DEAR ABBY: You recently printed a poem about there being so much bad in the best of us and good in the worst of us that people shouldn't gossip. You listed the author as "unknown."
I was born in 1919, and hanging in my mother's house since I was a child was a Victorian sketch showing a prone woman and a devil. Written on the sketch was the following:
"There is so much Devil in the best of us
"And so much Angel in the worst of us
"That it doesn't become any of us
"To say much about the rest of us."
In the corner of the picture is "Copyright 1904 by W.S. Childs." I thought you would be interested. -- M.N. REED, THEODORE, ALA.
DEAR M.N.: Thank you for providing the name of the author. Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote another version:
"There are just two kinds of people on earth today,
"Just two kinds of people, no more, I say;
"Not the good and the bad, for 'tis well understood
"That the good are half bad and the bad are half good.
"No! The two kinds of people on earth I mean
"Are the people who lift and the people who lean."