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figure resembled Apollo's, and whose great youth proved that he had scarcely outgrown the Pædanomos.
“The youth and the man stood opposite each other in their nude beauty, glistening with golden oil, like a panther and a lion preparing for combat. Young Lysander raised his hands before the first attack, adjured the gods, and cried, “For my father, my honor, and Sparta's fame!' The Crotonian gave the youth a condescending smile, like that of a dainty eater before he begins to open the shell of a langusta.
“ Now the wrestling began. For a long while neither could take hold of the other. The Crotonian tried with his powerful, almost irresistible, arms to seize his adversary, who eluded the terrible grasp of the athlete's clawlike hands. The struggle for the embrace lasted long, and the immense audience looked on, silent and breathless. Not a sound was heard, save the panting of the combatants, and the singing of the birds in the Altis. At last — at last, with the most beautiful movement I ever saw, the youth was able to clasp his adversary. For a long while Milo exerted himself in vain to free himself from the firm hold of the youth. The perspiration caused by the terrible contest amply watered the sand of the Stadium.
“The excitement of the spectators increased more and more, the silence became deeper and deeper, the encouraging cries grew rarer,
groans of the two combatants waxed more and more audible. At last the youth's strength gave way.
An encouraging cry from thousands of throats cheered him on; he collected his strength with a superhuman effort, and tried to throw himself again on his adversary, but the Crotonian had noticed his momentary exhaustion, and pressed the youth in an irresistible embrace. A stream of black blood gushed from the beautiful lips of the youth, who sank lifeless to the earth from the wearied arms of the giant. Democedes, the most celebrated physician of our days, you Samians must have seen him at Polycrates' court, hurried up, but no art could help the happy youth, for he was dead.
“ Milo was obliged to resign the wreath, and the fame of the youth will resound through all Greece. Truly, I would rather be dead like Lysander, son of Aristomachus, than live like Callias, to know an inactive old age in a strange land. All Greece, represented by its best men, accompanied the body of the beautiful youth to the funeral pyre, and his statue is to be placed in the Altis, beside those of Milo of Croton, and Praxidamas of Ægina.
“ Finally, the heralds proclaimed the award of the judges. •Sparta shall receive a victor's wreath for the dead man, for it was not Milo but death who conquered noble Lysander, and he who goes forth unconquered after a two hours' struggle with the strongest of the Greeks, is well deserving of the olive branch.
Callias was silent for a minute. In the excitement of describing these events, more precious than aught else to the Greek heart, he had paid no attention to those present, but had stared straight before him while the images of the combatants passed before his mind's eye. Now he looked round, and saw, to his surprise, that the gray-haired man with the wooden leg, who had already attracted his attention, although he did not know him, had hidden his face in his hands, and was shedding scalding tears.
Rhodopis stood on his right, Phanes on his left, and everyone looked at the Spartan as though he were the hero of the story.
The quick Athenian saw at once that the old man was closely related to one of the Olympic victors ; but when he heard that Aristomachus was the father of those two glorious Spartan brothers, whose beautiful forms still haunted him like visions from the world of the gods, he looked with envious admiration on the sobbing old man, and his clear eyes filled with tears, which he did not try to keep back. In those days men wept whenever they hoped that the solace of tears would relieve them. In anger, in great joy, in every affliction, we find strong heroes weeping, while, on the other hand, the Spartan boy would let himself be severely scourged, even to death, at the altar of Artemis Orthia, in order to gain the praise of the men.
For a time all the guests remained silent and respected the old man's emotion. At length Jeshua, the Israelite, who had abstained from all food which was prepared in Greek fashion, broke the silence and said in broken Greek :
“Weep your fill, Spartan. I know what it is to lose a son. Was I not forced, eleven years ago, to lay a beautiful boy in the grave in a strange land, by the waters of Babylon where my people pined in captivity? If my beautiful child had lived but one year longer, he would have died at home, and we could have laid him in the grave of his fathers. But Cyrus the Persian, may Jehovah bless his descendants, freed us a year too late and I must grieve doubly for my beloved child, because his grave is dug in the land of Israel's foes. Is anything more terrible than to see our children, our best treasures, sink in the grave before us?
Adonai have mercy on me; to lose such an excellent child as your son, just when he had become a famous man, must be the greatest of griefs.”
The Spartan removed his hands from his stern face and said, smiling anidst his tears : “You are mistaken, Phænician, I weep with joy and I would gladly have lost my second son, had he died like Lysander."
The Israelite, horrified at this statement, which seemed wicked and unnatural to him, contented himself with shaking his head in disapproval; the Greeks overwhelmed the old man, whom they all envied, with congratulations. Intense joy seemed to have made Aristomachus many years younger, and he said to Rhodopis : “Truly, friend, your house is a blessed one for me; this is the second gift I have received from the gods since I entered it."
“ And what was the first?" asked the matron.
“ The gods permitted you to become acquainted with Rhodopis to-day. But what about the oracle ?"
“May I tell our friends?” asked the Delphian.
Aristomachus nodded consent, and Phryxus again read the answer of the oracle:
“When from the snow-clad heights descend the men in their armor,
Scarcely had Phryxus read the last word, when Callias, the Athenian, rose gracefully from his seat and cried : “ The fourth gift, the fourth gift of the gods, you shall also receive from me in this house. Know, then, that I kept my strangest tidings till last. The Persians are coming to Egypt."
All the guests sprang from their seats except the Sybarite, and Callias could scarcely answer all their questions.
“ Patience, patience, friends,” he cried at last ; " let me tell