• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Advertising
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Herodotus and Xenophon
 The birth of Cyrus
 The visit to Media
 Croesus
 Accession of Cyrus to the...
 The oracles
 The conquest of Lydia
 The conquest of Babylon
 The restoration of the Jews
 The story of Panthea
 Conversations
 The death of Cyrus






Group Title: Abbott's histories
Title: History of Cyrus the Great
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003625/00001
 Material Information
Title: History of Cyrus the Great
Series Title: Abbott's histories
Alternate Title: Life of Cyrus the Great
Physical Description: 220 p., <1> leaf of plates : port. ; 13 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879
Allman, Thomas, 1792-1870 ( Publisher )
Sears, William John ( Printer )
Publisher: Thomas Allman
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Sears
Publication Date: 1853
 Subjects
Subject: Kings and rulers -- Juvenile literature -- Iran   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile literature -- Iran   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1853   ( rbgenr )
Biographies -- 1853   ( rbgenr )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1853   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1853
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Biographies   ( rbgenr )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
individual biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Jacob Abbott.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue on the endpapers and flyleaves of both front and back covers.
General Note: Steel engraved frontispiece: port. of Cyrus.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003625
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002445991
oclc - 46322472
notis - AMF1234
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PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Advertising
        Advertising 1
        Advertising 2
        Advertising 3
        Advertising 4
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    Herodotus and Xenophon
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    The birth of Cyrus
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    The visit to Media
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Croesus
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
    Accession of Cyrus to the throne
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
    The oracles
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
    The conquest of Lydia
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
    The conquest of Babylon
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
    The restoration of the Jews
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    The story of Panthea
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
    Conversations
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
    The death of Cyrus
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
Full Text



ABBOTT'S


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Pr _.._..._(






HIC


S


TORY


OF


CYRUS


THE.


GREAT.


BY JACOB


A B BO TT,


AUTHOR OF THE
O.UNG CHRISTIAN," "' KING CHAUR. A X Of XWLT.
HIO., ETC.





LONDON :
THOMAS ALLMAN, 42, HOLBOR RN HIL,
1853.





























OatrZv I'KrJI4TER, IVY LANE, ST, PALL S*











CONTEND TS.


CHAPTErB
I. Herodotus and Xenophon
II. The Birth of Cyrus .
III. The Visit to Media .
IV. Croesus . .
V. Accession of Cyrus to the throne
VI. The Oracles . .
VII. The Conquest of Lydia .
VIII. The Conquest of Babylon
IX. The Restoration of the Jews
X. The Story of Panthea .
XI. Conversations . .
XII. The Death of Cyrus o


PAGB
t
. 18

. 42




. 115




. 08


i








CYRUS THE GREAT.


CHAPTER I.
HERODOTUS AND XENOPHON.
CYRus was the founder of the ancient Per-
sian empire-a monarchy, perhaps, the most
wealthy and magnificent which the-w.rld has
ever seen.
The Persian monarchy appears, in fact,
even as we look back upon it from this remote
distance both of space and of time, as a very
vast wave of human power and grandeur. It
swelled up among the populations of Asia,
between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian
Sea, about five hundred years before Christ,
and rolled on in undiminished magnitude and
glory for many centuries. It bore upon its
crest the royal line of Astyages and his suc-
cessors. Cyrus was, however, the first of the
princes whom it held up conspicuously to the
admiration of the world ; and he rode so
gracefully and gallantly on the lofty crest,
that mankind have given him the credit of
B





CYRUS THE GREAT.


raising and sustaining the magnificent billow
en which he was borne. How far we are to
consider him as founding the monarchy, or
the monarchy as raising and illustrating him,
will appear more fully in the course of this
narrative.
Cotemporaneous with this Persian monar-
chy in the East, there flourished in the West
the small but very efficient and vigorous re-
publics of Greece. The Greeks had a written
character for their language, which could be
easily and rapidly executed, while the ordinary
language of the Persians was scarcely written
at all. There was, it is true, in this latter na-
tion, a certain learned character, which was
used by the priests for their mystic records,
and also for certain sacred books which consti-
tuted the only national archives. It was, how-
ever, only slowly and with difficulty that this
character could be penned, and, when penned,
it was unintelligible to the great mass of the
population. For this reason, among others, the
Greeks wrote narratives of the great events
which occurred in their day ; which narratives
nhey so embellished and adorned by the pic-
turesque lights and shades in which their
genius enabled them to present the scenes and
characters described, as to make them univer-
sally admired ; while the surrounding nations
produced nothing but formal government





HERODOTUS AND XENOPHON.


records, not worth to the community at large
the: toil and labour necessary to decipher them
and make them intelligible. Thus the Greek
writers became the historians, not only of their
own republics, but also of all the nations
around them ; and with such admirable genius
and power did they fulfil this function, that,
while the records of all other nations cotem-
porary with them have been almost entirely
neglected and forgotten, the language of the
Greeks has been preserved among mankind,
with infinite labour and toil, by successive
generations of scholars, in every civilized na-
tion, for two thousand years, solely in order
that men may continue to read these tales.
Two Greek historians have giren us a nar-
rative of the events connected with the life of
Cyrus-Herodotus and Xenophon. These
writers disagree very materially in the state-
ments which they make, and modern readers
are divided in opinion on the question which
to believe. In order to present this ques-
tion fairly to the minds of our readers, we
must commence this volume with some-account
of these two authorities, whose guidance, con-
flicting as it is, furnishes all the light which
we have to follow.
Herodotus was a philosopher and scho ar.
Xenophon was a great general. The.one s .ent
his life in solitary study, or in visiting var ous





CYRUS THE GREAT.


countries in the pursuit of knowledge; the
other distinguished himself in the command of
armies, and in distant military expeditions,
which he conducted with great energy and
skill. They were both, by birth, men of wealth
and high station ; so that they occupied, from
the beginning, conspicuous positions in so-
ciety; and as they were both energetic and
enterprising in character, they were led, each,
to a very romantic and adventurous career-
the one in his travels, the other in his cam-
paigns; so that their personal history and
their exploits attracted great attention even
while they lived.
Herodotus was born in the year 484 before
Christ, which was about fifty years after the
death of the Cyrus whose history forms the
subject of this volume. He was born in the
Grecian state of Caria, in Asia Minor, and in
the city of Halicarnassus. Caria was in the
south-western part of Asia Minor, near the
shores of the JEgean Sea. Herodotus became
J student at a very early age. It was the cus-
tom in Greece, at that time, to give to young
men of his rank a good intellectual education.
In other nations, the training of the young
men in wealthy and powerful families, was
confined almost exclusively to the use of arms,
to horsemanship, to athletic feats, and other such
accomplishments as would give them a manly





HERODOTUS AND XENOPHON._


and graceful personal bearing, and enable them
to excel in the various friendly contests of the
public games, as. well as prepare them to
maintain their ground against their enemies in
personal combats on the field of battle. The
Greeks, without neglecting these things,
taught their young men also to read and to
write, explained to them the structure and the
philosophy of language, and trained them to
the study of the poets, the orators, and the
historians which their country had produced.
Thus a general taste for intellectual pursuits
and pleasures was diffused throughout the
community. Public affairs were discussed,
before large audiences assembled for the pur-
pose, by orators who felt a great pride and
pleasure in the exercise of the power which
they had acquired of persuading, convincing,
or exciting the mighty masses that listened to
them; and at the great public celebrations which
were customary in those days, in addition to
the wrestling, the races, the games, and the
military spectacles, there were certain literary
entertainments provided, which constituted an
essential part of the public pleasures. Of
course, these literary exhibitions would make
impressions, more or less strong, on different
minds, as the mental temperaments and cha-
racters of individuals varied. They seem to
have exerted a very powerful influence on the





CYRUS THE G GREAT.


mind of Herodotus in his early years. He
was inspired, when very young, with a great
zeal and ardour for the attainment of know-
ledge; and as he advanced toward maturity,
he began to be ambitious of making new dis-
coveries, with a view of communicating to his
countrymen, in these great public assemblies,
what he should thus acquire. Accordingly, as
soon as he arrived at a suitable age, he re-
solved to set out upon a tour into foreign coun-
tries, and to bring back a report of what he
should see and hear.
The intercourse of nations was, in those
days, mainly carried on over the waters of the
Mediterranean Sea ; and in times of peace,
almost the only mode of communication was
by the ships and the caravans of the merchants
who traded from country to country, both by
sea and on the land. Herodotus conceived
that in thoroughly exploring the countries on
the shores of the Mediterranean and in the
interior of Asia, examining their geographical
position, inquiring into their history, their in-
stitutions, their manners, customs, and laws,
and writing the results for the entertainment
and instruction of his countrymen, he had an
ample field before him for the exercise of all
his powers.
He went first to Egypt. Egypt had been,
until that time, closely shut up from the rest





HERODOTUS AND XENOPHON.


of mankind by the jealousy and watchfulness
of the government. But now, on account oA
some recent political changes, which will be
hereafter more particularly alluded to, the way
was opened for travellers from other countries
to come in. Herodotus was the first to avail
himself of this opportunity. He spent some
time in the country, and made himself minutely
acquainted with its history, its antiquities,
its political and social condition at the time of
his visit, and with all the other points in res-
pect to which he supposed that his country-
men would wish to be informed. He took
copious notes of all that he saw. From Egypt
he went eastward into Libya, and thence he
travelled slowly along the whole southern shore
of the Mediterranean Sea as far as to the Straits
of Gibraltar, noting with great care, every
thing which presented itself to his own per-
sonal observation, and availing himself of every
possible source of information in respect to
all other points of importance for the object
which he had in view.
The Straits of Gibraltar were the ends of
the earth toward the westward in those ancient
days, and our traveller accordingly, after reach-
ing them, returned again to the eastward. He
visited Tyre, and the cities of Phoenicia, on
the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea,
and thence went still further eastward to





CYRUS THE GR~AT*


Assyria and Babylon. It was here that he
obtained the materials for what he has written
in respect to the Medes and Persians, and to
the history of Cyrus. After spending some
time in these countries, he went on by land
still further to the eastward, into the heart of
Asia. The country of Scythia was considered
as at the end of the earth in this direction.
Herodotus penetrated for some distance into
the almost trackless wilds of this remote land,
until he found that he had gone as far from
the great centre of light and power on the
shores of the 2Egean Sea as he could expect
the curiosity of his countrymen to follow him.
He passed thence round towards the north,
and came down through the countries north of
the Danube into Greece, by way of the Epirus
and Macedon. To make such a journey as
this was in fact, in those days, almost to ex-
plore the whole known world.
It ought, however, here to be stated, that
many modern scholars, who have examined,
with great care, the accounts which Herodotus
has given of what he saw and heard in his
wanderings, doubt very seriously whether his
journeys were really as extended as he pre-
tends.
We cannot follow minutely the circumstances
of the subsequent life of Herodotus. He
became involved in some political disturb-





HERODOTUS AND XENOPHON.


ances and difficulties in his .native state after
his return, in consequence of which he retired,
partly a fugitive and partly an exile, to the is-
land of Samos, which is at a little distance
from Caria, and not far from the shore. Here
he lived for some time in seclusion, occupied
in writing out his history. He divided it into
nine books, to which, respectively, the names
of the nine Muses were afterward given, to
designate them. The island of Samos, where
this great literary work was performed, is very
near to Patmos, where, a few hundred years
later, the Evangelist John, in a similar re-
tirement, and in the use of the same language
and character, wrote the Book of Revelation.
When a few of the first books of his history
were completed, Herodotus went with the
manuscript to Olympia, at the great celebration
of-the 81st Olympiad. The Olympiads were
periods recurring at intervals of about four
years. By means of them the Greeks reckoned
their time. The Olympiads were celebrated
as they. occurred, with games, shows, specta-
cles, and parades, which were ,r nducted on so
mag.i:ficent a scale, that vast crowds were ac-
customed to assemble from every part of
Greece to witness and join in them. They were
hLld at Olympia, a city on the western side of
Greece. Nothing now remains to mark the





CYRUS THE GREAT.


spot but some acres of confused and unintelli-
gible ruins.
The personal fame of Herodotus and of his
travels had preceded him, and when he arrived
at Olympia he found the curiosity and eager-
ness of the people to listen to his narratives
extreme. He read copious extracts from his
accounts, so far as he had written them, to the
vast assemblies which convened to hear him,
and they were received with unbounded ap-
plause ; and, inasmuch as these assemblies
comprised nearly all the statesmen, the gene-
rals, the philosophers, and the scholars of
Greece, applause expressed by them became
at once universal renown. Herodotus was
greatly gratified at the interest which his coun-
trymen took in his narratives, and he deter-
mined thenceforth to devote his time assidu-
ously to the continuation and completion of
his work.
It was twelve years, however, before his
plan was finally accomplished. He then re-
paired to Athens, at the time of a grand fes-
tive celebration which was held in that city,
and there he appeared in public again, and
read extended portions of the additional books
that he had written. The admiration and ap-
plause which his work now elicited were even
greater than before In deciding upon the
passages to be read, Herodotus selected such


