“Well, grandfather,” said he, “bid Sacas give me the cup, that I also may deftly pour for you to drink and thus win your favour, if I can.”
And he bade him give it. And Cyrus took the cup and rinsed it out well, exactly as he had often seen Sacas do, and then he brought and presented the goblet to his grandfather, assuming an expression somehow so grave and important, that he made his mother and Astyages laugh heartily. And Cyrus himself also with a laugh sprang up into his grandfather's lap and kissing him said: “Ah, Sacas, you are done for; I shall turn you out of your office; for in other ways,” said he, “I shall play the cupbearer better than you and besides I shall not drink up the wine myself.”
Now, it is a well known fact that the king's cupbearers, when they proffer the cup, draw off some of it with the ladle, pour it into their left hand, and swallow it down—so that, if they should put poison in, they may not profit by it.