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Laura E. Richards

The Point of View

dropcap image WO angels sat together, bending over a book that was written full of names.

"I see!" said one. "You have your orders, and of course it is right; but it does seem such a pity. I hoped that this poor old woman might be released; she suffers so much, and there is no cure for her poor body; and she is tired, and longs to go. And the girl is so young and pretty and gay, and looking forward so joyfully; it makes me sad, even though I know sadness is wrong."

"My dear," said the other, "I felt just as you did at first, till I came to look into it. But I found that the old woman could not possibly be spared at present. Why, all the soul-light of the neighborhood, or nearly all, comes from her. Not only her own family, but the doctor, and the woman who nurses her, and all the neighbors, are finding their way by the light she gives, and better still, are getting light of their own. Her old husband used to be a poor creature, with his soul-clothes all black and dirty and ragged, just because she did everything for him; and now he must do for her, and really, you have no idea how much better he is getting to look. I think he may have a very decent little soul if she can only stay a few years longer."

"But the girl?" asked the first angel.

"Oh, the girl!" said the second. "She simply must  not stay. She started wrong, poor child. Her father is a millionnaire, you know, not one of those who prosper, but really quite destitute; none of her people can do anything for her, for they are starving themselves. I examined her soul-robe yesterday; it is already badly spotted, and some of the spots will be very hard to get out. Now, if she is taken away at once, she can make a new start, and have a better chance, poor lamb! and meanwhile the pain of losing her will be not only medicine, but food and drink, to her suffering family. I expect it to do wonders for them, I truly do."

"I see!" said the first angel. "How little we know!"

"Yes," said the second; "but at least we do know something. We know that we only know a little; whereas formerly, we knew nothing at all, and thought we knew everything; just like these other people, poor dears!"

"Poor dears!" echoed the other angel, thoughtfully.