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Consider how worthy a thing it is to undertake, above all, deeds of such a character that if you succeed you will cause your own reputation to rival that of the foremost men of history, while if you fall short of your expectations you will at any rate win the good will of all the Hellenes—which is a better thing to gain than to take by force many Hellenic cities;1 for achievements of the latter kind entail envy and hostility and much opprobrium, but that which I have urged entails none of these things. Nay, if some god were to give you the choice of the interests and the occupations in which you would wish to spend your life, you could not, at least if you took my advice, choose any in preference to this;

1 Cf. Isoc. Letter 2.21: “It is a much greater glory to capture the good will of states than their fortifications.”

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