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123. But why should we dwell reproachfully upon the past, except in the interest of the present? We should rather, looking to the future,1 devote our energies to the task which we have immediately in hand. By labour to win virtue,—that is the lesson which we2 have learnt from our fathers, and which you ought not to unlearn, because you chance to have some trifling advantage over them in wealth and power; for men should not lose in the time of their wealth what was gained by them in their time of want. There are many reasons why you may advance with confidence. The God has spoken and has promised to take our part himself. All Hellas will fight at our side, from motives either of fear or of interest. [2] And you will not break the treaty,—the God in bidding you go to war pronounces it to have been already broken,— but you will avenge the violation of it. For those who attack others, not those who defend themselves, are the real violators of treaties3.

1 In going to war you have the God and the feeling of Hell as on your side, and you will not break the treaty.

2 Reading ἡμῖν.

3 Cp. i 71 fin.

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