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AGESILAUS. Agesilaus said that the inhabitants of Asia were bad freemen and good servants. When they were wont to call the king of Persia the Great King, Wherein, said he, is he greater than I, if he is not more just and wise than I am? Being asked which was better, valor or justice, he answered, We should have no need of valor, if we were all just. When he broke up his camp suddenly by night in the enemy's country, and saw a lad he loved left behind by reason of sickness, and weeping, It is a hard thing, said he, to be pitiful and wise at the same time. Menecrates the physician, surnamed Jupiter, inscribed a letter to him thus: Menecrates Jupiter to King Agesilaus wisheth joy. And he returned in answer: King Agesilaus to Menecrates wisheth his wits. When the Lacedaemonians overcame the Athenians and their confederates at Corinth, and he [p. 220] heard the number of the enemies that were slain; Alas, said he, for Greece, who hath destroyed so many of her men as were enough to have conquered all the barbarians together. He had received an answer from the Oracle of Jupiter in Olympia, which was to his satisfaction. Afterwards the Ephori bade him consult Apollo in the same case; and to Delphi he went, and asked that God whether he was of the same mind with his father. He interceded for one of his friends with Idrieus of Caria, and wrote to him thus: If Nicias has not offended, set him free; but if he is guilty, set him free for my sake; by all means set him free. Being exhorted to hear one that imitated the voice of a nightingale, I have often, said he, heard nightingales themselves. The law ordained that such as ran away should be disgraced. After the fight at Leuctra, the Ephori, seeing the city void of men, were willing to dispense with that disgrace, and empowered Agesilaus to make a law to that purpose. But he standing in the midst commanded that after the next day the laws should remain in force as before. He was sent to assist the king of Egypt, with whom he was besieged by enemies that outnumbered his own forces; and when they had entrenched their camp, the king commanded him to go out and fight them. Since, said he, they intend to make themselves equal to us, I will not hinder them. When the trench was almost finished, he drew up his men in the void space, and so fighting with equal advantage he overcame them. When he was dying, he charged his friends that no fiction or counterfeit (so he called statues) should be made for him; For if, said he, I have done any honorable exploit, that is my monument; but if I have done none, all your statues will signify nothing.

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load focus Greek (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1931)
load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
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