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After the people of Cirrha had been besieged for a long time because they had attempted to plunder the oracle,Delphi. About 590 B.C. some of the Greeks returned to their native cities, but others of them inquired of the Pythian priestess and received the following response: Ye shall not seize and lay in ruins the tower Of yonder city, before the plashing wave Of dark-eyed Amphitrite inundates My sacred precinct, here on these holy cliffs. Const. Exc. 4, p. 286.
Croesus, the king of the Lydians, under the guise of sending to Delphi, dispatched Eurybatus of Ephesus to the Peloponnesus, having given him money with which to recruit as many mercenaries as he could from among the Greeks. But this agent of Croesus went over to Cyrus the Persian and revealed everything to him. Consequently the wickedness of Eurybatus became a by-word among the Greeks, and to this day whenever a man wishes to cast another's knavery in his teeth he calls him a Eurybatus.Const. Exc. 2 (1), p. 220.
Although evil men may avoid for the moment punishment at the hands of those whom they have wronged, yet the evil report of them is preserved for all time and punishes them so far as possible even after death. We are told that Croesus, on the eve of his war with Cyrus, dispatched ambassadors to Delphi to inquire by what means it would be possible for his sonHe was dumb from birth. to speak; and that the Pythian priestess replied: O thou of Lydian stock, o'er many king, Thou great fool Croesus, never wish to hear Within thy halls the much-desired sound Of thy son speaking. Better far for thee That he remain apart; for the first words He speaks shall be upon a luckless day. Hdt. 1.85 recounts that the boy first spoke on the day the Persians took Sardis. A man should bear good fortune with moderation and not put his trust in the successes such as fall to human beings, since they can take a great shift with a