10





HERODOTUS AND XENOPHON.


as-would-be most likely to excite the interest of
his Grecian hearers, and many of them were
glowing accounts of Grecian exploits in for-
mer wars which had been waged in the coun-
tries which he had visited. To expect that,
under such circumstances, Herodotus should
have made his history wholly impartial, would
be to suppose the historian not human.
The Athenians were greatly pleased with
the narratives which Herodotus thus read to
them of their own and of their ancestors'ex<
ploits. They considered him a national bene-
factor for having made such a record of their
deeds, and, in addition to the unbounded
applause which they bestowed upon him, they
made him a public grant of a large sum of
money. During the remainder of his life
Herodotus continued to enjoy the high degree
of literary renown which his writings had
acquired for him--a renown which has since
been extended and increased, rather than
diminished, by the lapse of time.
As for Xenophon, the other great historian
of Cyrus, it has already been said that he was
a military commander, and his life was accord-
ingly spent in a very different manner from
that of his great competitor for historic fame.
He was born at Athens, about thirty years
after the birth of Herodotus, so that he was
but a child while Herodotus was in the midst


11





CYRUS THE GREAT.


of his career. When le was about twenty-
two years of age, he joined a celebrated mili-
tary expedition which was formed in Greece,
for the purpose of proceeding to Asia Minor
to enter into the service of the governor of
that country. The name of this governor was
Cyrus; and to distinguish him from Cyrus
the Great, whose history is to fotm the subject
of this volume, and who lived about one hun-
dred and fifty years before him, he is com-
monly called Cyrus the Younger.
This expedition was headed by a Grecian
general named Clearchus. The soldiers and
the subordinate officers of the expedition did
not know for what special purpose it was de-
signed, as Cyrus had a treasonable and guilty
object in view, and he kept it accordingly
concealed, even from the agents who were to
aid him in the execution of it. His plan was
to make war upon and dethrone his brother
Artaxerxes, then king of Persia, and conse-
quently his sovereign. Cyrus was a very
young man, but he was a man of a very ener-
getic and accomplished character, and of
unbounded ambition. When his father died,
it was arranged that Artaxerxes, the older son,
should succeed him. Cyrus was extremely
unwilling to submit to this supremacy of his
brother. His mother was an artful and un-
principled woman, and Cyrus, the youngest of


12





HERODOTUS AIND XENOPHON.


her children, was her favourite. She encou-
raged him in his ambitious designs ; and so
desperate was Cyrus himself in his determi-
nation to accomplish them, that it is said he
attempted to assassinate his brother on the
day of his coronation. His attempt was dis-
covered, and it failed. His brother, however,
instead of punishing him for the treason, had
the generosity to pardon him, and sent him to
his government in Asia Minor. Cyrus imme-
diately turned all his thoughts to the plan of
raising an army and making war upon his
brother, in order to gain forcible possession of
his throne. That he might have a plausible
pretext for making the necessary military
preparations, he pretended to have a quarrel
with one of his neighbours, and wrote, hypo-
critically, many letters to the king, affecting
solicitude for his safety, and asking aid. The
king was thus deceived, and made no prepara-
tions to resist the force which Cyrus was as-
sembling, not having the remotest suspicion
that its destiny was Babylon.
The auxiliary army which came from
Greece, to enter into Cyrus's service under
these circumstances, consisted of about their
teen thousand men. He had, it was said, a
hundred thousand men besides ; but so cele-
brated were the Greeks in those days for their
courage, their discipline, their powers of endu-


13





14 CYRUS THE GREAT.
race, and their indomitable tenacity and
energy, that Cyrus very properly considered
this corps as the flower of his army. Xeno-
phon was one of the younger Grecian generals.
The army crossed the Hellespont, and entered
Asia Minor, and, passing across the country,
reached at last the famous pass of Cilicia, in
the south-western part of the country-a nar-
row defile between the mountains and the sea,
which opens the only passage in that quarter
toward the Persian regions beyond. Here the
suspicions which the Greeks had been for
some time inclined to feel, that they were
going to make war upon the Persian monarch
himself, were confirmed, and they refused to
proceed. The Greeks were perfectly willing
to serve in this or in any other undertaking ;
but since it was rebellion and treason that was
asked of them, they considered it as specially
hazardous, and so they concluded that they
were entitled to extra pay. Cyrus made no
objection to this demand ; an arrangement
was made accordingly, and the army went on.
Artaxerxes assembled suddenly the whole
force of his empire on the plains of Babylon
- an immense army, consisting, it is said, of
over a million of men. Such vast farces
occupy, necessarily, a wide extent of country,
even when drawn up in battle array. So
great, in fact, was ihe extent occupied in this





HERODOTUS AND XENOPHOS.


case, that the Greeks, who conquered all that
part of the king's forces which was directly
opposed to them, supposed, when night came,
at the close of the day of battle, that Cyrus
had been every where victorious; and they
were only undeceived when, the next day,
messengers came from the Persian camp to
inform them that Cyrus's whole force, except-
ing themselves, was defeated and dispersed,
and that Cyrus himself was. slain, and to
summon them to surrender at once and un-
conditionally to the conquerors.
The Greeks refused to surrender. They
formed themselves immediately into a compact
and solid body, fortified themselves as well as
they could in their position, and prepared for
a desperate defence. There were- about ten
thousand of them left, and the Persians seem
to have considered them too formidable to be
attacked. The Persians entered into negotia-
tions with them, offering them certain terms
on which they would be -allowed to return
peaceably into Greece. These negotiations
were protracted from day to day for two or
three weeks, the Persians treacherously using
toward them a friendly tone, and evincing a
disposition to treat them in a liberal and gene
rous manner. This threw the Greeks off their
guard, and finally the Persians contrived to get
Clearchus and the leading Greek generals into


15





16 CYRUS THE GREAT.
their power at a feast, and then they seized
and murdered them. When this was reported
in the Grecian camp, the whole army was
thrown into the utmost consternation. They
found themselves two thousand miles from
home, in the heart of a hostile country, with
an enemy nearly a hundred times their own
number close upon them, while they themselves
were without provisions, without horses, with-
out money ; and there were deep rivers, and
rugged mountains, and every other possible
physical obstacle to be surmounted, before
they could reach their own frontiers. If they
surrendered to their enemies, a hopeless and
miserable slavery was their inevitable doom.
Under these circumstances, Xenophon, ac-
cording to his own story, called together the
surviving officers in the camp, urged them not
to despair, and recommended that immediate
measures should be taken for commencing a
march toward Greece. He proposed that they
should elect commanders to take the places of
those who had been killed, and that, under their
\ew organization, they should immediately set
out on their return. These plans were adopt-
ed. He himself was chosen as the command-
ing general, and under his guidance the whole
force was conducted safely through the count-
less difficulties and dangers which beset their
way, though they had to defend themselves, at





HERODOTUS AND XENOPHON.


every step of their progress, from an enemy so
vastly more numerous than they, and which
was hanging on their flanks and on their rear,
and making the most incessant efforts to sur-
round and capture them. This retreat occu-
pied two hundred and fifteen days. It has al-
ways been considered as one of the greatest
military achievements that has ever been per-
formed. It is called in history the Retreat of
the Ten Thousand. Xenophon acquired by it
a double immortality. He led the army, and
thus attained to a military renown which will
never fade ; and he afterward wrote a narra-
tive of the exploit, which has given him an
equally extended and permanent literary fame.
Some time after this, Xenophon returned
again to Asia as a military commander, and
distinguished himself in other campaigns. He
acquired a large fortune, too, in these wars,
and at length retired to a villa, which he built
and adorned magnificently, in the neighbour-
hood of Olympia, where Herodotus had ac-
quired so extended a fame by reading his his-
tories. It was probably, in some degree,
through the influence of the success which had
attended labours of Herodotus in this field,
that Xenophon was induced to enter it. He
devoted the later years of his life to writing
various historical memoirs, the two most im-


17





16 CYRUS THE G GREAT.
portant of which that have come down to
modern times are, first, the narrative of his
own expedition, under Cyrus the Younger,
and, secondly, a sort of romance or tale
founded on the history of Cyrus the Great.
This last is called the Cyropaedia ; and it is
from this work, and from the history written
by Herodotus, that nearly all our knowledge
of the great Persian monarch is derived.
S--

CHAPTER II.
THE BIRTH OF CYRUS.
THERE are records coming down to us from
the very earliest times, of three several king-
doms situated in the heart of Asia--Assyria,
Media, and Persia; the two latter of which,
at the period when they first emerge indis-
tinctly into view, were more or less connected
with and dependent upon the former. Asty-
ages was the King of Media; Cambyses was
the name of the ruling prince or magistrate
of Persia. Cambyses married Mandane, the
daughter of Astyages, and Cyrus was their
son. In recounting the circumstances of his
birth, Herodotus relates, with all seriousness,
the following very extraordinary story.
While Mandane was a maiden, living at her





BIRTH OF CYRUSO


father's palace and home in Media, Astyages
awoke one morning terrified by a dream. He
had dreamed of a great inundation, which
overwhelmed and destroyed his capital, and
submerged a large part of his kingdom. The
great rivers of that country were liable to very
destructive floods, and there would have been
nothing extraordinary or alarming in the
king's imagination being haunted, during his
sleep, by the image of such a calamity, were
it not that,-in this case, the deluge of water,
which produced such disastrous results, seemed
to be, in some mysterious way, connected with
his daughter; so that the dream appeared to
portend some great calamity, which was to
originate in her. He thought it perhaps in-
dicated that, after her marriage, she should
have a son who would rebel against him, and
seize the supreme power, thus overwhelming
his kingdom, as the inundation had done
which he had seen in his dream.
To guard against this imagined danger, As-
tyages determined that his daughter should not
be married in Media, but that she should be
provided with a husband in some foreign land,
so as to be taken away from Media altogether.
He finally selected Cambyses, the king of
Persia, for her husband. Persia was at that
time a comparatively small and circumscribed
dominion, and Cambyses, though he seems to





CYRUS THE FIRST.


have been the supreme ruler of it, was very
far beneath Astyages in rank and power. The
distance between the two countries was con-
siderable, and the institutions and customs of
the people of Persia were simple and rude.
little likely to awaken or encourage in the
minds of their princes any treasonable or am-
bitious designs. Astyages thought, therefore,
that in sending Mandane there to be the wife
of the king, he had taken effectual precautions
to guard against the danger portended by his
dream.
Mandane was accordingly married, and
conducted by her husband to her new home.
About a year afterward, her father had another
dream. He dreamed that a vine proceeded
from his daughter, and, growing rapidly and
luxuriantly while he was regarding it, extend-
ed itself over the whole land. Now, the vine
being a symbol of beneficence and plenty,
Astyages might have considered this vision as
an omen of good; still, as it was good which
was to be derived in some way from his
daughter, it naturally awakened his fears anew,
that he was doomed to find a rival and com-
petitor for the possession of his kingdom in
Mandane's son and heir. He called together
his soothsayers, related his dream to them,
and asked for their interpretation. They de-


20





THI BIRTH 1P CYRUS.


cided, that it meant that Mandane -would have
a son, who would one day become a king.
Astyages was now seriously alarmed, and
he sent for Mandane to come home, ostensibly
because he wished'her to pay a visit to her
father and to her native land, but really for
the purpose of having her in his power, that
he might destroy her child, so soon as one
should be born.
Mandane came to Media, and was estab-
lished by her father in a residence near his
palace, and such officers and domestics were
put in charge of her household as Astyages
could rely upon to do whatever he should com-
mand. Things being thus arranged, a few
months passed away, and then Mandane's
child was born.
Immediately on hearing of the event, As-
tyages sent for a certain officer of his court,
an unscrupulous and hardened man, who pos-
sessed, as he supposed, enough of depraved
and reckless resolution for the commission of
any crime, and addressed him as follows :--
"* I have sent for you, Harpagus, to commit
to your charge a business of very great im-
portance. I confide fully in your principles
of obedience and fidelity, and depend upon
your doing, yourself, with your own hands, the
work" that I require. If you fail to do it, or
if you attempt to evade it by putting it off


21





CYRUS THE GREAT.


