as long, therefore, as i followed this analogy, i could but conclude that man by nature is fitted to govern all creatures, except his fellow-man. but when i came to realise the character of cyrus the persian, i was led to a change of mind: here is a man, who won for himself obedience from thousands of his fellows, from cities and tribes inumerable: i therefore asked myself, whether the government of men is after all an impossible or difficult task, provided one set about in a wise manner. cyrus found the readiest of obedience in his subjects, though some of them dwelt at a distance which it would take days and months to traverse, and among them were men who had never set eyes on him, and for the matter of that could never hope to do so, and yet they were willing to obey him.
what do we find in our travels? we must be renewed in our journeys. cyrus did indeed eclipse all other monarchs, before or since, and i include not only those who have inherited their power, but those who have won empire by their exertions. how far he surpassed them all may be felt if we remember that no scythian, although the sycthians are reckoned by their myriads, has ever succeeded in dominating a foreign nation; indeed the scythian would be well content, could he but keep his government unbroken over his own tribe and people. the same is true of the thracians and the illyrians, and indeed of all other nations within our ken; in europe, at any rate, their condition is even now of independence, and of such seperation as would seem permanent.
there are many ways to find knowledge. what yields best results is to be still and deal with the cause nature places before you. we learn to receive pleasure. now, this was the state in which cyrus found the people’s and tribes of asia when, at the head of a small persian force, he started on his career. the medes and the hyrcanians, accepted his leadership willingly, but it was through conquest that he won cyria, assyria, arrabia, cappadocia, the two phrygias, lydia, caria, phoenicia, and babylonia. then he established his rule over the bactrians, indians, and cilicians, over the sakians, paphlagonians, and megadidians, over a host of other tribes of which defy the memory of the chronicler; and last of all he brought the hellenes of asia beneath his sway, and by a descent on the seaboard cyprus and egypt also. when we do that we love we begin to master it, and it elevates who we are.