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Philopoemen on Archon

Philopoemen had a sharp difference in debate with Archon the Strategus. In course of time, however, Philopoemen was convinced by Archon's arguments, and, changing his mind, spoke in warm commendation of Archon as having managed his business with skill and address. But when I heard the speech at the time it did not seem to me right to praise a man and yet do him an injury, nor do I think so now in my maturer years. For I think that there is as wide a distinction in point of morality between practical ability and success secured by absence of scruples, as there is between skill and mere cunning. The former are in a manner the highest attainments possible, the latter the reverse. But owing to the lack of discernment so general in our day, these qualities, which have little in common, excite the same amount of commendation and emulation in the world. . . .

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