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But concerning the luxury of the kings among the Persians, Xenophon, in his Agesilaus, writes as follows:— “For men travel over the whole earth in the service of the king of Persia, looking to find out what may be pleasant for him to drink; and ten thousand men are always contriving something nice for him to eat; and no one can tell the number of contrivances they propose to cause him to sleep well. [p. 234] But Agesilaus, because he was a man fond of exertion, drank whatever was set before him with pleasure, and ate whatever came across him with appetite; and every place suited him to sleep pleasantly in.” And in his treatise entitled Hiero, speaking of the things which are prepared for kings, and also of the dishes which are prepared for private individuals to eat, he uses the following expressions:—“' And I know,' said he, ' O Simonides, that most men consider that we eat and drink more pleasantly than private individuals in this respect, because they think that they should more gladly eat of what is served up to us than of what is set before them. For that whatever is out of the ordinary routine gives pleasure; on which account all men gladly receive invitations to festivals, except kings. For as their tables are always loaded to satiety, it is quite impossible that they should be susceptible of any addition at the time of feasts; so that in this particular pleasure which is derived from hope they are surpassed by private individuals. And in the next place,' he continued, ' I am sure that you yourself know from experience that the more any one sets before people that which is more than sufficient, in that exact proportion is a disgust at eating quicker in coming on; so that a man who has a very large and varied dinner set before him is inferior to those who live moderately also in the duration of his pleasure.' 'But, by Jove,' said Simonides, as long as the mind feels an appetite, so long are those who are bred up amid more expensive preparations delighted in a much higher degree than those who are in the habit of living in a most economical manner.'”
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