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33. When he spoke thus to Croesus, Cresus did not confer any favor on him, and holding him in no account, dismissed him; since he considered him a very ignorant man, because he overlooked present prosperity, and bade men iook to the end of every thing.
34. After the departure of Solon, the indignation of the gods fell heavy upon Croesus, probably because he thought himself the most happy of all men. A dream soon after vis- La ited him while sleeping, which pointed out to him the truth of the misfortunes that were about to befall him in the
person of one of his sons. For Croesus had two sons, of whom one was grievously afflicted, for he was dumb; but the other, whose name was Atys, far surpassed all the young men of his age. Now the dream intimated to Creesus that he would lose this Atys by a wound inflicted by the point of an iron weapon ; he, when he awoke, and had considered the matter with himself, dreading the dream, provided a wife for his son; and though he was accustomed to command the Lydian troops, he did not ever after send him out on that business; and causing all spears, lances, and such other weapons as men use in war, to be removed from the men's apartments, he had them laid up in private chambers, that none of them, being suspended, might fall upon
35. While Crosus was engaged with the nuptials of his son, a man oppressed by misfortune, and whose hands were polluted, a Phrygian by birth, and of royal family, arrived at Sardis. This man, having come to the palace of Croesus, sought permission to obtain purification according to the custom of the country. Cresus purified him (now the manner of expiation is nearly the same among the Lydians and the Greeks); and when he had performed the usual ceremonies, Crosus inquired whence he came, and who he was; speaking to him as follows: “Stranger, who art thou, and from what part of Phrygia hast thou come as a suppliant to my hearth? and what man or woman hast thou slain ?" The stranger answered, “Sire, I am the son of Gordius, son of Midas, and am called Adrastus; having unwittingly slain my own brother, and being banished by my father and deprived of every thing, I am come hither.” Croesus answered as follows: “You are born of parents who are our friends, and you are come to friends among whom, if you will stay, you shall want nothing; and by bearing your misfortune as lightly as possi
ble, you will be the greatest gainer." So Adrastus took up
his abode in the palace of Cræsus.
36. At this same time a boar of enormous size appeared in Mysian Olympus, and rushing down from that mountain, ravaged the fields of the Mysians. The Mysians, though they often went out against him, could not hurt him, but suffered much from him. At last deputies from the Mysians having come to Croesus, spoke as follows: “O king, a boar of enormous size has appeared in our country, and ravages our fields: though we have often endeavored to take him, we can not. We therefore earnestly beg that you would send with us your son, and some chosen youths with dogs, that we may drive him from the country.” Such was their entreaty, but Creesus, remembering the warning of his dream, answered, “Make no further mention of my son; for I shall not send him with you, because he is lately married, and that now occupies his attention; but I will send with you chosen Lydians, and the whole hunting train, and will order them to assist you with their best endeavors in driving the monster from your country." 37. Such was his answer; and when the Mysians were content with this, the son of Cræsus, who had heard of their request, came in; and when Creesus refused to send him with them, the youth thus addressed him: “Father, in time past I was permitted to signalize myself in the two most noble and becoming exercises of war and hunting; but now you keep me excluded from both, without having observed in me either cowardice or want of spirit. How will men look on me when I go or return from the forum ? What kind of man shall I appear to my fellowcitizens ? What to my newly-married wife? What kind of man will she think she has for a partner? Either suffer me, then, to go to this hunt, or convince me that it is better for me to do as you would have me.” 38. “My son,” answered Croesus, “I act thus, not because I have seen any cowardice, or any thing else unbecoming in you; but a vision in a dream appearing to me in my sleep warned me that you would be short-lived, and would die by the point of an iron weapon. On account of this vision, therefore, I hastened your marriage, and now refuse to send you on this expedition; taking care to preserve you, if by any means I can, as long as I live; for you are my only son; the other, who is deprived of his hearing, I consider as lost.” 39. The youth answered, “You
are not to blame, my father, if after such a dream you take so much care of me; but it is right for me to explain that which you do not comprehend, and which has escaped your notice in the dream, You say the dream signified that I should die by the point of an iron weapon. But what hand, or what pointed iron weapon has boar, to occasion such fears in you? Had it said I should lose my life by a tusk, or something of like nature, you ought then to have done as you now do; whereas it said by the point of a weapon; since, then, we have not to contend against men, let me go.” 40. “You have surpassed me,” replied Creesus, “in explaining the import of the dream; therefore, being overcome by you, I change my resolution, and permit you to go to the chase.”
