Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists/Fable CCIV

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3937308Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists — Fable CCIV: A Peacock and a PyeRoger L'Estrange

Fab. CCIV.

A Peacock and a Pye.

IN the Days of Old, the Birds liv'd at Random in a Lawless State of Anarchy; but in time they began to be Weary on't, and Mov'd for the Setting up of a King. The Peacock Valu'd himself upon his Gay Feathers, and put in for the Office: The Pretenders were heard, the Question Debated; and the Choice fell upon the Poll to King Peacock: The Vote was no sooner pass'd but up slands a Pye with a Speech in his Mouth to This Effect: May it please your Majesty, says he, We should be glad to now, in Case the Eagle should fall upon us in your Reign, as she has formerly done, how will you be able to Defend us?


In the Bus'ness of either Erecting, or Changing a Government, it ought to he very well Consider'd before hand, what may be the Consequences, in case of such a Form, or such a Person.


KINGS are not to be Chosen for the Beauty or the Gracesulness of their Persons, but for the Reputation they have in the World, and the Endowments of their Minds. This Fable shews likewise the Necessity of Civil Order, and the Danger of Popular Elections, where a Factious Majority commonly Governs the Choice. Take the Plurality of the World, and they are neither Wise, nor Good; and if they be left to Themselves, they will Undoubtedly Chuse such as They Themselves Are. 'Tis the Misery of Elective Governments, that there will be Eternally Corruption and Partiality in the Choice; for there's a Kind of a Tacit Covenant in the Case, that the King of their Own making sall make his Makers Princes too: So that they Work for Themselves all this while not for the Publique: But the Pyes Question stopt all their Mouths, and it was Wisely let fall too without a Reply, to Intimate that it was Unanswerable.