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The Peacock's Complaint



The Peacock presented a memorial to Juno, importing how hardly he thought he was used, in not having so good a voice as the Nightingale; how that bird was agreeable to every ear that heard it, while he was laughed at for his ugly, screaming noise, if he did but open his mouth.

The goddess, concerned at the uneasiness of her favourite bird, answered him very kindly to this purpose:—"If the Nightingale is blest with a fine voice, you have the advantage in point of beauty and size." "Ah!" says he, "but what avails my silent, unmeaning beauty, when I am so far excelled in voice?"

The goddess dismissed him, bidding him consider that the properties of every creature were appointed by the decree of Fate; to him beauty, to the Eagle strength, to the Nightingale a voice of melody, to the Parrot the faculty of speech, and to the Dove innocence; that each of these was contented with his own peculiar quality; and, unless he wished to be miserable, he must also learn to be equally satisfied.


The man who to his lot's resigned
True happiness is sure to find;
While envy ne'er can mend the ill,
But makes us feel it keener still.

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