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ginning from the outset he went through it, speaking the truth throughout, and concluded with prayers and entreaties for pardon. 117. Astyages, when the herdsman had confessed the truth, did not concern himself much about him afterward; but attaching great blame to Harpagus, he ordered his guards to summon him; and when Astyages asked, “Harpagus, by what kind of death did you dispose of the child which I delivered to you, born of my daughter ?” Harpagus, seeing the herdsman present, had not recourse to falsehood, lest he should be detected and convicted, but said, “O king, when I had received the infant, I carefully considered how I could act according to your wish and command, and, without offending you, I might be free from the crime of murder both in your daughter's sight and in yours. I therefore acted as follows: having sent for this herdsman, I gave him the child, saying that you
had commanded him to put it to death; and in saying this I did not speak falsely, for such indeed were your orders. In this manner I delivered the infant to him, charging him to place it in some desert mountain, and to stay and watch till the child was dead, threatening the severest punishment if he should not fully carry out these injunctions. When he had executed these orders, and the child was dead, I sent some of the most trusty of my eunuchs, and by means of them beheld the body and buried it. This is the whole truth, O king, and such was the fate of the child.”
118. Thus Harpagus told the real truth; but Astyages, dissembling the anger which he felt on account of what had been done, again related to Harpagus the whole matter as he had heard it from the herdsman; and afterward, when he had repeated it throughout, he ended by saying that the child was alive and all was well. “For," he added, “I suffered much on account of what had been done regarding this child, and could not easily bear the reproaches of my daughter; therefore, since fortune has taken a more favorable turn, do you, in the first place, send your own son to accompany the boy I have recovered; and, in the next place (for I purpose to offer a sacrifice for the preservation of the child to the gods, to whom that honor is due), do you be with me at supper." 119. Harpagus, on hearing these words, when he had paid his homage, and had congratulated himself that his fault had turned to so good account, and that he was invited to
the feast under such auspicious circumstances, went to his own home, and as soon as he entered he sent his only son, who was about thirteen years of age, and bade him go to Astyages, and do whatever he should command; and then, being full of joy, he told his wife what had happened. But when the son of Harpagus arrived, having slain him and cut him into joints, Astyages roasted some parts of his flesh and boiled others, and having had them well dressed, kept them in readiness. At the appointed hour, when the other guests and Harpagus were come, tables full of mutton were placed before the rest and Astyages himself, but before Harpagus all the body of his son, except the head, the hands, and the feet; these were laid apart in a basket covered over. When Harpagus seemed to have eaten enough, Astyages asked him if he was pleased with the entertainment; and when Harpagus replied that he was highly delighted, the officers appointed for the purpose brought him the head of his son, covered up with the hands and feet, and standing before Harpagus, they bade him uncover the basket and take what he chose. Harpagus doing as they desired, and uncovering the basket, saw the remains of his son's body, but he expressed no alarm at the sight, and retained his presence of mind; whereupon Astyages asked him if he knew of what animal he had been eating. He said he knew very well, and that whatever a king did was agreeable to him. After he had given this answer he gathered the remains of the flesh and went home, purposing, as I conjecture, to collect all he could and bury it.
120. Astyages thus punished Harpagus; and then considering what he should do with Cyrus, summoned the Magi, who had formerly interpreted his dream. When they were come, Astyages asked them in what way they had interpreted his vision. They gave the same answer as before; and said that if the boy was still alive, and had not already died, he must of necessity be king. He answered them as follows: "The boy is and still survives, and while living in the country, the boys of the village made him king, and he has already performed all such things as kings really do, for he has appointed guards, door-keepers, messengers, and all other things in like manner; and now I desire to know to what do these things appear to you to tend.” The Magi answered, “If the boy be living, and has already been a king by no settled plan, you may take
courage on his account and make your mind easy, for he will not reign a second time ; for some of our predictions terminate in trifling results; and dreams, and things like them, are fulfilled by slight events." To this Astyages replied, “I too, O Magi, am very much of the same opinion, that since the child has been named king, the dream is accomplished, and that the boy is no longer an object of alarm to me; yet consider well, and carefully weigh what will be the safest course for my family and yourselves.” The Magi answered, “O king, it is of great importance to us that your empire should be firmly established, for otherwise it is alienated, passing over to this boy, who is a Persian, and we, who are Medes, shall be enslaved by Persians, and held in no account as being foreigners; whereas while you, who are of our own country, are king, we have a share in the government, and enjoy great honors at your hands. Thus, then, we must on every account provide for your safety and that of your government; and now, if we saw any thing to occasion alarm, we should tell you of it beforehand; but now, since the dream has issued in a trifling event, we ourselves take courage, and advise you to do the like, and to send the boy out of your sight to his parents in Persia.” 121. When, therefore, Astyages heard this, he was both delighted, and, having called for Cyrus, said to him, “Child, I have been unjust to you, by reason of a vain dream; but you survive by your own destiny. Now go in happiness to Persia, and I will send an escort to attend you: when you arrive there, you will find a father and mother very different from the herdsman Mitradates and his wife.”