upon others, you will suffer severely. I wish
you to take Mandane's child to your own
house, and put him to death. You may ac-
complish the object in any mode you please,
and you may arrange the circumstances of the
burial of the body, or the disposal of it in any
other way, as you think best; the essential
thing is, that you see to it yourself, that the
child is killed."
Harpagus replied, that whatever the king
might command, it was his duty to do; and
that, as his master had never hitherto had oc-
casion to censure his conduct, he should not
find him wanting now. Harpagus then went
to receive the infant. The attendants of Man-
dane had been ordered to deliver it to him.
Not at all suspecting the object for which the
child was thus taken away, but naturally sup-
posing, on the other hand, that it was for the
purpose of some visit, they arrayed their un-
conscious charge in the most highly-wrought
and costly of the robes which Mandane, his
mother, had for many months been interested
in preparing for him, and then gave him up
to the custody of Harpagus, expecting, doubt-
less, that be would be very speedily returned
to their care.
Although Harpagus had expressed a ready
willingness to obey the cruel behest of the
kinp at the time of receiving it, he manifested,


22





THE BIRTH OP CYRUS.


as soon as he received the child, an extreme
degree of anxiety and distress. He imme-
diately sent for a herdsman named Mitridates
to cpme to him. In the mean time, he took
the child home to his house, and in a very ex-
cited and agitated manner related to his wife
wha had passed. He laid the child down in
the apartment, leaving it neglected and alone,
whi he conversed with his wife in a hurried
and anxious manner in respect to the dreadful
stuAtion in which he found himself placed.
Sie asked him what he intended to do. HB
xrlied, that he certainly should not, himself,
destroy the child. It is the son of Man-
dne," said he. She is the king's daughter.
I the king should die, Mandane would suc-
ced him, and then what terrible danger would
ipend over me, if she should know me to
lve been the slayer of her son !" Harpagus
aid, moreover, that he did not dare abso-
itely to disobey the orders of the king so far
a to save the child's life, and that he had sent
or a herdsman, whose pastures extended to
iild and desolate forests and mountains-the
gloomy haunts of wild beasts and birds of
prey-intending to give the child to him, with
orders to carry it into those solitudes, and
abandon it there.
While they were speaking, this herdsman
came in. He found Harpagus and his wife


23





CYRUS THE GREAT.


talking thus together, with countenances ex-
pressive of anxiety and distress. Harpagus
gave the astonished herdsman his charge. He,
afraid, as Harpagus had been in the presence
of Astyages, to evince any hesitation in re-
spect to obeying the orders of his superior,
whatever they might be, took up the childand
bore it away.
lHe carried it to his hut. It so happened
that his wife, whose name was Spaco, hal at
that very time a new-born child, but it was
dead. Her dead son had, in fact, been hon
during the absence of Mitridates. He hd
been extremely unwilling to leave his home
at such a time, but the summons of Harpage
must, he knew, be obeyed. His wife, too, nt
knowing what could have occasioned so silo
den and urgent a call, had to bear, all tb
day, a burden of anxiety and solicitude i
respect to her husband, in addition to her dis
appointment and grief at the loss of her child
Her anxiety and grief were changed for alittl
time into astonishment and curiosity at seeing
the beautiful babe, so magnificently dressed
which her husband brought to her, and at
hearing his extraordinary story.
He said that when he first entered into the
house of Harpagus and saw the child lying
there, aod heard the directions which Harpa-
gus gave him to carry it into the mountains


24





BILTH OF CYRUS. 25
md leave it to die, he supposed that the babe
)elonged to some of the domestics of the
household, and that Harpagus wished to have
t destroyed in order to be relieved of a bur-
len. The richness, however, of the infant's
Iress, and the deep anxiety and sorrow which
was indicated by the countenances and by the
conversationn of Harpagus and his wife, and
which seemed altogether too earnest to. be ex-
:ited by the concern which they would proba-
)ly feel for any servant's offspring, appeared
tt the time, he said, inconsistent with that
oppositionn, and perplexed and bewildered
Aim. He said, moreover, that in the end,
Flarpagus had sent a man with him a part of
he way when he left the house, and that this
nan had given him a full explanation of the
:ase. The child was the son of Mandane, the
laughter of the king, and he was to be des-
royed by the orders of Astyages himself, for
ear that at some future period he might
attempt to usurp the throne.
In an hour she was, as it were, herself his
another, and she began to plead hard with her
husband for his life.
Mitridates said the child could not pos-
ibly be saved. Harpagus had been most ear-
est and positive in his orders, and he was cornm
)g himself to see that they had been executed
Fe would demand, undoubtedly, to see the





16 CYRUS THE GREAT.
body of the child, to assume himself that it
was actually dead. Spaco, instead of being
c nvinced by her husband's reasoning, only
became more and more earnest in her desires
that the child might be saved. She rose from
her couch and clasped her husband's knees,
and begged him with the most earnest entrea-
ties and with many tears to grant her request.
He was, however, inexorable. He said that
if he were to yield, and attempt to save the
child from its doom, Harpagus would most
certainly know that his orders had been dis-
obeyed, and then their own lives would be for-
feited, and the child itself sacrificed after all,
in the end.
The thought then occurred to Spaco that
her own dead child might be substituted for
the living one, and be exposed in the moun-
tains in its stead. She proposed this plan,
and, after much anxious doubt and hesitation,
the herdsman consented to adopt it. They
took off the splendid robes which adorned the
living child, and put them on the corpse, each
equally unconscious of the change. The little
limbs of the son of Mandane were then more
simply clothed in the coarse and scanty cover-
ing which belonged to the new character which
he was now to assume, and then the babe was
restored to its place in Spaco's bosom. Mi.
tridates placed his own dead child, completely





BIRTH OF CYRUS.


disguised as it was by the royal robes it wore,
in the little basket or cradle in which the other
had been brought, and, accompanied by an
attendant, whom he was to leave in the forest
to keep watch over the body, he went away to
seek some wild and desolate solitude in which
to leave it exposed.
Three days passed away, during which the
attendant whom the herdsman had left in the
forest watched near the body to prevent its
being devoured by wild beasts or birds of prey,
and at the end of that time he brought it home.
The herdsman then went to Harpagus to in-
form him that the child was dead, and, in proof
that it was really so, he said that if Harpagus
would come to his hut he could see the body.
Harpagus sent some messenger in whom he
could confide to make the observation. The
herdsman exhibited the dead child to him, and
he was satisfied. He reported the result of
his mission to Harpagus, and Harpagus then
ordered the body to be buried. The child of
Mandane, whom we may call Cyrus, since that
was the name which he subsequently received,
was brought up in the herdsman's hut, and
passed every where for Spaco's child.
H arpagus, after receiving the report of his
messenger, then informed Astyages that his
orders had been executed, and that the clild
was dead. A trusty messenger, he said, whom





CYRUS THE GREAT.


he had sent for the purpose, had seen the body.
Although the king had been so earnest to have
the deed performed, he found that, after all, the
knowledge that his orders had been obeyed
gave him very little satisfaction. The fears,
prompted by his selfishness and ambition which
had led him to commit the crime, gave place,
when it had been perpetrated, to remorse for
his unnatural cruelty. Mandane mourned in-
cessantly the death of her innocent babe, and
loaded her father with reproaches for having
destroyed it, which he found very hard to
bear. In the end he repented bitterly of what
he had done.
The secret of the child's preservation re-
mained concealed for about two years. It was
then discovered in the following manner :
Cyrus, evinced his dawning superiority at a
very early period of his boyhood. He took
the lead of his playmates in their sports, and
made them submit to his regulations and deci-
sions. Not only did the peasants' boys in the
little hamlet where his reputed father lived
thus yield the precedence to him, but some-
times, when the sons of men of rank and
station came out from the city to join them in
their plays, even then Cyrus was the acknow-
ledged head. One day the son of an officer
of King Astyages's court--his father's name
was Artembaris--came out, with other boys


28





BIRTH OF CYRUS.


from the city, to join these village boys in
their sports. They were playing king, Cyrus
was the king. Herodotus says that the other
boys chose him as such.
During .the progress of the play, a quarrel
arose between Cyrus and the son of Artem-
baris. The latter would not obey, and
Cyrus beat him. He went home and com-
plained bitterly to his father. The father
went to Astyages to protest against such an
indignity offered to his son by a peasant boy,
and demanded that the little tyrant should be
punished. Probably far the larger portion
of intelligent readers of history consider the
whole story as a romance; but if we look
upon it as in any respect true, we must con-
clude that the Median monarchy must have
been, at that time, in a very rude and simple
condition indeed, to allow of the submission
of such a question as this to the personal ad-
judication of the reigning king.
However this may be, Herodotus states
that Artembaris went to the palace of Astyages,
taking his son with him, to offer proofs of the
violence of which the herdsman's son had
been guilty, by showing the contusions and
bruises that had been produced by the blows.
" Is this the treatment," he asked, indignantly,
of the king, when he had completed his state-


29





CYRUS THE GREAT.


ment, "t that my boy is to receive from the son
of one of your slaves ?"
Astyages seemed to be convinced that Ar-
tembaris had just cause to complain, and he
sent for Mitridates and his son to come to
him in the city. When they arrived, Cyrus
advanced into the presence of the king with
that courageous and manly bearing which
romance writers are so fond of ascribing to
boys of noble birth, whatever may have been
the circumstances of their early training.
Astyages was much struck with his appear-
ance and air. He, however, sternly laid to
his charge the accusation which Artembaris
had brought against him. Pointing to Artem-
baris's son, all bruised and swollen as he was,
he asked, Is that the way that you, a mere
herdsman's boy, dare to treat the son of one
of my nobles?"
The little prince looked up into his stern
judge's face with an undaunted expression of
countenance, which, considering the circum-
stances of the case, and the smallness of the
scale on which this embryo heroism was re-
presented, was partly ludicrous and partly
sublime. My lord," said he, what I have
done I am able to justify. I did punish this
boy, and I had a right to do so. I was king,
and he was my subject, and he would not
obey me. If you think that for this I deserve


30





THE BIRTH OF CYRUS.


punishment myself, here I am ; I am ready
to suffer it."
If Astyages had been struck with the ap-
pearance and -manner of Cyrus at the com-
mencement of the interview, his admiration
was awakened far more strongly now, at hearing
such words, uttered, too, in so exalted a tone
from such a child. He remained a long time
silent. At last he told Artembaris and his
son that they might retire. He would take
the affair, he said, into his own hands, and
dispose of it in a just and proper manner.
Astyages then took the herdsman aside, and
asked him, in an earnest tone, whose boy
that was, and where he had obtained him.
Miteidates was terrified. He replied,
however, that the boy was his own son, and
that his mother was still living at home, in
the hut where they all resided. There seems
to have been something, however, in his ap-
pearance and manner, while making these
assertions, which led Astyages not to believe
what he said. He was convinced that there
was some unexplained mystery in respect to
the origin of the boy, whicb the herdsman
was wilfully withholding. lie assumed a
displeased and threatening air, and ordered
in his guards to take Mitridates into custody.
The terrified herdsman then said that he


31





CYRUS THE GREAT.


would explain all, and he accordingly related
honestly the whole story.
Astyages was greatly rejoiced to find that
the child was alive. One would suppose it to
be almost inconsistent with this feeling that he
should be angry with Harpagus for not having
destroyed it. It would seem, in fact, that
Harpagus was not amenable to serious cen-
sure, in any view of the subject, for he had
taken what he had a right to consider very
effectual measures for carrying the orders of
the king into faithful execution.
When Astyages learned that Harpagus had
failed of literally obeying his command to des-
troy, with his own hand, the infant which had
been given him, although he was pleased with
the consequences which had resulted from it,
he immediately perceived that there was
another pleasure besides that he was to derive
from the transaction, namely, that of gratifying
his own imperious and ungovernable will by
taking vengeance on him who had failed, even
in so slight a degree, of fulfilling its dictates.
In a word, he was glad that the child was
saved, but he did not consider that that was any
reason why he should not have the pleasure
of punishing the man who saved him.
Thus, far from being transported by any
sudden and violent feeling of resentment to an
inconsiderate act of revenge, Astyages began,


82





BIRTH OF CYRUS.


calmly and coolly, and with a deliberate ma-
lignity more worthy of a demon than of a man,
to consider how he could best accomplish the
purpose he had in view. When, at length,
his plan was formed, he sent for Harpagus to
come to him. The-king began the conversa-
tion by asking Harpagus what method he had
employed for destroying the child of Mandane,
which he, the king, had delivered to him some
years before. Harpagus replied by stating the
exact truth. He said that, as soon as he had
received the infant, he began immediately to
consider by what means he could effect its
destruction without involving himself in the
guilt of murder; that finally, he had determined
upon employing the herdsman Mitridates to ex-
pose it in the forest till it should perish of
hunger and cold; and, in order to be sure that
the king's behest was fully obeyed, he charged
the herdsman, he said, to keep strict watch
near the child till it was dead, and then to
bring home the body. He had then sent a
confidential messenger from his own household
to see the body and provide for its interment.
He solemnly assured the king, in conclusion,
that this was the real truth, and that the child
was actually destroyed in the manner he had
described.
The king then, with an appearance of great
I!


