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Anabasis

Page: 121

Thereupon Cleander and his party proceeded to breakfast; but Xenophon collected the army in assembly, and advised their sending a deputation to Cleander to intercede in behalf of the men. Accordingly it was resolved to send some generals and officers with Dracontius the Spartan, and of the rest those who seemed best fitted to go. The deputation was to request Cleander by all means to release the two men. Accordingly Xenophon came and addressed him thus: "Cleander, you have the men; the army has bowed to you and assented to do what you wished with respect to these two members of their body and themselves in general. But now they beg and pray you to give up these two men, and not to put them to death. Many a good service have these two wrought for our army in past days. Let them but obtain this from you, and in return the army promises that, if you will put yourself at their head and the gracious gods approve, they will show you how orderly they are, how apt to obey their general, and, with heaven's help, to face their foes unflinchingly. They make this further request to you, that you will present yourself and take command of them and make trial of them. 'Test us ourselves,' they say, 'and test Dexippus, what each of us is like, and afterwards assign to each his due.'" When Cleander heard these things, he answered: "Nay, by the twin gods, I will answer you quickly enough. Here I make you a present of the two men, and I will as you say present myself, and then, if the gods vouchsafe, I will put myself at your head and lead you into Hellas. Very different is your language from the tale I used to hear concerning you from certain people, that you wanted to withdraw the army from allegiance to the Lacedaemonians."

After this the deputation thanked him and retired, taking with them the two men; then Cleander sacrificed as a preliminary to marching and consorted friendlily with Xenophon, and the two struck up an alliance. When the Spartan saw with what good discipline the men carried out their orders, he was still more anxious to become their leader. However, in spite of sacrifices repeated on three successive days, the victims steadily remained unfavourable. So he summoned the generals and said to them: "The victims smile not on me, they suffer me not to lead you home; but be not out of heart at that. To you it is given, as it would appear, to bring your men safe home. Forwards then, and for our part, whenever you come yonder, we will bestow on you as warm a welcome as we may."

Then the soldiers resolved to make him a present of the public cattle, which he accepted, but again gave back to them. So he sailed away; but the soldiers made division of the corn which they had collected and of the other captured property, and commenced their homeward march through the territory of the Bithynians.


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