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O Stranger of Athens, you are not, perhaps, aware that our family is, in fact, a “proxenus”1 of your State. It is probably true of all children that, when once they have been told that they are “proxeni” of a certain State, they conceive an affection for that State even from infancy, and each of them regards it as a second mother-land, next after his own country. That is precisely the feeling I now experience. For through hearing mere children crying out— [642c] whenever they, being the Lacedaemonians, were blaming the Athenians for anything or praising them—“Your State, Megillus, has done us a bad turn or a good one,”—through hearing such remarks, I say, and constantly fighting your battles against those who were thus decrying your State, I acquired a deep affection for it; so that now not only do I delight in your accent, but I regard as absolutely true the common saying that “good Athenians are always incomparably good,” for they alone are good [642d] not by outward compulsion but by inner disposition. Thus, so far as I am concerned, you may speak without fear and say all you please.Clinias
My story, too, Stranger, when you hear it, will show you that you may boldly say all you wish. You have probably heard how that inspired man Epimenides, who was a family connection of ours, was born in Crete; and how ten years2 before the Persian War, in obedience to the oracle of the god, he went to Athens and offered certain sacrifices which the god had ordained; and how, moreover, when the Athenians were alarmed at the Persians' expeditionary force, [642e] he made this prophecy—“They will not come for ten years, and when they do come, they will return back again with all their hopes frustrated, and after suffering more woes than they inflict.” Then our forefathers became guest-friends of yours, and ever since both my fathers and I myself
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