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[21] 7. But, it is alleged, the memory is impaired. Of course, if you do not exercise it, or also if you are by nature somewhat dull. Themistocles had learned the names of all the citizens of Athens 1 by heart; do you think, then, that after he became [p. 31] old he was wont to address as Lysimachus one who in fact was Aristides?2 I, for instance, know not only the people who are living, but I recall their fathers and grandfathers, too; and as I read their epitaphs I am not afraid of the superstition that, in so doing, I shall lose my memory; for by reading them I refresh my recollection of the dead. I certainly never heard of any old man forgetting where he had hidden his money! The aged remember everything that interests them, their appointments to appear in court, and who are their creditors and who their debtors.

1 The citizens of Athens (native males, over 20, having the franchise) were then probably about 20,000.

2 Lysimachus was the father of Aristides the bitter enemy of Themistocles; hence there is pointed humour in the question.

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