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When Eurybiades, who had the command of the fleet on account of the superior claims of Sparta, but who was faint-hearted in time of danger, wished to hoist sail and make for the Isthmus, where the infantry also of the Peloponnesians had been assembled, it was Themistocles who spoke against it, and it was then, they say, that these memorable sayings of his were uttered. When Eurybiades said to him, ‘Themistocles, at the games those who start too soon get a caning,’ ‘Yes,’ said Themistocles, ‘but those who lag behind get no crown.’

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