The Peacock's Complaint

021. 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 pretty animal 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 largeness of person.”
“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; strength to the eagle; to the nightingale a voice of melody; the faculty of speech to the parrot; and to the dove innocence. That each of these was contented with his own peculiar quality: and unless he had a mind to be miserable, he must learn to be so too. [more info]

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