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[27]

Now, if we may relate a sentimental story, we1 are told that when Cyrus was going away and they were taking leave of one another, his kinsmen bade him good-bye, after the Persian custom, with a kiss upon his lips. And that custom has survived, for so the Persians do even to this day. Now a certain Median gentleman, very noble, had for some considerable time been struck with Cyrus's beauty, and when he saw the boy's kinsmen kissing him, he hung back. But when the rest were gone, he came up to Cyrus and said: “Am I the only one of your kinsmen, Cyrus, whom you do not recognize as such?”

“What,” said Cyrus, “do you mean to say that you, too, are a kinsman?”

“Certainly,” said he.

“That is the reason, then, it seems,” said Cyrus, “why you used to stare at me; for if I am not mistaken, I have often noticed you doing so.”

“Yes,” said he, “for though I was always desirous of coming to you, by the gods I was too bashful.”

“Well, you ought not to have been—at any rate, if you were my kinsman,” said Cyrus; and at the same time he went up and kissed him.

1 A sentimental story

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