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16. "Men of Athens, it both belongeth unto me more than to any other to have this charge; and withal I think myself (for I must needs begin with this, as having been touched by Nicias) to be worthy of the same. For those things for which I am so much spoken of do indeed purchase glory to my progenitors and myself; [2] but to the commonwealth they confer both glory and profit. For the Grecians have thought our city a mighty one, even above the truth, by reason of my brave appearance at the Olympic games, whereas before they thought easily to have warred it down. For I brought thither seven chariots and not only won the first, second, and fourth prize, but carried also in all other things a magnificence worthy the honour of the victory. And in such things as these, as there is honour to be supposed according to the law, so is there also a power conceived upon sight of the thing done. [3] As for my expenses in the city upon setting forth of shows, or whatsoever else is remarkable in me, though naturally it procure envy in other citizens, yet to strangers this also is an argument of our greatness. Now, it is no unprofitable course of life when a man shall at his private cost not only benefit himself but also the commonwealth. [4] Nor doth he that beareth himself high upon his own worth and refuseth to make himself fellow with the rest wrong the rest; for if he were in distress, he should not find any man that would share with him in his calamity. Therefore, as we are not so much as saluted when we be in misery, so let them likewise be content to be contemned of us when we flourish; [5] or if they require equality, let them also give it. I know that such men, or any man else that excelleth in the glory of anything whatsoever, shall as long as he liveth be envied, principally of his equals, and then also of others amongst whom he converseth; but with posterity they shall have kindred claimed of them, though there be none; and his country will boast of him, not as of a stranger or one that had been a man of lewd life, but as their own citizen and one that had achieved worthy and laudable acts. [6] This being the thing I aim at and for which I am renowned, consider now whether I administer the public the worse for it or not. For having reconciled unto you the most potent states of Peloponnesus without much either danger or cost, I compelled the Lacedaemonians to stake all that ever they had upon the fortune of one day of Mantineia.

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load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant, 1909)
load focus Notes (Charles F. Smith)
load focus English (Benjamin Jowett, 1881)
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