The matters that you are debating, men of Athens, are to my mind so important and even vital to the State, that I will endeavour to offer you what I consider profitable advice on the subject. While the faults that have produced this unhappy state of things are neither few nor recently accumulated, there is nothing, men of Athens, more vexing at the present time than the way in which you detach your thoughts from affairs, and display an interest only so long as you sit here listening, or when some fresh item of news arrives; after that, each man goes home, and not only pays no attention to public business, but does not even recall it to mind.

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