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Story tells us, that Mithridates, the famous enemy of the Romans, among other trials of skill that he instituted, proposed rewards to the greatest eater and to the stoutest [p. 220] drinker in his kingdom. He won both the prizes himself; he out-drank every man living, and for his excellency that way he was called Bacchus. But this reason for his surname is a vain fancy and an idle story; for whilst he was an infant a flash of lightning burnt his cradle, but did his body no harm, and only left a little mark on his forehead, which his hair covered when he was grown a boy; and after he came to be a man, another flash broke into his bed-chamber, and burnt the arrows in a quiver that was hanging under him; from whence his diviners presaged, that archers and light-armed men should win him considerable victories in his wars; and the vulgar gave him this name, because in those many dangers by lightning he bore some resemblance to the Theban Bacchus.

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