are invited to take
tea at the manse. The morning, in spite of Matthew's predictions, was fine and Anne's
spirits soared to their highest. "Oh, Marilla, there is something in me today that makes
me just love everybody I see," she exclaimed as she washed the breakfast dishes. "You
don't know how good I feel! Wouldn't it be nice if it could last? I believe I could be a