having slain the dragon which guarded the fountain of Dircë, in
Boeotia, sowed the teeth of the monster, when a number of armed men
sprang up and surrounded Cadmus with intent to kill him. By the counsel
of Minerva, he threw a precious stone among the armed men, who,
striving for it, killed one another. The foundation of the fable is
this: Cadmus having slain a famous freebooter that infested Boeotia,
his banditti set upon him to revenge their captain's death; but Cadmus
sent a bribe, for which they quarrelled and slew each other.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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