Greek Statesman, Orator and General of Athens
Greek Statesman, Orator and General of Athens
It is right to endure with resignation what the gods send, and to face one's enemies with courage.
Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea. Why, as men do a-land: the great ones eat up the little ones.
Nor is it any longer possible for you to give up this empire ... Your empire is now like a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go.
Not to be able to bear poverty is a shameful thing; but not to know how to chase it away by work is a more shameful thing yet.
The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.
Those who are politically apathetic can only survive if they are supported by people who are capable of taking action.
Time is the king of all men, he is their parent and their grave, and gives them what he will and not what they crave.
A woman's greatest glory is to be little talked about by men, whether for good or ill.
Trees, though they are cut and loped, grow up again quickly, but if men are destroyed, it is not easy to get them again.
All who have taken it upon themselves to rule over others have incurred hatred and unpopularity for a time; but if one has a great aim to pursue, this burden of envy must be accepted, and it is wise to accept it.
We do not imitate, but are a model to others.
Although only a few may originate a policy, we are all able to judge it.
We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all.
But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.
We regard wealth as something to be properly used, rather than as something to boast about. As for poverty, no one need be ashamed to admit it: the real shame is in not taking practical measures to escape from it.
Fishes live in the sea, as men do on land: the great ones eat up the little ones.
Your empire is now like a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go.
For famous men have the whole earth as their memorial.
For grief is felt not so much for the want of what we have never known, as for the loss of that to which we have been long accustomed.
I could tell you a long story (and you know it as well as I do) about what is to be gained by beating the enemy back. What I would prefer is that you should fix your eyes every day on the greatness of Athens as she realty is, and should fall in love with her. When you realize her greatness, then reflect that what made her great was men with a spirit of adventure, men who knew their duty, men who were ashamed to fall below a certain standard. If they ever failed in an enterprise, they made up their minds that at any rate the city should not find their courage lacking to her, and they gave to her the best contribution that they could. They gave her their lives, to her and to all of us, and for their own selves they won praises that never grow old, the most splendid of sepulchers ? not the sepulchre in which their bodies are laid, but where their glory remains eternal in men's minds, always there on the right occasion to stir others to speech or to action. For famous men have the whole earth as their memorial: it is not only the inscriptions on their graves in their own country that mark diem out; no, in foreign lands also, not in any visible form but in people's hearts, their memory abides and grows. It is for you to try to be like them. Make up your minds that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.
It is more of a disgrace to be robbed of what one has than to fail in some new undertaking.
Having knowledge but lacking the power to express it clearly is no better than never having any ideas at all.
Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. We do not copy our neighbors, but are an example to them. It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not of the few. But while the laws secure equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognized; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit. "Neither is poverty a bar, for a man may benefit his country whatever be the obscurity of his conditions. There is no exclusiveness in our public life, and in our private intercourses we are not suspicious of one another, nor angry with our neighbor if he does what he likes; we do not give him sour looks which, though harmless, are not pleasant.