33





CYRUS THE GREAT.


satisfaction and pleasure, informed Harpagus
that the child had not been destroyed after all,
and he related to him the circumstances of its
having been exchanged for the dead child of
Spaco, and brought up in the herdsman's hut.
He informed him too, of the singular manner
in which the fact that the infant had been pre-
served, and was still alive, had been discovered.
He told Harpagus, moreover, that he was
greatly rejoiced at this discovery. After he
was dead, as I supposed," said he, "' I bitterly
repented of having given orders to destroy him.
I could not bear my daughter's grief, or the
reproaches which she incessantly uttered against
me. But the child is alive, and all is well;
and I am going to give a grand entertainment
as a festival of rejoicing on the occasionn"
Astyages then requested Harpagus to send
his son, who was about thirteen years of age,
to the palace, to be a companion to Cyrus, and
inviting him very specially to come to the enter-
tainment, he dismissed him with many marks
of attention and honour. Harpagus went home
trembling at the thought of the imminent dan-
ger which he had incurred, and of the narrow
escape by which he had been saved from it.
He called his son, directed him to prepare him-
self to go to the king, and dismissed him with
many charges in respect to his behaviour, both
toward the king and toward Cyrus. He related


34





BIRTH OP CYRUS.


to his wife the conversation which had taken
place between himself and Astyages, and shere-
joiced with him in the apparently happy issue
-of an affair which might well have been ex-
pected to have been their ruin.
The sequel of the story is too horrible to be
told. Harpagus came to the festival. It was
a grand entertainment. Harpagus-was placed
in a conspicuous position at the table. A great
variety of dishes were brought in and set be-
fore the different guests, and were eaten with-
out question. Toward the close of the feast,
Astyages asked Harpagus what he thought of
his fare. Harpagus, half terrified with some
mysterious presentiment of danger, expressed
himself well pleased .with it. Astyages then
told him there was plenty more of the same
kind, and ordered the attendants to bring the
basket in. They came accordingly, and un-
covered a basket before the wretched guest,
which contained, as he saw, when he looked
into it, the head, and hands, and feet of his
son. Astyages asked him to help himself to
whatever part he liked!
The most astonishing part of the story is yet
to be told. It relates to the action of Harpa-
gus in such an emergency. He looked as com-
posed and placid as if nothing unusual had oc-
"curred. The king asked him if he knew what
he had been eating. He said that he did ; and


85





86 CYRUS THE GREAT.
that whatever was agreeable to the will of the
king was always pleasing to him !
After the first feelings of pleasure which As-
tyages experienced in being relieved from the
sense of guilt which oppressed his mind so long
as he supposed that his orders for the murder
of his infant grandchild had been obeyed, his
former uneasiness lest the child should in
future years become his rival and competitor
for the possession of the Median throne, which
had been the motive originally instigating
him to the commission of the crime, returned
in some measure again, and he began to con-
sider whether it was not incumbent on him to
take some measures to guard against such a
result. The end of his deliberations was,
that he concluded to send for the magi, or
soothsayers, as he had done in the case of his
dream, and obtain their judgment on the
affair in the new aspect which it had now
assumed.
When the magi had heard the king's narra-
tive of the circumstances under which the dis-
covery of the child's preservation had been
made, through complaints which had been pre-
ferred against him on account of the manner in
which he had exercised the prerogatives
of a king among his playmates, they decided
at once that Astyages had no cause for any
further apprehension in respect to the dreams





BIR TH OF CYRUS.


which had disturbed him previous to his
grandchild's birth. He has been a king,"
they said, and the danger is over. It is true
that he has been a monarch only in play, but
that is enough to satisfy and fulfil th e presages
of the vision. Occurrences very slight and
trifling in themselves are often found to ac-
complish what seemed of very serious magni-
tude and moment, as portended. Your grand-
child has been a king, and he will never reign
again. You have, therefore, no further cause
to fear, and may send him to his parents in
Persia with perfect safety."
The king determined to adopt this advice.
He ordered the soothsayers, however, not to
remit their assiduity and viligance, and if any
signs or omens should appear to indicate ap-
proaching danger, he charged them to give him
immediate warning. This they faithfully prom-
ised to do. They felt, they said, a personal
interest in doing it ; for Cyrus being a Persian
prince, his accession to the Median throne
would involve the subjection of the Medes to
the Persian dominion, a result which they
wished on every account to avoid. So, pro-
mising to watch vigilantly for every indication
of danger, they left the presence of the king.
The king then sent for Cyrus.
It seems that Cyrus, though astonished at
*he great and mysterious changes which had


37





CYRUS THE GREAT.


taken place in his condition, was still ignorant
of his true history. Astyages now told him
that he was to go into Persia. You will re-
join there," said he, your true parents, who
you will find, are of very different rank in life
from the herdsman whom- you have lived with
thus far. You will make the journey under
the charge and escort of persons that I have
appointed for the purpose. They will explain
to you on the way, the mystery in which your
parentage and birth seems to you at present
enveloped. You will find that I was induced
many years ago, by the influence of an unto-
ward dream, to treat you injuriously. But all
has ended well, and you can now go in peace
to your proper home."
As soon as the preparations for the journey
could be made, Cyrus set out, under the care
of the party appointed to conduct him, and
went to Persia. His parents were at first
dumb with astonishment, and were then over-
whelmed with gladness and joy at seeing their
much-loved and long-lost babe re-appear, as
if from the dead, in the form of this tall and
handsome boy, with health, intelligence, and
happiness beaming in his countenance. They
overwhelmed him with caresses, and the heart
of Mandane, especially, was filled with pride
and pleasure.
As soon as Cyrus became somewhat settled


38





BIRTH OF CYRUS.


in his new home, his parents began to make
arrangements for giving him as complete an
education as the means and opportunities of
those days afforded.
Xenophon, in his narrative of the early life
of Cyrus, gives a minute, and in some respects,
quite an extraordinary account of the mode of
life led in Cambyses's court. The sons of all
the nobles and officers of the court were edu-
cated together, within the precincts of the royal
palaces, or, rather, they spent their time to-
gether there, occupied in various pursuits and
avocations, which were intended to train them
for the duties of future life, though there was
very little of what would be considered, in
modern times, at education. They were not
generally taught to read, nor could they, in
fact, since there were no books, have used that
art if they had acquired it. The only intellec-
tual instruction which they seem to have re-
ceived was what was called learning justice.
The boys had certain teachers, who explained
to them, more or less formally, the general
principles of right and wrong, the injunctions
and prohibitions of the laws, and the obliga-
tions resulting from them, and the rules by
which controversies between man and man,
arising in the various relations of life, should
be settled. The boys were also trained to
apply these principles and rules to the cases





CYRUS THE GREAT.


which occurred among themselves, each acting
as judge in turn, to discuss and decide the
questions that arose from time to time, either
from real transactions as they occurred, or from
hypothetical cases invented to put their powers
to the test. To stimulate the exercise of their
powers, they were rewarded when they decided
right, and punished when they decided wrong.
Cyrus himself was punished on one occasion
for a wrong decision, under the following cir-
cumstances :
A bigger boy took away the coat of a smaller
boy than himself, because it was larger than
his own, and &ave him his own smaller coat in-
stead. The smaller boy complained of thi
wrong, and the case was referred to Cyrus for
his adjudication. After hearing the case, Cy.
rus decided that each boy should keep the coat
that fitted him. The teacher condemned this
as a very unjust decision. "When you are
called upon," said he, to consider a question
of what "fits best, then you should determine as
you have done in this case; but when you are
appointed to decide whose each coat is, and to
adjudge it to the proper owner, then you are to
consider what constitutes right possession, and
whether he who takes a thing by force from onm
who is weaker than himself, should have it, w.
whether he who made it or purchased it should
be protected in his property. You have de-


40





BIRTH OF CYRUs. 4


cided against law, and in favour of violence and
wrong." Cyrus's sentence was thus con-
demned, and he was punished for not reason-
ing more soundly.
The boys at this Persian court were trained
to many manly exercises. They were taught
to wrestle and to run. They were instructed
in the use of such arms as were employed in
those times, and rendered dexterous in the use
of them by daily exercises. They were taught
to put their skill in practice, too, in hunting
excursions, which they took, by turns, with the
king, in theneighbouring forest and mountains.
On these occasions, they were armed with a
bow, and a quiver of arrows, a shield, a small
sword or dagger, which was worn at the side
in a sort of scabbard, and two javelins. One
of these was intended to be thrown, the other
to be retained i- the hand, for use in close
combat, in case one wild beast, in his despera-
tion, should advance to a personal encounter.
These hunting expeditions were considered ex-
tremely important as a part of the system
of youthful training. They were often long
and fatiguing. The young men became in-
ured, by means of them, to toil, and privation,
and exposure. They had to make long marches,
to encounter great dangers, to engage in des-
perate conflicts, and to submit sometimes tc
of hunger and thirst, as


41





CYBaU THaE OGRAT.


well as exposure to the extremes of heat and
cold, and to the violence of storms. All this
was considered as precisely the right sort of
discipline to make them good soldiers in their
future martial campaigns.


CHAPTER III.
THE VISIT TO MEDIA.
WHEN Cyrus was about twelve years old, if
the narrative which Xenophon gives of his
history is true, he was invited by his grand-
father Astyages to make a visit to Media. As
he was about ten years of age, according to He-
rodotus, when he was restored to his parents,
he could have been residing only two years in
Persia when he received this invitation. Dur-
ing this period, Astyages had received, through
Mandane and others, very glowing descriptions
of the intelligence and vivacity of the young
prince, and he naturally felt a desire to see him
once more. In fact, Cyrus's personal attract-
iveness and beauty, joined to a certain frank
and noble generosity of spirit which he seems
to have manifested in his earliest years, made
him a universal favourite at home, and the re-
ports of these qualities, and of the various say-
ings and doings on Cyrus's part, by which his
disposition and character were revealed, awak.


42





VISIT TO MEDIA. 43
ened strongly in the mind of Astyages that
kind of interest which a grandfather is always
very prone to feel in a handsome and preco-
cious grandchild.
As Cyrus had been sent to Persia as soon
as his true rank had been discovered, he had
had no opportunities of seeing the splendour
of royal life in Media, and the manners and
habits of the Persians were very plain and
simple. Cyrus was accordingly very much
impressed with the magnificence of the scenes
to which he was introduced when he arrived
in Media, and with the gaieties and luxuries,
the pomp and display, and the spectacles and
parades, in which the Median court abounded.
Astyages himself took great pleasure in wit-
nessing and increasing his little grandson's
admiration for these wonders.
Astyages took a new pleasure in the luxu-
ries and splendours which had long since lost
their charm for him, in observing their influ-
ence and effect upon the mind of his little
grandson. Cyrus, as we have already said,
was very frank and open in his disposition,
and spoke with the utniost freedom of every
thing that he saw. He was, of course, a pri-
vileged person, and could always say what the
feeling of the moment, and his own childish
conceptions prompted, without danger. He
had, however, according to the account which





CYRUS THE GREAT.


