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[23]

Stop there. You have heard the statute, men of Athens, and you have also heard the decree. Let me tell you how you will more readily grasp the arguments on the question of illegality. Consider the status of the person in whose favour the decree has been proposed: is he an alien, a resident alien, or a citizen? If we call him a resident alien, we shall not be telling the truth; and if we call him an alien, we shall be doing him wrong, for it is only fair to him to admit the validity of that grace of the people by which he was made a citizen. It seems, then, that we must treat him as a citizen in our arguments.

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