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Many times it seems to us the city has done
the same thing with the best and the brightest of its citizens
as with the old coinage and the new gold currency.
For these, not counterfeit at all,
but the finest it seems of all coins,
and the only ones of the proper stamp, of resounding metal
amongst Greeks and foreigners everywhere,
we never use, but the inferior bronze ones instead,
minted just yesterday or the day before with the basest stamp.
So too the citizens whom we know to be noble and virtuous,
and righteous and true men of quality
and trained in the palaestra and dancing and music,
these we despise, but the brazen foreigners and redheads
worthless sons of worthless fathers, these we use for everything,
these latest parvenus, whom the city before this
wouldn't have lightly used even for random scapegoats.
But now, you dimwits, change your ways,
and employ the good ones again. And if you succeed,
it's praiseworthy. But if you stumble, at least you'll hang from a respectable tree—
So wise men will think, if anything happens to you.

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