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And do not be surprised (as I said in my letter to Dionysius after he had made himself master of Sicily) that I, who am not a general nor a public orator nor in any other position of authority, have expressed myself to you more boldly than the others. The fact is that nature has placed me more at a disadvantage than any of my fellow-citizens for a public career:1 I was not given a strong enough voice nor sufficient assurance to enable me to deal with the mob, to take abuse, and bandy words with the men who haunt the rostrum;

1 Isocrates dwells on his disabilities repeatedly. Cf. Isoc. Letter 1.9; Isoc. Letter 8.7; and Isoc. 12.9-10. See General Introd. p. xix.

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