One day, a sailing ship sank to the bottom of the sea with all its passengers. A man who was witness of the shipwreck claimed that the decrees of the gods were unjust, for to lose a single impious person they had also made the innocent perish.

There were a great many ants on the spot where he was standing. As he was saying this, it happened that one of them bit him. In order to kill it, he crushed them all.

Then Hermes appeared to him, and struck him with his wand, saying: ‘And now do you not admit that the gods judge men in the same way you judge ants?’

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