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61. 'I allow that for men who are in prosperity and free to choose it is great folly to make war.1 But when they must either submit and at once surrender independence, or strike and be free, then he who shuns and not he who meets the danger is deserving of blame. [2] For my own part, I am the same man and stand where I did. But you are changed; for you have been driven by misfortune to recall the consent which you gave when you were yet unhurt, and to think that my advice was wrong because your own characters are weak. The pain is present and comes home to each of you, but the good is as yet unrealised by any one; and your minds have not the strength to persevere in your resolution, now that a great reverse has overtaken you unawares. [3] Anything which is sudden and unexpected and utterly beyond calculation, such a disaster for instance as this plague coming upon other misfortunes, enthralls the spirit of a man. [4] Nevertheless, being the citizens of a great city and educated in a temper of greatness, you should not succumb to calamities however overwhelming, or darken the lustre of your fame. For if men hate the presumption of those who claim a reputation to which they have no right, they equally condemn the faint-heartedness of those who fall below the glory which is their own. You should lose the sense of your private sorrows and cling to the deliverance of the state.

1 I am not changed, but you are changed by misfortune. Such a change as unbecoming the citizens of Athens: you should forget your sorrows, and think only of the public good.

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load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant, 1891)
load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
load focus Greek (1942)
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