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While it stands to reason that many influences helped to make them what they were, not least was their virtue ascribable to our form of government.1 For though absolute governments dominated by a few create fear in their citizens, they fail to awaken the sense of shame. Consequently, when the test of war comes, everyone lightheartedly proceeds to save himself, knowing full well that if only he succeeds in appeasing his masters by presents or any other civility whatsoever, even though he becomes guilty of the most revolting conduct, only slight reproach will attach to him thereafter.

1 This topic is treated in Plat. Menex. 238b-239d. Blass compares Dem. 20.108, but the similarity is not impressive.

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