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[138]

Those who defend these institutions with all their might are the best men, of whatever rank they are; and they who chiefly support all these offices and the republic on their necks as it were, are accounted the chiefs of the party of the best men,—the chief advisers and preservers of the state. I confess that there are, as I have said before, many adversaries and enemies to, and enviers of, this class of men, that there are many dangers in their path, that many injuries are heaped upon them, that many labours have necessarily to be experienced and undergone by them. But all my speech is addressed to virtue, and not to sloth; to dignity, and not to luxury; to those men who look upon themselves as born for their country, for their fellow-citizens, for praise, for glory, not for sleep, for banquets, and soft delights. For if there be any men who are influenced wholly by pleasures, and who have given themselves entirely up to the seductions of vices and to the gratification of their desires, let them abandon all desire for honours; let them abstain from meddling with the republic; let them be satisfied with enjoying their ease, and owing it to the labour of virtuous and brave men.


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