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[243] And this is what is done by those who are men in the complete sense.1 But the eulogists of Sparta think they have even a stronger plea for self-seeking than what I have said. For they do not consider that men who break contracts and cheat and falsify accounts deserve to be termed self-seeking; for because they are in bad repute with all men they come off worse in all circumstances, whereas the self-seeking of the Spartans and of kings and despots is a gift from heaven which all men crave.

1 Manifestly Isocrates in this passage imitates Plat. Rep. 344, where Thrasymachus, maintaining that “justice is the interest of the stronger,” bids Socrates not to mark the consequences of injustice practised on a petty scale but those of the “most complete injustice,” such as a despotism. Cf. Plat. Gorg. 483.

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