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[13] And the cause of this condition of affairs is that, although you ought to be as much concerned about the business of the commonwealth as about your own, you do not feel the same interest in the one as in the other; on the contrary, whenever you take counsel regarding your private business you seek out as counsellors men who are your superiors in intelligence, but whenever you deliberate on the business of the state you distrust and dislike men of that character and cultivate, instead, the most depraved1 of the orators who come before you on this platform; and you prefer as being better friends of the people those who are drunk2 to those who are sober, those who are witless to those who are wise, and those who dole out the public money3 to those who perform public services4 at their own expense. So that we may well marvel that anyone can expect a state which employs such counsellors to advance to better things.

1 The private morals of men like Eubulus, Callistratus (see Theopompus in Athen. 4.166e), and Philocrates (see Aeschin. 2.52) apparently left much to be desired.

2 Aristotle (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 34) states that when, after the battle of Arginusae, 406 B.C., the Spartans made overtures of peace the demagogue Cleophon came before the Assembly drunk and prevented the Athenians from accepting the terms. With this paragraph should be compared Isoc. 15.316 and note.

3 The reference is particularly to Eubulus, who caused to be set aside a portion of the public revenues (the “surplus” mentioned in Isoc. 8.82) as a “theoric” fund to be distributed to the people at the public festivals.

4 See Isoc. 8.128, note.

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