“In the next place,” said Cyrus, “for putting enthusiasm into the soldiers nothing seems to be more effectual than the power of inspiring men with hopes.”
“Yes, my son,” said he; “but that is just as if any one on a hunt should always call up his dogs with the call that he uses when he sees the quarry. For at first, to be sure, he will find them obeying him eagerly; but if he deceives them often, in the end they will not obey him when he calls, even though he really does see a wild beast. So it stands with respect to those hopes also. If any one too often raises false expectations of good things to come, eventually he can gain no credence, even when he holds forth well-grounded hopes. But, my son, you should refrain from saying what you are not perfectly sure of; by making certain others your mouthpiece, however, the desired end may be accomplished; but faith in your own words of encouragement you must keep sacred to the utmost to serve you in the greatest crises.”
“Yes, by Zeus, father,” said Cyrus; “I think you are right in what you say, and I like your idea better.