E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Merlo or Melo (Juan de).
Born at Castile in the 15th century. A dispute having arisen at Esalona upon the question whether Hector or Achilles was the braver warrior, the Marques de Villena called out in a voice of thunder, Let us see if the advocates of Achilles can fight as well as prate. Presently there appeared in the midst of the assembly a gigantic fire-breathing monster, which repeated the same challenge. Everyone shrank back except Juan de Melo, who drew his sword and placed himself before the king (Juan II.) to protect him, for which exploit he was appointed alcayde of Alcala la Real (Granada). (Chronica de Don Alvaro de Luna.)