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[515e] on the assumption that he was a good citizen.

Well, what then?

Nothing: but tell me one thing in addition,—whether the Athenians are said to have become better because of Pericles, or quite the contrary, to have been corrupted by him. What I, for my part, hear is that Pericles has made the Athenians idle, cowardly, talkative, and avaricious, by starting the system of public fees.1

You hear that from the folk with battered ears,2 Socrates.

Ah, but what is no longer a matter of hearsay, but rather of certain knowledge, for you as well as for me, is that Pericles was popular at first, and the Athenians passed no degrading sentence upon him so long as they were “worse”; but as soon as they had been made upright and honorable by him,

1 This refers especially to the payment of dicasts or jurors, introduced by Pericles in 462-1 B.C.

2 i.e. people who show their Spartan sympathies by an addiction to boxing; cf. Plat. Prot. 342b.

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