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The Persians, according to the account of Heraclides, are the people who first introduced the system of having particular servants to prepare the couches, in order that they might always be elegantly arranged and well made. And on this account Artaxerxes, having a high esteem for Timagoras the Cretan, or, as Phanias the Peripatetic says, for Entimus the Gortinian, who went up to the king in rivalry of Themistocles, gave him a tent of extraordinary size and beauty, and a couch with silver feet; and he sent him also expensive coverlets, and a man to arrange them, saying that the Greeks did not know how to arrange a couch. And so completely had this Cretan gained the favour of the king, that he was invited to a banquet of the royal family, an honour which had never been paid to any Greek before, and never has been since; for it was reserved as an especial compliment for the king's relations. Nor was this compliment paid to Timagoras the Athenian, who submitted to offer adoration t the king, and who was held in the highest honour by him, though some of the things which were set before the kin were sent to him from the royal table. The king of Persi, too, once took achaplet from off his head and dipped it in perfume, and sent it to Antalcidas the Lacedæmonian. But he did this too, and many similar things, to Entimus; also, and in addition to everything else, he invited him to a banquet of the royal family. And the Persians were very indignant this, [p. 80] thinking that it was making such an honour too common, and also because they thought they were on the eve of another expedition against Greece. He sent him also a couch with silver feet, and cushions for it, and a flowered tent surmounted with a canopy, and a silver chair, and a gilt parasol, and some golden vessels inlaid with precious stones, and a hundred large vessels of silver, and silver bowls, and a hundred girls, and a hundred boys, and six thousand pieces of gold, besides what was allowed him for his daily expenses.
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