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[8]

“But,” said Astyages, “are you not going to1 give any to Sacas, my cupbearer, whom I like best of all?” Now Sacas, it seems, chanced to be a handsome fellow who had the office of introducing to Astyages those who had business with him and of keeping out those whom he thought it not expedient to admit.

And Cyrus asked pertly, as a boy might do who was not yet at all shy, “Pray, grandfather, why do you like this fellow so much?”

And Astyages replied with a jest: “Do you not see,” said he, “how nicely and gracefully he pours the wine?” Now the cupbearers of those kings perform their office with fine airs; they pour in the wine with neatness and then present the goblet, conveying it with three fingers, and offer it in such a way as to place it most conveniently in the grasp of the one who is to drink.

1 Cyrus and the cupbearer

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