Cambyses spent the night in pacing up and down his apartment. By cock-crow he had decided that Nitetis should be forced to confess her guilt, and then be sent into the great harem to wait on the concubines. Bartja, the destroyer of his happiness, should set off at once for Egypt, and on his return become the satrap of some distant provinces. He did not wish to incur the guilt of a brother’s murder, but he knew his own temper too well not to fear that in a moment of sudden anger, he might kill one he hated so much, and therefore wished to remove him out of the reach of his passion.
Two hours after the sun had risen, Cambyses was riding on his fiery steed, far in front of a Countless train of followers armed with shields, swords, lances, bows and lassos, in pursuit of the game which was to be found in the immense preserves near Babylon, and was to be started from its lair by more than a thousand dogs.
[The same immense trains of followers of course accompanied the kings on their hunting expeditions, as on their journeys. As the Persian nobility were very fond of hunting, their boys were taught this sport at an early age. According to Strabo, kings themselves boasted of having been mighty hunters in the inscriptions on their tombs. A relief has been found in the ruins of Persepolis, on which the king is strangling a lion with his right arm, but this is supposed to have a historical, not a symbolical meaning. Similar representations occur on Assyrian monuments. Izdubar strangling a lion and fighting with a lion (relief at Khorsabad) is admirably copied in Delitzsch’s edition of G. Smith’s Chaldean Genesis. Layard discovered some representations of hunting-scenes during his excavations; as, for instance, stags and wild boars among the reeds; and the Greeks often mention the immense troops of followers on horse and foot who attended the kings of Persia when they went hunting. According to Xenophon, Cyrop. I. 2. II. 4. every hunter was obliged to be armed with a bow and arrows, two lances, sword and shield. In Firdusi’s Book of Kings we read that the lasso was also a favorite weapon. Hawking was well known to the Persians more than 900 years ago. Book of Kabus XVIII. p. 495. The boomerang was used in catching birds as well by the Persians as by the ancient Egyptians and the present savage tribes of New Holland.]
The hunt was over. Waggons full of game, amongst which were several enormous wild boars killed by the king’s own hand, were driven home behind the sports men. At the palace-gates the latter dispersed to their several abodes, in order to exchange the simple Persian leather hunting-costume for the splendid Median court-dress.
In the course of the day’s sport Cambyses had (with difficulty restraining his agitation) given his brother the seemingly kind order to start the next day for Egypt in order to fetch Sappho and accompany her to Persia. At the same time he assigned him the revenues of Bactra, Rhagae and Sinope for the maintenance of his new household, and to his young wife, all the duties levied from her native town Phocaea, as pin-money.