Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
252. Jupiter, Neptune, Minerva, and Momus (Perry
ACCORDING to an ancient legend, the first man was made by Jupiter, the
first bull by Neptune, and the first house by Minerva. On the completion
of their labors, a dispute arose as to which had made the most perfect
work. They agreed to appoint Momus as judge, and to abide by his decision.
Momus, however, being very envious of the handicraft of each, found fault
with all. He first blamed the work of Neptune because he had not made
the horns of the bull below his eyes, so he might better see where to
strike. He then condemned the work of Jupiter, because he had not placed
the heart of man on the outside, that everyone might read the thoughts
of the evil disposed and take precautions against the intended mischief.
And, lastly, he inveighed against Minerva because she had not contrived
iron wheels in the foundation of her house, so its inhabitants might more
easily remove if a neighbor proved unpleasant. Jupiter, indignant at such
inveterate faultfinding, drove him from his office of judge, and expelled
him from the mansions of Olympus.
George Fyler Townsend's translation of the fables, first published in 1867, is
in the public domain and can be found at many websites, including Project
Illustrations come from: Aesop's Fables, by George Fyler Townsend, with
illustrations by Harrison Weir, 1867, at Google