Asenath Nicholson
Chapter II (9) | Start of Chapter

The regulation of this soup establishment was a pattern worthy of imitation. The neatness and order of the shop; the comely attired Quaker matrons and their daughters, with their white sleeves drawn over their tidy-clad arms—their white aprons and caps, all moving in that quiet harmony so peculiar to that people; and there, too, at seven in the morning, and again at midday. All this beauty and finish, contrasted with the woe-begone, emaciated, filthy, ragged beings that stood in their turn before them, was a sight at which angels, if they could weep, might weep, and might rejoice too. Often have I stood, in painful admiration, to see the two extremes of degradation and elevation, comfort and misery, cleanliness and filth, in these two classes, made alike in God's image, but thrown into different circumstances, developing two such wide and strange opposites.