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I think you also are of this number, a son of folly, [220] seeing that you, though obedient to Apollo's oracle in giving your daughters to strangers, as if gods really existed, yet have hurt your house by mingling the stream of its pure line with muddy waters; no! never should the wise man have joined the stock of just and unjust in one, [225] but should have gotten prosperous friends for his family. For the god, confusing their destinies, often destroys by the sufferer's fate his fellow sufferer, who never committed injustice. You led all Argos forth to battle, [230] though seers proclaimed the will of heaven, and then in scorn of them and in violent disregard of the gods have ruined your city, led away by younger men, those who court distinction, and add war to war unrighteously, destroying their fellow-citizens; one aspires to lead an army; [235] another would seize the reins of power and work his wanton will; a third is bent on gain, careless of any ill the people thereby suffer. For there are three ranks of citizens; the rich, a useless set, that ever crave for more; [240] the poor and destitute, fearful folk, that cherish envy more than is right, and shoot out grievous stings against the men who have anything, beguiled as they are by the eloquence of vicious leaders; while the class that is midmost of the three preserves cities, [245] observing such order as the state ordains. Shall I then become your ally? What fair pretext should I urge before my countrymen? Depart in peace! For if you have been ill-advised, drag your own fortune down, but leave us alone.

Chorus Leader
[250] He erred; but with the young men rests this error, while he may well be pardoned. [But we have come to you, king, as to a doctor of our ills.]

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    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 3, 3.3
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