This is not our way; and, besides, the moment that a man is suspected of giving advice, however
good, from corrupt motives, we feel such a grudge against him for the gain
which after all we are not certain he will receive, that we deprive the city
of its certain benefit.
Plain good advice has thus come to be no less suspected than bad; and the advocate of the most monstrous measures is not more obliged to use
deceit to gain the people, than the best counsellor is to lie in order to be
The city and the city only, owing to these refinements, can never be served
openly and without disguise; he who does serve it openly being always suspected of serving himself in
some secret way in return.
Still, considering the magnitude of the interests involved, and the
position of affairs, we orators must make it our business to look a little
further than you who judge offhand; especially as we, your advisers, are responsible, while you, our audience,
are not so.
For if those who gave the advice, and those who took it, suffered equally,
you would judge more calmly; as it is, you visit the disasters into which the whim of the moment may
have led you, upon the single person of your adviser, not upon yourselves,
his numerous companions in error.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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