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δοκεῖν (sc. εἶναι): the pretense of being. The thought is “if one should endeavor to seem to excel (§2), he would have much trouble; and the false reputation, when acquired, is injurious.”

ἀλυσιτελὲς ἀπέφαινε: sc. ὄν. After verbs of knowing, declaring, etc., the participle of εἰμί is sometimes omitted. Cf. ii.3.14; An. iii.1.36

κατὰ δύναμιν: “than their strength would bear.”

συγγνώμης: indulgence. For the case, see on στόματος i. 4. 12.

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