Pos. Well done, Dolphins!--humane as ever. Not content with your former exploit, when Ino leapt with Melicertes from the Scironian cliff, and you picked the boy up and conveyed him to the Isthmus, one of you swims from Methymna to Taenarum with this musician on his back, mantle and lyre and all. Those sailors had almost had their wicked will of him; but you were not going to stand that.
Dol. You need not be surprised to find us doing a good turn to a man, Posidon; we were men before we were fishes.
Pos. Yes; I think it was too bad of Dionysus to celebrate his victory by such a transformation scene; he might have been content with adding you to the roll of his subjects.--Well, Dolphin, tell me all about Arion.
Dol. From what I can gather, Periander was very fond of him, and was always sending for him to perform; till Arion grew quite rich at his expense, and thought he would take a trip to Methymna, and show off his wealth at home. He took ship accordingly; but it was with a crew of rogues. He had made no secret of the gold and silver he had with him; and
when they were in mid Aegean, the sailors rose against him. As I was swimming alongside, I heard all that went on. 'Since your minds are made up,' says Arion, 'at least let me get my mantle on, and sing my own dirge; and then I will throw myself into the sea of my own accord.'--The sailors agreed. He threw his minstrel's cloak about him, and sang a most sweet melody; and then he let himself drop into the water, never doubting but that his last moment had come. But I caught him up on my back, and swam to shore with him at Taenarum.
Pos. I am glad to find you a patron of the arts. This was handsome pay for a song.