But when he was come to Alexaudria, he delivered his letter to Arion,
who asked him how many talents he would have (hoping he would ask for no
more than ten, or a little more); he said he wanted a thousand talents.
At which the steward was angry, and rebuked him, as one that intended to
live extravagantly; and he let him know how his father had gathered together
his estate by painstaking, and resisting his inclinations, and wished him
to imitate the example of his father: he assured him withal, that he would
give him but ten talents, and that for a present to the king also. The
son was irritated at this, and threw Arion into prison. But when Arion's
wife had informed Cleopatra of this, with her entreaty, that she would
rebuke the child for what he had done, (for Arion was in great esteem with
her,) Cleopatra informed the king of it. And Ptolemy sent for Hyrcanus,
and told him that he wondered, when he was sent to him by his father, that
he had not yet come into his presence, but had laid the steward in prison.
And he gave order, therefore, that he should come to him, and give an account
of the reason of what he had done. And they report that the answer he made
to the king's messenger was this: That "there was a law of his that
forbade a child that was born to taste of the sacrifice, before he had
been at the temple and sacrificed to God. According to which way of reasoning
he did not himself come to him in expectation of the present he was to
make to him, as to one who had been his father's benefactor; and that he
had punished the slave for disobeying his commands, for that it mattered
not Whether a master was little or great: so that unless we punish such
as these, thou thyself mayst also expect to be despised by thy subjects."
Upon hearing this his answer he fell a laughing, and wondered at the great
soul of the child.