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“There are in Greece men so mild and humane in disposition that though they have often been wronged by you, and though they have inherited a natural hostility towards you, yet they permit no insult to be offered even to the men whom they have bought for a price and keep as their slaves. Nay, they have publicly established this law forbidding such insult, and they have already punished many of the transgressors with death.
Or take the words, “from Amphictyonic sacrifices.” Why did he also exclude the murderer from them? He debars the offender from everything in which the deceased used to participate in his lifetime; first from his own country and from all things therein, whether permitted or sacred, assigning the frontier-market as the boundary from which he declares him excluded; and secondly from the observances at Amphictyonic assemblies, because the deceased, if a Hellene, also took part therein. “And from the games,”—why from the games? Because the athletic contests of Hellas are open to all men,—the sufferer was concerned in them because everybody was concerned in them; therefore the murderer must abse
Now just suppose that Menestratus of Eretria were to require us to make the same decree for him, or Phayllus of Phocis, or any other autocrat,—and I need not say that we often make friends, to serve our occasions, with many such people,—are we to vote decrees for all of them, or are we not? You say, Yes. Then what decent excuse shall we have, men of Athens, if, while asserting ourselves as the champions of all Hellas in the cause of liberty, we make our appearance as yeomen of the guard to men who maintain troops on their own account to keep down the popula
But the really scandalous thing is, not that our counsels are inferior to those of our ancestors, who surpassed all mankind in virtue, but that they are worse than those of all other nations. Is it not discreditable that, whereas the Aeginetans yonder, who inhabit that insignificant island, and have nothing whatever to be proud of, have never to this day given their citizenship to Lampis, the largest ship-owner in Hellas, who fitted out their city and their seaport, but have reluctantly rewarded him merely with exemption from the alien-tax;