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‘And as the majority of mankind are no better than they should be (inclined to the worse; χείρους τοῦ δέοντος, ‘worse than they ought to be’, or τοῦ εἰωθότος, ‘below the mean standing of morality’, ‘rather bad’), and slaves to their own interest, and cowardly in all dangers, it is for the most part a formidable thing to be dependent upon any one else (at the mercy of, in the power of; ἐπί penes, see note on I 1. 7, ἐπὶ τοῖς κρίνουσι); and therefore the accomplices in any deed of horror are to be feared as likely either to turn informers’ (if they are ἥττους τοῦ κερδαίνειν, especially; though cowardice might have the same effect), ‘or to leave their comrades in the lurch’ (ἐν τοῖς κινδυνοῖς namely, in which their cowardice is shewn); run away and leave them to bear the brunt of the danger.

That the ‘majority are worse’ is proverbial; οἱ πλείους κακοί.

ἐγκαταλιπεῖν] See note on συνδιαγαγεῖν καὶ συνδιημερεῦσαι, II 4. 12, ib. § 26.

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