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But it even among the Athenians, a nation of Greeks, far removed from the serious wisdom of our ancestors, there were not wanting men to defend the republic against the rashness of the people;—though every one who ever did so was sure to be banished from the city;—if the great Themistocles, the preserver of his country, was not deterred from defending the republic, either by the calamity of Miltiades, who had saved that state only a little before, or by the banishment of Aristides, who is said to have been the greatest of all men: and if, after his time, many illustrious men of the same state, whom it is unnecessary for me to mention by name, in spite of the numerous instances of the popular ill-temper and fickleness which they had before them, still defended that republic of theirs; what ought we to do who, in the first place, have been born in that city which appears to me to be the very birth-place of wisdom and dignity and magnanimity; and who, in the second place, are raised on such a pinnacle of glory that all human things may well appear insignificant by the side of it; and who, lastly, have undertaken to uphold that republic, which is one of such dignity, that to slay a man who is defending it is no less a crime than to attack it and to endeavour to seize the supreme power?

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