122. Astyages, having spoken thus, sent Cyrus away, and, upon his arrival at the house of Cambyses, his parents received him; and having received him, when they heard who he was they embraced him with the greatest tenderness, having been assured that he had died immediately after his birth ; and they inquired of him by what means his life had been preserved. He told them, saying, that before he knew not, but had been very much mistaken; however, that on his road he had heard the whole case; for that till that time he believed he was the son of Astyages's herdsman. He related that he had been brought up by the herdsman's wife; and he went on constantly praising her; and Cyno was the
chief subject of his talk. His parents, having taken up this name (in order that the Persians might suppose that the child was somewhat miraculously preserved for them), spread about a report that a bitch had nourished him when ex
123. When Cyrus had reached man's estate, and proved the most manly and beloved of his equals in age, Harpagus paid great court to him, sending him presents, from his desire to be avenged on Astyages; for he did not see that he himself, who was but a private man, could be able to take vengeance on Astyages; perceiving, therefore, that Cyrus was growing up to be his avenger, he contracted a friendship with him, comparing the sufferings of Cyrus with his own. And before this he had made the following preparations. Seeing Astyages severe in his treatment of the Medes, Harpagus, holding intercourse with the chief persons of the nation, one after another, persuaded them that they ought to place him at their head, and depose Astyages. When he had effected his purpose in this respect, and all was ready, Harpagus, wishing to discover his designs to Cyrus, who resided in Persia, and having no other way left, because the roads were all guarded, contrived the following artifice. Having cunningly contrived a hare, by opening its belly, and tearing off none of the hair, he put a letter, containing what he thought necessary to write, into the body; and having sewed up the belly of the hare, he gave it with some nets to the most trusty of his servants, dressed as a hunter, and sent him to Persia; having by word of mouth commanded him to bid Cyrus, as he gave him the hare, to open it with his own hand, and not to suffer any one to be present when he did so. 124. This was accordingly done; and Cyrus, having received the hare, opened it; and finding the letter which was in it, he read it; and it was to the following purport: “Son of Cambyses, seeing the gods watch over you (for otherwise you could never have arrived at your present fortune), do you now avenge yourself on your murderer Astyages ; for as far as regards his purpose you are long since dead, but by the care of the gods and of me you survive. I suppose you have been long since informed both what was done regarding yourself, and what I suffered at the hands of Astyages because I did not put you to death, but gave you to the
herdsman. If, then, you will follow my counsel, you shall rule over the whole territory that Astyages now governs. Persuade the Persians to revolt, and invade Media; and whether I or any other illustrious Mede be appointed to command the army opposed to you, every thing will turn out as you wish; for they, on the first onset, having revolted from him, and siding with you, will endeavor to depose him. Since, then, every thing is ready here, do as I advise, and do it quickly."
125. Cyrus, having received this intelligence, began to consider by what measures he could best persuade the Persians · to revolt; and after mature consideration, he fixed upon
the following as the most proper; and accordingly he put it in practice. Having written such a letter as he thought fit, he called an assembly of the Persians, and then, having opened the letter and read it, he said that Astyages had appointed him general of the Persians: “Now,” he continued, “I require you to attend me, every man with a sickle.” Cyrus then issued such an order. Now the Persians are divided into many
tribes; and some of them Cyrus assembled together, and persuaded to revolt from the Medes; these are they upon whom the rest of the Persians are dependent: the Pasargadæ, the Maraphians, and the Maspians: of these the Pasargadæ are the most noble; among them is the family of the Achæmenidæ, from which the kings of Persia are descended. The rest are as follows: the Panthialæans, the Derusiæans, and the Germanians; these are all husbandmen : the rest are pastoral ; Daians, Mardians, Dropicians, and Sagartians. (126. When all were come with their sickles, as had been ordered, Cyrus selected a tract of land in Persia, which was overgrown with briers, and about eighteen or twenty stadia square, and directed them to clear it during the day: when the Persians had finished the appointed task, he next told them to come again on the next day, having first washed themselves. In the mean time, Cyrus, having collected together all his father's flocks and herds, had them killed and dressed, as purposing to entertain the Persian forces, and he provided wine and bread in abundance. The next day, when the Persians were assembled, he made them lie down on the turf, and feasted them; and after the repast was over, Cyrus asked them whether the treatment they had received