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Astyages went and consulted the Magi on the discovery he had made, revealing to them at the same time the purport of the dream which had given such trouble to his mind. The Magi, ingenious in behalf of humanity, declared that, in their opinion, all that the dream imported had been already realized, by the circumstance of Cyrus having played the King in sport. This interpretation lulled the fears of Astyages; he became reconciled to the boy's existence; and after acknowledging him as his grandson, sent him into Persia to his father.
But mark the sequel ! Ere many years had elapsed, Cyrus stimulated the Persians to revolt, overcame Astyages, his grandfather, and united the empire of the Medes to that of the Persians.
In a visit which Cyrus made to his grandfather, shortly after his royal descent was recognized, Astyages was much charmed with his sprightliness and wit, and gave a sumptuous entertainment on his account, at which there was a profusion of every thing that was nice and delicate. All this exquisite cheer and magnificent preparation, Cyrus looked upon with great indifference. “The Persians,” said he to the king, “ have a much shorter way to appease their hunger ; a little bread and a few cresses, with them answers the purpose.” Sacras, the king's cupbearer, displeased Cyrus; and Astyages praising him on account of the wonderful dexterity with which he served him; “ is that all, sir ?" replied Cyrus ; “if that be sufficient to merit your favour, you shall see I will quickly obtain it; for I will take upon me to serve you better than he.” Immediately Cyrus was equipped as a cupbearer, and very gracefully presented the cup to the king, who embraced him with great fondness, saying, “I am mightily well pleased, my son; nobody can serve with a better grace; but you have forgot one essential ceremony, which is that of tasting,” “No” replied Cyrus, “it was not through forgetfulness that I omitted that ceremony." "Why, then,” said Astyages, “ for what reason did you omit it ?" “ Because I apprehended there was poison in the liquor." "Poison, child! how could you think so ?” “ Yes poison, sir ; for not long ago, at an entertainment you gave to the lords of your court, after the guests had drank a little of that liquor, I perceived all their heads were turned ; they sung, made a noise, and talked they did not know what; you yourself seemed to have forgot that you were a king; and they that they were subjects; and when you would have danced, you were unable to stand.” Why,” said Astyages, " have you never seen the same thing happen to your father ?” “No, never, “ What, then? how is it with him he drinks?” “Why, when he has drank, his thirst is quenched, and that is all."
” said Cyrus.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT. The celebrated quarrel between Macedon and Persia, we are told, originated in Alexander's refusing to pay the tribute of golden eggs, to which his father had agreed. “ The bird that laid the eggs has flown to the other world,” is reported to have been the laconic answer of the Macedonian prince to the Persian envoy, who demanded the tribute. After this, Darab (Darius) sent another ambassador to the court of the Grecian monarch, whom he charged to deliver to him a bat, a ball, and a bag of very small seed, called Gunjad. The bat and ball were meant to throw a ridicule on Alexander's youth, being fit amusement for bis age ; the bag of seed was intended as an emblem of the Persian army, being innumerable. Alexander took the bat and ball into his hand, and said,
" This is the emblem of my power, with which I strike the ball of your monarch's dominion, and this fowl (he had ordered one to be brought) will soon shew you what a morsel your numerous army will prove to mine. The grain was instantly eaten up; and Alexander gave a wild melon to the envoy, desiring him to tell his sovereign what he had heard and seen, and to give him that fruit, the taste of which would enable him to judge of the bitter fare which awaited him.
CATO OF UTICA. Plutarch mentions a singular instance of the early manifestation of that bold and fearless spirit which distinguished this illustrious Roman. The Italian allies of Rome having demanded admission to the privilege of citizenship, Pompedius Silo, one of their depaties for urging this claim, was a guest at the house of Drusus, the maternal uncle of Cato; and in a jocose manner asked young Cato to recommend his suit to his uncle. The child was silent, but expressed by his looks that he had no inclination to comply with the request. Pompedius renewed his solicitations, but was unable to prevail. At length he took up the infant Cato in his arms, and carrying him to the window, threatened to throw him over if he persisted in his refusal. His fear was as unavailing as entreaty. Pompedius, on setting him down in the room, exclaimed, “ What an happiness it is for Italy that thou art but a child ! for if thou wert of age, we should not have a single vote.”
At the age of fourteen, Cato was introduced by his tutor, Sarpedon, to the house of Sylla, the Dictator, which, on account of the proscriptions and cruelties of that tyrant, was a scene of torture and of blood. When the youth observed the heads of several noble victims who had been murdered, carried out, and the by-standers secretly sighing at the horrid spectacle, he asked his tutor, “ Why nobody killed such a tyrant?" “ It is,” replied he, “because he is still more feared than hated.” Cato exclaimed, “Oh that I had a sword, that I might kill him, and deliver my country from slavery !”.
Notwithstanding the youthful sternness of Cato's character, he was not unsusceptible of tender emotions, nor destitute of kind affections. Never was fraternal love stronger than that which he bore to his brother Серіо.
When any one asked him whom he loved best, he would answer,
My brother Caepio.” And when farther asked, whom next he most loved, he would repeat “ Copio ;” and so to each successive question of the same sort, till his interrogators ceased to inquire any
farther. As he grew to manhood, he gave many strong confirmations of his brotherly attachment. He never supped without Caepio ; never went any journey without him ; never even walked in the market place without him.
“ And wheresoe'er we went, like Juno's swans, Still we went coupled, and inseparable.”
When Coepio was at length cut off by death, grief seemed to triumph over all Cato's philosophy. Tears flowed profusely down his cheeks, while he embraced the dead body; and he fell into a state of dejection and melancholy, from which it was a long time ere he recovered.
NOBLE BROTHERLY CONTEST. The Emperor Augustus having taken Adiatoriges, a Prince of Cappadocia, together with his wife and children, in war, and led them to Rome in triumph, gave orders that the father and the elder of the brothers should be slain. The ministers of execution, on coming to the place of confinement, inquired which was the eldest ? On this, there arose an earnest contention between the two young princes, each of them affirming himself to be the elder, that by his own death he might preserve the life of his brother. When they had continued this heroic and fraternal emulation for some time, the afflicted mother with much difficulty prevailed on her son Dytentus, that he would permit his younger brother to die in his stead, hoping, that by him she might still be sustained. When Augustus was told of this example of brotherly love, he regretted his severity, and gave an honourable support to the mother and her surviving son.
“ I have seen,
When, after execution, judgment hath