He treated the rest of his lovers also after this fashion. There was one man, however, a resident alien, as they say, and not possessed of much, who sold all that he had, and brought the hundred staters which he got for it to Alcibiades, begging him to accept them. Alcibiades burst out laughing with delight at this, and invited the man to dinner. After feasting him and showing him every kindness, he gave him back his gold, and charged him on the morrow to compete with the farmers of the public revenues and outbid them all.
The man protested, because the purchase demanded a capital of many talents; but Alcibiades threatened to have him scourged if he did not do it, because he cherished some private grudge against the ordinary contractors. In the morning, accordingly, the alien went into the market place and increased the usual bid for the public lands by a talent. The contractors clustered angrily about him and bade him name his surety, supposing that he could find none. The man was confounded and began to draw back, when Alcibiades, standing afar off, cried to the magistrates:
‘put my name down; he is a friend of mine; I will be his surety.’
When the contractors heard this, they were at their wit's end, for they were in the habit of paying what they owed on a first purchase with the profits of a second, and saw no way out of their difficulty. Accordingly, they besought the man to withdraw his bid, and offered him money so to do; but Alcibiades would not suffer him to take less than a talent. On their offering the man the talent, he bade him take it and withdraw. To this lover he was of service in such a way.