The Philosopher, The Ants, and Mercury

A Philosopher saw a shipwreck. While musing on the fate of the vessel a swarm of Ants approach and one bit him. He stomped on them all. Hypocrite.

Act as you profess to believe.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A philosopher witnessed from the shore the shipwreck of a vessel, of which the crew and passengers were all drowned. He inveighed against the injustice of Providence, which would for the sake of one criminal perchance sailing in the ship allow so many innocent persons to perish. As he was indulging in these reflections, he found himself surrounded by a whole army of Ants, near whose nest he was standing. One of them climbed up and stung him, and he immediately trampled them all to death with his foot. Mercury presented himself, and striking the Philosopher with his wand, said, “And are you indeed to make yourself a judge of the dealings of Providence, who hast thyself in a similar manner treated these poor Ants?’

1001Mercurius, Homo, et Formicae

Olim navis cum navigantibus omnibus cum demersa fuisset, tantam cladem aliquis videns, iniustos Deos esse affirmabat quod nimirum unius tantum scelesti causa, qui forte navem conscenderat, permulti eodem casu, licet omnis criminis expertes, perirent. Dum haec ille ait et secum quae evenerant repetebat, ingens formicarum multitudo circa eum venit, ut triticeas glumas quae illic forte aderant, ore traherent. A quarum una cum morsus esset, omnes illico conculcavit. At Mercurius ei apparens, virga percussit et “Posthac,” ait, “tales hominum iudices Deos esse patieris, qualis tu formicarum fuisti.”

Perry #306