A beautiful Trojan beloved by Aurora. He begged the goddess
to grant him immortality, which request the goddess granted; but as he
had forgotten to ask for youth and vigour he soon grew old, infirm, and
ugly. When life became insupportable he prayed Aurora to remove him
from the world; this, however, she could not do, but she changed him
into a grasshopper. Synonym for “an old man.”
An idle scene Tithonus acted
When to a grasshopper contracted.
Prior: The Turtle and Sparrows.
Thinner than Tithonus was
Before he faded into air.
Tales of Miletus, ii.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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