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[18] for if ever a danger affecting all the Greeks was brewing, these were the first to foresee it, and time and again they challenged the rest to save the situation. This action is a demonstration of sound judgement joined with public spirit. Although, again, there was much folly among the Greeks, not unmixed with slackness,1 a folly which failed to foresee some dangers and feigned not to see others at a time when it was possible to avert these misfortunes without sacrificing safety, nevertheless, when they did hearken and evinced willingness to do their duty,2 these men did not bear a grudge but stepping forward and eagerly offering their all, bodies, money, and allies, they entered upon the ordeal of the contest, in which they were not sparing even of their lives.

1 By “slackness” is meant the acceptance of Macedonian bribes, mentioned by Hyp. 10; Blass compares Dem. 18.20, where “folly” is used as a euphemism for “slackness.”

2 The attitude of the Greek states toward the aggressions of Philip of Macedon may be compared to that of the small democratic states of Europe toward Germany before the war of 1939-1945. By his OlynthiacsDem. 1-3) and PhillippicsDem. 4, Dem. 6, Dem. 9, Dem. 10) Demosthenes tried to arouse and unite them but with little success, until the year 338 B.C., when he achieved his great diplomatic triumph in uniting Thebes with Athens, ancient rivals.

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