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and was buried57 by the priests without the know
XXX. The Ægyptians affirm, that in consequence of this impiety Cambyscs became immediate \y insane, who indeed did not before appear to have the proper use of his reason. The fir st impulse of his fury was directed against Smerdis, his own brother, who had become the object of his jealousy,
. because he was the only Persian who had been able to bend the bow which the Ichthyophagi brought from Æthiopia, the breadth of two fingers. He was therefore ordered to return to Persia, where as soon as he came Cambyses saw this vision: a messenger appeared to arrive from Persia, informing him that Smerdis, seated on the royal throne, touched the heavens with his head. Cambyses was instantly struck with the apprehension that Smerdis would kill him, and seize his dominions; to prevent which he dispatched Prexafoes, a Persian, and -V *'
'one of his"most faithful adTierentsT'to put him to , ^ . death. He arrived at Susa, and destroyed Smer- -'' dis, some fay, by taking him aside whilst engaged <p yy in the diversion of the chace; others believe that he drowned him in the Red Sea; this, however, was the commencement of the calamities of Cambyses.
XXXI. The next victim of his fury was his
>7 Buried by the priests.']'—This account is contradicted by Plutarch, who tells us, that Apis having.been flain by Cambyses, was by his order exposed and devoured by dogs.—T.
D, 3 sister,
sister, who had accompanied him to Egypt. She was also his wife, which thing he thus accomplished: before this prince, no Persian had ever been known to marry his sister38; but Cambyses, being passionately fond of one of his, and knowing that there was no precedent to justify his making her his wife, assembled those who were called the royal judges j of them he desired to know whether there was any law which would permit a brother to marry his sister, if he thought proper to do so. The royal judges in Persia are men of the most approved integrity, who hold their places for life, or till they shall be convicted of some crime39,
»» Marry his sister.} ^Ingenious and learned men of all age have amused themselves with drawing a comparison betwixt the laws of Solon and Lycurgus. The following particularity affords ample room for conjecture and discussion: At Athens a man was suffered to marry his sister by the father, but forbidden to marry his sister by the mother. At Lacedæmon things were totally reversed, a man was allowed to marry his sister by the mother, and forbidden to marry his sister by the father.—See what Bayle fays on the circumstance of a man's marrying his sister, article Sarah.—T.
?» Of some crime.}—An appointment like this, manifestly leading to corruption, and the perversion of justice, prevailed in this country with respect to judges, till the reign of George the Third, when a law was passed, the wisdom of which cannot be sufficiently admired, making the judges independent of the king, his ministers, and successors. Yet, however1 this provision may in appearance diminish the strength of the executive power, the riot-act, combined with, the assistance of the standing army, which is always kept up in this country, add as much to the influence of the crown, as it may at first sight seem to have lost in prerogative. Such, however, was the opinion of judj^e Plackllone.—T,
Every thing is referred to their decision, they are the interpreters of the laws, and determine all private disputes. In answer to the enquiry of Cambuses, they replied shrewdly, though with truth, that although they could find no law which would permit a brother to marry his sister, they had discovered one which enabled a monarch of Persia to do what he pleased. In this answer the awe of Cambyses prevented their adopting literally the spirit of the Persian laws; and to secure their persons, they took care to discover what would justify him who wished to marry his sister. Cambyses, therefore, instantly married the sister whom he loved 40, and not long afterwards a second+1. The youngerof these, who accompanied him to Egypt, he put to deathv ,
XXXII^fhe manner of her death, like that of : . Smerdis, differently related. The Greeks, fay / that Cambyses made the cub of a lioness and a 'young whelp engage each other, and that this princess was present at the combat % and when this latter was vanquished, another whelp of the same litter i broke what confined it, and flew to assist the other, and that both together were too much for the young lion. Cambyses feeing this, expressed great satisfaction j but the princess burst into tears. Camby
to Whom be loved.]—Her name, according to the Scholiast of Lucian, was Atossa, who next married Smerdis, one of themagi, and afterwards Darius, son of Hystafpes.—Larcher. . ** Jfterivards a second.]—If Libanius may be credited, the - nnmt,?f rlii? lad^ was M$xoe.—Weffeling.
. D 4 ses ses observed her weep, and enquired the reason ^ she answered, that seeing one whelp assist another of the same brood, she could not but remember Smerdis,- whose death she feared nobody would revenge. For which saying, the Greeks affirm, that Cambyses put'her to death. On the contrary, if we may believe the Ægyptians, this princess was sitting at table with her husband, and took a lettuce in her hand, dividing it leaf by leaf: "Which," said lhex "seems in your eyes most agreeable, this lettuce "whole, or divided into leaves?"- He replied, ? When whole." "You,," fays she, "resemble this "lettuce, as I have divided it, for you have thus, "torn in sunder the house of Cyrus." Cajnbyses was so greatly incensed, that he threw her down, and leaped upon her; and being pregnant, she was delivered before her time, and lost her life.
XXXIII. To, such excesses in his own family was Cambyses impelled, either on account of his impious treatment of Apis, or from some other of those numerous calamities which afflict mankind. From the first hour of his birth he laboured under what by some is termed the sacred disease. It is, therefore, by no means astonishing that so great a bodily infirmity should at length.injure the mind.
XXXIV. His phrenzy, however, extended to, the other Persians. He once made a remarkable speech to Prexarpes, for whom he professed the greatest regard, who received all petitions to. the. king, and whole , son enjoyed the honourable office of' royal cup-bcarer. "What," says he, upon some occasion, "do the Persians think of me, or in what *' terms do they speak of me?" "Sir," he replied, « in all other respects they speak of you with honour; ** but it is the general opinion that you are too much ♦£ addicted to wine." "What 1" returned the prince is^^,^ anger, " I suppose they say that I drink to excess, and ,c am deprived of reason j^theTr former praise, there- // & fore, could not b&Æneere."" At some preceding nrsin period he had asked of those whom he used most familiarly, an dfof Crœsus among the rest, whether 7^4/^vtJfhey thought hev~hatt'equalled the greatness of his / j ^ v- father Cyrus. In reply they told him, that he was / the greater of the two, for that to all which Cyrus "> had possessed, he had added the empire of Egypt and of the ocean. Crœsus, who was present, did not assent to this. "Sir," said he to Cambyses, c* "in my opinion you are not equal to your father; K you have not such a son as he left behind him." Which speech of Crœsus was highly agreeable to Ji A * •■ ,Cambyses. - <r> t r
'XXXV. Remembering this, he turned with ^7 ^t <V L great anger , to Prexaspes: "You," said he, "shall "presently be witness of the truth or falsehood of * / what the Persians fay. If I hit directly through £ die heart+: your son, who stands yonder, it will
** Through the heart.]—The story of William Tell, the great deliverer of the Swiss cantons from the yoke of the Germans, may be properly introduced in this place. Grisler governed Switzerland for the Emperor Albert. He ordered William Tell,