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Struggle between Eumenes and Perseus

Two kings, one of whom was the most unprincipled
The bargain attempted between Eumenes and Perseus.
and the other the most avaricious in the world, being now pitted against each other, their mutual struggles presented a spectacle truly ridiculous. Eumenes held out every kind of hope, and threw out every species of bait, believing that he would catch Perseus by such promises. Perseus, without waiting to be approached, rushed to the bait held out to him, and made for it greedily; yet he could not make up his mind to swallow it, to such an extent as to give up any money. The sort of huckstering contest that went on between them was as follows. Eumenes demanded five hundred talents as the price of his abstention from co-operating with the Romans by land and sea during the fourth year of the war, and fifteen hundred for putting an end to the war altogether, and promised to give hostages and securities for his promise at once. Perseus accepted the proposal of hostages, named the number, the time at which they were to be sent, and the manner of their safe custody at Cnosus. But as to the money, he said that it would be disgraceful to the one who paid, and still more to the one who received it, to be supposed to remain neutral for hire; but the fifteen hundred talents he would send in charge of Polemocrates and others to Samothrace, to be held as a deposit there. Now Perseus was master of Samothrace; but as Eumenes, like a poor physician, preferred a retaining-fee to a payment after work, he finally gave up the attempt, when he found that his own craftiness was no match for the meanness of Perseus. They thus parted on equal terms, leaving, like good athletes, the battle of avarice a drawn one. Some of these details leaked out at the time, and others were communicated subsequently to Perseus's intimate friends; and he has taught us by them that every vice is clinched, so to speak, by avarice.

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