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First, then, we must consider what is the function of kings; for if we can properly encompass the essence of the whole matter in a general principle1 we shall, with this before us, speak to better purpose about its parts. I think that all would agree that it is a king's business to relieve the state when it is in distress, to maintain it in prosperity, and to make it great when it is small; for it is with these ends in view that the other duties which present themselves day by day must be performed.

1 For the habit of definition in Isocrates see General Introd. p. xvii.

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