The Fables of Phædrus
That one ought not to plume oneself on the merits which belong to another, but ought rather to pass his life in his own proper guise, Æsop has given us this illustration:—
A Jackdaw, swellingI.4 with empty pride, picked up some feathers which had fallen from a Peacock, and decked himself out therewith; upon which, despising his own kind, he mingled with a beauteous flock of Peacocks. They tore his feathers from off the impudent bird, and put him to flight with their beaks. The Jackdaw, thus roughly handled, in grief hastened to return to his own kind; repulsed by whom, he had to submit to sad disgrace. Then said one of those whom he had formerly despised: “If you had been content with our station, and had been ready to put up with what nature had given, you would neither have experienced the former affront, nor would your ill fortune have had to feel the additional pang of this repulse.”
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