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[317a] since you were engaged in war,1 and that, when peace was restored, Dion and I should go to Syracuse and that you should invite us. And that was how things took place as regards my first sojourn at Syracuse2 and my safe return home again.

But on the second occasion, when peace was restored, you did not keep to our agreement in the invitation you gave me but wrote that I should come alone, and stated that you would send for Dion later on. On this account I did not go; and, moreover, I was vexed also with Dion; [317b] for he was of opinion that it was better for me to go and to yield to your wishes. Subsequently, after a year's interval, a trireme arrived with letters from you, and the first words written in the letters were to the effect that if I came I should find that Dion's affairs would all proceed as I desired, but the opposite if I failed to come. And indeed I am ashamed to say how many letters came at that time from Italy and Sicily from you and [317c] from others on your account, or to how many of my friends and acquaintances they were addressed, all enjoining me to go and beseeching me to trust you entirely. It was the firm opinion of everyone, beginning with Dion, that it was my duty to make the voyage and not be faint-hearted. But I always made my age3 an excuse; and as for you, I kept assuring them that you would not be able to withstand those who slander us and desire that we should quarrel; for I saw then, as I see now, that, as a rule, when great and exorbitant wealth is in the hands either of private citizens or of monarchs, [317d] the greater it is, the greater and more numerous are the slanderers it breeds and the hordes of parasites and wastrels—than which there is no greater evil generated by wealth or by the other privileges of power. Notwithstanding, I put aside all these considerations and went, resolving that none of my friends should lay it to my charge that owing to my lack of energy all their fortunes were ruined when they might have been saved from ruin. [317e]

On my arrival—for you know, to be sure, all that subsequently took place—I, of course, requested, in accordance with the agreement in your letters, that you should, in the first place, recall Dion on terms of friendship—which terms I mentioned; and if you had then yielded to this request, things would probably have turned out better than they have done now both for you and Syracuse and for the rest of Greece—that, at least, is my own intuitive belief. Next, I requested that Dion's family should have possession of his property,

1 Probably the war against the Lucanians.

2 For the events of Plato's first visit cf. Plat. L. 7.327c ff., Plat. L. 7.338a, Plat. L. 7.338b; for those of the second visit, Plat. L. 7.338b ff., Plat. L. 7.345c ff.

3 In 361 B.C. Plato was about 67.

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