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[12] Moreover you are now calling on the Greeks to join you; but if you refuse to do their bidding—and your relations with some of them are not cordial—how can you expect any of them to answer your call? “Because,” you say, “we shall warn them that the King has designs on them.” But seriously, do you imagine that they cannot detect that for themselves? I am sure they can. But as yet their fear of Persia is subordinate to their feuds with you and, in some cases, with one another. Therefore your ambassadors will only go round repeating their heroics.1

1 The ambassadors are compared to rhapsodists, the wandering professional reciters of epic poetry, whose art was falling into contempt in an age of wider education.

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