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Contents > Author > Fable Aesop > The Philosopher, the Ants, and Mercury 620 BC- 560 BC
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Fable Aesop
The Philosopher, the Ants, and Mercury
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A Philosopher witnessed from the shore the shipwreck of a vessel,
of which the crew and passengers were all drowned. He inveighed
against the injustice of Providence, which would for the sake of one
criminal perchance sailing in the ship allow so many innocent persons
to perish. As he was indulging in these reflections, he found himself
surrounded by a whole army of Ants, near whose nest he was standing.
One of them climbed up and stung him, and he immediately trampled
them all to death with his foot. Mercury presented himself, and striking
the Philosopher with his wand, said, "And are you indeed to make
yourself a judge of the dealings of Providence, who hast thyself in a
similar manner treated these poor Ants?"

(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)

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