Xenophon gives, a great deal of good sense,
as well as of sprightliness and brilliancy; so
that, while his remarks, through their origi-
nality and point, attracted every one's attention,
there was a native politeness and sense of pro-
priety which restrained him from saying any-
thing to give pain. Even when he disapproved
of and condemned what he saw in the ar-
rangements of his grandfather's court or
household, he did it in such a manner, so in-
genuous, good-natured, and unassuming, that
it amused all, and offended none.
In fact, on the very first interview which
Astyages had with Cyrus, an instance of the
boy's readiness and tact occurred, which im-
pressed his grandfather very much in his fa-
vour. The Persians, as has been already re-
marked, were accustomed to dress very plain-
ly, while, on the other hand, at Median
court, the superior officers, and especially the
king, were always very splendidly adorned.
Accordingly, when Cyrus was introduced into
his grandfather's presence, he was quite
dazzled with the display. The king wore a
purple robe, very richly adorned, with a belt
and collars, which were embroidered highly,
and set with precious stones. He had brace-
lets, too, upon his wrists, of the most costly
character. He wore flowing locks of artificial
hair, and his Lace was painted, after the Me-


44





VISIT TO MEDIA.


dia~ manner. Cyrus gazed upon this gay
spectacle for a few moments in silence, and
then exclaimed, Why, mother, what a hand-
some man my grandfather is I"
Such an exclamation, of course, made great
amusement, both for the king himself, and for
the others who were present; and at length
Mandate, somewhat indiscreetly, it must be
confessed, asked Cyrus which of the two he
thought the handsomest, his father or his
grandfather. Cyrus escaped from the danger
of deciding such a formidable question, by
saying that his father was the handsomest man
in Persia, but his grandfather was the hand-
somest of all the Medes he had ever seen.
Astyages was even more pleased by this proof
of .his grandson's adroitness and good sense,
than he had been with the compliment which
the boy had paid to him; and thenceforward
Cyrus became an established favourite, and
did and said, in his grandfather's presence,
almost whatever he pleased.
When the first childish feelings of excite-
ment and curiosity had subsided, Cyrus seemed
to attach very little value to the fine clothes
and gay trappings with which his grandfather
was disposed to adorn him, and to all the
other external marks of parade and display,
which were generally so much prized among
the Medes. He was nuch more inclined to


45





46 CYRUS THE GREAT.
continue in his former habits of plain dress
and frugal means, than to imitate Median os-
tentation and luxury. There was one plea-
sure, however, to be found in Media, which in
Persia he had never enjoyed, that he prized
very highly. That was the pleasure of learn-
ing to ride on horseback. The Persians, it
seems, either because their country was a
rough and mountainous region, or for some
other cause, were very little accustomed to
ride. They had very few horses, and there
were no bodies of cavalry in their armies. The
young men, therefore, were not trained to the
art of horsemanship. Even in their hunting
excursions, they went always on foot, and were
accustomed to make long marches through the
forests and among the mountains in this
manner, loaded heavily, too, all the time,
with the burden of arms and provisions
which they were obliged to carry. It
was, therefore, a new pleasure to Cyrus to
mount a horse. Horsemanship was a great art
among the Medes. Their horses were beautiful
and fleet, and splendidly caparisoned. Astyages
provided for Cyrus the best animals which
could be procured, and the boy was very proud
and happy in exercising himself in the new
accomplishment which he thus had the oppor-
tunity to acquire. To ride, is always a great
source of pleasure to boys ; but in that period





VISIT TO MEDIA. 47
of- the world, when physical strength was so
much more important and more highly valued
than at present, horsemanship was a vastly
greater source of gratification than it is now.
Cyrus felt that he had, at a single leap, quad-
rupled his power, and thus risen at once to a
far higher rank in the scale of being, than he
had occupied before ; for, as soon as ever
he had once learned to be at home in the
saddle, and to subject the spirit and the power
of his horse to his own will, the courage, the
strength, and the speed of the animal, became,
in fact, almost personal acquisitions of his own.
He felt, accordingly, when he was galloping
over the plains, or pursuing deer in the park,
or running over the race-course with his com-
panions, as if it was some newly-acquired
strength and speed of his own that he was
exercising, and which, by some magic power,
was attended by no toilsome exertion, and fol-
lowed by no fatigue.
The various officers and servants in Astya-
ges's household, as well as Astyages himself,
soon began to feel a strong interest in the
young prince. Each took a pleasure in ex-
plaining to him what pertained to their several
departments, and in teaching him whatever he
desired to learn. The attendant highest in
rank, -in such a household, was the cup-bearer,
He had the. charge of the tables and the wine,





CYRUS THJ GREAT.


and all the general arrangements of the palace
seem to have been under his direction. The
cup-bearer in Astyages's court was a Dacian.
He was, however, less a friend to Cyrus than
the rest. There was nothing within the range
of his official duties that he could teach the
boy, and Cyrus did not like his wine. Besides,
when Astyages was engaged, it was the cup-
bearer's duty to guard him from interruption,
and at such times he often had occasion to re-
strain the young prince from the liberty of en-
tering his grandfather's apartments as often as
he pleased.
Atone of the entertainments which Astyages
gave in his palace, Cyrus and Mandane were
invited; and Astyages, in order to gratify the
young prince as highly as possible, set before
him a great variety of dishes-meats, and
sauces, and delicacies of every kind-all served
in costly vessels, and with great parade and
ceremony. He supposed that Cyrus i would
have been enraptured with the luxury and
splendour of the entertainment. He did not,
however, seem much pleased. Astyages asked
him the reason, and whether the feast which
he saw before him was not a much finer one
than he had been accustomed to see in Persia.
Cyrus said, in reply, that it seemed to him to
be very troublesome to have to eat a little of
so many separate things. In Persia they man-


48





VISIT TO MEDIA.


aged, he thought, a great deal better. And
how do you manage in Persia ?" asked Asty-
ages. Why, in Persia," replied Cyrus, we
have plain bread and meat, and eat it when we
are hungry ; so we get health and strength,
and have very little trouble." Astyages
laughed at this simplicity, and told Cyrus that
he might, if he preferred it, live on plain bread
and meat while he remained in Media, and
then he would return to Persia in as good
health as he came.
Cyrus was satisfied; he, however, asked his
grandfather if he would' give him all those
things which had been set before him, to dis-
pose of as he thought proper ; and on his grand-
father's assenting, he began to call the various
attendants up to the table, and to distribute the
costly dishes to them, in return, as he said, for
their various kindnesses to him. This," said
he to one, is for you, because you take pains
to teach me to ride ; this," t~' another, for
you, because you gave me a javelin ; this to
you, because you serve my grandfather well
and faithfully; and this to you, because' you
honour my mother." Thus he went on until he
had distributed all that he had received, though
he omitted, as it seemed designedly, to give
anything to the Sacian cup-bearer. This Sa-
cian .being an officer of high rank, of tall and
3


49





CYRUS THE GBEAT.


handsome figure, and beautifully dressed, was
the most conspicuous attendant at the feast,
and could not, therefore, have been accidentally
passed by. Astyages accordingly asked Cyrus
why he had not given any thing to the Sacian
--the servant whom, as he said, he liked better
than all the others.
C" And what is the reason," asked Cyrus, in
reply, that this Sacian is such a favourite
with you?"
Have you not observed," replied Asty-
ages, how gracefully and elegantly he pours
out the wine for me, and then hands me the
cup ?"
The Sacian was, in fact, uncommonly ac-
complished in respect to the personal grace and
dexterity for which cup-bearers in those days
were most highly valued, and which constitute,
in fact, so essential a part of the qualifications
of a master of ceremonies at a royal court in
every age. Cyrus, however, instead of yield-
ing to this argument, said, in reply, that he
could come into the room and pour out the
wine as well as the Sacian could do it, and he
asked his grandfather to allow him to try. As-
tyages consented. Cyrus then took the goblet
of wine, and went out. IP a moment he came
in again, stepping grandly, as he entered, in
mimicry of the Sacian, and with a counte-.
nance of assure ed gravity and self-importance,


50





VISIT TO MEDIA.


which imitated so well the air and manner of
the cup-bearer as greatly to amuse the whole
company assembled. Cyrus advanced thus
toward the king, and presented him with the
cup, imitating, with the grace and dexterity
natural to childhood, all the ceremonies which
he had seen the cup-bearer himself perform,
except that of tasting the wine. The king
and Mandane laughed heartily. Cyrus then,
throwing off his assumed character, jumped
up into his grandfather's lap and kissed him,
and turning to the cup-bearer, he said, Now,
Sacian, you are ruined. I shall get my grand-
father to appoint me in your place. I can
hand the wine as well as you, and without
tasting it myself at all."
But why-did you not taste it ?" asked As-
tyages ; you should have performed that part
of the duty as well as the rest."
It was, in fact, a very essential part of the
duty of a cup-bearer to taste the wine that he
offered before presenting it to the king. He
did this, however, not by puttng the cup to his
lips, but by pouring out a little of it into the
palm of his hand. This custom was adopted
by these ancient despots to guard against the
danger of being poisoned ; for such a danger
would of course be very much diminished by
requiring the officer who had the custody of
the wine, and without whose knowledge no


51





52 CYRUS THE GREAT.
foreign substance could be well introduced into
it, always to drink a portion of it himself im-
mediately before tendering it to the king.
To Astyages's question why he had not tasted
the wine, Cyrus replied that he was afraid it
was poisoned. "What led you to imagine that
it was poisoned?" asked his grandfather. Be-
cause," said Cyrus, it was poisoned the other
day, when you made a feast for your friends,
on your birth-day. I knew by the effects. It
made you all crazy. The things that you do
not allow us boys to do, you did yourselves,
for you were very rude and noisy ; you all
bawled together, so that nobody could hear or
understand what any other person said. Pre-
sently you went to singing in a very ridiculous
manner, and when a singer ended his song. you
applauded him, and declared that he had sung
admirably, though nobody had paid attention.
You went to telling stories, too, each one of
his own accord, without succeeding in making
any body listen to him. Finally, you got up
and began to dance, but it was out of all rule
and measure: you could not even stand erect
and steadily. Then, you all seemed to forget
who and what you were. The guests paid no
regard to you as their king, but treated you in
a very familiar and disrespectful manner, and
you treated them in the same way; so I thought





VISIT TO MEDIA. 55
that the wine that produced these effects must
have been poisoned."
Of course, Cyrus did not seriously mean that
he thought the wine had been actually poisoned.
He was old enough to understand its nature
and effects. He undoubtedly intended his re-
ply as a playful satire upon the intemperate
excesses of his grandfather's court
But have not you ever seen such things
before?" asked Astyages. "Does not your
father ever drink wine until it makes him
merry ?"
No," replied Cyrus, indeed he does not.
He drinks only when he is thirsty, and then
only enough for his thirst, and so he is not
harmed." He then added, in a contemptuous
tone, He has no Sacian cup-bearer, you may
depend, about him."
What is the reason, my son," here asked
Mandane, "why you dislike this Sacian so
much ?"
Why, every time that I want to come and
see my grandfather," replied Cyrus, this
teazing man always stops me, and will not let
me come in. I wish, grandfather, you would
let me have the rule over him just for three
days."
Why, what would you do to him ?" asked
Astyages.
I would treat him as he treats me now,'





54 CYRUS THE GREAT.
replied Cyrus. I would stand at the door,
as he does when I want to come in, and when
be was coming for his dinner, I would stop him
and say, 'You cannot come in now: he is busy
with some men.' "
In saying this, Cyrus imitated, in a very lu-
dicrous manner, the gravity and dignity of the
Sacian's air and manner.
"' Then," he continued, when he came to
supper, I would say, He is bathing now; you
must come some other time ;' or else, He is
going to sleep, and you will disturb him.' So
I would torment him all the time, as he now
torments me, in keeping me out when I want
to come and see you."
Such conversation as this, half playful, half
earnest, of course amused Astyages and Man-
dane very much, as well as all the other listen-
ers. There is a certain charm in the simplicity
and confiding frankness of childhood, when itis
honest and sincere, which in Cyrus's case was
heightened by his personal grace and beauty.
He became, in fact, more and more a favourite
the longer he remained. At length, the indul-
gence and the attention which he received be-
gan to produce, in some degree, their usual in-
jurious effects. Cyrus became too talkative,
and sometimes he appeared a little vain. Still,
there was so much true kindness of heart,
such consideration for the feelings of others,





VISIT TO MEDIA.


55


and so respectful a regard for his grandfather,
his mother, and his uncle,? that his faults
were overlooked, and he was the life and soul
of the company in all the social gatherings
which took place in the palaces of the king.
At length the time arrived for Mandane to
return to Persia. Astyages proposed that she
should leave Cyrus in Media, to be educated
there under his grandfather's charge. Man-
dane replied, that she was willing to gratify
her father in everything, but she thought it
would be very hard to leave Cyrus behind,
unless he was willing, of his own accord, to
stay. Astyages then proposed the subject to
Cyrus himself. "If you will stay," said he,
" the Sacian shall no longer have power to
keep you from coming in to see me ; you shall
come whenever you choose. Then, besides,
you shall have the use of all my horses, and
of as many more as you please; and, when
you go home at last, you shall take as many
as you wish with you. Then you may have
all the animals in the park to hunt. You can
The uncle here referred to was Mandane's bro-
ther. His name was Cyaxares. He was at this time
a royal prince, the heir apparent to the throne. He
figures very conspicuously in the subsequent portions
of Xenophon's history, as Astyages's successor on
the throne. 1 erodotus does not mention him at all,
bht makes Cyrum himself the direct successor of
Abtyage.





