This text is part of:
 Do not think it strange1 that I, who am not an orator who moves public assemblies, nor a leader of armies, nor otherwise a man of power, am undertaking so difficult an affair and am attempting two of the most serious things—to speak on behalf of Greece and at the same time to give counsel to you. For at the beginning of my career I stood aloof from participation in public affairs （the reasons for this would be tedious to relate）,2 but of that culture which contemns the petty things and attempts to achieve the great things I should not be found to be entirely destitute.
2 Isocrates states that a weak voice and a lack of assurance prevented him from entering upon a public career. These abilities are frequently mentioned by the writer, e.g., Isoc. 12.9-10; Isoc. Letter 8.7 （οὔτε γὰρ φωνὴν ἔσχον ἱκανὴν οὔτε τόλμαν）; Isoc. 5.81; cf. General Introd., Vol. I, p. xix.