Mercury and the Sculptor

Once Mercury wished to learn what men thought about him. So he disguised himself as a traveller and entered a sculptor’s workshop, where he began asking the price of the different statues he saw there.

Pointing to an image of Jupiter, he asked how much the sculptor wanted for it.

“A drachma,” said the sculptor.

Mercury laughed up his sleeve and asked, “How much for this of Juno?”

The man wanted a higher price for that.

Mercury’s eye now caught sight of his own statue.

“Most likely this fellow will ask ten times the price for this,” he thought. “After all, I’m heaven’s messenger and the source of all his gain.” So he asked the sculptor once more what he wanted for the statue of Mercury.

“Well,” said the man, “if you give me what I ask for the other two, I’ll throw this into the bargain for nothing.”

Old Learning: Those people who are too anxious to know what the world thinks of them will seldom fetch the price they set upon themselves.

New Take

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