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fo diftinguished a preference, proved victorious at the Olympic games and other public fports. Their mother was a pricftefs of Juno, and being one day obliged to go to the temple, to which she was ufually carried in a chariot drawn by a yoke of oxen, her fons, feeing that the oxen were not brought from the field at the appointed time, yoked themselves, and drew the chariot the space of forty furlongs. This action being highly extolled by the whole nation, their mother was fo tranfported with joy, that she begged of the goddefs to reward her children with what fhe thought would prove moft advantageous to them. Having put up this petition, and offered the ufual facrifices, fhe banqueted with her fons in the temple, after which they both fell afleep, and died in that holy place.
Crofus could no longer hide his diffatiffaction at finding the condition of private men preferred to that of fo rich and powerful a prince as himself: which Solon obferving, he told him, "that it was impoffible to judge of the happiness of any man before death, and that all things ought to be measured by their end." Whereupon he was difmiffed by Crœfus, as a man whofe fame for knowledge
and experience was more to be attributed to the partiality of his countrymen than to real
However, not long after Solon's departure, Crofus was obliged to acknowledge, that his obfervations on the uncertainty of human happinefs were founded on truth: for, his favourite fon, Atys, being unfortunately killed in the chace of a wild boar, he took it fo much to heart, that he continued difconfolate for the space of two whole years; nor was it in the power of his immenfe riches, or extenfive dominion, to afford the leaft alleviation to his grief; and in this ftate of inaction he remained till the conquefts of Cyrus, and the growing power of the Perfians, roused his martial fpirit, and diverted his mind to other purfuits.
Crofus, apprehending that the great fuccefs which attended Cyrus in all his undertakings, might at laft prove dangerous to himfelf, he refolved, if poflible, to put a stop to his conquefts. For this purpofe, he formed alliances with feveral powers; and to afcertain the fuccefs which would attend his arms, had recourfe to all the oracles of any fame in Greece or Africa.
According to Herodotus, he fent ambaffadors to the oracles of Delphos, of Abe, of Phocis, of Amphiaraus, of Trophonius, of Branchis, and of Jupiter Ammon, enjoining them to propofe, each to the oracle he was to confult, and all on the same day, the following question: "What is Crafus, the fon of Alyattes king of Lydia, now doing?" What answer the other oracles returned, we find no where mentioned; but that of Delphos is faid to have answered thus: "I know the number of the fands of Lydia; the measure of the ocean: the fecrets of the filent and the dumb open to me: Ifmell the odour of a lamb and a tortoife boiling together in a brazen cauldron ; brafs is under, and brafs above the flesh."
Crofus, hearing this anfwer, adored the god of Delphos, and owned that the oracle had spoken truth; for, on the fame day that his ambaffadors confulted the oracles, he was employed in boiling together a lamb and a tortoife in a cauldron of brafs, which had a cover of the fame metal, thinking it impoffible that any but a god could know what he was doing.
Convinced, from this fortunate disclosure, of the fuperiority of the oracle of Delphos to
all others, he immediately offered to the Delphic Apollo a facrifice, confifting of three thoufand oxen; and to render him more favourable and propitious, he brought out beds of gold and filver, veffels of gold, robes of purple, and other rich apparel, and burnt them altogether, commanding the Lydians to follow his example. On this occafion fo much gold was melted down, that above an hundred tiles were made out of it, of very confiderable length and thickness. Thefe, with a golden lion weighing ten talents, together with many other rich presents, Cræfus fent to the Delphic oracle, enjoining his ambaffadors there, further to enquire whether he should undertake a war against the Perfians. The oracle returned this answer: 66 If Crafus paffes the Halys, he will put an end to a vaft empire.' This vaft empire was capable of being interpreted, either of Perfia, or of Lydia.
Crofus, hearing this answer, and not doubting in the least but that he should overturn the Persian monarchy, fent more presents to the oracle, and two ftaters of gold to each of the inhabitants of Delphos. In confideration of which, the Delphians granted Crofus and the Lydians a right to confult the oracle before any other nation, together with the first place
place in the temple, and the freedom of their city for ever.
As foon as he had made thefe prefents, Crofus fent a third time to confult the oracle, whether he fhould long enjoy the kingdom? To this he received for anfwer, "That be Should reign till a mule ruled over the Medes; which Craefus deeming impoffible, concluded that he and his pofterity were to hold the kingdom of Lydia for ever: but the oracle, as it was afterwards interpreted, by a mule meant Cyrus, whofe parents were of different nations, his mother being a Mede, and his father being a Perfian.
Relying on these fallacious anfwers, and believing himself invincible, Crœfus now marched, without waiting for the troops of his allies, into Cappadocia, which at that time belonged to the Perfians. He there encamped near the city of Sinope, on the Euxine Sea, took the city of Pteria, and laid waste all the adjacent country.
Cyrus, hearing of the enemy's motions, himself at the head of a powerful army, put and marching into Cappadocia, encamped in fight of the Lydian army. Here, after feveral fkirmishes,