The man was clever, but of his hand had no control. For this cause, Themistocles banded many together against Aristides, prosecuted him for theft at the auditing of his accounts, and actually got a verdict against him, according to Idomeneus. But the first and best men of the city were incensed at this, and he was not only exempted from his fine, but even appointed to administer the same charge again. Then he pretended to repent him of his former course, and made himself more pliable, thus giving pleasure to those who were stealing the common funds by not examining them or holding them to strict account,  so that they gorged themselves with the public moneys, and then lauded Aristides to the skies, and pleaded with the people in his behalf, eagerly desirous that he be once more elected to his office. But just as they were about to vote, Aristides rebuked the Athenians. ‘Verily,’ said he, ‘when I served you in office with fidelity and honor, I was reviled and persecuted; but now that I am flinging away much of the common fund to thieves, I am thought to be an admirable citizen.  For my part, I am more ashamed of my present honor than I was of my former condemnation, and I am sore distressed for you, because it is more honorable in your eyes to please base men than to guard the public moneys.’ By these words, as well as by exposing their thefts, he did indeed stop the mouths of the men who were then testifying loudly in his favour, but he won genuine and just praise from the best citizens.
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