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When they had ended this discourse, I begged they would condescend to direct me how to govern a house; for they were few who had cities and kingdoms to govern, compared with those who had houses and families to manage. Esop laughed and said: I hope you except Anacharsis out of your number; for having no house, he glories because he can be contented with a chariot only, as they say the sun is whirled about from one end of the heavens to the other in his chariot. Therefore, saith Anacharsis, he alone, or he principally, is most free among the Gods, and ever at his own liberty and dispose. He governs all, and is governed and subject to none, but he rides and reigns; and you know not how magnificent and capacious his chariot is; if you did, you would not thus floutingly compare it with our Scythian chariots. For you seem in my apprehension to call these coverings made of wood and mud houses, as if you should call the shell and not the living creature a snail. Therefore you laughed when Solon told you how, when he viewed Croesus's palace and found it richly and gloriously furnished, he yet could not yield he lived happily until he had tried the inward and invisible state of his mind; for a man's felicity consists not in the outward and visible favors and blessings of Fortune, but in the inward and unseen perfections and riches of the mind. And you seem to have forgot your own fable of the fox, [p. 22] who, contending with the leopard as to which was beset with more colors and spots, and having referred the matter in controversy to the arbitration of an umpire, desired him to consider not so much the outside as the inside; for, saith he, I have more various and different fetches and tricks in my mind than he has marks or spots in his body. You regard only the handiwork of carpenters and masons and stone-cutters, and call this a house; not what one hath within, his children, his wife, his friends and attendants, with whom if a man lived in an emmet's bed or a bird's nest, enjoying in common the ordinary comforts of life, this man may be affirmed to live a happy and a fortunate life.

This is the answer I purpose to return Esop, quoth Anacharsis, and I tender it to Diocles as my share in this discourse; only let the rest give in their opinions, if they please. Solon thought that house most happy where the estate was got without injustice, kept without distrust, and spent without repentance. Bias said, That house is happy where the master does freely and voluntarily at home what the law compels him to do abroad. Thales held that house most happy where the master had most leisure and respite from business. Cleobulus said, That in which the master is more beloved than feared. Pittacus said, That is most happy where superfluities are not required and necessaries are not wanting. Chilo added, That house is most happy where the master rules as a monarch in his kingdom. And he proceeded, When a certain Lacedaemonian desired Lycurgus to establish a democracy in the city, Go you, friend, replied he, and try the experiment first in your own house.

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