Gesta Romanorum Vol. II (1871)/Of Rebukes to Princes

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Gesta Romanorum Vol. II  (1871) 
Anonymous, translated by Charles Swan
Of Rebukes to Princes



Augustine tells us in his book "De Civitate Dei," that Diomedes, in a piratical galley, for a long time infested the sea; plundering and sinking many ships. Being captured by command of Alexander, before whom he was brought, the king enquired how he dared to molest the seas. "How darest thou," replied he, "molest the earth? Because I am master only of a single galley, I am termed a robber; but you, who oppress the world with huge squadrons, are called a king and a conqueror. Would my fortune change, I might become better; but as you are the more fortunate, so much are you the worse." "I will change thy fortune," said Alexander, "lest fortune should be blamed by thy malignity." Thus he became rich; and from a robber was made a prince and a dispenser of justice. (43)


My beloved, the pirate in his galley is a sinner in the world; Alexander is a prelate.

Note 43.Page 222.

"St. Austin's City of God is quoted for an answer of Diomedes the pirate to king Alexander." Warton.