Jupiter and the Herdsman

2.67. JUPITER AND THE HERDSMAN. A Herdsman, missing a young heifer that belonged to his herd, went up and down the forest to seek it. And having walked a great deal of ground to no purpose, he fell a praying to Jupiter for relief; promising to sacrifice a Kid to him, if he would help him to a discovery of the thief. After this, he went on a little farther, and came near a grove of oaks, where he found the carcase of his heifer, and a lion grumbling over it, and feeding upon it. This sight almost scared him out of his wits; so down he fell upon his knees once more, and addressing himself to Jupiter; O Jupiter! says he, I promised thee a Kid to show me the thief, but now I promise thee a bull, if thou wilt be so merciful as to deliver me out of his clutches.
MORAL. We ought never to supplicate the Divine power, but through motives of religion and virtue; prayers, dictated by passion or interest, are unacceptable to the Deity. [more info]

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