Xenophon, Cyropaedia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyr.].
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8.4.10“Then why, in heaven's name, Cyrus,” he said, “did you put Chrysantas down for a more honourable place than mine?”

“Am I really to tell you?” asked Cyrus.

“By all means,” answered Hystaspas.

“And you, on your part, will not be angry with me when you hear the truth?”

8.4.11“Nay rather,” said he, “I shall be more than glad, if I find that I am not being slighted.”

“Well then,” said Cyrus, “in the first place, [Note] Chrysantas here did not wait to be sent for, but presented himself for our service even before he was called; and in the second place, he has always done not only what was ordered but all that he himself saw was better for us to have done. Again, whenever it was necessary to send some communication to the allies, he would give me advice as to what he thought proper for me to say; and whenever he saw that I wished the allies to know about something, but that I felt some hesitation in saying anything about myself, he would always make it known to them, giving it as his own opinion. And so, in these matters at least, what reason is there why he should not be of more use to me even than I am myself? And finally, he always insists that what he has is enough for him, while he is manifestly always on the lookout for some new acquisition that would be of advantage to me, and takes much more pleasure and joy in my good fortune than I do myself.”

8.4.12“By Hera,” said Hystaspas in reply, “I am glad at any rate that I asked you this question, Cyrus.”

“Why so, pray?” asked Cyrus.

“Because I too shall try to do as he does,” said he. “Only I am not sure about one thing—I do not know how I could show that I rejoice at your good fortune. Am I to clap my hands or laugh or what must I do?”

“You must dance the Persian dance,” [Note] suggested Artabazus.

At this, of course, there was a laugh. 8.4.13But, as [Note] the banquet proceeded, Cyrus put this question to Gobryas: “Tell me, Gobryas,” said he, “would you be more ready to consent now to give your daughter to one of my friends here than you were when first you joined us?”

“Well,” answered Gobryas, “shall I also tell the truth?”

“Aye, by Zeus,” answered Cyrus; “surely no question calls for a falsehood.”

“Well, then,” he replied, “I should consent much more readily now, I assure you.”

“And would you mind telling us why?” asked Cyrus.

“Certainly not.”

“Tell us, then,”

8.4.14“Because, while at that time I saw them bear toils and dangers with cheerfulness, now I see them bear their good fortune with self-control. And to me, Cyrus, it seems harder to find a man who can bear good fortune well than one who can bear misfortune well; for it is the former that engenders arrogance in most men; it is the latter that inspires in all men self-control.”

8.4.15“Hystaspas, did you hear that saying of Gobryas?” asked Cyrus.

“Yes, by Zeus,” he answered; “and if he has many such things to say, he will find me a suitor for his daughter's hand much sooner than he would if he should exhibit to me a great number of goblets.”

8.4.16“I promise you,” said Gobryas, “that I have a great number of such saws written down, and I will not begrudge them to you, if you get my daughter to be your wife. But as to the goblets,” said he, “inasmuch as you do not seem to appreciate them, I rather think I shall give them to Chrysantas here, since he also has usurped your place at table.”

8.4.17“And what is more, Hystaspas—yes, and you [Note] others here,” said Cyrus, “if you will let me know whenever any one of you is proposing to marry, you will discover what manner of assistant I, too, shall be to you.”

8.4.18“And if any one has a daughter to give in marriage,” said Gobryas, “to whom is he to apply?”

“To me,” said Cyrus; “for I am exceedingly skilled in that art.”

“What art?” asked Chrysantas.

8.4.19“In knowing what sort of match would suit each one of you.”

“Tell me, then, for heaven's sake,” said Chrysantas, “what sort of wife you think would suit me best.”

8.4.20“In the first place,” said he, “she must be small; for you are small yourself; and if you marry a tall woman and wish to kiss her when she is standing up straight, you will have to jump for it, like a puppy.”

“You are quite right in that provision for me,” said he; “and I should never get my kiss, for I am no jumper at all.”

8.4.21“And in the next place,” Cyrus went on, “a snub-nosed woman would suit you admirably.”

“Why so?”

“Because,” was the answer, “your own nose is so hooked; and hookedness, I assure you, would be the very proper mate for snubbiness.”

“Do you mean to say also,” said the other, “that a supperless wife would suit one who has had a good dinner, like me now?”

“Aye, by Zeus,” answered Cyrus; “for the stomach of one who has eaten heartily bows out, but that of one who has not eaten bows in.”



Xenophon, Cyropaedia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyr.].
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