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The Supreme Being’s Feast
by [?]

Translated From The Russian By Isabel Hapgood

One day the Supreme Being took it into his head to give a great feast in his azure palace.

He invited all the virtues as guests. Only the virtues … he invited no men … only ladies.

Very many of them assembled, great and small. The petty virtues were more agreeable and courteous than the great ones; but all seemed well pleased, and chatted politely among themselves, as befits near relatives and friends.

But lo! the Supreme Being noticed two very beautiful ladies who, apparently, were entirely unacquainted with each other.

The host took one of these ladies by the hand and led her to the other.

“Beneficence!” said he, pointing to the first.

“Gratitude!” he added, pointing to the second.

The two virtues were unspeakably astonished; ever since the world has existed–and it has existed a long time–they had never met before.

December, 1878.