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[18] So now: someone's suggestion is not the best possible. Then let someone else get up and make a better, not blame the first speaker. Suppose the second suggestion is an improvement. Then act upon it, and success attend it! But, you say, it is not a pleasant one. The speaker is not to blame for that—unless he leaves out the necessary prayer!1 Yes, men of Athens, it is easy to pray, cramming all our wants into one short petition. But to choose, when choice of action is put before you, is no such child's-play, because you have to choose the best course rather than the pleasantest, if you cannot have both at once.

1 The Athenians were too prone to rely on the efficacy of a prayer or pious wish, such as orators were fond of introducing into their speeches.

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