Midas

Midas, a king of Phrygia who, in his lust of riches, begged of Bacchus and obtained the power of turning everything he touched into gold, a gift which he prayed him to revoke when he found it affected his very meat and drink, which the god consented to do, only he must bathe in the waters of the Pactolus, the sands of which ever after were found mixed with gold; appointed umpire at a musical contest between Pan and Apollo, he preferred the pipes of the former to the lyre of the latter, who thereupon awarded him a pair of ass-ears, the which he concealed with a cap, but could not hide them from his barber, who could not retain the secret, but whispered it into a hole in the ground, around which sprang up a forest of reeds, which as the wind passed through them told the tale into the general ear, to the owner's discomfiture.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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Nearby

Midas in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable

Links here from Chalmers

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