CYRUS THE GREAT.


pursue them on horseback,. and shoot them
with bows and arrows, or kill them with jave-
lins, as men do with wild beasts in the woods.
I will provide boys of your own age to play
with you, and to ride and hunt with you, and
will have all sorts of arms made of suitable
size for you to use ; and if there is anything
else that you should want at any time, you
will only have to ask me for it, and I will im-
mediately provide it."
The pleasure of riding and of hunting in
the park was very captivating to Cyrus's mind,
and he consented to stay. He represented to
his mother, that it would be of great advan-
tage to him, on his final return to Persia, to
be a skilful and powerful horseman, as that
would at once give him the superiority over
all the Persian youths, for they were very little
accustomed to ride. His mother had some
fears, lest, by too long a residence in the Me-
dian court, her son should acquire the ]uxuriv
ous habits, and proud and haughty manners,
which would be constantly before him in his
grandfather's example; but Cyrus said that
his grandfather, being imperious himself, re-
quired all around him to be submissive; and
that Mandane need not fear but that he would
return at last as dutiful and docile as ever. It
was decided, therefore, that Cyrus should stay,


56





VISIT TO MEDIA.


while his mother, bidding her child and her
father farewell, went back to Persia.
After his mother was gone, Cyrus endeared
himself very strongly to all persons at his
grandfather's court, by the nobleness and ge-
nerosity of character which he evinced, more
and more, as his mind was gradually de-
veloped. He applied himself with great dili-
gence to acquiring the various accomplish-
ments and arts then most highly prized, such as
leaping, vaulting, racing, riding, throwing the
javelin, and drawing the bow. In the friendly
contests which took place among the boys, to
test their comparative excellence in these ex-
ercises, Cyrus would challenge those whom he
knew to be superior to himself, and allow them
to enjoy the pleasure of victory, while he was
satisfied, himself, with the superior stimulus
to exertion which he derived from coming th'ls
into comparison with attainments higher than
his own. He pressed forward boldly and ar-
dently, undertaking everything which promised
to be, by any possibility, within his power;
and, far from being disconcerted and discou-
raged at his mistakes and failures, he always
joined merrily in the laugh which they occa-
sioned, and renewed his attempts with as
much ardour and alacrity as before. Thus he
made gleat and rapid progress, and learned
first to equal, and then to surpass, one after





CYRUS THE GREAT.


another of his companions, and all without
exciting any jealousy or envy.
It was a great amusement both to him and
to the other boys, his playmates, to hunt the
animals in the park, especially the deer. The
park was a somewhat extensive domain, but
the animals were soon very much dimifiished
by the slaughter which the boys made among
them. Astyages endeavoured to supply their
places by procuring more. At length, how-
ever, all the sources of supply that were con-
veniently at hand were exhausted ; and Cyrus
then, finding that his grandfather was put to
no little trouble to obtain tame animals for his
park, proposed one day that he should be
allowed to go out into the forests, to hunt the
wild beasts with the men. There are ani-
mals enough there, grandfather," said Cyrus,
and I shall consider them all just as if you
had procured them expressly for me."
In fact, by this time Cyrus had grown up
ao be a tall and handsome young man, with
strength and vigour sufficient, under favour-
able circumstances, to endure the fatigues and
exposures of real hunting. As his person
had become developed, his mind and manners,
too, had undergone a change. The gaiety,
the thoughtfulness, the self-confidence, and
talkative vivacity of his childhood, had dis-
appeared, and he was fast becoming reserved,





VISIT TO MEDIA


sedate, deliberate, and cautious. He no longer
entertained his grandfather's company by his
mimicry, his repartees, and his childish wit.
He was silent; he observed, he listened, he
shrank from publicity,. and spoke, when he
spoke at all, in subdued and gentle tones. In-
stead of crowding forward eagerly into his
grandfather's presence on all occasions, sea-
sonable and unseasonable, as he had done be-
fore, he now became, of his own accord, very much
afraid of occasioning trouble or interruption.
He did not any longer need a Sacian to re-
strain him, but became, as Xenophon expresses
it, a Sacian to himself, taking great care not
to go into his grandfather's apartments without
previously ascertaining that the king was dis-
.engaged ; so that he and the Sacian now be-
came very great friends.
This being the state of the case, Astyages
consented that Cyrus should go out with his
son Cyaxares into the forests to hunt at the
next opportunity. The party set out, when
the time arrived, on horseback, the hearts of
Cyrus and his companions bounding, when
they mounted their steeds, with feelings of
elation and pride. There were certain atten-
idants andc guards appointed to keep near -to
Cyrus, and to help him in the rough and rocky
parts of the country, and to protect him from
the dangers to which, if left alone, he would





*CYRUS THE GREAT.


doubtless have been exposed. Cyrus talked
with these attendants, as they rode along, of
the mode of hunting, of the difficulties of
hunting, the characters and the habits of the
various wild beasts, and of the dangers to be
shunned. His attendants told him, that the
dangerous beasts were bears, lions, tigers,
boars, and leopards ; that such animals as
these often attacked and killed men, and that
he must avoid them; but that stags, wild
goats, wild sheep, and wild asses, were harm-
less, and that he could hunt such animals as
they as much as he pleased. They told him,
moreover, that steep, rocky, and broken
ground was more dangerous to the huntsman
than any beasts, however ferocious ; for riders,
off their guard, driving impetuously over such
ways, were often thrown from their horses, or
fell with them over precipices or into chasms,
and were killed.
Cyrus listened very attentively to these in-
structions, with every disposition to give heed
to them; but when he came to the trial, he
found that the ardour and impetuosity of the
chase drove all considerations of prudence wholly
from his mind. When the men got into the
forest, those that were with Cyrus roused a
stag, and all set off eagerly in pursuit, Cyrus
at the hzad. Away went the stag over rough
and dangerous ground. The rest of the party


60





VISIT TO MEDIA.


turned aside, or followed cautiously, while Cy-
rus urged his horse forward in the wildest ex-
citement, thinking of nothing, and seeing no-
thing but the stag bounding before him. The
horse came to a chasm which he was obliged
to leap. But the distance was too great; he
came down upon his knees, threw Cyrus vio-
lently forward almost over his head, and then,
with a bound and a scramble, recovered his feet
and went on. Cyrus clung tenaciously to the
horse's mane, and at length succeeded in get-
ting back to the saddle, though, for a moment,
his life was in the most imminent danger. His
attendants were extremely terrified, though he
himself seemed to experience no feeling but the
pleasurable excitement of the chase ; for, as
soon as the obstacle was cleared, he pressed on
with new impetuosity after the stag, overtook
him, and killed him with his javelin. Then,
alighting from his horse, he stood by the side
of his victim, to wait the coming up of the
party, his countenance beaming with an ex-
pression of triumph and delight.
His attendants, however, on their arrival,
instead of applauding his exploit, or seeming to
share his pleasure, sharply reproved him for his
recklessness and daring. He had entirely dis-
regarded their instructions, and they threatened
to report him to his grandfather. Cyrus looked
perplexed auid uneasy. The excitement and


61





CYRUS THE GREAT.


the pleasure of victory and success were strug-
gling in his mind against his dread ot his
grandfather's displeasure. Just at this instant
he heard a new halloo. Another party in the
neighbourhood had roused fresh game. All
Cyrus's returning sense of duty was blown at
once to the winds. He sprang to his horse
with a shout of wild enthusiasm, and rode off
toward the scene of action. The game which
had been started, a furious wild boar, just then
issued from a thicket directly before him.
Cyrus, instead of shunning the danger, as he
ought to have done, in obedience to the orders
of those to whom his grandfather had intrusted
him, dashed on to meet the boar at full spend,
and aimed so true a thrust with his javelin
against the beast as to transfix him in the
forehead. The boar fell, and lay upon the
ground in dying struggles, while Cyrus's heart
was filled with joy and triumph even greater
than before.
When Cyaxares came up, he reproved Cyrus
anew for running such risks. Cyrus received
the reproaches meekly, and then asked Cyaxa-
res to give him the two animals that he had
killed : he wanted to carry them home to his
grandfather.
By no means," said Cyaxares ; your
grandfather would be very much displeased to
know what you bad done He would not only


62





VISIT TO. MEDIAd 63
condemn you for acting thus, but he would
reprove us too, for allowing you to do so."
"Let him punish me," said Cyrus, "if he
wishes, after I have shown him the stag and
the boar, and you may punish me too, if you
think best; but do let me show them to him."
Cyaxares consented, and Cyrus made.ar-
rangements to have the bodies of the beasts
and the bloody javelins carried home. Cyrus
then presented the carcases to his grandfather,
saying that it was some game which he had
taken for him. The javelins he did not exhibit
directly, but he laid them down in a place
where his grandfather would see them. Asty-
ages thanked him for his presents, but he said
he had no such need of presents of game as to
wish his grandson to expose himself to such
imminent dangers to take it.
"Well, grandfather," said Cyrus, "if you
do not want the meat, give it to me, and I will
divide it among my friends." Astyages agree?
to this, and Cyrus divided his booty amonghis
companions, the boys, who had before hunted
with him in the park. They, of course, took
their several portions home, each one carrying
with his share of the gift a glowing account of
the valour and prowess of the giver. It was
not generosity which led Cyrus thus to give
away the fruits of his toil, but a desire to
widen and extend his fame.





64 CYRUS THE GREAT.
When Cyrus was about fifteen or sixteen
years old, his uncle Cyaxares was married,
and, in celebrating his nuptials, he formed a
great hunting party, to go to the frontiers be-
tween Media and Assyria to hunt there, where
it was said that game of al kinds was very
plentiful, as it usually was, in fact, in those
days, in the neighbourhood of disturbed and un-
settled frontiers. The very causes which made
such a region as this a safe and frequented
haunt for wild beasts, made it unsafe for men,
and Cyaxares did not consider it prudent to
venture on his excursion without a considerable
force to attend him. His hunting part formed
therefore, quite a little army. They set out
from home with great pomp and ceremony, and
proceeded to the frontiers in regular organiza-
tion and order, like a body of troops on a
march. There was a squadron of horsemen,
who were to hunt the beasts in the open parts
of the forest, and a considerable detachment
of light-armed footmen also, who were to rouse
the game, and drive them out of their lurking
places in the glens and thickets. Cyrus ac-
companied this expedition.
When Cyaxares reached the frontiers, he
concluded, instead of contenting himself and
his party with hunting wild beasts, to make an
incursion for plunder into the territories of the
Medes, that being, as Xenophon expresses it,





VISIT TO MEDIA


a more noble enterprise than the other. The
nobleness, it seems, consisted in the greater
imminence of the danger, in having to contend
with armed men.instead of ferocious brutes,
and in the higher value of the prizes which
they would obtain in case of success. The
idea of there being any injustice or wrong in
this wanton and unprovoked aggression upon
the territories of a neighboring nation seems
not to have entered the mind either of the
royal robber himself or of his historian.
Cyrus distinguished himself very conspicu-
ously in this expedition, as he had done in the
hunting excursion before ; and when, at length,
this nuptial party returned home, loaded with
booty, the tidings of Cyrus's exploits went to
Persia. Cambyses thought that if his son was
beginning to take part, as a soldier, in military
campaigns, it was time for him to be recalled.
He accordingly sent for him, and Cyrus began
to make preparations for his return.
The day of his departure was a day of great
sadness and sorrow among all his companions
in Media, and, in fact, among all the members
of his grandfather's household. They accorm-
panied him for some distance on his way, and
took leave of him, at last, with much regret
and many tears. Cyrus distributed among
them, as they left him, the various articles of
W


65





CYRUS THE GREAT.


value which he possessed, such as his arms,
and ornaments of various kinds, and costly ar-
ticles of dress. He gave his Median robe, at
last, to a certain youth whom.he said he loved
the best of all. The name of this special fa-
vorite was Araspes. As these his friends part-
ed from him, Cyrus took his leave of them,
one by one, as they returned, with many proofs
of his affection for them, and with a very sad
and heavy heart.
The boys and young men who had received
these presents took them home, but they were
so valuable, that they or their parents, sup-
posing that they were given under a momen-
tary impulse of feeling, and that they ought
to be returned, sent them all to Astyages.
Astyages sent them to Persia, to be res-
tored to Cyrus. Cyrus sent them all back
again to his grandfather, with a request that
he would distribute them again to those to
whom Cyrus had originally given them,
which," said he, grandfather, you must do,
if you wish me ever to come to Media again
with pleasure and not with shame."
Such is the story which Xenophon gives of
Cyrus's visit to Media, and in its romantic
and incredible details it is a specimen of the
whole narrative which this author has given
of his hero's life. It is not, at the present
day, supposed that these, and the many simi-


66





CR..E SU.


lar stories with which Xenophon's books are
filled, are true histories.
Such being the character of Xenophon's
tale, or rather 4rama, we shall content our-
selves, after giving this specimen of it, wi hf
adding, in some subsequent chapters, a few
other scenes and incidents drawn from his
narrative. In the mean time, in relating the
great leading events of Cyrus's life, we shall
take Herodotus for our guide, by following
his more sober, and, probably, more trust-
worthy record.



CHAPTER IV.

CRGBSUS.

