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§ 38-41 Philip's strictures are well deserved, and, though they may not be pleasant hearing, we must put up with what is unpleasant (38) and learn the lesson that wise policy aims at guiding events and not following them (39). Till now you have used your great resources like clumsy boxers, always guarding where the last blow fell instead of watching the next (40). Thus you allow Philip to direct all your movements. But now times are too critical for such dallying (41).

οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ here answers μέν, and is much more strongly adversative than δὲ or μέντοι. The use seems to have been originally elliptical; note that the οὐ is not simply repeated by the following οὐχ.

τὰ πράγματα, ‘the actual course of events.’ The sense is, ‘if we can prevent things from happening by not mentioning them.’

τῶν λόγων χάρις, ‘complaisance in language.’

ἀναβαλλομένους, see on § 14.

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