41. Creesus, having thus spoken, sent for the Phrygian Adrastus, and, when he came, addressed him as follows: “ Adrastus, I purified you when smitten by a grievous misfortune, which I do not upbraid you with, and have received you into my house, and supplied you with every thing necessary. Now, therefore (for it is your duty to requite me with kindness, since I have first conferred a kindness on you), I beg you would be my son's guardian, when he goes to the chase, and take care that no skulking villains show themselves in the way to do him harm. Besides, you ought to go for your own sake, where you may signalize yourself by your exploits ; for this was the glory of your ancestors, and you are, besides, in full vigor.” 42. Adrastus answered, “On no other account, sire, would I have taken part in this enterprise; for it is not fitting that one in my unfortunate circumstances should join with his prosperous compeers, nor do I desire to do so; and, indeed, I have often restrained myself. Now, however, since you urge me, and I ought to oblige you, for I am bound to requite the benefits you have conferred on me, I am ready to do as you desire; and rest assured that your son, whom you bid me take care of, shall, as far as his guardian is concerned, return to you uninjured.”
43. When Adrastus had made this answer to Croesus, they went away, well provided with chosen youths and dogs: and, having arrived at Mount Olympus, they sought the wild beast, and having found him and encircled him around, they hurled their javelins at him. Among the rest, the stranger, the same that had been purified of murder, named Adrastus,
throwing his javelin at the boar, missed him, and struck the son of Creesus: thus he being wounded by the point of the lance, fulfilled the warning of the dream. Upon this, some one ran off to tell Croesus what had happened, and, having arrived at Sardis, gave him an account of the action, and of his son's fate. 44. Croesus, exceedingly distressed by the death of his son, lamented it the more bitterly, because he fell by the hand of one whom he himself had purified from blood; and vehemently deploring his misfortune, he invoked Jove the Expiator, attesting what he had suffered by this stranger. He invoked, also, the same deity, by the name of the god of hospitality and private friendship: as the god of hospitality, because, by receiving a stranger into his house, he had unaawares fostered the murderer of his son; as the god of private friendship, because, having sent him as a guardian, he found him his greatest enemy.
45. After this, the Lydians approached, bearing the corpse, and behind it followed the murderer. He, having advanced in front of the corpse, delivered himself up to Croesus, stretching forth his hands and begging of him to kill him upon it; then relating his former misfortune, and how, in addition to that, he had destroyed his purifier, and that he ought to live no longer. When Cresus heard this, though his own affliction was so great, he pitied Adrastus, and said to him, “You have made me full satisfaction by condemning yourself to die. But you are not the author of this misfortune, except as far as you were the involuntary agent; but that god, whoever he was, that long since foreshowed what was about to happen.” Croesus therefore buried his son as the dignity of his birth required; but Adrastus, son of Gordius, son of Midas, who had been the murderer of his own brother, and the murderer of his purifier, when all was silent round the tomb, judging himself the most heavily afflicted of all men, killed himself on the tomb. But Croesus, bereaved of his son, continued disconsolate for two years.
46. Some time after, the overthrow of the kingdom of Astyages, son of Cyaxares, by Cyrus, son of Cambyses, and the growing power of the Persians, put an end to the grief of Crosus; and it entered into his thoughts whether he could by any means check the growing power of the Persians before they became formidable. After he had formed this
purpose, he determined to make trial as well of the oracles in
Greece as of that in Libya; and sent different persons to different places, some to Delphi, some to Abæ of Phocis, and some to Dodona; others were sent to Amphiaraus and Trophonius, and others to Branchidæ of Milesia: these were the Grecian oracles to which Cræsus sent to consult. He sent others also to consult that of Ammon in Libya. And he sent them different ways, designing to make trial of what the oracles knew ; in order that if they should be found to know the truth, he might send a second time to inquire whether he should venture to make war on the Persians. 47. He dispatched them to make trial of the oracles with the following orders: that, computing the days from the time of their departure from Sardis, they should consult the oracles on the hundredth day, by asking what Crosus, son of Alyattes and king of the Lydians, was then doing; and that they should bring him the answer of each oracle in writing. Now what were the answers given by the other oracles is mentioned by none; but no sooner had the Lydians entered the temple of Delphi to consult the god, and asked the question enjoined them, than the Pythian thus spoke in hexameter verse: “I know the number of the sands, and the measure of the sea; I understand the dumb, and hear him that does not speak; the savor of the hard-shelled tortoise boiled in brass with the flesh of lamb strikes on my senses ; brass is laid beneath it, and brass is put over it.” 48. The Lydians, having down this answer of the Pythian, returned to Sardis. And when the rest, who had been sent to other places, arrived bringing the answers, Cresus, having opened each of them, examined their contents; but none of them pleased him. When, however, he heard that from Delphi, he immediately adored it, and approved of it, being convinced that the oracle at Delphi alone was a real oracle, because it had discovered what he had done. For when he had sent persons to consult the different oracles, watching the appointed day, he had recourse to the following contrivance: having thought of what it was impossible to discover or uess at, he cut up a tortoise and a lamb, and boiled them himself together in a brazen caldron, and put on it a cover of brass. 49. Such, then, was the answer given to Croesus from Delphi: as regards the answer of the oracle of Amphiaraus, I can not say what answer it gave to the Lydians, who performed the accustomed rites at the