IX
 

I will here state to what extent the style of living which he presented stands out in striking contrast to the ostentatious manner of the Persian. In the first place, if the latter made a solemn affectation of being but seldom seen, Agesilaus delighted to live in the eye of day, believing that seclusion might accord well enough as a screen for shameless conduct, but to a life of nobleness and beauty heaven's light added new ornament. And next, if the one prided himself on being unapproachable, the other rejoiced in being accessible to all the world; the one, with his airs and graces, was pleased to transact business slowly, the other was never so happy as when he could satisfy the demands of a petitioner without waste of time.

Again, it is worthy of observation how much easier and simpler to satisfy was the standard of comfort which the Spartan aimed at. For the Persian, men must compass sea and land to discover some beverage which he will care to drink; he needs ten thousand pastrycooks to supply the kick-shaws he will deign to eat; and to procure him the blessing of sleep no tongue can describe what a world of trouble must be taken. But Agesilaus was a lover of toil, and therefore not so dainty; the meanest beverage was sweet to his lips, and pleasant enough to his taste was the chance fare of the moment; and for the purpose of refreshing slumber every place alike conducive. It was not merely that to fare thus gave him pure pleasure, but in the sense of contrast lay a double satisfaction. Here was he roaming earth freely in the midst of a world of delight, and there lay the Persian, under his eyes, who to escape a life of pain must drag together from the uttermost parts of earth the separate ingredients for his pleasure. It was another source of joy that to himself it was given to confront the appointed order of the universe without pain; while through weakness of soul his rival, it was plain to see, was driven to flee away from heat and cold, and to shape his life, not by the pattern of brave men, but of some mean and defenceless animal.

And what a fine trait this was in him, and betokening how lofty a sentiment, that, being content to adorn his own house with works and possessions suited to a man, and being devoted to the breeding of dogs and horses in large numbers for the chase and warfare, he persuaded his sister Cynisca to rear chariot horses, and thus by her victory showed that to keep a stud of that sort, however much it might be a mark of wealth, was hardly a proof of manly virtue. And surely in the following opinion we may discern plainly the generosity of him who entertained it. To win victories over private persons in a chariot race does not add one tittle to a man's renown. He, rather, who holds his city dear beyond all things else, who has himself sunk deep into the heart of her affections, who has obtained to himself all over the world a host of friends and those the noblest, who can outdo his country and comrades alike in the race of kindliness, and his antagonists in vengeance--such a man may, in a true sense, be said to bear away the palm of victory in conquests noble and magnificent; living and in death to him belongs transcendent fame.