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Gesta Romanorum Vol. II (1871)/Of the punishment of Sin




Aulus Gellius says of Amon, who was extremely rich, that when he wished to pass from one kingdom to another, he built a ship. The sailors designed to kill him for his wealth; but he obtained from them, that first he should sing in honor of the dolphins, which are said to be much delighted with the songs of men. When, therefore, he was cast overboard, a dolphin caught him up, and carried him to land; and while the sailors believed him drowned, he was accusing them to the king, by whom they were condemned to death. (44)


My beloved, the rich man is any virtuous person; the sailors are devils, and the king is God.



Note 44.Page 223.

Aulus Gellius relates this story (Noct. Attic. Lib. XVI. cap. xix.), from Herodotus, in whom it is now extant. (Lib, viii.) This character of the dolphin has been often alluded to.

"Sweet sir, 'tis nothing;
Straight comes a dolphin, playing near your ship,
Having his crooked back up, and presents
A feather-bed to waft ye to the shore
As easily as if you slept i'th' court."

Ford. "The Lover's Melancholy." Act. I. Sc. 3.