Jupiter's Lottery

1.40. JUPITER'S LOTTERY. Folly, passing with men for wisdom, makes each contented with his own share of understanding.
Jupiter, in order to please mankind, directed Mercury to give notice that he had established a Lottery, in which there were no blanks; and that amongst a variety of other valuable chances, Wisdom was the highest prize. It was Jupiter's command, that in this Lottery some of the gods should also become adventurers. The tickets being disposed of, and the wheels placed, Mercury was employed to preside at the drawing. It happened that the best prize fell to Minerva: upon which a general murmur ran through the assembly, and hints were thrown out that Jupiter had used some unfair practices to secure this desirable lot to his daughter. Jupiter, that he might at once both punish and silence these impious clamours of the human race, presented them with Folly in the place of Wisdom; with which they went away perfectly well contented. And from that time the greatest Fools have always looked upon themselves as the wisest men. [more info]

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