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Anabasis

Page: 148

"All men believe, I think, that a fund of kindly feeling is due to him from whom we accept gifts. But what is your behaviour? Before I had ministered to you in any way, or done you a single service, you welcomed me kindly with your eyes, your voice, your hospitality, and you could not sate yourself with promises of all the fine things that were to follow. But having once achieved your object, and become the great man you now are, as great indeed as I could make you, you can stand by and see me degraded among my own soldiers! Well, time will teach you—that I fully believe—to pay whatever seems to you right, and even without the lessons of that teacher you will hardly care to see whose who have spent themselves in benefiting you, become your accusers. Only, when you do pay your debt, I beg of you to use your best endeavour to right me with the soldiers. Leave me at least where you found me; that is all I ask."

After listening to this appeal, Seuthes called down curses on him, whose fault it was, that the debt had not long ago been paid, and, if the general suspicion was correct, this was Heracleides. "For myself," said Seuthes, "I never had any idea of robbing you of your just dues. I will repay." Then Xenophon rejoined: "Since you are minded to pay, I only ask that you will do so through me, and will not suffer me on your account to hold a different position in the army from what I held when we joined you." He replied: "As far as that goes, so far from holding a less honoured position among your own men on my account, if you will stay with me, keeping only a thousand heavy infantry, I will deliver to you the fortified places and everything I promised." The other answered: "On these terms I may not accept them, only let us go free." "Nay, but I know," said Seuthes, "that it is safer for you to bide with me than to go away." Then Xenophon again: "For your forethought I thank you, but I may not stay. Somewhere I may rise to honour, and that, be sure, shall redound to your gain also." Thereupon Seuthes spoke: "Of silver I have but little; that little, however, I give to you, one talent; but of beeves I can give you six hundred head, and of sheep four thousand, and of slaves six score. These take, and the hostages besides, who wronged you, and begone." Xenophon laughed and said: "But supposing these all together do not amount to the pay; for whom is the talent, shall I say? It is a little dangerous for myself, is it not? I think I had better be on the look-out for stones when I return. You heard the threats?"

So for the moment he stayed there, but the next day Seuthes gave up to them what he had promised, and sent an escort to drive the cattle. The soldiers at first maintained that Xenophon had gone to take up his abode with Seuthes, and to receive what he had been promised; so when they saw him they were pleased, and ran to meet him. And Xenophon, seeing Charminus and Polynicus, said: "Thanks to your intervention, this much has been saved for the army. My duty is to deliver this fraction over to your keeping; do you divide and distribute it to the soldiers." Accordingly they took the property and appointed official vendors of the booty, and in the end incurred considerable blame. Xenophon held aloof. In fact it was no secret that he was making his preparations to return home, for as yet the vote of banishment had not been passed at Athens (1). But the authorities in the camp came to him and begged him not to go away until he had conducted the army to its destination, and handed it over to Thibron.

          

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