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70. "Besides, if there be any that may challenge to exprobate his neighbour, we think ourselves may best do it, especially on so great quarrels as these whereof you neither seem to have any feeling nor to consider what manner of men and how different from you in every kind the Athenians be that you are to contend withal. [2] For they love innovation and are swift to devise and also to execute what they resolve on. But you on the contrary are only apt to save your own, not devise anything new, nor scarce to attain what is necessary. [3] They again are bold beyond their strength, adventurous above their own reason, and in danger hope still the best. Whereas your actions are ever beneath your power, and you distrust even what your judgment assures, and being in a danger never think to be delivered. They are stirrers, you studies; they love to be abroad, and you at home the most of any. [4] For they make account by being abroad to add to their estate; you, if you should go forth against the state of another, would think to impair your own. [5] They, when they overcome their enemies, advance the farthest and, when they are overcome by their enemies, fall off the least; [6] and as for their bodies, they use them in the service of the commonwealth as if they were none of their own; but their minds, when they would serve the state, are right their own. [7] Unless they take in hand what they have once advised on, they account so much lost of their own. And when they take it in hand, if they obtain anything, they think lightly of it in respect of what they look to win by their prosecution. If they fail in any attempt, they do what is necessary for the present and enter presently into other hopes. [8] For they alone both have and hope for at once whatsoever they conceive through their celerity in execution of what they once resolve on. And in this manner they labour and toil all the days of their lives. What they have, they have no leisure to enjoy for continual getting of more; nor holiday esteem they any, but whereon they effect some matter profitable; [9] nor think they ease with nothing to do, a less torment than laborious business. So that, in a word, to say they are men born neither to rest themselves nor suffer others is to say the truth.

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load focus Notes (Charles D. Morris)
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load focus English (Benjamin Jowett, 1881)
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