198 Delighted with the man’s reply, the king said that all their answers had been good. ‘I will put a question to one other’, he added, ‘and then I will stop for the present: that we may turn our attention 199 to the enjoyment of the feast and spend a pleasant time.’ Thereupon he asked the man, What is the true aim of courage? And he answered, ‘If a right plan is carried out in the hour of danger in accordance with the original intention. For all things are accomplished by God to your advantage, O king, since your purpose is good.’
200 When all had signified by their applause their agreement with the answer, the king said to the philosophers (for not a few of them were present), ‘It is my opinion that these men excel in virtue and possess extraordinary knowledge, since on the spur of the moment they have given fitting answers to these questions which I have put to them, and have all made God the starting-point of their words.’
201 And Menedemus, the philosopher of Eretria, said, ‘True, O King – for since the universe is managed by providence and since we rightly perceive that man is the creation of God, it follows 202 that all power and beauty of speech proceed from God.’ When the king had nodded his assent to this sentiment, the speaking ceased and they proceeded to enjoy themselves. When evening came on, the banquet ended.
203 On the following day they sat down to table again and continued the banquet according to the same arrangements. When the king thought that a fitting opportunity had arrived to put inquiries to his guests, he proceeded to ask further questions of the men who sat next in order to those who 204 had given answers on the previous day. He began to open the conversation with the eleventh man, for there were ten who had been asked questions on the former occasion. When silence was 205 established, he asked How he could continue to be rich? After a brief reflection, the man who had been asked the question replied If he did nothing unworthy of his position, never acted licentiously, never lavished expense on empty and vain pursuits, but by acts of benevolence made all his subjects well disposed towards himself. For it is God who is the author of all good things and 206 Him man must needs obey.’ The king bestowed praise upon him and then asked another How he could maintain the truth? In reply to the question he said, ‘By recognizing that a lie brings great disgrace upon all men, and more especially upon kings. For since they have the power to do whatever they wish, why should they resort to lies? In addition to this you must always remember, O King, that God is a lover of the truth.’