The Gods, according to an ancient legend, made choice of certain
trees to be under their special protection. Jupiter chose the oak,
Venus the myrtle, Apollo the laurel, Cybele the pine, and Hercules
the poplar. Minerva, wondering why they had preferred trees
not yielding fruit, inquired the reason for their choice.
Jupiter replied, "It is lest we should seem to covet the honor for
But said Minerva, "Let anyone say what he will, the olive is more
dear to me on account of its fruit."
Then said Jupiter, "My daughter, you are rightly called wise; for
unless what we do is useful, the glory of it is vain."
(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)