THE scene of our narrative must now be
changed, for a time, from Persia and Media,
in the East, to Asia Minor, in the West,
where the great Croesus, originally King of
Lydia, was at this time gradually extending
his empire along the shores of the AEgean Sea.
The name of Croesus is associated in the minds
of men with the idea of boundless wealth, the
phrase "as rich as Crcesus" having been a
common proverb in all the modern languages
of Europe for many centuries. It was to this


67





68 CYRUS THE GREAT.
Croesus, king of Lydia, whose story we are
about to relate, that the proverb alludes.
The country of Lydia, over which this fa-
mous sovereign originally ruled, was in the
western part of Asia Minor, bordering on the
AEgean Sea. Croesus himself belonged to a
dynasty, or race of kings, called the Mermna-
dae. The founder of this line was Gyges,
who displaced the dynasty which preceded
him, and established his own by a revolution.
After this, he and his successors reigned
for many years over the kingdom of Lydia,
constituting the dynasty of the Mermnada,
from which, in process of time, King Croesus
descended.
The successive sovereigns of this dynasty
gradually extended the Lydian power over the
countries around them. The name of Croesus's
father, who was the monarch that immediately
preceded him, was Alyattes. Alyattes waged
war toward the southward, into the territories
of the city of Miletus. He made annual in-
cursions into the country of the M ilesians for
plunder, always taking care, however, while
he seized all the moveable property that he
could find, to leave the villages and towns,
and all the hamlets of the labourers without
injury. The reason for this was, that he did
not wish to drive away the population, but to
encourage them to remain and cultivate their





cnRCsus. 69
lands, so that there might be new flocks and
herds, and new stores of corn, and fruit, and
wine, for him to plunder from in succeeding
years. At last; on one of these marauding
excursions, some fires which were accidentally
set in a field spread into a neighboring town,
and destroyed, among other buildings, a temple
consecrated to Minerva. After this, Alyattes
found himself quite unsuccessful in all his
expeditions and campaigns. He sent to a
famous oracle to ask the reason.
You can expect no more success," replied&
the oracle, "until you rebuild the temple that
you have destroyed."
But how could he rebuild the temple ? The
site was in the enemy's country. His men
could not build an' edifice, and defend them-
selves at the same time from the attacks of
their foes. He concluded to demand a truce
of the Milesians until the reconstruction should
be completed, and he sent ambassadors to
Miletus, accordingly to make the proposal.
The proposition for a truce resulted in a
permanent peace, by means of a very singular
stratagem which Thrasybulus, the king of Mi-
letus, practised upon Alyattes. It'seems that
Alyattes supposed that Thrasybulus had been
reduced to great distress by the loss and de-
struction of provisions and stores in various
karts of the country, and that he would soon





CYRUS THE GREAT.


be forced to yield up his kingdom. This was,
in fact, the case; but Thrasybulus determined
to disguise his real condition, and to destroy,
by an artifice, all the hopes which Alyattes had
formed from the supposed scarcity in the city.
When the herald whom Alyattes sent to Mile-
tus was about to arrive, Thrasybulus collected
all the corn, and grain, and other provisions
which he could command, and had them heaped
up in a public part of the city, where the herald
was to be received, so as to present indications
of the most ample abundance of food. He col-
lected a large body of his soldiers, too, and
gave them leave to feast themselves without
restriction on what he had thus gathered. Ac-
cordingly, when the herald came in to deliver
his message, he found the whole city given up
to feasting and revelry, and he saw stores of
provisions at hand, which were in process of
being distributed and consumed with the most
prodigal profusion. The herald reported this
state of things to Alyattes. Alyattes then gave
up all hopes of reducing Miletus by famine,
and made a permanent peace, binding himself
to its stipulations by a very solemn treaty. To
celebrate tile event, too, he built two temples
to Minerva instead of one.
A story is related by Herodotus of a re-
markable escape made by Arion at sea, which
occurred during the reign of Alyattes, the


70





CRU&sus. 71
father of Croesus. We will give the story as
Herodotus relates it, leaving the reader to
judge for himself whether such tales were pro-
bably true, or were only introduced by He-
rodotus into his narrative, to make his histo-
ries more entertaining to the Grecian assem-
blies to whom he read them. Arion was a
celebrated singer. He had been making a
tour in Sicily, and in the southern part of
Italy, where he had acquired considerable
wealth, and he was now returning to Corinth.
He embarked at Tarentum, which is a city in
the southern part of Italy, in a Corinthian
vessel, and put to sea. When the sailors
found that they had him in their power, they
determined to sob and murder him. They
accordingly seized his gold and silver,
and then told him that he might either kill
himself or jump overboard into the sea. One
or the other he must do. If he would kill
himself on board the vessel, they would give
him decent burial when they reached the
shore.
Arion seemed at first at a loss how to decide
in so hard an alternative. At length he told
the sailors that he would throw himself into
the sea, but he asked permission to sing them
one of his songs before he took the fatal plunge
They consented. He accordingly went into
the cabin, and spent some time in dressing





CYRUS THE GREAT.


himself magnificently in the splendid and
richly-ornamented robes in which he had been
accustomed to appear upon the stage. At
length he re-appeared, and took his position
on the side of the ship, with his harp in his
hand. He sang his song, accompanying
himself upon the harp, and then, when he had
finished his performance, he leaped into the
sea. The seamen divided their plunder and
pursued their voyage.
Arion, however, instead of being drowned,
was taken up by a dolphin that had been
charmed by his song, and was borne by him
to Taenarus, which is the promontory former
by the southern extremity of the Peloponnesus.
There Arion landed in safety. From Taena-
rus he proceeded to Corinth, wearing the
same dress in which he had plunged into the
sea. On his arrival, he complained to the
king of the crime which the sailors had com-
mitted, and narrated his wonderful escape.
The king did not believe him, but put him in
prison to wait until the ship should arrive.
When at last the vessel came, the king sum-
moned the sailors into his presence, and
asked them if they knew any thing of Arion.
Arion himself had been previously placed in
an adjoining room ready to be called in as
soon as his presence was required. The
mariners answered to the question which the


7'2





CRCESus. 73
king put to them, that they had seen Arion in
Tarentum, and that they had left him there.
Arion was then himself called in. His sud-
den appearance, clothed as he was in the same
dress in which the mariners had seen him
leap into the sea, so terrified the conscience-
stricken criminals, that they confessed their
guilt, and were all punished by the king. A
marble statue, representing a man seated upon
a dolphin, was erected at Tanarus to com-
memmorate this event, where it remained for
centuries afterward, a monument of the won-
der which Arion had achieved.
At length Alyattes died and Crcesus suc-
ceeded him. Croesus extended still further
the power and fame of the Lydian empire, and
was for a time very successful in all his mili-
tary schemes. The IEgean Sea, along the
coasts of Asia Minor is studded with islands.
These islands were in those days very -fertile
and beautiful, and were densely inhabited by
a commercial and maritime people, who pos-
sessed a multitude of ships, and were very
powerful in all the adjacent seas. Of course
their land forces were very few, whether of
horse or of foot, as the habits and manners of
such a sea-going people were all foreign to
modes of warfare required in land campaigns.
On the sar, however, these islanders were
supreme.





74 CYRUS THE GREAT.
Croesus formed a scheme for attacking these
islands and bringing them under his sway, and
he began to make preparations for building
and equipping a fleet for this purpose, though,
of course, his subjects were as unused to the
sea as the nautical islanders were to military
operations on the land. While he was making
these preparations, a certain philosopher was
visiting at his court : he was one of the
seven wise men of Greece, who had recently
come from the Peloponnesus. Croesus asked
asked him if there was any news from that
country. I heard," said the philosopher,
"that the inhabitants of the islands were pre-
paring to invade your dominions with a squad-
ron of ten thousand horse." Croesus, who
supposed that the philosopher was serious,
appeared greatly pleased and elated, at the
prospect of his sea-faring enemies attempting
to meet him as a body of cavalry. No
doubt," said the philosopher, after a little
pause, you would be pleased to have those
sailors attempt to contend with you on horse-
back ; but do you not suppose that they will
will be equally pleased at the prospect of en-
countering Lydian landsmen on the ocean?"
Croesus perceived the absurdity of his plan,
and abandoned his plan to execute it.
Croesus acquired the enormous wealth for
which he was so celebrated from the golden





C R(E SUS 7


sands of the River Pactolus, which flowed
through his kingdom. The river brought the
particles of gold, in. grains, and globules, and
flakes, from the mountains above, and the ser-
vants and slaves of Croesus washed the sands,
and thus separated the heavier deposit of the
metal. In respect to the origin of the gold,
however, the people who lived upon the banks
of the river had a different explanation from the
simple one that the water brought down the
treasure from the mountain ravines. They had
a story, that, ages before, a certain king named
Midas, rendered some service to a god, who, in
return, offered to grant him any favour that he
might ask. Midas asked that the power might
be granted him to turn whatever he touched
into gold. The power was bestowed, and Mi-
das, after changing various objects around him
into gold until he was satisfied, began to find
his new acquisition a source of great inconve-
nience and danger. His clothes, his food, and
even his drink, were changed to gold when he
touched them. He found that he was about to
starve in the midst of a world of treasure, and
he implored the god to take back the fatal gift.
The god directed him to go and bathe in the
Pactolus, and he should be restored to his for-
mer condition. .Midas did so, and was saved,
but pot without '-Ausforming a great portion of


75





CYRUS THE GREAT.


the sands of the stream into gold during the
process of his restoration.
Croesus thus attained very speedily to a very
high degree of wealth, prosperity, and renown.
His dominions were widely extended; his pal-
aces were full of treasures; his court was a
scene of unexampled magnificence and splen-
dour. While in the enjoyment of all this gran-
deur, he was visited by Solofi, the celebrated
Grecian law-giver, who was travelling in that
part of the world to observe the institutions and
customs of different states. Croesus received
Solon with great distinction, and showed him
all his treasures. At last he one day said to
him, You have travelled, Solon, over many
countries, and have studied, with a great deal
of attention and care, all that you have seen.
I have heard great commendations of your
wisdom, and I should like very much to know
who, of all the persons you have ever known,
has seemed to you most fortunate and happy."
The king had no doubt that the answer would
:'e that he himself was one.
"' I think," replied Solon, after a pause,
"that Tellus, an Athenian citizen, was the
most fortunate and happy man I have ever
known."
Tellus, an Athenian!" repeated Croesus,
surprised. What was there in his case
which you consider so remarkable ?"


76





CR(ESOUS. 7


SHe was a peaceful and quiet citizen of
Athens," said Solon. "H He lived happily with
his family, under a most excellent government,
enjoying for many years all the pleasures of
domestic life. He had several amiable and vir-
tuous children, who all grew up to maturity,
and loved and honoured their parents as long
as they lived. At length, when his life was
drawing toward its natural termination, a war
broke out with a neighboring nation, and
Tellus went with the army to defend his coun-
try. He aided very essentially in the defeat
of the enemy, but fell, at last, on the field of
battle. His countrymen greatly lamented his
death. They buried him publicly where he
fell, with every circumstance of honour."
Solon was proceeding to recount the domes-
tic and social virtues of Tellus, and the peace-
ful happiness which he enjoyed as the result
of them, when Croesus interrupted him to ask
who, next to Tellus, he considered the most
fortunate and happy man.
Solon, after a little farther reflection, men-
tioned two brothers, Cleobis and Bito, private
persons among the Greeks, who were celebrated
for their great personal strength, and also for
their devoted attachment to their mother. He
related to Croesus a story of a feat they per-
formed on one occasion, when their mother,
at the celebration of some rnihlir, festival, was


77





CYRUS THE GREAT.


going some miles to a temple, in a car to be
drawn by oxen. There happened to be some
delay in bringing the oxen, while the mother
was waiting in the car. As the oxen did not
come, the young men took hold of the pole of
the car themselves, and walked off at their ease
with the load, amid the acclamations of the
spectators, while their mother's heart was
filled with exultation and pride.
Croesus here interrupted the philosopher
again, and expressed his surprise that he
should place private men, like those whom he
had named, who possessed no wealth or pro-
minence, or power, before a monarch like him,
occupying a station bf such high authority
and renown, and possessing such boundless
treasures.
Croesus," replied Solon, I see you now,
indeed, at the height of human power and
grandeur. You reign supreme over many
nations, and you are in the enjoyment of un-
bounded affluence, and every species of luxury
and splendour. I cannot, however, decide
whether I am to consider you a fortunate and
happy man, until I know how all this is to
end. If we consider seventy years as the
allotted period of life, you have a large por-
tion of your existence yet to come, and we
cannot with certainty pronounce any man
baupy till his life is ended.


