Page:The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 (1890).djvu/156

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ARTAXERXES.}}


THE NINTH NOUELL.

Water offered of good will to Artaxerxes King of Persia, and the lilerall rewarde of the Kinge to the giuer.

THERE was a certaine Perfian called Sinetas, that farre from his owne houfe mette king Artaxerxes, and had not wherwith to pre- sent him. for it was an order amonges the Perfians, inftituted by law, that euery man which met the king, fhould giue him a pre- sent. Whersore the poore man because he would not negle&e his dutie, ranne to a Riuer called Cyrus, and taking both his hands full of water, fpake to the king in this wife. " I befeech God that your Maiestie may euermore raigne amonges vs. As occafion of the place, and mine ability at this inftant ferueth, I am come to honour your maiefty, to the intent you may not pafle without some prefent, for which cause I giue vnto you this water. But if your grace had ones encamped your selfe, I would go home to my houfe, for the beft and dearest thinges I haue to honour your Maiestie withall. And peraduenture the fame mail not be much inferiour to the giftes, which other now do giue you." Artaxerxes delighted with this fact, fayde vnto him. "Goode fellowe I thancke thee for this prefente, I aflure thee, the fame is so acceptable vnto me, as the most precious gift of the worlde. first, because water is the beft of all thinges, then because the Riuer, out of the which thou diddest take it, doth beare the name Cyrus. Wheresore I commaunde thee to come besore me when I am at my campe." In speakinge those wordes, he required his Eunuches to take the prefent, and to put it into a cuppe of gold. The king when he was lodged in his pauilion, sent to the man a Perfian robe, a Cuppe of Golde, and a thoufande Darices, (which was a coigne amonges the Perfians, wherupon was the Image of Darius) willinge the mef- fenger to faye vnto him, these wordes. " It hath pleafed the king, that thou fhouldest delighte thy selfe, and make mery with this gold, because thou diddest exhilarate his minde, in not fuffering him to pafle, without the honour of a prefent: but as neceflitie


ARTAXERXES.