The Works of Leo Tolstoi. One Volume Edition. Roslyn, NY: Black's
Readers Service Co., 1928, pages 4-18.
 CHAPTER XI: THE LAST LESSON
And Simon and Matryona understood who it was that had lived with them,
and whom they had clothed and fed. And they wept with awe and with joy.
And the angel said: "I was alone in the field, naked. I had never known
human needs, cold and hunger, till I became a man. I was famished, frozen,
and did not know what to do. I saw, near the field I was in, a shrine built
for God, and I went to it hoping to find shelter. But the shrine was locked,
and I could not enter. So I sat down behind the shrine to shelter myself
at least from the wind. Evening drew on. I was hungry, frozen, and in pain.
Suddenly I heard a man coming along the road. He carried a pair of boots,
and was talking to himself. For the first time since I became a man I saw
the mortal face of a man, and his face seemed terrible to me and I turned
from it. And I heard the man talking to himself of how to cover his body
from the cold in winter, and how to feed wife and children. And I thought:
'I am perishing of cold and hunger, and here is a man thinking only of
how to clothe himself and his wife, and how to get bread for themselves.
He cannot help me.' When the man saw me he frowned and became still more
terrible, and passed me  on the other side. I despaired; but I heard
him coming back. I up, and did not recognize the man: before, I had seen
death in his face; but now he was alive, and I recognized in him the presence
of God. He came up to me, clothed me, took me with him, and brought me
to his home. I entered the house; a woman came to us and began to speak.
The woman was still more terrible than the man had been; the spirit of
death came from her mouth; I could not breathe the stench of death that
spread around her. She wished to drive me into the cold, and I knew that
if did so she would die. Suddenly her husband spoke to her of God, and
the woman changed at once. And when she brought me food and looked at me,
I glanced at her and saw that death no longer dwelt in her; she had become
alive, and in her too I saw God.
"Then I remembered the first lesson God had set me: 'Learn what dwells
in man.' And I understood that in man dwells Love! I was glad that God
had begun to show me what He had promised, and I smiled for the first time.
But I had not yet learnt all. I did not yet know What is not given to man,
and What men live by.
"I lived with you, and a year passed. A man came to order boots that
should for a year without losing shape or cracking. I looked at him, and
suddenly, behind his shoulder, I saw my comrade--angel of death. None but
me saw that angel; but I knew him, knew that before the sun set he would
take that rich man's soul. And I thought to myself, 'The man is making
preparations for a year, and does not know that he will die before evening.'
And I remembered God's second saying: 'Learn what is not given to man.'
"What dwells in man I already knew. Now I learnt what is not given
him. It is not given to man to know his own needs. And I smiled for the
second time. I was glad to have seen my comrade angel--glad also that God
had revealed to me the second saying.
"But I still did not know all. I did not know What men live by. And
I lived on, waiting till God should reveal to me the last lesson. In the
sixth year came the girl-twins with the woman; and I recognized the girls,
and heard how they had been kept alive. Having heard the story, I. thought,
'Their mother besought me for the children's sake, and I believed her when
she said that children cannot live without father or mother; but a stranger
has nursed them, and has brought them up.' And when the woman showed her
love for the children that were not her own, and wept over them, I saw
in her the living God, and understood What men live by. And I knew that
God had revealed to me the last lesson, and had forgiven my sin. And then
I smiled for the third time."