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12. 'We must remember also that we have only just recovered in some measure from a great1 plague and a great war, and are beginning to make up our losses in men and money. It is our duty to expend our new resources upon ourselves at home, and not upon begging exiles who have an interest in successful lies; who find it expedient only to contribute words, and let others fight their battles; and who, if saved, prove ungrateful; if they fail, as they very likely may, only involve their friends in a common ruin. [2] 'I dare say there may be some young man here who is delighted at holding a command, and2 the more so because he is too young for his post3 and he regarding only his own interest, may recommend you to sail; he may be one who is much admired for his stud of horses, and wants to make something out of his command which will maintain him in his extravagance. But do not you give him the opportunity of indulging his own magnificent tastes at the expense of the state. Remember that men of this stamp impoverish themselves and defraud the-public. An expedition to Sicily is a serious business, and not one which a mere youth can plan and carry into execution off-hand.

1 We have plenty of work at home, and had better leave these adventures to themselves.

2 Alcibiades is too young to command such an expedition, and he only wants to indulge his taste for horses at the public expense.

3 Omitting the comma after ἐκπλεῖν.

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