CYRUS the Great was brought up at the court of Persia, where his father was king.  History tells us that he lived on the plainest diet, bread and creases, and his drink was pure water; so that he became a strong, rugged man.  It is also said that he was the wisest and most magnanimous king mentioned in profane history, and that he was kind and gentle to all. When he was quite young, he went to visit his grandfather, Astyages, king of Media.  While there, he one day performed the office of cupbearer, and his grandfather commended him on his manner of offering the cup, etc., and said, "Nobody can serve me with a better grace; but you forgot to taste the wine."

"No," said Cyrus, "it is not through forgetfulness that I omitted that ceremony, but because I apprehended there was poison in the liquor."

"Poison! How could you think so?" exclaimed the king.

"Yes, poison," replied Cyrus;" for not long ago, at an entertainment, you gave to the lords of your court, after they had drunk a little of that liquor, I perceived their heads were turned. They sung, made a noise, and talked they did not know what. You yourself seemed to have forgotten that you were king, and that they were subjects.

And when you would have danced, you could not stand upon your legs."

"Why," said the king, "how is it at your father's, when he drinks?"

"Why," said Cyrus, "when he has drunk, his thirst is quenched, and that is all." We are told that, after fighting great battles and conquering their enemies, the Persian soldiers would feast on bread and creases. By this simple manner of living, they obtained great physical advantage over their enemies. But after establishing the great kingdom of Medo-Persia, Cyrus gave way to the voluptuousness and luxuries of the times. He died at the age of seventy years.  Thus ended the life of a remarkable man—one mentioned by name by God before he was born.