But since, as fortune would have it so, in the before quoted lines,—my excellent Ulpian, or you too, O you sons of grammarians, just tell me what was Ephippus's meaning in what I have just repeated, when he said—
The calfFor I think there is here an allusion to some historical fact, and I should like to understand it. And Plutarch said, —There is a Rhodian tale, which, however, I can hardly repeat at the moment, because it is a very long time since I have fallen in with the book in which it occurs. But I know that Phœnix the Colophonian, the Iambic poet, making mention of some men as collecting money for the Jackdaw, speaks as follows—
Which from Corone1 came, and we to-morrow
Shall surely sup on it.
My friends, I pray you give a handful nowAnd at the end of this set of iambics he says—
Of barley to the jackdaw, Phœbus' daughter;
[p. 567] Or else a plate of wheat; or else a loaf,
A halfpenny, or whatsoe'er you please;
Give, my good friends, whatever you can spare
To the poor jackdaw; e'en a grain of salt;
For willingly she feeds on anything;
And he who salt bestows to-day, to-morrow
May give some honey. Open, boy, the door;
Plutus has heard, and straight a serving maid
Brings out some figs. Gods, let that maiden be
For ever free from harm, and may she find
A wealthy husband of distinguished name:
And may she show unto her aged father
A lusty boy, and on her mother's lap
Place a fair girl, her daughter, to bring up
A happy helpmate for some lucky cousin.
But I, where'er my feet conduct my eyes,
Sing with alternate melody at the gates
Of him who gives, and him who rude denies.
At present I'll leave off, and say no more.
But you, my friends, who have good store at home,And those people who went about collecting for the jackdaw (κορώνη) were called Coronistæ, as Pamphilus of Alexandria tells us, in his treatise on Names. And the songs which are sung by them are called coronismata, as Agnocles the Rhodian tells us, in his Coronistæ.
Give something. Give, O king; give you too, housewife.
It is the law that all should give their hand
When the crow begs. And you who know this law,
Give what you please, and it shall be sufficient.