78





CR1ESS. '9


This conversation with Solon made a deep
impression upon Croesus's mind, as was after-
ward proved in a remarkable manner; but the
impression was not a pleasant or a salutary
one. The king however, suppressed for the
time the resentment which the presentation of
these unwelcome truths awakened within him,
though he treated Solon afterward with indif-
ference and neglect, so that the philosopher
soon found it best to withdraw.
Croesus had two sons. One was deaf and
dumb. The other was a young man of great
promise, and of course, as he only could suc-
ceed his father in the government of the king-
dom, he was naturally an object of the king's
particular attention and care. His name was
Atys. He was unmarried. He was, however,
old enough to have the command of a consid-
erable body of troops, and he had often dis-
tinguished himself in the Lydian campaigns.
One night the king had a dream about Atys
which greatly alarmed him. He dreamed
that his son was destined to die of a wound
received from the point of an iron spear. The
king was made very uneasy by this ominou
dream. He immediately detached Atys from
his command in the army, and made provision
for his marriage. He then very carefully
collected all the darts, javelins, and every
other iron-pointed weapo" that he could find


179





80 CYRUS THE GREAT.
about the palace, and caused them to be de-
posited carefully in a secure place, where
there could be no danger even of an accidental
injury from them.
About that time there appeared at the court
of Croesus a stranger from Phrygia, a neigh-
bouring state, who presented himself at the
palace and asked for protection. He was a
prince of the royal family of Phrygia, and
his name was Adrastus. He had had the
misfortune, by some unhappy accident, to kill
his brother; his father, in consequence of it,
had banished him from his native land, and
he was now homeless, friendless, and destitute.
Croesus received him kindly. Your family
have always been my friends," said he, "and
I am glad of the opportunity to make some
return by extending my protection to any
member of it suffering misfortune. You shall
reside in my palace, and all your wants shall
be supplied. Come in, and forget the calamity
which has befallen you, instead of distressing
yourself with it as if it had been a crime."
Thus Croesus received the unfortunate Adras-
tus into his household. After the prince had
been domiciliated in his new home for some
time, messengers came from Mysia, a neigh-
bouring state, saying that a wild boar of enor-
mous size and unusual ferocity had come down
.-sm the mountains, and was lurking in the





CRCESUS8


cultivated country, in thickets and glens, from
which, at night, he made great havoc among
the flocks and herds, and asking that Croesus
would send his son, with a band of hunters
and a pack of dogs, to help them destroy the
common enemy. Croesus consented immedi-
ately to send the dogs and the men, but he said
that he could not send his son. My son,"
he added, has been lately married, and his
time and attention are employed about other
things."
When, however, Atys himself heard of this
reply, he remonstrated very earnestly against
it, and begged his father to allow him to go.
" What will the world think of me," said he,
" if I shut myself up to these effeminate pur-
suits and enjoyments, and shun those dangers
and toils which other men consider it their
highest honour to share ? What will my fellow-
citizens think of me, and how shall I appear in
the eyes of my wife ? She will-despise me."
Croesus then explained to his son the reason
why he had been so careful to avoid exposing
him to danger. He related to him the dream
which had alarmed him. It is on that ac-
count," said he, that I am so anxious about
you. You are, in fact, my only son, for your
speechless brother can never be my heir."
Atys said, in reply, that he was not surprised


81





CYRUS THE GREAT.


under those circumstances, at his father's anx-
iety ; but he maintained that this was a case
to which his caution could not properly apply.
" You dreamed," he said, that I should be
killed by a weapon pointed with iron; but a
boar has no such weapon. If the dream had
portended that I was to perish by a tusk or a
tooth, you might reasonably have restrained me
from going to hunt a wild beast; but iron-
pointed instruments are the weapons of men,
and we are not going, in this expedition, to
contend with men."
The king, partly convinced, perhaps, by the
arguments which Atys offered, and partly over-
borne by the urgency of his request, finally
consented to his request and allowed him to go.
He consigned him, however, to the special care
of Adrastus, who was likewise to accompany
the expedition, charging Adrastus to keep
constantly by his side, and to watch over him
with the utmost viligance and fidelity.
The band of huntsmen was organized, the
dogs prepared, and the train departed. Very
soon afterward, a messenger came back from
the hunting ground, breathless, and with a
countenance of extreme concern and terror,
bringing the dreadful tidings that Atys was
dead. Adrastus himself had killed him. In
the ardour of the chase, while the huntsmen
bad surrounded the boar, and were each intent


82





C UCESUSO.


on his own personal danger while in close
combat with such a monster, and all were
hurling darts and javelins at their ferocious
foe, the spear of Adrastus missed its aim,
and entered the body of the unhappy prince.
He bled to death on the spot.
Soon after the messenger had made known
these terrible tidings, the hunting train, trans-
formed now into a funeral procession, appeared
bearing the dead body of the king's son, and
followed by the wretched Adrastus himself,
who was wringing his hands, and crying out
incessantly in accents and exclamations of
despair. He begged the king to kill him at
once, over the body of his son, and thus put
an end to the unutterable agony that he
endured. This second calamity was more, he
said, than he could bear. He had killed
before his own brother, and now he had mur-
dered the son of his greatest benefactor and
friend.
Crcesus, though overwhelmed with anguish,
was disarmed of all resentment at witnessing
Adrastus's suffering. He endeavoured to soothe
and quiet the agitation which the unhappy
man endured, but it was in vain. Adrastus
could not be calmed. Croesus then ordered
the body of his son to be buried with proper
honours. The funeral services were performed
with great and solemn aernmonies, and when


83





84 CYRUS THE GREAT.
the body was interred, the household of Croe-
sus returned to the palace, which was now,
in spite of all its splendour, shrouded in
gloom. That night-at midnight-Adrastus,
finding his mental anguish insupportable, re-
tired fr6m his apartment to the place where
Atys had been buried, and killed himself over
the grave.
Solon was wise in saying that he could not
tell whether wealth and grandeur were to be
accounted as happiness till he saw how they
would end. Croesus was plunged into incon-
solable grief, and into extreme dejection and
misery for a period of two years, in consequence
of this calamity, and yet this calamity was
only the beginning of the end.


CHAPTER V.
ACCESSION OF CYRUS TO THE THRONE.
WHILE Croesus had thus, on his side of
the River Halys-which was the stream that
marked the boundary between the Lydian em-
pire on the west, and the Persian and Assyrian
dominions on the east-been employed in
building up his grand structure of outward
magnificence and splendour, and in contending
within, again*e* n overwhelming tide of do-





ACCESSION. 85
mestic misery and woe, great changes had
taken place in the situation and prospects of
Cyrus. From being an artless and generous-
minded child, he had become a calculating,
ambitious, and aspiring man, and he was pre-
paring to take his part in the great public
contests and struggles of the day, with the
same eagerness for self-aggrandizement, and
the same unconcern for the welfare and hap-
piness of others, which always characterizes
the spirit of ambition and the love of power.
Cyrus, on his return to Persia, grew rapidly
in strength and stature, and soon became
highly distinguished for his personal grace, his
winning manners, and for the various martial
accomplishments which he had acquired in Me-
dia, and in which he excelled almost all his com-
panibns. He gained, as such princes always
do, a vast ascendancy over the minds of all
around him. As he advanced toward maturity,
his mind passed from its interest in games,
and hunting and athletic sports, to plans of
war, of conquest, and of extended dominion.
In the mean -time, Harpagus, though he
had, at the time when he endured the horrid
punishment which Astyages inflicted upon him,
expressed no resentment, still he had secretly
felt an extreme indignation and anger, and he
had now, for fifteen years, been nourishing
covert schemes and plans for revenge. He





CYRUS THE GREAT.


remained all this time in the court of Astyages,
and was apparently his friend. He was, how-
ever, in heart, a bitter and implacable enemy.
He was looking continually for a plan or pros=
pect which should promise some hope of af-
fording him his long-desired revenge. His
eyes were naturally turned toward Cyrus.
He kept up a communication with him so far
as it was possible, for Astyages watched very
closely what passed between the two countries,
being always suspicious of plots against his
government and crown. Harpagus, however,
contrived to evade this vigilance in some de-
gree. He made continual reports to Cyrus of
the tyranny and mis-government of Astyages,
and of the defencelessness of the realm of
Media, and he endeavoured to stimulate his
rising ambition to the desire of one day pos-
sessing for himself both the Median and
Persian throne. In fact, Persia was not then
independent of Media. It was more or less
connected with the government of Astyages, so
that Cambyses, the chief ruler of Persia,
Cyrus's father, is called sometimes a king, and
sometimes a satrap, which last title is equiva-
lent to that of viceroy or governor general.
Whatever his true and proper title may have
been, Persia was a Median dependency, and
Cyrus, therefore, in forming plans for gaining
possession of the Median throne, would con-


86





ACCESSION. 87
sider himself as rather endeavouring to rise
to the supreme command in his own native
country, than as projecting any scheme for
foreign conquest.
Harpagus, too, looked upon the subject in
the same light. Accordingly, in pushing
forward his plots toward their execution, he
operated in Media as well as Persia. He as-
certained, by diligent and sagacious, but by
very covert inquiries, who were discontented
and ill at ease under the dominion of Astyages,
and by sympathizing with and encouraging
;hem, he increased their discontent and in-
submission. Whenever Astyages, in the ex-
ercise of his tyranny, inflicted an injury
upon a powerful subject, Harpagus espoused
the cause of the injured man, condemned with
him, the intolerable oppression of the king,
and thus fixed and perpetuated his enmity.
At the same time, he took pains to collect and
to disseminate among the Medes all the infor-
mation which he could obtain favourable to
Cyrus, in respect to his talents, his character,
and his just and generous spirit, so that, at
length, the ascendancy of Astyages, through
the instrumentality of these measures, was
very extensively undermined, and the way
was rapidly becoming prepared for Cyrus's
accession to power.
During all this time, moreover, Harpagus





88 CYRUS THE GREAT.
was personally very deferential and obsequious
to Astyages, and professed an unbounded de
votedness to his interests. He maintained a
high rank at court and in the army, and Asty-
ages relied upon him as one of the most obe-
dient and submissive of his servants, without
entertaiining any suspicion whatever of his
true designs.
At length a favourable occasion arose, as
Harpagus thought, for the execution of his
plans. It was at a time when Astyages hal
been guilty of some unusual acts of tyranny
and oppression, by which be had produced ex-
tensive dissatisfaction among his people.
Harpagus communicated, very cautiously, to
the principal men around him, the designs
that he had long been forming for deposing
Astyages and elevating Cyrus in his place.
He found them favourably inclined to the
plan. The way being thus prepared, the next
thing was to contrive some secret way of com-
municating with Cyrus. As the proposal
which he was going to make was that Cyrus
should come into Media with as great a force
as he could command, and head an insurrec-
tion against the government of Astyages, it
would, of course, be death to him to have it
discovered. He did not dare to trust the
message to any living messenger, for fear of
betrayal; nor was it safe to send a letter by





ACCESSION. 89
any ordinary mode of transmission, lest the
letter should be intercepted by some of Asty-
ages's spies, and thus the whole plot be dis-
covered. He finally adopted the following
very extraordinary plan:
He wrote a letter to Cyrus, and then taking
a hare, which some of his huntsmen had
caught for him, he opened the body and con-
cealed the letter within. He then sewed up
the skin again in the most careful manner, so
that no signs of the incision should remain.
He delivered this hare, together with some
nets and other hunting apparatus, to certain
trustworthy servants, on whom he thought he
could rely, charging them to deliver the hare
into Cyrus's own hands, and to say that it
came from Harpagus, and that it was the re-
quest of Harpagus that Cyrus should open it
himself and alone. Harpagus concluded that
this mode of making the communication was
safe; for, in case the persons to whom the
hare was intrusted were to be seen by any of
the spies or other persons employed by Asty-
ages on the frontiers, they would consider
them as hunters returning from the chase with
their game, and would never think of examine -
ing the body of a hare, in the hands of such a
party, in search after a clandestine rorres-
pondence.
The plan was perfectly successful. The





90 CYRUS THE GREAT.
men passed into Persia without any suspicion.
They delivered the hare to Cyrus, with their
message. He opened the hare, and found
the letter. It was in substance as follows :

It is plain, Cyrus, that you are a favourite
of Heaven, and that you are destined to a
great and glorious career. You could not
otherwise have escaped, in so miraculous a
manner, the snares set for you in your infancy.
Astyages meditated your death, and he took
such measures to effect it as would seem to
have made your destruction sure. You were
saved by the special interposition of Heaven.
You are aware by what extraordinary inci-
dents you were preserved and discovered, and
what great and unusual prosperity has since
attended you. You know, too. what cruel
punishments Astyages inflicted upon me, for
my humanity in saving you. The time has
now come for retribution. From this time the
authority and the dominions of Astyages may
be yours. Persuade the Persians to revolt.
Put yourself at the head of an army, and
march into Media. I shall probably myself
be appointed to command the army sent out
to oppose you. If so, we will join our forces
when we meet, and I will enter your service.
I have conferred with the leading nobles in
Media, and they are all ready to espouse your




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