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desire to establish an equality in Persia, rejected, he spoke thus : "? As it seems determined that Persia . shall be governed by one person, whether chofen ! among ourfelves by lot, or by the suffrages of the “ people, or by some other method, you shall have « no opposition from me: I am equally averse to " govern or obey. I therefore yield, on condition ☆ that no one of you shall ever reign over me, or
any of my pofterity.” The rest of the conspirators affenting to this, he made no farther opposition, but retired from the assembly. At the prefent period this is the only family in Persia which retains its liberty, for all that is required of them is not to tranfgress the laws of their country,
LXXXIV. The remaining fix noblemen continued to consult about the most equitable mode of clecting a king; and they severally determined,
natural; and which would be, if always vested in proper hands, the best: but the abuse of absolute power is so probable, and so destructive, that it is necessary by all means to guard against it. Aristotle inclines to the opinion of those, who esteem a mixed government the best that can be devised. Of this they confidered the Lacedæmonian constitution a good specimen ; the kings connecting it with monarchy, the fenate with oligarchy, and the ephori and syssytia with 'democracy.--Arist. Pol. 1. ii. cap. 4. Modern speculators on this subject, with one accord allow the conftitution of Great Britain, as it stands at present, to be a much more judicious and perfect mịxture of the three powers, which are so contrived as to check and counterbalance each other, without impeding that action of the whole machine, which is necessary to the well-being of the people. The sixth book" of Polybius opens with a differıation on the different forms of government, which deserves attention.--T.
that if the choice should fall upon any of themselves, Otanes himself and all his posterity should be annually presented with a Median habit 95, as
05 Presented with a Median habit.]-The custom of giving vests or robes in Oriental countries, as a mark of honour and distinction, may be traced to the remotest antiquity, and still prevails. On this subject the following passage is given, from a manufcript of Sir John Chardin, by Mr. Harmer, in his Ob, fervations on Passages of Scripture.
s The kings of Persia have great wardrobes, where there are always many hundreds of habits, ready designed for prefents, and forted. They pay great attention to the quality or merit of those to whom these vestments or habits are given; thofe that are given to the great men have as much difference as there is between the degrees of honour they possess in the ftate."
All modern travellers to the East speak of the same custom. We find also in the Old Testament various examples of a fimilar kind. Chardin also, in his account of the coronation of Solyman the Third, king of Persia, has the following pañage:
“ His majesty, as every grandee had paiờ him his submisiions, honoured him with a calate or royal vest. This Persian word, according to its etymology, signifies entire, perfect, ace' complished, to signify either the excellency of the habit, or the dignity of him that wears it; for, it is an infallible mark of the particular esteem which the sovereign has for the person to whom he sends it, and that he has free liberty to approach his person ; for when the kingdom has changed its lord and master, the grandees who have not received this vest dare not prea fuime to appear before the king without hazard of their lives.”
This Median habit was made of filk; it was indeed, among the elder Greeks, only another name for a filken robe, as we learn from Procopius, Tru Enter Trucs per Ea22,095 Mudian suaden, vur de Ençouru ovouce souciv. The remainder of this passage, lite
rally translated, is, “and all that present which in Persia is most • honourable,” This gift is fully explained by. Xenophon in the
well as with every other distinction magnificent in itfelf, and deemed honourable in Persia. They dečreed him this. tribute of respect, as he had first agitated the matter, and called them together. These were their determinations respecting Otanes; as to themfelyes, they mutually agreed that access to the royal palace should be permitted to each of them, without the ceremony of a previous messenger 96, except when the king should happen to be in bed with his wife. They also resolved, that the king should marry no woman but from the family of one the conspirators. The mode they adopted to elect a king was this:--They agreed to meet on horseback at sun-rise, in the vicinity of the city, and to make him king whose horse should neigh the first.
· LXXXV. Darius had a groom, whose name was bares, a man of considerable ingenuity, for whom on his return home he immediately sent, “ Ebares,” said he, “it is determined that we are to « meet at sun-rise on horseback, and that he among
first book of the Anabasis; it consisted of a horse with a gilt bridle, a golden collar, bracelets, and a sword of the kind pecu. liar to Media, called acinacea, besides the filken veft. His ex. pressions are so similar to those of Herodotus, as to satisfy us that these specific articles properly made up the gift of honour.-T.
90 Previous messenger. }.Vifits to the great in Eastern coun, tries are always preceded by messengers, who carry presents, differing in value according to the dignity of the person who is to receive them. Without some present or other no visit mult be made, nor favour expected.-T.
« us shall be king, whose horse shall first neigh. « Whatever acuteness you have, exert it on this « occasion, that no one but myself may attain this “ honour.” “Sir,” replied bares, “ if your be
ing a king or not depend on what you say, be
not afraid; I have a kind of charm, which will “ prevent any one's being preferred to yourfelf." 45 Whatever,” replied Darius, “ this charm may " be, it must be applied without delay, as the “ morning will decide the matter.” (Ebares, therefore, as soon as evening came, conducted to the place before the city a mare, to..which he knew the horse of Darius was particularly inclined: he afterwards brought the horse there, and after carrying him feveral times round and near the mare, he finally permitted him to cover her. "
LXXXVI. The next morning as soon as it was light the six Persians assembled, as had been agreed, on horseback. After riding up and down at the piace appointed, they came at length to the spot where the preceding evening the mare had been brought; here the horse of Darius instantly began to neigh, which, though the sky was remarkably clear, was instantly succeeded by thunder and lightning. The heavens thus seemed to favour, and indeed to act in concert with Darius.' Immediately the other noblemen dismounted, and. falling at his feet hailed him kingo,
. 97 Hailed him king. )
Darius was about twenty years old
LXXXVII. Such, according to some, was the stratagem of Ebares; others, however, relate the matter differently, and both accounts prevail in Persia. These last affirm, that the groom having rubbed his hand against the private parts of the mare, afterwards folded it up in his veft, and that in the morning, as the horses were about to depart, he drew it out from his garment, and touched the nostrils of the horse of Darius, and that this scent instantly made him snort and neigh.
LXXXVIII. Darius the fon of Hyftafpes 98
when Cyrus died. Cambyses reigned seven years and five manths ; Smerdis Magus was only seven months on the throne ; thus Darius was about twenty-nine years old when he came ta the crown.-Larcher.
This circumstance of thunder and lightning from a cloudless sky, is often mentioned by the ancients, and was considered by them as the highest omen. Horace has left an ode upon it, as a circumstance which staggered his Epicurean notions, and impressed him with awe and veneration, 1. i. Od. 34; and the commentators give us instances enough of similar accounts. With us there is no thunder without clouds, except such as is too distant to have much effect; it may be otherwise in hot climates, where the state of the air is much more electrical.-7.
95 Darius the son of Hystafpes.] .-Archbishop Usher holdeth that it was Darius Hystafpes that was the king Ahasuerus, who married Ether; and that Atoffa was the Vashti, and Antystone the Either of the holy scriptures. But Herodotus positively teils us, that Antystone was the daughter of Cyrus, and therefore she could not be Esther; and that Atoffa had four fons by Darius, besides daughters, all born to him after he was king i and therefore fhe could not be that queen Vashti, who was divorced from the king her husband in the third year of his reign, por ke that Ahasuerus that divorced her.----Prideaux.