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[4] At any rate, there is in circulation a letter of his to Hidrieus the Carian, which runs as follows: ‘As for Nicias, if he is innocent, acquit him; if he is guilty, acquit him for my sake; but in any case acquit him.’ Such, then, was Agesilaüs in most cases where the interests of his friends were concerned; but sometimes he used a critical situation rather for his own advantage. Of this he gave an instance when, as he was decamping in some haste and confusion, he left his favourite behind him sick. The sick one besought him loudly as he was departing, but he merely turned and said that it was hard to be compassionate and at the same time prudent. This story is related by Hieronymus the philosopher.

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