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[2] The man protested, because the purchase demanded a capital of many talents; but Alcibiades threatened to have him scourged if he did not do it, because he cherished some private grudge against the ordinary contractors. In the morning, accordingly, the alien went into the market place and increased the usual bid for the public lands by a talent. The contractors clustered angrily about him and bade him name his surety, supposing that he could find none. The man was confounded and began to draw back, when Alcibiades, standing afar off, cried to the magistrates: ‘put my name down; he is a friend of mine; I will be his surety.’

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