But one of this family, Amphion by name, had a daughter, named Labda, whom none of the Bacchiadæ would marry, as she had the misfortune to be lame. So she married outside the family, her husband being named Aëtion, and a man of noble descent.
In the end they decided to go into the house again, and all take part in the murder. But they had talked somewhat too long and too loud. Labda had overheard them and divined their dread intent.
But Labda had, in the mean time, been alarmed at their extraordinary behavior, and had listened, when they stopped at the gate, to hear their conversation. She hastily hid the babe in a corn measure; and the conspirators, after looking in every part of the house in vain, gave up the search, supposing that their intended victim had been hastily sent away.
Suddenly the door of the secret staircase opened softly, and a bright light dazzled Julian. Labda, an old slave, entered, carrying a metal lamp in her hand. The old woman, who loved Julian, and held him to be the true successor of Constantine the Great, placed the lamp in a stone niche above his head, and produced honey cakes for him to eat.
At length, in one branch of the family, there grew up a young girl named Labda, who had been a cripple from her birth, and, on account of her deformity, none of the nobles would marry her. A man of obscure birth, however, one of the common people, at length took her for his wife. His name was Eetion.
In his right hand, hidden by the panther skin of his bed, which he had flung over his shoulder, he gripped the handle of a Persian dagger given him by Labda; it was tipped with the keenest of poisons. A wild chance of safety suddenly occurred to Mardonius. Throwing aside his sword, he caught hold of the tribune's mantle, and shrieked out, "Do you know what you're doing, rascals?
They remained quiet, waiting until Aëtion's child should be born, and proposing then to take steps for their own safety. These assassins entered Aëtion's house, and, with murder in their hearts, asked Labda, with assumed friendliness, if they might see her child.
His message to a neighboring potentate. Periander's intolerable tyranny. His wife Melissa. The ghost of Melissa. A great sacrifice. The reason of Periander's rudeness to the assembly of females. Labda the cripple. Prediction in respect to her progeny. Conspiracy to destroy Labda's child. Its failure. The child secreted. Fulfillment of the oracle. Hippias of Athens. His barbarous cruelty.