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Isocrates, To Demonicus (ed. George Norlin), section 32 (search)
If possible avoid drinking-parties altogether,For drinking-parties in Athens see Isocrates' picture in Isoc. 15.286-7. but if ever occasion arises when you must be present, rise and take your leave before you become intoxicated;Theognis gives the same advice, Theog. 484 ff. for when the mind is impaired by wine it is like chariots which have lost their drivers; for just as these plunge along in wild disorder when they miss the hands which should guide them, so the soul stumbles again and again when the intellect is impaired.This recalls the figure of the charioteer and the two horses in Plat. Phaedrus 247a-c. There is an exact parallel in Libanius, xii. 40.Cultivate the thoughts of an immortal by being lofty of soul, but of a mortal by enjoying in due measure the good things which you possess.Cf. Isoc. 1.9
Isocrates, Nicocles or the Cyprians (ed. George Norlin), section 14 (search)
Speaking, then, of forms of government （for this was the subject I set out to lay before you）, I imagine that we all believe that it is altogether monstrousA protest against the new “equality.” Cf. Isoc. 2.14. In Isoc. 7.21-22 Isocrates praises the old democracy of Athens for recognizing ability and worth. that the good and the bad should be thought worthy of the same privileges, and that it is of the very essence of justice that distinctions should be made between them, and that those who are unlike should not be treated alike but should fare and be rewarded in each case according to their d
Isocrates, Nicocles or the Cyprians (ed. George Norlin), section 18 (search)
while men who are permanently in charge of the same duties, even though they fall short of the others in natural ability, at any rate have a great advantage over them in experience. In the next place, the former neglect many things, because each looks to the others to do them; while the latter neglect nothing, knowing that whatever is done depends upon their own efforts. Then again, men who live in oligarchies or democracies are led by their mutual rivalries to injure the commonwealthParty rivalry in the old Athenian democracy was carried on for the good of the state according to Isoc. 4.79. Not so in contemporary Athens, Isoc. 4.167. while those who live in monarchies, not having anyone to envy, do in all circumstances so far as possible what is best.
You must be on your guard against this and take care that nothing of the sort happens in this case and that you are not yourselves seen to fall into the very faults which you find reprehensible in others. I think you know well enough that time and again in the past Athens has so deeply repentedThe outstanding instance is the decree passed by the General Assembly, condemning to death without due process of law, the Athenian generals who were in command at the battle of Arginusae. After the execution of the sentence, the people repented of their haste and called to account the leading instigators of this irregular procedure. See Xen. Hell. 1.7.35; Plat. Apol. 32; Grote, History vol. vii. pp. 446-447. the judgements which have been pronounced in passion and without proof that not long after the events she has become eager to punish her deceivers, and would gladly have seen the victims of calumny in happier circumstances than before.