The Owl and The Nightingale

An Owl resided in a library and mistook gravity for wisdom. A Nightingale sang to the Owl’s displeasure. Nightingale chided Owl as learned but not wise.

One can be learned but not wise.

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A formal, solemn Owl had for many years made his habitation among the ruins of an old monastery, and had pored so often over some mouldy manuscripts, the stupid relics of a monkish library, that he grew infected with the pride and pedantry of the place, and mistaking gravity for wisdom, would sit whole days with his eyes half shut, fancying himself profoundly learned. It happened, as he sat one evening, half buried in meditation and half in sleep, that a Nightingale, unluckily perching near him, began her melodious lays. He started from his reverie, and with a horrid screech interrupted her song. “Begone,” cried he, “thou impertinent minstrel, nor distract with noisy dissonance my sublime contemplations; and know, vain songster, that harmony consists in truth alone, which is gained by laborious study, and not in languishing notes, fit only to soothe the ear of a lovesick maid.” “Conceited pedant,” returned the Nightingale, “whose wisdom lies only in the feathers that muffle up thy unmeaning face; music is a natural and rational entertainment, and, though not adapted to the ears of an Owl, has ever been relished and admired by all who are possessed of true taste and elegance.”