“He did not attempt to prevent Psamtik from seizing the children of Phanes in Rhodopis’ house, and actually allowed his son to enter into a negotiation with the descendants of those two hundred thousand soldiers, who emigrated to Ethiopia in the reign of Psamtik I. on account of the preference shown to the Greek mercenaries. In case they declared themselves willing to return to their native land, the Greek mercenaries were to have been dismissed. The negotiation failed entirely, but Psamtik’s treatment of the children of Phanes has given bitter offence to the Greeks. Aristomachus threatened to leave Egypt, taking with him ten thousand of his best troops, and on hearing that Phanes’ son had been murdered at Psamtik’s command applied for his discharge. From that time the Spartan disappeared, no one knows whither; but the Greek troops allowed themselves to be bribed by immense sums and are still in Egypt.
“Amasis said nothing to all this, and looked on silently from the midst of his prayers and sacrifices, while your brother was either offending every class of his subjects or attempting to pacify them by means beneath the dignity of a ruler. The commanders of the Egyptian and Greek troops, and the governors of different provinces have all alike assured me that the present state of things is intolerable. No one knows what to expect from this new ruler; he commands today the very thing, which he angrily forbade the day before. Such a government must soon snap the beautiful bond, which has hitherto united the Egyptian people to their king.
“Farewell, my child, think of your poor friend, your mother; and forgive your parents when you hear what they have so long kept secret from you. Pray for Tachot, and remember us to Croesus and the young Persians whom we know. Give a special message too from Tachot to Bartja; I beg him to think of it as the last legacy of one very near death. If you could only send her some proof, that he has not forgotten her! Farewell, once more farewell and be happy in your new and blooming home.”
Sad realities follow bright anticipations nearly as surely as a rainy day succeeds a golden sunrise. Nitetis had been so happy in the thought of reading the very letter, which poured such bitter drops of wormwood into her cup of happiness.
One beautiful element in her life, the remembrance of her dear home and the companions of her happy childhood, had been destroyed in one moment, as if by the touch of a magician’s wand.
She sat there in her royal purple, weeping, forgetful of everything but her mother’s grief, her father’s misfortunes and her sister’s illness. The joyful future, full of love, joy, and happiness, which had been beckoning her forward only a few minutes before, had vanished. Cambyses’ chosen bride forgot her waiting, longing lover, and the future queen of Persia could think of nothing but the sorrows of Egypt’s royal house.