When he learned that Cyrus, the King's son, was come to Sardis,1
he went up to confer with him and to accuse Tissaphernes, who, though he was commissioned to aid the Lacedaemonians and drive the Athenians from the sea, was thought to be remiss in his duty, through the efforts of Alcibiades,2
showing lack of zeal, and destroying the efficiency of the fleet by the meagre subsidies which he gave.
Now Cyrus was well pleased that Tissaphernes, who was a base man and privately at feud with him, should be accused and maligned. By this means, then, as well as by his behavior in general, Lysander made himself agreeable, and by the submissive deference of his conversation, above all else, he won the heart of the young prince, and roused him to prosecute the war with vigor.
At a banquet which Cyrus gave him as he was about to depart, the prince begged him not to reject the tokens of his friendliness, but to ask plainly for whatever he desired, since nothing whatsoever would be refused him.
‘Since, then,’ said Lysander in reply,
‘thou art so very kind, I beg and entreat thee, Cyrus, to add an obol to the pay of my sailors, that they may get four obols instead of three.’
Cyrus, accordingly, delighted with his public spirit, gave him ten thousand darics, out of which he added the obol to the pay of his seamen, and, by the renown thus won, soon emptied the ships of his enemies. For most of their seamen came over to those who offered higher pay, and those who remained were listless and mutinous, and gave daily trouble to their officers.
However, although he had thus injured and weakened his enemies, Lysander shrank from a naval battle, through fear of Alcibiades, who was energetic, had a greater number of ships, and in all his battles by land and sea up to that time had come off victorious.