IV
 

To speak next of his justice in affairs of money. As to this, what testimony can be more conclusive than the following? During the whole of his career no charge of fraudulent dealing was ever lodged against Agesilaus; against which set the many-voiced acknowledgmment of countless benefits received from him. A man who found pleasure in giving away his own for the benefit of others was not the man to rob another of his goods at the price of infamy. Had he suffered from this thirst for riches it would have been easier to cling to what belonged to him than to take that to which he had no just title. This man, who was so careful to repay debts of gratitude, where the law knows no remedy against defaulters, was not likely to commit acts of robbery which the law regards as criminal. And as a matter of act Agesilaus judged it not only wrong to forgo repayment of a deed of kindness, but, where the means were ample, wrong also not to repay such debts with ample interest.

The charge of embezzlement, could it be alleged, would no less outrage all reason in the case of one who made over to his country the benefit in full of grateful offerings owed solely to himself. Indeed the very fact that, when he wished to help the city or his friends with money, he might have done so by the aid of others, goes a long way to prove his indifference to the lure of riches; since, had he been in the habit of selling his favour, or of playing the part of benefactor for pay, there had been no room for a sense of indebtedness. It is only the recipient of gratuitous kindness who is ever ready to minister to his benefactor, both in return for the kindness itself and for the confidence implied in his selection as the fitting guardian of a good deed on deposit.

Again, who more likely to put a gulf impassable between himself and the sordid love of gain than he, who nobly preferred to be stinted of his dues rather than snatch at the lion's share unjustly? It is a case in point that, being pronounced by the state to be the rightful heir to his brother's wealth, he made over one half to his maternal relatives because he saw that they were in need; and to the truth of this assertion all Lacedaemon is witness. What, too, was his answer to Tithraustes when the satrap offered him countless gifts if he would but quit the country? "Tithraustes, with us it is deemed nobler for a ruler to enrich his army than himself; it is expected of him to wrest spoils from the enemy rather than take gifts."