Cyrus the Great who lived about 2,500 years ago was one of the most famous kings of ancient times. He reiged over Persia and many other countries in western Asia. Cyrus founded the persian Empire.
As a boy Cyrus was brought up at the court of his father who was the king of Persia. It was then a small kingdom and the people were simple shepherds. Close by lay a rich and powerful Kingdom called Media. The king of persia had married the daughter of the King of Media, who was thus the grandfather of cyrus.
Cyrus was brought up by a very strict master who did not fail to punish him when he did wrong. He was trained tp live a very simple life and was taught to speak the truth and to be polite to everyone and be just in all tht he did. He grew up to be a very strong and handsome boy. When Cyrus was twelve years old, his grandfather, the king of Media, sent for him, when the boy arrived at the court he was amazed at the grandeur and splendid robes of the nobles and their costly jewels. He had never seen anything like it before.
A month or two later after his arrival the king gave a grand dinner to celebrate the queen’s birthday and invited the young Prince were placed a dozen golden dishes and several cups of wine filled with costly wine.
The king thought his young grandson would be very pleased and would be very pleased and would eat and drink heartly. But to his surprise cyrus took scarcely anything. The wine he did not touch at all he did not even taste it.
Is not this feast much grander and more splendid.” Said the king,” than any you ever had in Persia?
Why do you not eat and drink and enjoy yourself?
Cyrus replied that it seemed to him to be too much trouble to eat a little of so many different dishes.
‘In Persia,’ we do much better.’
‘what do you do in Persia?’ asked the king.
‘In Persia, ‘ answered the Prince, ‘we have only one dish of plain wheat bread and meat and we drink one cup of water out of a jug. We only eat when we are hungry and drink when we are thirsty. This is what I am accustomed to.;
Hus grandfather laughed heartily and exclaimed, ‘ By all means do as you please here. Eat only bread and drink only water and go back to your country strong and healthy. This is what I am accustomed to.’
His grandfather laughed heartily and exclaimed,’ By all means do as you please here. Eat only bread and drink only water and go back to your country strong and healthy. But what am I to do with all these spendid dishes that I have got for you?
‘I will reward all those who have been kind to me since I came here,’said Cyrus. ‘ Do as you please,’ said the king. Then Cyrus called the attendants one by one and gave each of them one or two costly dishes of gold and silver for teaching him many things.
But to the chief servant, a man of high rank, who was dressed in splendid robes, he gave nothing.
The man was the cup-bearer to the king and it was his duty to taste the wine before he gave the cup to the king. He did not put his own lips to the cup, but poured a little of it into another cup and drank it, before handing the full cup to the king.
‘why do you leave my cup-bearer out?’ asked the king.
‘ he does not serve you well,’ replied the Prince, ‘ he puts into your wine.’
‘ how do you know he poisons my wine? Did you see him put in poison? When did he do it? Asked the king.
‘ No, ‘replied cyrus, ‘I did not see him put in the poison, but I know he must have done so, because I saw the effect of the poison on you and your nobles, at the feast you gave the other day on your birthday.’
‘ why? What happened then? Cried the king still alarmed.
The wine that you drank, replied the prince, changed you all. The things you do not let us boys do, you did yourself. Some of you were rude and noisy. You all bawled out together. You sang silly songs and laughed at nothing. Then you got up and tried to dance, but you could not even stand up without sitting down immediately. Some of you fell down upon the floor. You all seemed to forget who and what you were. The guests paid no regard to you, their king, but treated you with disrespect and you treated them the same way. In short, you acted as if you had lost your senses. This is how I know that this cup bearer put poison in to your wine, and this is why I will not give him a present.’
‘ Is that all!’ exclaimed the king much relieved.’But have you never seen such things before? Does not the king, your father, drink wine until it makes his heart merry?’
‘No, indeed,’ replied cyrus,’he drinks only water when he is thirsty and that only enough to quench his thirst. I never saw him act as your nobles did. He has no cup bearer.’
Simple observations of young Cyrus were enough to show the guests at the feast very clearly what harm excessive drinking does and what foolish things men do when they are drunk. Needless to say each one of them said in his heart of hearts, ‘ I will never touch a drop of liquor again.’ Drinking damages the health and the person has to face social disgrace. The family of such a person suffers as he turns insensitive to their needs. The Japanese say:
‘ A man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, and next the drink takes the man.;
Often young adolescents sometimes are led to believe that it is a fashion to drink and there is no harm in trying a sip or two. The same can be said of smoking. This kind of temptation is even worse. It makes a person uncivil. One should not even think of it. It isnothing else but suicidal.
“In the bottle, discontent seeks for comfort, cowardice for courage,
Sadness for joy and all find ruin.