IX
 

To read these observations over a few times will be sufficient, but for giving them effect the officer will need perpetually to act as circumstances require.[1] He must take in the situation at a glance, and carry out unflinchingly whatever is expedient for the moment. To set down in writing everything that he must do, is not a whit more possible than to know the future as a whole.[2] But of all hints and suggestions the most important to my mind is this: whatever you determine to be right, with diligence endeavour to perform. For be it tillage of the soil, or trading, or seafaring, or the art of ruling, without pains applied to bring the matter to perfection, the best theories in the world, the most correct conclusions, will be fruitless.

One thing I am prepared to insist on: it is clear to myself that by Heaven's help our total cavalry force might be much more quickly raised to the full quota of a thousand troopers,[3] and with far less friction to the mass of citizens, by the enrolment of two hundred foreign cavalry. Their acquisition will be doubly helpful, as intensifying the loyalty of the entire force and as kindling a mutual ambition to excel in manly virtue.

I can state on my own knowledge that the Lacedaemonian cavalry only began to be famous[4] with the introduction of foreign troopers; and in the other states of Hellas everywhere the foreign brigades stand in high esteem, as I perceive. Need, in fact, contributes greatly to enthusiasm. Towards the necessary cost of the horses I hold that an ample fund will be provided,[5] partly out of the pockets of those who are only too glad to escape cavalry service (in other words, those on whom the service devolves prefer to pay a sum of money down and be quit of the duty),[6] and from wealthy men who are physically incompetent; and I do not see why orphans possessed of large estates should not contribute.[7] Another belief I hold is that amongst our resident aliens[8] there are some who will show a laudable ambition if incorporated with the cavalry. I argue from the fact, apparent to myself, that amongst this class persons are to be found most zealously disposed to carry out the part assigned to them, in every other branch of honourable service which the citizens may choose to share with them. Again, it strikes me that if you seek for an energetic infantry to support your cavalry, you will find it in a corps composed of individuals whose hatred to the foe is naturally intense.[9] But the success of the above suggestions will depend doubtless on the consenting will of Heaven.[10]

And now if the repetition of the phrase throughout this treatise "act with God," surprises any one, he may take my word for it that with the daily or hourly occurrence of perils which must betide him, his wonderment will diminish; as also with the clearer recognition of the fact that in time of war the antagonists are full of designs against each other, but the precise issue of these plots and counterplots is rarely known. To what counsellor, then, can a man apply for advice in his extremity save only to the gods, who know all things and forewarn whomsoever they will by victims or by omens, by voice or vision? Is it not rational to suppose that they will prefer to help in their need, not those who only seek them in time of momentary stress and trouble, but those rather who in the halcyon days of their prosperity make a practice of rendering to Heaven the service of heart and soul?

[1] {pros to paratugkhanon}, lit. "to meet emergencies." Cf. Thuc. i. 122: "For war, least of all things, conforms to prescribed rules; it strikes out a path for itself when the moment comes" (Jowett).

[2] Or, "is about as feasible as to foretell each contingency hid in the womb of futurity."

[3] See Schneid. ad loc.; Boeckh, "P. E. A." pp. 263, 264; Herod. vi. 112; Thuc. vi. 31; Aristoph. "Knights," 223; Aeschin. "De F. L." 334-337. See for this reform, Martin, op. cit. 343, 368.

[4] "Entered on an era of prestige with the incorporation of," after Leuctra, 371 B.C., when the force was at its worst. See "Hell." VI. iv. 10.

[5] Or, "money will be forthcoming for them." Cf. Lys. "Against Philon," xxxi. 15; Martin, op. cit. 319.

[6] Cf. "Hell." III. iv. 15; "Ages." i. 23. Courier brackets this sentence [{oti . . . ippeuein}] as a gloss; Martin, p. 323, emends.

[7] As to the legal exemption of orphans Schneid. cf. Dem. "Symm." 182. 15; Lys. "Against Diogeit." 24.

[8] Lit. "metoecs." See "Revenues," ii.

[9] Lit. "men the most antagonistic to the enemy." Is the author thinking of Boeotian emigres? Cf. "Hell." VI. iii. 1, 5; Diod. xv. 46. 6.

[10] Lit. "with the consenting will of the gods these things all may come to pass."