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By these means, his good grandfather accustomed him to fatigue, and rendered his body strong and robust, qualities which were no doubt necessary to a prince, who had to suffer much in reconquering his dominions.
EARLY EDUCATION OF SESOSTRIS, KING OF EGYPT.
AMENOPHIS, King of Egypt, caused all the male
children in his kingdom, who were born on the same day as his eldest son, Sesostris, to be brought to his court. Here they were educated as if they had been his own children, and with the same care that was bestowed upon Sesostris, with whom they were brought up. He could not possibly have provided for his son more faithful ministers, nor officers who more zealously desired the success of his arms. With the view of making them great warriors, the chief part of their education was the inuring them, from their infancy, to a hard and laborious life, in order that they might one day be capable of sustaining with ease the toils of the field. They were never suffered to eat, till they had run, on foot or horseback, a considerable race. Hunting was their most common exercise, but when they were more advanced in years, the king sent them against the Arabians, in order to acquire practical
military knowledge. Here the young prince learned to bear hunger and thirst, and subdued a nation, which till then, had never been conquered: the youths educated with him, attended him in all his campaigns, and upon his father's death, he became one of the greatest conquerors that antiquity boasts.
CYRUS THE GREAT, AND HIS GRANDFATHER.
YRUS, when about twelve years old, went with his mother Mandane, on a visit to his grandfather, the King of the Medes. Astyages being at table with his daughter, and with Cyrus, and being desirous to treat the boy with all delight and pleasure, that he might the less miss what he enjoyed at home, set before him several dishes with sauces and meats of all kinds; upon which Cyrus is reported to have said, "What a deal of business and trouble, grandfather, have you at your meals, if you must reach out your hands to all these several dishes, and taste of all these kinds of meats!" "What then," said Astyages, "do not you think this entertainment much finer than what you have in Persia ?" Cyrus replied, "No, grandfather; with us we have a much plainer and readier way to get satisfied than you have; for plain bread and meat bring us to our end; but you, in order to the same end, have a deal of busi
ness upon your hands, and wandering up and down through many mazes, you at last arrive where we have long got before you." To this Astyages answered, "Well, child, if this be your opinion, eat heartily of plain meats, that you may return young and healthy home;" and at the same time he ordered to be presented to him various meats, both of the tame and wild kinds; Cyrus, when he saw this variety of meats, said, "And do you give me all these meats, grandfather, to do with them as I think fit?" "Yes, truly I do," said Astyages; then Cyrus, taking the several meats, distributed them around to the servants about his grandfather, saying to one, "This for you, because you take pains to teach me to ride: This for you, because you gave me a javelin, and I have it yet: This for you, because you serve my grandfather well: This for you, because you honour my mother" and thus he did till he had distributed all he had received. Astyages then said, " And do you give nothing to this Sacian, my cup-bearer, that I favour above all?" Cyrus answered, “For what reason is it, grandfather, that you favour this Sacian so much?" Astyages replied in a jesting way, "Do you not see how handsomely and neatly he pours me my wine?" For these cupbearers to kings perform their business very cleverly; they pour out their wine very neatly, and give the cup,
bearing it along with three fingers, and present it in such a manner, as it may best be received by the person who is to drink. "Grandfather," said Cyrus, "bid the Sacian give me the cup, that, pouring you your wine to drink, I may gain your favour if I can." Astyages bids the Sacian give him the cup; and Cyrus, taking it, is said to have washed the cup as he had observed the Sacian to do; and settling his countenance in a serious and decent manner, brought and presented the cup to his grandfather in such a manner as afforded much laughter to his grandfather and his mother. Then Cyrus, laughing out, leaped up to Astyages, and kissing him, cried out, "Oh, Sacian, you are undone; I will turn you out of your office, for I can do the business better than you." Now these cup-bearers, when they have given the cup, dip with a dish and take a little out, which pouring into their left hand they swallow; and this they do that in case they mix poison in the cup, it may be of no advantage to themselves. Therefore Astyages, in a jesting way said, " And why, Cyrus, since you have imitated the Sacian in every thing else, did you not swallow some of the wine ?" "Because truly," said he, "I was afraid there had been poison mixed in the cup; for when you feasted your friends upon your birth-day, I plainly found that he had poured you all poison." "And how, child," said
he, "did you know this?" "Truly," said he, " because I saw you all disordered in body and mind; for first, what you do not allow us boys to do, that you did yourselves, for you all bawled together, and could learn nothing of each other: Then you fell to singing very ridiculously; and without attending to the singer, you swore he sung admirably; then every one telling stories of his own strength, you rose up, and fell to dancing; but without all rule or measure, for you could not so much as keep yourselves upright. Then you all entirely forgot yourselves; you, that you were king, and they, that you were their governor. And then I discovered for the first time that you were celebrating a festival, where all were allowed to talk with equal liberty; for you never ceased talking." Astyages then said, "Does your father, child, never drink till he gets drunk?" " "No, truly," said he. "What does he then ?" Why he quenches his thirst and gets no farther harm; for, as I take it, grandfather," says he, "it is no Sacian that officiates as cup-bearer about him."