Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
162. GREED AND JEALOUSY
Perry 580 (Avianus
To become better acquainted with the baffling logic of mortal men, Jupiter
sent Phoebus Apollo from the heavenly citadel to visit the earth. At that
moment two men happened to be asking the gods to fulfill their opposite
prayers: one of the men was greedy, and the other was a jealous man. The
mighty god examined each of them and offered himself as a mediator. When
they made their requests, Apollo told them, 'The gods agree to grant your
prayers, but the thing that one of you requests will immediately be given
two-fold to the other.' The greedy man whose limitless desire could never
satisfy his longing allowed the other man to choose first, expecting to
augment his prospects by that man's prayer, thus carrying off two prizes
for himself. Instead, he met with an unexpected loss, since the jealous
man realized that the other man was trying to take his own reward. Thus,
he voluntarily requested that a punishment be inflicted on his body: by
asking to be blinded in one eye, he thus condemned the other man to a
life of total darkness, with two blind eyes. The wise Apollo laughed at
the human condition and told Jupiter about the wickedness spawned by such
jealous feelings: because it rejoices in the unhappy things that happen
to other people, wretched jealousy gladly works to its own disadvantage.
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.